WWE WrestleMania: Night Two arguably had the better half of the card.
One night after Undertaker and AJ Styles got the world talking with the Boneyard Match, WWE WrestleMania: Night Two entered uncharted territory for WWE. There’s a lot of that going around lately.
For the first time, WWE had to answer a strange question. Can the second night of WrestleMania top the first?
WWE would try, as John Cena faced the Fiend in another pretaped battle (the Firefly Funhouse Match), and Drew McIntyre challenged Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.
A unique WrestleMania came to a close with WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
NXT Women’s Championship Match – Rhea Ripley (C) Vs. Charlotte Flair
For the first time, an NXT title is being defended at WrestleMania. So at least there’s some positive history at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
Ripley goes for a lockup to start, but Flair pushes her off before hitting a single-leg take down. Cool amateur stuff, and psychology, considering Ripley’s knee injury. Flair goes for the Figure Four, but Ripley kicks her off. Both women lock up, and Flair gets Ripley locked up in the corner.
A chop-fest from Flair follows, but Ripley whips Flair into the corner and hits the Riptide for an early two-count. Sigh. Well, there goes the credibility for that finisher. Kicking out of the Riptide less than five minutes in? Looks like Flair learned more than wrestling from the old man.
Flair does the mudhole-stomping on Ripley, but the champ counters with an armdrag over the top rope, sending Flair onto the floor. They brawl around the outside, and Ripley hits a somersault off the ring steps before throwing Flair back in. Ripley hits a dropkicks and some shoulder tackles in the corner to leave the challenger reeling.
A suplex gets two for Ripley. The champ puts Flair in a body-scissors hold on the mat and slaps the Queen around. Flair tries to bridge out, but Ripley rolls onto her stomach to put Flair on her shoulders for a two-count. The challenger retaliates, draping Ripley’s injured knee across the bottom rope and attacking it relentlessly.
Flair softens up the knee for what feels like forever, and Ripley sells it like a pro. It’s an uncomfortable WWE WrestleMania: Night Two sequence, and Flair goes full evil. Great psychology from both women.
Ripley finally pulls out a belly-to-back suplex, but she puts more strain on the knee. Flair gets back into it with some vicious chops, but Ripley starts kneeing Flair in the face with the good knee. A dropkick from Ripley to Flair’s face follows, but the knee gives out again.
The champion plays it smart, punishing Flair with short-range clotheslines to limit impact on the knee, but Flair kicks the bad knee hard, sending Ripley crashing to the floor. Flair goes up top, but Ripley intercepts with a kick to the face followed by an inverted electric chair drop for a two-count. Ripley goes for another belly to back, but Flair counters, only for Ripley to counter again. A huge right hand from Flair has the champion reeling, and Flair tries to tie Ripley’s knee up in the ropes, but Ripley counters and hits a missile dropkick for two.
Ripley smacks her own knee to get the feeling back, but Flair scores with a chopblock and goes back to work on the bum knee. Flair goes for the Figure Four, and Ripley fights it off and rolls through, putting Flair in a standing cloverleaf. I haven’t seen that hold in forever. Flair reaches for the rope, but Ripley rags her back only for Flair to break the hold and escape. The Queen goes for the Figure Four again, but Ripley staves it off once more. Flair rolls through for a cover for two before locking in a Boston Crab. Pulling out the classics tonight at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
Both women trade pinning combinations, and Ripley is just trying to stay alive at this point. Flair loses it and stomps away before Ripley hits a big boot out of nowhere for two. Ripley lays in some strikes on Flair in the corner before propping the Queen on the top turnbuckle. The champion goes for a superplex, but Flair throws her down to the mat. Flair sets up for a moonsault, but Ripley gets her feet up in time to connect with Flair’s jaw, but Flair hits a spear for two.
Flair goes for the Figure Four again, but Ripley reverses into a small package, but Flair finally gets the Figure Four locked in. The challenger bridges into the Figure Eight, and Ripley has to tap.
