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Welcome, one and all, to Part 2 of Mr. Tito’s PHAT Wrestlemania 36 review that is exclusively posted here at WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. So how about that 1st Night of Wrestlemania 36? That went better than I could have anticipated and the AJ Styles/Undertaker highly produced segment will be talked about for years. We’ll have to see on the future booking if Braun Strowman can capitalize on defeating Bill Goldberg.
But most of all, it’s time for many to admit that Vince McMahon was RIGHT to press on and still have Wrestlemania 36. Many were badmouthing him, suggesting that he wasn’t creating a safe workplace or that his big show would fail without fans. Then, he pulls off Night #1 with a highly entertaining 3 hour product. No fans? No problem for the ultimate show-runner CEO/President/Board Chairman of the most successful Pro Wrestling company ever. Many of the doubters who watched Wrestlemania 36 hated on the show’s idea beforehand but then were praising it afterward. He made believers of you, once again, and he has been doing that for almost 40 freakin’ years now with the WWE.
This Coronavirus is very serious and is spreading very quickly, especially in populated areas It is very likely that States, Counties, and Cities will extend their Quarantines to prevent many sports and entertainment companies from hosting events with fans present. Thus, if Vince postponed Wrestlemania, it might not ever happen or it would occur in an empty arena anyway. Instead, Vince showed you why he is a successful CEO of a company. He took a calculated risk, one that cost him about 5 to 10 million in live gates, to press on with Wrestlemania 36 at a time where NCAA sports were cancelled and NBA/MLB/PGA events were postponed. That calculated risk paid off and we were HIGHLY entertained by yesterday’s show… And guess what? We get 3 more hours tonight for Night #2 of Wrestlemania… As an old man who wears thin for a 6-7 Pay Per View marathon in one night, I like these 2 separate nights. We were doing it already with Takeover and Wrestlemania back-to-back anyway. Just need to keep it at a minimum of 3 hours per night.
Lots to unpack from last night’s show…
(1) I’d push Braun Strowman HARD as a dominant force and nobody should even come close to beating him for a long, long time. In fact, I’d have him defend the Title on all Houseshows and Smackdowns to run up a “streak”. Since he defeated Bill Goldberg, he should become Bill Goldberg and run up a winning streak that is openly advertised (hopefully, more accurate than Goldberg’s fictional streak). Strowman as champion could be a major attraction for FOX.
(2) I hope that Undertaker retires after that match. Reportedly, he was not only upset about his Roman Reigns Wrestlemania a few years ago but also his recent disappointment with Goldberg in Saudi Arabia. He’ll never look better than that at his age and AJ Styles and his OC were selling everything for him in that highly produced segment.
(3) In this Coronavirus world, the WWE might have stumbled onto something with these out-of-ring fights. Then again, can they find wrestlers as good as Undertaker or AJ Styles to perform in these? Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt, for example, struggled heavily outside of the ring. That’s the real difference between what Undertaker/Styles pulled off versus what Wyatt/Orton and the Hardys in TNA pulled off… Taker is an All Time great talent and AJ Styles has just won multiple “wrestler of the decade” awards. Furthermore, HHH reportedly gave Taker and AJ Styles some creative freedom on their actions and trash talk. Who else will get that freedom in these non-ring segments?
4) I don’t understand the hatred of Becky Lynch sneaking out a win over Shayna Baszler. Less than 1/3 of the audience watches NXT compared to the WWE. Baszler is still new to the WWE main roster and thus shouldn’t be pushed to the moon. Rushing newcomers, besides freaks like Brock Lesnar or Kurt Angle, has proven to be a disaster for most involved. And again, do you really think that Vince McMahon or Kevin Dunn sees star power with Baszler?
5) Did I really hear that the Miz appeared at a WWE show as sick and this was the reason why (a) the Triple Threat Tag match was turned into a singles match and (b) why Roman Reigns went home? Wow… Ironic for a guy who portrays himself as the biggest company man…
6) It was so nice to be done with a wrestling show at 10pm… I was so thrilled by that.
7) I revised my Undertaker vs. AJ Styles match rating from *** 1/2 to **** 1/2 upon repeat viewinigs and recollections.
8) Empty arena matches are not only exposing the younger wrestlers, but the veterans who are tired acts as well. Look at how much capital that the WWE has spent trying to get Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Baron Corbin “over”. Particularly for Owens and Rollins who have been champions already, they are the kind of wrestlers during the 1980s who would need to move on to another territory to freshen themselves up for a while. WWE has pulled the best out of both, as when you rely on a high impact stunt to help your match-up out, it proves that interest in your in-ring ability is gone.
