After an eventful first night of WrestleMania 37, we’re back with night two. Will Mother Nature be a factor again? What will a live crowd have to say about the new version of Roman Reigns? What the hell is a Nigerian Drum Fight? Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets? It’s time to find out the answers to those questions, and many more.
Are you ready?
You know the deal, so say it with me…
LESS DEW EET!!!
(0:01) Ashland Craft is out to kick off tonight’s show with a performance of “America The Beautiful” here. She is introduced as the “new voice of country music” before she starts to sing, so… yay?
(0:04) It was announced on the pre-show that our first match tonight is going to be Randy Orton vs The Fiend. Might as well get that out of the way. Poor, poor Randy.
(0:09) After the same intro video package from last night, we’re getting things underway with Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan, who are… both dressed up as pirates. Hogan is getting A LOT more boos from tonight’s crowd than he did from last night’s crowd.
(0:12) Randy Orton has new white trunks and knee pads. Honestly, it’s a good look. He makes like he’s going to slip on the ramp, but miraculously catches himself. Sorry, Mandy Rose. This is your legacy now.
(0:18) Still sitting through a video package for this match. We haven’t even had The Fiend’s entrance yet.
(0:19) Well, we’ve already gotten a bit of cinematic nonsense with The Fiend’s entrance. He was shown walking down some corridor dressed as the barbecued version of himself, but then that was “burned” away, revealing the pre-fire version of The Fiend that we saw for a while.
(0:21) Alexa Bliss just made her entrance. There’s a giant Jack-In-The-Box at ringside. Like… giant giant. Way bigger than she is. She turns the crank, and The Fiend appears from the top of the box to a good pop from the crowd.
(0:23) 23 minutes into the show, the bell rings for the opening match. We’re still getting the distracting red light for the match.
(0:23) The camera zooms in on Fiend’s face as he does a Luke Harper tribute. That was cool.
(0:27) Fiend is working that old-school Undertaker style where he’s coming across as impervious to pain.
(0:29) I… I take that back. After being distracted by Alexa Bliss, who is now atop the Jack-In-The-Box and oozing black goo from her head, Fiend turns around and takes an RKO. Orton wins. That was it. There really wasn’t much to that. No rating. After the match, as Fiend and Bliss are having a stare down, the lights go out. When the lights come back on, both of them are gone, and the crowd boos. That was dumb.
(0:32) Titus and Hogan are talking backstage as Eric Bischoff looks on. Bayley shows up to interrupt them and offers to interview Bischoff, who declines, saying that he’s not much of a TV guy.
(0:34) The Women’s Tag Team Titles are on the line next, with Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defending against Tamina and Natalya, who won last night’s Tag Team Turmoil to earn this shot.
(0:39) Tamina tags into the match for a showdown with Nia Jax, and there’s a loud, but brief, “Ta-mi-na” chant from the crowd. Wow.
(0:40) So far, that chant for Tamina is about the only real crowd noise for this match.
(0:41) Shayna Baszler just hit Natalya with a HARD knee right in the fucking mouth. Doesn’t look like it did the damage that her kick to Asuka’s face did a while back, but that couldn’t have felt very good nonetheless.
(0:46) You know, this crowd is really into Tamina. She just got the hot tag and got another good pop. She’s the only woman in this match getting any real reactions.
(0:47) Mother of pearl… Natalya and Tamina look like fucking morons right now. Nia is sitting on the top turnbuckle, and the camera pans to Natalya and Tamina, who are literally just standing there for several seconds, doing nothing. All of a sudden, Nia dives at them with a crossbody. I don’t know if they were in place early, or if Nia was late, but either way, they’re the ones who look dumb.
(0:49) A FOURTH “Ta-mi-na” chant from the crowd. What is happening here?!?
(0:51) The champions retain as Baszler gets Natalya to pass out in the Kirifuda Clutch. That match went a lot longer than anybody would’ve expected. It had some clunky moments, but it actually wasn’t super offensive overall. Let’s say 2.75 stars.
(0:55) Next up, Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn in Match #634 in their Best-Of-1473 series.
(0:59) Tonight’s crowd is just a lot louder than last night’s crowd, in general. They were “singing” along with Sami Zayn’s entrance music just now.
(1:01) Logan Paul makes his way to the ring, and the crowd doesn’t exactly give him a Tamina-level pop.
(1:04) Owens bounces Zayn off of the top rope, and the camera cuts to Logan Paul at ringside, with his eyes bugging out and his jaw hanging down. Tone the acting down there, Daniel Day-Lewis.
(1:07) It’s a little disappointing that Owens isn’t going to be able to jump off of either pirate ship in the stadium.
(1:09) Super indy-riffic match breaking out right now, with Zayn nearly dumping Owens on his head on three different occasions with back-to-back-to-back moves.
(1:10) Owens hits a Fisherman’s Suplex from the top, and we get a camera cut to Logan Paul, who is selling death in his chair. Tone it down, Meryl Streep.
