After over a year with out fans in the stands, WWE welcomed the Universe back for WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Just like last year, though, the show will take place of the course of two nights. It’s only fitting though that as WWE moved out of the ThunderDome, WrestleMania was delayed 40 minutes because of thunder storms. Once the show got underway, though, the rain stayed away.
In a historic main event, Smackdown Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks faced off against the 2021 Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair. The two looked almost overwhelmed by the moment, with Bianca fighting back tears. Sasha drew first blood, taking Belair down off a lock up. Belair just kipped up, though, showing she would not be bullied.
Bianca almost hit the Kiss of Death early in the match, telling Banks she was inches away. Banks hung up Bianca on the top rope and sent her to the floor. The champ followed with a suicide dive, but Belair caught her. Bianca carried her up the ring steps and dumped her in the ring. Belair body slammed the champ, who grabbed Bianca’s braid out of the desperation. Banks pummeled Belair in the corner and locked in a bow and arrow. A knee to the jaw crumpled Bianca in the corner, but she countered the meteora. Banks tried to use the hair, but Bianca over powered her, slamming her into the ring post.
Bianca showed off her power in the ring, carrying Banks around with a delayed vertical suplex. Banks grabbed ahold of the braid again, but Belair used it to her advantage. She hit a standing shooting star press before going up top. Banks got her knees up on a splash to block. Bianca kicked out of a backslide and then power bombed the champ. Twice. Banks countered a third.
The champ hit a tornado DDT with an assist off the ropes. Banks went up to the top rope and hit a splash. She snapped Belair’s arm over the ropes and smashed her into the ring steps. In the ring she locked in the Banks Statement with Bianca’s braid wrapped through out the hold. Belair was able to rolls herself to the ropes to break the hold.
Belair powered Banks into the corner and set her up top. The champ fought back and caught her opponent in the ropes. Banks misses the double knee drop and then missed a meteora in the corner. Belair connected with a450 splash, but only scored a two count on the pin. Banks landed on her feet on an attempted KOD and grabbed the hair again. Belair countered with a hair whip. She picked Banks up and dropped her with the Kiss of Death. Bianca covered for the three count and the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
WrestleMania 37: Night One
Your WrestleMania hosts Titus O’Neal and Hulk Hogan get the WWE Universe fired up.
Bobby Lashley (champion) w/MVP vs. Drew McIntyre (challenger) – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
The two lock up, push each other around, and break. Lashley leap frogs Drew, but runs right into an overhead suplex. Lashley rolls to the floor, with McIntyre giving chase. Lashley drives him into the ringside barrier. Back in the ring, Lashley connects with a spear in the corner. Drew sidesteps another spear and the champ crashed into the ring post. McIntyre explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and follows with another over head suplex. Drew hits a neck breaker and kips up. Lashley blocks the Future Shock DDT. Lashley connects with a flatliner. Drew with a head butt, but Lashley answers with a choke slam. Drew fights off the Hurt Lock and hits an Alabama Slam. He hits three Future Shock DDTs in a row, but the champ kicks out at two. McIntyre loads up a Claymore, but Lashley rolls out of the ring. McIntyre takes flight over the top rope to take out the champ and MVP on the floor. McIntyre comes off the tope rope, only for Lashley to catch him and drop him. The champ wants the Hurt Lock, but McIntyre is able to keep him from the locking it in.
McIntyre rolls through a power bomb into a Kimura Lock. Lashley struggles to get to the ropes, but is able to break the hold. The two trade shots in the middle of the ring. The champ runs into a big boot. Lashley uses a distraction from MVP to duck the Claymore and apply the Hurt Lock. McIntyre drops to one knee. He gets to his feet, but can’t break the hold. Drew slips to the mat and passes out. The ref calls for the bell.
Winner…and still WWE Champion…via submission: Bobby Lashley
Match rating: 3/5
Bayley crashes a meeting of the NWO. They don’t seem to keen on giving her the “Too Sweeeeet” salute.
Naomi and Lana vs. Carmella and Billie Kay vs. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. The Riott Squad vs. Natalya and Tamina – Tag Team Turmoil Match
Lana takes down Carmella and drives her knees into the back of the neck. Naomi and Lana double team Billie with a face buster; Carmella has to make the save. Carmella rolls Naomi and with an assist from Kay gets the pin.
Eliminated by pinfall: Naomi and Lana
The Riott Squad is up next. Carmella hits a bronco buster on Liv Morgan in the corner. Billie knocks Ruby off the apron and rolls up Liv. Carmella tries to assist again, but the ref catches her in the act. Liv hits Kay with double knees and hold her to mat, allowing Ruby to comes off the top rope and get the pin.
