The WWE’s annual “Showcase of the Immortals” returns to an open outdoor venue a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced WrestleMania 36 to take place on a closed set with no fans.
With social distancing protocols in place, WrestleMania 37 is taking place in front of a limited amount of ticketed fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Once again, the event will take place over the course of two nights.
History will be made in the main event as Sasha Banks defends her WWE “SmackDown” women’s championship against 2021 Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair. The match marks the first time WrestleMania will be headlined by two African American women and will certainly serve as an emotional affair regardless of the winner.
Bobby Lashley will kick the show off by defending the WWE championship against former titleholder Drew McIntyre. Lashley will look to turn back the challenge of the man who held the title for much of the pandemic. Will McIntyre get his opportunity to have his moment in front of fans?
The event also finds Latin music superstar Bad Bunny teaming up with Damian Priest against The Miz and John Morrison, while Shane McMahon makes his annual return to WrestleMania against Braun Strowman in a steel cage match.
It’s a seven-match card for the first night of WrestleMania and Sporting News will keep you up to speed on all the action.
WrestleMania 37 match grades
Bobby Lashley (c) def. Drew McIntyre to retain the WWE championship
Drew McIntyre has really bad luck.
Last year, the Scottish Psychopath won the title with no fans in attendance due to the pandemic. It felt like this would be McIntyre’s crowing moment. And then there was a 40-minute rain delay that caused the match to start late. And then Lashley defeated McIntyre clean in a solid, yet unspectacular match.
It was your typical juggernaut slugfest between two Superstars who have been pretty well protected over the past six months. It plodded a bit early and it’s not necessarily the kind of match you want to open WrestleMania with. However, things began to pick up in the final third when Lashley countered a Claymore Kick with a chokeslam but McIntyre sprung to his feet. A trio of Future Shock DDTs from McIntyre couldn’t keep Lashley down.
McIntyre set up for another Claymore Kick but Lashley rolled to the outside. This led to McIntyre taking to the skies and hitting a tope suicida. Lashley regained control and sought to sink in the Hurt Lock but McIntyre escaped and slapped in a kimura submission. Lashley would escape and McIntyre once again set up for his finisher. In what was a strange sight, MVP yelled and distracted McIntyre, which caused him to miss the Claymore. Lashley sank in the Hurt Lock and McIntyre tried to power out but succumbed to the power of the champion.
These two have given us more hard-hitting matches outside of the WWE and it didn’t live up to the potential that they have shown in the past. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to have Lashley retain because he keeps the title scene fresh.
Natalya & Tamina win the Tag Team Turmoil match
This match never really had a chance.
The women’s tag team division has been an absolute mess with singles wrestlers being thrown into tag teams with no real rhyme or reason. And with Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax being pretty dominant, it would have been nice to see a team with a little momentum get the win so we could at least think they have a chance to upend the champions on Night 2.
Instead, we got the newly formed team of Natalya and Tamina, who have done next to nothing for the past year, picking up the victory.
It’s not like the women didn’t work hard but it had nothing going for it. Naomi and Lana were inexplicably eliminated by the makeshift team of Billie Kay and Carmella. The Riott Squad, the only actual long-tenured tag team in the match, would eliminate Billie Kay and Carmella. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke actually looked like a tag team with their matching gear but were also sent packing by a Liv Morgan rollup.
Natalya, who has seemingly tagged with every woman who has ever competed in the WWE, was out next with Tamina. They took control early and hit a Hart Attack followed by Tamina hitting a Superfly splash for the pin.
No drama and went a lot longer than it should have. These women deserved better.
Cesaro def. Seth Rollins
Look, nobody will disagree with you that the story of this match being that Rollins is upset at being swung around by Cesaro is stupid. But these two are incredibly talented and Cesaro was long overdue for what would be his first singles match at WrestleMania.
Nobody is going to remember the story but everyone should remember this match. It was given the time necessary to deliver and ended up being the excellent showdown that Cesaro deserved. Also, a ton of credit to Rollins who has had more than his fair share of WrestleMania moments but made sure to give the fans a noteworthy performance.
