Well now, where to begin. After a disappointing Castle Attack series, I definitely can’t say I’m coming into this show with high expectations.
We get a revenge match of sorts, since El Desperado has an agenda, to try and erase the memories of when he was awful at wrestling. The final defenses of the Intercontinental and Heavyweight championships take place as well. OH – and let’s not forget that the New Japan Cup is officially starting today.
There are enough things here to peak interest, I just have to hope they execute at least half of this well.
Here’s to hoping.
- Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, DOUKI & Zack Sabre Jr) vs Tomoaki Honma, Master Wato, Gabriel Kidd & Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @10;39 – **
- Bullet Club (Jay White, KENTA, EVIL, Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens) w/Gedo & Dick Togo vs Toa Henare, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson): EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @7:39 – * ½
- LIJ (BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Tomohiro Ishii): SHO wins via Shock Arrow @9:13 – ***
- New Japan Cup: Satoshi Kojima vs Jeff Cobb: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @11:50 – *** ½
- New Japan Cup: Great O-Khan vs Tetsuya Naito: O-Khan wins via Referee Stoppage @20:20- *** ¾
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kota Ibushi (c) vs El Desperado: Ibushi retains via Kamigoye @20:36 – **** ¼ – Unification of IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Championship!!
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, DOUKI & Zack Sabre Jr) vs Tomoaki Honma, Master Wato, Gabriel Kidd & Hirooki Goto
So it’s Suzuki-Gun versus a throw together assortment of other people in the New Japan Cup. With that description, it doesn’t seem like the ragtag group has much of a real chance. Honma starts off with Suzuki, which helps to give Honma some quality opponents so far this year. Gabe Kidd wants in to mix it up a bit with Suzuki and then immediately go after ZSJ. The English battle will be a thing in the Cup, but Kidd is a Young Lion so he’s probably not winning much.
So DOUKI and Wato aren’t in the Cup this year, since there are no Juniors, but I suppose we always need fall guys in multi-man matches. Whichever side wins, the Junior will most likely eat the pin. But after a little hectic back and forth, Taichi and Goto finally mix it up with real wrestling moves. Goto tries to work over Taichi, but Taichi gets an advantage and locks in the Stretch Plum for a while.
DOUKI is the legal man though, so he comes back in and starts peppering Goto, but then we have another hectic breakdown, which leaves DOUKI and Goto straight up. Goto hits the Ushigoroshi, then the GTR, and DOUKI eats the pin.
So there we go, the Junior ate the pin, but the thrown together assortment won.
Bullet Club (Jay White, KENTA, EVIL, Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens) w/Gedo & Dick Togo vs Toa Henare, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson)
This has a similar set up to the first match, however, many of these guys have teamed together before thanks to Hontai allegiances or Taguchi Japan. This will probably be similar where the Junior will eat the pin.
Henare calls out Jay immediately, and Jay doesn’t immediately tag out. He fakes like he will, but then they decide Henare is an easy opponent so Jay starts imposing his will. As soon as Henare almost gets some momentum, Jay runs him around, slides back in the ring and tags in KENTA.
The Hontai group gangs up on KENTA, we get a lot of typical things during this match. Some hectic moments, a lot of quick bursts for feuds and then when Taguchi gets the tag he tells his team to go wipe out the Bullet Club extras. Taguchi goes for a Springboard, but EVIL catches him, hits the Everything is Evil and the match is done.
This suffered from a level of predictability and the fact the design was very similar to the first match. Jay, Juice and a few other personality aspects were cute, but this isn’t really interesting.
LIJ (BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Tomohiro Ishii)
Shingo and Okada kick the match off, and this is a preview to the opening round match that could easily be a finals to any tournament any year. SANADA and Ishii have a little bit of a back and forth, then the Juniors come in. Even though this will have a similar outcome, it benefits from everyone in this match being an interesting high card draw, so their actions are just easier to get invested in.
Things get a little crazy, then we get back to SANADA versus Ishii and there’s a lot of countering signature moves, which helps to motivate the crowd and sow the seeds for their first round matchup. Ishii gets space with a Vertical Suplex, Okada and Shingo come in for some great foreshadowing. Shingo gets great fire, Okada references how he beat him in the G1 with the Money Clip attempt, and there’s just a lot to like about their interactions. SHO gets tagged in from Okada, so that gives us some glimmers of SHO and Shingo’s past, and now we lead towards the end of the match with both Juniors coming in.
Signature spam, SHO wipes out Shingo with a Spear, focuses on BUSHI and we’re almost done. SHO hits a very Shingo-esque Pumping Bomber to lay out BUSHI, then hits the Shock Arrow, and the CHAOS squad wins!
There is a video announcement of Wrestle Grand Slam in the Tokyo Dome and Yokohama Baseball Stadium in May.
New Japan Cup: Satoshi Kojima vs Jeff Cobb
Cobb and Kojima go after each other in angry power style. Kojima gets a small advantage, but Cobb cuts him off heading for the Elbow, then starts taking over. Cobb pulls out the old Gachmuchi-Sault, then he goes to insult Kojima by hitting Machine Gun Chops, and even motioning to go for the Kojima Elbow.
Kojima fires up, Superplexes Cobb off the top rope and strings some offense together. Cobb does manage to catch Kojima mid plancha and try the power game, but Kojima proves he’s not washed yet and turns the tide rather quickly with a DDT into the apron. Kojima hits his Elbow drop and keeps the momentum rolling.
Cobb has moments to break the momentum with a Deadlift German, and then he blocks Kojima from taking the Elbow pad off for the Cozy Lariat. Spin Cycle from Cobb, Doctor Bomb, and only a near fall for Cobb. Kojima counters the Tour of the Islands, they start swinging Haymakers, Kojima gets mocked a few times from Cobb, Kojima looks to end things with the Cozy Lariat, but Cobb manages to catch Kojima and barely hit Tour of the Islands.
Damn good match.
New Japan Cup: Great O-Khan vs Tetsuya Naito
A fun clash of everything here. Early on Naito mocks O-Khan, even to the point where O-Khan acknowledges the rib and guffaws in a sarcastic way. We get unbridled aggression from O-Khan after that, and Naito is reeling for a while. O-Khan nearly has Naito choked out, but her goes to try and end things with his power, and Naito finally finds a way back in.
Combinacion Cabron, Swinging DDTs, Cravats and Back Elbows gave Naito a brief shining moment, but when O-Khan tosses him, Naito lands on the bad knee, and that becomes O-Khan’s new focus. A Cloverleaf with the ring post, a chairshot and a Kneebreaker on a steel chair gives us a near count out victory for O-Khan. Once Naito limps back in, O-Khan applies the Claw to the bad knee, then lifts Naito up and just drops him like garbage. Another submission attempt by O-Khan as he goes after the bad knee with a single leg scissor.
Naito puts a stop to this when O-Khan tries to lift him and Naito shifts for a DDT. Naito peppers in Elbows in the corner, limps to the middle rope for the Diamond Dust, and tries to get O-Khan up for Gloria, but he gets dropped. O-Khan lands a Reverse Powerslam, attempts the Eliminator, but eats some elbows. Reapplication, Naito kicks away, again an attempt for the Eliminator, but Naito wiggles away and hits Destino, but can’t cover the bigger man.
Naito tries Destino with the Arm Wringer, O-Khan fights, 2 more times same thing, then O-Khan avoids Destino, hits a Lariat and goes for the Knee Bar in the dead center. Gator roll turns into a modified Figure Four, killing the injured knee of Naito as the crowd tries to rally Naito! Every time Naito tries to get out, O-Khan repositions and sinks in deeper. Red Shoes makes the decision to stop the match since Naito couldn’t really move from his spot.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kota Ibushi (c) vs El Desperado
This was a proving ground for Desperado. After his challenge, not only did Ibushi tell him he sucked in their first meeting 7 years ago, he echoed the sentiment; so with Hiromu on the shelf for 6 months, Desperado has something to prove.
Early on, you can see the slight dynamic adjustment where Ibushi takes a bit of Nakamura styles by goading Desperado, kicking at him insultingly and just big brothering him. Despy gets irritated and starts accelerating his aggression. We see Despy dig much deeper into his bag of tricks, a few dives, Guitarra de Angel and Guitarra de la Meurta attempts, he nearly countered a Kamigoye attempt with El Es Culero.