Eliminated by pinfall: Carmella and Billie Kay
Many Rose and Dana Brooke are out next and poor Mandy slips on the ramp. It did down pour about an hour ago. Dana hits Ruby with a blockbuster. She follows with a spinning neck breaker. Ruby nearly gets a pin on Rose and then tags in Liv. She double stomps Mandy in the back. Liv hits double knees to the face and Ruby follows with the Riott kick. Brooke breaks up the pin. Rose suplexes Ruby out of the ring. Brooke hits Liv with a Swanton and covers. Liv reverse the cover and gets the pin.
Eliminated by pinfall: Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose
Natalya immediately locks in a Sharp Shooter, but Liv counters with a roll up. Tamina and Natalya beat Morgan down in the corner. Liv and Ruby double team Tamina in the corner. Ruby hits a senton off the top rope, but Tamina powers out of the pin. Liv leaps into a super kick, as Ruby gets double teamed. Nattie looks for the Sharp Shooter, but instead tags in Tamina, who goes up top. She connects with a super fly splash on Liv. Tamina covers and gets the win.
Winners via pinfall: Tamina and Natalya
Match Rating: 2/5
Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro
Cesaro comes out firing at the bell with an uppercut. He then catches Seth with a corkscrew uppercut. Rollins goes up top, but Cesaro drop kicks him. Rollins slips out of a gut wrench suplex and hits a buckle bomb. Cesaro goes up top, but Rollins catches him with a superplex and floats thru into a Falcon Arrow. Cesaro kicks out of the pin.
After a backslide, Cesaro connects with another uppercut. He pummels Rollins in the corner. Cesaro whips Rollins corner to corner, following with an uppercut. Cesaro calls for the swing, but Rollins counters with a pin. A step up enzuigiri fells Seth. Cesaro is able to swing Rollins nine times, before locking in a Sharp Shooter. Seth gets to the ropes to break the hold. Rollins dodges another uppercut and hits a flying knee. Seth with a sling blade and goes up top. Rollins hits a corkscrew splash, but Cesaro kicks out of the cover.
Cesaro hits a Neutralizer out of nowhere, but Rollins kicks out. Seth counters another Neutralizer into a Pedigree. Rollins trash talks Cesaro as he lies on the mat. Rollins elbows Cesaro in the back of the neck, but has the stomp blocked. Cesaro with an airplane spin, aka the UFO, dumping Rollins onto the mat. He calls for the spin, hitting 23 swings. Cesaro with a Neutralizer and covers to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Cesaro
Kayla Braxton welcome the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, to the interview stage. They successfully defended their titles on Smackdown, Friday night. Dolph gives his thoughts on the RAW tag team title match and Roode knows you don’t bet against AJ Styles.
The New Day (champions) vs. AJ Styles and Omos (challengers) – RAW Tag Team Title Match
Nice to see Big E announcing the New Day’s entrance. Omos looks to start off the match, but Kofi and Xavier successfully lobby AJ to start. Kofi goes for an early SOS, but AJ counters into the Calf Crusher. Kingston rolls through to escape. Kofi back drops AJ, staring down Omos. Kofi twerks in AJ’s directions. An enraged Styles rushes right into a drop kick. Woods tags in, dropping on elbow from over the top rope. Styles gets stomped into the corner. Woods prevents Styles from making the tag. Kofi and Xavier team up on a bulldog to AJ. Kofi prevents AJ from getting to his corner, so Styles tries the long way around the ring. Woods cuts him off. Kofi with a springboard splash, as AJ still can’t make a tag. Woods goes up top, but AJ breaks free of Kofi and is able to get the tag to Omos. The big guy enters the ring, as Xavier tries to cut him down to no effect. A drop kick won’t fell the giant. Kingston leaps in, but gets caught and spun down to the mat. Woods gets splashed in the corner. Omos delivers one to Kofi, but hitting Woods with a spine buster over his knee. Omos delivers one to Kofi. AJ tags on, launching himself off Omos for a Phenomenal Forearm to Kofi. Omos scoops up Kingston, dropping him with a double handed choke slam. Omos makes the cover with one foot to get the win.
Winners…and new RAW Tag Team Champions…via pinfall: AJ Styles and Omos
Match Rating: 2.5/5
Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon – Steel Cage Match
Jerry Lawler joins the commentary team. Shane tries his best to keep the cage door closed, but it is just a distraction. Elias wallops Braun with a chair across the back and Jaxson Ryker hits him in the leg. Strowman is rolled into the ring and Shane tees off with a chair as the bell rings. Strowman rips the chair out of Shane’s hand, but McMahon kicks Braun in the leg. Shane gets caught trying to escapes out the door, but Braun yanks him back in. Braun limps around the ring as Shane focuses on the leg. Shane tries to climb out of the cage, but instead he rips off a piece of sheet metal. He hits Braun in the face and goes for the door. Shane gets caught and forcefully pulled back into the ring. Braun tosses McMahon into the cage several times.
