In the Wrestlemania deemed too big for one night, Wrestlemania 36 looks to go where no WWE wrestling Pay-Per-View has gone before. Due to the massive spread of COVID 19, Wrestlemania 36 was moved to WWE’s performance center. Rather than spreading Wrestlemania 36 across a 6 six-hour time frame, WWE decided to divide the event between two days. Sadly, this resulted in WWE NXT’s Tampa Bay Takeover being canceled completely. Wrestlemania 36 being performed without a live audience felt weird and less energizing. For time sake, we are going to summarize Wrestlemania 36 night one down below.
The Preshow started with Drew Gulak facing Cesaro. In a great back and forth Cesaro picked up the win after hitting the U.F.O and pinning Gulak. Although this match was a great technical match, it was unusual with Daniel Bryan facing Sami Zayn later in the night. Instead, WWE should have either put two NXT wrestlers together for a match that should have taken place during Takeover or a different story altogether.
Wrestlemania 36 Part 1
At the start of the show, The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) defended the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. In a great tag match, these four women were allowed to have a great back and forth match. In this match, these four women were allowed to go all out and show what they got. Sadly, Kairi Sane was pinned by Cross and Bliss to lose the titles. Cross and Bliss win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
The second match in the show was the one many thought would be changed. After WWE showcasing King Corbin pushing Elias off a 15ft balcony, many believed this match to be canceled. Instead, Elias surprised King Corbin by coming to the ring and hitting him with the guitar. This was a decent match between two giants but neither wrestler displayed the typical Heel vs Face personas throughout the match. Elias ended up beating King Corbin by a Roll-Up where he held the tights. This felt like a spit in the face especially since Corbin retired Kurt Angle last year.
The first match of the second hour was Becky Lynch defended the Raw Women’s Championship against Shayna Baszler. Becky Lynch arrived in a Semi-truck that had a Becky decal on it. The match was a rough back and forth. This match reminded us of a cage match with two warriors just going at it. This match felt rather disappointing after such a big build-up. Becky Retained with a roll-up in a short 8 min 30 seconds match. This felt like WWE gave up on Baszler after so much build. The WWE could have had Ronda Rousey come out with Baszler as well. This did nothing to boost the Women’s roster.
The fourth match in the card was Sami Zayn (accompanied by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura) defended the Intercontinental Championship against Daniel Bryan. All five men played their characters well with Zayn continuing to run away from Bryan throughout the match. This match was in no way a great wrestling match but a good story. This did not feel like the end of a rivalry but just a subchapter. Zayn retains the IC title.
John Morrison defended the Smackdown Tag Team Championships in a Triple Threat Ladder match against Jimmy Uso and Kofi Kingston. This match was originally supposed to be a triple threat tornado tag match but was changed due to The Miz becoming sick. Instead, WWE changed the stipulation and these three men still killed it. If this mania was live, this would have easily stolen the show on night one. The ending of the match had a usual ending with all three men at the top of the ladder grabbing the titles. The match ended when Jim and Kofi headbutt Morrison off the ladder. These headbutts resulted in Morrison falling off the ladder but taking the titles with him. The Miz & Morrison retain.
The sixth match of the night was Kevin Owens facing Seth Rollins. This match was built up over months with multiple superstars involved. As Wrestlemania drew closer, Rollins made the match about Kevin Owens’s bad record at the even compared to Rollins’s outstanding one. This originally started out as a normal match but became a No Disqualification Match after Rollins was DQ’d for hitting Owens with a Ring Bell. The highlight of this match was when KO did a flying elbow off the Wrestlemania 36 sign through the announcer’s table. He then got Rollins into the ring to hit stunner and win. Kevin Owens wins twice.
In between KO vs Rollins and Goldberg vs Strowman, R Truth came out to talk about the 24/7 Championship with Mojo Rawley and Rob Gronkowski. In his promo, he complained about having to have eyes in the back of his head. How the title was never safe. Seeing this as an opportunity, Rob Gronkowski took the opportunity to try and pin R-Truth; he was then pulled off by his now-former friend Mojo Rawley. Mojo Rawley is the new 24/7 champion.
The last match in the WWE Performance was Goldberg defended the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman. WWE’s build to this match was a complete mess, no only did they not build up the feud, but many felt Goldberg should have never won the title. Goldberg originally won the title at a Saudi Arabia show against the Fiend. Rather than having The Fiend facing Goldberg at Wrestlemania 36, Reigns was chosen to have a battle of the spears. With Reigns at risk for the illness, Strowman was chosen to replace him.
This match was easily the most disappointing match of Wrestlemania 36 so far. This match was the shortest with Goldberg hitting 4 spears on Strowman. Then when Goldberg, went for the Jackhammer, Stowman countered and went on to hit four power slams. This resulted in Strowman winning his first WWE championship.
The final match of the night was a Bone Yard match, where the Undertaker faced AJ Styles. This was an interesting cinematographic match. If Wrestlemania 36 was live, this match would not have been as good. AJ Styles came to the match in a herse with the Undertaker’s Deadman music playing. Styles would come out of a casket. The Undertaker surprised everyone by coming to the match as American Badass Taker. This match would take up a good portion of the final hour with a good back and forth between the two.
A certain amount of disbelief came when Taker faced off against multiple druids and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. This ended up being 12 men vs Taker. Taker would go on to throw Gallows off a tool shed while Tombstoning Anderson onto it. The match ended after Taker Tombstoned Styles and buried him in the grave. At the very end, we could see Styles’ hand emerge from the grave while Taker rode off. The Undertaker defeats AJ Styles and The OC.
Wrestlemania 36 night 1 was a decent showing but will potentially be one that very few remember. The Lynch vs Baszler and Goldberg vs Strowman matches felt like a slap in the face. The Women’s and Smackdown Tag matches alongside the Boneyard Match were definitely the highlights of the night. The rest of the would work for a weekly show but otherwise felt unmemorable.
What match from Wrestlemania 36 night one was your favorite? What did you think of the fanless show? How will Cena vs The Fiend play out in the Firefly Funhouse match?