WWE WrestleMania 36 results, recap, grades: Major title change, epic Undertaker match, card, 2020 highlights

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The unique circumstances of WWE WrestleMania36 being pre-taped from the empty WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, left fans with no idea what to expect of the event. The situation was less than ideal, given WWE’s decision to move ahead after moving the show from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The first night of the two-night extravaganza surpassed any reasonable expectations with some high quality in-ring action and one of the most bizarre — yet entertaining — matches in WWE history serving as main event.

The Boneyard Match between AJ Styles and The Undertaker was a mystery heading into the night. What fans were treated to was a WWE “cinematic experience” that felt like a bigger budget version of Matt Hardy’s Broken Universe. There was also a major title change on the evening, and Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins turned in a high-quality performance with a true “WrestleMania moment” for one of the men.

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Among the key matches set for Night 2 are Brock Lesnar defending his WWE championship against 2020 Royal Rumble winner Drew McIntyre, Edge facing Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match, and John Cena batting Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Funhouse match. Keep on reading for results from the fight night of action below. The WrestleMania 36 kickoff show will begin Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET on WWE Network with the main card getting underway at 7 p.m. CBS Sports will be with you LIVE again on Sunday, providing updates and highlights while the action goes down at the “Showcase of the Immortals.”

WWE WrestleMania 36 card, matches

Complete results and grades from each Night 1 match can be found below. Here is the card for Night 2 on Sunday.

  • WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton (Last Man Standing)
  • John Cena vs. “The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt (Firefly Funhouse Match)
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans vs. Naomi vs. Tamina vs. Sasha Banks (Elimination Match)
  • Raw Tag Team Championship: Street Profits (c) vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory
  • Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
  • Natalya vs. Liv Morgan (Kickoff Show)

WWE WrestleMania 36 results, grades

Cesaro vs. Drew Gulak (Kickoff Show): The two had a solid but short match. Gulak came out fired up and took the offense to Cesaro before throwing him twice into the ring steps. An attempt to take to the air was countered with a European uppercut from Cesaro that turned the tide, eventually leading to the finish, a no-hands airplane spin into a slam by Cesaro. Too short to be good, too well-executed to be bad. Cesaro def. Gulak via pinfall — Grade: C

Women’s Tag Team Championship — The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross: A surprisingly hard-hitting match between the four competitors opened the show with some big spots throughout. Cross had to battle her way through a late double team that included Asuka and Kairi Sane hitting a combination powerbomb and diving forearm before getting the tag to Bliss. From there, Bliss hit her second Twisted Bliss of the match, pinning Sane and winning the titles in the process. This is the duo’s second time holding the titles. Bliss & Cross def. Kabuki Warriors via pinfall to win the titles — Grade: B-

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King Corbin vs. Elias: Corbin was out to the ring first, demanding he be declared winner by forfeit after his assault on Elias eight days ago. Elias made his way to the ring, shocking Corbin before blasting him with his guitar. Corbin rallied to lay a beating on Elias while demanding Michael Cole and JBL on commentary acknowledge how good he had been doing. Corbin attempted to use the ropes for leverage on a late pin, getting caught by the ref in the process. As he protested, Elias scored a roll-up while holding the tights to get the win in a match that felt a bit overlong for the mix of styles. Elias def. Corbin via pinfall — Grade: C-

Raw Women’s Championship — Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler: Lynch and Baszler put on a match heavy with strikes and submission attempts, giving the feeling more of a fight than a wrestling match. That was for the best when it comes to Baszler’s top attributes, as she spent much of the match taking heavy offense to the champion. Lynch was forced to repeatedly counter Baszler’s attempts to lock in the Kirifuda Clutch. In the end, it was one of those counters that scored Lynch the victory. Bringing back a classic finish from Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper at WrestleMania XIII, Lynch rolled backward through the hold to pin Baszler’s shoulders to the mat for the pinfall victory. Lynch came out of the match looking strong, but Baszler losing her first shot at the title has to give some pause to anyone thinking she was a sure-fire star on the main roster. Lynch def. Baszler via pinfall to retain the title — Grade: B-

