WrestleMania 36. Night 2. Analysis
By Alejandro Casañas Romero
Night 2 of WM 36 from the PC in Orlando was a more dramatic ups and downs than the first. Night 1 had the well-executed Boneyard Match plus good fights like Becky vs. Shayna, the ladder match or Rollins vs. Owens. Night 2 had the best fight of the two nights at Ripley vs. Charlotte. The problem was that after two solid midcard fights Edge and Orton gave WM 36 the biggest disappointment.
Edge and Orton had a bland Last Man Standing, slow at an almost glacial level and without creativity when going through the Performance Center. That sank into Night 2 which he bounced back a bit with the harmless Firefly Fun House craze between Cena and the Fiend Bray Wyatt.
The main event was an OK and expected sprint between Lesnar and McIntyre. The Scot’s triumph was the right thing to do and he left everyone happy at WM. The idea of having two nights of Mania could be adopted for the future. The event overall was solid but with many atrocities.
Either way, if we add the good of the two nights, it leaves us with a slightly better WM than the last 3 years.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs Drew McIntyre
WWE always regarded McIntyre as Chosen One and the prophecy was finally fulfilled. Since his return to the company and on NXT, a more mature Drew could be seen physically and mentally.
Upon reaching the main roster he had a rough fight against Roman in WM and it seemed that they would never give him that deserved push to be champion. It had everything in terms of height and look that Vince McMahon likes. In addition to being a polished big men in his powerhouse style. A complete fighter and a full-fledged main eventer.
After winning the Rumble eliminating Lesnar, Drew was done and more by being well sheltered in his change to babyface. Slightly changing his rough countenance to laughs and grimaces so that people could connect more with his gimmick.
From there Lesnar wanted to boost him a lot and allowed him to beat him up to 3 Claymore Kicks. The fight lasted only 5 minutes but it was an expected sprint. Lesnar’s formula fight but being short and better to be without an audience for COVID-19.
Heyman didn’t even make his usual presentation of Brock and the fight started like a brawl. Drew immediately made a good sequence to connect his Claymore Kick. The fight was that. A big finisher spot fest. Not bad knowing that that was going to be. After 3 German Suplex, Brock made his F5 and the count was barely 1. That was a nice unexpected detail. Two other F5 set the count in 2 seconds. Drew was able to avoid another F5 to connect 3 Claymore Kick in a row and thus win his first world title in WWE. The first British champion in WWE heavyweight history.
Without an audience, the moment was not the same, but Drew undoubtedly deserved the title. A story of redemption and not just his Mania moment. As he mentioned, “our moment” is at the end of a mini documentary on WWE Network en route to WM 36.
Rating: 3 stars
John Cena vs The Fiend Bray Wyatt
FireflyFun House Match
The fight was more a series of segments lasting 14 minutes. An allegory to the stages of Cena and Bray in WWE with teasing and jokes. Puppets up to Vince McMahon. A crazy concept from the world of Bray where with his power he could control Cena’s subconscious. Vince’s horned puppet made his return and asked Cena for Ruthless Agression. Bray in the ring took on the role of Angle challenging Cena in what was his debut years ago. Dinner already in the present came out in his shorts from The Prototype of FCW. Also with the entrance fist from before Smackdown.
Bray scoffed at Cena when mentioning his dismissal case in addition to singing the subject of his ex, Nikki Bella. To make things more bizarre, Vince’s puppet and the bird’s puppet (as if it were Macho Man) were at the commentators’ table.
Then we had Bray in sportswear and doing a Sunday Night’s Main Event promo. Cena was next door carrying weights incessantly with ’80s music. Then we went back to the SD fist stage set with Cena being the Doctor of Thuganomics. After rap and insults from side to side, Bray returned to his former being of the Wyatt Family in his Hawaiian shirt.
In a good callback, Bray gave Cena the chair to attack him as he didn’t in WM 30. Cena consumed with hate now if he gave the saddle but Bray disappeared. The final part lost some logic within the illogical when entering an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Bray as Bischoff in the ring announced a Dinner as if it were the Hollywood Hulk Hogan of the NWO. Dinner with hatred hit Bray on the mat but in the end he was just hitting the pig puppet. Bray finally showed himself as the Fiend behind Cena. The Mandible Claw plus a Sister Abigail and another Claw, finished the fight or segment. Bray counted the 3 claps. Bizarre, LCD but certainly not unnoticed.
