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WrestleMania 37 felt truly special because it was the beginning of a new chapter. After one year, one month and one day, WWE was finally able to bring crowds back for a major event.
After a rain delay, the night got moving with a great performance from Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. The All Mighty truly made the most of his moment, solidifying his WWE Championship reign.
Cesaro walked into the ring to face one of the best WrestleMania performers in recent memory, Seth Rollins. And The Swiss Cyborg looked to be on an even higher tier than his opponent.
Despite both of these performances, the biggest winner was Omos. In his WrestleMania debut, he dominated the most dominant tag team in history, going over The New Day in such a way that he could believably defeat anyone going forward.
The women’s tag team turmoil match was a mess that didn’t help anyone, unfortunately. The Riott Squad almost got a spotlight, but even that was cut short for the sake of a contest that did not feel right for The Show of Shows.
Bad Bunny also had a strong case for winner for the night. The WWE-loving singer did everything in his power to look like a true wrestler and even hit a Canadian Destroyer on the outside of the ring.
Even with all of that good work, though, the women stole the show in the main event. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair put on an early Match of the Year contender and the clear best of the night for WrestleMania.
WrestleMania 37 Night 1 largely was a success, built on the work of some incredible wrestlers who were energized by a crowd of excited fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
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Drew McIntyre was given the special right to come out for the first entrance in front of a large crowd in over a year, and he performed with extra fire from that. However, this was not his night.
Bobby Lashley showed no fear in taking on The Scottish Warrior. He took the fight to him and survived even a trio of Future Shock DDTs. Thanks to valuable interference from MVP, The All Mighty locked in the Hurt Lock, forcing a referee stoppage.
It felt like everything was set up for McIntyre to win back the WWE Championship. The crowd was new and hot for the former champion. He had done everything for the company the past year to set it up to keep fan attention when crowds could return.
However, the heel won and mostly clean. It was a big moment for Lashley, showing just how much WWE trusts him by letting him carry the gold beyond The Showcase of the Immortals.
Lashley should be able to work with many top stars going forward. While few will feel as big a threat as McIntyre, it sets up a unique dynamic for future challengers. Which young star will be able to overcome the power of The All Mighty?
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While it was good of WWE to give the women’s division another match at WrestleMania, this wasn’t the right spotlight for the talent. None of the combatants seemed comfortable, and many of WWE’s less comfortable performers were heavily featured.
Lana and Billie Kay started off the night with a few noticeable botches, and Liv Morgan did not appear at ease with how much of a focus she was given throughout. Natalya and Tamina barely had a chance to show anything by the time they got involved.
The Riott Squad are talented. Ruby Riott especially is one of the best women’s wrestlers on the WWE roster, and it is a shame she got stuck in the mix here. This team got the biggest spotlight and should have won despite the build Natalya and Tamina were given.
In the end, the obvious winners pulled it out. If this contest had happened on SmackDown instead, it would have been fine, but you need to bring your best at The Show of Shows.
This was not the top work these women can deliver. Whether it was due to the rain delay, a lack of preparation or the wrong names being involved, this was the lowest point of the night.
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Cesaro had the motivation and desire that Seth Rollins just could not match.
The Swiss Cyborg threw around The Messiah with ease. While Rollins almost had the victory with a Stomp, Cesaro reversed it into an uppercut followed by the giant swing for 23 rotations into the Neutralizer to win.
This match was all about bringing Cesaro to the next level, and he looked like a star at every stage of this contest. From the opening power struggle to the fast-and-furious finish, this was exactly what it needed to be.
Over the past nine years, The Swiss Cyborg has worked like one of the best wrestlers in the world. However, his charisma was often in question, even though crowds cheer him loudly. He even had a dedicated “Cesaro section” in crowds.
What held him back was his mic work. He was not comfortable with English for a long time. These days, he has improved immensely. He may not be one of the best, but he can keep up enough to showcase himself against anyone.
This was a special moment for Cesaro, and Rollins did everything in his power to develop his momentum. In the end, The Swiss Cyborg has never been in a better position. And that’s a massive win for him.
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All the build to WrestleMania focused on Omos getting in the ring for the first time. While he was expected to look good, it wasn’t clear if he would emerge on the winning side. On Saturday, though, he not only won but also looked like an unstoppable force.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods had no answer for him. He threw them around with ease. AJ Styles barely needed to do anything once he tagged in his dominant bodyguard.
Only The Great Khali was made out as this dangerous early on as a giant in WWE, but Omos has far more mobility and technique. He may not be ready to work as a solo star, but he has the build of someone who could beat anyone.
By the time Omos is ready to go solo, he could be booked as the world champion easily on this evidence. He has the tools to do what WWE has often never allowed even Big Show or Braun Strowman to be: He can take the space left by Andre the Giant.
The New Day cannot lose momentum anymore as a team. Omos used that fact to look utterly indestructible. He may never look better than this.
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Bad Bunny walked in with serious expectations behind him, and all his work in the Performance Center paid off as he looked like a star in the ring with top veterans. He carried this match in a way no other celebrity without in-ring experience could have done.
The combination of his mainstream popularity, passion for the business and clear preparation for this moment made him the best celebrity WWE has asked to wrestle. Any time he wants to compete, the company should gladly accept.
He is certainly not at the level of WWE’s ridiculously talented roster, but few performers on the roster can match his star power. That combined with his work ethic is something special to watch. He did not just come to put over Priest. He wanted to work like a WWE Superstar.
Hopefully, this is about getting The Archer of Infamy to the top of the card in the long term. He was sold as the dominant force of his team, but he was not asked to be the workhorse.
WWE took a chance with Bunny, and it paid off. The merchandise sales have been fantastic, but more importantly, he worked like this moment meant everything to him.
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Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair stepped into the ring knowing they were making history as the first Black women to ever main-event WrestleMania in a singles match. It was a special moment, and the bout that followed lived up to its legacy.
Easily the match of the night, The Boss pushed The EST of WWE to her limit, and Belair refused to give up. She kept pushing until she landed the K.O.D. for an emphatic victory.
Obviously, the biggest winner here was Belair. The new SmackDown women’s champion earned every bit of this moment and has become a lasting star with this victory. At this point, she is now at the same level as all of the Four Horsewomen.
The Boss lost her title, but she added an unforgettable match to her legacy. Banks has changed the business with many performances. This may be her greatest achievement, even though there a few of her matches are of comparable quality.
It will be tough for any match on Night 2 to compete with this main event. Perhaps only Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Edge can do so. This was the final stroke that made this first night a special event for WWE.
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