Intercontinental Championship — Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan: The story of the match was almost entirely Zayn begging Drew Gulak to let him go, avoiding contact at all costs. Bryan was eventually able to trick Zayn into a wrestling match, which he almost entirely dominated. Zayn begged Bryan to stop before Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro caused a distraction. After Bryan hit Nakamura and Cesaro with a suicide dive, he went to the top rope but was caught by a Helluva Kick from Zayn, leading to the pinfall victory and a successful title defense. The match told a perfectly good story in line with recent weeks of action, but there’s a certain sense of disappointment that Zayn and Bryan weren’t able to go out and put on the match they’re capable of with their elite skills. Zayn def. Bryan via pinfall to retain the title — Grade: B

SmackDown Tag Team Championship — John Morrison (c) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso (Ladder Match): This was the show-stealing match for Night 1. With no crowd to help build big moments, there was a strong chance for disappointment from the bout, but all three men went at a breakneck pace in the singles match for the tag titles. The expected big bumps were on display with men being dumped from ladders, onto ladders and to the outside. Morrison in particular hit an impressive parkour move from the top of the ring post onto Uso, who was on an elevated ladder between the turnbuckles. The ending of the match came when all three men were holding the title rig as Uso unhooked it from the cable suspending it from the ceiling. As they battled over the belts, Morrison was knocked from the top of the ladder, pulling the belts with him to earn the victory and retain the championships for his team. Morrison def. Kingston and Uso to retain the titles — Grade: B+

24/7 Championship: As Rob Gronkowski and Mojo Rawley were celebrating atop the perch midway through the show, R-Truth hopped into the frame. Gronk tried to punch and pin Truth, but Rawley pulled off the former Patriots star and got the 1-2-3. Rawley def. R-Truth and Gronkowski to win the title

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Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins: Rollins took over the early part of the match with a cheap shot before the two battled back and forth with tons of counters and reversals that would have excited the crowd if one was in attendance. Rollins, looking for the easy way out, used the ring bell to hit Owens, leading the referee to call the match off and award Owens the win via disqualification. Owens then called Rollins out, saying he didn’t get to end things so easily and demanding they continue without disqualifications. Rollins agreed, coming back to continue the attack on Owens, taunting, “You said you wanted your WrestleMania moment?!” Owens eventually used the same ring bell to take over the match before diving from the WrestleMania sign and driving Rollins through the announce table with a senton. After that, it only took Owens a moment to drag Rollins to the ring, hit a stunner and pick up the victory. The lack of a crowd added a bit to this match with both men constantly trash talking each other and it adding a nastiness to the bout it may have missed otherwise. Owens def. Rollins via pinfall — Grade: B+

Universal Championship — Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman: A quick match, as was expected, and one that very much could have used a crowd reaction. Goldberg hit four spears, but his attempt at a Jackhammer on the big man was countered into a powerslam. Strowman would hit three more powerslams before scoring the pin to become universal champion in a very flat sprint. Strowman def. Goldberg via pinfall to win the title — Grade: D+

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The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles (Boneyard Match): This was, as anticipated, a WWE “cinematic experience.” An elaborate hearse entrance at the cemetery was a swerve with Styles being revealed as in a coffin in the back. Undertaker arrived for the “match” on a motorcycle with Metallica playing over the video. The match turned into a brawl that ranged from the graveyard to a barn to the barn’s rooftop with Taker battling Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows — as well as hooded “druids.” At one point, Styles had Taker in an open grave before Taker somehow materialized behind him. From that point, it was all Undertaker, as he brutalized Styles before throwing him off the barn roof. Styles attempted to apologize and begged Taker not to bury him. Taker said he wouldn’t because of the fight Styles had put up, before kicking him into the grave and using a tractor to fill the grave, winning WWE’s first boneyard match. The experience was campy, corny and somehow incredibly entertaining. It was not a wrestling match in any sort of traditional sense, but it was as well done as anything involving Undertaker can possibly be in 2020 and on entertainment alone, it was a success. Undertaker def. Styles via burial — Grade: A


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