Last night fans witnessed part two of Wrestlemania and after Saturday’s show, fans were left very entertained.
Indeed the bar had been set and the standards and expectations were of course high. With historic matches including Rhea Ripley vs Charlotte Flair, a must see title bout between two dominant stars in the form of Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre and the first one on one match up for WWE Hall of Famer Edge since returning it was a night no one wanted to miss.
But did night two live up to Saturday’s event?
We are going to be looking back through last night’s action grading each bout on the card and making our final summary for what was a very special and unique Wrestlemania 36
Liv Morgan defeated Natalya
We begin with kick off show action in a very random matchup between Natalya and current fan favourite Liv Morgan. Both women are incredibly talented superstars who unfortunately are not given the time they deserve to show just how good they are but the fact the pair were booked in this small Mania match up gave them an opportunity to prove why they have a future as champions down the line.
As predicted, this was another short Kick off show encounter similar to what we saw go down between Cesaro and Drew Gulak the night before. There was a clear difference in styles when it comes to these two superstars and the experience of Nattie was evidently on display here as the former champion dominated most of the contest using her power and several submissions to gain the upper hand. With that being said it was Morgan who picked up the much-needed victory in the end and while the bout was kept on the short side, we saw some great sequences throughout.
NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley (c)
Our second night started with an historic moment when fans witnessed an NXT Title defended at Wrestlemania as Rhea Ripley put her NXT Women’s championship on the line against the Queen, Charlotte Flair.
Since arriving on the scene Ripley has been compared to Flair by many and together their similarities were evident. The power and athleticism from both women were on display, Ripley executing her finisher within the first five minutes looking to score an early victory. There was also a great deal of confidence from both parties, which gave us some solid character work.
What did separate the pair, however, was experience. Charlotte was able to use her experience to her advantage throughout several moments of the bout but Ripley brought the fight. During the first half of this match we saw the NXT women’s champ take control and dominate the action until Flair targeted the leg, shifting momentum. I was so glad to see these two women given a great deal of time to compete, going over twenty minutes and after what was such an evenly matched encounter, we saw a new NXT Women’s Champion crowned after Flair made Ripley tap out.
A surprising decision and something that is sure to shake things up on the black and gold brand.
Aleister Black defeated Bobby Lashley
This was one of those matches that didn’t need to be on the card and the time used for this bout could have contributed to another match in the evening. However, there was potential here and I’m glad both men were able to be a part of Wrestlemania.
There is a huge difference in characters and in ring styles when it comes to these two superstars, Lashley bringing power and strength against Aleister’s intense striking ability. Much of the action was dominated by Lashley but after finding a way to turn things around Black was able to walk away with another victory.
We may expect to see a rematch between these two in the coming weeks with Lashley now being in sore need of a turnaround in his luck.
Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler
Who doesn’t love a wrestling love story angle?
Okay, sure, there have been some cringe moments during this angle but Otis vs Ziggler has had a genuine great build with some awesome little twists. The most recent of which being the reveal of Sonya’s involvement in Otis’ betrayal.
Once again, this was a case of two superstars who really do share the differences in the ring In terms of style but with the personal story, the way the angle was booked and the charisma from both men meant I was honestly looking forward to this.
Of course, the action between these two was pretty basic. We saw a great deal of power from Otis as expected and fantastic character work from Ziggler. There wasn’t anything special or standout in this match but it was a fun watch and Otis walked out not only with the win but the girl too. A satisfying ending to a dramatic storyline.
Last Man Standing: Edge defeated Randy Orton
Out of every single match on the card at this year’s Wrestlemania, this was the one I was most looking forward to.
We saw an incredible build to this bout that touched on such personal issues, which was both gripping and dripping in nostalgia. The last man standing stipulation catered to Orton’s style perfectly and he wasted no time attempting to get the upper hand by posing as a cameraman to sneak in an early attack on the Rated R Superstar.
The viciousness of ‘The Viper’ was on clear display throughout this match up and considering Edge’s history it made for hard viewing to see Randy focus on the neck area.. Orton used the surroundings to his advantage, particularly the gym area of the Performance Centre. The action went all around the building with Randy dominating much of the bout as Edge showcased the grit he has been talking about for weeks.
This was truly an all-out fight, and these two exceeded all expectations. There were some moments that felt repeated and the bout could have been cut by about ten minutes. However, this was personal, intense, barbaric and both men gave they’re absolute everything. The emotions were so incredibly high in this very special all-out war and after Edge finally picked up the win there can be no denying this is a serious contender for match of the year.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (c) defeated Austin Theory & Angel Garza
With Andrade out of action NXT’s Austin Theory stood alongside Angel Garza to take on the Street Profits for the RAW tag team titles. I’ll admit that with no Andrade I wasn’t as invested in this bout, but nonetheless it was a brilliant opportunity for the young star in Theory.
This was arguably the most predictable match of the evening, but we did see some explosive moves and great athleticism from all four men involved. The Street Profits unsurprisingly picked up the win but what was most entertaining here was what we saw after the bell rang when Bianca BelAir came to the aid of the street profits taking out Zelina Vega following a beat down.
A brilliant surprise moment I really liked.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley defeated Lacey Evans, Tamina, Naomi and Sasha Banks
While I’m not personally the biggest fan of multi person matches, the addition of the elimination factor and the varying styles within this match made this one to watch and one with great potential
I loved that we didn’t see a quick Elimination and moments including the Team B.A.D reunion and Naomi and Lacey facing off one on one for a bit made for mini highlights to note. Throughout the match we of course saw Bayley and Sasha Banks team up until miscommunication resulted in some tension between the pair and Banks was eliminated leaving the final two, Lacey Evans and Bayley, to fight it out for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
We saw some great action between Evans and Bayley but after the assistance of Banks, Bayley was able to walk out Wrestlemania still champion.
Firefly Fun House Match: ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena
Okay, where do I start with this one?
I haven’t seen anything like this. I know this is one that is going to split fans but everything we got here had me so entertained, I cannot put it into words. I was genuinely watching and laughing, enjoying the throwback to Cena’s debut and early days of his career, and the personal comments made this feel so intense and incredibly entertaining.
WWE tapped into something that was completely unique and while far from what we expected from this oozed creativity and I have to say I enjoyed every single second. I felt like a kid again tuning into this section of the night and we can certainly note this as one of the best wrestling matches that wasn’t really a match.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar
I really do wish this match could have taken place in front of an audience because this was such a special moment for Drew McIntyre but this was a brilliant ending to a memorable Wrestlemania regardless.
The match showcased the heart, passion and power from McIntyre and after delivering suplex after suplex and F-5 after F-5 McIntyre continued to kick out and get back up. Eventually, his resolve paid off and he was able to pin Lesnar and make history becoming WWE Champion.
You could truly see how much this all meant to McIntyre and his reign as champion is sure to change things drastically on Monday nights.
It has to be said that despite the unique setting Wrestlemania 36 was something special and a brilliant event.
There was a great display of different characters, matches, and storylines. We saw new champions, first time ever matches and historic moments that we will be talking about for many years to come. Both shows didn’t feel rushed and were very well evened out and it was clear this was a Mania that was most certainly too big for one night.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @TezangiVictoria. Thanks for reading!