Some people are already expecting this year’s crowd-free, pre-taped, two-night, Gronk-hosted WrestleMania to be a disaster, and it’s easy to sympathize with that position. The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into everybody’s plans, just as the build to WrestleMania 36 was ramping up, and it’s not easy to recover from something like that. Plus, who ever heard of a WrestleMania with no cheering fans? On the other hand, WWE is known for sometimes doing their best work when their proverbial back is against the wall and they’re forced to improvise and experiment. So who knows, maybe this crisis will lead to something interesting?
One encouraging sign is that not every match on the card will be held in that empty performance center. Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer has been saying that the plan is to shoot gimmick matches at other locations, and the Gorilla Position twitter account reported a rumor that John Cena versus the Fiend Bray Wyatt will get “a full blown movie treatment with a unique look & feel.” The plan is apparently to shoot in a closed warehouse for that horror movie look.
John Cena has lots of genuine cinematic experience at this point, and Bray Wyatt is certainly a versatile performer, so it might turn out to be something interesting.
It seems likely that the “Boneyard Match” that was announced last night on Raw between AJ Styles and the Undertaker will have a similarly cinematic style, but most likely take place in a cemetery. If they employ the right tone and edit creatively, that could potentially make for the most enjoyable Undertaker match in years. At the very least it will be something new, and that alone should be interesting.