WWE WrestleMania 36: Live updates, results, title changes and match ratings – CNET

WWE WrestleMania 36: Live updates, results, title changes and match ratings – CNET

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WWE

It’s early April so, come hell or high water, it’s WrestleMania time. Because of the coronavirus’ spread and the social distancing measures it’s necessitated, WrestleMania 36 will take place in the WWE’s Performance Center training facility in front of essential personnel only. Much of it has also reportedly already been taped. That’s a far cry from the live broadcast in front of 60,000 fans that WWE envisioned for the show, but hey, crazy times.

WrestleMania 36 will take place over two nights, also a first. We don’t yet know which matches will take place on which night — presumably one night will be headlined by Goldberg versus Braun Strowman and the other night by Brock Lesnar versus Drew McIntyre — but it’s going to be a wild show one way or another. 

This page will be updated with results, match ratings and analysis as the show begins at 4 p.m PT/7 p.m ET. It’s some of one freaky WrestleMania, sports fans.

AJ Styles vs. Then Undertaker

It looks like the Boneyard match (??) is headlining night one of WrestleMania. 

Braun Strowman wins Universal Championship

Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns’ replacement against Goldberg, won his first world title. 

Simple match. Goldberg hit four spears for a two count. Strowman hit four powerslams for the three count. 

Rating: 1 star. Goldberg still has tremendous poise and comes off as a superstar. But with literally one move in his arsenal, he’s too much of a one-trick pony. 

Kevin Owens beats Seth Rollins via DQ

After four months of feuding, Kevin Owens finally takes on Seth Rollins. Rollins was initially disqualified after hitting Owens with a ring bell. As Rollins was walking to the back, Owens challenged him to get back in the ring and finish this as a no disqualifications, no countout match. Rollins accepted. 

Kevin Owens got the win after jumping off the WrestleMania sign (!) and then hitting a stunner. It was wild. 

Rollins’ messiah schtick is corny, but man he’s good. This was an exceptionally well wrestled match. It began with Owens coming out strong before being cut off with a wicked Falcon Arrow on the ringside apron. From there it was back and forth — two really good wrestlers putting on a really good wrestling match.

In a weird way, not having a crowd may actually have helped these two. Normally, the crowd would have been exhausted after the previous ladder match and brought this match down. Once the match became no DQ, chair and ring bells shots wrung throughout the Center.

Rating: 3.75 stars. These guys did great.

John Morrison retains the SmackDown Tag titles 

Unusually, the tag team titles were contested for in a triple threat singles ladder match. John Morrison, Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso represented their respective teams, with both titles hanging above the ring.

The match had a fun ending. All three got their hands on the titles, and unclipping them from the holder while standing at the top of ladders. With one hand each on the titles, they fought to knock each other off the ladders. Kingston and Uso pounded Morrison, knocking him off — and the titles with him. When Morrison fell back, he did so with the titles, retaining the championships for himself and The Miz.

The trio treated this like a WrestleMania ladder match. Lots of big spots and painful looking spots, like when Kingston threw a ladder at Jimmy as Jimmy was jumping off the barricade. Not much of a story but if you’re into car wreck matches, this was a good one.

Rating: 3.25 stars. 

Sami Zayn retains the Intercontinental Championship

This match was a lot of fun until a flat finish. After a stiff match, Sami Zayn defeated Daniel Bryan with a (kind of) Helluva Kick.

The bout began with Zayn running away from Bryan, with lackeys Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura running interference. Drew Gulak ended up taking out Nakamura and Cesaro, and then Bryan and Zayn went at it. From there it was super snug. Daniel Bryan beat the hell out of Sami Zayn. 

Eventually though, Cesaro and Nakamura provide a distraction and Zayn caught Bryan with a modified Helluva Kick as Bryan was flying off the top rope for the 1-2-3. 

Rating: 3.5 stars. Brought down by the anticlimactic finish. 

Becky Lynch retains Raw Women’s Championship

A year after winning the Raw Women’s Championship in the main event of last year’s WrestleMania, Lynch retained that same title here after pinning Shayna Baszler. 

The match was all about the Disarmer armbar against the Kirifuda Clutch. Baszler got the Clutch in several times, including on the ring apron, choking Lynch out and dropping her to the floor below. There was also a gnarly spot where Baszler swung Lynch into the announcer’s table twice.

In the end, Lynch countered a Kirifuda Clutch with a roll up for the pinfall. This feud will continue. 

Rating: 2.75 stars. Certainly not bad, but ended just as it was kicking into gear. 

Elias beats Baron Corbin

This would have been fine as a match on SmackDown. At a WrestleMania with now crowd, it was a real buzzkill. After what felt like a very long time, Elias scored a win with a roll up.

The match opened with Corbin playing footage from last week’s SmackDown where he incapacitated Elias. He claims Elias can’t compete and that he should be named winner via countout/forfeit. Cue Elias’ guitar strum. Elias comes out, hits Corbin with his guitar and the match begins.

Nothing memorable happened after that.

Rating: 1.5 stars.

Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss win Tag Team Championships

In the first match of the event, Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss defeated Asuka and Kairi Sane to win the women’s tag team championships.

Props to these women. As far as difficult situations go, opening WrestleMania in a training facility to zero people in the crowd is pretty up there. And there was certainly some awkward, clunky bits, like when Cross during her comeback did a bezerker howl as though she was performing to a crowd. But the match ended up being solid. The highlight was a creative sequence where near falls were broken up by Sane’s awesome top-rope elbow drop and then Bliss’ Twisted Bliss. 

The finish came when Bliss hit that same Twisted Bliss on Sane for the pinfall.

Special shout out to Asuka here, who seemingly more than anyone knows how to work in a no-crowd environment. She was great at being over the top but not in a way that played to a crowd that wasn’t there.

Rating: 3 stars. 

Kickoff Show 

Cesaro defeats Drew Gulak in a quick match. 

Published at Sun, 05 Apr 2020 01:38:00 +0000

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