A short Universal Title match between Goldberg and last-minute challenger Braun Strowman was next, before the first night of WrestleMania 36 closed with one of the most peculiar, engaging and exciting main events in recent memory. A cinematic clash between “The Phenom” The Undertaker, and “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. This twenty-five minute brawl was completely out of nowhere, something completely new for WWE that got everybody talking. A “Boneyard Match”, this took place in the dirt of a graveyard, as the two brawled, beat each other senseless and kicked each other around and into cars, graves, wooden shacks and caskets. They hit each other with shovels, tossed each other off roofs, and threw everything but the kitchen sink at one another. It was a blast, and a perfect way to end the first part of the show. It made people smile at a time when this was most important, and that’s awesome.
Night Two begins with a twenty-minute clash between the NXT Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley, and the Royal Rumble winning challenger, Charlotte Flair. This was a full-on fight between these two great athletes, and another strong opening to another night on “The Grandest Stage”. Two singles grudge matches followed, with Aleister Black and Bobby Lashley wrestling and Otis taking on Dolph Ziggler in a match that was built for months during the Otis/Mandy Rose saga. These were enjoyable, with the Otis/Ziggler match having that much-desired heartwarming moment many fans hoped for. Another warm hug from WWE. Thanks guys!
Edge made his return to WrestleMania next in only his second match back after a nine-year absence, against Randy Orton. This thirty-five minute brawl around the bowels of the Performance Centre was a slow-building fight that was both entertaining and had an old-school backstage brawl feel to it. Some say it went a touch too long, but I thoroughly enjoyed this match and have loved revisiting it since. The fact that Edge, thought retired due to injury for almost a decade, could come back and work the longest match of a two-night WrestleMania, is pretty incredible. A short match for the RAW Tag Belts followed with The Street Profits defending against Angel Garza and Austin Theory. We then went on to the five-way match for the Smackdown Women’s Title, with Champion Bayley defending against Lacey Evans, Tamina, Sasha Banks and Naomi. This was another entertaining twenty-minute bout that built further towards that anticipated Sasha/Bayley feud.
The next match saw, for eighteen strange and obscure minutes, John Cena step into The Firefly Funhouse for a Firefly Funhouse Match. This was the second and final cinematic match of WrestleMania 36, following The Boneyard Match the night before. This was comical, weird, funny, crazy and incredibly enjoyable, with Cena, Bray Wyatt and The Fiend telling a story that was trending worldwide for days afterwards. The final match of WrestleMania 36 saw the winner of the 2020 Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre, take on the WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar. This went a mere four minutes, but was intense and heart-pumping, ending the weekend in a big way.
A fantastic event, the Blu-ray release features a whole bunch of extra features, including the two Kick-Off matches with Drew Gulak facing Cesaro in a really good mat-wrestling contest, and Liv Morgan taking on Natayla from the second night. There are also a great big bunch of segments and moments from RAW, Smackdown and NXT that led to the show, such as contract signings, brawls and promos. It all works really well, because it helps give a little more context to the matches on the main show.
This is a great release of a show that was incredibly important and very memorable, featuring some fantastic matches from the best of the best in WWE. If you saw this show and want to revisit it, then this is a good way to do that, and if you’re yet to watch it… well, I recommend doing so. This will be looked back on as one of the truly vital events in WWE’s history.