Welcome to the WrestleMania Reaction where I offer up my take on the Sunday portion of WrestleMania. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here. In case you missed it, I wrote about WrestleMania Night 1 right here.
There were no matches on the preshow. The show opens to Ashland Craft singing America the Beautiful with shots of the talent on the stage from last night mixed in. We get a recap of last night’s happenings before the WrestleMania opener from last night aired. We get the opening pyro display before our co-hosts, Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan, try to hype the crowd with a bad skit.
Our first match of the night is Randy Orton taking on The Fiend. A rather normal looking Alexa Bliss skipped down to the ring to a giant toy box at ringside. She cranked the crank and The Fiend emerged from the box. Once the match starts, the red lights of doom return to cover the ring and ringside area. The match was just weird, weirder than usual for a Fiend match. The ending came when The Fiend was distracted by a differently dressed Alexa Bliss wearing a headdress that was squirting that black goo down her face allowing Orton to hit a RKO for the win. After the quick match, The Fiend looked confused at Alexa before they both disappeared. This likely means one more match with Orton but I just don’t know if I care anymore.
Backstage, Titus and Hogan were talking to Eric Bischoff when Bayley appears to talk to Bischoff and he didn’t really seem to care and left with Hogan. Titus bailed on her as well.
Up next is the Women’s Tag Team Title match with the champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (free Shanya) taking on the winners of last nights Tag Team Turmoil match Natalya and Tamina. The match was fairly decent, a bit better than Turmoil, with the fans getting behind Tamina. Tamina did manage a body slam on Nia. It wasn’t Hogan/Andre by any means but acceptable. In the end, Natalya passed out to the Kirifuda Clutch so the champs retained. I guess we are just going to have to wait for Io to come up to Raw to tag with Asuka for these two to get beat for the titles? Free Shayna.
Our next bout is Sami Zayn taking on Kevin Owens. Logan Paul was sitting at ringside on commentary. They only got 10 minutes and, as JR used to say, maximized their minutes. The match was great, as one would expect from these two. I just wished they had gotten more time to do their thing. Crazy bumps were dished out and, in the end, Kevin Owens dropped Sami with a stunner to pick up the win. After the match, Logan Paul jumped into the ring to applaud KO for his performance, upsetting Sami. With the crowd cheering him on, Owens dropped Paul with a stunner. An acceptable sell job by Paul. Owens celebrated with his family before heading to the back.
Before the US Title match, Riddle did a quick spot with Great Khali and RVD. The match was hard hitting as you would have expected from these two based on their previous encounters. The match was back and forth and could go either way. Sheamus countered Riddle’s moonsault attempt with a Brogue Kick and that was enough to capture the US Title. Riddle was left with a bloody mouth after that wicked Brogue. Sheamus could have some good opponents for this title run.
The Nigerian Drum Fight between Big E and Apollo Crews for the IC title is up next. Wale performed Big E’s entrance theme live. He did a good job. The match was not given the time it should have gotten so it was just okay. These two have had longer matches that raised the expectations for here, but they just got cut short. They made it work with the time they were given. Apollo Crews captured the IC title after the superstar formerly known as Dabba Kato showed up and took out Big E. They deserved more time and a clean finish. This was set up perfectly for a Last Man Standing match, but alas this is what we got.
The WWE Hall of Fame class of 2021 is introduced to the live crowd. It was a good class, don’t remember Ozzy being an inductee but whatever.
The Raw Women’s Championship match is up next between Asuka and Rhea Ripley. Ash Costello performed Rhea’s theme live and it was terrible. Let’s hope it’s a one and done. Asuka and Rhea put together a really good match. They told a really good story with some really brutal-looking moves, like the DDT off the apron to the floor. The match ends with yet another title change with Rhea picking up the win after hitting the Riptide. This is one more notch in Rhea’s Grand Slam belt, only needing the Smackdown Women’s title, which I’m sure she will capture at some point. I guess for Asuka, Io will show up tomorrow night and they’ll start tagging to dethrone Jax/Baszler. Another fun fact, WrestleMania weekend had all three women’s titles change hands. Perhaps a new direction coming for the women’s division?
Our co-hosts appear one final time to thank the fans for coming out and making WrestleMania great again. Bayley shows up to complain that Titus has gotten more screen time than her on the PPV. The Bellas show up, thankfully not in their ring gear, to beat up Bayley to a chorus of boos.
A commercial announces that the next PPV will be WrestleMania Backlash on May 16th. Looks like the PPV schedule changed again and why are we tagging it with the WrestleMania name? Backlash usually follows WrestleMania anyway so that’s a given. We’ll see what that shapes up to be.
We’ve finally arrived to the main event, the triple threat match between Roman Reigns, Edge, and Daniel Bryan for the Universal Championship. Edge takes Jey Uso out early with an Edgecution DDT on to the stairs. The match was the best of the night. There was a great story told and all three men looked to have the match won multiple times. In the end, Jey Uso shows up, almost with the no sell on the stair shot, to ruin the match again. Edge takes him out again and Roman drops Edge to pin both Bryan and Edge to retain the title and completely defeating the purpose of the triple threat. I would suspect Edge will get a one on one rematch and probably a match with Bryan. As for Roman, there really is nobody for him unless they pull something at Money in the Bank (Big E perhaps?). Maybe Roman can also find a way to win a match without Uso’s help?
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Universal Title match was the best of the night by far. It was given sufficient time to accomplish its goals. There are several scenarios that can come from the match outcome.
The IC title match and Owens/Zayn were limited by their lack of time given. They could have been really great if given sufficient time.
Night Two was kinda ho-hum. Most matches were given around 8-12 minutes each and just couldn’t get into that next gear to be really great. It almost felt like an episode of Raw than WrestleMania.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.