WWE WrestleMania 36 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points of Day 2
Saturday night, WWE delivered on its promise to give fans a memorable show with the first half of WrestleMania 36.
There were some great moments that will be long remembered, such as AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker, and mistakes we'd all like to forget about, like King Corbin vs. Elias.
In the second night Sunday, nine more matches had the opportunity to enthrall the WWE Universe, as John Cena fought Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Fun House match, Edge battled Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match and much more.
How did it turn out? Which moments were the best and worst of the night?
Presented in order of appearance, here are the biggest highlights and low points of Night 2 of WrestleMania 36.
Full Match Results
WWE WrestleMania 36 Day 2 results
- Kickoff Match: Liv Morgan defeated Natalya by pinfall.
- Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley by submission to win the NXT Women's Championship.
- Aleister Black defeated Bobby Lashley by pinfall.
- Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler by pinfall.
- Last Man Standing Match: Edge defeated Randy Orton.
- Rob Gronkowski won the 24/7 Championship from Mojo Rawley in a buffer segment.
- The Street Profits defeated Angel Garza and Austin Theory by pinfall to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship.
- Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match: Bayley defeated Lacey Evans, Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship.
- Firefly Fun House Match: Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena by pinfall.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar by pinfall to win the WWE Championship.
Mixed Bag: Natalya vs. Liv Morgan
For what this was—a random match with no build or hype and nothing going for it, positioned as the filler match on the pre-show few tend to watch—it was fine.
It probably never would have happened if this event had taken place at Raymond James Stadium. These two would have been in the women's Battle Royal instead.
In an ideal world, this would have been Liv Morgan against Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan instead. A Riott Squad Triple Threat would have a hook to it, at least.
But for what it's worth, this was perhaps the best match Morgan has had. Scoring a win over Natalya on the kickoff is still one of the best things she's done, even if it doesn't mean a lot in the long run.
Mixed Bag: NXT Women's Championship Match
It's disappointing WWE decided to put the title on Charlotte Flair. She didn't need the win, nor did she gain much by coming out on top. In comparison, the negatives for Rhea Ripley far outweigh the negatives The Queen would have had if she had taken the fall.
This could have been a major step on the continued rise of a young, top-tier athlete who could be the future of the women's division. Instead, it was a major step back in favor of giving more accolades to Flair, who has outshined everyone for years.
It was a way to show everyone once again that grabbing the brass ring means nothing, as WWE can just take it away from you by playing favorites.
Now, Ripley has had a transitional reign, rather than a dominant one. Since she made the challenge in the first place and failed, it means she was overconfident. That hinders her reputation and halts her momentum significantly. It's hard to see any positives with the finish of this match.
Ignoring that, though, everything leading up to the end was great.
The action was great, the passion was palpable and it was easy to get sucked in and forget there wasn't a crowd. These two were evenly matched until Ripley proved herself not to be on Flair's level and tapped out.
Had The Nightmare won, this would have been a highlight. Unfortunately, it's hard to ignore what seems like WWE making the same mistake it has made time and again of taking someone who is hot with the crowd and purposely removing their tools to succeed.
Low Point: Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
After the disappointment of Flair's win over Ripley, it would have been good to follow it up with something great. Instead, WWE chose to put the most inconsequential, flat match on the card next.
There was no storyline or foundation to Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley whatsoever. They didn't have a single promo leading up to this or anything to get invested in.
Then, the segment itself was beyond bland. They wrestled a generic exhibition match with Lana screeching ringside.
Nothing interesting happened other than Lana misguiding Lashley to do a Spear instead of a Dominator. Even if that was supposed to plant the seeds of their breakup, it meant nothing, as their storyline has been atrocious.
The match came from nowhere and it's going to disappear just as quickly. No one will remember this even happened at WrestleMania in a week's time.
Highlight: Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
As with everything else, this segment would have greatly benefited from a live crowd. Despite that, it checked off nearly everything needed to fulfill this storyline.
We still don't have any clarification of what Sonya Deville got out of this deal, but she did get a slap in the face and taken out by Mandy Rose in retaliation for her sabotage.
Likewise, Dolph Ziggler suffered a low blow—fitting, given the story—and Otis picked up the win and got the girl.
Anything short of that ending would have been a mistake, so while WWE went in the wrong direction for the NXT Women's Championship and told no story for Black vs. Lashley, at least it got this one right.
Highlight: Edge vs. Randy Orton Last Man Standing Match
What's not to like about two of the greatest of all time beating the hell out of each other in the best storyline of the year that involves the triumphant return of someone who had been forced to retire nearly a decade ago?
This was innovative, brutal, hard-hitting and everything it needed to be as far as the rivalry is concerned. It even gave us a tour of the WWE Performance Center.
Kicking things off with an RKO out of nowhere was a fantastic touch and right on par with Randy Orton's vicious character. Likewise, Edge was seething from his entrance—more than fitting for The Rated-R Superstar, particularly in this feud.
Taking out the cameraman helped hide an edit and was an unexpected positive that showed how dangerous it was to even be in the way of these two.
The criticism is fair that it went on too long and the commentary was dreadful. However, the good far outweighed the bad.
Edge jumped off some equipment to elbow drop Orton through tables. Who thought we'd get to see something like that again?
Ending this with a con-chair-to was how it should have been, and it was wonderful to see Edge stand tall.
Highlight: Bianca Belair Makes the Save
The Raw Tag Team Championship match changed so many times heading into WrestleMania that it was tough to build any hype for it. As such, it was mostly filler.
The action was fine, and it's good to see some talented Superstars get some spotlight, but it wasn't a memorable segment for anything until the match had ended.
Following the pin, Austin Theory and Angel Garza kept attacking The Street Profits. To balance out the fight, Bianca Belair came to the aid of her real-life husband, Montez Ford, and took out Zelina Vega.
Pairing Belair with Ford and Angelo Dawkins makes sense, as does bringing her up to the Raw roster. She's an extremely charismatic performer who is beyond impressive in her athletic prowess.
Perhaps not being in the NXT Women's Championship match was a blessing in disguise for The EST of NXT, as this was a positive WrestleMania moment for her.
Low Point: SmackDown Women's Championship Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match
Bayley's reign with the SmackDown Women's Championship has gone on forever and arguably had no good moments in it.
For months, all she's done is beat people after weak feuds. Sometimes, she would simply have a challenger established and wrestled that person.
Instead of trying to do anything that would have sparked interest for WrestleMania, WWE's game plan was to wait until the last minute to announce Naomi and Lacey Evans would just get another shot after having already lost to Bayley.
Throwing in Tamina meant nothing. She has accomplished nothing in her career and spends more time away than on the active roster.
The only part of this that could have been intriguing was if Sasha Banks were to win so that her friendship with Bayley could be strained and a feud might spin out of it. Of course, that didn't happen. The titleholder retained and the status quo remained.
If this match had been cancelled weeks ago, nothing would have been lost.
Once again, it goes to show how the SmackDown Women's Championship doesn't matter as much; if it did, WWE would have at least tried to do something here.
Mixed Bag: Firefly Fun House Match
When something is as off-the-wall as this, it's going to be divisive. Whether you loved or hated it depends on the perspective you had going in.
As a vignette, this was amazing; as a match, it really wasn't one. Even the Boneyard match from Saturday night was closer to a bout, despite this having something of a pinfall—although it was Bray Wyatt counting it, rather than a referee.
Do you like hokey, cheesy, funny things in your sports entertainment? If so, this was gold. If not, this was garbage.
From a writer's perspective, it was fun to see decades of pro wrestling filtered into this story. The Vince McMahon puppet was hilarious, as were the jokes poking fun at John Cena's different personas.
But if you're a purist and don't like getting experimental, this may be the worst thing you've seen.
Highlight: Drew McIntyre Wins the WWE Championship
Contrary to some of the things that transpired earlier in the night and on Saturday, WWE's goal should be to make people happy.
That is even more prudent on a show like WrestleMania, as the biggest event of the year—during a difficult time away from the ring as well—should end on a positive note.
All too often, WWE has opted not to do that and given the victory to Brock Lesnar. WrestleMania 34 even ended with such a sour taste because of it.
Thankfully, that wasn't the case this time around, and WWE made the right call in booking Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Championship.
The Scot has had a long journey to get to this point, including being released and having to earn his way back into the company and up the ladder to get this title shot at all.
The big moment didn't happen in front of thousands of fans, but it happened. The history books will say McIntyre beat Lesnar for the WWE title in the main event of WrestleMania, and no one can take that away from him.
The Scot deserves the opportunity to carry all this responsibility. The ball is now in his court, and it will be interesting to see what he can do as the new top dog.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.