Hits, misses from Night 1 of WrestleMania 36

Match of the Night: Kevin Owens-Seth Rollins

Our first WrestleMania moment of 2020 came when Kevin Owens climbed atop the oversized WrestleMania set for an elbow drop on Seth Rollins.

OH MY MESSIAH!!!! 😱#WrestleMania @WWERollins @FightOwensFight pic.twitter.com/pKxa9daB7P

— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2020

This came after a restart necessitated by Rollins getting DQ’ed after hitting Owens with the ring bell, which you could hear ringing off KO’s head because of the lack of noise on the closed WWE Performance Center set.

That, incidentally, was a theme of the night.

Everything – bumps, referee instructions, the dramatized trash talk between the wrestlers – was louder.

One thing I didn’t hear: anybody calling the next shot.

That’s a tric.

Taking Advantage of the Situation: Undertaker-A.J. Styles

This wasn’t your traditional WrestleMania, so WWE booked ‘Taker-Styles as a Boneyard Match, borrowing from ideas granted us by “Broken” Matt Hardy for a cinematic presentation emanating out of what looked to be an abandoned small manufacturing facility.

Things did get borderline cheesy when The OC unleashed an army of hooded figures who half-heartedly went after ‘Taker, one by one.

We thought we were ready for this #BoneyardMatch. We were 𝘴𝘰,𝘴𝘰 wrong. #WrestleMania #Undertaker @LukeGallowsWWE @AJStylesOrg pic.twitter.com/FCFlUhTIZC

— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 5, 2020

My texting circle liked this one more than I did, but even though I wasn’t all that into it, I give them credit for trying.

Nobody Was There to Ignore Him Award: King Baron Corbin

Baron Corbin usually gets go-home heat. Is there such a thing as shelter-at-home heat?

We’ll never know, though, as usual, the Corbin match was again a great opportunity to catch up on social media, grab some chips and salsa, take the dog for a walk.

This One Was Worse Than Expected: Braun Strowman-Goldberg

Goldberg hit four spears. Braun Strowman hit four powerslams.

FOUR @Goldberg Spears cannot keep The #MonsterAmongMen @BraunStrowman down! #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/ApS1EYhtEi— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2020

That was it. Mercifully.

Gronk: Future Star

Rob Gronkowski is your “host with the most,” and he cut a helluva promo to start the night.

We know he’s an athlete; now we know he can work the mic.

Dude will be a star when they get him ready.

Trying Too Hard: Sami Zayn-Daniel Bryan

The Sami Zayn-Daniel Bryan match should have been the match of the night. Instead, the booking involved repeated run-ins with their entourages (Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, Drew Gulak) that felt like excuses to get those guys some face-time.

When they could have had those guys, I don’t know, actually working.

Ruined the match, and wasted all those guys’ time.

We’ve Seen That Ending Before: Becky Lynch-Shayna Baszler

It seems that the only way we see Shayna Baszler lose is when she locks in her sleeper finisher, her opponent rolls into a position that has Baszler on her shoulders while still holding on, and the ref counts her down for three.

Meh. Seems overplayed.

At least it keeps Lynch and Baszler as dance partners.

Story by Chris Graham


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