The coronavirus pandemic has shut down almost the entire sports world, but WWE is moving forward with its biggest annual event — WrestleMania — this weekend.
The 36th edition was set to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., but COVID-19 shifted the event mostly to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando with no fans present.
The unique circumstances also forced WWE to tape WrestleMania in advance. The production will air two parts: on Saturday and Sunday, with eight matches each night.
The marquee matches on Night 1 are Goldberg defending the Universal title against late replacement Braun Strowman; Becky Lynch battling Shayna Baszler for the “Raw” Women’s title; and AJ Styles taking on The Undertaker in a Boneyard match.
WWE hadn’t revealed before the Saturday airing which nights these bouts will be shown.
Sporting News is providing “live” match updates and highlights from the first night of WrestleMania 36. Follow along below for complete results.
WrestleMania 36 live results, updates from Night 1
(All times Eastern.)
8:29 p.m.: Right now at WrestleMania, John Morrison puts the “Smackdown” Tag Team titles on the line against Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso in a ladder match. Originally, it was supposed to be Morrison teaming with The Miz, Kingston with Big E and Uso with his brother Jey but Miz got sent home after coming to the taping ill and was sent home.
Sami Zayn gets help from his cohorts to best Daniel Bryan to hold onto Intercontinental title
8:24 p.m.: Bryan controlled the majority of the action with Zayn being the slimmy heel and continuing to back off. A new champion was on its way to being crowned when Zayn’s partners, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura jumped Bryan’s tag team partner Drew Gulak from behind. Bryan wiped them out. He went to the top rope when Zayn connected on the Helluva Kick to remain the titleholder.
Too bad Bryan and Zayn weren’t given more time to shine. They were building something good and got cut short.
8:14 p.m.: Coming up at WrestleMania, Sami Zayn faces Daniel Bryan for the Intercontinental championship. If this match was given any time whatsoever, this could be fantastic.
Becky Lynch beats Shayna Baszler to retain ‘Raw’ women’s title
8:08 p.m.: Quite surprised how good Lynch and Baszler performed. Baszler controlled the majority of the bout by mixing power moves with MMA submissions while Lynch got in an occasional spot. Baszler locked in her rear-naked choke when Lynch rolled back with her feet on the mat to lock in Baszler to score the pinfall. They went the right amount of time and didn’t allow it to drag. This was Baszler’s best match since moving up to the main roster. Surprised by the finish; most wrestling pundits expected Baszler to win the belt. Wonder what that means for Baszler going forward and whether that signals a return of Ronda Rousey to try to reclaim the belt she lost to Lynch at last year’s WrestleMania 35.
7:54 p.m.: Right now at WrestleMania, Becky Lynch defends the “Raw” Women’s title against Shayna Baszler. Surprised we are seeing it now, considering Lynch is arguably the biggest full-time star. Let’s see if Baszler can deliver because her showings on the main roster have been lackluster.
Elias cheats to defeat King Corbin
7:45 p.m: Elias came out with a vengeance before the bell sounded and hit Corbin with his guitar. Corbin shook out the cobwebs and looked to be moments away from victory when he started arguing with the official. That allowed Elias to come up from behind to secure a rollup with a grab of the tights for the win. Strange to see a babyface cheat to win.
7:35 p.m.: The current match showing is King Corbin vs. Elias. This bout was made when Rob Gronkowski got into a confrontation with Corbin on a recent episode of “SmackDown.” Don’t expect this to be any good. If you need to go take a bathroom break, do it now.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Bliss beat The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) to become ‘Smackdown’ women’s tag team champs
7:32 p.m.: After each team attempted to put the other away with their respective finishers, Cross connected on a swinging neckbreaker and Bliss hit another Twisted Bliss onto Sane to win the belts for the second time.
Not a bad match, and that’s because of Asuka and Sane, who are two of the best females wrestlers in the world.
7:25 p.m.: Pretty funny to see Cross keep clapping her hands to get no one excited to encourage Bliss to tag her in.
7:16 p.m.: Before I forget, John Bradshaw Layfield is commentating with Michael Cole.
7:13 p.m.: The main card of WrestleMania begins with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross challenging The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) for the “SmackDown” women’s tag team titles. Asuka has been the highlight for WWE with her commentary since the shows have gone empty-arena.
7:10 p.m.: Rob Grankowski said he was needed for an event that was too big for one night. Then his good friend MoJo Rawley came out and got everyone hyped for the event. That ’80s club music needs to go.
7:01 p.m.: Stephanie McMahon announces the beginning of WrestleMania. Says it’s an unusual WrestleMania because of the “circumstances.” Don’t get why WWE just doesn’t say COVID-19 or the coronavirus.
6:56 p.m.: Why couldn’t WWE announce sooner that Strowman would be replacing Roman Reigns to face Goldberg?
Cesaro notches the first win at WrestleMania, over Drew Gulak
6:35 p.m.: An intriguing ending: Cesaro was unable to use the Neutralizer, so he went with the crushing forearm followed by an airplane spin for the victory in less than five minutes. It was technically sound, but hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come where we see short bouts the entire night.
6:30 p.m.: Odd to have Michael Cole being the only one doing the commentary. WWE has gone with two-man tables since having to go to the Performance Center, because only a certain number of people can be in an area.
6:27 p.m.: The first and only match on the kickoff show is Drew Gulak taking on Cesaro. Not a bad way to begin things; these are two of the best pure wrestlers in WWE.
6:05 p.m.: The kickoff show is underway with Corey Graves and Peter Rosenberg. It is here where WWE decides to announce which matches are airing this evening. How that wasn’t done earlier is beyond me. Some of the featured matches include Goldberg vs. Braun Strowman, AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker in a Boneyard match and Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler for the “Raw” women’s title.
6 p.m.: Welcome to Sporting News’ Night 1 real-time coverage of WrestleMania 36. It’s happening under unusual circumstances: The majority of the matches are taking place at an empty WWE Performance Center, while some are occuring at different locations. Kick back, relax and grab the refreshments for what should be an interesting night of action,
What time does WrestleMania 36 start today?
Date: April 4, 2020
Time: 7 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT (main card)
Location: WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., and multiple locations yet to be disclosed
TV channel: WWE Network (PPV)
Live stream: WWE.com/livestream+
The main card of WrestleMania will air 7 p.m. ET Saturday April 4 ,following an hourlong preshow on WWE Network.
The Saturday show is scheduled to run until roughly 10:15 p.m. ET, while the Sunday show is scheduled to end around 10 p.m. ET. Expect the main events to start around 9:30 p.m. ET both nights, depending on whether other matches run short or long.
WWE WrestleMania 36 night one matches
Goldberg vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal championshipBecky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler for the “Raw” women’s championshipAJ Styles vs. The Undertaker in a Boneyard matchKevin Owens vs. Seth RollinsJohn Morrison vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso in a ladder match for the “SmackDown” tag team championshipElias vs. Baron CorbinDaniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental championshipThe Kabuki Warriors vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for the women’s tag team championship