Undertaker vs. AJ Styles (Boneyard Match)
This was the wild card of the entire Wrestlemania card. What exactly was a Boneyard match? From the onset, we’re getting a Final Deletion style match. A hearse comes out and it looks like this is how Taker is making his entrance. Turns out, it’s a swerve, and it’s actually AJ Styles. In brash fashion he calls out Taker. We hear a motorcycle in the background as “Now That We’re Dead” by Metallica starts playing. Taker in his full biker gear hops off the bike and Styles is pleased to see him.
Taker immediately takes it straight to Styles. He’s talking more than I’ve heard him talk in 15 years. Styles is getting the living shit kicked out of him. Taker cuts his arm punching the hearse’s window. This Taker I’ve never seen in all my years of watching wrestling. Styles starts fighting back. Undertaker flings him onto the windshield of the hearse cracking it. This is majorly awesome in so many ways. They’re fighting on top of the hearse. Taker pounds away at Styles and rolls him off the top of the car.
Taker is dominating and looks like an action star here. He’s just laying waste to Styles. AJ gets the upper hand by throwing dirt in Taker’s eyes. He low blows him to take back control. This definitely isn’t a normal Wrestlemania match, but I’m happy it’s happening. I love it. Styles takes control and punches away at Taker. He strikes back with a right that sends AJ to the ground. AJ rolls into the grave. Taker talks some smack but Gallows and Anderson show up with some sick camera work. They call out some druids from one of the barns.
The Boneyard Match Continues At Wrestlemania
Taker takes out the druids one by one. Gallows and Anderson team up on Taker to level the field. He fights back and takes the shovel away from Anderson. Taker punishes them but Styles flies in from out of nowhere with a tombstone or some object and shatters it over Undertaker’s back. AJ hurts his hand wailing on Taker. Both men are writhing in pain on the ground. Styles runs Undertaker through one of the walls of the shed. Taker looks broken down now, reminiscent of the Mania matches he’s had over the past couple years. His bandanna is off, his hair short, he moves over the a post. He flips off Styles and begs him to come get him. Styles hits him with a right harder than any in the match.
The music and everything are making this better. Styles grabs a shovel and tells Undertaker he’s going to bury him. Taker rises but Styles hits him with the shovel into the grave. AJ drops dirt on Taker symbolically burying him. He hops on the tractor and starts it up. Miraculously, Undertaker shows up behind him. To a burst of epic music, Undertaker lays into AJ. Styles climbs up a ladder to the top of the shed. Taker follows along like a horror movie monster. Undertaker makes fire appear on the roof. Gallows and Anderson come back to try to take out Undertaker.
He throws Gallows off the roof into the darkness. Anderson receives a tombstone for his troubles. Styles asks Undertaker how he’s still standing.
Wrestlemania 36: Analysis and Finsh
Taker grabs Styles and chokeslams him off the roof onto a wooden structure below. He meanders over to Styles and asks him what his wife’s name is. Styles wretches and Taker grabs him in the Tombstone position. He carries him over to the grave and lets him down. Styles begs for forgiveness and says he’s sorry. Taker grabs him by the throat again and pummels him. Taker spares AJ for a moment, telling him that no one has pushed him like this. He turns to walk away and then boots Styles into the grave. Taker hops on the tractor, and buries AJ Styles for the win.
He walks away revealing a tombstone for AJ Styles. Taker grabs his bandanna, hops on his motorcycle, “Now That We’re Dead” by Metallica starts up again, The Undertaker logo appears on the barn, and he rides off into the night closing the show.
Um. What else can I say besides that was completely and truly FUCKING AWESOME. I don’t normally like these kind of segments, and WWE hasn’t been good at imitating the perfection of the Final Deletion. This took the blueprint for that match and made it even better. That was the best thing on the card. If you can take one positive from this whole situation going on in the world, it’s that we got to see this match because of it. I don’t think WWE would have ran this and we would have gotten a normal Styles-Taker match.
Seriously, this was that awesome. Words cannot describe the creativity, the shooting, the acting, the stunts, and everything else that went into this. It was like watching an 80’s action movie mixed with a fight mixed with a horror film. You’re rooting for Undertaker the entire time, but AJ Styles made it seem like he was going to retire Taker. The music set up cues for the audience to think this was his last ride. That Styles would be the one to best Undertaker once and for all. Yes, it was incredibly silly and campy. But what else do we need during a horrible time like this. To all the people who are inevitable complain about how this wasn’t an actual match or how Mania sucked. I have two words.
If you didn’t like that or this card in general, you’re not a real wrestling fan. The WWE put on a show during a horrible time for you and I. If night one was any indication, night two is going to have to be incredible to top parts of this show. Yes, there were some stinkers. Yes, Braun Strowman and Goldberg was bad. But, the opening match, the ladder match, KO vs. Seth Rollins, and this match all made up for any disappointment you might be feeling. Overall this Wrestlemania was exactly what it needed to be. It was something that made me completely forget about what was going on outside the world for three hours. The lack of fans added to some of the matches, and WWE put on a hell of a show. That’s really all that matters at the end of the day.
So here’s to hoping that tomorrow is just as good or even better. Check back to That Hashtag Show for the review of Day Two of Wrestlemania 36 and for any other general pop culture news.
If you want to see night two of Wrestlemania, check out WWE.com for details.