The segment was also able to subtly indicate Cena’s burdens and fears in WWE. Yes, the
Boneyard Match was better executed and more to the point.
Rating: as a 3 star show
Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
NXT Women’s Championship
Ripley came out as Vegeta from DBZ. The fight was very physical and with elements that gave enough to be the best fight of this WrestleMania. Ripley at the start almost surprised Charlotte with her Pump Handle Slam Riptide.
Charlotte as a veteran took control by punishing Ripley’s leg with good psychology. Everything to make your way to your Figure Eight Leglock.
Rhea showed courage and was able to breathe with power movements like an Electroc Chair or a facebuster. He also took a risk by going into the air with several cascading kicks. The final stretch was tremendous with both applying lethal keys. Ripley made his inverted Cloverleaf and Charlotte a classic Boston Crab.
A good sequence was a moonsault of Charlotte and Rhea putting their boots to their faces. La Flair reacted immediately with a brutal spear. The Figure Eight made Rhea surrender. The fight was very good but the result was confusing. Charlotte in NXT is not logical unless Ripley is already raised to Raw or SD. Asuka has not recovered in her character from undeserved defeat in WM; Fortunately Ripley is younger and didn’t carry that invincible streak.
Equal Charlotte Flair is 11 times champion and the status quo of the female branch. Charlotte is a great fighter and main eventer, but again we are facing another push and unnecessary reign only to reach her dad as a 16-time champion. The others in the division have no credibility for protecting Charlotte so much.
Rating: 4 stars
Edge vs Randy Orton
Last Man Standing Match
The fight with the best build and hottest ended up being the biggest disappointment of the two nights of WM. Edge is someone I like more now than old school, but this Last Man Standing was bland, slow and very long.
The only redeemable thing was the beginning and end. Orton started out dressed as a cameraman and quickly applied two RKOs to Edge. The Rated R Superstar was able to stop just short of the 10-second count.
The rest was almost 36 minutes of a bland brawl around the PC. From the weight room to the boardroom, it was all simple punches and lots of fake beads. The Last Man Standing Match is not easy to perform well and even less without an audience.
Either way, it is unforgivable that being able to edit a lot, they gave us almost 40 minutes of nothing of real substance. Edge was seen with bad cardio and the spots were unspectacular. Edge in the cellar part nudged Randy low on a table. The fight became eternal and sad to say, it seemed to have no end.
After a very careful draping of Orton’s DDT onto a truck, they both boarded an NXT truck. The ending wasn’t great but at least it had some storytelling. Edge finally applied a Spear but Orton replied with RKO and saddles on his back.
The end finally came with Edge applying a rare arm choke to put Randy to sleep. Edge sadly applied the Conchairto to end the fight. The end is how the match should have been with more storytelling and not bland brawling.
Rating: 1 star
Otis vs Dolph Ziggler
The fight was from big man formula against smaller and more experienced heel. Ziggler was in his first singles match on WM. The love story between Otis, Dolph, Mandy and even Sonya was cliche but it worked.
Ziggler wanted to win with a low blow and Mandy came out to slap Sonya for betraying her in the videos that were revealed on SD. Sonya fouled Ziggler and Otis pinned him to win the fight. The moment of Otis’s kiss with Mandy would have been a great pop with an audience.
Rating: 2 stars a half
Aleister Black vs Bobby Lashley
Lashley was motivated and carried the majority of the fight. Black had little offense but the fight had action all the time in the 7 minutes it lasted. Lashley did a good powerslam plus overhead suplex.
Black had slight rallies with his Muay Thai kicks and knees. Lashley was entrusted and Lana told Black Superman to do the spear. Black with a good counter did his kick with Black Mass spin. Very decent midcard bout.
Rating: 3 stars
Bayley (c) vs Sasha Banks vs Tamina vs Lacey Evans vs Naomi
5 way Match SD Women’s Championship
The fight was messy but entertaining and exceeding expectations. After eliminating Tamina’s powerhouse, Sasha and champion Bayley continued to team up. In that way the two overwhelmed Naomi so that Banks will eliminate her with the Banks Statement key.
Lacey Evans, who is getting better and better, noticed Sasha with her right hand Women’s Right. Like good heel, Sasha stepped in to punish Evans and Bayley retained with a facebuster.
Heel’s gimmick has given Bayley his strongest reign on the main roster. Let’s see if that long-awaited, well-made rivalry between Sasha and Bayley finally happens now.
Rating: 3 stars
Event Rating: 6.5 out of 10
WM Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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