The WWE is implementing a ton of firsts into this year's WrestleMania 36, such as splitting its action up over two separate nights. Arguably the biggest change, of course, is the event's pronounced lack of a live audience, which the WWE has had some experience with handling in recent weeks for its Raw and SmackDown telecasts. Generally the biggest pro wrestling event of any given year, even in the currently crowded landscape, WrestleMania will definitely be a different kind of beast this year, according to exec and still-invested superstar Paul "Triple H" Levesque.
I think that given the fact that WrestleMania will expand out, we had the opportunity to expand it out over multiple days and really do things in a way that we've never done before. We have Rob Gronkowski hosting with us, which it's tough to plan around Rob because Rob kind of... you've got to just deal with Gronk. It's Gronk's world, we're just all living in it. He's got his own plan, so that's unique in and of itself.
Similar to Triple H, Rob Gronkowski is very used to having tens of thousands of screaming fans reacting to everything he does, having played in the NFL for nine years, with three Super Bowl wins and several more appearances. So it'll be interesting to see how he adapts to hosting WrestleMania 36 without such big reactions.
Of course, Triple H also talked about the how WrestleMania 36 will be adjusting to things without a live audience, as well as some of the specific match changes that will be seen when audiences tune in on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. In his words:
But [there's] the ability for us to then, because there are no fans, because we aren't in the stadium, we can do things a little bit differently. So there are some matches and some components and things that will take place this year like we've never done before. Bray Wyatt and John Cena will have a Firefly Fun House match, which will be different from anything we've ever done in the WWE. The Undertaker and A.J. Styles will have a Bone Yard match, and they will be doing that from an off-site location. So the opportunity to do things differently, shoot them differently, present them differently. Hopefully, we'll open up this WrestleMania in ways that people have never seen before and give them an opportunity to be entertained in ways they never have before.
It'll be interesting to see if the WWE powers that be have put together some memorable non-ring-based matches for fans to hype fans up. Having Undertaker taking part in a Bone Yard match might be kind of weird if things get too thematic, but the WWE generally knows to keep things delightfully over the top.
Something that viewers should know going into WrestleMania 36 is that the on-screen spectacle won't be quite as large and in charge, so anyone hoping to see big and consistent fireballs during potentially iconic ring entrances will have to limit those expectations. Here's what else Triple H had to say.
Yeah, obviously some of that has had to be scaled down somewhat. We don't have a stadium with a much longer ramp way, and the pyro and everything else that we would have. So, we'd have to work within certain parameters of changing what the spectacle is, but still trying to keep this as entertaining and as fresh as possible for fans. We're going to do the best that we can, and I promise you we'll be entertaining and it will be a spectacle in and of itself. Different, but still a spectacle.
Also, WrestleMania doesn't have commercial breaks like Raw and SmackDown do, so the WWE superstars will be engaged in uninterrupted matches for the PPV event. As Triple H said, it's bound to be a spectacle regardless of what actually happens, since it may very well be the only WrestleMania we ever see that plays out like this.
Fans can check out WrestleMania 36 when it hits PPV and WWE Network on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. ET on both nights.