Not at all the right decision, but that was a hell of a match at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two. The constant teases of the Figure Four, and the consistent but not obnoxious focus on the knee made for great psychology. This was great.
Winner (And NEW Champion) – Charlotte Flair
Match Rating – ****
Aleister Black Vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lana)
I don’t know what these guys are fighting over, and I don’t care. I’m just wishing Aleister was still on NXT, where they seemed to know what to do with him.
Both guys lock up, but Lashley comes up on the better end, throwing Black to the mat. Lashley pulls out some mat-based wrestling (didn’t expect that) and goes for the bearhug before charging Black. Black sends Lashley crashing to the floor, but Lashley dodges a moonsault and levels Black with an overhead belly-to-belly throw.
The Almighty tackles Black into the useless barricade before throwing Black inside for a cover and a two-count. A rear chin lock from Lashley follows, but Black powers out only to get driven into the corner.
It stays all-Lashley until Black blocks a pair of standing suplexes and levels Lashley with a knee to the face. Black goes for a splash, but Lashley dodges and answers with a powerslam for two. Lashley chokes Black over the middle rope and hits a standing suplex for two.
The Almighty goes for a spear, but Black counters with a high knee for two. Black takes over with strikes and baseball slides Lashley out of the ring before hitting the moonsault. He throws Lashley back into the ring, but Lashley scores with a diving cross-body and a clothesline for two. Lashley goes for a slam, but Lana demands that the Almighty finish the match with a spear instead, and he eats Black Mass. Black makes the cover and scores the pin.
Well, that was better than I thought it would be. Not great by any means, and a little too short. But definitely better than I thought these guys would do on WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
Winner – Aleister Black
Match Rating – **3/4
Otis Vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is probably the most emotional story going into WWE WrestleMania: Night Two. And that’s not a knock. The stuff with Dolph, Mandy, Otis, and Sonya has been some genuinely good TV.
Having said that, Michael Cole calls it “one of the most personal matches in the history of WrestleMania,” which is odd. Considering there’s a match later predicated on Randy Orton beating up a cripple and his wife. Also, JBL just said “fake news,” making me throw things. No, really. I threw a candy wrapper about a foot-and-a-half.
Otis goes berserk on Dolph from the get-go, but Dolph superkicks Otis out of the ring. Dolph heads to the outside and throws Otis face-first into the ring post before throwing him back inside for a one-count. Otis gets draped over the middle rope, and Dolph rakes the eyes. He pulls Otis back up and continues the eye-rakes before hitting a reverse neckbreaker and standing elbow drop for two.
Dolph cinches in a rear chin lock, but Otis fights to his feet only for Dolph to take him down with a pair of chop blocks. But Otis recovers and catapults Dolph into the middle turnbuckle. Dolph goes for a couple punches, but Otis no-sells and Hulks up, fighting back with a headbutt followed by a succession of clotheslines. Otis bodyslams Dolph and throws him into the corner a couple times. He picks Dolph up and throws him over the top rope, and Dolph lands right on his face. Otis follows and makes use of the useless barricades.
He throws Dolph back into the ring and hits a solo version of the Compactor before setting up for the Caterpillar, but Sonya distracts the referee. Dolph scores with a Greco Roman Nutshot. As he goes for the cover, Mandy comes out and beats Sonya up on the outside before nailing Dolph in the jewels.
Otis does the Caterpillar for real (there is – NO – CROWD) followed by the elbow for the pin.
And Mandy and Otis are together at last. I mean, it ain’t Macho Man and Elizabeth at WrestleMania VII, but it’s good for what it is at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
Winner – Otis
Match Rating – ***
Last Man Standing Match – Edge Vs. Randy Orton
Now we’ll see if Edge’s return at Royal Rumble 2020 was a fluke or if he’s still got it.
Orton sneaks in from behind while Edge is looking at the WWE WrestleMania: Night Two entrance way and hits an RKO. Oh, Randy.
