WWE WrestleMania 37 – Night One
April 10, 2021
Raymond James Stadium
Meet Our Reviewers
Jeri Evans: Can it be? IT IS! The Magic Writing Girl has been motivated by forces unknown (possibly from parts unknown) to review BOTH nights of WrestleMania. She has her Plushies lined up, she has Triscuits and cheese in front of her, and she’s hoping she can get through the remainder of WrestleMania weekend with her sanity intact. If her brain doesn’t break you can find her on Twitter giving the most middling and barely heated of takes at @Jerriest_Jer.
Griffin Peltier: Griffin is here to review WrestleMania. He would also like to remind you that WrestleMania host Hulk Hogan is a racist. He’s on Twitter @Hollywd12.
Weather def. WWE
Jeri: Weather or not I like it, we have a delay. Yes, that’s a bad joke I wanted to make. It’s awful, you don’t have to pity laugh. As for the delay, it gave a variety of the wrestlers to get some promo time which was nice and I enjoyed it! We got to see who could cut (and who couldn’t cut) promos when given an unexpected spot of time. Seth Rollins was awful, no one is shocked. ***1/2 (Yes I gave stars to the rain delay, deal with it).
Bobby Lashley © def. Drew McIntyre
Jeri: Not sure I would’ve gone with the babyface losing in the very first match with fans, but I dug this? I dug this as the opener. I thought this was a hard-fought battle. Two beefy guys doing beefy guys thing. McIntyre loses his focus for one second and it costs him everything. I thought this was a good choice for an opener to start the festivities off, especially after the long delay and unnecessary Hulk Hogan bullshit beforehand. McIntyre at one point hit an impressive dive for his size and it ruled. The ending works as it gives Lashley a clean (minus MVP’s vocal interruption of Drew’s finisher) finish but McIntyre doesn’t display himself tapping. I love him doing the flipping into a pin corner hope spot only for it to fail and Lashley holds on for the victory. Don’t know if I would’ve gone with Mcintyre failing to start the first WWE show with fans in a long while, but I do like Lashley as champion so I don’t hate it. I did enjoy this match, just not sure I would’ve gone with that result. One final thing, you got live fans now, drop the fake chants and reactions. I know you want to control the narrative, but it makes you seem two-faced. We are glad to have fans back, now excuse us as we drown them with the shit we actually want you to hear. ***1/4
Griffin: The announce desk chairs were wet so the team stood at ringside. Could someone not get them new chairs? It was nice hearing genuine crowd reactions – even if they piped in fake chants and reactions (you can take the WWE out of the ThunderDome but you can’t take the ThunderDome out of the WWE) – but the match got off to a slow start. It picked up a bit but it still felt like a house show main event for a long while. Which makes sense as it’s the first show in front of fans. McIntyre hit three Future Shock DDTs but couldn’t put it away but then he hit a dive that kicked this into a higher gear but then it slowed down again. McIntyre missed a Claymore Kick and then Bobby Lashley locked in a full nelson to get the submission win via passing out. The babyface star lost in the first match on the first show with fans. **¼
Tag Team Turmoil for a WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
Natalya & Tamina def. Lana & Naomi, Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott, and Billie Kay & Carmella
Jeri: I shouldn’t laugh, it’s rude, but at one point early in this Gauntlet Lana just badly misses a kick and it was so awful I cackled. I even looked at my Plushies and said “did you see that?” which…. Is admittedly weird but it’s the person I have chosen to be. Then LivMorgan has the AUDACITY to come out in Harley Quinn gear and I begin to convince myself I like this match because I’m easily swayed by such antics. Don’t worry it doesn’t last as I continue to watch the actual ring stuff. Mandy Rose slipped to the ring, I have a feeling that’ll get mocked way too much, and at least it wasn’t like Ultimo Dragon at WM 20. At one point ring announcement for a team elimination is botched. Tamina then entered the match to assure things continued to be a mess. Not going to lie, I’m getting amusement out of it and I’m not sure if the reasons are positive or negative. I could venture a guess though. Despite my snark, I want to cut back on the slagging. There is a lot of personality in this match. Personality that would make the tag title defense tomorrow fun. So of course they go with the most boring pick. Anyway,
this was bad, but it was a bad I kind of got some kind of amusement out of, but not in positive ways. Still bad. *3/4
Griffin: Unfortunately my WWE Network cut out during this match. I cannot rate the match as I missed some of it.
