The Undertaker Beats AJ Styles in Boneyard Match at WWE WrestleMania 36

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

The Undertaker defeated AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match on Night 1 of WrestleMania 36 on Saturday.

The match lived up to every bit of the hype for those expecting a cinematic battle ripped straight from an action movie.

The beginning of the end came when The Undertaker chokeslammed Styles off the top of a barn.

Then he dragged The Phenomenal One to an empty grave before burying him six feet under.

By virtue of his victory, The Phenom improved his remarkable WrestleMania record to 24-2, with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns standing as the only Superstars to beat him on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

While the stage wasn't quite as grand as The Deadman has grown accustomed to because of the coronavirus pandemic, he and Styles made the most of the situation and put on an entertaining show for those watching at home.

The issues between the two men began Feb. 27 at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia. Styles seemed poised to win the Tuwaiq Trophy gauntlet match when Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson attacked Rey Mysterio, but Taker replaced the injured Master of the 619 and chokeslammed The Phenomenal One for the win.

A frustrated Styles mocked The Undertaker the following week on Raw and used his signature cross-armed cover while beating Aleister Black after Gallows and Anderson had beaten The Dutch Destroyer down.

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Styles and Black had a rematch at Elimination Chamber in a No Disqualification match, which saw The Phenom re-emerge. He stopped Gallows and Anderson from interfering, which led to Black scoring the victory.

The next night on Raw, an angered Styles cut a promo on The Undertaker in which he called him a "broken-down old man" and also blamed The Phenom's wife, former WWE Superstar Michelle McCool, for forcing him to continue wrestling.

Styles challenged Taker to a WrestleMania match, and a contract signing was set for the following week on Raw. That edition of the red brand was moved to the Performance Center because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but it didn't stop them from further building to their match.

The Undertaker stormed the ring, but Styles remained backstage and asked Gallows and Anderson to deliver the contract. The veteran destroyed both of them and then signed on the dotted line to finalize the bout.

Styles later added the stipulation that the match take place in a boneyard, and given his character, Taker predictably accepted.

While The Deadman is no longer the same performer he once was at 55 years of age, WWE put him up against an elite worker in Styles, which played a big role in making the match an entertaining one.

The Undertaker prevailed at WrestleMania as he so often does, but simply going toe-to-toe with him at the biggest show of the year could be a good thing for Styles moving forward.

           

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