Wrestlemania 36: Drew McIntyre became the first British WWE Champion in history after beating Brock Lesnar on the second night of a historic Wrestlemania.
McIntyre had been riding the crest of a wave since winning January’s Royal Rumble bout – also at Lesnar’s expense – and will now lead the company during what continues to be truly unique and challenging times.
While the match itself continued WWE’s recent preference of needlessly swift high-profile encounters – both athletes are capable of much more – it did its job well enough in cementing the 34-year-old’s position at the top of the proverbial mountain. He dispatched Lesnar with a barrage of Claymore Kicks in under five minutes.
While that was a fitting finale to WrestleMania, much of the buzz from the night came after a genuinely stunning Firefly Funhouse match that saw The Fiend Bray Wyatt defeat John Cena.
Similarly to Saturday night’s Boneyard Match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles, the match was filmed away from the primary location of WrestleMania and weaved together all manner of theatrical elements. Both stars wandered down memory lane in a bizarre dream-like sequence of skits that had to be seen to be believed, WWE once again excelling in their production value with the likes of Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff and past versions of both Cena and Wyatt all featuring. The match, such as it was, ended when Wyatt left Cena laying with the Mandible Claw.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley upset the odds to a degree when she won out against four other opponents to retain her title. The scene had seemingly been set for her good friend Sasha Banks to turn on her and snare the championship, but those plans were soon out the window when Lacey Evans eliminated Banks. The Boss would gain a measure of revenge by delivering a Backstabber to Evans at the match’s climax to aid Bayley in getting the win.
Another feelgood moment for the night saw Otis defeat Dolph Ziggler to bring to an end one of WWE’s cheesier but good-fun storylines. The two had been feuding ever since Ziggler sabotaged a Valentine’s date between Otis and Mandy Rose, leaving the Heavy Machinery star heartbroken. In the end, a giant elbow drop did for Ziggler, who was forced to watch Otis celebrate – and get the girl in the end!
Edge’s remarkable return to the ring reached its climax at WrestleMania as he battled Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match. The veteran, who returned at Royal Rumble, having retired years previously due to a severe neck injury, overcame Orton by delivering a somewhat poetic Con-Chair-to. The match, at nearly 40 minutes, was comfortably the longest of the night, yet was probably the only one to severely suffer due to the lack of live audience at WWE’s Performance Center – despite their attempts to take the fight to various parts of the building.
Charlotte Flair became the new NXT Women’s Champion after defeating Rhea Ripley by submission in the first big match of the night. It was an excellent opener between two freakishly talented athletes. It could take Flair, who won with her Figure Eight, in an all-new direction in terms of future challenges, while also cementing Ripley’s status as a big-time player in WWE.
WRESTLEMANIA NIGHT TWO QUICK RESULTS
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar (c)
Firefly Fun House Match: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena
Last Man Standing Match: Edge defeated Randy Orton
NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley (c) via Figure Eight to win the title
SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match: Bayley (c)
Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler via caterpillar elbow drop
24/7 Championship: Rob Gronkowski defeated Mojo Rawley (c)
Raw Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits (c) defeated Angel Garza & Austin Theory
Aleister Black defeated Bobby Lashley
Liv Morgan defeated Natalya via victory roll (6:25)
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