By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for my live review of WrestleMania 37 Night Two beginning with the one-hour Kickoff Show at 6CT/7ET. Dot Net Members have exclusive access to the WrestleMania Nights One and Two audio reviews that Jake Barnett and I co-host. Join us via PWMembership.net.
Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship: While the build to most of the WrestleMania matches left so much to be desired, WWE got it right with this match. The audible of including Bryan in the main event made the build better and will unquestionably make the match stronger. The go-home promos by all three men on Friday’s Smackdown were terrific. So who wins? Good cases can be made for all three men. Was Bryan added so that Edge can beat him and Reigns doesn’t have to lose? Or maybe they want Reigns to beat Bryan so that Edge doesn’t take the loss? Or maybe they actually want to give Bryan the win? I don’t have a strong feeling about the outcome, so I’m applying what was once the John Cena Rule and turning it into the Roman Reigns Rule. When it doubt, go with Roman.
Roman Reigns retains the WWE Universal Championship.
Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Championship: Where’s Charlotte Flair? The company shoehorned her into what should have been Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch in a singles match. In this case, it feels like Flair would add something to this match, as the company spent more time telling us that Ripley was coming soon to Raw than they did actually building her up. Asuka and Ripley are capable of having a strong match on their own, but Flair’s history with both women would have made her a welcome addition to the storyline. Asuka’s babyface act feels like it’s starting to cool off. I was hoping that she was turning heel when she was so violent with Shayna Baszler, but instead it appears as though Ripley is the heel going into the match. WWE made Bianca Belair on night one and I’m hopeful that they will do the same with Ripley, who still hasn’t recovered from the loss she took to Flair last year.
Rhea Ripley wins the Raw Women’s Championship.
Big E vs. Apollo Crews in a Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Championship: I am genuinely looking forward to this match. Yes, Crews has had a ridiculous number of title shots. But whether you like or dislike his new persona, he feels like a new man, so I still enjoy seeing him in the IC Title picture. WWE waited too long to start playing up Big E as a Tampa native, but I like the video they put together on Friday’s Smackdown. The gimmick match was created by the heel, so I’m assuming that he wins with the deck somehow stacked in his favor. If Crews doesn’t win here, I’m not sure where he goes next, as a loss followed by another title shot would definitely feel like overkill.
Apollo Crews wins the Intercontinental Championship.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya and Tamina for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: Natalya and Tamina went from losing most of their matches to suddenly being positioned as big badasses. The shift was abrupt, but at least they are standing out from the rest of the pack of tag title challengers. WWE constantly tells us that Jax and Baszler are dominant, but they lose way too many television matches to feel that way. I’m all for moving the titles to Natalya and Tamina so that Jax and Baszler can reenter the singles mix. Natalya and Tamina could be a solid anchor team for the tag division and they have a readymade feud with Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan. And here’s hoping that Reginald is shot out of one of the cannons at Raymond James Stadium. It’s nothing against the guy who plays the part, but the oddball character does nothing for me.
Natalya and Tamina win the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.
Riddle vs. Sheamus for the U.S. Championship: The Riddle character is insufferable and I pray that we don’t get the idiotic effect of CGI birds flying when he kicks off his flip flops at WrestleMania. As bad as the Riddle character is, he can definitely go in the ring, and we’ve already been given a preview of just how physical he and Sheamus will work when they are in the ring together. This could be a very good match if they get enough time. Sheamus was revitalized during his excellent matches with Drew McIntyre. I’d still like to see the creative forces add some layers to the Sheamus character, but I suspect that he’ll be rewarded for his hard work with a title win. Keep in mind that Riddle seemed to be a fallback plan to take the U.S. Title from Bobby Lashley only because Keith Lee had to bow out of the Triple Threat match. By the way, whatever happened to Keith Lee?
Sheamus wins the U.S. Championship.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn: One of the longest rivalries in modern day pro wrestling resumes. Enough time has passed since their last feud for this to feel fresh again. The booking of the recent in-ring segment with Logan Paul was well done. Clearly, he’s annoyed by Zayn, but Owens also gave him a stiff-arm while leaving the ring. And the Sammy fatigue was in full effect for Paul during the sparring session scene from the go-home show. So unless they are actually building to Owens vs. Paul, I assume that Paul punches out Zayn, which leads to Owens beating his longtime rival on the big WrestleMania stage.
Kevin Owens wins.
Randy Orton vs. The Fiend: No viewers win. Okay, so there are some fans out there who enjoy the hocus pocus nonsense, but I continue to believe that supernatural silliness turns off more fans than it turns on. This can’t possibly be worse than the Orton vs. Bray Wyatt slideshow match from WrestleMania 33. That match was so dreadful that I’m shocked that Orton didn’t use his well-earned clout to avoid having another WrestleMania match with Wyatt. Bray is a talented guy. I just wish that the creative forces would position him as being the master of mind games. The original version of Wyatt was a cult leader, but it was ruined when they added the needless hocus pocus. And The Fiend persona could be really cool if it was presented in a way that made it seem like a mortal Wyatt was using it to get inside the heads of his opponents, but they’ve gone way too far down the corny supernatural horror movie villain path. And are we really getting a standard pro wrestling match? It feels incredibly tame considering the storyline that Orton burned The Fiend alive. Speaking of which, this is all about The Fiend getting revenge, and I assume he gets it.
The Fiend wins.