Powell’s WrestleMania 37 Night Two Hit List: Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Universal Championship, Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Championship, Riddle vs. Sheamus for the U.S. Championship, Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn, The Fiend vs. Randy Orton

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WrestleMania 37 Night Two Hits

Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship: A great Triple Threat with tremendous work from all three men. Unfortunately, the finish was not WrestleMania main event worthy. I had no problem with Jey Uso getting involved early, especially once he was taken to the back fairly quickly. But that really should have been the end of Uso’s involvement. Instead, he returned at the end to save Reigns and then ultimately helped him win the match. Fans expect and deserve clean finishes from WrestleMania main events. Failing to deliver a clean finish puts more heat the company than the Reigns character. Daniel Bryan put over Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, and others before his sudden push back into the title picture, which is proof that he’s teflon. There’s no reason why Reigns couldn’t have beaten him clean in a more satisfying finish. But while the finish did not feel WrestleMania worthy, the hard work of the wrestlers was more than enough to put this match in the Hit section.

Riddle vs. Sheamus for the U.S. Championship: A good, physical match with the right guy going over. Riddle’s bad comedy stoner character remains one of the worst on WWE television, which is a shame because he’s very good once the bell rings. Sheamus was rejuvenated through his feud with Drew McIntyre. He always works hard and this title win felt like a well-earned reward for his efforts. Here’s hoping that the plan is for Keith Lee to return soon to go after the U.S. Championship.

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn: They had less than ten minutes of match time, but they made it count with a spirited outing. While it’s disappointing when you think about some of the great matches they’ve had over the years, this match was still a lot of fun. The use of Logan Paul was fine, though it felt like they could have gotten more out of the YouTube star. And perhaps they will. It was hard to tell whether Owens’ latest homage to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin after the match was the end of Paul in WWE or just the beginning.

Big E vs. Apollo Crews in a Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Championship: An in the middle match rather than a true Hit or Miss. The Drum Fight gimmick felt uninspired. While Big E and Crews worked hard, they were given less time than they would probably get for a television match. Say what you will about the finish with Dabba-Kato showing up in military garb, Crews desperately needed this win. Big E will be just fine without the Intercontinental Title, but another loss for Crews would have been severely damaging to his new character.

Overall Show: A minor HIt. Night One was the better of the two shows and I actually wish they would have flip flopped the nights. Night Two closing with Bianca Belair’s big win would have been a great way to end the weekend. Ultimately, this WrestleMania should be remembered as the year that WWE finally took a step into the now. There were no legends matches with Undertaker, Triple H, Goldberg, or John Cena. The emphasis was placed on the stars of today. I’m sure there are fans who missed “the stars come home” feel that WrestleMania typically offers, but I view this move as long overdue. Is there a place for another Triple H or John Cena match at some point? Of course, but it was refreshing to see the company finally treat the wrestlers of today as the big stars rather than sending the message that they pale in comparison to the stars from company’s glory years. Finally, it was so nice to have fans in attendance again. But now that we’ve had a taste of the old normal, it’s going to create a bad hangover effect when the company returns to ThunderDome life starting with tonight’s Raw.

WrestleMania 37 Night Two Misses

Randy Orton vs. The Fiend: After months of madness that included The Fiend being burned alive, they had just a six-minute wrestling match at WrestleMania. The stunt with Alexa Bliss pulling a Rudy Giuliani and it somehow distracting The Fiend rather than Orton was baffling. I guess we’re supposed to be wondering what comes next, but I could not care less. The fans blasted them with boos once Fiend and Bliss magically disappeared and rightfully so. I despise the hocus pocus silliness and dreaded this match going in, and yet even I felt letdown by this match.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya and Tamina for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: Why in the world was this the second longest match of the night? The effort was there from all four wrestlers, but this match simply overstayed its welcome. With the hosts doing terrible comedy while dressed in pirate garb, the awfulness of Orton and Fiend, and then this match, the first hour of WrestleMania 37 Night Two has to rank among the worst first hours in WrestleMania history.

Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Championship: The creative build to this match was awful and had an adverse effect on the way the live crowd reacted to it. The build consisted of Ripley debuting on Raw and immediately challenging Asuka to a title match, and then attacking her when they had one tag team match together. Think of all those weeks they wasted by showing us vignettes telling us that Ripley was coming soon to Raw when they could have been building her up. The ring work was solid and I’m happy that they put the title on Ripley, but this should have felt so much bigger than it did.

Michael Cole: It was a rough weekend for Cole, who had to be corrected numerous times. To his credit, he showed a sense of humor about it when he referenced having a bad night one after he was corrected early in night two. Cole plays a valuable role as the VP of Announcing. Perhaps the time has come for him to work behind the scenes and continue to produce the active broadcast team members. And, no, not because he had one rough weekend. Cole has been a voice of the company since 1998. With WrestleMania shifting to focusing on new and current stars rather than names from the past, this seems like the right time to make a change. It’s not happening, as Cole is still listed as the play-by-play voice of Smackdown despite the shakeup on Raw, but I’d actually prefer to have Tom Phillips in that role.

