WrestleMania 36 Night 1: The Undertaker buries Styles, Strowman wins title

Originally published at WrestleMania 36 Night 1: Live Coverage

Welcome to our coverage of WrestleMania 36 Night 1 with matches taped last week at the WWE Performance Center.

Wai Ting and I will be LIVE tonight immediately following the show with our WrestleMania 36 Night 1 POST Show. All members of the POST Wrestling Café can listen or watch live. We will be taking phone calls and Skype calls with your reaction.

RESULTS
*Cesaro over Drew Gulak in 4:25
*Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross over The Kabuki Warriors in 15:03 to win the WWE women’s tag titles
*Elias over King Corbin in 8:53
*Becky Lynch over Shayna Baszler in 8:32 to retain the Raw women’s title
*Sami Zayn over Daniel Bryan in 9:37 to retain the Intercontinental title
*John Morrison over Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso in 18:33 of their ladder match
*Kevin Owens over Seth Rollins in 5:23 of the re-started match
*Braun Strowman over Bill Goldberg in 2:12 to win the Universal title
*The Undertaker over AJ Styles by death

The kickoff show featured Corey Graves and Peter Rosenberg as the hosts. They promoted that the show is ‘free on the WWE Network’ while also promoting the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps and Fite TV being plugged.

The following matches were promoted for tonight’s show:

-AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker
-Sami Zayn vs. Daniel Bryan
-John Morrison vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso
-Elias vs. King Corbin
-Kabuki Warriors vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
-Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
-Bill Goldberg vs. Braun Strowman
-Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins

They aired John Morrison & The Miz’s music video that Rosenberg destroyed with his reaction.

They throw to Michael Cole at the Performance Center for the kickoff match.

DREW GULAK VS CESARO

Gulak entered and put up the Catch Point sign when he entered the ring.

Gulak counters the Neutralizer early and applies a crossface with Cesaro getting to the rope. Gulak focused on Cesaro’s right arm and drove him into the steps twice.

Gulak came off the top and was hit with an uppercut as Cesaro used the bad arm. The Gu-Lock was countered and Cesaro used the left arm to land an uppercut and a hands-free airplane spin to win it.

WINNER: Cesaro at 4:25

This was a match that could have been given some time and I think their styles assimilated well to the empty set. It was set up for Cesaro to fight back with one good arm as Gulak attacked the arm with his offense. I would imagine they didn’t want to put these two out for fifteen minutes with so many matches in this empty arena tonight.

Here is the card for Sunday night:

-Natalya vs. Liv Morgan on the kickoff
-Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
-Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
-Five-Way Elimination Match for the SmackDown women’s title
-Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
-Street Profits vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory
-John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
-Edge vs. Randy Orton
-Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre

There was a taped segment with Renee Young, Booker T., and Mark Henry taped remotely to preview the Raw women’s title match tonight.

The main show opened with Stephanie McMahon inside a studio. She said there would be no audience due to ‘the ongoing circumstances’ to provide a diversion and thanked the talent.

There was a montage of the various renditions of ‘America the Beautiful’ from past WrestleMania events with all the lyrics sung.

The Chris Warren Band from 1998 would not have suited the desired effect of this opening.

The opening video was just strange with more comedic elements with the voice-over directing the shots and making fun of the entire process. Then, it transitioned into ‘For Those About to Rock’ by AC/DC – the band that will forever live on through Vince McMahon.

Rob Gronkowski opened the show on the perch, and this felt like an SNL sketch. Mojo Rawley came out and Gronk chopped him.

Michael Cole is joined by JBL to call the event.

KABUKI WARRIORS VS ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS FOR THE WWE WOMEN’S TAG TITLES

After working on Asuka, Sane entered the match and fought with Cross to the floor.

The Kabuki Warriors took over by double-teaming Cross. JBL started talking about Mr. Fuji.

Bliss was tagged, Sane hit the double knees from the top as Bliss was clinging to the corner but kicked out at two.

