After the first night of WrestleMania, at least we know what to expect. Because of no crowds and the lack of time to prepare, it certainly felt different than any WrestleMania in recent history. Overall it certainly wasn’t great, but it had some moments.
Let’s pick some winners and losers:
Winner: Braun Strowman
While he’s certainly been no stranger to controversy of late, the illness of Roman Reigns gave The Monster Among Men his opportunity, and he took full advantage. After taking four spears from the 53-year old Bill Goldberg, he ended delivering four power slams, and taking home the Universal Championship.
For a guy that wasn’t even on the card two weeks ago to now be a major champion in WWE? That’s one heckuva rise through the ranks.
Loser: Shayna Baszler
Six of our ten polled wrestling media members thought Becky Lynch was finally not going to be champion for the first time in a year, and all the signs seemed to be there for the Queen of Spades to take over the title. But she got rolled up in as lame a way as her homegirl Ronda Rousey did when she lost the belt to Lynch at Mania a year ago, and it was certainly not that satisfying an ending.
The creative team gets a loss here too for not finding a more original way to have Becky retain, but this feels like it stunts the huge momentum Baszler had coming into the match. But if she does beat Becky at one of the first live shows after this, we still might be onto something here.
Winner: Kevin Owens
His winning by DQ, but then calling out to Seth Rollins with a microphone to finish the match for real despite having already won was a great move. So was this incredible takeoff from the top of the WrestleMania sign onto Rollins and the announce table.
Loser: King Corbin
Why is this dude still here? I’m sure he’s a lovely guy, but his next compelling match will be his first. Send him down, let him repackage himself, and try again. Getting beat by Mid-card Gold Elias clean after throwing him off a stage “a night ago” doesn’t help either.
Winner: This meme
It came from the Boneyard Match, it’s now everywhere, and it’s terrific.
I think I might actually need help. This is exclusively an AJ Styles/Undertaker meme posting page now pic.twitter.com/m9NIgc4V7L— Christian Lukens (@ChristianLukens) April 5, 2020
Might as well get a wrestling meme out of my system while I can right?#WrestleMania #BoneyardMatch pic.twitter.com/X7hhriBq6w— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) April 5, 2020
April 5, 2020
You’ll be seeing this one posted for a long time both inside and outside of wrestling fans.
Loser: Tampa Bay
I live four miles from Raymond James Stadium, where WrestleMania was supposed to take place this year. To see the pirate-themed video intro packages (we take pirates very seriously around here), some quality matches that just desperately needed a hot crowd (i.e. the three-way ladder match), and everything else that this city could have done to make this WrestleMania amazing — it just really sucked to see what it became.
Local fans had been dreaming about things like the pirate-regaled Kairi Sane jumping off the ship in the stadium ever since the announcement of the hosting. Or having some matches and events all week long at the same venues which made legends like Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, Kevin Sullivan, Gordon Solie and so many more. It just hurt to think about what might have been. Hopefully they find a way to come back here in 2022 or ‘23.
Here’s the full list of results after Night One of WrestleMania 36
Undertaker defeated AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match
Braun Strowman defeated Goldberg (c) for Universal Championship
Kevin Owens defeats Seth Rollins by pinfall
John Morrison (c) defeats Kofi and Jimmy Uso (SmackDown Tag Team Championship, Ladder Match)
Becky Lynch (c) defeats Shayna Baszler and retains Raw Women’s Championship
Sami Zayn (c) defeats Daniel Bryan (Intercontinental Championship)
Elias defeats King Corbin
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defeat Kabuki Warriors for Women’s Tag Team Championship