The beauty of the game plan was that Despy went after Ibushi’s legs, mainly because he’s such a great striker, but it of course helps to weaken him for Numero Dos (modified Stretch Muffler). Despy had great spots of anger, Ibushi showed some visible desperation, and the counter roll dodging Kamigoye and locking in Numero Dos looked like a great near fall for Despy. Taichi and Kanemaru also didn’t interfere and played the role of actual seconds.
Ibushi manages to rattle Despy with a normal Kamigoye, and then dropping the kneepad won Ibushi the match. A really good main event after 2 great starting matches to the New Japan Cup.
Overall Score: 7.75/10
The main event left a lot of great questions. Tanahashi being on Japanese commentary, looking disapproving and being genuinely upset with the unification is a great possible story. Ibushi staying next to Despy and having a respectful moment between the two was nice. Taichi being the last one to leave the situation since he went back to get Despy’s belts and glared at Ibushi. Some may be thinking Ibushi-Gun is on the horizon, but I’m hoping this means Taichi could become an IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Give the Holy Emperor, the number one Black Saint, give him the big belt…cowards.
Other takeaways are obviously O-Khan’s big upset. Naito’s knee injury being Tanahashi levels of debilitating that it costs him a make via referee concern. Cobb barely scraping by Kojima is great to keep Kojima looking like a real threat if he does get on more dance in the G1. Not really sure how to feel about a Cobb versus EVIL match, but it’s good for Cobb to get some forward momentum. O-Khan sets himself up for either Yano or Fale, so that’s another head scratcher depending on who wins on 3.5.
All in all, I’m glad the second half of this show did its job and actually showed some good matches, good story building and psychology. After the terrible Castle Attack, it’s nice to say the New Japan Cup has started off strong at the very least.
AJ’s WrestleMania 37 Night Two Results & Review 4/11/21
AJ finishes his trek through the WWE Mania week content with Night 2 of WrestleMania! How did it match up to night 1? Is Roman still your Tribal Chief?
Well everybody… We did it. Fans are at Mania, this is the last day for me to type things out, my hand can be put on ice and we get some star-studded matches on the horizon. United States, Intercontinental, Women’s Tag, Raw Women’s Championship and the Universal Championship all coming together and let’s start the show and see if the Chief stands tall at the end, the Movement returns with the gold or if we see opportunity rise up again where Edge left off ten years ago in the end.
- The Fiend (w/ Alexa Bliss) vs Randy Orton – Randy Orton wins via RKO – **
- Natalya & Tamina vs Shayna Bazler & Nia Jax (c) for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships – Shayna Bazler wins via Kirafuda Clutch – ** ¾ – TITLE DEFENSE!!
- Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn (Logan Paul invited Ringside) – Kevin Owens wins via Stunner – *** ¼
- Sheamus vs Matt Riddle(c) for the WWE United States Championship- Sheamus wins via Brogue Kick – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Nigerian War Drum Match: Apollo Crews vs Big E(c) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship – Apollo Crews win via Pinfall – ** ¾ – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Rhea Ripley vs Asuka(c) for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship – Rhea Ripley wins via Riptide – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Daniel Bryan vs Edge Vs Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman & Jey Uso) for the WWE Universal Championship – Roman Reigns wins via Con-Chair-To – **** – TITLE DEFENSE!!
The Fiend vs Randy Orton-
For the intro, Alexa Quinn… Wait. Harley Bliss… No, no. Alexa with face paint skips down and plays a giant jack in the box for the Fiend to appear and attacks Randy right away with a Lariat and brutally attacks Randy with his murderous attacks. Randy gets some separation slightly but Randy actually attacks but to no effect when he attacked The Fiend. Randy tries to get some fight in with the Hangman DDT as he rolls out of a Mandible but again, to no effect. He goes for a second after a failed RKO attempt as The Fiend is still somewhat down. Garvin Stomps did nothing to The Fiend as The Fiend gets some of his own offense going before Randy gets more separation, tossing The Fiend to the outside and goes for a third Hangman DDT when The Fiend pops back up. The Fiend is actually somewhat reeled as Orton coils for the RKO, only to get it countered into a Mandible and Sister Abigail attempt. Alexa pops up with the black tar showing on her face, pouring and distracting The Fiend only to get caught with an RKO and… RANDY WON?! Yowwy—Ah you get it.
Natalya & Tamina vs Shayna Bazler & Nia Jax-
Nattie and Bazler start the match up with a good amount of technical wrestling and holds to gain the upper hand. As Natalya gets the quick upper hand and almost gets the Sharpshooter in on Bazler before tagging Nia. Nia tells Natalya to get Tamina in and now we powerhouses into the match as they go back and forth with strikes to chop each other down. Natalya gets a tag in to take Nia Jax down but Bazler tags in quickly to distract the challengers until she gets caught in a double team. Nattie goes for another Sharpshooter attempt, gets it countered to a cradle but after the kick out, the challengers have been taking Shayna Bazler out. Shayna gets a burst of adrenaline and takes it to Natalya with a knee strike and Nia takes down Tamina on the outside to cut off the possible tag. Shayna now bends and twists Natalya’s ankle to disarm the Sharpshooter. Nia now gets the tag in and goes after Natalya’s legs too.
As Nia and Shayna take it to the lower body of Natalya they get the frequent tags in, making sure that Natalya is dismantled as Nia gets cocky and goes shoulder first into the turnbuckle and Natalya gets a quick burst of strikes while Tamina is still down. The attempt is in vain though as Nia gets the upper hand and goes for a spinebuster and a pinfall after before Tamina goes in to break it up and gets the hot tag after as Nia tags in Bazler. Tamina begins to beat down the champions, mainly Shayna, getting out of the Kirafuda Clutch with a Samoan Drop. Tamina gets the crowd doing but Shayna cuts off the Superfly Splash attempt and tags in Nia to go for a Superplex. Natalya pulls Tamina off the top of Nia’s shoulders and takes down Shayna. Nia hits a double splash and gets into Tamina’s face after the fact which comes back to bite her as Tamina slams her in the middle of the ring. She goes for a pin, only to get a two and maybe get a win again with the Superfly Splash but Nia rolls out of the way. The two get the tag made so Natalya and Shayna are the legal members. Natalya is so focused on Nia that she puts the Sharpshooter on Nia Jax that Shayna slides in and gets the Kirafuda on to get the win against Natalya.
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn-
Sami Zayn goes to run up to Kevin Owens to fight and gets a Pop-Up Powerbomb for his troubles before rolling out and almost getting an apron bomb until Sami scrambles back into the ring. Kevin Owens doing everything to keep Sami down and just end this quickly before Sami keeps rolling away and catches Owens this time with a Suplex on the apron to take KO out. The Ref starts counting all the way to eight before Owens rolls back into the ring and Sami Zayn starts getting some offense in, even landing a Mishinoku Driver onto KO for a near fall and props KO up on the top rope for a Superplex attempt as the two starts doing their native Hockey fighting on the top rope this time before Kevin gets the advantage, Sami falling and Owens getting a Splash down for another near fall. Kevin keeps his offense going for a heavy neckbreaker against KO’s knee and attempt for a Package Piledriver until Zayn catches it and gets the Exploder in the corner and a trifecta of Brainbusters to get a nearfall.
As Kevin Owens gets in the corner, the two start trading hits to the face over and over again as both men try to get a new advantage. Sami gets Kevin in another superplex attempt but KO reverses it into his own as he gets steam going with two running lariats in the corner before Sami counters it into a Helluva Kick. Sami attempts another, gets caught with two Superkicks and then finally a Stunner to stun the conspiracy theories.
Aftermath: Logan comes in to console Sami, looks over at KO and says that was awesome until Sami Zayn gets shoved and gets a hissy fit. Logan Paul raises KO’s hand as Kevin… channels his inner Stone Cold and stuns Logan Paul. That added a quarter point. Thank you, Kevin.
Sheamus vs Matt Riddle-
Sheamus takes it to Riddle early with the strength advantage early, even after Riddle getting a rapid strikes to the body. Riddle tries to get a form of offense going with a Sleeper but still getting overpowered, getting hit with the Irish Curse Backbreaker and other strikes. Riddle tries to get another form of separation and offense but after a hanging armbar in the ropes, Sheamus does the Ten Beats of the Bohdran and get a near fall. Sheamus goes to the top rope to maybe finished it quick but Riddle catches the Irishman and gets the momentum in his favor after a Spanish Fly, not letting the momentum go to waste with the quick strikes to the body and head of Sheamus, even doing a Jackhammer for a two. Riddle and Sheamus go with a back and forth for who can get ahead before Riddle gets stopped by a Brogue Kick for a nearfall and not letting up with an Alabama Slam for another two count.