And I could go on, but I have Night #2 to cover for Wrestlemania 36.
Mr. Tito’s PHAT Wrestlemania 36 Night #2 Review
Corey Graves seems more comfortable in this pre-game role than his color commentator role… Just sayin’.
For Night #2, we’re getting highlights of the previous night… You can just tell how PROUD that the WWE is of the Boneyard match and they should be.
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan is our pre-game show for tonight. I may have been skipping a few episodes of RAW lately but what whatever happened to Liv’s alleged affair with Lana? At the very least, though, the revealing of Liv as Lana’s lover has certainly allowed Liv to change up her ring attire. It feels like we’ve been watching Natalya wrestle for like 20 years but as I was watching the FCW documentary recently, it has only been about 10. Good action between the ladies and a pretty impressive surfboard executed by Natalya. How does that move not hurt? Overall, both had pretty good chemistry together and executed everything perfectly. Liv Morgan won with a roll-up sequence. [ *** ] The female wrestlers, thus far, are having a great weekend in my opinion.
Onto the MAIN SHOW!
More Stephanie McMahon public relations to start the show. You know, when she becomes CEO of the WWE, that’s probably a good time for all of us to retire as WWE fans. Many people suggest that Vince “filtered” bad ideas from Vince Russo. I guarantee that there were awful ideas that Stephanie wanted to try, too, but daddy has filtered those for decades.
More Gronk to start, too, as he’s wearing the same outfit as the previous night.
OPENING MATCH of the big show is Charlotte versus Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Title. This time last year, she was in a match with both Women’s titles and arriving to the show in a helicopter. Now, she’s walking down the aisle of an empty arena and challenging for the NXT title. Tough year for the Wrestlemania 35 top performers. Big opportunity for Rhea here… I just hope that this big of a match isn’t too soon for Ripley. Not to make remarks about their looks, but both are looking stunning tonight in their attire. Ripley just towers over most NXT performers but she’s a little smaller than Charlotte. After some early offense by Rhea, we get lots of WORKING ON THE KNEE by Charlotte Flair. Some rookie mistakes by Rhea when she’s able to easily lift Charlotte and also repeatedly kicking her on that bad leg. Once the move has been executed, she suddenly sells the knee. She had Charlotte sitting on her shoulders and that knee didn’t buckle? Come on… Towards the end, both women were finally trading offensive moves back and forth and a little excitement appeared for this match… But then Charlotte locked in her Figure 8 for the win. [ ** ] Ripley wasn’t ready for this big of a stage, yet, and it feels like a demotion for Charlotte to even be challenging for the NXT title, let alone winning it. I don’t blame the wrestlers on this one, as Creative owns 100% of this disaster. Should have just been trading offense back and forth to cover Ripley’s inexperience selling an injury. Furthermore, Charlotte, don’t be so robotic about working on that knee… Your father did it not only to set-up the Figure 4, but to torment his opponent and used it for defense to avoid his opponent’s offense.
Up next, we have Bobby Lashley vs. Aleister Black… I see Lana still with Lashley, thus, that answers my above question about Liv Morgan. Lashley looks like a guy who should be on top of the card instead of being in the 2nd midcard match of a show. Goes to show you how important charisma, personality, and mic skills truly are. His tattooed mirror image is his opponent today, though a bit less muscular. Meanwhile, Lana is so talented that she can yell at without a Russian accent! Match was like a televised one where they went back and forth without much selling until Aleister Black hit the Black Mass when Bobby Lashley tried to spear him. [ *1/2 ] Where the hell is Rusev? I thought that we were building towards a big Wrestlemania match over Lana?
Next, we have Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler. I’ve kept an eye on this storyline and it has been interesting… At least there is some “heat” here thanks to Sonya and Mandy’s relationship as friends crumbling over Otis’s crush on Mandy. Kinda sad that Ziggler remains in the midcard after all of these years… This match would benefit from a live crowd, as we can clearly hear Otis sucking wind out there. Otis does the weirdest no-sell of a low blow, as most naturally grab their nards when in pain. Otis just laid there.. Mandy Rose appears to fight off Sonya’s distraction and this helps distract Ziggler to be put in position to lose… Lost to the Caterpillar? [ * ] Mandy Rose jumps into Otis’s arms and kisses him afterward. Enjoy those mixed tag matches, Smackdown brand fans.