Cesaro def. Seth Rollins
Jeri: FUCK YEAH! This was ALL SYSTEMS GO from the moment it started, chemistry, energy, damn good wrestling. This, this is the good shit. Reversals and counters I bite into hard, and I let out an audible fuck when Cesaro countered the stomp with a European Uppercut. I loved the hell out of that. Then we got the UFO! I geeked the hell out, I absolutely love the UFO and was ecstatic, giddy to see it happen at WrestleMania. Then we got twenty-three big swings with the crowd chanting along and my heart swelled for Cesaro to see him getting this reaction, in this kind of match at WrestleMania. I can’t ignore Rollins, I’m not that big on him and think he’s more good than great, but he was on fire this match and was motivated as hell and he combined with Cesaro ended up giving us a great match. Very fun and deserving to be on such a grand stage. This clearly felt like it meant a lot to Cesaro, and in reality it probably truly did. Kept it going, kept it active, and in the end accomplished a damn fun match I’ll gladly watch again. So far our top match! ****
Griffin: Unlike Drew vs. Lashley from earlier, this was go-go-go from the start which was a nice change of pace. Cesaro and Seth are both great wrestlers and they were allowed to wrestle without much of the pomp and circumstance of EMOTIONS~! and looking at hands that plague most WWE matches with good wrestlers. I loved all of the cool reversal sequences and it made both guys look like badasses. Cesaro hit the UFO and followed it up with the Swing and looked like an absolute star when he did 23 swings. Cesaro hit the Neutralizer after that for the win. This was a very good match that showcased both wrestlers’ abilities. Cesaro finally got a singles win at WrestleMania! A lot of fun. ***¾
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
AJ Styles & Omos def. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods ©
Jeri: Omos has an impressive “I will kill you” look on his face. I believe it. They make you wait and wait for Omos to get the HOT TAG, which is usually reserved for babyfaces but whatever. Building up interest in seeing what Omos can do isn’t a bad thing. A.J spent a good chunk of time doing everything he could to make a tag only to each time being cut off, stopped short, prevented from doing so. Omos of course would get in and JUST WRECK THE NEW DAY. New Day’s facial expressions, reactions did wonders for putting Omos over. What he did was simple but effective and all he needed to do. Omos came off as both the immovable object and irresistible force at the same time. A.J hit a phenomenal forearm off Omos’s shoulder and I loved it. Omos scores the pin with ONE FOOT and I loved that decision. Put him over as dominant as possible. A.J Styles got his butt whooped and only won because of his seven plus 400-pound friend making it all possible. Chickenshit heel energy. Here for it. ***
Griffin: This started off hot with some great back-and-forth from Kofi and AJ. I did not understand the psychology of the beginning of the match when New Day worked over AJ which would mean Omos got a hot tag. Then again, this is the WWE and babyface/heel alignments do not matter. Omos got a nice big pop when he was tagged in and then destroyed both Kofi and Woods. The New Day’s selling for the giant was wonderful and Kofi sold Omos’ slam like death. The workrate wasn’t the best after Omos was tagged in but that’s not the point. This worked for what it was and made Omos a powerful force on the roster. ***1/2
Steel Cage Match
Braun Strowman def. Shane McMahon
Jeri: Well at least Jerry Lawler isn’t commentating Banks/Belair. Unfortunately, he’s commentating something. I got the unfortunate feeling this was going to go way longer than it needed to as I watched it. It went on and on… and on… and on…. And then as Shane thought he had the match won Braun ripped the cage up and pulled him back in. You know you’re getting a big Shane bump and we got it with Shane getting thrown from the top of the cage, which admittedly was pretty nifty and I liked it. Braun won the match for everyone who has ever been called stupid. So he won it for this match then, because it was pretty damn stupid. A lot of snores, most of it thanks to Shane McMahon. I don’t have much more to say. **
Griffin: Elias and Jaxson Ryker attacked Braun with a steel chair before the match. Shane used the chair when Braun entered the ring for what felt like minutes. There was a bunch of nothing until Braun ripped apart the cage wall to bring Shane back in the ring. This led to Braun throwing Shane off the top of the cage in a cool moment. McMahon splatted. Strowman hit his running poweslam for the win and dedicated the match to everyone who has ever been called stupid. Other than the big bump and the cage rip, this was pretty boring. **
