We have arrived at night two of Wrestlemania and there is plenty to look forward to with this one. We have Fiend/Orton, the main event triple threat, Big E/Apollo, Rhea/Asuka and more. It will be interesting to write about a show with fans back in the fold because it has been quite some time since they have added to the experience to a WWE show. I was excited to write up this night, so we shall see how much my excitement was held throughout the show.
Randy Orton vs The Fiend
I liked seeing Orton in something other than black and you could see it on his face that he was happy to be performing in front of a crowd again. I will say I loved the Fiend’s entrance and that he came out of a huge jack in the box that Cole seemed to not want to call it that. The match itself was good and reminded us just how dominant the Fiend can be in the ring. All that was great and then we got to the finish of the match. Alexa Bliss appeared atop the jack in the box and seemed to distract the Fiend when the black liquid started to pour all over her head. Orton took advantage and would hit the Fiend with the RKO for the win. The Fiend and Alexa would stare each other down and disappear. This should have been the Fiend getting his revenge on Orton but instead we got this load of crap. I guess we are heading to something with Alexa and the Fiend but this really did a poor job in starting night two of Wrestlemania and that is why my grade is so low.
Titus O’Neil, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff & Bayley Backstage
This segment was fine and it really was Bayley that made it fun to me. I love how she has been calling herself the host and how they need to pick up the phone to talk to her. Bisch was good too but Hogan didn’t do much. I did like how Titus tried to piggyback off Hogan and Bisch in order to ditch Bayley. Nice little segment but it reminded me that Bayley should have just been the host the whole time.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs Natalya & Tamina (WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles)
After that lackluster opener, this match had plenty to do to bring me back into night two and it did a good job in it. This is probably the best I have ever seen Tamina look in the ring and that includes when she faced Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. I did enjoy the dueling headbutts Nia and Tamina engaged in even though you could clearly see Nia tell Tamina to hit her one more time on the final one. There was solid enough back and forth and this match did the most for Tamina out of anybody. The crowd was firmly behind her and wanted her to get her ultimate Wrestlemania moment but that was not in the cards. Shayna would do a tag that Natalya did not notice and would pick up the win with the Kirifuda Clutch. This would have been the perfect time for Tamina and Natalya to win and sadly that did not happen. This leaves me with one question, who will be the ones to beat Nia and Shayna?
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
This match felt more like their encounters from ROH than anything they have done in WWE/NXT. They pulled out some calling cards from their days as El Generico and Kevin Steen in this one. Logan Paul was there as well but he just stayed ringside during the match. This was a lot of fun and was the match that brought me into night two. The match did start hot when Owens hit Sami with a popup powerbomb and it was hit in that nice and snug level. Really fun back and forth and this match was a reminder of how good Sami can be in the ring when he is not playing the cowardly heel. Sami even busted out his brainbuster and he still has one of the best ones in the business. Owens would end up winning and Sami would leave as Logan Paul showed support for Kevin. Owens wasn’t too fond of Logan and would hit him with a stunner after Logan raised his hand. The is the best match so far and I understand people being tired of seeing these two in the ring but there was enough time from their last encounter. Also, you have to feel like these two really took in the moment that they were wrestling in the biggest event of the year against each other after so many encounters.
Riddle, Great Khali & RVD Backstage
This was a fun segment and I wish I could give this 4.20 if you understand the reference. Riddle was on his scooter backstage and would bump into Khali. He congratulated him on making the HOF and would start pitching some business ideas but Khali could not understand him. This is when the segment took a turn for the best when RVD would show up. Riddle wanted to work with RVD and he got his wish here. RVD translated for Khali and would even give both men some rolling papers. This was a lot of fun and I would not mind seeing RVD interact with Riddle like this because it is clear they have that shared stoner bond.
