For the first time in a decade, Edge fought Wrestlemania match in front of a live crowd. Daniel Bryan put a second Wrestlemania main event on your list of achievements. And after an absence of a year, Roman Reigns showed the wrestling world why he is the present and the future of WWE.
In a night built around the main event, Reigns retained the Universal Championship in a match that exceeded expectations. The outcome was filled with perpetual uncertainty, adding real electricity to this fight. And the triple threat format lent itself well, providing opportunities for one-on-one matchups pitting Edge against Bryan, Reigns against Edge (which included a double spear point), and Bryan against Reigns. The crossface-Yes Lock double submission attempt on Reigns was another creative point in a match that maintained a high intensity from start to finish.
The end of the main event was brilliant. After an assist from right-hand man Jey Uso, Reigns threw a spear at Edge, then used the saddle shot in preparation to stack his opponents on top of each other and pin them both at the same time.
The first two nights Wrestlemania in front of a live crowd it was a success. There were highlights on night two, particularly Sami Zayn v. Kevin Owens, and low points like the unsatisfactory conclusion of The Fiend v. Randy Orton. Overall this was a notch down from night one, but the main event did its job in bringing the show.
Here are the results of the second and last night of WrestleMania 37:
- Randy Orton defeated The Fiend
- Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defeated Natalya and Tamina
- Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn
- Sheamus defeated Matt Riddle to win the United States Championship.
- Apollo Crews defeated Big E in a Nigerian drum fight to win the Intercontinental Championship
- Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka to win the Raw Women’s Championship
- Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan and Edge in a Triple Threat Match to retain the Universal Championship
- And here are my conclusions as I wonder when Wrestlemania will air live on NBC …
Roman Reigns retaining the title was the right decision.
Reigns is the biggest star right now in WWE. He played the role perfectly in Wrestlemania, and this victory will make the moment even more meaningful when he finally loses the title. And making this a triple threat was the right call too, as this match was missing an integral piece until Bryan was added.
There was a lot to like about the main event. The rhythm just never gave up. It escalated further at the end of the fight when Edge hit Bryan with a spear, then followed up with a spear at Reigns. He appeared to have won the match, until Bryan knocked referee Charles Robinson out of the ring before he made the count of three. This was a critical moment in the match, as Edge lost focus on his goal, which had been to win the match. Jey Uso interfered, Reigns capitalized, and that led us to the end.
One year after missing the event, and three years after his last Wrestlemania main event, Reigns is back on top of WWE in his signature event.
Big E did a wonderful job of making Apollo Crews stand out in their Nigerian Drum Fight. Crews is a worthy pick to take home the Intercontinental Championship, but it’s worth asking: was this the right place for Big E?
Big E is ready to race in the main event. He’s powerful, athletic, charismatic, and possesses the rare ability to connect with viewers like a babyface, which is especially difficult to do. At 35, he is entering the peak of his professional wrestling career. Had he won the men’s Royal Rumble match, a new star would have been added to the title scene, and he would be a perfect match for Roman Reigns.
Instead, Vince McMahon went with Edge at the Rumble. The story didn’t go online and Daniel Bryan was inserted into the show. But as we saw with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair, there is nothing like a singles match to close. Wrestlemania, and the best option for this year’s event on night two would have been Reigns v. Big E.
A repackaged Dabba-Kato returned to WWE to help Crews win the IC title. Babatunde Aiyegbusi, 31, deserved a better fate than being knocked out on Raw Underground, and now he has a chance to serve as Crews’ muscle in Slap. There is a lot of potential in this combination, one that could significantly elevate both artists.
Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka to win the Raw Women’s Championship.
This match was not their best match. As in Riddle v. Sheamus, the lack of chemistry was evident, which would normally have been resolved by working a series of matches together at house shows before arriving at Wrestlemania.
But the result here was important. Ripley is an integral piece of WWE’s future, and an eventual Wrestlemania The showdown with Bianca Belair will be a must see.
Even without a rain delay, the action was also delayed on the second night. This was due to the length of Bray Wyatt’s performance, which ended with Wyatt emerging from a huge jack-in-the-box.
After being set on fire by Randy Orton in December, Wyatt reverted to his classic form as The Fiend. He looked like he was about to win, but a distraction from Alexa Bliss caused him to lose focus. Orton then hit an RKO to win the match. Before there was any explanation of the Wyatt-Bliss story, the lights went out and the artists disappeared. The crowd expressed their displeasure that there was no closure, or even explanation, on what happened.
