Wrestlemania 36 Night One Recap

One of the strangest events in wrestling history ended up having some quality wrestling on it despite the circumstances. Wrestlemania 36 had the first night deliver spectacle and quality, even if there were some duds. Here’s our recap of Wrestlemania 36, Night One.

The show proper started with a welcome from Stephanie McMahon. It mentioned WWE being an escape in these trying times, and was an excellent and poignant start.

After a supercut of America The Beautiful singers through Wrestlemania history, it was Gronk kicking things off before our first match:

Main Event Matches:

Undertaker def. A.J. Styles in a Boneyard Match

There was some skepticism around what this match would look like and if it could deliver. It did and then some. Undertaker came back on his motorcycle, rocking to Metallica. The match had a lot of Final Deletion vibes, and was just a massive brawl between Styles & Undertaker. Gallows & Anderson got involved, as did some druids who attacked Undertaker. Styles got a little too cocky, and it was Undertaker who made him famous. There is no description that will do this wild match justice, so please go watch and experience it yourself.

Braun Strowman def. Goldberg (c) by pinfall to win the Universal Championship.

Not a long match, but one that packed in a bunch of finishers. Goldberg hit four spears but Strowman kicked out. Strowman then hit four powerslams and won his first Universal Championship. The build was lazy and haphazard, and the match was not memorable. WWE has their work cut out for them to make Strowman’s first reign a good one.

Becky Lynch (c) def. Shayna Baszler by pinfall to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

A hard hitting start to the match with lots of submission counters and hard strikes. Baszler and Lynch brought an intense pace to the match and told an engaging story. Lynch managed to escape with her title by reversing the Kirifuda Clutch into a pinning predicament. Baszler couldn’t get her shoulder up in time, and Lynch retained.

This is a way Baszler has been defeated before, and it does make her come off a little foolish. It stands to reason that WWE higher-ups may have cooled down on Baszler, or they want to hold off on the start of her reign. Either way, a somewhat strange ending to one of the night’s most important matches.

Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins by Disqualification. Match is restarted as a No DQ match.
Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins with a Stunner

The initial match had no shot to get going before being a disqualification ending. Once the No DQ match started, it hit a new gear. Intense chair shots, bell work, and then one of the best table spots of all time. Kevin Owens legitimately leapt off of the Wrestlemania sign and put Rollins through the announce table. “How’s this for a Wrestlemania moment?” It is pretty damn good, Kev.

Undercard Matches:

John Morrison (c) def. Kofi Kingston & Jimmy Uso in a ladder match to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships

This was the best match of the night. These three men sacrificed their bodies for an excellent match. The only thing that will do it justice are all of these gifs:

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The match ended when all three men were on the ladder and pulled down the clip with the belts on it. After a brief scuffle, Morrison fell onto a ladder with both titles, leaving Uso & Kingston holding the clip and retaining the belts in an interesting ending.

Sami Zayn (c) def. Daniel Bryan via Helluva Kick to retain the Intercontinental Championship

This match did the best job of using in-ring conversation to add to the story. Sami Zayn kept trying to reason with Bryan. Drew Gulak was an effective coach on the outside for Bryan who dominated much of the match. In the end it was interference from Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro that distracted Bryan long enough for Zayn to connect with a Helluva Kick. Many wanted this match to go on longer with how talented both men are. I am in that camp as well – we were robbed of at least

Elias def. Baron Corbin

Instead of losing by forfeit, Elias managed to recover from his injuries sustained when he… fell off of a massive stage. Corbin’s arguing with referee Jess was the only real highlight here. Elias won with a roll-up on a match that should’ve been on SmackDown.

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross def. Kabuki Warriors (c) to win the Women’s Tag Team Championships

Opening this show was going to be a tall task for anyone. These four knocked it out of the park with a competitive match. Hopefully the future will hold more actual feuds and storylines for the tag titles, and some singles pushes for Sane & Asuka.

Pre-show: Cesaro def. Drew Gulak by Unidentified Flying Opponent

An excellent start to the show. These two put on a technical display that showed why both men are considered two of the best technical wrestlers working today. An extended rivalry between Gulak & Bryan and The Artists Collective could fill WWE’s workhorse match requirement for the next few months.

Overall, a solid start to Wrestlemania weekend. What did you think of Wrestlemania night one? Let us know on Twitter at @FPC_Wrestling, and join us again Sunday for Wrestlemania night two.

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