Rebooking WWE's Biggest Fails from WrestleMania 36 Match Card Results
Despite the uncertainty and unprecedented conditions surrounding this year's WrestleMania 36, the management team and Superstars of WWE banded together to deliver a thoroughly entertaining show that featured several unforgettable moments and two cinematic matches that may well revolutionize the industry for years to come.
After a largely positive show, though, there were still a few missteps that would benefit from rebooking.
From two high-profile title matches to a headscratcher on Night 1, they are outcomes that could affect the overall quality of the show with a tweak or alteration here and there.
Charlotte Flair Dethrones Rhea Ripley
Charlotte Flair defeating Rhea Ripley to win the NXT Women's Championship was almost certainly done to bring The Queen's star power to Wednesday nights in an attempt to even up the ratings war with All Elite Wrestling Dynamite.
Recent history tells us this won't work, leaving one to wonder why the decision was made for Flair to dethrone the red-hot Ripley in the opening match of Sunday's broadcast.
Whatever the justification, it cannot be worth cutting off The Nightmare's momentum in the manner her loss did.
Yes, she turned in a phenomenal performance and had a previously injured knee she can offer as an excuse, but none of that makes up for a win that could have confirmed her as one of the brightest stars of the future and strengthened NXT's position within WWE.
Ripley should have overcome the agonizing pain in her knee to retain her title. It was really the only acceptable finish to help someone other than the already-established second-generation competitor.
King Corbin Loses to Elias
King Corbin, formerly one of the top foes for Roman Reigns on SmackDown, lost to Elias in the second match of WrestleMania's first night of action Saturday.
That's the same Elias who has primarily strummed his guitar for audiences rather than competed in high-profile bouts. The same Elias who has not appeared in a pay-per-view singles match since losing to Reigns in five seconds at last year's Money in the Bank.
It was a curious creative decision that may prove to be the right call in the long run, depending on what they do with the musician coming out of the event, but it's one that is rather tough to justify in the immediate wake of The Show of Shows.
The better outcome would have been to have a resilient Elias fight through the injuries suffered in the fall leading into the show, only to succumb to a more aggressive and focused Corbin. That way, the King of the Ring gets the win and Elias builds sympathy as a babyface, something he sorely lacks.
Random DQ False Finish Threatens to Diminish Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
The match between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins was good and featured one of the moments of the show when the former launched himself off the WrestleMania sign and drove his opponent through an announce table with an elbow drop.
Before that, the competitors engaged in a hotly contested match with solid intensity and stiff blows. What was building nicely into the best match on the card suffered a momentum-killing booking gaffe as Rollins blasted KO with the ring bell, thus drawing a disqualification.
A calculated Owens manipulated The Monday Night Messiah into returning to the ring and continuing to the match, leading to a jaw-dropping finish.
The match did not need the false finish midway through, though. It hurt the flow of the contest. What could have been a superb match was merely very good because of the overthought decision.
The best booking option? Scrub it from the plans and let the two have a match that built to the climax and ranked among the best of this year's two-night event.
Braun Strowman Finally Wins World Title in Anticlimactic Fashion
Braun Strowman should have had a more memorable coronation as universal champion.
Rather than ice-cold, coming off a loss to Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber, he should have been riding a wave of momentum into The Showcase of the Immortals and his match with Goldberg.
He should have been counting down the days to the biggest match of his career and not thrust into a role he was not ready for from a creative perspective.
Rather than wasting his yearslong journey to the title on a throwaway match that was the result of a bigger star (Roman Reigns) pulling out, WWE Creative should have been more mindful and booked the winner of Corbin and Elias to challenge Goldberg.
Worst-case scenario, the Hall of Famer holds onto the belt until he can have the Reigns match.
Best case? Fans get the thrill of an unexpected new champion without hurting their moment because none of the competitors had been considered to hold the gold in the way The Monster Among Men had been at numerous times in recent years.