CC's WWE Wrestlemania 36 Review
On Saturday and Sunday night WWE presented their biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 36, live from the Performance Center, before a capacity crowd of zero people. Today I give a full review of both shows and rank each match from best to worst. Overall, it was weird but fun weekend.
The best match of the first night of Mania and of the entire weekend was definitely the cinematic gem that was the Boneyard match. I enjoyed this battle between the Undertaker and AJ Styles soooo much. The music, the ambiance, the action, and the finish was so satisfying. I really want to give both guys so much credit for putting on a hell of a performance, but more so I want to give the creators, producers, cameramen, and editors so much credit for putting this excellent piece of footage together. This was sensational, and a Taker win was satisfying.
Winner: The Undertaker
Kevin Owens finally got a big win at Mania in a really good match between two excellent performers. I thought both Seth and KO worked their ass off to keep the energy up, and the action was hard hitting and non stop. Seth Rollins really is a great performer and the trash talk between the two really worked well at filling in the spaces. I didn't feel a lack of crowd hurt this match in the slightest. KO jumping off the Mania sign was perfect!
Winner: Kevin Owens
These three guys went out there and presented an all action fun match that made me not even miss the fact that there was no crowd. They pulled it off and really were able to showcase some really inventive stuff. That spot where Morrison rope walked all the way across the ring and then landed a spanish fly, was phenomenal! The closing sequence where all three had the belt holder in their grasp and Morrison falls with the belts was creative.
Winner: John Morrison
I really loved this match but it was just too short! They could have gone another 6-8 minutes and it would've been a contender for best of the night. Daniel Bryan shines in any setting but his matches work with no crowd even more because he works a stiff style. And Sami is the perfect heel opponent. This was fun and Cesaro, Nakamura and Drew Gulak added so much to the atmosphere.
Winner: Sami Zayn
I honestly was shocked that they decided to put the belt on Braun on short notice, but after thinking about it, I understand it more. If we don't know how long this pandemic will keep wrestling from shooting new footage or booking large arenas with fans, there was no point in planning for a Roman win, and there was no way they were going to keep paying Goldberg to stick around. So putting the strap on Braun and lining up a feud with the Fiend, which is a new matchup, was the right call. It was short and shocking though.
Winner: Braun Strowman
The finish to this match was weird and really left me feeling flat, which is a shame, because the actual work was good. These two went out and were stiff and gave us a very good match. I just question the decision to beat Shana with a clean pin. If they didn't want to beat Becky in this setting, or felt this feud needed to continue, I really think that this was the match to do the one DQ of the weekend. But it was still a good match and I hope they keep building towards a big match in front of a crowd.
Winner: Becky Lynch
I know some people weren't high on this match but I thought the Kabuki Warriors did a hell of job to make this match energetic and fast paced. I really thought they made Bliss and Cross look alot better than normal.
Winner: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
This match only went 8 minutes but it felt like 30. I'm sorry, neither guy was bad at all, but it just felt like a waste of time. I got nothing. All I could think was that guys like Ricochet, Buddy Murphy, Samoa Joe, Cedric Alexander, Chad Cable, Mustafa Ali could have all been better and more entertaining to watch.
The best technical match of night two was undoubtedly the opener between Charlotte and Rhea Ripley. I thought the ladies went out to work their asses off and really worked an intense style. But the psychology would lead you to believe that Ripley was going to come back in the end in win. She was getting dominated and having her leg worked over the entire match and then she just loss. That seemed off to me. Rhea needed to at least look string if she was going to lose, and not only lose, but tap out! But she got dominated and tapped out. That sucked.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
I was so happy that Drew came out on top and ended the show as the new WWE champion. This match was almost identical to the layout of the Goldberg vs Strowman match the night before, with nothing but big impact moves and kickouts. It worked, but this would have been so much better in front of 80,000 people. But still, I was satisfied with the ending.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
I loved this and it was everything I felt it should have been. Otis is so damn great! I love this guy, and I am so glad he got the happy ending he rightfully deserved. What's that ending you ask?
Great Job Big Fella, great job! Mandy, Mandy, Mandy..... wooooooo!
Winner: Otis........ in life and in the win column
Winner: Otis........ in life and in the win column
Largely due to the fact that this followed Edge vs Orton, which we will get into later, this tag match was a much needed change of pace with high energy and great action. I thought the teams worked well together and the Street Profits winning was the only call to make. But my favorite part was the surprise run in of E.S.T of NXT Bianca Belair. I absolutely love her so much and it was great to see her make her main roster debut. She is a beast and I see big things from her on the main roster. Good to see her backing her husband Montez Ford.
Winner: The Street Profits
I love Aleister Black and I thought this was perfect way to showcase him against a viable contender in Lashley.
Winner: Aleister Black
The work wasn't bad, and Sasha and Bayley were pretty good whenever they carried the action, but this match pissed me off so much. You have a five way elimination match, and of all people, you have Lacey Evans pin Sasha Banks? Excuse my language but FUCK YOU! I turned the show off after that and had to watch the rest on Monday. This woman Sasha Banks has beaten in every Wrestlemania match she has ever been in. Meanwhile, Charlotte, Becky, and Bayley win damn near every year, and all three this weekend. I know some will say, its the beginning to a story between Sasha and Bayley but HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE SAID THAT!!!!
Look, Edge is such a great story. Coming into Mania weekend, this was the best built up match for the entire card. The promos have been fantastic by both men, and there was real passion to the feud. But this match was a real let down. The guys worked hard but the last man standing format did not work in this environment, and it was far too long and the announcers added nothing to the presentation. It just felt like it would never end! Such a shame, because as I said, they really did work hard and it felt like a real fight. But no real fight last that damn long. It was a terrible job by the editors of the match or who ever timed it out. Had this gone 15-20 minutes, it would have been so much better and would have left people wanting more. Now, I never want to see them again.
Full disclosure, I still am not 100% sure what I watched. Unlike the Boneyard match which was easy to follow and came off like a cinematic fight, this felt like something convinced on acid. It was definitely creative and I understood a lot of the insider references, but this wasn't a match and I can't rate it as such. But it definitely was polarizing. You either loved it, hated it, or just didn't get it. I still don't know which category I'm in.
Winner: The Fiend
Overall: I think the Boneyard match was my favorite of the weekend and really capped my favorite night overall. Sunday was a bit of a struggle to be honest. While I thought splitting the show into two nights really made it easier to watch, night one presented more matches I enjoyed and that Edge vs Orton match on night two really sucked the life out of me. Sasha losing again just gave me a sour taste in my mouth and it was difficult to care about the rest of the show. But I was happy for Drew, and despite the guys worked hard to entertain us during this difficult and unprecedented times. I truly appreciate their effort and enjoyed my weekend experience.