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WWE WrestleMania 36 night 1 results, recap and grades: Title changes and boneyard match highlight show

WWE WrestleMania 36 night 1 results, recap and grades: Title changes and graveyard matches highlight show
AJ Styles and Undertaker at WrestleMania 36. Pic credit: WWE

WrestleMania 36 faced an uphill battle from fans as the event took place without any fans in the arena, during the coronavirus pandemic, and was split over two nights for the first time ever.

However, by the end of the night, WWE pulled off something incredible. The produced a great show from start to finish.

Here is a look at the results, recap, and grades from night one of WrestleMania 36.

WrestleMania 36 results and grades

Here is a look at who won and lost, and the match grades from night 1 of WrestleMania 36.

  • Kickoff Show: Cesaro beat Drew Gulak (** 1/2)
  • WWE Women’s Tag Championship: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross beat Kabuki Warriors (** 1/2)
  • Elias beat King Corbin (* 1/2)
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch beat Shayna Baszler (***)
  • IC Championship: Sami Zayn beat Daniel Bryan (** 1/2)
  • SmackDown Tag Championship: John Morrison beat Jimmy Uso and Kofi Kingston (****)
  • Kevin Owens beat Seth Rollins (***)
  • Universal Championship: Braun Strowman beat Goldberg (** 1/2)
  • Boneyard Match: Undertaker beat AJ Styles (****)

WWE WrestleMania 36 recap and review (Night 1)

This was a tough year for the world in general, and it put WWE in a tough spot. However, WWE made lemonade out of the lemons they were dealt with WrestleMania 36.

As we mentioned before, this no-fans event could have paid off big-time for WWE, and it did. With no fans in attendance, WWE was able to use editing on an interesting match in order to create something fun.

The Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown episodes have been mostly terrible, leading up to this with no fans. Outside of amazing promos, the matches just felt weird.

However, with WrestleMania 36, that didn’t happen, and, at least on night one, there wasn’t a bad match on the show.

The worst match was the Baron Corbin vs. Elias match, and it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

On the lower end, there was the Cesaro vs. Drew Gulak match that was actually really good, but very short. There was also the Daniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn match that had a chance to steal the show but had too many shenanigans and ended with an almost fluke win for Zayn to drag it down.

The match between Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler was something interesting. Basically, Shayna just destroyed Becky the entire match.

Then, Becky won with a fluke roll-up while locked in the choke. While it seemed that Becky used her brains to win, and Baszler looked dejected after the loss, it seemed this was a good time to move on to a new direction for Lynch.

Maybe they are waiting until SummerSlam.

I also think the win by Lynch might be setting up Rhea Ripley for a big win over Charlotte Flair tomorrow night.

WWE was put in a tough spot when The Miz was sent home due to illness and they needed to figure out how to deal with the SmackDown tag team championship.

They did the best they could with Kofi Kingston, Jimmy Uso, and John Morrison in a ladder match, each man representing their tag teams.

With Kofi and Morrison, this was going to be great, and it was. Credit to all three men for pulling out amazing and brutal moves with no audience to respond to.

The end was also creative with Kofi and Jimmy left holding the hanger the belts were on as Morrison fell to the ring with the titles following him down for the win.

The match between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins was one of the best built on television leading into WrestleMania 36.

They two fought a hard-fought match, but the entire idea of Rollins intentionally getting disqualified to give Ownes the win but no big WrestleMania moment seemed strange and out of place for his character.

That said, when Owens got his big spot with the elbow from the top of the set through the table, it was a nice moment for Kevin Owens. It is too bad Rollins sold the Stunner like Vince McMahon and not like The Rock, though.

Two titles changed hands on the show.

In the opening match of the main PPV, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross beat The Kabuki Warriors. While the Warriors were great, they never defended their titles, and it was time for a change.

The match was good too.

The second title change was shocking as Braun Strowman reversed out of a Jackhammer after three spears to hit three powerslams and then a running powerslam to pin Goldberg.

Most people expected Goldberg to win and hold the title until the Roman Reigns match could happen. However, Goldberg’s contract was possibly expiring after WrestleMania 36, so it gave Braun the chance to win his first world title.

Finally, the Boneyard Match.

This could have been terrible. Luckily for WWE fans, it was very well done. This was a lot more like Lucha Underground than it was like the Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt match from a couple of years ago.

There were great effects, there was some good dialogue, and this was exactly what it needed to be. When Undertaker went from a broken-down old man to the Dead Man standing behind AJ, it was awesome.

While AJ Styles can have a great match with a broomstick, this was the best fans could have hoped for with an Undertaker match. The camerawork and editing were great, and this was just pure entertainment.

All in all, the first night of WrestleMania 36 was better than anyone could have expected and leaves night two with a lot to live up to.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos


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