14th Apr2021

‘WWE WrestleMania 37: Night One’ PPV Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this review of World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 37: Night 1, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and this is it. The crowds are back! Yeaaaaaaaaaah!!!!! Yeaaaaaaaaah!!!!! F—k yeaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!! CM Punk! Cena sucks! CM Punk! Cena sucks! ALF! ALF! ALF! ALF! ALF! ALF! ALF! ALF: Guys. Where’s the pussy-cats? I’m hungry. I like to eat pussy…cats. I want to eat some pussy damn it…cats! Me: I’m live in Fucking, Austria where the Fucking people have left their Fucking houses and walked down their Fucking streets to this Fucking bar to enjoy WrestleMania! Are you ready for WrestleMania? Fucking People: We’re Fucking ready! Me: Let’s not waste any more time. It’s time for Wres…rain delay. Let’s see how long this lasts. 45 minutes later… Me: Just start God damn it! I can’t sit here with these Fucking f—kers any more! Fucking People: Hey! Don’t f—king swear! Me: You Fucking people are Fucking losers! Fucking People: Fucking! Get him! Me: Aw s—t. Wait…WrestleMania is starting! Fucking People: Oh! Good! Fucking! Get him! Me: This is Fucking bull-s—t.

Match #1: Bobby Lashley [c] def. Drew McIntyre – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The All Mighty Era might just be getting started. Bobby Lashley toppled Drew McIntyre to retain the WWE Championship at Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in the first match in front of the WWE Universe in more than a year. Lashley quickly imposed his will in the titanic tussle behind a deliberate pace, but The Scottish Warrior dug deep into his repertoire to battle back, busting out some uncharacteristic mat wrestling including several armbars and kimuras to target Lashley’s left arm. MVP intervened for the first time when he helped pull Lashley out of harm’s way — and a potential Claymore attempt — but both were downed by McIntyre’s jaw-dropping senton to the outside. When the action returned to the ring, MVP played a decisive role. With his distraction disrupting McIntyre’s cadence before a Claymore attempt, Lashley had time to dodge his challenger’s feared attack. Lashley then applied the Hurt Lock after several earlier failed attempts. Despite spirited attempts to escape, McIntyre had nowhere to go and was rendered unconscious, prompting a referee stoppage. With the most devastating hold in sports-entertainment, The All Mighty WWE Champion denied McIntyre the moment he had anticipated for more than a year and became only the second Superstar in nine years to successfully defend the WWE Title on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

The score: 8 out of 10

Match #2: Natalya & Tamina def. Billie Kay & Carmella, Lana & Naomi and The Riott Squad – No. 1 Contender’s Tag Team Turmoil Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

It will be pure force vs. sports-entertainment legacy at WrestleMania Sunday, as Natalya & Tamina won Tag Team Turmoil to earn the right to challenge WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler. Naomi & Lana were the first team in the battle, followed by Carmella & Billie Kay. Surprisingly, the brand new team of Carmella & Kay eliminated their opponents, with Kay getting the pin thanks to an assist from Carmella. The Untouchable One’s meddling didn’t pay off against The Riott Squad, as the referee caught her in the act, leaving Kay open to a top-rope senton from Ruby Riott. Up next to enter the fray were Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke, who put up a spirited effort, but Liv Morgan reversed a pinfall attempt after a Swanton by Brooke to keep The Riott Squad in the battle. The Riott Squad’s luck ran out when Natalya & Tamina stepped into the ring. The duo gained the upper hand by hitting the Hart Attack on Riott, but instead of locking on her trademark Sharpshooter, Natalya ordered Tamina to the top rope, where she came crashing down on Riott with a devastating splash to get the victory and the title opportunity. After surviving Tag Team Turmoil, will Natalya & Tamina be worse for wear heading into the title match, or will they be fired up for this huge opportunity against The Irresistible Force & The Queen of Spades?

The score: 4 out of 10

Match #3: Cesaro def. Seth Rollins

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In the biggest match of his nearly decade-long WWE career, Cesaro answered the call. The Swiss Superman knocked off Seth Rollins in his first-ever singles match at The Show of Shows, seizing his WrestleMania moment. Cesaro immediately looked to embarrass his foe in front of the WWE Universe with an encore performance of the 22 Swings he performed on SmackDown’s Savior back in February, but Rollins innovatively countered several attempts to evade embarrassment — temporarily. Eventually Cesaro turned Rollins into a human merry-go-round, but Rollins’ earlier attacks on his arm forced The Swiss Superman to halt after nine trips with the Swing. Rollins sought to make Cesaro “embrace the vision” with a superplex, Falcon Arrow and unique corkscrew splash, making a strong case for his recently self-minted title as “the new Mr. WrestleMania” on the stage he entered with a gaudy 6-2 record. Cesaro responded resoundingly, though, countering a Stomp attempt with a massive uppercut before showcasing his strength with the UFO. Then, it was time for Rollins to go for the ride again, and Cesaro spun him a dizzying 23 times before planting him with the Neutralizer for the landmark victory — his first at WrestleMania in seven years.

