By Steve Ward
WWE returned to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida this evening for night number two of Wrestlemania 37. This also marked the second WWE pay per view exclusively offered on the Peacock streaming service and, while I’m a bit disgruntled by some of the edits they’ve made to classic content and the fact that the entire library is not yet available, I can say it was nice to watch an entire show without a pause for buffering (not as a result of my internet provider). This evening’s card arguably brought a greater level of star power with seven matches, five of which were contested for titles, and was headlined by the triple threat match for Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship.
Randy Orton vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt w/ Alexa Bliss
Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall
Randy Orton believed he had finally put The Fiend to rest several months ago after he “set him on fire” only to find himself tormented by Alexa Bliss until last month’s Fastlane pay per view where a charred Wyatt made his return by busting through the bottom of the ring to attack Orton. That leads us to tonight where Orton sought once again to finally rid himself of The Fiend. I’ll be honest, I just didn’t care for this match at all. After Wyatt made his entrance out of a giant jack in the box at ringside, the ring was illuminated in red lights for the duration of the match in quite annoying fashion. This bout arrived at it’s merciful conclusion after Wyatt was distracted by Bliss sitting atop the jack in the box allowing Randy Orton the window of opportunity he needed to hit the RKO for the win.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Tamina & Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (c)
Winners: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax via submission
After their win in the women’s tag team turmoil match last night, Tamina and Natalya earned their shot at the tag team titles this evening. This match quickly restored the momentum of the show as Tamina and Natalya put forth a spirited effort in their quest for tag team gold but sadly came up a little short. The closing moments saw Nia Jax in dire straits as Natalya seemed to have victory within reach, however, she did not see a blind tag by Baszler before Neidhart knocked her off the ring apron. Neidhart proceeded to lock in the Sharpshooter on Jax, however, unbeknownst to her, Baszler climbed back into the ring behind her and cinched in the Kirafuda Clutch. Natalya had nowhere to go and passed out crowning your winners, and still tag team champions, Baszler and Jax.
Sami Zayn w/ Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens
Winner: Kevin Owens via pinfall
Sami Zayn has believed for several months now to be the victim of a conspiracy which prompted him to invite Logan Paul as his special guest to observe the said conspiracy unfold from ringside as he battled his former best friend Kevin Owens. Sami Zayn put forth a solid effort as he showcased the Michinoku Driver, Blue Thunder Bomb, and the Helluva Kick but these weren’t enough. Zayn saw the tide turn late as Owens reversed a top rope superplex attempt into a Fisherman’s Suplex which opened the door for the Stunner moments later. Following the match, Paul tried to congratulate Owens only to find himself also at the receiving end of a Stunner.
United States Championship
Riddle (c) vs. Sheamus
Winner: Sheamus via pinfall
This was a truly hard hitting affair that saw former UFC competitor Matt Riddle’s striking ability matched by the veteran Sheamus. The closing moments of the match saw Riddle attempt a middle rope moonsault only to be met with a Brogue Kick in mid flight. This allowed Sheamus to secure the pinfall as blood poured from Riddle’s mouth.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight
Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Winner: Apollo Crews via pinfall
Apollo has continued to challenge Big E for the Intercontinental Title for several months and has continued to fail. In seemingly his final attempt at the title, Crews challenged Big E to a Nigerian Drum Fight. No one had a clue what this would entail until this evening when we discovered it was simply a hardcore match with kendo sticks, drums, a gong, and tables surrounding the ring. Big E was in control for the majority of this match and seemed poised to retain his title after Crews put himself through a table on a failed frog splash attempt foiled by Big E rolling out of harms way. Big E followed up with the Big Ending, however, a monstrous man emerged from nowhere to take him out allowing Crews to cover him for the pinfall crowning a new champion.
WWE RAW Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
Winner: Rhea Ripley via pinfall
Asuka’s continued quest for competition saw her challenge for this evening answered by “The Nightmare” Rhea Ripley - a woman who steamrolled the competition on NXT and made her Wrestlemania debut last year against Charlotte Flair. This was another fairly entertaining match as both competitors used a full array of strikes and submission holds, however, it had a rather anti-climatic conclusion. Asuka was poised to deliver the Asuka Kick only to be intercepted by Ripley who delivered the Riptide for a quick pinfall.
WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns (c) w/ Paul Heyman & Jey Uso vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall
This was originally supposed to be a one-on-one affair between Reigns and Edge after The Rated-R Superstar’s triumphant win at the Royal Rumble, however, Daniel Bryan worked his way into the match after feeling slighted following his losses at the Elimination Chamber and again at Fastlane. This match essentially began as a tag team affair as Jey Uso quickly interjected himself into the fray until Edge restored order and executed a DDT to him planting his skull into the steel ring steps. In the closing moments, Edge seemed poised to become Universal Champion as he brutalized both of his opponents with a steel chair. This wasn’t enough for Edge as he then set up both men for a Conchairto. After Edge delivered the first to Daniel Bryan, Jey Uso reemerged to supply a distraction just long enough to allow Reigns to deliver a spear to Edge. Reigns then dragged Edge’s limp body and draped him over Daniel Bryan. Reigns covered both men simultaneously for the decisive pinfall to retain his title.