WrestleMania 36 recap and match ratings
Over the weekend, WrestleMania 36 took place over two nights for the first time ever, giving the fans entertainment and action on both Saturday and Sunday. The first night of WrestleMania 36 brought some good action all around. With the limitations the WWE had, they managed to pull off a great show. Overall, the lack of fans made for a much different WrestleMania, and I give credit to all the performers and backstage personnel who made this event special. This was the only sports/entertainment during this time period, and it seems the majority of the people who tuned in to the pay-per-view event were entertained.
This was a nice distraction by the WWE to provide some entertainment during this difficult time.
One particular part about the first night that was enjoyable included the “America the Beautiful” edits from past singers through the years. The one strength that WWE has is their editing team; their video packages are top quality at all times.
Below is a recap of each match at WrestleMania 36, as well as my match ratings.
WRESTLEMANIA 36 NIGHT 1 RECAP
Drew Gulak vs. Cesaro on FS1 preshow
This match was way too short — I expected more from two great workers. They announced this match on Friday and lacked a build-up. Cesaro looked great; that UFO finisher by Cesaro is a thing of beauty. It was great to see Cesaro back on track with a win at WrestleMania.
The Kabuki Warriors vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
This was a great opening contest. The match was really sloppy at first and had a great pace to it. With no fans, you could hear everything the wrestlers said, including their grunts. The Kabuki Warriors were very good on offense, but the right team won the belts. I hope Bliss and Cross utilize the championships better on the SmackDown brand.
Elias vs. King Corbin
This match was okay and a solid outing by two consistent workers. The right person won this match, as Elias needs more strong victories to continue his push.
Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
My prediction for this match was wrong, as WWE is going to keep pushing Becky Lynch as a top star. I’m okay with Becky continuing her year-long title reign. Now that Shayna is on the main roster, let her have more dominant matches with Natalya, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott and others. The future looks bright for Shayna; she will be champion on RAW soon enough.
Sami Zayn (c) (with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura) vs. Daniel Bryan (with Drew Gulak)
This match was not that great. There were way too many people involved outside the ring. It’s a shame, because both wrestlers are really good and can perform at the highest level. The right winner was picked, and we could be in line for a lengthy title reign by Sami Zayn.
The Miz and John Morrison (c) vs. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. The Usos
As expected, this match delivered. Saturday morning, The Miz was pulled out of the match due to an illness, so they modified this match. WWE announced that only one representative from each team will compete in the ladder match. John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, and Jimmy Uso had a great match. This match was longer than I expected, but had great action from bell to bell.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
This was the Performance Center match of the night. The entrance that Seth Rollins had was hysterical and spectacular. He is really living up to the moniker as the “Monday Night Messiah.” Both competitors worked a strong-style match. And we even got a bonus second match from all the mayhem! The spot where Kevin Owens jumped off the WrestleMania sign was spectacular. In my opinion, he should have ended there. But as predicted, the stunner to end the match was a message sent to the Messiah.
4 stars. Great match.
Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman
This was a horrible match! One offensive move from each competitor. Goldberg is great, he’s a Hall of Famer, but should not be wrestling any more if he can’t deliver. Unfortunately, Strowman is just a placeholder, and WWE is setting up Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman down the road.
0 stars. This match could have been more competitive.
The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
The match was great. The effects, the set, the smack-talking was amazing. This was the best part of the night and a great way to close the show. The WWE and their editing machine did a great job to make this match look like a 1990s movie. I would have loved to see Kane or possibly Sting help out the Undertaker in this match. Undertaker taking out a lot of extras, including Gallows and Anderson, didn’t make sense. But he is the Phenom and synonymous to WrestleMania. The Undertaker’s record improves to 25-2 on the grandest stage — an impressive record that will not be duplicated. It was a great outing by the Undertaker and AJ Styles. Let’s not forget the great entrance and ending by the Undertaker with his signature Harley Davidson motorcycle. Having this match in a closed location made this match great.
4.5 stars. Great work by the cast and crew.