The Boneyard match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles, which main-evented night one of WrestleMania 36, took many fans by surprise. Both superstars fought at an undisclosed location surrounded by trees, but the presentation was also very cinematic and reminiscent of the Final Deletion matches that were popularized by Matt Hardy. The former WWE superstar also acknowledged the comparisons on his Twitter account, clearly after being tagged by several wrestling fans.
Hardy didn’t go into details about his thoughts on the match, but his tweet suggests that he enjoyed it. However, “The Broken One” also didn’t try to deny the similarities between the Boneyard match and the Final Deletion, and even accepted some of the credit for The Undertaker and Styles’ well-received showcase.
“Thanks for all the love, folks.. I’m truly honored. Cinematic matches 100% work with the right characters, scenario & fanbase – I envisioned them as a new branch of pro wrestling years ago. Much like TLC did, The #BROKEN Universe will leave its mark.”
It’s also worth noting that Hardy doesn’t appear to be criticizing WWE in any way. He is merely acknowledging the fact that matches of this ilk didn’t exist until he introduced them in IMPACT Wrestling a few years ago, before bringing the concept to WWE where he re-introduced it during his “Woken Warrior” gimmick days.
— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2020
The cemetery that both superstars fought in was similar to Hardy’s compound, where the Final Deletion matches have taken place in the past. The unique matches also use cinematic tricks to pull off stunts and bring supernatural ideas to life. This was the case in the Boneyard match, as The Undertaker magically appeared behind Styles after being thrown into a grave, and he also used mysterious powers to set a barn on fire.
The Boneyard match also came as a surprise because Vince McMahon reportedly isn’t a fan of this type of bout. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Hardy said that the WWE chairman wasn’t supportive of his Final Deletion match against Bray Wyatt and expected it to fail. In the end, the match turned out to be a massive ratings draw, but afterward, McMahon still couldn’t get behind Hardy’s vision.
Hardy recently reprised his “Broken” gimmick in AEW, and he’s currently engaged in a goofy rivalry with Chris Jericho that’s already featured drones and teleportation. It’s highly likely that the feud is heading to a cinematic match of some kind, but it will also be interesting to see if WWE will host more of these bouts moving forward.