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Last Updated : Apr 06, 2020 05:35 PM IST | Source:

Wrestlemania 36: The Undertaker buries AJ Styles, Strowman new Universal Champion; results, highlights from night 1

For a show 'Too Big for One Night' here's what happened at part one of the most unique Wrestlemania ever held on April 5.

What was originally set to take place in front of 65,000 screaming fans live in attendance, ended up happening behind closed doors; but the mythical legacy of the "Show of Shows" did not halt despite the global pandemic of COVID-19.

From the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, to the WWE Performance Centre in Orlando, Florida, here's a recap of what happened on night one of the "Showcase of the Immortals."

No fancy productions, bright spotlights, special entrances, opening ceremonies, celebrity appearances, or even any fans in the arena, but that did that did not stop the 36th annual sports-entertainment extravaganza from delivering a classic and memorable show. For the first time ever, given the unique circumstances of the show, the stacked card of Wrestlemania was split into two nights. So without further ado, let's recap the first night of the extravaganza.

Pre-show: Cesaro defeated Drew Gulak

Technical wrestler Drew Gulak faced the Swiss Superman Cesaro in a quick action-packed match before the main card. Cesaro made short work of the strategic wrestler, pinning him in the centre of the ring after an impressive no-hands airplane slam. This match was part of the Danial Bryan/Sami Zyan storyline and came into play later in the night.

Women's Tag Team Championships: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) (c)

A solid tag team match between two teams who put on a splendid performance with a lot of hard-hitting moments. The team of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross faced most of the offence up early, including plenty of unfair shots, with the duo of Kairi Sane and Asuka taking advantage of the referee's distractions. In the end, Bliss connected with her second Twisted Bliss of the night to pin Sane to become a two-time tag team champion alongside Cross.

Elias defeated King Corbin

After his long-lasting feud with Roman Reigns, Corbin caught the eye of WWE's own musician, Elias. After getting bantered for most of the match, Elias regained the upper-hand in the contest, stopped Corbin in his attempt of escaping the fight, and caught him by his tights to roll him up from behind, barely escaping with the win.

RAW Women's Championship: Becky Lynch (c) defeated Shayna Baszler

In her first-ever match at the Wrestlemania, Shayna Baszler faced "The Man" for the RAW women's championship at the epitome of the women's division. After dominating the locker-room in NXT, the 'Queen of Spades' set her eyes on the biggest prize to claim in the main roster by coming after Becky Lynch, who was the focal point of attention for any woman wanting to make a name for herself.

Both submission specialists were looking to lock-in their patented holds with Baszler looking to catch Lynch with the Kirifuda Clutch, and Lynch aiming for the Disarmer. After multiple counters, Lynch successfully retained her title by converting Baszler's Kirifuda Clutch into a rollover pinfall to barely leave with the title.

Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zyan (c) defeated Daniel Bryan

Given the history between both men dating back to their days in the independents, Sami Zyan's Intercontinental title defence against Daniel Bryan was a contest most fans eagerly awaited on a stage befitting their rivalry. Zyan tried his heelish tactics to stay away from contact with Bryan, spending most of his time outside the ring and he was aided in this by his "Artist Collective" unite of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. After finally getting his hands on Zyan, Bryan dished out quite the beating on the champion but the numbers game caught up again. Drew Gulak and Daniel Bryan once again fought off the threat of the men in the corner of Zyan but Bryan was eventually caught with the Helluva Kick, allowing Zyan to retain his championship.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: John Morrison (c) defeated Jimmy Uso and Kofi Kingston

After the withdrawal of The Miz, this three-way tag team match was switched to a singles triple threat match for the Smackdown tag titles with the three men representing their respective teams. In a perfectly laid out ladder match, this was potentially a candidate for the match of the night with all three superstars bringing in their best athleticism. The finish was loaded with drama as Uso, Kingston, and Morrison were all up on the ladder at the same time, fighting to get a hold of the straps. When Kingston and Uso teamed up to bash the titles on Morrison's head as a way to drop him off the ladder, the belts fell along ensuring team Miz and Morrison a successful title defence at Wrestlemania.

24/7 Championship

In the middle of the show, the camera cut to the host of Wrestlemania, professional American rugby sensation, Rob Gronkowski celebrating on a pedestal with his buddy, Mojo Rawley when R Truth entered the frame with his usual comedic confusion shtick. Looking for a place to hide with his championship, he asked the Browski duo for assistance. But given the nature of the title being up for grabs anywhere, anytime, by anyone, Gronk tried punching Truth for the pinfall, but got shoved away by Rawley who took his place instead and walked out of the frame as the new champion.

Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins

The "Monday Night Messiah" entered the arena in all his self-righteous glory, adorned in white while Owens walked out with only one intention - retribution. Both men had an excellent match mixed with technical wrestling, flashy attacks, and rough brawling befitting their heated rivalry. After smashing the bell on Owens' face, Seth was disqualified making Owens the default winner who grabbed a microphone and challenged his opponent to a no DQ rematch to end it the right way. Once restarted, the match felt like a war with both superstars taking their frustrations out. After receiving an elbow drop from the Wrestlemania sign hanging above the commentators through the announcer's table, Rollins was brutally hurt in his ribs by Owens who went on to deliver a stunner in the ring for the victory.

Universal Championship: Braun Strowman defeated Goldberg (c)

One dream match replaced with another. After Roman Reigns was pulled out of the match due to concerns over his health, Braun Strowman was given the opportunity to face the mythical Goldberg in a match not many expected to ever see.

Braun was hit with four devastating spears before he caught Goldberg with a powerslam as a counter to the Jackhammer. Braun went on to deliver three more powerslams, winning his first-ever Universal Championship in one of the shortest world title matches in Wrestlemania history.

Boneyard Match: The Undertaker defeated AJ Styles

The 'Boneyard Match' as anticipated was a pre-taped cinematic performance in a set that resembled a cemetery. Mocking The Deadman, AJ Styles entered the compound in a casket, while The Undertaker brought back his American biker gimmick from the late 90s.

This wasn't a traditional wrestling match by any account. It had a lot of brawling, trash-talking, and dragging around to show the beautifully created graveyard set-up. Both men looked to bury each other alive with the story being that AJ was looking to put the Phenom out of his misery as his heydays were behind him. Meanwhile, the Undertaker was looking to prove that he still has what it takes. The drama continued as Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows introduced a number of druids to fight on their behalf, but The Undertaker outsmarted them all to eventually win the match by burying The Phenomenal One six feet under the ground.

Matches for night two:

Pre-show: Natalya vs. Liv Morgan

Raw Tag Team Championship: Street Profits (c) vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans vs. Naomi vs. Tamina vs. Sasha
NXT Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
John Cena vs. 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt (Firefly Funhouse Match)
Edge vs. Randy Orton (Last Man Standing Match)

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Also read: WrestleMania 36: Edge beats Orton, McIntyre new WWE Champion; results, highlights from night 2

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First Published on Apr 5, 2020 02:35 pm
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