Last night’s Boneyard match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36 was a bit different for WWE. The cinematic presentation was more reminiscent of a movie than a traditional wrestling match, but the fight was well received, and the company has been praised for trying something new. According to Triple H, however, fans can expect more experimental matches in the future.
During a recent interview with TV Guide, “The Game” revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has inspired the company to try out new concepts, and while things will return to normal eventually, the Boneyard match will likely mark one of several changes to the company’s product moving forward.
“I think that it will get back to some normalcy, but the new normal will be what is normal. It’s not going to be what it was before. How people do business, how people interact with each other… I think all of that will change. And for us, in some ways, the opportunity of doing these shows without fans and doing WrestleMania [with] these off-site shoots will open our eyes to different ways of doing things that we maybe didn’t see before and will change the product probably for the better in the long run.”
Triple H’s words suggest that the company is looking into more possibilities than cinematic matches as well. He could be referring to matches that don’t take place in arenas, which used to be commonplace in WWE during the Attitude Era, but don’t happen so often these days. Perhaps the company is about to embrace more unpredictability and surprises.
The cinematic matches could also lead to some legends being brought in for one last match as they don’t have to take any bumps. As documented by 411 Mania, Mick Foley has asked Vince McMahon if he can compete in a Boneyard match at a later date, and several other legends appear to be interested as well.
Sting has also been vocal about his desire to compete in one last WrestleMania match so he can retire on his own terms. Given that he was forced to retire courtesy of an injury, a cinematic match would be the ideal way to ensure that he doesn’t get hurt.
While last night’s cinematic match has caused a ripple of excitement throughout the wrestling industry, the concept wasn’t exactly new. As The Inquisitr reported following the event, the match drew some comparisons to Matt Hardy’s Final Deletion matches. The former WWE superstar seemed to enjoy the Boneyard brawl, but he also accepted some credit for its existence.