WWE WrestleMania 36 is in the history books, and Greg DeMarco has Knee Jerk Reactions for Night 2, compiled in real time!
It’s WrestleMania, BAY BAY! I am watching (not) live on the WWE Network. These thoughts are in bullet-point form, and were compiled live as I watched. I’m on the west coast and usually watch on a delay, and managed to do so tonight with minimal spoilers.
Kickoff: Natalya vs. Liv Morgan
- My love for Liv Morgan notwithstanding, I couldn’t really get into this match. It’s not what many would call a “WrestleMania worthy” match, at least not in 2020. WrestleMania 6? Yeah, this is totally added to the card in a random control center segment.
- However, there are no battle royals this year, for obvious reasons. So good for Liv Morgan to get onto the WrestleMania card in a singles match.
- Even better for Liv Morgan? A WrestleMania win!
WrestleMania 36, Night 2
- Same opening and promo package, which I get. These things are made in advance.
- Gronk as host has been meh, in all honesty.
NXT Women’s Championship – Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley (c)
- Charlotte vs. Rhea would have been a great opener for this event in general. Women have opened each night of WrestleMania 36.
- Charlotte turning her back on Rhea’s entrance is one of those “little things” that often goes overlooked.
- Rhea Ripley going with very different gear tonight–in both design and color scheme. I’ll defer to Miranda Morales on that one.
- The big fight title match introductions really don’t work as well with no crowd.
- Ok let’s see if LOLCHARLOTTEWINS holds true tonight.
- Both women are really delivering an empty arena experience, which is appreciated.
- Charlotte has the Flair Chop mastered.
- This match has the perfect balance of storytelling and in-ring action. If you don’t recognize Charlotte Flair as a ring general, you don’t know what you’re watching. And Rhea Ripley is going to follow in her footsteps.
- You know, everyone says Edge vs. Randy Orton has the best build–and it might–but Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley gave it a run for its money. And now it’s delivering in the ring.
- This is the best example of a hard hitting heavyweight fight I’ve seen out of the women in WWE so far.
- I love that Standing Cloverleaf.
- (A standard Cloverleaf is also done from a standing position, btw.)
- Charlotte winning was the right call, honestly. From a storyline perspective she felt disrespected by the manner in which Rhea went about getting this match. Charlotte wasn’t going to allow herself to be anyone’s stepping stone. Great job, hell of a match.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
- One hell of an entrance for Aleister Black. He’s got future WrestleMania main eventer written all over him.
- Much like Liv Morgan vs. Natalya, this match screams “WrestleMania Control Center Announcement.”
- Long Tights Lashley (trademarking that) is the best look for Lashley.
- For a match with no build, a stadium full of people would be eating this up right now.
- I honestly went into this match being all about Aleister Black, but Bobby Lashley has impressed me in the early goings of the night.
- Here’s a match we need to see: Aleister Black vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.
- And that’s how we break up Lashley and Lana. Why stop him from hitting the Dominator?
- Once Lana made the call you saw the finish coming, but up to that last spot, this was a fantastic match.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Otis
- I really hope we get a good payoff to whoever is behind GTV2020.
- Dolph Ziggler is now accompanied by Sonya Deville. Otis comes out without Marty Jannetty–err… I mean Tucker.
- Let’s hope this is short.
- That was one hell of a dropkick from Dolph Ziggler right there, maybe the best dropkick in WrestleMania history. (I’m not going back to check.)
- I do love Otis’ Stan Lane Midnight Express inspired trunks.
- Remember when I wanted this to be short? There’s a reason for that wish…
- I get the storyline, but why is Sonya Deville out there with Dolph?
- Kinda shocked Otis picked up the win and got the girl so fast. But this is wrestling, it won’t last.
- Imagine if the kiss happened in front of 70k fans?
Last Man Standing – Edge vs. Randy Orton
- Loved the opening with Randy Orton hitting the RKO while Edge was waiting for him, followed by the reveal that he posed as a camera man.
- Interesting that Edge rolling out of the ring stopped the 10-count, but then could get counted out on the outside.
- I thought this match would have been great in an “off-site location,” but the Performance Center offered them plenty of options. And the views through the windows really added to the atmosphere.
- “I’m always gonna love you Edge, I’m always gonna love you.”
- Orton plotting his next move as the ref counted Edge was perfect, as was Edge’s follow-up hanging dropkick through the equipment.
- That hanging Thesz Press was all kinds of awesome.
- Commentary on this match has been minimal, and it’s working for me.
- In a nice nod to Triple H’s treatment of Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, they haven’t caused any damage to the facility yet.
- It looks like Bray Wyatt set up the lighting in the production area.
