In many ways, Wrestlemania 37 proved to be a special show of the immortals. This was the first live show for WWE with a live crowd since the pandemic, and when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon welcomed the fans it was a culmination of the work put in by the company over the past year to make Wrestlemania 37 a reality. And, while Night 1 pulled out all the punches despite inclement weather delaying the start – yet another first in Wrestlemania’s history – Night 2 also delivered with three title changes among the 5 which were on the line. And there is no prizes for guessing the result of the main event featuring Roman Reigns. Rhea Ripley made a bold statement and WWE gave clear hints on a possible change of guard, making Asuka lose the title the way she did. The uber-dominant and veteran performer was hardly given a chance to showcase the full repertoire of her skillsets against the newbie. Ripley did what was asked of her and showed the WWE Universe why she is dubbed the Nightmare, but spare a thought for the original Nightmare, the Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka. It was a meek surrender of the title in a short match that could have been a blockbuster one.
Talking about blockbusters, Edge and Daniel Bryan performer at the level only they can, bringing in raw emotions and pure timing apart from the technical prowess and Roman Reigns – a solid performer himself who once again went toe to toe with the best in the business – was overshadowed by the two ring geniuses. Still, Reigns walked out the Champion, a foregone conclusion most would say, but the brutality on display was on par with any main event level clash and that helped the match be elevated, among a host of other short, but entertaining ones in the card.
The two most surprising matches came from the mid-card scrum – for the Intercontinental title and the US title. Sheamus and Riddle did what they know best and that was to brawl and they brawled the living hell out of each other. Sheamus almost brutalized Riddle with his massive chops and heavy offenses. The only botch so to speak was when Sheamus tried a top rode white noise, but failed to deliver. Riddle wrestled like a star and in an attempt to do a lion sault of the middle rope ate a Brogues Kick – one of the most innovative sequences you would see to a bicycle kick, and the former MMA fighter sold it well. As for Crews and Big E, just keep Crews away from the mic and let him be himself in the ring and you would not find a better performer than him. Crews was massively helped by the experience of Big E himself as the two powerhouses went at each other. No slugfest or show of power in the ring, they straight up went for big spots and executed it with a good measure in the Nigerian Drum Fight (essentially a street fight). The interference of the monstrous Babatunde was a surprise inclusion but works really well in Crews’ ‘going back to the roots’ gimmick and sets up this rivalry for a while. Big E delivered big time.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn just about went under the radar and even though the highlight was Logan Paul being stunned by KO, Owens and Zayn gave a match worthy of Wrestlemania – it’s a pity that the match was not for any title or for a better storyline. It was also not build-up to the level both performers could have done it. Yet, they delivered a knockout match. A bit repetitive in terms of moves, but the passion and heart both of these real-life best friends put in for their matches are a thing of beauty.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax had to content with Natalya & Tamina and props to the two veterans who carried the match. Tamina did falter at times and Nia Jax, being as stiff as she can be, did have some clumsy moments. But Baszler shone through especially during her time with the veteran ring general Natalya in the middle. It is just criminal to see Natalya not be in any title picture as a singles competitor because she can control and move a match like it is nobody’s business and she did it once again in the tag team match. A win for the Hart-Samoan connection would have been a nice touch, but Jax and Baszler are the money team in the women’s division and are going to be that for a long time.
However, one match that just did not feel right was the one that opened the show on Night 2 – a simmering rivalry between The Fiend and Randy Orton. Huge props to the build-up and it could not have become any creepier and weirder. Alexa Bliss has been a revelation in her new role and Randy Orton has, like always, taken to this storyline like a duck to a water. What was left was for the performer Bray Wyatt inside the Fiend to be given more time and make a match out of it. Unfortunately, gimmick matches remain so even if you add the vast experience of someone like Orton and even Wyatt for that matter. An abrupt ending was not ideal either. The only solace was the haunting look of Bliss at the end of the match and the subsequent staredown with Wyatt. The Storyline continues to be intriguing, but the match failed to live up to the hype.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns def. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan – Triple Threat Match
Randy Orton def. The Fiend
Rhea Ripley def. Raw Women’s Champion Asuka
Sheamus def. United States Champion Riddle
Apollo Crews def. Intercontinental Champion Big E (Nigerian Drum Fight)
Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax def. Natalya & Tamina
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley def. Drew McIntyre
Natalya & Tamina win Tag Team Turmoil to earn a WWE Women’s Tag Team
Championship Match at Night 2 of WrestleMania
Cesaro def. Seth Rollins
AJ Styles & Omos def. The New Day to become Raw Tag Team Champions
Braun Strowman def. Shane McMahon (Steel Cage Match)
Bad Bunny & Damian Priest def. The Miz & John Morrison
Bianca Belair def. Sasha Banks to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship