And here is night 2 of the grandaddy of them all.
WWE Universal Title
Roman Reigns © vs Edge vs Daniel Bryan
Although there’s questions about what closes night one of Wrestlemania, there’s no doubt about what closes Night Two – and absolutely this is the match that should do it. Triple Threat where the longest odds are Daniel Bryan at 9/4 shows that almost anything can happen here and with three great professional wrestlers, it’s the one that many people are most looking forward to.
Sadly, Edge’s return hasn’t been the story it either could or should have been. The second injury during “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” coupled with a global pandemic has tragically dulled what should have been one of the all-time great comebacks. That said, Daniel Bryan should have had a better comeback following his career ending injury (Kofi Mania run aside) and the same can be said for Leukaemia Survivor Roman Reigns… it’s frankly remarkable we’re going into this match with two of the competitors being heels. It’s honestly remarkable.
Edge is the favourite, but with his odds only at Evens, the bookies seem to be in agreement with me that this isn’t exactly a set result (even on the back of a Royal Rumble victory). Roman’s Mafia Don character has been a career highlight and although WWE often like to end Wrestlemania on a high point, I’m going to pick Roman to retain here. His odds are 7/4 so it’s worth a bet, but I think keeping Roman as champion has a bigger upside with a future opportunity to build up a challenger and a proper conquering. Maybe Cesaro? Ideally Big E.
Or they have Jericho (or literally anyone from AEW) attack Roman after the show for some proper fantasy booking!
Prediction: Roman Reigns
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Asuka © vs Rhea Ripley
I think Asuka is one of the most complete performers that WWE has and it’s a real shame that her RAW Women’s Title reign has been lacking decent challengers and has needed a foray into the Women’s Tag Division for the Empress of Tomorrow. Asuka will have held the title for circa 230 days by the time she starts Night 2 of Mania and it’s hard to say that there’s no more she could have done with the reign.
In steps Rhea Ripley for what is – in a storyline sense at least – the toughest challenge Asuka has faced during this reign. The bookies are placing Ripley as a heavy favourite and it’s with good cause. Rhea has been constantly backed by WWE and having her lose on such a big stage so early on would be surprising.
It’s not *impossible* that Asuka wins here (Asuka is protected enough that a hard fought match could help Ripley) but that requires the kind of nuance which WWE often has been found wanting. Rhea is currently 3/10 so probably too short odds to back, but is certainly a result I expect. It’s worth noting that if “The Nightmare” does win at Mania, she’ll be the first woman to complete a trio of NXTUK, NXT and Raw/SD Women’s Title reigns… a feat I’m not expecting to be repeated soon.
Prediction: Rhea Ripley
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
The worms. The sodding worms. It’s fair to say that few wrestlers are as divisive as Bray Wyatt and when given a full run on a big stage, it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen. Last year’s Acid Trip against John Cena is still one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen in wrestling and I was in the room for Schadenfreude’s Bandermatch.
Thinking about it – has any professional wrestler had a worse record at Wrestlemania (combining creatively and success wise) than Bray Wyatt? He missed 35, he was only in a Cameo at 34 (helping Matt Hardy), he did a PowerPoint presentation on worms at 33, The Rock squashed the Wyatts at 32, he lost to a broken down Undertaker at 31 and he had his bollocks cut off by Cena at 30 when he desperately needed to win.
Logically, The Fiend should win here… he’s a ludicrous 1/18 to win meaning that the bookies are thinking it’s an absolute certainty. I was going to say the same until I listed off the above results, but suddenly that 7/1 odds for Orton suddenly seem more appealing…
If you’re feeling brave and are prepared to be disappointed then put some money on Orton. If you’re feeling really brave though, expect this match to make sense.
Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt “wins”
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
Generico vs Steen at Wrestlemania. What kind of crazy world do we live in?
It feels a little rushed for sure – but honestly; with the history between Owens & Zayn, coupled with the celebrity ‘zazz’ of Logan Paul being added to the mix, then it’s a more than fitting mid-card match for Mania. These two can have a great match with each other in their sleep, but with the face/heel dynamic reversed from their more historic set-up, it still feels somewhat fresh.
Owens’ is this the favourite – actually quite heavily backed at 2/5 vs Sami Zayn’s 7/4. I’m a little surprised by this – with a heel celeb, there’s a very easy version of this story which sees Zayn win. Plus, if Logan *does* help Sami win, then the match presumably ends with KO stunning the YouTuber to applause.
An KO win will likely have him stunning Logan Paul and then beating Zayn (after some Zayn/Paul miscommunication) but this potentially gives the least protect to both Zayn and Paul. WWE have made worst mistakes in the past, so it’s not ridiculous… reminder – the bookies are suggesting Owens. I think they might have got this one wrong.
Prediction: Sami Zayn
WWE US Title
Riddle © vs Sheamus
Sheamus has been having a low-key great year in ring (and has gotten himself into career best shape). I think there’s more he could do to refresh his in-ring work/look, but it’s great to see he’s getting a one-on-one (and much deserved match at Mania). Riddle – having recently won the US Title – should give Sheamus a ‘dance partner’ on the main show.
You’ve got to assume that they just batter each other. It’s the definition of match that needs to be a sprint – no need to go over 15 minutes here – just two big lads throwing knockout shots from the bell.
It’s the match on the card which the bookies have been most confused by – they literally can’t split the two with both men currently at 5/6. Although Sheamus is on good form, I think Riddle has more of an upside and having only recently won the belt the bigger “win” comes from the King of Bros retaining here. Sheamus is a former US champion anyway… if this were for the IC Title (the only title Sheamus hasn’t won) then I think this is where he completed the Grand Slam. But it’s not, so he won’t… but I hope he does in the future
WWE Intercontinental Title – Nigerian Drum Fight
Big E © vs Apollo Crews
Err… do we know what a “Nigerian Drum Fight” is? I’ve seen suggestions that this could be a remake of the waterfall fight in Black Panther (which could easily be awesome OR awful) or essentially a “Good Housekeeping” match with drums (which would be awful).
I enjoyed their match last time out – albeit with the rough (presumably botched finish) and there’s clearly an upside for the pair. The odds are very close on this one; at time of writing Big E is the slight favourite at 8/11 against Apollo at Evens, but with odds this close it could go either way.
The upside for Big E is just huge and – hopefully – is a future main-eventer (there’s no excuse for him not to be) and if this is the case, then the IC belt is a step not a destination. Apollo gets the most from winning here and hopefully it sees Big E leave the IC ranks and – potentially – challenging Lashley the next night on Raw. Even if this doesn’t happen the next night, I think Apollo gains more with the win here
Prediction: Apollo Crews
What are your predictions for night 2? Leave them in the comments!