Finally some real star power on this show… Edge vs. Randy Orton is up next, as I’m hoping to get the motivated version of Orton since he’s wrestling his old time friend. “Last Man Standing” gimmick could work well in this empty arena setting. By the way, I’m so happy that Edge made this comeback as he NEVER gets the proper credit for the mid to late 2000s success that he deserves. Rated R Superstar was a legitimate draw and I even did statistical work to prove that drew as champion. Nice touch to have Orton ambush Edge at the start of the match, as Orton was disguised as a camera man to sneak into the ring and RKO Edge as Edge was staring at the entrance way. Orton hits another RKO to start the match… Nice touch by Edge to use rolling out of the ring to help him stand to break the 10 count. As we tour the Performance Center, we can appreciate how much WWE money that Triple H used to build it. Good lord, man! Nice use of weightlifting equipment. I would have personally gone with “Falls Count Anywhere” instead of the Last Man Standing gimmick due to the lame 10 count made by referees. Best part is how both Edge and Orton are fighting like they really hate each other, as younger wrestlers these days don’t act like it. I don’t know, folks… Just endless brawling of ramming each other into walls, ladders, windows, and other tightly confined objects. Go back into the ring, guys, and show us why you are talented WRESTLERS. The announcers are calling this match like a Golf event, they are so bored! Match’s ending saw an emotional Edge win with the Conchairto on top of the NXT Semi-Truck. [ *** ] Having better announcers and making this match a “Falls Count Anywhere” could have greatly improved this match’s presentation. Just didn’t work out like it could have but it was a decent effort. Once again, the booking matters.
I spoke too soon about Gronk winning the 24/7 Title the other night… Mojo Rawley was running away from multiple wrestlers when they all surrounded the balcony where Rob Gronkowski was hosting Wrestlemania. Rob jumped from the balcony and onto the wrestlers below to wipe all of them out. Rob then pins Mojo to win the 24/7 title… Short-run, that will publicized by the Sports Media (especially now with nothing to report). But Gronk is still too new into his WWE gig and that 24/7 title is a joke!
Tag Title match between Austin Theory/Angel Garza vs. Street Profits was up next… And it was completely meh. Felt like a televised NXT match but without fans… The lack of experience begins to show when you don’t have a crowd to feed off of. Didn’t help that I mostly had no idea who any of the participants were aside from some NXT matches that I’ve seen. [ *1/2 ] Street Profits retained.
Fatal 5 way for the Smackdown Women’s Title match is up next between Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Tamina, Naomi, and champion Bayley was up next. Hopefully, more bodies in the ring equates to more action because tonight needs it! Welcome to the annual attempts to push Naomi and Tamina… Meanwhile, the botched Bayley heel turn continues and so does the overpushing of the green Lacey. Somehow, the referee has skills to count two different pins at once! Tamina is out first… This looks like a training session and not a match. Naomi seems to be the only one with some energy in this match. But that doesn’t matter, as Sasha locked her into the Bank Statement. Now, it’s 2 on 1 with Bayley/Sasha against Lacey… Lucky for Lacey, this isn’t in front of a live crowd who would be rooting heavily for the NXT Class of 2015-2016. Banks got knocked the hell out by a deadly right hand. That was actually pretty cool… Evans vs. Bayley one on one… Shouldn’t this have been the match-up anyway? Too many participation awards being handed out tonight. Match started getting good once it became one on one, as Lacey took a pretty devastating shoulder ram to the ring post by Bayley. In a good heelish move, Bayley tied Lacey’s arm to the turnbuckle with the Tag Rope. Lacey’s energy level is quite high now that it’s one-on-one with Bayley and her Moonsault is a thing of beauty (dangerous for her to pull off). Sasha Banks runs in and helps Bayley, though, as it’s the only time during the whole match where No Disqualification Rules are actually used. [ ** ] Match was awful with more participants and greatly improved when it was one-on-one at the end.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt aka the Fiend is up next in a Firefly Funhouse match. John Cena enters the Performance Center and then we’re cut to the Firefly Funhouse with Bray Wyatt… Then, Cena appears in the Funhouse. Cena boldly goes through the door and is met with darkness and then a Vince McMahon puppet who keeps asking him if he has enough “Ruthless Aggression” repeatedly. Then, Bray Wyatt appears and replicates the Kurt Angle promo while Cena suddenly appears in the same wrestling tights as he did during his debut during 2002. Cena keeps missing the Ruthless Aggression. Man, this stuff is trippy… I’m not sure what I’m even watching. Now, we transport to Saturday Night’s Main Event where Bray is cutting weird promos and John Cena is lifting weights as fast as he can to the point where he can’t lift them to punch Wyatt. Then, Cena appears back on the Smackdown stage as “Thug Life” John Cena. Cena cuts a sharp rap on Bray and Bray responds that Cena is a “bully” and would do “anything for fame”. Cena tries to attack and misses, only to get hit with a facefull of chain by Wyatt. And then we turn to the Deliverance version of Bray Wyatt reciting anger about the previous Wrestlemania loss. Back in the ring, Cena is with Deliverance Bray and as Cena tries to hit him with a chair, Wyatt disappears… Then, suddenly, we are transported to WCW Nitro where Bray Wyatt is NWO Wolfpack and Cena is in the Black & White NWO. By the way, the Vince McMahon puppet curses by saying “this is some good sh**”. LOL! NWO Cena attacks NWO Wyatt but he disappears… Then, we reappear in the WWE ring and Cena is now there with the Fiend and it’s the Mandible Claw, Sister Abigail, and then another Mandible Claw holding Cena down for the pin. Bray Wyatt (seriously) counts the 1, 2, 3, and then the Fiend stands alone in the ring… Okie Dokie. And then Titus O’Neil appears on camera and questions what he just saw.
