WWE wasn’t kidding.
There has never been a WrestleMania like WrestleMania 36.
There were highlights and lowlights on WrestleMania’s very first second night, but there’s no denying that WWE has taken risks to provide the best possible show for wrestling fans.
The company advanced with Drew McIntyre as the new champion when he defeated Brock Lesnar to end the show and begin his first run with the WWE championship. WWE’s main event scene needs a new star, and McIntyre is a dynamic force the company wants to build on for the foreseeable future. Lesnar’s defeat in the WrestleMania go-home match, even though it took place in the Performance Center, is a crucial step for McIntyre to become a man in the WWE main event scene.
An impeccable performance by Charlotte Flair in the opening game is likely to be overshadowed by the following events, but it was an enormous feat by pro-wrestling. Flair defeated Rhea Ripley and became the new NXT women̵
Edge returned triumphantly to WrestleMania after a nine-year absence. He defeated Randy Orton in a “Last Man Standing” match that was full of passion but lasted far too long.
The match “Firefly Fun House” should also be emphasized. While some will appreciate his innovative strength, there are others – including me – who want to see a wrestling match. If you were looking for it, this match was a big disappointment.
Here are the results of the second night:
– Liv Morgan defeated Natalya Neidhart on the kickoff show
– Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley and became the new NXT women winner
– Aleister Black defeated Bobby Lashley
– Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler
– Edge defeated Randy Orton in a “Last Man Standing” match
– Rob Gronkowski defeated Mojo Rawley and became the new 24/7 champion
– Street Profits defeated Angel Garza and Austin Theory
– Bayley maintained their SmackDown Women’s Championship in a deadly five-way game against Sasha Banks, Naomi, Lacey Evans and Tamina
– “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena in a “Firefly Fun House” match
– Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar and became the new WWE champion
And here are my takeaways along with a perspective from Kurt Angle and NFL insider Adam Schefter from the second and last night of WrestleMania 36:
Kurt Angle supports the new WWE champion Drew McIntyre
WWE legend Kurt Angle knows a thing or two about WrestleMania as a headliner.
Angle main event WrestleMania XIX with Brock Lesnar, a match that helped make Lesnar a top star for WWE.
Tonight Angle saw Lesnar Drew McIntyre return the favor that defeated Lesnar in the Main Event to become WWE Champion.
“We finally have someone in the main event and that’s Drew McIntyre,” said Angle. “It is a breath of fresh air for WWE. Now you don’t have to go back to Roman, Cena and Brock all the time. Drew is the new guy and he has to perform excellently this year. “
Angle shares a story with McIntyre that goes back to their time together in TNA. During Angel’s farewell tour with the company, his last match was with McIntyre.
“We had a fantastic match in TNA and I decided to take it over,” said Angle. “Winning or losing was my choice. I outsmarted Bobby Lashley on my last tour, but then Bobby Roode insisted he lose to me, so Bobby Roode was my penultimate match, and then I told Drew that he would be my last match in TNA. We had an incredible match, a good 18-19 minutes, and I spoke to him.
“I know that Drew didn’t do as well as he would have liked when he was first in the WWE, but I knew he was special when I saw him in TNA. He saw at the time great, but he still didn’t look what he looks like now – he pulled his ass off, built up his body and he looks fantastic. I knew if WWE reached him his career would begin. “
Angel’s WWE retirement occurred at WrestleMania 35 a year ago, but before that he took time to make sure McIntyre got the right build as a monster heel in a 2018 match Raw.
“Vince McMahon came to me and said,” We have to make this kid. Just do what you have to do to do it, ”said Angle. “So I sat down with Drew and told him that he would use my ankle lock. You can’t ask for a more dominant win than using someone else’s finisher. “
Angle also expanded his respect and admiration for Lesnar, who did an incredibly passionate job when he lost.
“Brock is the perfect wrestler,” said Angle. “The guy has strength, strength, explosion, speed, agility, intelligence and is very relaxed in the ring. Look at what he has achieved outside of the WWE – he is an NCAA champion, a UFC champion. And he bets Butts on seats, people watch the shows because of Brock.
“Brock is not beaten very often, but people want Brock to be beaten. The best thing in the world for fans is that Brock loses the title to someone who is new, and that new person is Drew McIntyre.”
“Firefly Fun House” was innovative, but felt out of place at WrestleMania
John Cena and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt came together for a WrestleMania moment that has never been produced before and can never be replicated.
