WWE WrestleMania 36: Review
WWE WrestleMania 36: Review by Felix Pichler
“The Kabuki Warriors” Kairi Sane & Asuka (C.) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
Obviously, it’s a hard task to open WrestleMania in front of an empty performance center, but for that, these four women did well and delivered a good performance. In the end, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross dethroned the Kabuki Warriors.
Opinion: That result is great as hopefully, this brings back more freshness in the tag division of the women.
Elias vs. King Corbin
What should we say about this match? King Corbin took a mic after his entrance and made fun out of Elias and that he couldn’t compete. Then, Elias came out, hit the King with his guitar and they brawled a bit at ringside bevor the actual match started which Elias won via rollup.
Opinion: And here we go again. Elias won with the aid of the best move in the WWE: the rollup. The match was okay, but it felt so meaningless and the finish was not good.
Becky Lynch (C.) vs. Shayna Baszler for the Raw Women’s Championship
This was at this point the best match of the night as both women showed off their offensive abilities and worked quite hard. Also, both wrestlers permanently tried to apply their submission finishers. In the ned, Shayna Baszler went for the Kirifuda Clutch, but Becky Lynch countered it with a pin for the win.
Opinion: Ok, the only reason why they did this, is Ronda Rousey as they want to have the situation that nobody took away the title from Becky since she won it from Rousey (when Rousey returns). However, Shayna had an incredible build-up and now that? Anyways, the match itself was good.
Sami Zayn (C.) (w/ Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro) vs. Daniel Bryan (w/ Drew Gulak) for the Intercontinental Championship
Even though almost everyone hoped that we would get a show-stealing match, Sami Zayn stayed in his character and tried especially during the opening phase of the match to just run away. In the end, Shinsuke Nakamura Cesaro attacked Drew Gulak (who bet them up just earlier during the match) what led to a Suicide Dive by Bryan onto these two men. This gave Zayn time to recover while Bryan went to the top rope and jumped into a Helluva Kick which led to a three-count by Zayn.
Opinion: I’m not sure if I should be disappointed that we didn’t get this incredible match which is definitely possible between these two or if I should be happy that Zayn stayed in his character.
John Morrison (C.) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso in a Triple Threat Ladder match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Holy shit! This was clearly my favourite match on the first night. I understand that the Boneyard match was for most people the best one (we’ll come to that later on), but this was just awesome. All three showed off high-flying moves which were incredible, Jimmy Uso and Kofi Kingston talked so much silly (funny) stuff and the finish was interesting as all three men were on top of three ladders to grab the titles, and Kofi and Jimmy sent John Morrison down onto a ladder bridge but he had the titles with him. That means that he successfully defended the titles.
Opinion: Awesome athletes in a great match. Loved it and happy that Morrison was able to defend the championships while the Miz is at home as he’s sick.
Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens
And from one great match to the next one. This one ended after a few minutes as Seth Rollins hit Kevin Owens with the ring bell. However, KO grabbed a mic as Rollins already was on the ramp to leave and asked for a no DQ match which the Monday Night Messiah accepted, and it got more brutal from minute to minute. In the end, Owens placed Rollins on the commentary table, climbed up the WrestleMania 36 sign and jumped down to sent himself and Rollins through the table. After that, he brought Rollins back in the ring, performed a Stunner and won the match.
Opinion: And here you have your WrestleMania moment, KO. Nothing more to add here.
Goldberg (C.) vs. Braun Strowman (instead of Roman Reigns) for the Universal Championship
Classic Goldberg match. Four Spears, Braun Strowman kicked out at two, Goldberg went for the Jackhammer, Strowman countered with three Powerslams after one another and one running Powerslam for the win.
Opinion: At this point, I realised once again what a great mistake WWE made back then when they built up Strowman as the most dominant man of all in WWE and didn’t give him the Universal Championship. If they would have done so, this would have been his second title win and not so special as it is now as it is his first world title.
Anyways, I’m glad that Goldberg lost the title and Strowman was in this difficult situation clearly the best pick. But I need to mention that it pissed me off that they mentioned Roman Reigns no single time. Do they think that we don’t know what’s up?
The Undertake vs. AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match
I’m going to keep this short. The two men brawled on a graveyard and it seemed as AJ Styles would win as Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows helped him. The Deadman already laid in a grave and Styles went onto a tractor as suddenly the Taker appeared from behind and they continued the fight. In the end, the Undertaker threw Gallows from a roof, gave Anderson a Tombstone Piledriver and destroyed AJ Styles to then bury him before leaving the graveyard with his motorcycle
Opinion: I’m one of the few people who didn’t enjoy this match at all. I understand that the majority loved it, but I just didn’t like it and I can’t even describe exactly why. However, they closed with this match the first night of WrestleMania 36.
Rhea Ripley (C.) vs. Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship
I was a bit surprised that we kick off the second night with this match, but I really enjoyed it. Rhea Ripley performed after just a few minutes the Riptide, but Charlotte Flair kicked out. Even though the fight was evenly-matched, Charlotte permanently focused on Ripley’s left leg and due to that she had, in the end, to tap out to the Figure 8 and Charlotte won the NXT Women’s Championship.