(1:12) Zayn nearly takes Owens’ head off with a Helluva Kick, followed by Owens nearly doing the same to Sami with back-to-back superkicks. A Stunner then picks up the win for Owens. That was a fun match. Not an all-time classic or anything, but a lot of fun. I’ll go with 4 stars.
(1:15) Sami is Sami, so that angers Logan Paul after the match. Sami leaves, and Logan tries to buddy up to Owens. That doesn’t work, and Paul eats a Stunner for his troubles. Okay then.
(1:16) Riddle is riding his scooter backstage and finds new WWE Hall Of Famer, The Great Khali. Khali isn’t buying what Riddle is trying to sell, so Rob Van Dam shows up to try and be the middle man. RVD is apparently so high that he understands everything Khali is saying.
(1:20) Next up, Riddle defends the United States Title against Sheamus in what is sure to be a hard-hitting match.
(1:22) The animated birds on the screen when Riddle kicks his footwear off might be the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long, long, long time.
(1:25) Sheamus is a surefire first ballot Hall Of Famer when all is said and done. He’s done just about everything there is to do in this business. The most impressive thing about him, though, is his dedication to staying this pale. He’s been with WWE for about 14 years now, and at no point in that time has he accidentally gotten a tan or even gotten a burn. Do you realize how crazy the sun is? To not even get slightly brown or red, even on accident, after 14 years is pure dedication.
(1:28) I don’t know if it’s nerves on the big stage, but Riddle has had a rough last minute or two. First, he appeared to botch lifting Sheamus up for a suplex, then he had a timing issue on getting up from a sell, and then he almost slipped on the mat after jumping into the ring.
(1:30) Between those miscues, though, Riddle is working his ass off here. He’s been bringing it to Sheamus from the opening bell.
(1:32) Sheamus looks to deliver White Noise from the top rope, but he can’t quite keep his balance, and he has to hop down to just deliver a “normal” White Noise. Sheamus looked legitimately angry on that one.
(1:33) New champion! As Sheamus is performing a moonsault into the ring, Sheamus hits him in the face with a Brogue Kick variation to get the pin. Riddle is bleeding a ton from the mouth. Ouch. Lots of weird timing issues with that one made it a bit of a disappointment, but there was enough good action to get 3.25 stars from me.
(1:37) We go from one title match to another, as the Intercontinental Title is being defended next. Big E and Apollo Crews go to war in a Nigerian Drum Fight. This should be interesting.
(1:41) Wale is out to do a live performance of Big E’s new entrance music.
(1:42) My mistake. Wale is out to do a lip sync performance of Big E’s new entrance music.
(1:45) The match starts with E and Apollo just hitting each other with kendo sticks. No nonsense.
(1:47) There aren’t many more impressive-looking moves in all of wrestling than when Big E performs his dives where he spears an opponent on the ring apron and they both go crashing down to the floor below.
(1:48) Apollo’s new ring gear makes him look like an absolute star. Just saying.
(1:49) E delivers a Uranage to Crews from the ring apron onto the ring steps below. Apollo’s entire body just crumpled upon impact. Ouch.
(1:52) As E is about to go for the pin, he is attacked by Yabba Dabba Kato, who is now supposed to be known as Commander Azeez/Azez, according to news reports. He drags Crews to E’s lifeless body, and we have a new Intercontinental Champion. Well… that was something. It was fun while it lasted. Unfortunately, it just didn’t last very long. That was the length of your average random television match. Because of that, I can’t give it a very high rating. They were just building momentum, and then it was over, almost out of nowhere. I’ll say 2.75 stars, because I’m in a good mood. The match should’ve gotten at least another seven minutes, but preferably, it would’ve received ten more minutes. Sigh.
(2:00) Time for another segment dedicated to the new WWE Hall Of Famers. Last night allowed for the Class Of 2020 to get their shine, and tonight, it’s time for the Class Of 2021 to be in the spotlight.
(2:04) Of the non-headliners, Eric Bischoff got the loudest face pop from the crowd. Even louder than Rob Van Dam, which is a surprise. Then, Kane comes out and gets one more chance to conjure fire.
(2:07) Our next match is for the Raw Women’s Title, as Asuka defends against Rhea Ripley in what could be an absolute banger if they’re given time to make it happen.
(2:10) Rhea Ripley gets her entrance music performed live, and I kid you not, this is what the song sounds like “THIS IS MY BRUTALITY GJDIFJGFJH GHGUDSHFHFGH THIS IS MY THIS IS MY THIS IS MY BRUTALITY SFJHFJTDJTDFTH THIS IS MY BRUTALITY” on a loop.
(2:17) Asuka is entertainingly awkward. Is that a thing? If not, it’s a thing now.
(2:20) Gonna need Rhea to be a little more snug with some of her strikes if she’s going to be in a match with one of the hardest hitters in the business today.