They now go to the apron of the ring where Riddle gets the momentum this time, hitting an apron German Suplex and even taking Sheamus down, once of the outside of the ring and inside with a Floating Bro and getting holds onto Sheamus to keep the big man down but to no avail as he gets beaten down. Sheamus goes to the top and lands a White Noise onto Riddle and a double knee drop to get another two. Sheamus now goes to the corner and calls for the Brogue Kick, Riddle senses it and moves, going for a Final Flash Knee, tossed into the ropes to get something going with another springboard moonsault and gets a boot to the head from Sheamus to get the victory.
Apollo Crews vs Big E-
Both men rush outside of the ring to grab Kendo Sticks and beat each other with them as Big E gets the advantage with the striking match over and over as they take it to the outside. Big E tries to use a gong on the outside before Apollo gets a counter in, grabbing another Kendo and striking Big E more before getting thrown into the apron and speared through the ropes, going for a pin as he pushes Apollo back in and getting the steps. Big E taking too much time, meets the apron from Apollo hitting a Death valley Driver and getting a near fall in his efforts, getting the steps in the process. Apollo uses the steps again to drop on Big E from their first encounter to squish Big E’s head in and Big E rolls out of the way and hits a Urinagi from the apron after he moves to the steps. Big E gets angry and gets a table in the ring to set up and getting Apollo back in. Again, taking too much time as Apollo gets a Kendo stick again and beats down Big E quickly to putting him on the table. Crews goes to do a splash but gets nothing but wood as Big E rolls out and hits the Big Ending. As it looks like Big E will get the win until Apollo Crews gets a little help from his new colossus to help him out, hitting a spike and a chokeslam to end Big E’s big reign.
We get a small break before our next two matches with the 2021 Hallo of Fame this time with RVD, Molly Holly, The Great Khali, Eric Bischoff, Ozzy Osoburne, Warrior Recipient Rich Hering and “The Big Red Machine”, “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane.
Rhea Ripley vs Asuka-
Asuka tries to get an early advantage with her agility but it’s back and forth for a good amount of time until Asuka takes it to Rhea in the corner and to the outside but Rhea gets the power advantage shortly and begins to take it to Asuka surprisingly, making sure she says down and even smacks her to incite her. Beginning to do some short arm Lariats and Asuka gets a leg clutch attempt but Rhea is just too strong and powers out of the hold and into a pinfall attempt as she actually is… slowing Asuka and making her look tired in the match. Ripley starts to do shoulder thrusts to Asuka’s back, weakening before setting her to the top rope. Asuka actually starts to fight back and get a split from Rhea’s attacks and knocks her down with some flight and after a near fall, continues the typical Asuka offense, taking it to the challenger and gets Rhea reeled as Asuka goes to the ropes again. Rhea catches it this time as she kicks her off the ropes, going to the outside and apron as Rhea gets the advantage back with a facebreaker on the apron to Asuka. Asuka tries anything to get a break away from Rhea Ripley, even going as far as doing a DDT to the outside from the apron. Rhea gets back in from an eight by the ref and Asuka actually gets a lot of strikes in before Rhea takes control again momentarily and both ladies attempt their submissions, only for each to break them. Asuka gets more of her submissions and attempts to finish it with her kicking combination but Rhea catches the last kick and lands the Riptide to get the shocking win.
Daniel Bryan vs Edge vs Roman Reigns-
Roman sucker punches Bryan early and Edge and roman trade for a bit. Daniel get in the middle of the fight and gets dumped to the outside as Jey Uso superkicks Daniel Bryan as Roman does the same thing to Edge and gets a superkick too. As the numbers for Roman are too much for the other two, they have to try to get a form of a split and Edge does it, taking out Jey Uso momentarily and takes it to Roman now, going back and forth from the apron and barricade before Edge turns to Jey Uso, grabbing the steel steps and delivers and DDT on the steps as medical staff help Jey out of the match. Daniel Bryan and Edge get into the ring now as they go back and forth in the ring. After Edge takes Daniel out for a moment, Roman comes back to fight Edge from the apron. Daniel Bryan slides through and takes down Roman from the apron to face off against Edge. Daniel gets a good amount of offense in and even tries to do a dive onto Roman but gets caught and takes Bryan out. Roman now gets a beat down on Edge for a good amount of time when a Superman Punch attempt gets caught in an Edgecution. Edge goes to set up the Spear but gets rocked by a Superman Punch. Roman now goes for a Spear but Edge gets out of it with a Sunset Flip pin for a two. Both men go to the ropes and hit each other with Spears before Daniel Bryan returns a minute after for diving headbutts but to no avail on a victory.
Daniel now setting up for his Yes Kicks and as always misses his kick as Roman pushes Daniel away as all men go to a corner. Edge gets hit by a Running Knee from DB and Roman wants to capitalize with a Superman Punch but Bryan catches him and finishes the Yes Kick combo and even puts Roman in the Labell Lock but Edge breaks the submission to save the match. Edge now is going to get locked in with the Labell Lock but Roman breaks that shortly after and just mollywhops Daniel Bryan before doing a powerbomb to Daniel Bryan, onto Edge. Roman kicks Daniel Bryan out of the ring, plotting his next move on the outside, the crowd pissing Roman off with a “Roman sucks” chant as he powerbombs Daniel Bryan through the announce table, praising his work and gets leveled by Edge’s Spear.
Edge rolls Roman back in and grabs two chair, going to play a song for the Chief before Roman catches Edge’s chair and they two fight. Edge pulls Roman into the rope and hit him in the neck as Edge puts the Crossface on Roman. Roman looks like he will tap but Daniel Bryan returns and grabs the hand before putting the Labell Lock on the other side as both men yell to let their holds go to go into headbutts after. (Kind of… fucking dumb if two guys with neck problems are just headbutting each other)
Daniel Bryan starts to taking it to Edge but Edge gets a counter and takes Daniel Bryan out with a spear and hitting one to Roman too. Edge goes for the pin and Bryan pulsl the ref out to stop the count and Edge is pissed off. He grabs the chairs again and puts them in the ring as Edge beats the hell out of them with the chairs before setting up Con-Chair-Tos for both men. Edge lands one of Daniel Bryan before Jey Uso comes back in and stops Edge. Edge gets angry to Uso and beats him down until Roman hits Edge with a spear and grabs the chairs under Edge and hits the Con-Chair-To onto Edge, stacks them together and pins both for a defense.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
And like that I retire…
…I kid. There are still final thoughts. The main event delivered to close the show, the matches for tonight were… good. It build up to it but the main thing of the night was the Main Event. It’s actually showing that Roman is beginning to slip here. A lot of help is needed for him to retain but it still played out beautifully. Owens and Sami was great, the US Championship match was good. Apollo finally getting a reward for his actions is a great thing to see. The matches that fell flat for me were the opening two. I miracled into guessing Randy won but, we knew it was more of an OMG thing and not a “this is a wrestling match” kind of moment. We shall see how everything plays out later on in the week because we all know that the biggest shows for WWE are the Raw, SmackDown and I guess now NXT shows after WrestleMania.
And now I will retire…
Mitchell’s WWE WrestleMania 37 Results & Report! (4/11/21)
Who wins THE WrestleMania main event?
WrestleMania 37’s two night adventure reaches its conclusion!
After an epic first night, how can WrestleMania 37 possibly get any greater? Perhaps with Daniel Bryan VS Edge VS Roman Reigns for the Universal title! Will the Head of the Table still be at the helm of the WWE?
- Randy Orton VS The Fiend w/ Alexa Bliss; Orton wins.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina; Jax & Baszler win and retain the titles.
- Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn; Kevin wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus; Sheamus wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Apollo wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins and becomes the new Raw Women’s Champion.
- WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan; Reigns wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the WrestleMania 37 Night Two Kickoff Show!
Join Kayla Braxton, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler, JBL and Peter Rosenberg for yet another round of discussing, analyzing and predicting the action tonight!
Sonya Deville joins the panel again!
Does anyone really understand the implications of the Nigerian Drum Fight? It might just be Apollo Crews who understands. His power and his culture are going to define what happens tonight. Booker asks, “What do I look like? Chopped liver?” Well okay, he would know, yes. Booker says this goes back a long time ago, the Zulu nation and the Mandingo. This will play out in front of the world so the world needs to understand, and Booker says Apollo will make you understand. Sonya wishes she’d heard more about this. But Jerry wants to know why it’s drums. Booker asks, “What do you do to a drum?” You beat it. Exactly!
