WWE WrestleMania 37
April 10th & April 11, 2021
Raymond James Stadium
Watch: Peacock (US), WWE Network (International)
Right out of the gate, I have to make a confession: When I signed up to do the official Voices of Wrestling written preview of WrestleMania, I was hoping that at least one other person would join me.
Well….that didn’t end up being the case, and honestly, I’m not surprised. It’s impossible to care about Main Roster WWE these days. The only reason why I’m even mildly interested in this year’s WrestleMania is to see what the crowd reactions are like as these two cards will be the first WWE events in over a year that has featured paying fans in the stands. Outside of that, it’s so hard to get invested in anything WWE does….even for its biggest show of the year. There are a number of matches that have the chance to be pretty good (maybe even great), but in almost all cases, the main roster “storytelling” has hampered them to the point where my interest has gone down significantly. Nothing ever makes sense with this company, but I’ll do the best I can with making sense of these matches and what could happen.
Before I dive into the WrestleMania cards themselves, I should note that two matches that were originally scheduled for the show got bumped to SmackDown this Friday. Those two bouts are the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (also known as the Geek Battle Royal), and a four-way tag team match for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles featuring Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler (the defending champions), The Street Profits, Chad Gable & Otis, and the Mysterio Family.
The former features a list of participants that’s a who’s who of geeks and jobbers. You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than predicting a winner here, though I do think there are a few standouts. Jey Uso is part of the main event act on SmackDown alongside his cousin, Roman Reigns, so he’s a contender. Shinsuke Nakamura has been a more notable face in the past few months on SmackDown, so I suppose he can win. I could see the former members of the Hurt Business going deep….or maybe they’ll have Baron Corbin win this thing again….because he’s tall, I guess.
With regards to the latter, it’s the first of many matches across these shows that basically repeat the same theme (at least for me): The match looks good on paper, but I can’t possibly care about it or the outcome. These are four solid teams, and I’m sure they’ll end up having an entertaining four-way. However, I can’t bother to analyze the result, because it doesn’t matter. WWE is a promotion that has never truly cared about tag teams, so why should I care about anything they do with their tag team titles? Since I have to make a prediction, I guess I’ll go with the Mysterio Family. I know the Street Profits have been wanting a rematch for months, but at least going with the Mysterio Family would be something fresh.
With those two matches out of the way, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of these two cards.
WrestleMania 37: Night 1
April 10, 2021
Bobby Lashley (with MVP) (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
As of now, we really don’t know what the main event of Night 1 is going to be. It’s either going to be this match or Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair, but for the purposes of this preview, I’ll go with the assumption that Lashley vs. McIntyre is the main event.
I will give WWE booking a small sliver of credit with the way they protected Lashley enroute to his big title win. It really seemed like for months there that he was being immensely protected for seemingly no reason whatsoever. This could’ve felt like an even bigger match with a competent build, but instead, there was the nonsense with The Miz holding the title after cashing in Money In The Bank. That mini-program with Miz and Lashley then led to the breaking up of The Hurt Business because Lashley came out of that Miz program as such a babyface that they had to figure out a way to turn him heel again for the McIntyre match. Nothing is ever simple with this company.
Anyway, storylines aside, this should be a pretty good bout. These two have had a number of good matches in the past (including in TNA at Slammiversary 2016), so I’m sure this one will be no different. I suppose the result could depend on the placement. If Banks vs. Belair main events, then you can make an argument for Lashley retaining here, but if this bout is the main event (and I think it is), then I think it’s a lock that McIntyre wins here, so he can finally have that moment that he was robbed of last year. It sucks for Lashley (and I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets some cheers here), but McIntyre is still the guy in their eyes. Prediction: Drew McIntyre
WWE SmackDown Women’s Title
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair
I was super excited for this match after Bianca Belair won the Women’s Royal Rumble back in January. Sadly, the build has dampened my interest immensely with the Reginald stuff and the silly “Can they co-exist?” trope that’s been done to death. I suppose we should’ve all seen this coming. WWE can’t competently book their way out of a paper bag. It’s one of those things where you get frustrated for a few seconds, but then you come to your senses and realize that getting frustrated with WWE booking is the biggest waste of time imaginable. Shit build aside, I’m actually pretty confident that these two are going to kill it. Sasha always works hard, and I’m sure Bianca is going to step up her game in such a big spot. In terms of the result, Bianca getting the title seems like a lock, especially with Sasha apparently getting ready to be part of filming for Season 3 of The Mandalorian. Even if that wasn’t a factor, Bianca’s chances of winning are still pretty strong. Prediction: Bianca Belair
Bad Bunny & Damian Priest vs. The Miz & John Morrison