Hulk Hogan as host: Don’t take my word for it, listen to the fans who booed whenever Hogan started to speak last night. I’m not sure what good WWE officials thought would come from spotlighting Hogan as the co-host of WrestleMania. And I won’t pretend to know with any certainty why Hogan was paired with Titus O’Neil, but I think we all have our suspicions and they run deeper than both being Tampa natives. This was a tone deaf move by a company that claims to listen to its fans.


Readers Comments (9)

  1. There were only a pocket of fans who were booing hogan, The hypocritical social justice warriors.

    THe sad thing is that they will boo hogan for saying negative words, but they will cheer steve austin who has a history of domestic violence against debra .

    AEW fans will “cheer”: mike tyson who actually went to jail for raping a woman back in 1991. The deborah washington beauty pageant contestant.

    The aew fans will cheer chris jericho even after his OWN wife was in washing on d.c. with a group PROTESTING the electoral certification process of kind uncle joe biden.

    I know that linda mcmahon worked with PRESIDENT TRUMP in his administration but she would never be part of the groups causing chaos in Washington D.C. She just wanted Trump to exercise his legal challenge rights over the election result in 2020.

    • “The hypocritical social justice warriors.” – in your mind, maybe, but in real life not so much.

      “… but they will cheer steve austin..” – well I for one do not. Wish Austin would just go away.

      “AEW fans will “cheer”: mike tyson” – perhaps some did, but I was turned off by Tyson. Wish he too would go away.

      You present strawmen. Yes, lots of wrestling fans are ignorant of what their so-called stars have done.

      I am aware of Jericho’s own bent towards Trumpism, and Linda McMahon not only lathered Trump with praise on her way out (did you see the video?) but over the years sent millions of dollars to Trump.

      Many of us are sick of this part of the wrestling business and in fact fandom of wrestling has decreased quite a bit over the past decade or two, perhaps in part because younger people are more aware of how trashy the wrestling business is.

      • My point was that wwe and the mcmahons cannot allow their business decisions to be dictated by the whims of hypocritical wrestling fans.

        HOGAN WAS WWE’S BIGGEST STAR OF THE 1980S AND EARLY 1990’S. He was wcw’s biggest star in the late 1990s.

        WWE is not going to blacklist hogan for life just because he said offensive things on tape years ago.

        The man is from tampa florida. The wwe is honoring the NWO at the hof ceremony. WWE used him as a co host because of his name value.

        WWe honored titus in tampa with the warrior award and gave him the chance to co-host mania because he wasn’t going to be in a match at the show.

        It is not like wwe told titus to “hug” hogan or bow down to him or sing his praises as a “great human being”.

        AEW will use tyson as a big part of the show becausr tony puts money into tyson’s pocket. I bet tyson’s favorite nfl team is the jacksonville jaguars just because tony’s dad OWNS the team.

        I am glad wwe signed that big billion dollar deal with peacock so it can insulate itself from the wrath of hypocritical fans who threaten to cancel their subscriptions and keep their 10 dollars away from wwe every time wwe “offends” their “moral sensibilities.”

  2. In regards to “hypocritical social justice warriors” add my vote to the “in real life yes so much” column and while everyone’s at it add “insufferable” to it. People are so over the top today trying to impress, apologize, mope to faceless strangers on the internet. Oh, my comment? Hey I enjoyed Wrestlemania nights one and two. Sorry for being bland and not eleaborate more, but I’m working on my Oscar picks right now.

  3. Hulk Hogan as host: Don’t take my word for it, listen to the fans who booed whenever Hogan started to speak last night. I’m not sure what good WWE officials thought would come from spotlighting Hogan as the co-host of WrestleMania. And I won’t pretend to know with any certainty why Hogan was paired with Titus O’Neil, but I think we all have our suspicions and they run deeper than both being Tampa natives. This was a tone deaf move by a company that claims to listen to its fans.”

    Shut up woketard.

    • Thanks for the deep thoughts, Cletus.

      • Hulk’s gonna hit ya with the Hogan Thermos Drop, brother!

      • Actually, WWE handled hogan’s co-host duties with Titus in an apropriate manner from a company standpoint. WWe honored hogan and Titus at the HOF ceremony for different reasons.

        WWE did not ask Titus to hug Hogan. WWE did not ask Titus to praise Hogan or act like he was inferior in terms of wrestling celebrity.

        You have the right to your usual anti wwe opinions but I hope you will state how it is TONE DEAF and OFFENSIVE to the ME TOO MOVEMENT in wrestling for AEW to PRESENT a CONVICTED RAPIST like MIKE TYSON as a big time celebrity in 2021 just because money mark tony “idolizes” him as a human being.

  4. Bayley should have been the host for both nights!

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