- Watching this match, after watching last night’s Boneyard Match, has me suddenly wanting to see Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker again at WrestleMania 37.
- Unless I missed it, I don’t think the ref has counted Randy down yet.
- An eerie COVID-19 point: When talents fight backstage or in any production areas, people are everywhere–this time it’s completely deserted.
- Edge just dropped an elbow on Randy Orton, on a steel conference room table, dropping from the chain link fence on the ceiling.
- Think about what I just wrote right there.
- First weird editing moment of the match, after Edge takes out the camera man.
- Any else hoping Orton would push Edge (on the storage cart) into a rig, and the storage cart explodes to reveal LJN figures?
- Just me?
- Oh, that’s where I left my aluminum steel steps!
- WATER BREAK!
- When you climb from a pick-up truck to a semi-trailer, you kinda start to think the end is hear, eh?
- That’s not quite the catering they’re used to. Also, who put that huge ladder there?
- Things you never expect to say: “And then I got hit in the back with a chair while laying on top of a semi trailer.”
- TV-14 means we still bleep out the F-Word! 🙂
- And now Edge is crying. You did this to yourself, man. You asked for this match.
- Edge winning was the right call, and I love him checking on Randy after. Sells the fact that he didn’t want to do what he had to do.
WWE 24/7 Championship – Rob Gronkowski vs. Mojo Rawley (and everyone else)
- Did we really need to have a mini battle royal on the floor, now?
- If Gronk is going to jump off of the perch, let’s at least get the camera shot. This thing is pre-recorded.
- A better option? Just don’t do it.
Raw Tag Team Championshp – Austin Theory & Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford (c))
- No way Theory and Garza should be winning this match (even if Austin Theory is a guaranteed WrestleMania main eventer… in like 7 years).
- Montez Ford is a national treasure and should be in WWE until the day he dies. Which is hopefully a long ways away.
- What in the actual hell is Zelina Vega wearing? Triple H thinks it’s too much.
- Love commentary’s focus on Zelina Vega as a business manager. It really drives home her value, and gives credibility to a team who has one week of experience together.
- I know it’s because of the camera angle, but Zelina Vega should really be in her team’s corner.
- Good match that wasn’t hurt by not having a crowd, but had there been a crowd they would have really won them over. Well done.
- Bianca Belair gets a spot! Good shit right there.
Titus O’Neill is the New Host?
- Despite being blocked on Twitter, I love me some Titus. I hope he does more than this one little comment.
5-Way Elimination Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship – Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans vs. Tamina vs. Naomi vs. Bayley (c)
- I’m glad we still got some semblance of an entrance for Naomi.
- Seth Rollins can learn a thing or two from Karen–new persona, new music.
- I’m glad Sasha and Bayley are working together, and I hope they don’t use this match to break them up. It’s too soon.
- Team BAD UNITY! For a second, anyway.
- Stars of this match are Naomi and Sasha Banks, at least for me.
- I like Lacey eliminating Sasha after Sasha saves her–keeps the story going without blowing it up.
- I also love how you can hear Michael Cole yelling, in the replay.
- I also also love Sasha helping Bayley win–the right call.
Firefly Funhouse Match – John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt/The Fiend
- Didn’t expect to see John Cena’s entrance take place in the Performance Center.
- Vince McMahon Puppet is easily the star of this WrestleMania.
- The Smackdown Fist?!?!
- Saturday Night’s Main Event? This is already the best thing ever. You can’t do this in any other environment, and I am so glad it’s happened here.
- SO. MANY. INSIDER. TERMS.
- Okay, Eric Bischoff? Love the Hogan connection.
- SUCH GOOD SHIT!
- I just now realized there’s no referee.
- There are also no words. I was just watching, in awe and amazement. I might have to do a separate article on this match. It was absolute brilliance.
Money In The Bank hits WWE Network on May 10th
- May 10? Yeah, okay.
WWE Championship – Royal Rumble Winner Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar (c)
- Fans or no fans, Brock Lesnar IMMEDIATELY gives any match a big fight feel.
- No Paul Heyman introduction? Nice rub for Mike Rome.
- Nearly every Brock Lesnar match starts with his opponent hitting his finisher early, and it doesn’t get old.
- Drew kicking out of the F5 at 1 is beautiful.
- This was a fight, short and sweet just like it needed to be. Drew McIntyre is set up to be one hell of a WWE Champion.
WrestleMania 36 Night 2 Overall Thoughts
- Another good show, where the important matches held my attention.
- It wasn’t perfect, but I really enjoyed it. So many highlights, and ground laid for the future (whenever that is).
- This will be it’s own article, but I can honestly say that if wrestling needs to go away temporarily, I’ll be okay with it.