As we come closer and closer to the end of this pandemic. We are starting to see more signs of life. More signs that we do not live in a dystopian future and all hope is lost. This was never truer then watching WrestleMania 37 on Saturday and Sunday night. For the first time in over a year there were live fans in the crowd and not only did it give the announcers goosebumps. It gave the talent goosebumps; pro wrestling is one of those events that needs fans.
Look at the moments that were lost forever from this past year. Otis and Mandy kissing, Drew winning the WWE title. Brodie Lee and Matt Hardy debuting in AEW. These moments were cool but would have been great with a live audience. Of course, like everything else the past year we had to wait a little while longer to see it. WrestleMania for the first time in its history was delayed because of the weather by forty minutes.
But when it started you could see how the energy changed and how much the fans missed the show. But also, how much the talent missed the fans. Drew Mcintre was very vocal about wanting to start the show and to be the first person that the fans saw. Which was not true entirely, Vince McMahon and the entire locker room for night one. Started on stage to welcome the fans back to the yearly event. But potato, potatoe lets call the whole thing off.
Drew and Bobby Lashley started off the weekend with the WWE title on the line. This match was a great way to start the night and did deliver as the two big men beat each other down and Lashley kept his title reign going by Drew passing out in the hurt lock. This was the right move after the breakup of The Hurt Business which was met with a ton of backlash. It is good to know the push of Bobby Lashley will be longer than a few weeks with the WWE title.
Woman’s Gauntlet Match
Next up was the tag team woman’s gauntlet where the winners would get a shot at the woman tag team titles on night two of mania. This was kind of botchy and I am sure botchamania will have a field day with this match next month. But the real story coming in was how hard Tamina and Natty were being pushed. They went from not having a match on the card to winning this match and getting to be on the show twice. The other story is how screwed this woman’s tag team division is with the only real team in the division is the riot squad.
Cesaro’s First Single’s Match
This was a match almost ten years in the making as Cesaro gets his first singles match at mania ever. He would have a great dance partner in Seth Rollins who has a tremendous mania record. Cesaro has seen himself in the middle of a push over the last couple months. Getting wins over Daniel Bryan and others. This was a good showcase for what we already know both men could do. But Cesaro getting the win was the biggest in his career and the emotions after the match showed just that.
Grand Slam Champ Anyone?
AJ Styles and his bodyguard Omos get their shot at the world tag team titles. The most consistent tag team or faction perhaps of all time in the New Day. Watching the new day win the belts back from the team they beat for them in Alexander and Benjamin I think we already knew they would be transitional champions. But this was quality wrestling as the New Day were out to prove to AJ that he was not a tag team wrestler and they cut the ring off for most of the match.
But once Omos got into the ring he laid a path of destruction in his first match ever. What a way to debut. Getting to team with one of the greatest of all time, pinning a former WWE champion, and winning the Raw tag team titles. This was historic for Omos but more for Styles as he is now a triple crown champion and a grand slam champion. Joining a very elite list and adding to his hall of fame resume.
Braun Stroman vs Shane McMahon in a steel cage match where they ripped this storyline from a story, they did just a couple of years ago. Where Nia Jax was being “bullied’ by Alexa Bliss. This is now Shane being the bully. This was a completely unnecessary match that went way to long and Braun sold for Shane way more then he needed to. The finish was unique in terms of I do not think I have ever seen it before. Shane was leaving the cage and showing off, Braun grabbed his hand and ripped open the side of the cage to pull him back inside. Just to throw him off the top of the cage. Not bad but also not WrestleMania worthy.
The next match has been booked since the Royal Rumble where we first saw Bad Bunny interact with The Miz and John Morrison. This was good and a good spot for Damien Priest who for sure played second fiddle but still in a prime position for his first WrestleMania. Bunny showed off that his training did work, and he even hit a Canadian destroyer. The second most overused move in wrestling. Either way mini-rant aside this was good, and every man played their part to make sure this was good. If I had one problem, there were one too many former WWE champs taking the falls in these matches but that is petty.
History for the Ladies Again
In the main event of night one. For the second time, the woman main evented a WrestleMania. Bianca Belair (Royal Rumble winner) and Sasha Banks (Smackdown Woman’s champion). The build to this was bad but this should have been one of the main events. Because the build to the entire event was bad. Anyways this match went by so fluid and fast it did not feel like it was seventeen minutes. These two ladies went out there and stole the show. Bianca showed her strength by keeping Banks up in the suplex position from the floor back into the ring.
Sasha showed how good of a heel she is by taunting her opponent by calling her a rookie every chance she could. This was a great back and forth by the present and future in the woman’s division. While NXT still has the strongest woman’s division in all of wrestling. This match is proof that the woman can hold their own and should remain in the main event picture of mania from now until the end of time. Bianca got the win sending her straight to the top of the division with so much more to prove and a long way to go.
Overall, the first night was a good show with the right people winning. There were matches that may have not been WrestleMania worthy, but they were not bad. It also felt so good to have a mania that was not bloated and seven hours. I know WWE wants to get back to one-night mania’s but until they can learn how to manage a one-night mania again maybe this is the way to go.