Wrestling Review: WWE Wrestlemania 36 (Night 2) (2020)

It is uncharted waters for the WWE, as for the first time ever, Wrestlemania 36 runs into its second night of action. Following a blistering first night, tonight will see the WWE Championship defended, as Brock Lesnar faces the man who not only won the Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre, but McIntyre was also the man who eliminated Lesnar from the Royal Rumble back in January. The winner of the women’s Royal Rumble will also be in action, as Charlotte Flair faces her choice of champion: Rhea Ripley, with the NXT Women’s Championship on the line. Both women have invaded each other’s show over the previous months, and tensions are at a fever pitch for tonight’s championship fight. After the unprecedented success of the Boneyard Match on night one, tonight will see John Cena venture in Bray Wyatt’s insidious Firefly Fun House in a rematch from their fight six years ago at Wrestlemania XXX.

Also on the card, after returning from an injury after nine years on the shelf, Edge will face off against former friend and now bitter rival Randy Orton in a match where the winner will be the last man standing. The Street Profits will also defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against somewhat of a makeshift team in Zelina Vega’s newest thralls, Angel Garza and Austin Theory, and Otis of Heavy Machinery will finally get his hands on Dolph Ziggler, following the love triangle with Mandy Rose coming to a shocking conclusion on Smackdown Live. All of this and more on the historic second night of action at Wrestlemania 36.

+ Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship): similar to Goldberg/Strowman, but different enough to still be fun, this was basically what you would expect. There were no surprises here, but seeing two big bois clobber each other is always fun
+ John Cena vs “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (Firefly Fun House Match): I don’t know what the hell this was, but I loved it. Full of callbacks and in-jokes about Bray Wyatt, John Cena and the WWE as a whole, this was something truly unique. Like the Boneyard, some people will not like it, but I loved every moment of this, from the very beginning to the very end
+ Bayley (c) vs Sasha Banks vs Naomi vs Tamina vs Lacey Evans (Elimination Match for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship): I was really into this when all five women were active, but once it was done to three and two, the match lost all steam Thankfully those final moments had enough going to keep it a little bit interesting, and in the end this was one of the better matches on the show, if not the double header
+ The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs Austin Theory & Angel Garza (w/ Zelina Vega) (Raw Tag Team Championships): I had reservations about Theory being in this match in the first place, but the match was certainly good. Of course, a live crowd would have made this better, but overall I still found it to be very enjoyable. Though the ending fell a bit flat, the aftermath made up for it
+ Otis vs Dolph Ziggler (w/ Sonya Deville): for once, this really needed to be significantly shorter than it was. This was all set up for Otis to get his revenge and get the girl (not that that necessarily happened), but it was far more convoluted than it needed to be

Edge vs Randy Orton (Last Man Standing): this was perhaps the slowest and least inspired last man standing match I’ve ever seen. There were 8-counts after two minutes of action, and I think almost every count after that was an 8 or 9 count as well. This match should not have happened, and even in front of a crowd this would have been boring
Aleister Black vs Bobby Lashley (w/ Lana): Lashley wearing long tights was perhaps the most shocking thing here. This was a sloppy fight with an ugly ending, made even worse by the way they replayed in slow-motion how poor the finale looked
Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair (NXT Women’s Championship): these two would have really benefited from a live crowd. Like Becky/Shayna last night, both women here were really laying in their shots which echoed around the empty Performance Centre, and made for an audibly pleasing match if nothing else. I have never been thrilled with Charlotte in the ring, and this was about the same. I did not enjoy this at all

> much like night one, there were so many poor camera choices and even worse replays. I don’t know why they would do that

Should you watch this event: This was definitely the weaker of the two shows, thanks in large part to how poorly that Last Man Standing match came across on TV. Thankfully, the Women’s 5-Way, the Raw Tag Titles and Lesnar/McIntyre were great, and I truly believe the Firefly Funhouse Match will be talked about for years to come.

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