Edge gets to his feet, and the referee calls for the bell. The Rated-R Superstar swings futilely at Orton, who backs away and closes in to hit another RKO. Edge gets back to his feet by sliding to the floor to break the count at eight. Orton grabs a camera and bashes it in Edge’s face, knocking him over the barricade.
Why are there barric- y’know what? I’ll go with it. I will just go with it.
Edge makes it up at seven, just in time to eat an uppercut. They fight to the back and through the production area, with Orton slamming Edge into every standing structure he can find along the way. At least this is a setting where there’s a logical reason for the weapons to be there.
Back in the Performance Center’s gym, Orton literally hangs Edge and punches and kicks him with Edge’s neck in a sling. Orton picks up a weight, and Edge kicks it into the Apex Predator’s face. Ow. Both guys are down, but they’re back on their feet by the count of five.
Edge slides across a folding table to punch Orton in the face before clubbing him in the chest with a flurry of forearms. Orton’s face eats the table a couple times before propping him up in an office chair and using the weight lifting structures to splash on top of him, putting both guys down.
They both get to their feet but only briefly as Edge hits a double ax-handle off the weights. Edge goes to whip Orton into the wall, but Orton reverses, and Edge is down. The Viper grabs a weight sled and tries to rush Edge with it, but Edge dodges, and they trade punches.
Edge slams Orton’s face into a case, and the fight spills out into the production area. Orton does the smart thing, sitting on boxes to catch his breath every few feet. Nice psychology. Edge goes for a punch, but Orton answers by trying to slam him into a garage door only to eat the door himself.
The referee’s count gets to six, but Edge isn’t satisfied. He picks Orton up and slams him into the door again. Now we’re back to the ringside area at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two. They’re on a platform about six or seven feet above the floor, and Orton hurls Edge into the barricade. The Rated-R Superstar connects the barricade right on his neck. Oh hell. Edge pulls himself back up to beat the count at nine, and they slug it out behind the barricade.
Edge tries to make a run for it to get some space, and they fight into the office area. Guys, while you’re back there, ask Vince why he gets off on bugging JR so much. Orton drags Edge into a conference room, but Edge recovers and slams Orton’s face into the table.
Orton beats the count at nine, with Edge cheering him on. Edge lays Orton out across the conference table, above which it looks like they store material for cage matches. He swings off the mesh and comes down, dropping an elbow onto Orton. The camera man goes down, and an edit or two later, we catch up with them in the warehouse.
Edge slams Orton into a ladder a couple times. Orton takes the advantage, stomping Edge’s hand onto a chair before throwing all the chairs out of reach. Wise, considering it’s Edge’s weapon of choice. Orton slams Edge’s head into an extra set of ring steps. The referee starts his count while Orton looks for more weapons. Edge climbs to his feet and beats the count at nine. More punishment from Orton. It’s a good sign that in this setting, this match is just now starting to lose a little momentum.
With Orton reeling, Edge drapes him over table and climbs a conveniently-placed ladder onto the top of a storage cage before dropping a Macho Man elbow, sending both guys crashing through the table. Both guys get to their feet at the count of seven, and Orton is bleeding across his back. Orton bashes Edge’s head into the tailgate of a pickup truck. Edge gets back up, so Orton slams him a couple more times, and they climb onto the bed of the truck, and Orton does the dangling DDT from the roof of the cab onto the covered bed. HOLY CRAP.
This is like the alley fight in They Live. There’s a helpful link, kids.
Somehow Edge gets to his feet first and climbs on top of the NXT gear trailer, and Orton follows. The Viper sets up for the punt, but Edge recovers and spears him on top of the trailer! Insert Joey Styles exclamation here. Both guys are up at eight, so Edge goes for another one but gets caught with the RKO! Edge is up at nine. Orton climbs down to the floor and rests on the bed of the pickup. He grabs a couple of chairs and climbs back up on the trailer and bashes one across Edge’s back. Orton lays Edge’s head down on one chair and goes for the Con-Chair-To, but Edge kips up and hits cinches in a sleeper.