Riddle vs Sheamus (US Championship)
This was another pretty good match but it had its fair share of botches in it. I think that is what took a bit away from it but the two did put in work. Sheamus and Riddle can both work the stiffer style and that is what we got here. Both men were able to deliver some nice strikes and counters to one another here and that is always a welcomed sight. Riddle had to move of the evening when he hit Sheamus with a top rope Spanish Fly Belly to Belly and that was a thing of beauty. I have never seen that variation of the Spanish Fly before and I loved that Riddle saved it for Wrestlemania. I also loved that Riddle did the jackhammer and a part of me wants to believe he purposely did not pick up Sheamus with the first one as a tribute to Goldberg because we all know how he feels about him. Sheamus would end up winning by hitting Riddle with a Brogue Kick as he was doing a moonsault and it was very much like when Adam Cole hit Ricochet with a superkick in the same way. Riddle’s mouth was left bloody and we have a new US Champion. Fun match but the botches did take a bit from it.
Big E vs Apollo Crews – Nigerian Drum Fight (Intercontinental Championship)
I really wanted to like this match more than I did but something just did not click for me. It wasn’t the stipulation so I really cannot put my finger on it. There was some good work and Big E’s spear to Apollo through the ropes may have been the best one he has hit to date. I did like that they started by hitting each other with the kendo sticks but this match just did not ever hit that next gear it could have. Big E looked to have the match won after Apollo missed his frogsplash and crashed through a table but that would not be the case. The man that was known as Dabba-Kato would come in and hit Big E with a not so good-looking Samoan Spike and took him out. He would place Apollo onto Big E and Apollo is our new IC champion. Not the best match and I am sure that Big E will continue his feud with Apollo because of the way Apollo won.
Asuka vs Rhea Ripley (Raw Women’s Championship)
Like the IC title match, I wanted to like this more but this left more to be desired. There was some nice stuff like Asuka’s DDT to Rhea from the apron to the outside but there was just something off here. I don’t know if it was a lack of chemistry or what but this match was nowhere near the level these two are capable of. There was some solid enough back and forth but this match felt like something we would have seen earlier in the card and not something in the second to last match of the night. Both women would trade submissions and we would get an ending that felt very abrupt. Rhea would counter Asuka and hit her with the Riptide to win. Rhea is the new Raw Women’s Champion and I wish I could be happier for her but the match just fell flat.
Titus O’Neil, Hulk Hogan & Bayley On Stage
Sorry but this was a travesty to see. The fans in attendance agreed with my reaction to how this ended and Bayley deserved better. It was nice to see Bayley say she was the true host because she acted like more of a host than Titus and Hogan. She got her pyro and continued to complain when the Bellas came out. They would beat her down and nobody in attendance liked that. I could hear the boos and I agree with them. In no way should Bayley, one of the best champions in recent memory, be getting beaten up by the Bellas.
Roman Reigns vs Edge vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Universal Championship)
Quite honestly, this match saved night two. This reminded me of when you go to a concert and have to sit through some not-so-great acts before you get to the headliner who absolutely kills it. This was the equivalent to that and all three men easily had the match of the night. All three men brought it here and each had their moment to shine as well. I love that Jey Uso was taken out of the equation during the match and it allowed the three men to do their thing. Edge has been clear he is not phoning anything in and this was another case for him to show that. I was unsure about Bryan’s involvement in the match but boy did he add to it. I love that Edge went to grab his signature weapon of the chair and did not hold back with them. I also loved how Edge had Roman in a crossface and Bryan jumped in on the other side to put Roman in the Yes Lock. That was great and I loved Edge’s reaction to it because it truly illustrated the story of Bryan inserting himself into the match. Edge would hit Bryan with a conchairto but would then be distracted by a returning Jey Uso. Edge would take out Jey but then Roman would come in and spear Edge. Roman then would hit Edge with the conchairto and pile him on top of Bryan so he could pin both men. This was an awesome main event and truly solidifies Roman’s place as the Head of the Table and the Tribal Chief of Smackdown.
Night 2 Thoughts
Overall, night two was certainly a one match card and that is sad to say. I mean, I did enjoy KO/Sami and Riddle/Sheamus but those matches could have easily been on Raw or any other PPV. The main event was the only one that truly felt like something worthy of the aura that comes with Wrestlemania. Night one is the clear winner of the weekend and that is a shame because there were matches on here that could have totally delivered but fell flat. The opening match was the worst match solely based on the ending and I really do not know where Orton and the Fiend/Alexa go from here. All in all, I will quote Immortan Joe from Mad Max Fury Road in describing night two of Wrestlemania as, “Mediocre!” because outside of the main event, it pretty much was.