ended with a familiar sight: Roman Reigns standing tall. The Head of the Table decisively beat both Daniel Bryan and Edge to retain his Universal Championship. It capped off a great event, which surpassed the bar set by .
The show featured a string of strong bouts, including Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens and a surprisingly great Riddle versus Sheamus. Rhea Ripley won the Raw Women’s Championship, defeating Asuka, meaning both women’s titles changed hands while neither of the mens’ world titles did. Randy Orton’s match against The Fiend was bad and silly but, thankfully, it didn’t last long.
Below is a full recap of WrestleMania 37 Night 2..
Roman Reigns retains Universal Championship
Roman Reigns is the man. After a fantastic main event, Roman Reigns pinned both Edge and Daniel Bryan — at the same time — to retain his Universal Championship. Edge had hit Bryan with a Conchairto and was setting up Reigns to do the same. Jey Uso ran in and blasted Edge, but Edge dispatched of him. Reigns took advantage of the distraction, spearing Edge and then smashing Edge with a Conchairto of his own. Reigns then dragged Edge ontop of Bryan and pinned both.
Jey Uso got involved pretty much straight away. Reigns tossed Bryan outside, and Uso decked Bryan with a superkick. Uso then attacked Edge. After a suicide dive from Bryan took Reigns out momentarily, Edge dispatched of Uso with a big DDT on the ring steps. Uso was walked backstage by medical personell, but of course we knew he’d be back later.
From there it was an intense triple threat that followed the standard “two in one out” formula. Edge and Bryan grappled while Reigns was out, but eventually Bryan went out and Reigns came in. Edge looked great throughout the match, despite being 48 he never felt a pace behind. His section with Reigns culminated with a wicked spot that saw both go for a Spear at the same time.
When all three ended up outside, there was a great sequence that saw Reigns powerbomb Bryan through the announcer’s table, absolutely killing him, before getting speared by Edge. Edge threw Reigns in the ring and brought in a chair, but Reigns snatched it off him. They wrestled, but Edge got the upper hand by locking in a crossface submission. Just as it looked like Reigns would tap, Bryan slid in the ring and held Reigns’ hand, stopping him from tapping. Bryan then applied the Yes Lock while Edge still had Reigns in a crossface, a cool spot. Bryan and Edge yelled at each other, with each telling the other to let go of the hold. They then got into a good ol’ fashion headbutt contest.
Everyone got a chance to shine in the match. Bryan’s came first when he locked Reigns in the Yes Lock and then, when that was broken up, caught Edge in it too. He later dispatched of Edge with his flying knee. Edge got him back though, putting Bryan out with the Conchairto. And while Reigns only hit one spear in the match, he got the biggest shine possible: pinning both guys at the same time.
Rating: 4.5 stars.
Rhea Ripley pins Asuka
Rhea Ripley was ready for Asuka. Ripley pinned Asuka with the Riptide.
This match was just OK, which is a bummer. They both worked hard, but the crowd was quiet for most of the match which made it very hard to get into. Rhea is so promising and Asuka is great, but this didn’t click for a number of reasons. The big issue is that Asuka hasn’t had a pay-per-view title defense since last October, so she doesn’t feel as important as she should, and this is Ripley’s first WWE pay-per-view in front of a live crowd.
There was some great submission wrestling, with Asuka countering out of Ripley’s power moves into armbars and kneebars. But this didn’t really excite the crowd, nor did the big spot where Asuka DDT’d Ripley off the apron. That said, the crowd did pop big for Ripley when she got the win.
Rating: 3 stars. The crowd was so flat for this, even though they woke up for the finish, which made this hard to get into.
Apollo Crews wins Intercontinental Championship
Another championship change. Apollo Crews beat Big E in a Nigerian Drum Fight (really just a No Holds Barred match) after Dabba-Kato, a former NFL player and current development talent, debuted and chokeslammed Big E.
It was a hardhitting match. These two were in a tough spot, coming after two very strong bouts, and made the most of it with a high-intensity sprint. They started by barraging each other with Kendo Stick shots. Apollo got one of the big gold drums from ringside but Big E kicked it out of his hands.
Big E hit his patented spear from the apron to the floor, which makes me wince every time. Later, after Crews set up steps below the apron, Big E planted Crews with a urange from the arpon onto the steel steps. Another wince from me. The finish came when Crews set up a table and went for a splash but Big E moved and Crews crashed through. Big E had Crews in the Big Ending, but Dabba-Kato came out of nowhere to interrupt, chokeslam Big E and pull Crews over the top for the cover.
Rating: 2.5 stars. These two worked hard, but they were just in a hard spot coming off two awesome matches. The silly “Nigerian Drum Fight” stipulation made it harder to take seriously, too.
Sheamus wins United States Championship
Another great match — Night 2 is rolling on well. Sheamus and Riddle beat the hell out of each other, and Sheamus was victorious after he caught Riddle with Brogue Kick as Riddle was mid-moonsault.