Bad Bunny & Damien Priest def. The Miz & John Morrison
Jeri: Miz and Morrison’s entrance had a bunch of people in Bunny costumes. “Which Bunny was Teddy Hart?” I think is a fair question. I mean, would anyone be shocked at this point? A positive though? Bad Bunny came to work. Not only did he come to work, but he worked well! He worked great. He clearly had put in the work and was able to showcase himself well. Not just with his offense, but with him taking a long heat section and me wanting him to make the tag. I was quite entertained by him. And then when I thought this match couldn’t possibly entertain me more Bad Bunny did a dive from the top rope BUT THAT DID NOT COMPARE TO HIM DOING A FUCKING OUTSIDE THE RING CANADIAN DESTROYER. THAT RULED! THIS RULED! Damn it, this was a highlight of the evening. Beard barbers of the world fucking rejoice, come celebrate Bad Bunny who came, saw, and kicked ass. Holy hell? Did I… Did I just decide to give this four stars? ****
Griffin: The Miz and John Morrison came to the ring with a bunch of guys in bunny costumes and their stupid “Hey Hey, Hop Hop” rap. This was one of the cringiest things I have ever seen. Bad Bunny arrived on top of the WCW/NWO Revenge truck. That was cool! Bunny did La Magistral!!!! Bad Bunny was super impressive and showed that he put in the work ahead of this match. BAD BUNNY DID A CANADIAN DESTROYER!!! This was awesome and Bad Bunny impressed me so much! My beard barber would be proud! ****
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bianca Belair def. Sasha Banks ©
Jeri: I was admittedly hyped for this match going in. I hoped so much. So hard. So very much that this would deliver in spades, in hearts, in diamonds, in every fucking way AND IT ABSOLUTELY DID! I am so god damn emotional right now, it’s hard to be objective, it’s hard to be critical, analytical, fuck all that shit. This was beautiful. Two women, two black women, two excellent talented amazing individuals just filled with ability, charisma, and are endearing and loved by many just going out there AND ABSOLUTELY WORKING THAT SHIT! On the grandest, biggest stage of wrestling. MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA AND THEY OWNED IT LIKE IT WAS ALWAYS THEIRS! Fuck JBL. THIS IS WOMEN’S WRESTLING HISTORY! THIS IS BLACK WRESTLING HISTORY! THIS IS BLACK WOMEN’S WRESTLING HISTORY! Anyone, ANYONE who says or dares to suggest otherwise needs to get the fuck out of wrestling commentary, discourse, discussions, analysis.
As I tear up I get back to this match. This was beautiful. Great work, emotion, intensity and effort. There was so much connection and chemistry between the two. You could tell, feel, UNDERSTAND what the fuck this meant to both of them in and out of character. The emotion shown from them ALMOST immediately. I want to rewatch this again like right now. Sasha constantly using Bianca Belair’s hair against her was wonderful and eventually had the payoff of Bianca getting in that hair shot we all craved. This was delivered. This was everything I wanted out of the main event. This was important, this was significant. I am so emotional and crying as I type this. I don’t care if that gets ridiculed, fuck you. I want wrestling to make me feel like this more. This was better than anything else on the show. Hell this might be my favorite thing of the weekend. I loved this so much. I love pro wrestling and sometimes… just sometimes… I LOVE IT SO FUCKING MUCH. Screw it, I have no star rating fear. *****
Griffin: This had big match energy to it. The first time two Black women main evented WrestleMania. That is historic despite what JBL said on the pre-show. This is huge. Early in the match, Belair caught a Sasha tope suicida and pressed her up, climbed the stairs, and threw the champion back in the ring! Bianca ragdolling Sasha on some slams was super impressive and brought a lot of intensity to the match. That made it feel different from everything else on the show. Sasha played the wise veteran role to perfection and using Bianca’s hair against her added to that psychology. There were some fabulous near falls and innovative spots. Bianca’s hair whip is brutal and it led to the KOD for the win! The hair whip being the exclamation point of the match was fantastic as Sasha worked the hair for most of the match! That’s great storytelling built bell-to-bell! Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks went out there and absolutely delivered! You can @ me all you want, this was one of the best in-ring WrestleMania main events of all time. This was fantastic! Go out of your way to watch this! Two all-time performances from these two fantastic wrestlers! Every single moment of the match felt important and you could feel the emotion building up as they delivered their all. What a match! *****