If you asked me on January 1st, 2021 who Bad Bunny was, I would’ve had absolutely no idea whatsoever. Then the Booker T video happened….he got invited to the Royal Rumble….one thing led to another….and now here we are. My one take on using celebrities in wrestling is that if you do, at least use celebrities who are wrestling fans, and it appears that Bad Bunny is a big fan of wrestling, so I’ve never really had a ton of issues with his involvement. This had been promoted as a singles match between Bad Bunny and The Miz for weeks, but only turned into a tag team bout this past Monday on RAW. I honestly don’t have a ton of thoughts on this. I’m sure the stuff between the heels and Damian Priest (by the way, good on him for getting this spot with a celebrity) will be fine, while Bad Bunny does his spots here and there. The babyfaces almost always get the win in these situations, so I don’t see any reason why Bad Bunny and Damian Priest would lose here. Prediction: Bad Bunny & Damian Priest
WWE RAW Tag Team Titles
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos
The Road To WrestleMania has certainly been a unique journey for ol’ Jordan Omogbehin. He first appeared in the summer as The Super Giant Ninja alongside Akira Tozawa as part of the infamous Street Profits/Viking Raiders skit. After a few weeks, he disappeared, only to reemerge as Shane McMahon’s bouncer for RAW Underground. He disappeared again for awhile, and then reemerged once again….this time as the bodyguard for AJ Styles. After months of interfering in various bouts involving AJ Styles, he’s finally getting in the ring on the main roster for the first time, as he teams with Styles to challenge The New Day for the RAW Tag Team Titles. I’m sure Kingston and Woods will work well with AJ in the ring, but the main draw for this match is the debut of Omos. That much is obvious, and it wouldn’t shock me if he and AJ end up winning the titles here. Vince McMahon is clearly infatuated with this Omos fellow, so this could be just the continuation of his push. I also don’t think it’s a mistake that he’s in there with three guys who can carry him to a decent match in his first big spot. Prediction: AJ Styles & Omos
Steel Cage Match
Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon
Believe it or not, this is only the second Steel Cage Match in the history of WrestleMania. The first one, of course, was Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy from the Los Angeles portion of WrestleMania 2 in 1986. In terms of the match itself, I still find it hilarious that this whole feud has consisted of Shane McMahon calling Braun Strowman stupid over and over again. It’s so ridiculous and childish. At best, this will end up being ok, but it definitely has the potential to be pretty terrible. Braun winning probably makes the most sense if the idea is to build him as the next challenger for the WWE Title. However, it wouldn’t shock me if Shane wins (and I’ve seen other people mention this, so don’t credit me) via stupid means, such as Braun tossing Shane off the top of the cage through the announcer’s table not realizing that Shane wins by getting to the outside first. This whole feud is a bunch of nonsense. Prediction: Braun Strowman
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
Oh, look. We got ourselves an ROH offer match circa 2008-2009. So apparently Seth Rollins wanted Cesaro to join him, Cesaro turned him down, and now we got a feud where Rollins is mad at Cesaro for putting him in the giant swing. On the surface, it seems like we’re going to be getting a spot where Cesaro tries to do a record for the most spins in the giant swing, which would be pretty entertaining. As for the match itself, again….there’s not much reason to care about it, even though it will probably be really good. Both of these men are very solid wrestlers, so the ability for this to deliver in the ring shouldn’t be in much doubt. I suppose the result is going to depend a lot on what the next plan is for both guys. It could be a spot for Cesaro to get a big win, or perhaps it’s a chance to heat up Rollins for a title challenge after WrestleMania. It’s a real tossup, but since this is WWE, I’ll bet that Rollins wins via heel shenanigans. Prediction: Seth Rollins
Tag Team Turmoil
Lana & Naomi vs. Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) vs. Natalya & Tamina
Does anybody care about the Women’s Tag Team Division? WWE certainly hasn’t given us any reason to care about these titles in God knows how long. Anyway, we’re getting what’s being labeled as a Tag Team Turmoil Match which, in theory, means that this should be a Gauntlet Match. However, there are only four teams, which means it could just be a normal four-way tag team bout. I guess we’ll see what happens, or if any other teams might get added (there have been teases of Billie Kay and Carmella teaming up apparently?). Given that heels currently hold the Women’s Tag Team Titles, I would think one of the three babyface teams should win, and out of those three, I guess Lana and Naomi make the most sense, so they can put a bow (hopefully for good) on this ridiculous Lana/Nia Jax story. Prediction: Lana & Naomi
Powered by RedCircle
WrestleMania 37: Night 2
April 11, 2021
WWE Universal Title – Triple Threat Match
Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
This saying has been done to death, but it’s absolutely worth repeating: Time truly is a flat circle in WWE. Seven years after WWE got dragged kicking and screaming into Daniel Bryan main eventing WrestleMania in a Triple Threat Match after they realized that their original plan (involving a returning legend) wasn’t going to work out. I suppose the biggest difference is that 2014 had a supremely vocal crowd that was voicing their feelings every week, whereas in this case, they booked Edge to be so unlikable for weeks on end that they had no choice but to turn him heel and add Daniel Bryan, for fear that Edge would get booed against Roman Reigns (who probably would’ve gotten cheered). WWE’s own incompetent booking forced them into this situation. They don’t have a clue on how to properly book a babyface, and now that Edge has turned heel….he’s probably going to get cheered, which was the desired reaction they wanted in the first place.