It started out with some wrestling and fairly standard action. The Owens versus Zayn match ended on a high, so Sheamus and Riddle started off by reseting the crowd. But things picked up when Sheamus hit a gnarly bicycle knee strike to Riddle for a nice near fall. Sheamus then hit an Alabama Slam for another two count. Moments later, Riddle got his turn. He smashed Sheamus on the outside with a German Suplex on the side of the ring, a Penalty Kick and a Floating Bro for a two count.
Back in the ring, Sheamus went for a White Noise off the top rope, but he lost his balance. Thankfully, he landed on his feet with Riddle still strewn over his shoulders, so hit the White Noise in the center of the ring, followed by a flying knee from the top rope for a two. Riddle began to fight back, but was caught by that Brogue Kick mid-moonsault.
After the match, a bloodied-up Riddle had a stare down with Sheamus. Hopefully we see these two go at it again.
Rating: 4 stars.
Kevin Owens pins Sami Zayn
A very good match. Sami Zayn was pinned by Kevin Owens in a bout that, thankfully, saw no interference from Logan Paul, who sat by ringside ostensibly in the corner of Sami Zayn.
The two started off strong, with Owens immediately hitting a Pop-up Powerbomb. Zayn rolled out of the ring and it was pretty much all action from there. There’s really actually not much to say. There was little story throughout the match, as it pretty much consisted of Owens and Zayn trading moves. That sounds like a criticism, but everything was so tight, and both are so talented, so it was just a bunch of fun to watch.
Story did play into it at the conclusion though. Sami Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Owens and then, as Owens began to fall, Zayn held him up. This was a throwback to their match at the 2016 Battleground pay-per-view match — something that JBL, guest commentating, actually pointed out. Zayn went for another, like how he did at Battleground all those years ago, but Owens caught him with a superkick, then another superkick. Owens then held up a fallen Zayn, hit him with a Stunner and got the 1-2-3.
After the match, Paul came into the ring. Zayn got in his grill, so Paul shoved Zayn. Zayn then retreated. There was a fun moment were Paul lifted Owens’ arm and the whole crowd was chanting for Owens to stun him. Which he totally did, and the crowd loved it. Credit to Logan Paul here: He knew his role — i.e. the guy that the crowd wants to see laid out — and he took the stunner better than most of the roster.
Rating: 4 stars. Super good.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler retain tag titles
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defending their titles against Natalya and Tamina is up next.
The match started off surprisingly snug. Nia Jax and Tamina got into a headbutt battle, Baszler hit Natalya with an awesome knee strike that looked like it hurt, and Jax planted Tamina on the outside with a body slam. But then the pace slowed down. With Tamina on the outside, Jax and Baszler worked over Natalya in the ring. The pace crawled and the crowd went quiet.
Eventually Natalya fought back and was able to tag in Tamina. She had a square off with Jax, which culminated with Tamina doing a body slam on Jax (even if she didn’t quite hoist her all the way up). She then went for a Superfly Splash but Jax moved. They both tag their partners. Natalya blasts Baszler outside of the ring and locks Jax into a Sharpshooter, apparently not realizing Baszler is the legal woman.
Baszler breaks up the Sharpshooter by locking in a Kirafuda Clutch, and Natalya passes out.
Rating: 2.75 stars. This was much better than Night 1’s Tag Team Turmoil match. It was a mixed bag, as most of the time Tamina was in the ring it wasn’t particularly good. But it was well laid out, with some real bright spots (like Baszler’s awesome knee) and a cool finish — even if the “babyface passes out” finish is overdone.
Randy Orton defeats The Fiend
WrestleMania 37 kicked off with one of the most heavily promoted matches of the show: Randy Orton versus The Fiend. After a thankfully short match, Randy Orton pinned The Fiend with an RKO.
Randy Orton came out in white tights — some WreslteMania pizzaz for you. Then we got The Fiend’s entrance.
We see him walking through a walkway where he transforms from the burnt Fiend to the “normal” one, albiet with a slightly new mask. Then Alexa Bliss comes out in her Firefly Funhouse form, and walks to a jack in the box that’s set up near the ring. She turns the handle, to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel, and out comes The Fiend.
The match itself was like an average Raw bout. They had a straightforward wrestling match until Alexa Bliss appeared on top of the Jack in the Box from which The Fiend appeared. She was… I don’t know, covered in ink or blood or something. The Fiend was confused, and Orton hit an RKO for the pin.
After the match, Bliss and The Fiend stared at each other and then the lights went out and both vanished. The crowd booed.
Rating: 1 star. This is just preposterous. Randy Orton burned The Fiend to a crisp, and that culminated with… a wrestling match. Where they actually just hit normal wrestling moves. If The Fiend can literally defy the laws of life and death, why do we care if he got hit with a DDT? How could an RKO possibly keep him down? It’s just stupid.