The score: 8 out of 10

Match #4: AJ Styles and Omos def. The New Day [c] – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

No one could be sure of what to expect from Omos in his first-ever WWE match on The Grandest Stage of Them All. But the giant unleashed his rage at WrestleMania and won the Raw Tag Team Titles in his debut, taking out 11-time champions The New Day nearly singlehandedly. The New Day were in full force for WrestleMania, as Intercontinental Champion Big E arrived to introduce Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods for their title defense on The Grandest Stage of Them All. It looked as though AJ Styles’ personal colossus, Omos, was going to begin his debut match in the ring, but The New Day, perhaps smartly, egged on Styles until The Phenomenal One started the bout. Kingston & Woods, showing off why they’ve been tag team champions on 11 occasions, cut the ring in half and trapped Styles in their corner, taunting the towering Omos a few times along the way. For all of The New Day’s confidence, the match turned when Styles finally got to his corner and sent the giant into battle. What happened next was simply terrifying. Woods’ offense bounced off Omos with no effect whatsoever, and the titan snatched Kingston by the arm out of midair, slamming the former WWE Champion into the canvas with devastating force. Omos exerted his will over The New Day, wrenching Woods’ spine across his massive knee, then crushing Kingston with a backbreaker. Styles springboarded off of the giant’s shoulder to take out Woods with a Phenomenal Forearm, leaving Kingston at the mercy of his personal colossus. Omos grabbed Kingston in his mighty clutches, lifted the former WWE Champion more than seven feet in the air, and planted him into the canvas with a powerful slam. Styles ordered Omos to pin Kingston with one foot, not that it would have mattered after the pure carnage unleashed by the giant. If that is what awaits the red brand’s tag team division, can anyone dethrone Styles & Omos?

The score: 6 out of 10

Match #5: Braun Strowman def. Shane McMahon – Steel Cage Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After weeks of bullying and ridicule, Shane McMahon’s debt came due on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Braun Strowman dismantled Shane-O-Mac in awe-inspiring fashion, winning only the second Cage Match in WrestleMania history and the first in 35 years. Faced with the culmination of a conflict that began over Strowman’s perceived slight at the lack of a WWE Title opportunity and transformed into a deeply personal rivalry, Shane appeared to experience almost instant regret, trying to prevent The Monster Among Men from entering the cage. It turned out to be only a smokescreen to allow Elias and Jaxson Ryker to assault Strowman’s legs with steel chairs. Once inside the cage, Shane continued the assault with his own chair, grounding the behemoth. Strowman began to flex his power, though, launching Shane into the steel in effortless fashion. However, due to the earlier damage, Strowman’s legs gave out on a later Running Powerslam attempt. Shane capitalized, defying gravity with the Coast-to-Coast, and Elias and Ryker remerged to try to help him over the top of the cage. He was halfway there when Strowman rammed them off to the floor. Shane-O-Mac bought time with a brutal toolbox strike to Strowman, but it was only a temporary respite. The Monster Among Men grabbed Shane’s hand through the chain link and ripped the cage apart in an unbelievable display of strength before pulling Shane back in to foil his escape. Finally, Strowman made his foe’s worst fears come true, dragging Shane atop the cage before tossing him to the mat like a bug with a deafening thud. Braun added an exclamation mark with the Running Powerslam for the pin, sealing perhaps the most satisfying victory of his career.

