Wrestlemania 36 Review – Night 1

Wrestlemania 36 Review (Night 1)
April 5, 2020
DougMaynard.com

Last night was the first night of two for Wrestlemania 36 and it was interesting. It’s time to take a quick look back at each match and give a few thoughts. Would you care to join me? Let’s do this…

The show started with a compilation video of many of the past performances of talents from the past singing America the Beautiful. Well done and the only thing missing was maybe a shot of Lilian Garcia doing her rendition. She’s as good as Aretha, John Legend, Ray Charles, Willie, and the others. I miss me some Lilian. But the video was great and a great way to start things.

Then a Pirate video and a few moments with Gronk & Mojo Rawley. It was what it was and I’m ready for some action.

WWE Women’s Championship Match
The Kabuki Warriors versus Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross

The first match of the night and these four ladies were ready to go. Alexa looked a bit off at first due to the lack of a crowd, but Asuka, Kairi and Nikki had their A-Games ready and the match quickly found it’s rhythm and groove. This was probably Nikki’s best match in a long time and Asuka was on fire as well. Have I mentioned lately that I love me some Asuka? I feel for these ladies because if there had been a live crowd to perform for, this would have set the place on fire. A good match where everyone worked hard and the right ladies won. Now Asuka can go back to singles action as can Kairi while Nikki & The Goddess can do their thing as the new tag team champs.

Elias versus King Corbin

This match was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. Again, both men worked hard and gave a good effort, but it was harder to get into than the previous match. Elias won, as he should using the tights and I expect that we’ll be seeing more between these two as time goes on.

RAW Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch versus Shayna Baszler

This was an okay match. The women worked hard of course, but for me, it never really seemed to get out of second gear. This match was hurt by the lack of an audience as Becky didn’t have anyone to play to and it took the toll. Shayna looked bad-ass as she should, Becky looked bad-ass as she should and then won out of nowhere. This isn’t over by any means. When these two ladies get a live audience and get to really cut loose, it’s going to be epic. As for now, it’s more like a video game. Round 1 – Fight.

Intercontinental Championship
Sami Zayn versus Daniel Bryan

Sami Zayn has been taking tips from Larry Zbyszko and went for the first few minutes just running and stalling. I loved it. Nakamura and Cesaro were there for Sami and made their presence felt as did Drew Gulak, who was at Bryan’s side. We had Gronk & Mojo in the fan box doing “Yes” chants and it felt like some Indy shows I’ve been to. For the match, Daniel pretty much just dominated Sami Castro until one brief distraction and that was all it took. Sami retains and you know he’ll never shut up about it for the next five years at least. A fun match that was enjoyable to watch and the right man won. It wasn’t who I predicted, but Sami gets his Mania moment and I’m glad it went this way.

Triple Threat Ladder Match – Smackdown Tag Team Championship
John Morrison versus Kofi Kingston versus Jimmy Uso

If there had been a live audience, this match would have stolen the show and blown the roof off the place. All three men hit their high spots, busted their asses and probably a few other bones and gave 150%. This was stiff, off the charts, brutal as hell and the right man won for his team. I’m not a big Morrison guy usually, but I became one last night. All three men deserve a big bonus for this match and it’s arguably one of the best matches in Mania history.

Seth Rollins versus Kevin Owens

I feel for these guys having their match follow that ladder match, but it doesn’t matter. It’s Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens and the came out, destroyed their bodies and put on exactly what you’d expect from these two men. Again, the lack of a crowd took away from the match at some points, but KO and Seth have some great chemistry and told a great story. Two finishes and the right man won both times. This one isn’t over by a longshot.

24/7 Championship – R Truth versus Mojo Rawley

It’s great to see Truth with a spot at Mania, but this fell a little flat for me. Truth came up to where Mojo & Gronk were chillaxin’ in their box and the same old line we’ve heard before. And why would Truth trust Mojo to help hide him since Mojo was the one who took his baby after the Brock Lesnar encounter on RAW a few months ago? A quick scuffle and Gronk tried to pin Truth, but Mojo pulled him off and got a pin to win the 24/7 title at the expense of his best friend. I expect that we’ll either see Gronk with the belt or Truth get his baby back tonight on Part 2. It was a filler segment and unfortunately, nothing new or original.

Universal Championship – Goldberg versus Braun Strowman

Braun took four spears. Goldberg took a few power-slams. Less than two minutes and it’s over and we have a new Universal Champion. I get it, but I don’t like it much. Goldberg as the champ was bad, but Braun as the champ? But does that make Sami Zayn now the new #1 Contender for the title since he beat Braun for the IC title a few weeks ago? Whatever? This match was short and to the point. It is what it is.

Boneyard Match
The Undertaker versus AJ Styles

It’s not a match, but a movie, complete with a soundtrack, special effects and all sorts of craziness. And guess what? It worked. It was so out there and different and I can just imagine the smile on Matt Hardy’s face as he was watching. It was a great show for the Undertaker and AJ both and a fitting way to write off their feud and get the people to talk. In normal times and at a normal Mania, I don’t know how well this would have gotten over, but for these wild and crazy times, it was just right. Congrats to all the people at WWE, the Undertaker, AJ Styles, etc, for a job well done.

And that was Night 1. A show that was far better than it had any right to be or was expected to be. Everyone worked hard and gave it their everything and while the lack of a crowd was noticeable and did have a major impact, the show was fun to watch, had a good flow and well deserves its title as the biggest show of the year. WWE took a bad situation, made the best of it and from what we’ve seen so far, hit it out of the ballpark.

So what do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Give me your thoughts and opinions on Night 1 of Wrestlemania 36. Drop me a line in the comments section here at the site or else give me a shout at Doug28352@yahoo.com. Follow me on Twitter at @Doug28352. And I do follow back.

And that’s all for now. Tonight is Night 2 and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. I’ll be back tomorrow. Hell, I’ll be back before then most likely. Thanks for reading. Take care of yourself and be safe. I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Ubuntu!

WrestleMania-36-scaled

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