Rosenberg says the bottom line is, Apollo is in control. Big E may be on the kick of being in his hometown- JBL asks why Rosenberg’s hands are everywhere. But the point is, Apollo knows what this is about because this is his match. Booker says this will be a great night for everyone back home. JBL and Jerry can’t say anything without getting canceled, so they will agree with him.
Ashland Craft sings America the Beautiful!
We’ve waited patiently for this moment.
“Finally…!” The biggest event in LIVE entertainment is BACK! Back with the spectacle, the excitement and the pageantry! WrestleMania is #BackInBusiness! And tonight, WWE sets sail on the high seas with epic epicness bigger than the history of history! Wait, what? Did he just say all that? That’s what was written. Okay, mate, let’s get this cold open done right. We pick up where we left off just last year. Our heroes are obnoxiously heroic as they battle for the ultimate prize: immortality. But no more tall tales, let’s get real, as the kids say. Tonight, we witness the global event that spans decades, created unforgettable moments, and has the memories we will remember forever.
But let us tip our caps to you, the fans, who made this possible. You over there, and them up there, and even those at home who “can’t not watch.” We raise the sails as fate still awaits. The course was corrected, the wind cannot be stopped, and the quest continues! Now how’s that? Impressive. But where’s the big finish? That’s cold open 101. Good point. Pyro montage! “Welcome back… to WrestleMania!”
The WrestleMania cohosts are back!
Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan return to kick off Night Two of WrestleMania 37, but this time they’re Captain Titus and the Hollywood Privateer! “I dunno about you, Hulk, but I think we look damn good tonight.” Well, T-man, it’s a little hot, too. But either way, AHOY MATIES! Yo ho, brothers, and welcome to Mania Sunday! Last night was incredible, but tonight will be no different! Seven matches, and FIVE are for gold! That means they need to batten down the hatches. No room for scurvy dogs or scallywags! Whoa, don’t be calling the people that. Hogan’s not gonna walk the plank, is he? No, Titus will take care of that. The first match is a tale of terror, dark than the depths of Davey Jones’ Locker! YARRGH!
Randy Orton VS The Fiend w/ Alexa Bliss!
The Viper thought he’d finished this at TLC, but some evil never dies. And now, this horror movie in real-life opens the Showcase of the Immortals! Lil’ Miss Twisted Bliss is still by his side, but will Orton finally #LetHimIn?
As he makes is entrance through a mysterious tunnel, The Fiend… has been restored! Alexa makes her way out first, with spooky face paint on to clash with her Punky Brewster outfit. She frolics along, and has a GIANT jack-in-the-box?! Alexa winds the handle and Orton already has an idea what’s coming. All around the mulberry bush, the Fiend chased the Viper~. And out rises The Fiend’s new form! Orton isn’t sure what to make of this, and The Fiend suddenly LEAPS into the ring to CLOTHESLINE Orton down! The bell rings, Fiend SPLASHES in the corner, reels Orton in and hits an URENAGE! Fiend sits Orton up for a NECK SNAP! “YOWIEEEE WOWIEEE~!”
Orton writhes as he clutches his neck and Fiend goes to a corner. Fans fire up as The Fiend spider-walks! Orton gets up, Fiend copies him as he takes aim! Orton flounders up, but he avoids a punt kick! Fiend pursues, Orton kicks low and gives him a back suplex to the desk! But Fiend clamps on with the CLAW! Orton grabs at the ring, gets in, and the ring count is still climbing! Orton gets free but Fiend gets in, only for Orton to kick low. Orton gets Fiend through ropes, for a DRAPING DDT! But Fiend springs right back up! Fiend blocks the RKO, but Orton throws him into his own jack-in-the-box! Fiend flounders, Orton gets Fiend through ropes again and KICKS him!
Orton wrenches the arm, KICKS again, and drags Fiend into ANOTHER DRAPING DDT! Orton looms over Fiend and stomps a hand! Fiend barely flinches, so Orton stomps the other hand! Orton throws hands and clubbing forearms but Fiend just gets up! Orton kicks low, runs, but into a LARIAT! Fiend and fans fire up, things speed up, Fiend BODY CHECKS Orton! Fiend rains down forearms over and over! Fiend gets up to run and drop a back senton, but Orton dodges it! Orton throws Fiend out but Fiend gets right back on the apron. Orton kicks him between ropes, gives away more kicks, then drags Fiend back in, for a THIRD DRAPING DDT!
Orton paces as Fiend slowly stirs. Orton hears the voices and wants Fiend to get up now. Fiend rises, but still no RKO, because Fiend has the MANDIBLE CLAW! Fiend smothers Orton, Orton starts to fade but he grabs at Fiend. Fiend brings Orton up, gives him a kiss good night, and the FLAMES erupt as Alexa is now in a new form! She has a tiara of barbed wire and there’s black ink pouring out. Wait, this distracts the Fiend?! ORTON HITS AN RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
What is going on with Alexa?! Did she mean to ruin tonight for The Fiend?! Either way, the Viper slithers away before he has to worry about this any longer. Is Orton finally done being haunted by these ghouls? Fiend looks up at Alexa, but the lights start to go out again. And when the lights return, Fiend and Alexa are gone. Just what is happening inside the Firefly Fun House?
DING DONG~! Hello!
Bayley asks Titus and Hogan what happened to them texting her back. She says hello to Eric Bischoff, she’s a big fan of his podcast, and says if he ever feels like being on a real show, he can be on hers. Well he’s more of a book guy, not into TV. But that match of Sasha VS Bianca, the SmackDown Women’s Champion on his podcast would be awesome! Yeah, yeah, flavor of the month. But they’re not a role model like Bayley! Bayley is the longest reigning women’s champion, has her own talk show, and is on both nights of Mania! Bischoff brings up Hogan’s new boat, and they decide to go see the boat. Titus wants to ride a boat… Sorry, Bayley, Hall of Famer stuff.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina!
The Tag Team Turmoil is over, but now the real battle begins! Will the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades still be standing after battling the Daughter of Superfly & Queen of Harts?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the battle of alpha females begins!
The teams sort out and Shayna and Natty start. They circle, tie up, Natty headlocks and hits a takeover, but Shayna headscissors. Natty kips free but Shayna smirks as the two reset. They tie up again, Shayna headlocks to hit the takeover, but Natty gets up to power out. Shayna runs Natty over, dusts off her hands, then runs. Natty drops, hurdles, but Shayna blocks a hip toss to get a headlock, only for Natty to trip her up! Shayna scrambles to avoid the Sharpshooter, and tags to Nia. Nia and Natty stare down, fans duel, and they tie up. Nia shoves Natty down and says, “I don’t want you.” She’s calling out Tamina! Tamina reaches out, and Natty tags her in!
Fans fire up as Tamina and Nia stare down. Nia pie faces, headbutts and talks trash but Tamina HEADBUTTS back! It’s a battle of headbutts! Tamina fires off haymakers but Nia denies the scoop! Nia runs but Tamina fires off forearms! Tag to Natty, Nia ROCKS her and Tamina! Nia runs, Shayna tags in, Natty & Tamina DOUBLE BACK DROP Nia! Shayna BOOTS Natty, Tamina ROCKS Shayna back! Natty is up, she and Tamina DOUBLE GOURD BUSTER Shayna onto Nia! Fans fire up as Natty gets the legs again and steps through, but Shayna cradle counters, TWO! Natty waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Natty drags Shayna up to stomp her down, then tags Tamina.
Natty keeps Shayna from her corner and feeds her to Tamina’s clothesline! Tag back to Natty, Natty gets the hand-off to trip Shayna, and catapult her into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Natty keeps on Shayna with forearms, then scoops Shayna, only for Shayna to slip out and fire off a strike fest, topping it off with a KNEE! Natty and Shayna are both down, Nia YANKS Tamina off the apron! Tamina fires off on Nia, but Nia scoops her to SLAM her! Natty is shocked, Shayna KNEES her down in a corner! Shayna snapmares to a cover, TWO! Shayna goes after a leg and bends it! Natty endures, kicks with her free leg but Shayna throws a forearm. Shayna pulls on the leg and twists the ankle!
Natty kicks at Shayna more, Shayna turns Natty over and has the foot stuck, to STOMP IT!! Tag to Nia, and Nia looms over Natty as she clutches the foot. Nia soaks up the heat, and drags Natty to drop a leg on the leg! Nia has a standing toehold and Natty endures. Natty fires off haymakers, but Nia stomps the leg! Cover, TWO! Nia is annoyed but she drags Natty up. Natty fights back, Nia CLOBBERS her! Tag to Shayna, Nia has Natty in a STRETCH MUFFLER! Shayna KNEES Natty while she’s upside-down! Cover, TWO! Shayna taunts Natty as Tamina is still down. Shayna SMASHES Natty’s knee into the mat, then pushes Natty around.