It will be good if Wyatt is once again an active and weekly presence in Raw, and his in-ring tribute to the late Brodie Lee did not go unnoticed. Conventional wisdom made Wyatt win this match convincingly, but clearly, nothing on this show is conventional. Especially on a show like Wrestlemania, built around providing conclusions to the stories, was a disappointment.
For the second year in a row, Randy Orton was part of a Wrestlemania party destined for the wrong place.
Last year, Orton worked on a grueling Last Man Standing match with Edge that was designed to take place in front of a live crowd. Instead, he failed in an empty Performance Center. This year, the Orton-Fiend-Bliss story, which has benefited from broadcasting from ThunderDome, did not resonate as planned in front of a live crowd.
Courtesy of a stunner, Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn, wrapping up a very convincing match.
Until the main event, this was the game of the night. There were nuances of Jake Roberts versus Ted DiBiase from WrestleMania VI up for grabs here, with two distinct characters, and real-life best friends with a long history, bringing an old-school physical combination with a great story. Unlike Roberts-DiBiase, we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to hear Owens and Zayn cut promotions before this match. WWE, instead, opted to run promo packages throughout the night, but considering both artists are so talented on the mic, that would have been a perfect introduction to the match.
Chemistry is hard to come by, but Owens and Zayn work very well together. And Logan Paul was a perfect fit with Zayn, although that association didn’t last long. Paul congratulated Owens after the victory, enraging Zayn and dissolving their relationship. And to the delight of the crowd, Owens handed Paul a stunner.
It’s time for a world title reign for Owens. If that means a move to Raw challenge Bobby Lashley, or extend your stay in Slap, his work is among the best in the world and adds value every time it appears on screen.
Whether it was booing Hulk Hogan, flaring up at the mention of Rob Van Dam’s rolling papers, or even cheering for Tamina, the crowd brought a lot of life back to him. Wrestlemania on the second night. The beauty of that is the unpredictability, which just isn’t part of the show at ThunderDome.
WWE missed the chance for Bayley to host this year Wrestlemania.
Titus O’Neil and Hogan were already involved in the show through the Hall of Fame celebration, and both could have been inserted into the action over the course of two nights. Seeing Bayley get knocked out by Nikki Bella certainly wasn’t the best use of a personality that means so much to the company.
Bayley is a pivotal piece of the WWE narrative going forward. She should be paired up again on a show with new SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. The first opponent for a new champion is extremely important. Steve Austin is one of the greatest of all time, but he benefited greatly from working with Mick Foley immediately after winning the title at WrestleMania 14. Bayley would be perfect in this role for Belair.
Another missed opportunity was the women’s tag team title match, which could have added a burst of energy if Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott had had a chance to win the titles. Instead, it was Natalya Neidhart and Tamina Snuka challenging Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.
Baszler worked an especially hard match here, but it didn’t translate into in-ring brilliance. The match also ended in a confusing way. After Neidhart saw Jax tag Baszler, he pulled Baszler by the apron and then locked Jax in the sniper. Baszler returned to the ring and strangled Neidhart for the victory.
The division of female couples needs a new life, and the frustrating part is that the talent is already there, waiting for the opportunity.
Sheamus and Matt Riddle worked a physical match, with Sheamus winning the United States title after a brutal kick.
This program will continue and both men should take more opportunities to work together. There is very little in-ring history between the two, and without a home show cycle to test and adjust, the landscape is different than ever in WWE during the Wrestlemania it was.
Sheamus continues to bring a presence to WWE like no one else, including Riddle, whose background is from MMA. It will be interesting to see what he does as a US champion and if he can take this opportunity to rise again to the image of the world title.
For the second night in a row, the card was defined by its main event.
The news that Reigns was winning the main event took place during the Asuka-Ripley match, which ended with a new champion. Having all the titles changed hands on the second night was an unlikely outcome, so the previous three title changes on the card might have alerted viewers that Reigns was withholding, but even if he did, that didn’t matter. The main event captured so much emotion and produced so much energy that it was an absolute pleasure to watch.
Reigns is no stranger to the main event in Wrestlemania. But I’ve never closed a show like this before. The end of WrestleMania 31 It was about Seth Rollins cashing in unexpectedly and winning the title. WrestleMania 32 pitted Reigns against Triple H, culminating in a very long night, and The Undertaker had clearly missed a step when he met Reigns in WrestleMania 33. Reigns and Brock Lesnar had a convincing fight in WrestleMania 34, but nothing like what was showcased in WrestleMania 37.
Since returning in August, Reigns has made the most of this career. This was his most complete Wrestlemania main event, one that will stand the test of time in the tradition of wrestling.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.