WrestleMania 36 was presented as an entirely different product than years past and with that came some moments that will stand out as excellent memories.
WWE WrestleMania was brought to fans around the world on two nights. This year’s iteration of the showcase was quite different than years prior as the coronavirus forced the WWE to tape this event in an empty WWE Performance Center. That didn’t stop the promotion from putting on the best show it could for fans. At the end of the two-day extravaganza, there were many examples of what are known as “WrestleMania Moments.” Looking back over the weekend, these three moments stand out as the best from WrestleMania 36
Undertaker vs. AJ Styles: The Boneyard Match
Even before coronavirus impacted the world and forced social distancing, WWE was going through a log phase of what many believed to be stagnant and lazy content production. Everything about their matches, characters, promos and the like all seemed cookie-cutter. Then, the promotion was pushed to think outside the box with WrestleMania 36. That brought out some of the creative juices that helped build characters and moments that are etched in wrestling fans’ memories. The Boneyard Match between Undertake and AJ Styles will be yet another one of those memories.
While this was nothing more than a gloried buried-alive match, the creative delivery and interaction of everyone involved elevated this something much more. First, there was the use of music to set the tone. Undertake rode into the screen on his motorcycle while Metallica blasted overhead. As the tides of momentum changed during the brawl, the music changed along with each moment. Just like fight scenes from major motion pictures, the music to this match helped set the tone for everyone to enjoy.
Then there was the performance from every one of the wrestlers. Styles was coming in as the overconfident heel, while Undertaker played someone straight out of a 90s action movie, talking trash as he delivered a beat down to Styles. As over the top as this match was from start to finish, the response has been widely positive from some of the loudest WWE detractors. If anything can be taken from this challenging production time is that WWE should invest in more opportunities like these when the timing is right.
Edge wins after nine years away
Back in 2011 Edge walked away from professional wrestling after successfully defending his title at WrestleMania. Due to serious neck injuries it was expected that he would never be able to perform again. That all changed after additional neck surgeries gave him the opportunity to return to the ring. Which he did at Royal Rumble 2020. That set into motion a series of events that would lead to a feud with one of his closest friends in the business, Randy Orton.
For thirty minutes Orton and Edge beat each other up across the Performance Center in the last man standing match. By the end of the ordeal, it seemed like they had assaulted each other with everything that wasn’t nailed down in the venue. The match came to an end when Edge smashed Orton’s head between two chairs, leading to Orton being unable to stand up.
There weren’t any titles on the line. There’s no telling what Edge’s wrestling future contains. But at the end of the day, winning the Last Man Standing match after being gone for nine years was a WrestleMania moment if there ever was one.
Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena: The Firefly Funhouse
Much like the Boneyard Match, anticipation was high for how the WWE would present the Firefly Funhouse match between Bray Wyatt and John Cena. After the match between Undertaker and AJ Styles on Saturday, expectations shot through the roof. On Sunday, WWE Creative delivered.
This was a match that was a trip down wrestling’s memory lane but with a horrific twist right out of Wyatt’s mind. Cena was pushed through moments in his career where his character wasn’t as popular as it had become. Moments that led to him almost being fired from the organization. Wyatt then pushed memories through such throwbacks as WWE Saturday Night Main Event, WWE SmackDown and even impersonated Eric Bishoff on WCW Monday Nitro. This match pulled on the nostalgia strings of fans that enjoy professional wrestling and the classic horror franchise, Nightmare on Elm Street.
This match played into the type of jokes and rumor stories that are popular across professional wrestling. Wyatt is recognized as one of the most creative minds on the WWE roster and this match gave him the opportunity to put some of that on display. At the end of the day, this was yet another example that shows when the organization’s back is against the wall, the WWE can still be creative and entertaining.