Cross received the hot tag and hit a high cross for a two-count on Sane. Sane poked her in the eyes behind the referee’s back. Later, a swinging neck breaker on Asuka was broken up by the Insane Elbow from Kairi off the top.

Asuka went for the Asuka Lock and was hit by Twisted Bliss followed by Sane with a spear on Bliss.

Asuka lifted Cross on her shoulders as Sane came off the top with a forearm but Cross kicked out. Cross hit Sane with the swinging neck breaker and Alexa hit Twisted Bliss (onto Sane’s legs) and pinned her.

WINNERS: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in 15:03 to win the WWE women’s tag titles

The environment is going to be difficult throughout these matches but the women worked hard. If you had a crowd, I feel they would have been strong for the near falls and this was a much better match than usual for Bliss and Cross.

Kayla Braxton interviewed Sami Zayn alongside Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro. Zayn said it’s not a guarantee Daniel Bryan gets his hands on him tonight but is walking in and walking out as Intercontinental champion tonight.

KING CORBIN VS ELIAS

Corbin cut a promo before the match and replayed the attack from SmackDown where Elias was knocked off the perch. He wants to be declared the winner by forfeit but then, Elias entered and broke the guitar over Corbin’s back.

It was Elias in control from the beginning until Corbin sent his shoulder into the post. JBL noted Corbin doesn’t care about kissing babies and selling merchandise as he wrestles in his own t-shirt.

After selling forever, Elias sent Corbin’s shoulder into the post and landed a bad-looking clothesline. Elias hit an inverted Roll of the Dice and Corbin kicked out.

Corbin was caught using the rope for leverage allowing Elias to roll up Corbin and hook the tights for the win.

WINNER: Elias at 8:53

I didn’t think was good at all beyond the opening fire from Elias.

BECKY LYNCH VS SHAYNA BASZLER FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE

Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are calling this match.

Lynch arrived outside in her semi-truck before entering.

They started the match throwing strikes with Baszler landing a leg kick and going for the Kirifuda Clutch but was stopped.

On the apron, Baszler laid in her forearms and knee ending with a uranage from Lynch. Baszler came back with a double underhook into the armbar as Lynch gets her hands clasped. Baszler transitioned to the Disarmer/Fujiwara armbar and Lynch escaped.

Lynch attempted the Disarmer while on the top rope and Baszler got the Kirifuda Clutch applied and dumped Lynch to the floor. Baszler swung Lynch into the announcer’s desk twice.

Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch and Baszler rolled backward and covered Baszler.

WINNER: Becky Lynch at 8:32 to retain the Raw women’s title

I thought this was the best match, so far on the show. They worked a snug style and left it open-ended with Lynch winning by chance rather than definitively with an ode to Bret Hart’s wins over Roddy Piper and Steve Austin.

SAMI ZAYN VS DANIEL BRYAN FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE

Nakamura and Cesaro were out with Zayn and Gulak in Bryan’s corner.

Zayn avoided locking up and retreated to the floor. Bryan chased and Cesaro blocked him. Zayn was crawling away and finally, Gulak took out Cesaro and Nakamura and sent them over the barricade. Bryan offers to allow Zayn to be counted out but then tackles Zayn on the ramp and sends him into the ring.

Zayn begged for mercy as Bryan drilled him with punches and knees to the side. Bryan drilled him with a suicide dive and kicks to the chest on the floor. Bryan slapped him hard while defending Gulak from Zayn’s insults. It is all Bryan annihilating Zayn.

Bryan landed a sequence of kicks ending with the head before stomping him down.

Nakamura and Cesaro returned and sent Gulak into the steps. Bryan dove onto both and came off the top into a big boot identified as the Helluva kick from Zayn and Zayn pinned him.

WINNER: Sami Zayn at 9:37 to retain the Intercontinental title

The way it was structured with Bryan’s dominance you had the sense Zayn was going to luck his way into victory. It was very physical and strong in that sense. The finish was a bit off and could have been clearer if Bryan was distracted and as he re-entered the ring was hit with the traditional Helluva kick. Zayn plays the cowardly heel very well and worked for the story.

