WrestleMania 36 Day 1 Recap and Grades

Mania Night 1
Decent intro package, cut to Gronkowski who looks like he should be bumming gas to get to a frat house. Mojo Rawley comes out and somehow looks even more idiotic. They tell us that the women’s tag title match is first.

Asuka & Kairi Sane vs Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss
Asuka has to be the most racist character in WWE today. The women are trying hard but without a crowd, this just stinks of death. Nikki gets beat up and makes a “hot” tag with no crowd. Alexa has colored laces on the back of her boots, pink and blue. They exactly match the color pattern of Asuka’s hair. Isn’t that special? Cross is clapping her hands in the air, trying to excite the “crowd.” She must have suffered a concussion of some form in the match and doesn’t know where she is, that’s the only logical explanation for what she did. Nikki partially pulls off her over-vest thing, shades of Brandi Chastain, I suppose. The referee has a horrible spray tan. Kabuki’s hit Nikki with something like a reverse Doomsday Device, Michael Cole calls is the same. Nikki kicks out. Alexa tags in, hits her Twisted Bliss finisher to win the match. 3 stars.

Baron Corbin vs Elias
Elias hits Corbin with the guitar before the match. Elias takes command, then the Prince of the Possum People takes control. Nothing about this match makes me care at all. Corbin kicks out of some stuff, Elias kicks out. This has been going forever it seems. Corbin tries to pin Elias with his feet on the ropes, Ref catches him. Elias rolls him up and holds the tights for the win. I guess we’re supposed to care that Elias won since he was thrown off the stage last week. I heard angels singing in my house because the suffering was finally over. 1 star

Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler
Becky drives the big rig to the arena again. Can they rip off Steve Austin’s pickup truck any worse? Baszler out to the ring first, she’s posing on the stage like there’s a crowd present. Becky poses with the belt while smoke goes off. Match starts off with some awkward slap fight. Becky in charge early on. Becky gets caught going for a kick and takes a knee to the teeth. Shayna picks up Becky in a modified powerbomb position and swings Becky into the announce desk twice. Shayna locks in a “Kirabuta Clutch” that looks strikingly like a Sleeper, which Becky reverses into a pinfall to win. So Becky keeps the belt and Shayna Baszler is killed dead as a dog that plays in cars rather than being made into a superstar…a real superstar, not a “WWE Superstar®.” 2 stars

Daniel Bryan vs Sami Zayn
Bryan comes out with Drew Gulak, Mojo and Gronk doing yes chants like teenage marks in a basement. Sami doing old school heel stuff stalling for time in the corner; this would work great with a crowd. Nakamura and Cesaro try to interfere, Gulak clears them out into the “crowd.” These guys should have been allowed to work a clean match, they’re both stellar, incredible wrestlers. It didn’t need the gaga. Sami wins after Bryan comes off the top and takes a kick to the face. They tried hard… 3 stars

Triple Threat Tag Team Title Match
Kofi Kingston vs John Morrison vs Jimmy Uso. I thought this was a tag match? So, the tag titles are being defended in a triple threat singles match? Well, that’s interesting. Match starts off with a choreographed routine. Three ladders in the ring. My stream cut out a few minutes in, I’m sure I didn’t miss anything. These guys are all really good, but really, and singles match for the tag belts? JBL says this match is a classic…he must be suffering from some form of impairment. Uso on top of a ladder, pitched over the top to the floor, surely there must have been a pad. All three on top of the ladder, Jimmy takes the big harness thing down, but they fight, somehow Morrison falls off the ladder with belts in hand, but then drops them before he hits the ground. Somehow, that meant Morrison won. 0 stars (reserved for matches that should have never happened, but did anyway)

Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins
Owens went for piledriver, took a back body drop on the ring apron; saw that coming 5 miles away. Nothing about this match makes me care. Rollins kicks out of the Owens powerbomb. Then hits Owens with the time keepers bell to get DQ….oops, spoke too soon. Owens wants the match restarted with no DQ. Rollins attacks Owens with the ring steps. Chair shot to Owens back…then one to the front, that looked like it hurt for real. Owens jumps off the WrestleMania sign onto Rollins who’s on the announce table. Owens gets him into the ring, hits a Stunner for the win. Last few minutes after the restart were pretty good. 3 stars.

Mojo and Gronk on camera again…R Truth comes in. To think I thought this couldn’t get any worse. Gronk tries to pin Truth, Mojo pulls him off, and gets the pin. Just what the world needed, a 24/7 title change on WrestleMania.

Braun Strowman vs Goldberg
Goldberg does his entrance from the locker room with cameras….without a crowd. Referee Charles Robinson should get a good payoff for not a lot of work. Start off circling each other. Strowman jawing with him. Goldberg hits three spears, Strowman kicks out. Goldberg hits fourth spear, goes for Jackhammer, Strowman reverse into three powerslams. Taunts Goldberg a bit, hits a fourth powerslam, Braun wins in about 2 minutes. That was a surprise, actually. 1 star.

AJ Styles vs Undertaker
Night 1 Main Event. AJ shows up in a hearse laying in a coffin. Undertaker shows up on a motorcycle with Metallica playing; I think it’s Metallica. They’re fighting in a sound stage graveyard, or maybe it’s real, I can’t tell. Interesting video production. This isn’t a wrestling match, it’s a movie fight being filmed in takes. AJ throws dirt in Taker’s face and a low blow. Taker throws AJ in the grave. Gallows and Anderson show up, they have druids hidden in a shed. Undertaker beats them like movie stooges. Taker beats Gallows and Anderson with a shovel handle. Styles has remarkably gotten out of the grave and hits Taker with something that’s supposed to look like concrete. Taker speared through a fence. Theatrical and staged. Really hope this isn’t the end for Taker. AJ breaks a shovel across Taker’s back. Undertaker has mythically appeared behind Styles, I guess he tunneled out of the grave real quick with the shovel end. They’re going up onto the roof of a barn. Throws Anderson off, tombstones Gallows on the barn roof. Styles chokeslammed off the barn roof. Kicked into the grave, grave filled. No rating, this was not a wrestling match.

Overall Show: 3 stars, probably good as can be expected. The wrestlers worked hard, but the lack of crowd killed a lot of stuff.

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