8 Ups And 6 Downs From WWE WrestleMania 36 (Part 1)

Good first night with some title changes, decent action and a fun mini-movie.

The great experiment has arrived.

For more than 30 years, WrestleMania has thrived on the emotions and reactions of the tens of thousands of fans in attendance. An electric crowd has successfully boosted the show and its moments to legendary status and cemented them in our brains.

So what happens when you hold a Showcase of the Immortals without any fans? What happens when there’s no one to react to big moments, such as a dive off a ladder, or a new champion being crowned?

We found out Saturday night during the first half of WrestleMania 36. It certainly was a weird experience, as moments when you’d expect fans to get fired up and fill gaps – double-downs, a wrestler fighting for a tag, a wrestler winning or retaining a title – was met with silence, save for the announcers trying to fill the space.

The matches themselves were overall pretty good, with the ladder match and Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens grudge match standing out, and the Boneyard Match was something to behold. That one might divide fans.

One major gripe: Several matches were changed due to the current situation, and they received zero mention, which is just unforgiveable, especially when any person with a working brain could conceive a plausible storyline reason for the changes. “Card subject to change” is fine, but give us an excuse why tag titles are being defended in a singles bout?

With that said, let’s get to it…


Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.