Nobody will ever forget the “Firefly Fun House” match, whether you like it or not.
Similar to the “Boneyard” match, WWE took creative risks. The undertaker’s match was rooted in its presentation in the basis of pro-wrestling, even if it was sometimes exaggerated. Also, the undertaker’s role cannot be overstated – several generations of WWE fans have been impressed by his work, and people have been pleasantly surprised at how the cinematic elements have contributed to the story.
The “Firefly Fun House” was a completely different story. The story included the careers of Cena and Wyatt, but it wasn’t a traditional wrestling story. If you liked it, it’s fantastic. But for a part of the audience that was used to a certain standard of in-ring excellence at WrestleMania, this was a spectacle that will forever stand out because it’s just different.
There were very few traditional WrestleMania elements to be seen here, highlighted by Wyatt, who scored his own pin fall win. For fans of Wyatt and Cena, it was disappointing that we didn’t see a match in the ring. Unlike Undertaker styles, which had to go beyond the limits of the performance center to be successful, this could have been a unique, compelling match within the ring.
The twist in Cena-Wyatt should have been that it was a simple wrestling match in which Wyatt defeated Cena. That would have been a surprise to me.
Adam Schefter impressed with Rob Gronkowski’s performance as a WrestleMania 36 host
Rob Gronkowski was the host of this year’s WrestleMania. Despite an unfavorable appearance a few weeks ago SlammingGronkowski took his opportunity at the wrestling’s Super Bowl – and his work even caught the attention of ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter.
“I’ve watched him from a television standpoint, and I’ll say that – he did it,” said Schefter, the leading voice in the latest news when it comes to the National Football League. “He had great energy, he pumped up people. He was Gronk, what you would expect and what you would want for this attitude. From an air perspective, it was very impressive. “
The NFL’s connection to WrestleMania dates back to WrestleMania II in 1986, when six soccer stars – including Bear William “Refrigerator” Perry, who was only a few months away from a Super Bowl victory – took part in a 20-man Battle Royal That ended up with Andre The Giant Bret eliminating “The Hitman” Hart. Decades later, professional football and pro-wrestling are still intertwined, and Schefter sees Gronkowski – who is now the new 24/7 champion – as a natural addition to the WWE.
“He is a larger-than-life character,” said Schefter. “It was great for the NFL and it will be great for the WWE.”
As a three-time Super Bowl champion and four-time All Pro first team, Gronkowski has had a remarkable career in which he put a close end to the New England Patriots. Schefter was asked whether a return to football, possibly in Tampa Bay next to Tom Brady, is possible or whether Gronk is now better suited for a run in the WWE.
“I’m sure the patriots would love to have him back, just like any NFL team,” said Schefter. “But we’re looking at a man who has settled into the next chapter of his life at this point. Do I see him coming back to football? Not the way he’s enjoying himself now, he’s having too much fun. It looks on the surface as if he had moved on to the next phase of his life. “
After playing for Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick for the duration of his NFL career, Gronkowski is well prepared to work for Vince McMahon.
“I’m sure that of course prepares you in many ways,” said Schefter. “Organizations and groups like WWE want Gronk because he is so identifiable and assignable on several levels. He is an enormously popular type and there is a reason why he is extremely popular. People attract him and want to be around him. Do I see him as a 9-to-5 desk worker? No, I don’t see Gronk that way. I see Gronk is the life of the party for WWE, and it looks like he’s going to do it. “
Charlotte Flair delivers the performance of the night
In a surprising result, Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley and became the new NXT women winner.
The match was just excellent. Ripley and Flair worked physically for over 20 minutes before Ripley finally succumbed to Flair’s Figure 8 finisher.
It wasn’t the expected result, but it makes perfect sense. Flair is one of the biggest stars and top performers at WWE. Since there is no live audience for the foreseeable future that could increase Ripley’s momentum after a win, why not overtake Flair? In addition, Flair NXT gives an invaluable piece in their fight for supremacy against AEW on Wednesday evening.
Edge and Randy Orton don’t live up to expectations
Edge and Randy Orton had a fantastic build for WrestleMania, but their match didn’t produce any results.
If not the expectations, the game has certainly timed out. In a recorded show that was repeatedly edited by the WWE production team, there was fighting for over 37 minutes. With no adrenaline from a live crowd, this was a recipe for failure.
