Saturday, April 4, 2020

WrestleMania 36 Night 1 Review

I cannot sit here and tell you that with all that is going on in the world, and these weird crowd-less shows that I was FIRED UP about WrestleMania 36.

I can say that by the end of the night, I was thoroughly impressed with the show they put on.

Let's take a look at the matches from Night 1...

  • KICKOFF SHOW: Drew Gulak v Cesaro - Full disclosure here as we weren't 100% paying attention to this match due to a family Zoom meeting, but I loved the finish with Cesaro winning via hands-free airplane spin. (Winner: Cesaro)

  • WWE Women's Tag Title Match: Kabuki Warriors (c) v Bliss Cross Applesauce - I cannot believe I forgot this match. I don't know if the site I looked at didn't mention it or if I just overlooked it, but that's my bad. This is one reason I don't do reviews typically.

    Anyhow, I kind of hate to see the Kabuki Warriors, especially Asuka, lose the titles, but Alexa Bliss, and Nikki Cross rule. As I mentioned with Gulak v Cesaro, and Elias v Corbin we didn't really get to pay full attention to this one.

    I know folks are mad about it, and I get it, but it was what it was to me. (Winners and new Women's Tag Champions: Bliss Cross Applesauce)

  • Elias v King Corbin - This was the other match that we didn't get to pay full attention to, but I was glad to Elias (whose new shirt I just bought) get the win at Mania. (Winner: Elias)

  • Triple Threat Ladder Match for the SmackDown Tag Titles: John Morrison (c) v Kofi Kingston v Jimmy Uso - I thought this had a really good opportunity to be match of the night, but that didn't happen. I liked the creative finish with Kofi and Jey knocking Morrison off the ladder, but  him being able to take the titles off of the hanger with him. It's a fluky finish, and an excellent way for Miz & Morrison to remain champions. (Winner and still SmackDown Tag Champion (with The Miz): John Morrison)

  • Intercontinental Title Match: Sami Zayn (c) v Daniel Bryan - Good for Sami Zayn getting the win here. My main memory of this match was a wild dive where it looked like ol' Dan Bryan crashed and burned. Sami gets the win, but it feels like there's more to this even if it's just a Bryan & Gulak tag team run. (Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn)

  • Raw Women's Title Match: Becky Lynch (c) v Shayna Baszler - I thought this was teed up to be Becky's "Rocky III" moment (which is not my original observation), but they went the other way. Unless Ronda Rousey is returning soon, I didn't care for this even though the finish was pretty clever. "The Man" Becky Lynch retains. (Winner and still Raw Women's Champion: Becky Lynch)

  • Seth Rollins v Kevin Owens - This wasn't a match that I was terribly worked up about although "Monday Night Messiah" Rollins has been a huge hit for me. KO as a face has absolutely worked (even for me who isn't a huge Owens fan), and this match absolutely OWNED. I like KO not accepting a cheap DQ victory, and then doing an insane dive that looked like it killed Seth Rollins. This was an absolute HOOT. Nice win for KO. (Winner: KO and he may have actually won two matches depending on how they counted...one by DQ and then the "restarted" one by pinfall)

  • Universal Title Match: GOLDBERG (c) v BRAUN STROWMAN - This was about what I figured it would be, and it was another successful GOLDBERG sprint. The context of Roman Reigns not being able to make the match dampens my enthusiasm a bit, but this worked. I wrote a little bit more about this already. Congrats to the new Universal Champion BRAUN STROWMAN. (Winner and new Universal Champion: BRAUN STROWMAN)

  • BONEYARD MATCH: Undertaker v AJ Styles (w/ The OC) - This was either going to be great or awful, but from the moment we saw the fake Undertaker entrance I realized this was going to rule. Cinematic wrestling at its best and the personalities involved  with Taker, AJ, and Gallows & Anderson really carried it. If you told me that Taker was done aside from working these kind of matches, I'd be all for it. (Winner: The Undertaker)

A very successful night of wrestling in a very difficult circumstance. Looking forward to Night 2 tomorrow.