I could go on and on about how silly this all is, but we know the story by now. I don’t need to waste your time. Much like some of the matches I covered on Night 1, this will likely end up being a really strong match despite the fact that the build has done it no favors. You have three great talents in there, and barring any ridiculous overbooking (which is always a possibility with Roman Reigns title matches these days), this could be the match of the night. In terms of the result, I definitely think this is the time for Reigns to finally lose, but I don’t know whether they’re going to actually put the belt on Bryan, or go with Edge (which was probably the original plan all along). It would be so funny if they just fully repeated WrestleMania 30 all over again, but I just don’t see them going in that direction. Prediction: Edge
WWE RAW Women’s Title
Asuka (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
After months of speculation, Rhea Ripley finally got called up to the main roster, and after some issues took Charlotte out of the picture, Ripley was inserted as Asuka’s challenger on the second night of WrestleMania. I would say the same thing I’ve said about the majority of these matches, but they really haven’t had the time to screw up the story that much here. The only thing that’s been notable is that Ripley is clearly being positioned as the heel. I fully expect these two to have a really good match, and I believe Ripley is going to take the title here. It feels like I’m going with a lot of title changes on this show, but hey, I’m just going with my gut, and my gut says that Asuka’s reign has played itself out, and it’s time for something new. Hopefully, Ripley actually gets a push on the main roster instead of what happened to her last year, when her momentum from the end of 2019 was completely killed off by terrible booking. Prediction: Rhea Ripley
The Fiend (with Alexa Bliss) vs. Randy Orton
What else can I say about this feud that hasn’t been said already? These two have already locked up Worst Feud of the Year before they even had their big WrestleMania match, which is quite the accomplishment for all parties involved. I could go on and on about how dumb this all is, or how the stuff with Alexa Bliss is super creepy and perverted, or ask why this version of The Fiend (with all of his magical powers in addition to coming back from the dead) can’t just snap his fingers and light Randy Orton’s body on fire. Everything leading up to this has been absurd, and what’s even more absurd is the fact that this apparent blowoff is just a regular wrestling bout.
Joe Lanza mentioned this on the Voices Of Wrestling Flagship Podcast several weeks ago, but The Fiend is basically Freddy Krueger. When you think about it, this all makes sense. The traits of Freddy Krueger are all there (a disgusting fascination with children, being burned to death only to be resurrected, among other things). The only differences are that The Fiend doesn’t have a blade glove like Freddy, and he’s also being presented as THE BABYFACE in this story. The Dirty Swamp Wizard Murder Clown is the good guy in this story. It doesn’t get more fucked up than that. The Fiend wins, I guess. I’ll close this out by saying that I’ve been wondering what Alexa Bliss is going to think of this section of her career a decade from now. I’ll make the bold prediction of saying that she’ll come to regret all of this one day. Prediction: The Dirt Swamp Wizard Murder Clown
WWE Intercontinental Title – Nigerian Drum Fight
Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Much like the previous match, I could go on and on about how racist this Apollo Crews character is, but that would be a waste of time. You all know how racist and backwards this new Nigerian Royalty character is. To add onto this stupidity, I don’t know why this feud is still going on, as when it’s come to the actual matches, Big E has beaten Apollo Crews at pretty much every single turn. I don’t think Crews has scored a victory over Big E once in this entire feud. It’s all so stupid and dumb, but their feud is still going on, and this time, they’re facing off in something called a Nigerian Drum Fight. It sounds like this is just a fancy name for a No DQ Match, but as Big E revealed just today (as I type this) in an interview with Ariel Helwani, he doesn’t even know what this match is, and we’re only a few days away from it. I would think Apollo Crews has to win this, since he has yet to beat Big E one in this feud. However, this is WWE we’re talking about. Big E could easily just win this and move on, meaning that this racist rebrand of Crews was just a waste of time and energy. Prediction: Apollo Crews
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
I’m happy that these guys are getting to have a singles match at WrestleMania. I’m sure it’ll be very entertaining. It just sucks that it’s all a backdrop for Logan Paul probably decking Sami Zayn when it’s all over. Additionally, the fact that Logan Paul has been inserted in this probably means Owens won’t get to fulfill his dream of jumping off the Pirate Ship at Raymond James Stadium. I hope he does, because that would be the best thing across both of these cards, but sadly, I think it’s unlikely. Prediction: Kevin Owens
WWE United States Title
Riddle (c) vs. Sheamus
Remember a few years ago when Matt Riddle was this can’t miss superstar? Well, WWE made sure to turn him into a comedy goof in no time at all. He’s defending his United States Title against Sheamus, who’s been coming off as a babyface in this whole situation for bullying such an unlikable guy in Riddle. I’ve said it before in this preview, and I’ll say it again. The match should be good, but I couldn’t possibly care about it. Even though Riddle is a comedy geek, I imagine Sheamus is just here to make him look good and put him over. Whatever. Prediction: Riddle
WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (with Reginald) (c) vs. Tag Team Turmoil Winner
Nobody cares about the Women’s Tag Team Titles, nobody cares about Reginald, and Nia Jax is a hideously bad wrestler. Hopefully, they take the titles off her and Baszler. I’ve got nothing else to add. Prediction: Whoever wins Tag Team Turmoil