WWE went above and beyond to vary its presentation, and it could be argued that this match shouldn’t be in the ring – although a pin-fall finish would have meant a lot more to this match than the repetitive slow counts through 10.
It’s good to have Edge back in the WWE, and if he ever runs for the title, it will be an appointment reminder. But after an emotional and perfect return to the Royal Rumble, his match at WrestleMania was a disappointment.
Bianca Belair makes her WrestleMania debut with Street Profits
Street Profits defeated Angel Garza and Austin Theory in a match that was a WrestleMania debut for all four actors.
Profits Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins are extremely entertaining, but they desperately need a program that offers opponents with some chemistry. Garza and Theory are talented, but this match was thrown together late, and that’s how it felt.
When the Usos have moved RawYou could go well with getting the best out of Dawkins and Montez. It was also a boost for Bianca Belair to be introduced to her plot. The NXT star is married to Ford and they work well together on the screen. I wish Belair had stayed in NXT longer to walk with the belt, but it adds some excitement to that Raw Brand.
WrestleMania 36 ended WrestleMania series for “Ringside Charlie”
WrestleMania is more than just a wrestling show. It is a cultural milestone among fans and trips to WrestleMania have an annual tradition for much of the WWE fan base.
Charlie Adorno, better known as “Ringside Charlie”, participated in the first 35 editions of WrestleMania, a series that started in 1985 with the original WrestleMania.
“From Madison Square Garden to last year,” said Adorno, who decided to attend WrestleMania II, which took place in three different locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. “It was the most local of the three, but I was such a big Roddy Piper fan, and he performed there, so it made the most sense to me.”
Adorno’s series ends in 2020 when WWE filmed on a closed set without fans and he will instead watch from the comfort of his home in Staten Island. Despite the limitations caused by COVID-19, Adorno almost found a way to continue the series.
“Some people wanted me to come internally,” said Adorno. “They even said that if some fans were allowed, I would be high on the list, so the possibility was definitely discussed, but with all the strict guidelines, they were already for the number of people they could have in the building , busy. It was not intended. If it were possible, I would have been there. “
Those who are sad at the end of his WrestleMania appearances in a row can take comfort in knowing that Adorno has another, more impressive series. He hasn’t missed a WWE show in Madison Square Garden since 1982. And like The Undertaker after losing to WrestleMania 30, Adorno will be back for another round.
“I already received my refund from the plane ticket to Tampa and it was credited to my flight to Los Angeles for WrestleMania 37 next year,” said Adorno. “I’ll be back next year and ready to go.”
Aleister Black ready for the lead role
Aleister Black’s win over Bobby Lashley was a solid match and delivered despite a minimal build or background story.
Even though they’re on different brands, a program between Black and “The Fiend” could be incredible. Black is ready for a bigger role in the WWE and has all the tools necessary to be the next big star for the company.
As for Lashley, the loss is somewhat empty. He is incredibly talented, but the Rusev program didn’t put either actor in a better position on the map.
Would a return of Lio Rush to Lashley’s entourage help improve his plot? At least they could have a direction by running for the tag titles.
Bayley retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but WWE doesn’t give Bayley to Sasha Banks
The deadly five-way game for the SmackDown Women’s Championship ended exactly as it began when Bayley retained the title.
Bayley is one of the most diligent and loyal stars of the WWE. It was nice to see that she was rewarded with a showcase moment at WrestleMania. It was disappointing that WWE decided to end the Bayley game against Lacey Evans instead of Sasha Banks.
Evans is highly valued by Vince McMahon and considered someone with a lot of potential, but the gambling game is Banks-Bayley. Banks ended up making the save that helped Bayley win the match, but for those of us who are still waiting for a Banks-Bayley match at WrestleMania, we have to wait at least until next year.
WrestleMania makes the best of unique circumstances
Hopefully we’ll never see an event like WrestleMania 36 again.
WrestleMania is a larger-than-life event that belongs in an environment that fits this description. But given the plight of the world when the coronavirus devastated society, WrestleMania – even in its subdued manner – brought excitement to wrestling fans and was an escape from a difficult reality.
The show had some flaws, and there will no doubt be parts that WWE glosses over in the history books. But wrestling fans were reminded of the brilliance of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, received an incredible presentation from The Undertaker and AJ Styles, and saw the next chapter in the future of the WWE from new champions in Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was still WrestleMania.