Shayna drags Natty up, Nia tags in, and Shayna feeds Natty to a scoop and SLAM! Natty gets to her corner, Nia soaks up heat and runs in, but Natty POSTS her! Natty catches her breath, runs at Nia and throws clothesline after clothesline, then the DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Nia still has a lot of power but Natty rallies the fans! Natty drags Nia up but Nia headbutts her! Nia reels Natty in, gets her up, and hits the ONE HAND SLAM! Cover, Tamina breaks it?! Tamina is back in this and Shayna is furious! Nia crawls over to tag Shayna in, but fans fire up for Natty as she tags Tamina in! Tamina rallies on Shayna with elbows, then dodges to CLOBBER Shayna!
Shayna blocks a punch to fire off kicks, but she kicks into a DRAGON SCREW! Tamina runs but gets buckles. Shayna blocks Tamina’s boot, twists the ankle, but Tamina BOOTS her down! Nia storms over but Tamina DECKS her! Shayna gets around, wants the Kirafuda but Tamina blocks it to SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO!! Tamina grows frustrated but she drags Shayna to a drop zone. Fans rally as Tamina goes to a corner! Tamina climbs up, but Shayna KICKS her first! Tag to Nia, and Nia storms over to get up top! Nia fireman’s carries but Natty saves Tamina! Shayna gets in but Natty CLOBBERS her! But Nia adjusts, DOUBLE CROSSBODY!! Double cover, TWO!!
Natty and Tamina survive but now Nia clutches a leg. That was a rough landing for everyone but Nia manages to get up. Nia sees Tamina is still down, fans rally for Tamina and Nia gets annoyed. Nia brings Tamina up, but Tamina scoops Nia!! Tamina SLAMS NIA!! Cover, TWO!!! Tamina drags herself to a corner, and fans fire up again as Tamina climbs! Tamina aims, SUPERFLY!! BUT SHE FLOPS! Nia moves and Tamina is down again! Nia and Tamina both crawl for their corners as fans rally again. Hot tag to Natty! Natty runs and swipes at Shayna, but Nia gets Natty for a fireman’s carry! Shayna tags in, Natty slips off and DECKS Shayna!
Natty basement dropkicks Nia, and she’s after Nia’s legs! But Shayna’s the legal one! Natty doesn’t know that as she works to get the turn! SHARPSHOOTER, but Nia isn’t legal!! Shayna gets in to get the KIRAFUDA!!! Shayna drags Natty down, Natty endures but she’s OUT! The champs win!!
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by submission (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
So close and yet so far for Tamina & Natty! Does this mean no team can stop the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades?
Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn!
Two men who have known each other for two DECADES, ranging everywhere from friends to rivals to bitter enemies, finally have their moment together on the Grandest Stage of Them All! But given the Great Liberator’s ludicrous behavior as of late, the Prizefighter promises to beat some sense into him! Will Kevin snap Sami out of it? Or is Sami too far gone?
WWE Hall of Fame inductee JBL joins commentary for this one to bring back a classic combination of him and #MAGGLE. Sami gets a mic to say, “Please, ladies and gentlemen. I know you’re all just as excited as I am.” Please give a warm WrestleMania welcome for Sami’s special guest of honor, and show some respect to the only ally Sami has had in fighting the conspiracy against Sami! This is… LOGAN PAUL! Logan Paul does walk out to the ring and Sami breaks it down to the theme music again. Sami hugs Logan, and fans are of course divided. Sami apologizes to Logan for the booing. But here comes Kevin! The bell rings and Sami runs, right into a POP-UP POWERBOMB!
Sami flounders out of the ring before Kevin can get him, but Kevin just goes out after him! Kevin brings Sami in and there’s NXT flashbacks as Sami fights the apron bomb! Kevin gets in after Sami, drags him up and CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Kevin hangs Sami out to dry on ropes and Sami springs right off to hit the mat! Kevin runs in to clothesline Sami down! Kevin goes corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Sami is in a drop zone, Kevin goes up top, but Sami gets out to the apron. Kevin climbs down but walks into a BOOT! Sami reels Kevin in, Kevin elbows free of the half nelson, but Sami kicks low! Sami reels Kevin in, for an APRON BRAINBUSTER!!
Everyone is shocked, even Logan Paul! Sami drags himself back into the ring, Kevin stirs but the ring count is already 5 of 10! Sami wants it to be faster but it’s already at 7 as Kevin stands. Kevin is in at 8 and Sami is on him with furious fists! Sami seethes, kicks Kevin while he’s down, then throws crossface forearms! Logan nods as Sami looks to him, but Kevin throws haymakers! Sami kicks low, scoops Kevin and MICHINOKU DRIVERS! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives and Sami is furious! Sami goes back to Kevin in a corner, hauls him up to the top rope, and then climbs up to go after him. Kevin resists the superplex, throws heavy body shots, then haymakers.
Sami gives those back, they brawl up top, fans cheer Kevin but boo Sami, until it’s all the same from the pace quickening! Kevin HEADBUTTS Sami down! Kevin adjusts, FROG SPLASHES, and covers, TWO!! Kevin drags Sami up, throws hands, then whips him, to pop-up, but Sami leap frogs and kicks low! Kevin wrenches, ducks a kick, tucks Sami in, PACKAGE USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives and Kevin grows frustrated. Fans fire up with Kevin as he drags Sami back up. Kevin reels Sami in, tucks the arms, but Sami slips out of the package driver to EXPLODER Kevin into buckles! Sami goes corner to corner and HELL-
NO! Kevin dodges the kick, but Sami denies the stunner to BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Sami is losing his cool, but he CORNER EXPLODERS to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! To a BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Kevin lives and Sami can’t believe it! “This is Awesome!” and far from over as Kevin gets to a corner. Sami SLAPS Kevin, Kevin SLAPS Sami, it’s a FAST & FURIOUS SLAP FIGHT!! Sami gets the edge, throws body shots and uppercuts, but the ref has Sami back off. Sami gets Kevin up, hauls him up top but Kevin fights. Sami still gets Kevin to the top and he headbutts from below!
Sami climbs, brings Kevin back up, but Kevin counters to a SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER!! Even Logan is reeling from that one! Both men are down, Sami slowly sits up and drags himself to a corner. Kevin sits up and is in the opposite corner. Kevin grits his teeth, runs corner to corner at Sami to clothesline! Kevin keeps going, and clotheslines again. Kevin goes, Sami follows, HELLUVA KICK!! Sami keeps Kevin from falling over, and tells him this is because of Kevin. Sami goes corner to corner, into a SUPERKICK!! Sami staggers, into another SUPERKICK!! Fans fire up for Kevin as he looks Sami in the eye. “You did this.” STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Logan seems to be the only one shocked, but he still applauds this victory! Whether Kevin has knocked some sense into Sami is yet to be seen, but he did get a big win at #KOMania5! Logan checks on Sami, tries to talk with him, but Sami says someone screwed him! The ref, the managers, someone! Logan tells Kevin that this was awesome stuff. Sami won’t let Logan shake Kevin’s hand! Sami says Kevin conspired against him! Sami wants Logan to listen to him, but Logan shoves Sami! Sami says to hell with Logan! Sami storms off, Logan raises Kevin’s hand in victory. Logan sure is a bandwagoner, huh?
Kevin doesn’t like that, either, and he gives Logan a STUNNER!! “This is MY ring!” Will this win lead Kevin back to another prizefight?
Matt Riddle encounters Great Khali!
What’s up, bro! Riddle wants to congrat Khali on being inducted into the HOF. Can he check the ring? Yep. WHOA, look how big his hand is! It’s as big as Riddle’s head. Khali must have a hard time finding gloves and socks. Khali should open a store that sells giant stuff! Giant shoes, giant socks, giant toilets, and giant scooters! What does he think? No? Nothing? Translator? Wait, RVD is here!! RVD translates for Khali and says that in order to corner the market, we’ll need creative branding. RVD has that right here with RVD rolling papers.
Sweet! Hey, what about a #KhaliTrolley? Khali and RVD say Riddle should focus on Sheamus. Good luck from Khali and R! V! D! Riddle rides off towards gorilla, but will he be ready to smoke the Fella?
WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus!
Bro… The Fella has had beef with Riddle since day one, but perhaps it’s just Riddle’s personality being so nonchalant, it’s like he doesn’t care. Will Riddle show Sheamus how serious he can get with the gold on the line?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and bro, this one’s going to be lit!
Sheamus and Riddle tie up, and Sheamus headlocks to throw Riddle down. Sheamus grinds Riddle, Riddle fights up and powers out, but Sheamus runs Riddle right over! Sheamus is on Riddle with an armlock and he digs a knee in. Sheamus pulls the fingers, but Riddle fights up. Riddle throws body shots, ROCKS and CHOPS Sheamus, then CHOPS him more! Riddle has Sheamus in a corner, fires off but lets off as the ref counts. Sheamus ROCKS Riddle back with a body shot! Sheamus stomps Riddle, drags him up and scoops him, but Riddle slips out to get a sleeper! Riddle’s a backpack with the body scissors, but Sheamus RAMS him into buckles.
Sheamus throws back elbows, lets off but Riddle elbows back. Riddle leaps, into Sheamus’ swinging SLAM! Cover, TWO! Sheamus seethes, kicks Riddle while he’s down, and kicks him against the ropes. The ref reprimands, Sheamus drags Riddle up by his face to then IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Sheamus clamps onto Riddle, Riddle fights up and throws forearms and fast hands! Riddle backs Sheamus down to a corner, but Sheamus kicks back! Sheamus whips, blocks Riddle’s boot but Riddle keeps kicking! Riddle gets a DRAPING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Riddle lets off at 4, but Sheamus CLUBS him back! Sheamus stands Riddle up for Beats of the Bodhrain!
The ref counts but so do fans, and Sheamus gets 8 before the ref gets 4! Sheamus drags Riddle up for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Sheamus seethes again as he paces. Sheamus goes to a corner, goes up top, but Riddle intercepts with a leap, for a SUPER OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!?! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Riddle fires himself up as he and Sheamus slowly rise. Sheamus throws hands but Riddle counter punches then fires off palm strikes! Riddle boots, spins Sheamus and PELES! Riddle handsprings and runs to forearm smash! Side to side, forearm smash! BROSPLODER, to the BROTON!
Fans fire up as Riddle reels Sheamus in and suplexes, but he has to try again… JACKHAMMER?!? Cover, TWO!! Sheamus survive Riddle’s #Broberg attempt, but Riddle won’t lose focus just yet. Riddle gut wrenches, but Sheamus turns it around! Riddle wriggles free and kicks from below! Sheamus staggers, but he puts Riddle on the apron. Riddle ROUNDHOUSES, then slingshots, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!?! Sheamus Alabama lifts for the ALABAMA SLAM! Cover, TWO!!! Riddle survives again and Sheamus grits his teeth. Sheamus looms over Sheamus, brings him up, and fireman’s carries. Riddle fights free, shoves Sheamus to an apron, but Sheamus hits back!
Sheamus fireman’s carries then shifts, but Riddle escapes to POST and then APRON GERMAN Sheamus down! Riddle then aims for a PENALTY KICK, and SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO! Direct hit and fans fire up! Riddle gets Sheamus up and in, goes to the top rope, and hits another FLOATING BRO!! Cover, TWO?!?! Sheamus shocks Riddle, but Riddle drags Sheamus in for the REVERSE ARMBAR! Riddle throws hands as Sheamus endures, and Sheamus powers up to dead lift Riddle, for a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! And into the SLEEPER! Sheamus reaches, crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Riddle lets go fast, and Sheamus hammers away on him!
Sheamus drags Riddle up, smirks as he fireman’s carries, and then carries Riddle up the corner! Riddle shifts, escapes, but Sheamus denies the sunset bomb. Sheamus adjusts up top, but Riddle springs up to ROCK him! Riddle gets Sheamus up but Sheamus counters to the fireman’s carry! Sheamus hops down to hit WHITE NOISE!! Sheamus goes up top for a KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Riddle lives and Sheamus is stunned! Fans rally, Sheamus hobbles back to a corner and fires himself up as he calls his shot! Riddle rises, but he dodges the Brogue to roll Sheamus, FINAL-
NO! No knee, but Riddle dodges to QUE-BRO-DA, INTO A BROGUE?!!? Cover, Sheamus wins!!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall (NEW WWE United States Champion)
The Bro tried but couldn’t keep the high, and the Celtic Warrior brought him crashing down! Will Sheamus be the one with his head in the clouds now that he has the gold?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
These two used to be good friends, but the frustration of losing and the desire to reign drove Apollo to despise Big E. Apollo calls upon his ancestors to finally make him a champion, but will Big E finally turn away his most stubborn of challengers?
As Big E makes his entrance, Wale performs it life for Tampa! “Ey, Tampa! You wanna go big? Then say that!” The introductions are made, there are drums, tables, kendo sticks and a gong ringside as the title is raised and this BIG grudge match begins!
Apollo and Big E go right out to get weapons! They each have a kendo stick, both men say to the other, “This is what you wanted!” And they start giving each other SMACKS! Smack for smack but Big E gets the edge! Apollo bails out, Big E pursues to SMACK him again! And another SMACK! “This is what he wanted, Graves!” But Apollo kicks low, only for Big E to bowl Apollo into drums! Big E gets the gong! Apollo boots it away, clubs Big E then SMACKS Big E with a kendo stick! Big E goes into the ring, Apollo dares him to stand. Big E dodges, throws Apollo to the apron and runs to SPEAR him off!! That might’ve been a distance record! Big E puts Apollo in to cover, TWO!
Big E keeps his cool as fans rally up behind him. Big E fetches the steel steps, one of Apollo’s favorites from the months past. But he isn’t settling for the smaller top half. Big E goes big by bringing the base over! Big E goes to the apron, brings Apollo up but Apollo fireman’s carries! APRON DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Apollo drags Big E in to cover, TWO!! Big E survives but Apollo won’t let off! Apollo throws down angry fists, then goes out to fetch the top half of the steps. Apollo brings those around, sets them on their end, and then he stomps Big E to the apron. Apollo has Big E on the base, he picks up the top half of the steps, and he lines up the shot!
“I’m about to show you the steel!” Big E moves before the steps SMASH down!! Apollo hurries to get to the apron, and he runs at Big E to BOOT him! Big E flounders, Apollo wants him to stand up again, but Big E gives him an Urenag-E to the STEPS!! The ref checks on Apollo but somehow he’s okay to continue. “This is what you wanted!” Big E says Apollo is going to get what he asked for! Fans fire up as Big E fetches a TABLE! Big E puts the table in the ring, sets it up, and then fetches Apollo. Apollo staggers up to his feet, Big E puts him in the ring, but Apollo ENZIGURIS Big E down!
Apollo gets a kendo stick to SMACK and SMACK and SMACK, rapid fire! So fast and so hard, the stick breaks apart! Apollo gets Big E on the table, then heads for a corner. Apollo climbs, leaps, FROG SPLASH but Big E moves! Apollo only gets table! Big E scoops, for the BIG ENDING!! But who is that?!? DABBA KATO!?!? What’s he doing here?!? GRENADE THUMB ATTACK!! And then, a CHOKE SLAM!! He’s helping Apollo to the cover! Apollo wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion)
When did Apollo make Kato one of his generals?! The timing doesn’t matter, the results do! And now, Apollo has the title! What will this mean for the future of SmackDown?
WWE honors the 2021 Hall of Fame class!
The 2021 Warrior Award winner, Rich Hering stands with the Great Khali, Rob Van Damn, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff on stage, and are joined by KAAAAAAANE~! And for old times’ sake, the HELLFIRE & BRIMSTONE erupt!
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Rhea Ripley!
The Empress of Tomorrow wanted someone to step up to challenge her, and the Nightmare did just that! Will we see that even now, no one is ready for Asuka? Or will she be washed away by the Riptide?
Rhea has New Year’s Day perform her theme live for her! The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see who is ready for what!
Asuka and Rhea stare down as fans rally up. They circle, talk some trash back and forth, and Asuka mocks Rhea. Rhea rushes, Asuka dodges and dropkicks! Rhea stays up, but storms into Asuka’s strike fest! Asuka kicks, runs, Rhea follows but Asuka victory rolls! ONE, but Asuka backslides! Rhea rolls through but Asuka dropkicks her to a corner! Asuka runs in, misses the hip attack, but boots back! Rhea snarls, ducks a kick and ROCKS Asuka! Rhea runs but Asuka drop toeholds her into buckles, then KICKS the buck to jam Rhea! Rhea bails out and Asuka grins as fans duel. Asuka eggs Rhea on, Rhea slides in but then right back out.