Braun clubs Shane across the chest. He looks for the running powerslam, but his leg gives out. Shane rams Braun into the cage and hits a DDT. Shane climbs the turnbuckle and connects with the coast to coast. He covers, but Braun kicks out. Elias and Ryker run down to help Shane escape the cage. Strowman crashes into the cage, sending the two to the floor and Shane crashing to the mat. Shane makes his way back up to the top of the cage. He finds a toolbox up there, smashing it into Braun’s head. Shane makes his way down the outside of the cage, but gets caught by the hand. Strowman rips the cage off it’s supports to drag Shane back in. Braun pummels Shane and takes him to the top of the cage. Strowman tosses Shane to the mat below. Braun hits the running power slam and covers to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Braun Strowman
Match rating 3.5/5
The Hall of Fame classes of 2020 is set to be honored, but Bayley hijacks the commentary team. She rolls the Hall of Fame package for them. The 2020 Hall of Famers in attendance walk out on stage. The class of 2021 will be honored tomorrow.
Bad Bunny and Damien Priest vs. The Miz and John Morrison
A legion of bunnies (in costume) fill the ring for Miz and Morrison’s entrance. While Bad Bunny gets to ride into the stadium on top of an 18 wheeler. Damien Priest starts off the match, but Miz and Morrison want Bunny, and Bad Bunny wants some. Miz mocks Bunny and gets dropped by a straight right. Bunny with a waist lock and Miz thinks it is funny, until Bunny hits him with another right. Bunny with a flurry of strikes in the corner and takes Miz down. Miz whips Bunny across the ring, but he counters with an arm drag and Miz hits the floor. A drop toe hold takes Miz down and Bunny rolls him up. Miz kicks out and gets a pep talk from Morrison.
Miz wants a test of strength, but instead kicks Bunny in the stomach. Miz tosses him into the ropes, but Bunny fights his way off the apron. Bunny spins Miz around and Morrison tags in. Bunny with a head butt to Johnny Drip Drip and then a splash in the corner. Morrison catches Bunny with an elbow on a second splash and Miz hits him with a cheap shot. Miz tags in, taunting Bunny and Priest. Bunny fights his way out of the corner, but can’t get the tag. Miz with a kick to the face and follows up with a DDT. Miz drags him to the floor, bouncing him off the announce table.
Morrison does a spin-a-rooni to taunt Bunny in the ring. John holds him, allowing Miz to strike. Miz strike Priest on the apron, which gives Morrison a chance to stomp away at Bunny. Bad Bunny fights his way out of the corner, hitting a DDT. Priest gets the hot tag. cleaning house. Miz eats a spin kick and Morrison goes down with a clothesline. Priest with suplex on Miz sending him into Morrison. He chokeslams Miz, but Morrison makes the save. Bunny and Priest dodge shots from Miz and Morrison and deliver Falcon Arrows in stereo. Miz and Morrison kicks out. Bunny gives Priest an assist over the top tope to take out Miz and Morrison on the floor. Bunny climbs the turnbuckle, hitting Morrison with a cross body on the floor. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Priest in the ring, but Bunny breaks up the pin.
Bunny with a Canadian Destroyer to Morrison on the floor and Miz is shocked. Priest picks up Miz on his shoulders and Bunny tags in. He hits a Miz with cross body and covers to get the win.
Winners via pinfall: Bad Bunny and Damien Priest
Match rating: 4/5
Sasha Banks (champion) vs. Bianca Belair (challenger) – Smackdown Women’s Title Match
Winner…and new Smackdown Women’s Champion…via pinfall: Bianca Belair
Match rating: 4/5
WrestleMania continues Sunday night; same time, same channel.
Event time: 3 hours and 39 minutes (including a 40 minute weather delay)
In the stadium, WrestleMania Saturday delivered on every level
WrestleMania 37 Night One 4/10/2021
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Night one of WrestleMania was a roller coaster of a show. WWE now knows why the Rays play in a dome, as the show was delayed 40 minutes by thunder storms. The upside to this was a series of unscripted backstage interviews. Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre kicked the show into high gear with their opening championship match, but all that momentum was ground to a halt with the tag team turmoil match. The women did well, but the crowd wasn’t feeling it. The show swung back with the Cesaro match and win, but the RAW tag team match just didn’t deliver. Omos took forever to tag in, and when he did, well, it wasn’t worth the wait. The show finished strong with Bad Bunny popping the crowd and delivering more moves than Omos did. (A Canadian destroyer! WHAT!?!?) Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair easily put on the match of the night; living up to the hype of this historic match.