With everything that is going on around the world, we all need some entertainment. WWE decided to host Wrestlemania 36 with no crowd whatsoever this time. Will it work?
As it is usual with WWE Pay-Per-Views, we get a one-hour pre-show where we get to hear about what’s coming to our screens. As well, it brings at least one match. For Wrestlemania 36, that match was:
Drew Gulak vs Cesaro
The first match of of Wrestlemania is a match between two technicians. In a super quick match without too much to offer, Cesaro ended up coming out as a winner.
We start Wrestlemania 36 with the inspiring words of Stephanie McMahon, explaining that this time around, the show won’t have fans. It will be completely different to anything we’ve seen before. Thanking fans for following, and welcoming us to this event with short videos of the many celebrities who have opened the Greatest Stage of them All throughout the years.
Now we jump to a cinematic experience for the show’s intro. Epic. There’s no other way to describe it. I came with low expectations, but this intro literally cheered me up and got me excited about the show. Amazing job, WWE designers.
Women’s Tag Team Championship: Kabuki Warriors vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
We have to admit two different things here: the lack of crowd severely impacts the hype of the match and wrestlers have to work twice as hard to try and make it look dynamic. Listening to the ref and wrestlers and what they say to each other is super interesting.
I also have to say this: I hate the way Asuka’s character has shifted from being the badest of them all, to whatever it is they are trying to do with her now. That dancing is just not fun at all, and I don’t want to see a “fun” Asuka, I want to see the Quee of Strong Style back which was undefeated for so long back in her NXT time.
We see some great teamwork for the Kabuki Warriors, acting their heel roles to perfection. Sadly, there was a second where the ref hesitated and didn’t hit the 3-count in favor of Nikki Cross, as he gave 1 additional second for Kairi to “break” the pin from the top of the corner. It was a 3-count, but he stopped. Disappointing.
In the end, Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss won when Alexa hit a Twisted Bliss to the legs of Kairi to “knock” her out and get the 3-count. What a miss!
Baron Corbin vs Elias
We’re used to listen to Elias whenever he is performing for a match before the bell rings. This time we have to listen to King Corbin trash talk about how he destroyed Elias during the previous SmackDown show. I personally prefer to listen to Elias.
Before the ref could start counting, Elias appeared and King Corbin tried to attack him outside the ring, but Elias busted his guitar on Corbin’s back before the match officially started.
Mid-match, what I was mentioning before: Kind Corbin yells at Michael Cole and JBL at the announce table ordering them to say how great of a wrestler he is. This is the kind of dynamic that they are forced to go to due to the crowd’s absence. So far, it has been somewhat working.
When Corbin was about to win using the ropes to his advantage, the ref caught him and Elias put him in a pin count to win the match.
RAW Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler
This is a long-time coming match. One of the most anticipated matches of Wrestlemania 36 for sure. We see the preview and how Shayna got here by defeating literally everyone she faced at the Elimination Chamber match. That is scary.
As soon as the match started, we knew we were in for something great. It became really physical, really quick. Good thing about the crowdless-arena is that we can hear every punch, every kick and every single move. It sounds brutal.
During the entire match, Baszler dominated Becky, but when Baszler’s finisher appeared, Becky rolled and got the 3-count to retain the title, in a match that had another one of those super fake endings. Sadly.
Intercontinental Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Sami Zayn
Really slow start for the match with Sami doing a classic Sami. He is the champion, but plays the underdog, even accompanied by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. Seeing Sami doing a Mayweather on Daniel Bryan isn’t entertaining, it is boring. Even after the running ended, Sami didn’t even try to fight and became a boxing bag for Daniel Bryan.
Not only is Bryan dominating in the fight, he is also verbally abusing Sami on a way that makes this actually fun to watch now. But it didn’t last long as Nakamura and Cesaro played a diversion and Sami hit a single, badly hit, “Helluva Kick” on Bryan to retain the belt. Awful ending, as it has been consistent during the whole PPV this far.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Kofi Kingston vs Jimmy Uso vs John Morrison
This might as well be the best match of the event. A triple threat ladder match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship belts with 3 of the most athletic and innovative wrestlers. I have huge hopes for this match to steal the show.
Morrison is certainly showing why is it that he comes as the champion. His parkour-like moves are badass, I’m just missing the crowd’s reaction to them right now. Kofi, applying a “leaping-flying hurracarana” to Morrison shows why I was excited about this match.
Lots and lots of highlights in this match. Amazing synergy from the three of them. But when Morrison had the clear chance to get the belts, he took all the time in the world, stupidly, before going for them. That gave Kofi and Jimmy time to recover when they were out of the match. Of course, we “wanted” to see a highlight with all 3 close to getting them belts.
In an unexpected ending, though, Morrison retained, by accident. This was AWWEEEEEEESOME!
Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins
Whoever came up with the “Monday Night Messiah” did a great job. They wanted a heel, and I hate this gimmick. There’s no possible way I’m able to root any more for Kevin Owens to defeat Rollins.
Owens certainly comes with all the aggression he needs; however, Rollins is just 3 steps ahead every single time. Trash talk in this match is great.
Match isn’t that entertaining, though. Seth Rollins goes out of the ring, takes the bell and hits Owens with it to lose the match by disqualification.
Kevin Owens asks him to come back in a No DQ match now and Rollins is on fire, again. Kevin Owens is just not able to defend himself and Seth Rollins is ready to destroy Owens now. Rollins hits Owens with the steel steps, with a chair. Owens counters with the bell and ends up jumping from the Wrestlemania board to break the announce table with Rollins’ body. This is the highlight of the night so far.
Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs Goldberg
We start with 3 spears from Goldberg, Strowman breaks the pin count at 2 and a half, gets a fourth spear. Strowman hits 3 powerslams. Hits his finisher and we have a new Universal Champion. Lackluster. Not what I expected to happen for Strowman to be champ. I’m happy, but disappointed.
Boneyard Match: Undertaker vs AJ Styles
We see a car coming into a graveyard. It is AJ Styles arriving. Now, Undertaker appears, but not as the King of Darkness, he comes in as the American Badass! This is amazing. There’s a lot of trash talk here and a lot of people might be surprised to hear Undertaker’s voice.
This isn’t a wrestling match. This is pure entertainment and the production behind it is perfect. I don’t care about anything other than the story that they are showing.
Undertaker destroyed AJ only for friends Gallows and Anderson to start helping. There’s fake monks coming out to attack Taker too! This is amazing, I feel like this is a movie, and I am loving it!
Not giving away the details about this production. I’m showing you.
From this point forward, I need more of this. This is entertaining, this is amazing.
Overall an interesting first night for Wrestlemania 36, awful matches’ endings mostly. High points are the Triple Threat Ladder Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships and the Boneyard Match. It didn’t feel tiring since it is a lot shorter than previous years, and this format should be kept from now on.
Stay with us for tomorrow’s matches.