Opinion: The only bad thing about this match was that it was quite long. However, both women worked well together, and I like that Charlotte is now going to NXT.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley (w/ Lana)
Bobby Lashley was able to dominate the majority of this match while Aleister Black just had short periods when he was able to dominate his opponent. In the final phase of the match, Lana got on the apron and told Lashley that he should perform a Spear. The Almighty One wanted to do so, but Black countered it with a Black Mass Kick for the three-count.
After that match, Bayley and Sasha Banks got interviewed but mainly Bayley talked and said that nothing would stand between these two. However, as Bayley walked off, Banks was asked how much she wants to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship and she said that we would have to wait and see what happens.
Opinion: Good match between Lashley and Black with an interesting ending. Also, the interview after this match enjoyable.
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Sonya Deville)
Surprisingly, Sonya Deville was in the corner of Dolph Ziggler while neither Tucker nor Mandy Rose were with Otis (during the match Michael Cole mentioned that Tucker would be injured). At some point, Deville distracted the ref what allowed Ziggler to give Otis a low blow. Suddenly, Rose came out, bet up Deville and gave Ziggler a low blow. Then, Otis performed the Caterpillar Elbow Drop for the win. After the match, Rose entered the ring to celebrate with Otis and they kissed each other before they headed together to the back.
Opinion: A perfect ending, but the only weird question is why Rose came out so late? But nevermind, we wanted the happy end and we got it.
Edge vs. Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match
Edge made his entrance and as the music of Randy Orton hit, he didn’t come out. The Viper was dressed like a cameraman to hit Edge with an RKO outta nowhere. However, these two were just for a few moments in the ring but then brawled throughout the whole performance center of WWE.
This match took incredibly long, but we saw mainly a brawl and not that many interesting moves. In the end, both men were on the top of a truck where at first Edge performed a Spear and moments later Orton countered the second Spear-attempt into an RKO. Then, Orton placed Edge’s head on a chair and wanted to hit him with a chair, but Edge countered and choked him to the ground and then Edge did the Con-Chair-To to win this match.
Opinion: The match was different and fresh but still extremely long. The end was good for the story even though I expected something more special. However, it was important that Edge would win this match.
“Street Profits” Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford (C.) vs. Austin Theory & Angel Garza (w/ Zelina Vega)
This match wasn’t long at all and, in the end, the Splash of Montez Ford led to the victory for the Street Profits. So, we saw exactly what we wanted. After the match, Austin Theory and Angel Garza attacked the Street Profits and set up Ford for Zelina Vega who gave him a kick. Suddenly, Bianca Belair (the wife of Ford) came out to destroy Vega.
Opinion: It made no sense that Theory was in this match and due to that, it was clear that the Street Profits would win this match. Also, does this mean that after WrestleMania 36 Belair will be part of Raw or SmackDown?
Bayley (C.) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans vs. Naomi vs. Tamina Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
It was clear that in the beginning Sasha Banks and Bayley would work together while Tamina dominated all other four women, but Lacey Evans, Naomi, Banks and Bayley worked together to eliminate her. Next, Naomi had to tap due to the Bank Statement. Then, Bayley and Banks worked together against Evans. Banks set up Evans for Bayley who accidentally hit Banks with a knee.
Moments later, Banks got into the face of her friend, but Bayley explained that it was a misunderstanding. Suddenly, Evans came into the picture, hit the Boss with the Women’s Right and pinned Banks while Bayley was just watching.
Then, just Bayley and Evans were left. They fought for some time as suddenly Banks gave Evans from behind a Bank Statement followed by Bayley’s Facebuster for the win. After the fight, Banks and Bayley celebrated together.
Opinion: I and almost all other wrestling fans expected Banks’ turn and due to that this was a bit surprising. I’m not sure what to think about it as I not just expected the turn, but wanted to see it.
John Cena vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Fun House Match
It’s hard to describe this “match” as we saw the different parts of John Cena’s career and in the end, the Fiend used the Mandible Claw while Bray Wyatt made the three count.
Opinion: This wasn’t a wrestling match and what we learnt from it was that Cena let the Fiend in his head and lost. In my eyes, this was clearly better than the Undertaker vs. AJ Styles match, but both “matches” were so special that some people like it and some not.
Brock Lesnar (C.) vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship
A few German Suplexes and three F5s didn’t put Drew McIntyre away. Then, the challenger performed a few Claymore Kicks for the successful pinfall to end this final match of WrestleMania 36.
Opinion: Both matches for the main event titles were just horrible. Finally, we have a real champ and not a part-timer as WWE Champion.
I maybe also need to mention that during the first night, R- Truth approached the host Rob Gronkowski and his friend Mojo Rawley. Gronkowski hit Truth and wanted to pin him for the 24/7 Championship, but Rawley shoved him away to pin Truth and win the title. In the second night, Gronkowski jumped from the balcony on Rawley and a bunch of other wrestlers who followed Rawley to get the title and then pinned Mojo to win the 24/7 Championship. So, the first feud of Gronkowski in WWE will be with Rawley.
Even though I enjoyed some matches not really, you have to give the WWE huge credit that they put on such a great show during these hard times. Personally, WrestleMania made me forget for some hours in what a situation we currently are and exactly that was the plan of the WWE. Besides, I want to note that my most favourite “match” of this night was the one between Wyatt and Cena which was awesome.