Now Orton’s head is laying on the chair. Edge does the angel-and-devil on the shoulder bit before deciding to lay in the Con-Chair-To, and Orton can’t answer the ten-count.
That was great. It could’ve been a disaster (and it could’ve stood to lose about five minutes), but this was a really good match for WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
Winner – Edge
Match Rating – ****
Raw Tag Team Championship Match – Street Profits (C) Vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory (W/ Zelina Vega)
Between matches, Gronk beat Rawley for the 24/7, 48/7, 7-11, I-95 North And South, European Television Championship at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two. Nobody cares.
Speaking of “nobody cares,” we have the Raw Tag Team Championship up for grabs.
Theory starts out with Dawkins, and Dawkins cinches in a heaadlock, but Theory whips him into the ropes only to take a shoulder block. Dawkins scores with a high knee before tagging in Montez Ford, who hits a dropkick. Garza runs in, and the Profits run the heels off. Ford tags Dawkins back in, but Theory dumps him over the top to the outside. Garza hits a superkick while Theory distracts the referee.
Garza tags in, and they drape Dawkins across the middle rope. Theory hits a dropkick but only gets a one-count. It’s Garza and Dawkins again, as Garza locks in an armbar. Dawkins fights it off but misses a splash in the corner. Garza goes for the superkick, but Dawkins dodges and tags in Ford. Ford hits a standing moonsault, but it only gets two. A DDT from Ford only gets two. Ford hits a moonsault over the top rope and takes out both Theory and Dawkins, leaving only Garza standing.
Okay, so Ford is an idiot.
Meanwhile, Garza hits a moonsault from the top turnbuckle to take out both Profits. Garza tosses Ford back inside and hits a moonsault from the middle rope for two. So these guys are to moonsaults as the Young Bucks are to superkicks. Write that down, it might be on the SAT.
Both guys tag in their partners, and Dawkins superkicks Garza out of the ring. Ford hits a splash on Theory, and Dawkins scores the pin to retain.
This was okay. Lots of spots that didn’t really congeal into anything at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two.
After the match, the heels beat down the Street Profits, and Bianca Belair makes the save. Oh, no, please don’t force Bianca to come to the main roster. Why would you do that to somebody?
Winners (And STILL Champions) – Street Profits
Match Rating – **1/4
Fatal 5-Way Elimination SmackDown Women’s Championship Match – Bayley (C) Vs. Sasha Banks Vs. Tamina (No, Seriously) Vs. Lacey Evans Vs. Naomi
I really need somebody to explain why this title match at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two wasn’t just Bayley vs. Sasha.
Everybody goes after Tamina to start. Sasha and Bayley take her down with a tandem kick followed by a high knee from Sasha that puts Tamina on the floor.
Back in the ring, Sasha and Naomi pair off, as do Bayley and Lacey. Lacey whips Baley into the corner, and Sasha tries to make the save, and they double team. Both women cover Lacey, but it only gets a one count. They whip Lacey into the ropes, but she fights off, and Lacey and Naomi team up to take down Bayley and the Boss.
Double dropkicks put the heels down, and Lacey and Naomi both cover their respective opponents, but they only get two. Inside, Lacey goes for a handshake, and Naomi cradles her into a small package for two, just in time for Tamina to run in and clothesline Bayley and Sasha.
Tamina tosses Lacey and Naomi around for a couple minutes before hitting them both with a running knee in the corner. Tamina tries to pin everybody, but everybody kicks out. If you’re gonna put Tamina in this WWE WrestleMania: Night Two match, don’t make her look like a dope.
Sasha, Naomi, and Tamina are the only ones left standing (callback to Team BAD), and Tamina offers a shield fist bump. Don’t you all know what’s happening out there?! Tamina goes for a slam on Naomi, but Naomi counters with a stunner. Lacey hits a moonsault, and both she and Naomi lay on top of Tamina, but Tamina kicks out.
Sasha runs back in with a 6-1-9 on Tamina, and Bayley hits the flying elbow followed by the Boss Splash. Lacey joins in with a moonsault, and Naomi hits a split-leg moonsault, and everybody piles on top of Tamina to eliminate her. Seriously, why was she here?