JOHN MORRISON VS KOFI KINGSTON VS JIMMY USO IN A LADDER MATCH FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES

JBL said this was the greatest collection of athletes we have ever seen in a ladder match.

They immediately brought three ladders inside the ring.

Kingston tried to fly through the ladder, was caught by Morrison and Jimmy and dumped to the floor.

Jimmy was set up on the ladder on the turnbuckle and Morrison hit a corkscrew off the top onto Jimmy. Morrison climbed the ladder as Kingston returned with a springboard and sent Morrison off with a ‘rana.

Kingston set up a ladder against the barricade and apron placing Jimmy onto it. Morrison and Kingston were on opposite corners. Morrison did a tight rope walk across and hit a one-man Spanish Fly on Kingston and Jimmy continued with a splash on Morrison.

JBL: “This is what WrestleMania is all about”.

Jimmy sent Kingston into a ladder headfirst. Morrison came off the sideways ladder into a superkick from Jimmy. Jimmy was on the ladder and Morrison tipped it over sending Jimmy to the floor, which the camera didn’t show the landing of and hopefully, that means there was something to ease the fall.

All three fought on the ladders and they grabbed the tag titles collectively. There was a double head butt and Morrison crashed down with the titles onto a ladder and therefore, won the match.

WINNER: John Morrison at 18:33 to retain the SmackDown tag titles

You really felt for these three having a physical ladder match without the benefit of a crowd. They worked very hard, but the finish was very silly.

SETH ROLLINS VS KEVIN OWENS

Rollins came out looking & acting like an asshole and I mean that in a good way.

Rollins hit a Falcon Arrow on the edge of the apron as Owens sold on the floor and Rollins landed a suicide dive and mocked Owens calling him a failure and asking what his kids would think.

Owens avoided the stomp twice and landed a DDT. Owens hit a cannonball in the corner and hit the Swanton for a two-count.

Rollins blocked the stunner, but Owens drilled him with a lariat. Rollins took Owens across the ring for the buckle bomb and then ran into a pop-up powerbomb for a near fall.

On the floor, Rollins nailed Owens with the ring bell and the match called off due to disqualification at 10:00.

Owens got the microphone and said they don’t get to end it this way. He said those aren’t the actions of a God but a little bitch and want him to finish it. Owens proposes a No Disqualification match. Rollins accepts and they re-start the match.

Rollins landed a flying knee and beat on Owens on the floor. He ran the steps into Owens, uses chair shots, and then Owens uses the bell himself to stop the attack.

With Rollins on the desk, Owens disappears and shows up on top of the WrestleMania sign and yells, ‘how is this for a WrestleMania moment?’ and flies off and put Rollins through the desk.

They both sold the effects, Owens rolled him into the ring and Owens hit the stunner to pin Rollins.

WINNER: Kevin Owens at 5:23 of the re-started match

Overall, a really strong match from the two and I thought they had no issue overcoming the limitations.

R-Truth showed up on the perch and Gronkowski attacked him leading to Mojo Rawley pinning Truth for the 24/7 title.

R-Truth showed up on the perch and Gronkowski attacked him leading to Mojo Rawley pinning Truth for the 24/7 title.

Charly Caruso is backstage with Paul Heyman and called Drew McIntyre a ‘big bitch wannabe’. He said Brock Lesnar isn’t even ‘of our species’ and nothing McIntyre can do about it.

BILL GOLDBERG VS BRAUN STROWMAN FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE

Goldberg entered through the back with a toned-down version of his usual entrance.

Goldberg was lifted on the shoulders, got off and hit three spears and Strowman kicked out.

Strowman staggered and was hit with a fourth spear and then looked out to the non-existent crowd and pointed up.

Strowman countered and hit three powerslams. He went for a fourth and landed it to win the title.

WINNER: Braun Strowman in 2:12 to win the Universal title

This was the best possible version of this match with nonstop action for the brief time they had.

There was an ad for WrestleMania 37 next year.