(2:25) Asuka with a jumping DDT from the ring apron to the floor below. She damn near killed her. But respectfully. In a good way.
(2:28) This match is turning out to be a lot of fun after some weird moments. You wouldn’t know it if you’re just listening to the crowd, though. They just don’t care.
(2:29) The winner of the match, and NEWWWWW Raw Women’s Champion… Rhea Ripley! It was another match that didn’t go as long as I thought it would, but as I said, it was starting to get fun, at least. This is one of those times where it’s my own star rating, but I’m not entirely sure about it. I’m going to say 2.75 stars, but again, I’m not 100% confident in that. Sue me.
(2:34) Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan are back out to thank me for watching on Peacock. You’re welcome, guys. Bayley has had enough, though. She’s pissed off that she didn’t get her pyro, so she calls for it and actually receives some pyro.
(2:36) The Bella Twins come out to interrupt Bayley. She mentions John Cena, which causes Nikki Bella to slap the mic out of her hand. Bayley is on the receiving end of some physicality, which actually draws boos from the crowd. That’s pretty funny.
(2:39) Backlash is now called WrestleMania Backlash, and is our next Peacock event, airing on May 16th. What a dumb name.
(2:46) Edge, like Randy Orton, is rocking the white ring gear tonight. Also like Orton, Edge’s white gear is accented in red. It’s a good look and color scheme that you don’t see often enough in wrestling. Edge definitely got a loud face pop, by the way. These fans are excited to see him, no matter how heel-like he’s been recently.
(2:48) Well… Roman Reigns’ music hits and the crowd boos. Some things never change, apparently. To be fair, it wasn’t the deafening boos like he used to get. Reigns makes his way to the ring, accompanied by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. All three men are wearing leis. It’s almost funny to see Heyman wearing one.
(2:52) Tonight’s main event is brought to us by Snickers. Snickers satisfies, according to their tag line, so this match better not be a fucking disappointment.
(2:52) Edge gets another good pop during the match introductions. Daniel Bryan receives some audible boos, which draws a bit of a laugh out of him. He leads the crowd in a “Yes” chant, though, and all is forgiven. Reigns received a mild mixed reaction. I guess that makes Edge the crowd favorite here.
(2:55) With no disqualifications in this match, Reigns sends Bryan out of the ring to get superkicked by Uso, and then sends Edge out for the same fate. Bryan tries to fight back, but he eats another superkick for his troubles.
(2:57) Edge DDTs Jey Uso on the ring steps. I have no idea why people keep trying to perform moves on the ring steps like that. Sure, Uso went face-first into the steps, but Edge landed lower back first on the side of the steps. That probably felt like a ton of fun.
(3:00) There we go… Reigns looks out at the crowd and receives his loudest heel reaction of the night. A lot of people expected Reigns to get cheered, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case.
(3:02) Edge and Reigns run the ropes and end up hitting each other with a Spear at the same time, basically shoulder blocking each other’s… shoulders. Still a cool visual.
(3:06) There have been pockets of crowd excitement for this match so far, but it’s almost surprising that they aren’t louder. This is the type of crowd reaction that main events from a few years ago would get, where the crowd had already been sitting in their seats for seven hours and were exhausted by the time the show ended.
(3:08) Reigns powerbombs Bryan through the announce table, but before he can celebrate, he gets hit with a Spear by Edge. Lots of carnage.
(3:11) Edge and Bryan lock a submission in on Reigns at the same time. Unfortunately for them, they both have one of Roman’s arms locked up, so he can’t tap out. They both have his face covered, so he couldn’t verbally quit, either.
(3:12) Edge hits a Spear on Reigns and is about to win the match, but Bryan pulls the Referee out of the ring at 2.999, which made for one helluva near fall. The crowd really thought that was it.
(3:15) Edge hits Bryan with a Con-chair-to, and is about to do the same thing to Reigns, but Jey Uso returns to the match to put an end to that. With the distraction, Reigns is able to hit Edge with a Spear of his own. Reigns hits Edge with a Con-chair-to, and he shocks the world by picking up the win, stacking Edge on top of Bryan and pinning them both. Just about every prediction I saw for this match saw a new champion being crowned, one way or another. Not only did the champion retain, though, he pinned both men at the same time. That ruins the narrative of Bryan being added to the match simply because WWE didn’t want to have Reigns or Edge pinned. Wow. I’m legitimately stunned that Roman retained. Another fun match. That was 4.25 stars, and it was the best match of the night.
Overall, night one was better than night two, but it was a good weekend of wrestling overall. Both main events delivered, but my choice for match of the weekend is still Sasha Banks vs Bianca Belair. After a marathon last few days for me, I’m finally done with these Running Diaries for a bit. I’ll be back on Wednesday with my regular work, but until then, I hope you all enjoyed WrestleMania. Be good to each other.