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WrestleMania 36 match breakdown: The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles

The finest undead member of AARP against a washed up guy with your Mom’s haircut. Ugh.

Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker battle it out at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City. Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

UPDATE: 4/4: Undertaker defeated AJ Styles in Boneyard Match

It was very cinematic, reminded a lot of the Broken/Woken Matt Hardy Series, and AJ even brought his boys Gallows and Anderson to provide some help. But for Styles there was no such luck. He at one point put Taker in the grave, but was unable to pour dirt on him to bury him, and Taker eventually turned the tables and got the win.

It was well-shot, well-lit, and felt like a movie. But Taker wins yet again at WrestleMania.

There’s only one good thing about this year’s WrestleMania being held at the WWE Performance Center instead of Raymond James Stadium due to the novel coronavirus: it might only take The Undertaker two or three minutes to walk to the ring instead of having him timed via sundial.

Like every great wrestling promoter has always said — whenever you can pair up two guys with a combined age of 97 via forced contrivance that started only because not everyone on the roster wanted to perform in a country that raises serious ethical question marks, you’ve got to give it as much push as you can.

Let’s get this over with.

The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles

How did this feud develop

After finally missing a 21st century WrestleMania last year for the first time, the American Badass/The Lord of Darkness/The Last Outlaw/Fill In Nickname Here has decided to return to action because... reasons? Probably money. Which, sure, keep gettin’ dem checks if Vince is offering them.

But how did he decide to do it? By showing up in Saudi Arabia and randomly interfering with a match involving someone he never had any heat with before. He also won a trophy, because that’s a thing WWE does now when they make these cash grabs runs to the Arabian Peninsula.

Mad about losing said trophy, The Phenomenal One decided to make it as personal as possible, and dragged Undertaker’s real-life wife and former WWE Diva Michelle McCool into the build.

Where this feud stands now

Taker “beat up” AJ’s old Bullet Club buddies Gallows and Anderson at a contract signing last week. It was better than the Mark Henry and Mae Young angle, but still pretty painful to watch. This is booked pretty badly, and executed even worse.

The pick

‘Taker is 24-2 at WrestleMania, and now that The Streak is long over there is of course a chance he could lose here.

But those two losses are to the most elite superstars in the company in Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. As our Nick Simon pointed out on our podcast earlier this week, AJ Styles just isn’t at that level anymore, as the wear and tear on his body has really hurt his formerly fantastic in-ring performances.

So The Undertaker goes over, which means we’ll be having this same discussion about him coming back in 2021. And there’s one thing that AJ Styles said in the buildup to this match that almost qualifies as a worked shoot:

When The Undertaker, one of the giants of the wrestling business literally and figuratively, laid his hat and gloves in the middle of the ring in Orlando after losing to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33... shouldn’t that have been it?