Asuka goes after Rhea, keeps Rhea from going into the ring to then pop-up KNEE! Rhea gets in the ring now, Asuka follows and has Rhea on ropes. Asuka KICKS Rhea in the back, KICKS again, and again, and again! The ref reprimands, Asuka runs but Rhea dodges the hip attack to HOOK KICK! Rhea drags Asuka right back up to back suplex to a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Rhea is annoyed already as she drags Asuka and rains down fists! “You wanted this! You! Wanted! This!” Fans rally and duel as Rhea keeps on Asuka. Rhea drags Asuka into a body scissors and squeezes tight! Rhea shouts in Asuka’s face but Asuka elbows Rhea’s legs.
Rhea clamps tighter, digs Asuka into the mat and slaps her around! Rhea dares the champ to do something now, then brings her back into the squeeze! Asuka tells Rhea to shut up and she throws elbows. Asuka pushes back to a cover, ONE, and Rhea dropkicks Asuka! Rhea tells Asuka to get that weak sauce out of here. Rhea kicks Asuka around, Asuka hits back and the two brawl. Rhea KNEES low, SLAPS her, then CLOBBERS her! And again! Rhea drags Asuka up again, but Asuka ducks, only for Rhea to ripcord! Asuka blocks the Hook Kick to a KNEEBAR! Rhea endures, fights up, but Asuka pulls tighter! Rhea makes it a cover, TWO, but Rhea dead lift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!!
Asuka survives and Rhea grits her teeth while clutching her foot. Rhea slaps Asuka around, then CLUBS her in the corner! Rhea drags Asuka up, bumps her off buckles, then kicks her while she’s down. Rhea RAMS into Asuka’s back over and over and digs her shoulder in. Rhea lets off as the ref counts, then puts Asuka up top. Rhea CLUBS Asuka, climbs up behind her, and stands her up, but Asuka blocks! Asuka throws elbows and then knocks Rhea down! Asuka fires up as she adjusts, then leaps for a missile dropkick! Direct hit and both women are down! Fans fire up as Asuka rises and aims at Rhea from a corner. Rhea gets up, Asuka runs in, ROUNDHOUSE! GERMAN SUPLEX!
Rhea flounders to a corner, Asuka runs in to HIP ATTACK! Rhea fights the German but Asuka BACK HANDS, CHOPS and HEEL KICKS! Rhea falls to her knees, Asuka hits another HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO!! Rhea is in a daze but she is still in this! Asuka goes to a corner, climbs up top again, but Rhea dropkicks her down to the floor!! Rhea wobbles, Asuka gets back in, and Rhea shakes out the cobwebs to go out after Asuka. Rhea blocks Asuka’s boots but Asuka elbows Rhea away! Rhea blocks the Penalty Kick, to SLAM Asuka on the apron! The ring count is climbing, Rhea gets Asuka in at 5 of 10! Rhea hurries to get up but Asuka hip attacks her down!
Asuka goes out after Rhea again, brings her around, but Rhea fights. Rhea can’t get free, Asuka DDT’s her OFF the apron and to the FLOOR! Both women are down and another ring count begins! Asuka gets in at 5, Rhea sits up at 6. Rhea gets in at 7, but Asuka is there, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Asuka grows frustrated but she drags Rhea up for Kowata Kicks! Over and over and over, then Asuka smiles as she runs, but Rhea blocks the sliding kick! Rhea stomps away on Asuka! Rhea puts Asuka’s legs in the PRISM TRAP!! Asuka endures the hanging cloverleaf, reaches for ropes, but rolls Rhea to an ARMBAR!! Rhea flails and kicks, fights up to dead lift again!
Rhea SWINGS Asuka into buckles! Both women are down but Asuka goes to the apron. Rhea storms over, climbs up and drags Asuka up for a headbutt! Rhea brings Asuka up higher, for a DEAD LIFT SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Asuka still lives and Rhea is furious! Rhea drags Asuka up and clubs her. Asuka shoves free, Rhea waistlocks but Asuka elbows her again. Asuka wrenches to get a takedown! Rhea rolls, but into an ARMBAR! Rhea makes it a cover, TWO, and ASUKA LOCK!! Rhea rolls back to make it a cover, TWO!! Asuka unleashes KICKS! Rhea manages to stay up and even eggs Asuka on. BUZZSAW, but then Rhea ducks the sliding wizard! Pump handle, RIPTIDE!!! Rhea wins!!!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall (NEW Raw Women’s Champion)
All it takes is one! And now, the Nightmare becomes the first woman to be NXT UK, NXT and Raw Women’s Champion in her career! Are Mondays about to become a nightmare for every other woman on Raw?
Hogan and Titus are back!
Hogan is totally blown away, brother! Titus says on behalf of them both, they send a hert-felt thank you, the fans at home watching on the Peacock and the WWE Network, and those who made it special for everyoen involved: the fans here live at Raymond James Stadium! Bayley storms out because she has just had enough! You kidding me?! Thanking the world and the audience?! But not one mention about BAYLEY. In fact, where is HER pyro?! Hit the pyro!! Oh, there is pyro ready for Bayley.
HAHAHA, YES! Bayley has been carrying the hosting duties on her back this weekend, from the legends to the hall-of-famers to stupid Michael Cole! This is HER time to shine, okay? But wait, here come the Bella Twins! Nikki & Brie don’t even get to start because Bayley said this is HER time! It doesn’t matter what these two twin idiots lookin’ like Elmo want, Cena ain’t here! Nikki SLAPS Bayley, and Brie says Ding Dong, GOOD-BYE! Nikki ROCKS Bayley, Brie hits a KNEE SMASH! The Bellas bowl Bayley down the ramp! Titus repeats, “Ding dong, good-bye!” Will Bayley make sure she isn’t outnumbered before she runs her mouth?
WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Roman Reigns w/ Jey Uso & Paul Heyman VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan!
The Tribal Chief wants the world to #AcknowledgeHim. The Rated R Superstar wants to take back what was taken from him so long ago. And the GOAT wants to bring back #YEStleMania before he’s reached the end! What happens when all these forces collide in THE main event of WrestleMania 37?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and 10 years ago to the day, we see if Edge is finally, truly back!
Roman DECKS Bryan! Edge hits Roman but Roman puts Edge in a corner and RAMS him! Roman throws clotheslines, Bryan gets Roman with EuroUppers! Bryan whips, Roman reverses and sends Bryan out, for Jey to SUPERKICK! No DQ in a Triple Threat! Jey RAMS Bryan into steel steps, Roman ROCKS Edge with an uppercut! Roman throws Edge out, Jey SUPERKICKS him down! GOTTEE! Roman backs the commentary off to clear off the desk. Jey brings Edge over, but Bryan DIVES into Roman! Jey SUPERKICKS Bryan, keeps after Edge, but Edge whips Jey into steel steps! Jey is down, Edge storms after Roman and clubs him on the back.
Edge bumps Roman off apron, off barriers, and repeat! Roman is a pinball for Edge! Edge POSTS Roman, then storms over to see Bryan still down. Edge gets steel steps and takes the top half off. Fans fire up as Edge sees Jey still down, too, and brings him over to the steps! Edge gets Jey up for an IMPALER to the steps!! But it was double-edged as Edge had to land on the steel, too! Bryan gets up while refs and medics check on Jey. They get Jey up while everyone else is still down, but Bryan gets into the ring. Edge scares Heyman away and gets in the ring. Edge and Bryan stare down while Roman only stirs. Fans fire up as Edge and Bryan start throwing hands!
Edge gets the edge, he whips but Bryan drop toeholds Edge into buckles! Bryan gives Edge YES Kicks in the corner! Bryan hoists Edge up top, climbs up to join him, and SUPER STEINERS, but Edge sunset flips it! TWO!! Edge gets around to EDGE-O-MATIC! Cover, TWO! Bryan is down, Roman is back and he ROCKS Edge! Edge and Roman brawl with the ropes between them but Roman drags Edge up to suplex! Edge resists, suplexes but Roman resists. They fight for suplex control, Bryan slides under to trip up Roman and hotshot Edge! Bryan climbs up and missile dropkicks Edge down! Bryan kips up, fires up and fans are with him!