The score: 6 out of 10

Match #6: Bad Bunny and Damian Priest def. John Morrison and The Miz

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After being assaulted by The Miz & John Morrison on Monday Night Raw, Bad Bunny came to WrestleMania looking for a fight and got one. The world-famous recording artist showed out in his first-ever WWE match, teaming up with Damian Priest to defeat The Miz & John Morrison in impressive fashion. Miz & Morrison, seeking to get under the Grammy Award-winning Superstar’s skin, performed their “Hey Hey, Hop Hop” single amid a throng of costumed bunnies in the ring. Barreling into Raymond James Stadium atop an 18-wheeler, Bad Bunny seemingly showed a few nerves as he walked toward the squared circle, understandable given the magnitude of the situation. But the Grammy winner soon proved any doubters wrong. Priest looked to start the match until The Awesome One taunted Bad Bunny, asking the recording star if he was scared. Not one to back down, Bunny tagged into the match and caught Miz with two right hands, then tackled the former WWE Champion to the canvas. The Miz looked embarrassed after Bad Bunny sent him flying to the outside with an arm drag. Bad Bunny showed impressive skill, whether it was a La Magistral cradle or a flying headscissors that sent JoMo for a ride. But Miz & Morrison quickly turned the tables on Bunny after Morrison caught him with an elbow in the corner, then Miz cheapshotted him from the apron behind the referee’s back. The Awesome One and The Guru of Greatness clearly had the upper hand on Bad Bunny as they worked him over on the canvas, taunting Priest and the WWE Universe all the while. However, Bunny had enough wherewithal to catch Miz off-guard with a tornado DDT out of the corner, giving him an opening to crawl back to his corner and finally tag Priest. The Archer of Infamy sprang into action, taking on Miz & Morrison by himself. Bad Bunny joined him back in the ring for a pair of Falcon Arrows in stereo, then leapt off the top rope onto Miz & JoMo at ringside. The Miz nearly snuck out of WrestleMania with the victory after reversing Priest’s Reckoning into the Skull-Crushing Finale, but Bunny made the save at the last second. Bad Bunny shocked the WWE Universe by taking out Morrison with a “Bunny Destroyer” on the arena floor, then tagged back into the match to hit Miz with a cross-body while The Awesome One was on Priest’s shoulders to pick up a win in his debut on The Grandest Stage of Them All and silence The Miz & Morrison.

The score: 7 out of 10

Match #7: Bianca Belair def. Sasha Banks [c] – WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Questions had swirled for weeks ahead of Bianca Belair’s showdown with Sasha Banks. Would the moment be too big for Belair? Would The Boss’ experience be too much to overcome for the so-called “rookie?” Was it simply too soon for The EST to take over WWE? Hardly. Belair left no questions unanswered in defeating Banks to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship to close out Night One of WrestleMania 37 in unforgettable fashion. The EST was clearly overcome with emotion at the outset, however, as she faced the biggest moment of her career. Belair and Banks not only joined the exclusive pantheon of women to main event a WrestleMania but also made history as the first African-American women to face each other in a singles match on wrestling’s Grandest Stage. What ensued was a back-and-forth classic that was only apt for The Showcase of the Immortals. Belair quickly impressed with an awesome display of strength, catching Banks’ tope to the outside and carrying her up the steps before tossing her back in the ring. While the champion responded by rearing her veteran savvy, neither woman claimed an advantage for long. Banks’ first miscalculation saw her collide face-first with the post after trying to use Belair’s braid against her, but Banks later fired back by countering a 450 Splash with double knees to the midsection. Banks’ mean streak of old began to surface as The Boss hurled Belair into the steps and executed an especially devious version of the Bank Statement, assisted by the use of Belair’s own ponytail. Belair’s second bid for the 450 later found the mark, though it only netted a near-fall, spurring stunned bewilderment on the challenger’s face. Banks again tried to use Belair’s own hair against her, though it became clear she had gone to the well one too many times, as The EST whipped her across the abdomen for a thunderous strike that echoed throughout Raymond James Stadium and left a nasty wound on Banks. Both countered each other’s attempts at the K.O.D. and the Backstabber before Belair stunningly one-upped the veteran, planting Banks with the K.O.D. And with the count of three, Belair became a champion for the first time in her WWE career, already securing her place in the annals of sports-entertainment history in her WrestleMania debut.

The score: 8 out of 10

Final Verdict: 8/10

The good news is that the wrestling was really strong and it had little in the way of goofy skits to bog it down. We went from one match to another in proper succession and didn’t waste time w…okay Peacock had a thousand commercials…feathery bastards. What else went wrong here? Oh. The rain slowed down the show by about an hour. However, once we got to the matches, we were smooth sailing. I mean, I don’t sail…clothed. Whammy! There’s enough going on here that you can shake a bake at a snake all quaked out on…what the f—k? The opener and the closer were the best parts of the show, with Bad Bunny surprising many with his athleticism and doing a Canadian Destroyer that actually looked good. The undercard held together and didn’t lose steam even when it slowed down during a weaker match. The crowd really carried this sucker from bell to bell and breathed life into even the most mundane moments. Having Bianca win in the main event felt like a big deal and, while she is still not quite ready to be a champion yet, she does have the potential to do well with the belt, so I’m very happy to see if she pull off the miracle. All in all, Night 1 was a success and makes Night 2 look tantalizing all on its own if this night was any indication.

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