The early story of the match was Cesaro trying to wear down Rollins for the Giant Swing. But Rollins sought to work over Cesaro’s arm to prevent it. Cesaro eventually swung Rollins but needed to stop due to the injured arm.
Rollins pulled off an incredible 360-degree corkscrew frog splash and that’s when this match really picked up.
Cesaro reversed a ripcord knee and hit the Neutralizer for a near fall. Rollins countered a second Neutralizer for a Pedigree but couldn’t keep Cesaro down. Cesaro countered a Curb Stomp with an uppercut and completed an armless airplane spin and put Rollins in the spin cycle with a Giant Swing that had 23 rotations.
One last Neutralizer and Cesaro picked up the win. It’s been a long time coming for Cesaro, who wore his emotion all over his face. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come as Cesaro is one of the best pound-for-pound talents in the WWE.
AJ Styles & Omos def. The New Day for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
This match was about two things: Omos having his in-ring debut and AJ Styles becoming a grand slam champion.
That’s it. And that’s fine because it was fun
Omos wearing a vest, dress shoes and slacks for his ring gear was a sight to see. Even more interesting was the decision to have Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston play as the heels by keeping AJ Styles from tagging in his giant. The New Day played it well by teasing and mocking their opponents until Woods made a critical error that allowed Styles to get the tag to his gigantic bodyguard/partner.
All seven feet and three inches of Omos simply obliterated Woods and Kofi in the most entertaining way imaginable.
Styles jumped off of Omos’ shoulders for a Phenomenal Forearm that took Woods out and Omos finished the job with a two-handed chokeslam on Kofi Kingston. Omos used one foot to pin Kingston and we had new tag team champions.
The New Day knew what the assignment was and handled it well to get the big guy over. I have no idea what you do with Styles and Omos moving forward but this was a fun way to introduce the giant.
Braun Strowman def. Shane McMahon in a steel cage match
Any WrestleMania match with Shane McMahon is simply an excuse for him to either jump or fall off of something tall. As a spectacle, it works. As a match, it’s reached the point of exhaustion and totally unnecessary. To make matters worse, the narrative behind this steel cage match was that Braun Strowman was upset because Shane McMahon called him stupid.
Yup. That’s the story. Straight out of 3rd grade.
But we’re not grading stories, we are grading matches. And this match was just okay. Strowman was absolutely ripped and it was almost insulting to even consider that McMahon had a chance. But, for whatever reason, Shane-O-Mac is always booked as some kind of world-beater who can overcome any opponent. Elias and Jaxson Ryker tried to help Shane by attacking Strowman but that went nowhere. Shane got the upper hand and his usual assortment of terrible punches and a coast-to-coast.
McMahon got in some more offense and attempted to make his escape. But Strowman reached through the cage and pulled Shane back into the cage. That was actually kind of cool.
Strowman tossed Shane off the top of the cage, hit the running power slam and picked up the victory. It wasn’t terribly offensive and was simply built for the highlight reel. One can only hope this is the last time we have to see Shane McMahon get prime real estate at WrestleMania.
How to watch WrestleMania 37
One of the latest streaming services to hit the market, Peacock, is an NBC-driven vehicle. In January, WWE Network and its library were sold to Peacock, which is now home to WWE streamed content.
Peacock has three separate pricing tiers: the free tier, the Premium tier and the Premium Plus tier. In order to watch WWE Network and WrestleMania 37, you’ll have to subscribe to the Premium tier, at $4.99 per month. This will also grant you unlimited access to the WWE Network library available on Peacock, as more content is uploaded to Peacock over the coming months.
Peacock is available on gaming consoles, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV and Apple TV. After logging in, there is a WWE category across the top bar — navigate over to it, and away you go.
WrestleMania 37 Night 1 match card results
- Bobby Lashley (c) def. Drew McIntyre to retain the WWE championship
- Bad Bunny & Damian Priest vs. The Miz & John Morrison
- Natalya & Tamina def. Lana & Naomi, Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose, The Riott Squad and Billie Kay & Carmella in a Tag Team Turmoil match
- Cesaro def. Seth Rollins
- The New Day (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos for the “WWE Raw” tag team championship
- Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon in a steel cage match
- Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the “WWE SmackDown” women’s championship