We’re back to Sasha and Bayley vs. Lacey and Naomi. The heels go outside to regroup, but the babyfaces hit tandem baseball slides. Bayley recovers and slams Lacey into the ring steps and bounces Naomi’s head off the ring apron. Inside, Bayley gets a pair of two-counts on Naomi before stomping Ye Olde Mudhole. Naomi fights back with some shots to Bayley’s gut, but Bayley recovers and plants Naomi in the corner. Sasha runs in and they double-team Naomi. Sasha runs for a corner knee, but Naomi escapes and kicks Bayley before hitting a sunset flip, getting a simultaneous two-count on Bayley and Sasha.
This is surprisingly good. Maybe this does belong on the WWE WrestleMania: Night Two card.
Naomi stays in control with a spinkick on Bayley followed by a double underhook powerbomb on Sasha for two. Sasha locks Naomi in the Bank Statement for the submission. It’s down to Sasha, Lacey, and Bayley.
Bayley and Sasha dare Lacey to get into the ring, and Lacey limps in. They double-team Lacey in the corner, pummeling the Southern Belle. They hit a double slam, but Lacey kicks out at two. Bayley goes for a running knee at Lacey, but Lacey dodges and she takes out Sasha instead.
The champion goes to beat down Lacey, but Sasha breaks up the pin to argue with Bayley about taking her out. Lacey runs in to attack Bayley, but Bayley throws her into Sasha. Sasha goes down to the Woman’s Right, and Lacey pins her to eliminate her while Bayley sits back and lets it happen. Okay, well, that’s the wrong booking, considering I don’t know how we realistically continue the Bayley vs. Sasha angle beyond a week or so.
It’s down to Lacey and Bailey. Lacey beats Bayley down, but Bayley recovers and throws Lacey shoulder-first into the ring post. Bayley goes for the cover but only gets two. The champ goes to work on the shoulder, but Lacey fights back with a big boot. The last remaining challenger loosens the top turnbuckle pad and beats Bayley down with a series of kicks. Lacey goes for the moonsault and connects, but Bayley kicks out at two. Sasha runs in and hits the backstabber on Lacey, allowing Bayley to get the pin to retain.
The Boss comes back to the ring with the title belt in hand, and she puts it around the champion’s waist. So the way they handled the issue between Sasha and Bayley was beyond stupid, but the action was better than it had any right to be.
Winner (And STILL Champion) – Bayley
Match Rating – *** 3/4
Firefly Funhouse Match – John Cena Vs. ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt
Okay, who’s ready to get weird at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two?
Cena comes out for his entrance in the arena and immediately gets interrupted by Bray and the puppets in the Firefly Funhouse. Bray promises that Cena will face his most dangerous opponent yet: Himself.
Bray walks out the front door of the Funhouse, and after a quick edit, Cena is by himself in the living room. Ramblin’ Rabbit pops up and tells Cena that Bray went through the door. Cena steps through into total darkness and gets confronted by the Vince puppet, who asked if Cena has enough ruthless aggression.
The Vince puppet threatens to fire Cena if he doesn’t. Meanwhile, Bray is in a ring somewhere in the netherworld, and he re-enacts the Kurt Angle promo that preceded Cena’s first WWE match. Suddenly, Cena is in his circa 2003-ish ring gear, and Cena recites his old lines. Bray calls it Cena’s biggest failure, as he sings the Bellas’ theme song. Ouch. The cartoon sound effects are fantastic. Meanwhile, “Macho” Mercy the Buzzard and the Vince Puppet are at the announce desk, and both guys are transported to an old Saturday Night’s Main Event promo.
This is so incredibly weird. Bray cuts an 80s-style promo, hyping up his partner, Johnny Largemeat. Cena walks in lifting weights, and he runs through the most quotable parts of every 80s promo ever. Abby the Witch is very impressed by Cena’s fast-pace weight lifting.