AJ STYLES VS THE UNDERTAKER IN A BONEYARD MATCH

This is all on location at a graveyard and pre-produced.

There was a hearse that pulled up and Styles was revealed inside the casket laughing.

The tune of ‘Now That We’re Dead’ by Metallica plays as The Undertaker pulls up on a motorcycle.

AJ dug The Undertaker’s grave and he says he dug his own grave. They fought as Undertaker called him ‘Allen’. Undertaker put his arm through the window of the hearse and sliced his arm – which is how Goldberg legitimately messed up his arm in 2000.

Undertaker beat the hell out of Styles on top of the hearse telling him never to speak about his wife. Styles threw dirt in his face and kicked him low.

They fought and Styles landed inside the grave when Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows appeared. Out of nowhere, all these druids walk out and surround Undertaker – this is insane.

Undertaker tried to fight them all, but Gallows and Anderson beat him down. He stopped them from using a shovel and he used it on the two of them. Styles returned and broke a gravestone over The Undertaker.

Styles yelled that he broke his finger from punching him. He tells him to stay down and retire and tackles him through a fence. Styles calls him a ‘broken down bitch’.

He used the shovel and sent Undertaker into the grave unconscious. He gets into a tractor to bury him and Undertaker suddenly appears behind Styles.

Styles goes onto a roof as blames are ablaze, he tosses Gallows off the roof, tombstones Anderson and is left with Styles.

Styles is sent off the roof with a tombstone, ‘you still want to talk? Hey, what’s my wife’s name?’ and asks Styles how old he is and they’re just getting started.

Styles apologizes, he tells Styles to go out like a man and begs him not to bury him. He said he gave him a hell of a fight and hugs Styles and then boots him into the grave.

Undertaker gets in the tractor and unloads the dirt burying Styles and reveals the gravestone with Styles’ name on it. His hand was the last visual of AJ as ‘Taker rode off to Metallica.

Even the kickoff show is not letting on what’s on tonight.

This Miz,Morrison music video is the greatest night in the history of our sport.

I really hope that they try things that change up the presentation of the shows, I don’t think people will be too critical if it doesn’t come off but at least try.

Got a feeling that once crowds are back, they’ll announce WrestleMania 36.5 because you demanded a WrestleMania you can go too.

If you saved The 3 way, Elias and the Women’s Tag matches for TV, It would be potentially a decent 2 and 2.5 hour show

Unfortunately, I think we’ll be far closer to Wrestlemania 37 than Wrestlemania 36 before we can even conceive of having fans of any number in the crowd.

Honestly, I’m not even going to feel the need to criticize them much for this tonight. I’m happy to have something new to watch tonight as we head towards a world with less consistent new wrestling. Feels good to have 8 hours of it to enjoy. Hopefully they just get a second voice in there so it’s not just Michael Cole commentating by himself forever.

Although I will criticize them for one thing - that damn Miz and Morrison song is going to be more trapped in my head than I am in my home.

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That was clearly editing for the Kairi elbow drop pin break up, right? Is this overproduction what we can expect all weekend?

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Looked like there was a couple edits on pinfalls in that match.

Cole on commentary sounds like He’s doing a voice over for a 2K game… Edit JBL is also the same

Really good ladder match.

God bless everyone involved, but Fuck this sucks

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I gave this 10 min. I’m done

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Rollins and KO shouting out Ambrose/Moxley

Considering the circumstances, that they were able to put on that good of a ladder match is really something. Kudos to the 3 of them…incredible work.

Congrats to WWE on somehow coming up with a way to stretch out Undertaker appearances until he’s 70.

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That was the best the Undertaker has looked in years. Brilliant

So your Saying There is a Chance for WrestleMania 50! :slight_smile:

If all of the rest of The Undertaker’s matches can be done that way, he’s just added another 10+ years to his career!!

What in the bollocks was that?

I think I could live to be 100 and never understand the majority of that show. Flabbergasted.

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Amazing WrestleMania the crowd was deafening!

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