So, WrestleMania was different this year.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected just about every kind of sports or entertainment out there, and “sports entertainment,” aka pro wrestling, was no different. Unfortunately for the WWE, this all came just as it was about to host its premier event.
This year’s WrestleMania 36 was scheduled for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, but it became quite clear last month that wasn’t going to be able to happen. Instead of postponing, WWE took the unprecedented step of moving WrestleMania to its Performance Center in Orlando. The warehouse is used primarily as a training center for young talent, but this weekend, it was used to host the granddaddy of ’em all.
Another change: WWE broke up the usual one-night event over two nights with a show Saturday night and another Sunday.
Here are the results for Night 2 of WrestleMania:
Pre-show match: Liv Morgan defeats Natalya
This match was added, presumably, to get as many performers on the card as possible. This was a fairly forgettable match with Morgan getting the win.
NXT Women’s Championship Title Match: Charlotte Flair defeats Rhea Ripley
This was one of the best matches of either night, with the two stars beating the hell out of each other. The slugfest featured Charlotte working on Ripley’s leg throughout, setting up a submission spot at the end of the match with Charlotte getting Ripley to tap out after a Figure-Eight.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
A fine match with no real stakes at all, won by Black who hit the Black Mass for the pin. That’s about it.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Otis
This was the culmination of a classic “Beauty and the Beast” situation after Otis lost his love interest, Mandy Rose, to Ziggler. But Otis got the girl in the end when Rose came out late in the match and turned on Ziggler, allowing Otis to win the match. Afterward, he and Mandy celebrated in the ring with a kiss.
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
Last Man Standing Match: Edge defeated Randy Orton
This match felt like it lasted all night, and it almost did. The two future Hall of Famers fought throughout the Performance Center, and they did both take a beating. Eventually, they fought up to the top of a big trailer inside the garage. Edge got his revenge after spearing Orton on top of the trailer and then basically smashing his head with a chair, leaving Orton incapacitated and getting the win.
Again: very long.
Edge defeats Randy Orton
36 minutes and 41 seconds
— John Pollock (@iamjohnpollock) April 6, 2020
Rob Gronkowski wins 24/7 title
One night after being upstaged by his buddy Mojo Rawley, Gronk won his first WWE title, essentially by doing a trust fall onto half of the locker room.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 6, 2020
Raw tag team title match: The Street Profits defeat Angel Garza and Austin Theory
The Street Profits retained after a huge Frog Splash from Montez Ford to end the match.
Women’s fatal five-way for Smackdown title: Bayley wins
A big focus of this match was whether Sasha Banks would turn on Bayley in order to win the title. That may ultimately happen, but it didn’t happen Sunday night, despite plenty of teasing that it would. The elimination match got down to three competitors — Bayley, Banks and Lacey Evans. Despite being outnumbered by the Bayley-Banks team, Evans was able to eliminate Banks and was part of the final two of the match. However, Banks lingered ringside and eventually returned to cost Evans the match, ensuring Bayley retained the belt. Some clever editing, however, teased potential dissension between the two as the match ended.
Firefly Fun House match: Bray Wyatt “defeats” John Cena
This was just weird as hell; some people loved the pre-produced “match,” while others believed it was nothing better than a fever dream come to life. Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari might have put it best: “The match itself is difficult to put into words as Wyatt and Cena cycled through moments encompassing both their careers and the history of wrestling itself.” It was a little bit of “This Is Your Life,” going back in time for Wyatt to essentially lecture Cena about the previous incarnations of his character, while also pointing out the flaws of his actual real-life character. There were also some weird allusions to pro wrestling’s past with the nWo and 1980s Hulk Hogan also mixed in. Eventually, Wyatt “won” the match when he got the Mandible Claw locked in on Cena.
It was just bizarre, man.
— Art Tavana (@arttavana) April 6, 2020
WWE Title match: Drew McIntyre defeats Brock Lesnar
This was one was quick and would have played a whole lot better in front of 60,000 fans. The match started with McIntyre hitting a Claymore Kick and teasing a very fast finish, but Lesnar kicked out. The champion eventually hit McIntyre with two F5’s, but McIntyre kicked out of both (including the first one on the count of one). He then hit another F5, but McIntyre kicked out.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 6, 2020
As Lesnar goes for the finisher again, McIntyre gets out and hits Lesnar with yet another Claymore. Then another for good measure, and that’s when McIntyre pinned Lesnar to win the match and the title.
WrestleMania went off the air with McIntyre celebrating his new championship. It was a nice moment for someone who’s been around as he has, but it was something that would have played a whole lot better in front of a stadium with the fireworks going off behind him and all that. But in the end, WWE did its best with what it was handed.
Thumbnail photo via WWE Network