I have no idea what’s happening right now, and I love it.
Now we’re in the Word Life era of Cena, complete with Ramblin’ Rabbit spinning on the turntable while Huskus and Abby the Witch dance like crazy. I might need a blood test to confirm that I’m not on any psychotropics.
Word Life Cena drops rhymes to cricket sound effects. But the rhymes seem to get under Bray’s skin, and he calls Cena a horrible person that takes peoples’ weaknesses and turn them into jokes. This is some weird, crazy meta stuff, and I have no doubt that Bray Wyatt wrote this whole thing himself.
Cena tries to hit the splash on Bray in the corner, but he teleports away (no, seriously), and now we’re in cult-leader Bray’s shack in the swamp. They re-enact the finish of their WrestleMania XXX match, and Bray offers Cena the chance to hit him with the chair, as he should have six years ago. Cena swings the chair, but Bray is gone.
And now we’re on nWo Monday Nitro, with Bray doing his best Bischoff impression. He introduces Hollywood John Cena, complete with a spray-painted Big Gold Belt. Cena snaps and tackles Bray, punching the hell out of him, until Bray becomes Huskus. When Cena stands, the Fiend is behind him, and he locks in the Mandible Claw.
The Fiend hits Sister Abigail and starts choking Cena out. The Fiend stands tall, and Cena disappears into nothingness. One last “Let Me In” punctuates the segment.
Winner – ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt
Match Rating – Like the Boneyard Match, this wasn’t a match. But it might have been the best thing I’ve ever seen on WWE television.
WWE Championship Match – Brock Lesnar (C) Vs. Drew McIntyre
Oh come on, how the hell are these guys supposed to follow that? Whatever it was. Like, if there was a crowd at WWE WrestleMania: Night Two, this match wouldn’t stand a chance.
Something tells me Brock was in a hurry to get out of Orlando, so I don’t see this going terribly long.
Lesnar starts beating McIntyre to death right off the jump. He whips McIntyre into the corner, but McIntyre comes out with a Claymore, but it only gets two. The challenger goes for another one, but Lesnar breaks out Ye Olde German Suplex. McIntyre tries to block a second by holding onto the ropes, but Lesnar’s too much, and he hits another German.
German number three follows. Remember, WWE WrestleMania: Night Two is unlike any WrestleMania you have ever seen.
Lesnar hits the F-5, but McIntyre kicks out at one. Another F-5 gets two. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Roman Reigns did exactly this two years ago. But what do I know?
Here comes a third F-5, and McIntyre kicks out at two again. McIntyre tries to climb up, so Brock goes for a fourth F-5, but McIntyre escapes and hits a Claymore to put Lesnar on his back. A third Claymore puts Lesnar down again. The fourth time is the charm, and McIntyre wins the WWE Championship.
Poor McIntyre has to play the “boyhood dream has come true” moment for absolutely nobody. It wasn’t good, but it was also a Lesnar match. Which means it was probably as good as it could possibly be.
Winner (And NEW Champion) – Drew McIntyre
Match Rating – * 1/4
The in-ring action for WWE WrestleMania: Night Two was definitely a step up from Night One.
But the booking was a little more scattershot. Having said that, everything on this show aside from the Firefly Funhouse could’ve been absolute garbage, and it’d still be a hell of an entertaining show.
Ultimately, WWE did what they could under the circumstances. But this can’t become the norm. There’s got to be some kind of middle ground between an insufferable six-hour show and two nights of just-barely-good-enough pro wrestling.
WWE WrestleMania: Night Two was a pretty solid show. And, in total, WrestleMania 36 turned out pretty okay.
But let’s not do this again.
All images courtesy of WWE.
WWE WrestleMania: Night Two
- The Firefly Funhouse Match might be the best thing I have ever seen
- Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair tore it up
- Orton and Edge was better than it had any right to be
- Drew wins the big one
- Drew wins the big one - with nobody there
- Tag title match was weak
- Booking in the SD Women's Title match was nonsensical