WrestleMania 36 Part 1 premiered last night.  The event that was billed as "too big for one night" was turned into a two night event due to the current global coronavirus pandemic. Part 2 will be aired tonight on the WWE Network starting at 6:00 CST, with a one hour "kickoff show" at 5:00.

Originally scheduled to be held at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium and in front of 70,000 plus fans, the WWE was forced to move their biggest yearly event to the WWE Performance Center, pre-tape the matches, and with no fans in attendance.

*BELOW YOU CAN SEE WRESTLEMANIA 36 PART 2 FULL CARD

Many concerns were expressed over how the WWE would pull the "ultimate thrill ride" this year.  Here are some takeaways from last night's show:

THE WWE GAVE THE WORLD THE FIRST LOOK AT WHAT COMPETITION WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN SPORTS ACTUALLY RETURN

It was tough at first to adjust to the sounds of bumps and grunts without the "pops" from the fans.  It was harder to buy the enthusiasm of the announcers who seemed too eager to sell the matches as they were a normal WrestleMania match.

Then Seth Rollins and Keven Owens turned their "A Game" into their "A+ Game". Rollins and Owens compounded their in-ring skills and their promo skills to steal the show and have the match of the night.

The constant talking back in forth between the athletic feats was incredible story telling.

If Major League Baseball does begin the 2020 baseball season without fans in attendance, it is a must that players are mic'd up-- similar to All Star Games and pre-season games.  A must.

YOU NOW KNOW HOW MUCH SELF PROCLAIMED "BIGGEST SPORT FAN IN THE WORLD REALLY MISSES SPORTS"

If you are one of those sports fans who is cool enough to post about how you would not be caught dead watching WrestleMania, are you really a sports fan?

The current global situation has, as of today 4/5/2020, now tied the longest that America has gone without sports in the modern era in more than 25 years.  The last stretch this long of 23 days was during the MLB baseball strike in 1994.

I just can't imagine a sports fan who would rather watch "Space Jam" than a competition, yes a pre-determined one, between two athletes.

Competition is what sports and being a fan is all about.  Not ownership of jerseys or memorization of sports facts.  Get over yourself, "Mr. Super Fan Sporty McSports Guy", and lighten up-- your disdain for professional wrestling is not cool and nobody needs to read your negativity on social media.

THE UNDERTAKER - AJ STYLES "BONEYARD MATCH" WILL LEAD TO NEW PROGRAMMING ON THE WWE NETWORK AND NETWORK EXCLUSIVE MATCHES

AJ Styles challenged The Undertaker to a "Boneyard Match" a few weeks ago and nobody knew what this type of match was.  In it's simplest form it was a "Buried Alive/Casket Match" but WWE creative did not want to call it such due to sensitivity to those lost from COVID-19 complications.

At the "Boneyard Match" maximum description it was Matt Hardy's Broken Universe on steroids and Red Bull.

This wasn't a traditional match but more of a backyard brawl.  Taker not only beat up Styles, but Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows as well.  There were some hooded druids involved in the match, too.

Overall-- IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.

After being forced to come up with new ideas because of WrestleMania being pre-recorded in the WWE Performance Center, creative thought outside of the box and Styles and Taker delivered.

Yes, it was a Hardy-adjace match but who cares?  Wrestling has been stealing gimmicks for years.  You don't think Ric Flair is the first and only "Nature Boy", do you?

WWE can now produce more matches like this and air them exclusively on the Network.

PART 2 OF WRESTLEMANIA 36 WILL BE BETTER THAN PART 1

It started slow and I was very reluctant to change my opinion from anything other than "This is going to suck."

The Triple Threat Ladder Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship between John Morrison (c) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso was good.  I wasn't too high on it as others were but it showed that things were heating up.

Goldberg's loss to Braun Strowman was a nice swerve.

But going back to Rollins vs Owens in a 5 Star Match and the "Boneyard Match" with 5 Star story telling was awesome.

If the WWE made a slow build to these 2 great matches, I am confident they produced exceptional content that should eclipse the excitement from Part 1.

Matches that are guaranteed to be incredible tonight include:

  • NXT Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
  • WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Firefly Funhouse Match John Cena vs. "The Fiend' Bray Wyatt-- no clue what this match means but I am 100% on board if it is half as good as Boneyard Match
  • Last Man Standing Match: Edge vs. Randy Orton -- great story telling leading up to this match, these 2 pros will deliver tonight in a big way

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE FUN INTERACTION IF YOU CAN FILTER OUT THE HATE

Like I wrote, I was reluctant to enjoy WrestleMania 36.  It was just hard to get used to missing the pop from the crowd during some of the WrestleMania moments.

Some people want to be critics at all times.  You just have to scroll past all of that and find the fun.  We need fun right now.

Once I just embraced it, remained a fan, and focused on some of the things mentioned in this post-- like in match promos and excellent production, I really enjoyed Part 1.

I also enjoyed twitter.

Marek BraveSCW Pro Hall of Famer and owner/head trainer of Black and Brave Wrestling Academy, and I used #HassleMania on Twitter to post our thoughts about Part 1 of WrestleMania.

Please feel free to join us on Twitter tonight.  Don't forget to use the #HassleMania!

WrestleMania 36 Part 1 was fun and I am looking forward to tonight!


 

WWE WrestleMania 36 Matches Part 2 (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. Tamina vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks (Elimination Match)
Raw Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits (c) vs. Austin Theory & Angel Garza
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan (Kickoff Show)