The boneyard match between Undertaker and AJ Styles was the highlight of night 1 of WrestleMania 36 and its production received praise from the fans. Whatculture has a new report on the bout and it reveals some interesting details behind the production of this first-ever match between the two wrestling veterans.
Some photos of the match’s production have surfaced online as well which you can check out below.
The chosen location was in Florida, but it was reportedly not anywhere near the performance center. The company hired an outside production unit to build the set. It took five days to complete the whole thing and eight hours to shoot the match.
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Secrets from the Boneyard
Triple H and Michael Hayes were in charge of the production. The set was originally intended to be used for a promo but the quality impressed the WWE executives when they arrived and the concept for the unique bout was born.
Using Metallica’s ‘Now That We’re Dead’ song was always the plan but the set up for Undertaker’s entrance was changed.
The original plans for his entrance included an abandoned ditch and a bridge as well but the production crew warned them that it was city property and the company did not have enough time to get the shooting permit.
Undertaker & Styles Improvised
Interestingly, the trash talk between the two stars which many believe added a layer to the match wasn’t part of the original script and it was improvised after both Taker and Styles requested for it.
Triple H happily obliged to this request and after seeing the results, the Game eventually encouraged the participants to do as much talking as they felt they should.
The Undertaker made the decision to re-shoot his window attack on AJ Styles from a different angle. However, he ended up smashing the glass in the process. Both the breaking of the glass and the blood spike from the Dead Man’s arm were unintentional.
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“The Hand” was Undertaker’s Idea
The final moments of the match also had an improvised spot. AJ Styles‘ hand that was coming out of the grave after Taker buried him was a prop that Triple H and Michael Hayes had spotted earlier and they wanted to use it in the match.
However, the Executives couldn’t figure out what to do with it until the end and this is where Undertaker stepped in. He suggested the use of the hand, which was a call back to his own desperate bid for survival back at In Your House: Buried Alive in October 1996.
It seems that the improvisations in this match worked out in the favor of the involving stars as it made the match more interesting and the bout has been receiving high praise from the fans and WWE stars alike.