The second night of WrestleMania 37 was a complete contrast to the first.
Cesaro, Bad Bunny, and Bianca Belair all won on Saturday, giving fans many happy and memorable moments. WWE played the dangerous game of sacrificing fans’ instant gratification for either some perplexing booking or a meaningful long-term investment in characters on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Nothing demonstrated this better than Roman Reigns’ victory and The Fiend’s defeat. In front of another sellout audience, only one real babyface – Kevin Owens – was victorious (25,675).
The best heels are the ones that tell you what they’re going to do to the babyfaces before actually doing it. That’s exactly what Roman Reigns did in the main event to retain his Universal championship by delivering on his promise to stack Edge and Daniel Bryan and pin them both for the victory. He did so by taking advantage of the triple-threat match rules, as Jey Uso essentially acted as his partner in the match. After taking a spear from Edge and requiring medical attention, Uso returned to ensure his cousin won.
All of this elevated Reigns’ character to a new level of badassery and anger. Reigns was booed mercilessly in front of a crowd for the first time since his heel transformation. What would it take to actually get him off the table’s throne? Edge, as well as Cesaro, may have more to say in the future. Whoever succeeds would have to outmaneuver Reigns both physically and emotionally, which is a daunting challenge.
The match itself was everything three WWE grand slam champions could hope for. The wonderfully told tale of Edge being pushed to reclaim the title he never lost drew one of the biggest cheers. Bryan was the annoyance Edge feared in what might be his last WrestleMania as a full-time performer. He was constantly sabotaging Edge’s chances of winning the championship. Edge snapped after Bryan yanked the ref out of the ring in the middle of a three-count after Edge speared Reigns. Both Reigns and Bryan will be struck with con-chair-toes by the Rated-R Superstar.
The crowd chanted “Roman Sucks” earlier in the match, and he proceeded to powerbomb Bryan through the announce table, only to be speared off the steps by Edge. Edge had Reigns in a crossface with a broken chair in his mouth, and it was the best moment of the match. On the other hand, Bryan applied the Yes Lock, which resulted in him and Edge headbutting each other in frustration. This match had a lot of positive aspects.
WWE has no idea how to book “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt before he proves otherwise. What began as a promising rebirth for the character quickly devolved into a booed train wreck. Alexa Bliss walking down the ramp to pop The Fiend out of a giant jack-in-the-box next to the ring to open the show was fantastic. The audience erupted in applause when Fiend miraculously healed his burns and reverted to his more conventional mask. At one point, he also paid tribute to Brodie Lee.
The bell rang, and Fiend manages to let everyone down nearly every time he enters the ring. The red lighting was back, and it should remain because it enhances the visual presentation of the character. He seemed to be an unstoppable force before Orton wore him down a little. When Bliss emerged from the jack-in-the-box wearing a crown, Fiend was able to beat Orton with a Sister Abigail. The black goo Orton had coughed up several times started to trickle down her face, much to the amusement of the audience (“Holy s–t!”). Then something went wrong.