My overall thoughts on what I just saw… It was a fascinating production and interesting or unique to say the least. But this is Wrestlemania with “WRESTLE” on the front part. Can we just have a match between these guys? Ridiculous that Cena kept transporting into different clothing and into different roles, ditto with Bray Wyatt. It was a fascinating mind trip to watch, I’ll give it that, but a major disappointment and a WASTE OF JOHN CENA by not having him wrestle. It hurts Bray Wyatt because he didn’t get a proper match with Cena and beat him cleanly. Impressive television production but does nothing for either wrestler.
Money in the Bank advertisement occurs… Still on, guys.
MAIN EVENT is finally here, as I’m wore out from this show… Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre As I was suggesting on Twitter, it’s hard to ever devalue Brock Lesnar right now (like they did during 2018-2019 with losses to Roman and Seth Repeatedly) because with AEW as competition now, Lesnar shifting to that promotion (Khans can pay him) would be a major shift. Lesnar has been carrying the WWE since 2013 when CM Punk’s match gave Lesnar his killer instinct at SummerSlam. Usual Lesnar match (also the blueprint for Goldberg, too). Nothing but finishers back and forth. Eventually, Drew McIntyre hit more of his kicks than Lesnar hit F5s. New WWE Champion. Happy for Drew, but in front of an empty arena or not, this match felt like a carbon copy of Braun vs. Goldberg. [ * ]
THE LAST WORD: Well, night #1 was fun… Night #2 seemed to have less energy going on and weaker creative. It proves that the WWE doesn’t have the talent and/or creative to host 2 separate nights of wrestling, let alone 2 separate brands covering 5 hours of television weekly. If they would just have 1 show that lasted 3 hours, the quality would be there. No need to keep giving out participation trophies, WWE… Want better results? Reward Wrestlemania appearances to the wrestlers who deserve it during the year. The guys and gals couldn’t hang in an empty arena and the creative choices made didn’t help them. Compare that to Night #1 where the booking was much stronger and Undertaker & AJ Styles actually wrestled (whereas John and Bray did not). Much weaker half of Wrestlemania, [ D+ ]. We’ll see what the WWE can do with Drew McIntyre as champion now and what does Brock Lesnar do next?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… CLICK HERE to read my Book Review of Jim Ross‘s Under the Black Hat.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
Play my Super Mario Maker 2 courses on the Nintendo Switch:
Die Hard (themed after the Bruce Willis Film): 2YH-48W-HMG
Die Hard 2 – Die Harder: QQ1-MHW-YTF
Die Hard with a Vengeance: 5MB-2YG-VRG
Hoarding the Toilet Paper: 43G-S79-TVG
Star Trek 2 – The Wrath of Khan: 1LV-L7L-KDF
Inside Her: FC1-TW9-7YG
Star Wars vs. Star Trek: N3X-R6M-Y9G
Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time Wrong Warp: 2RX-QCV-N9G
Super Link Bros: HBD-H5C-QRF
Santa Bowser Came Early: GL8-F48-3XG
Super Wrestling Bros: 0H6-9HT-S5G
WWE Royal Rumble: SDH-JC2-HFG
WWE Elimination Chamber: P3B-5DJ-91G
WCW World War 3: BT4-W1Y-HRG
Extreme Championship Wrestling: 42J-4GT-W3G
BEST OF TITO’s POLITICAL CARTOONS
– Alfred E. Vince McMahon on Wrestlemania 36
– WWE’s “Developmental System”
– How Triple H views CM Punk’s physique
– How Pro Wrestling Controversies keep pulling me out of the Retirement Home
– Seth Rollins cannot resist the Internet!
– Truth About WWE’s “Executive Directors”
– More Truth About WWE’s “Executive Directors”
– Jim Cornette as Godzilla against Indy Mudshow Wrestlers
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