Bryan drags Edge up, throws EuroUppers, and Edge ends up on ropes. Bryan whips Edge but Edge reverses. Bryan goes up and over and keeps moving, dodges to DIVE into Roman, but into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Roman stands, Edge WRECKS him with a dropkick! Roman bumps into desk and Edge follows him. Edge CLUBS Roman, puts him in, but Roman runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Roman seethes, fans duel as they cheer and jeer, but Roman locks ‘n’ loads! SUPER- NO! Edge gets him for an IMPALER!! Edge aims at Roman from a corner now, and fans are fired up for something we haven’t seen in quite some time!
Edge dares Roman to get up, and then he runs in, but Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES! Roman fires up and wants Edge to stand now! “OOOAH~!” Edge dodges the Spear to sunset flip! TWO!! Roman staggers, Edge and Roman dodge, DOUBLE SPEARS!! Shoulders and heads collide and both men are down as fans fire up! “This is Awesome!” already and far from over! Bryan returns! DIVING HEADBUTT to Edge! DIVING HEADBUTT to Roman! Cover on Roman, TWO!! Bryan is surprised but he doesn’t lose his cool. Bryan sees Edge sit up, and gives him a YES Kick! YES Kick for Roman! KICK for Edge! KICK for Roman! EDGE! ROMAN! EDGE! ROMAN! EDGE!
Bryan aims at Roman, BUZZ- NO! Roman sends Bryan at Edge, RUNNING KNEE! Roman reloads but runs into a KICK! BUZZSAW!! Cover, TWO!!! Roman survives but Bryan just fires up! Bryan gets the arms, and gives Roman a flurry of Danielson Stomps! Then the YES LOCK!!! Roman flails, Heyman panics, and Bryan cranks back as hard as he can! Edge CLOBBERS Bryan off the hold! Heyman is relieved but now Edge drags Bryan up. Bryan drags Edge down to a YES LOCK!! Now Edge and his bad neck endure!! Edge claws at the hold, but Roman CLOBBERS Bryan now! Roman rains down furious forearms over and over from all sides! Roman lets off just to throw headbutts!
Roman dead lifts Bryan to POWERBOMB him onto Edge! Roman scrapes Bryan out of the ring, goes out after him, and sees the announce desk. Fans jeer, “Roman Sucks!” but Roman just soaks up the heat. Roman puts the base steps closer to the desk, then drags Bryan up. Bryan is dead weight, the fans taunt Roman even harder, but Roman hauls Bryan up to POWERBOMB him through the desk!! But Edge SPEARS Roman outta nowhere!! Fans lose their minds as all three men are down and out! Edge gets up first, and he drags Roman into the ring. Edge looks around, and fetches not just one but a PAIR of chairs! Edge sets one down, Roman steps on it! They tug o’ war, the chair goes flying!
Roman wants the guillotine, but Edge gets Roman down to a CROSSFACE! Bryan puts on the YES LOCK!! They headbutt each other!! Roman is down, Bryan headbutts Edge into the mat! Bryan fires off his rage into those forearms on Edge!! Fans again say, “THIS IS AWESOME!” as Bryan has Edge’s arms. Bryan gives Edge DANIELSON STOMPS!! Bryan lets off, aims from a corner, and powers up with the Yes Fingers! The fans join in, though there are some “NO” dissenters. Edge gets up, Bryan runs in, into a SPEAR!!! Edge staggers, dodges Roman to SPEAR!!! Cover, BRYAN YANKS THE REF OUT!! Edge can’t believe it, but wouldn’t he have done the same in return?
Edge goes out after Bryan, gets MORE chairs, and brings those to the ring. Edge SMACKS Bryan down with one! Edge puts Bryan in the ring, and has as wild look as he gets the chair again to SMACK Roman! And SMACK Bryan! ROMAN! BRYAN! SMACK, SMACK, SMACK!! Fans are thunderous as Edge puts Bryan onto one chair. And then Edge puts Roman on another chair. Edge has it all lined up and fans go nuts knowing it! Heyman is begging Edge not to, but CONCHAIRTO TO BRYAN!!! But Jey returns, and attacks Edge!! Jey beats Edge down, gets a chair, but Edge SPEARS him down!! Edge SMACKS Jey! And again! And again!
Roman SPEARS Edge!! Roman sets Edge up on a chair now!? Roman gives EDGE a CONCHAIRTO!! Roman drags Edge onto Bryan to double cover, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinall (still WWE Universal Champion)
The Tribal Chief is still the Reigns-ing, Defending and Undisputed, but also the ALWAYS controverted Universal Heavyweight Champion of the world because he still has his Right Hand Man watching his back! Will the Head of the Table ever be removed from the throne upon which he sits? Was this really the last chance Bryan had to bring back #YEStleMania? Was this really the end of the Rated R Superstar’s comeback?
I don’t think I have to say it, but I will: Night Two did not live up to Night One. As far as I’m concerned, titles that should’ve changed didn’t and titles that shouldn’t have changed did. Or at least, not in the way they should have. One of the only non-title matches tonight, Orton VS Fiend, was good but not at all what I expected. I thought we were going to get one full match with “mangled” Fiend, but I guess that’s what Fastlane was for. Fiend 2.0 looks pretty good, and goes even further into referencing DC Comics’ Joker. I was hoping that as the first match of the night, we would’ve gotten cinematic fighting so we could get a pseudo Firefly Fun House.
Also, I like whatever that new form Alexa takes, too, but I did not like that she distracted Fiend. Fiend didn’t have to win here, but he didn’t have to lose like that. I don’t like the idea that they’re trying to make it seem like whatever is possessing Alexa is now turning on Fiend just to push this forward in a new direction. And with Backlash sadly being made into WrestleMania Backlash, like a weird third night or something, we are revisiting this to figure out the what and why of tonight. Sigh…
The other non-title match, Kevin VS Sami, was just one degree off what it could’ve been but it was still great. I almost thought that segment at the end with Logan bandwagon’ing to Kevin was going to unite Sami and Kevin against Logan Paul. Instead, they both dislike him, just separate from each other. Maybe one day, Sami and Kevin will patch things up in kayfabe and go after tag titles. And speaking of tag titles, the Women’s Tag Team title match was great stuff, but I really wish Tamina & Natty won that. I do appreciate that Reggie wasn’t ringside to be used for various things, because in the end, Shayna & Nia sticking together does help the division. I just feel that the RawDown Women’s Tag titles need to spend more time on SmackDown than they do Raw right now, out of fairness.
Bayley was pretty entertaining tonight, but the Bellas getting the better of her was clearly a WWE management decision because fans were not for it. And I was surprised Titus and Hogan saved their pirate costumes for night two, those should’ve been night one. Riddle VS Sheamus was another great slug fest, and I like that Riddle referenced Goldberg with a Jackhammer. Seems The Bro hasn’t given up on getting a match with him. But it was an even split to me who could’ve gotten this, so giving Sheamus some vindication was alright.
The Nigerian Drum Fight was pretty good, but I expected the drums to play into it more. And same for the gong as soon as I saw it there. But it was still a very good themed No Hold Barred, just not sure why we needed Dabba-Kato to get involved. Do all Heels in WWE need to have henchmen helping them now? Except for Lashley, at least, since he’s The All Mighty. But Apollo getting the title was the part that was right, as this was his fourth attempt, and losing again would’ve been rough for him. Maybe Big E gets a match with Kato at WrestleMania Backlash, wins that and then starts chasing Apollo going into Money in the Bank or Extreme Rules.
Asuka VS Rhea was an awesome match, definitely worthy of the title and of Mania. But maybe this was just a bit soon for Rhea? Asuka hasn’t really gotten big wins lately, given she didn’t get to have her match with Lacey Evans at Elimination Chamber and didn’t have anything at Fastlane. I mean, obviously what is bad for one is good for the other, and Rhea is rising up fast and keeping pace with Bianca Belair. I wonder if WWE is already thinking that Survivor Series 2021, wherever it will be, will see Rhea VS Bianca as the champions. Hopefully they throw NXT in so Raquel Gonzalez can be part of it.
The Triple Threat Universal Championship match was awesome stuff, and I do like that they took advantage of the No Disqualification stipulation. Jey interfering early was fine, because he gets taken out for it. But him returning and helping Roman again just hurt everything they’d built up. If Roman found a way to use Bryan and Edge against each other to then get the win, that would’ve felt less disappointing. And if not for “WrestleMania Backlash” being next, I would’ve thought Roman was moving right on to Cesaro given Cesaro won on Night One. Instead, there might be that tag match “meant” to happen at Fastlane and WWE going back to the status quo of phoning it in on the minor PPV’s.
My Score: 8.3/10
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