Wrestlemania 37 Night 1 Results, Match Recap, And Review
Find out the winners and losers for the two-night 2021 event right here, starting with Night One.
Wrestlemania 37 Night 1 featured some dynamite matches that we'll be talking about for decades, especially the bout between Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks. Check out all the results for Night 1 below, check out Night 2 Wrestlemania 37 results, and scroll down for a special episode of Wrestle Buddies, where we break down both nights of the WWE PPV.
Months of preparation, story building, and production design have gone into this year's Wrestlemania, which takes place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. This is the home of the NFL team the Buccaneers, so hopefully, WWE puts the giant pirate ship inside the stadium to good use--because why wouldn't you? In the US, if you want to watch Wrestlemania, you'll need to be signed up for a premium Peacock account, NBCUniversal's streaming service.
As Wrestlemania 37 is a two-night event, the 14 matches for the PPV have been split between the two nights. On Night 1, there will be three championship matches. And the rumor is that Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair will be the main event of the evening. However, we'll have to wait and see if that's true. Check out the Night 1 match card below.
Night 1 match card:
- Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre - WWE Championship
- Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair - Smackdown Women's Championship
- Bad Bunny & Damian Priest vs. The Miz & John Morrison
- Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
- Naomi & Lana vs. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke vs. The Riott Squad vs. Natalya & Tamina - Tag Team Turmoil
- The New Day (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos - Raw Tag Team Championship
- Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon (Steel Cage Match)
Throughout the evening, GameSpot's Wrestle Buddies--Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner--will be updating you with the winners and losers as the show airs. Additionally, a few minutes after the conclusion of each match, we'll be delivering reviews of each match, offering up our wrestling fan expertise. Make sure to come back to GameSpot on Night 2 for coverage of the show, and following the conclusion of Night 2, there will be a special post-Wrestlemania episode of Wrestle Buddies wrestling podcast.
The Kickoff Show has begun. You can watch it live for yourself below in this handy-dandy YouTube link. It's free to watch, whether you subscribe to Peacock or not. Throughout the Kickoff Show, there may be some changes, and if there are, we'll note them below.
Because of the storm in Tampa, there may be some delays, but who knows? We'll keep you updated regardless. Have a great Wrestlemania everyone!
Surprisingly, there was no Kickoff Show match for this year's Mania--just a lot of commentary about the upcoming matches.
There's a rain delay, so it's a bunch of backstage interviews going on right now. This could be a very long night.
Fans are being let back in, and the promo package for the WWE Championship match has begun.
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre - WWE Championship
Winner: Lashley by submission
Mat: How about that 40 minute rain delay? That was fun, right? John Morrison had glasses on that said "Drip drip" in a backstage interview while WWE was trying to kill time. Anyway, this is a match of two very large, muscular men challenging each other to tests of strength--a teeter totter of momentum. You know what you're getting with a match between these two: power moves, breaks in between said moves, and muscle-men posing. That's not a bad thing by any means, as long as I am entertained.
This is what I want from these two. It's a match contained within the ring--for the most part--and it's straight-up powerhouse wrestling. Neither is the underdog, which makes for a little more of a compelling match, as this could go either way. Of course, Lashley is the heel here, so of course MVP comes into play, with him helping get Lashley out of the ring, and distracting McIntyre as well.
I'm also going to probably say this a lot, but isn't it great to have a live reaction from a crowd? It just adds so much excitement to the match. It was pretty cool to see the audience shocked over the McIntyre loss. I'm probably scoring this higher than I should, since it's Mania and there's an audience again, but I really enjoyed this one.
Chris: Wait, the show started? Sorry, I was napping. Honestly, the company did great filling the time before they could actually start the show by letting the wrestlers great with promos do just that. When we finally got to Lashley vs. McIntyre, I honestly kept waiting for them to call for another rain delay. Honestly, what happens if officials evacuate mid-match?
On the surface, it's hard to imagine this match being much different from the 2020 bouts between these two. However, this was the perfect place-setting for WWE's return to live audiences: Two beefy, sweaty boys slugging it out for all their worth just for the opportunity to call themself champion.
I have to say, the right decision was made for the winner, but the way it happened was kind of a cop-out. MVP distracted Drew just by yelling from outside of the ring? I don't really buy that, especially since he was yelling for most of the match. Regardless, this was a super fun match to kick the show off with and it's the right choice to not feature as the main event.
Tag Team Turmoil
Winner: Tamina and Natalya by pin
Mat: Wait, this is a gauntlet match and not an elimination--everyone in the ring at the same time--match? As you may or may not know, but during our predictions episode of Wrestle Buddies, Predictionbot3000 predicted The Riott Squad to win.
Naomi and Lana go out early to Carmella and Billie Kay. Honestly, I missed it because I was typing about a bit from the podcast. Riott Squad took out Carmella and Billie Kay with a nasty-looking tag team maneuver. Mandy or Dana slipped while walking to the ring, and that was pretty funny. I couldn't tell which person it was.
This has been a showcase for the Riott Squad, but not a good one. It's sloppy. There's no time to really build a story here between all the competitors. Did I mention this is sloppy? Anyway, after all this goodwill is built up around the Riott Squad, Natalya and Tamina win. Everything about this match was bad, including who was booked to win. Sorry, Predictionbot3000.
Chris: This was...awkward. Gauntlet matches can be hard to pull off and, sadly, his one didn't pull it off for me. I think one major issue is the number of makeshift tag teams that simply haven't had the chance to distinguish themselves yet. Beyond that, some of the work was just way too sloppy and the weather interfered when Mandy Rose slipped on a wet ramp during her entrance. Even the announcer botched a spot, announcing that the wrong team was eliminated at one point.
Additionally, it's a shame that Naomi isn't a cornerstone of WWE's women's division like she should be. It's also a shame that nobody in WWE seems to realize Billie Kay is doing better character work than almost anyone else in the company. And Peyton Royce isn't even on the card--why are we still without an Iiconics reunion?
In the end, Natalya and Tamina--a heel team--win and will face Shayna Baszelr and Nia Jax--a heel team--for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships. So, honestly, I don't even know what we're doing here.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
Winner: Cesaro by pin
Mat: ReversalMania! Do you enjoy wrestling matches with a lot of counter, reversals, and never-before-seen moves? You should because it's awesome and constantly surprising. That's what Rollins and Cesaro was: a bunch of "how they do that?" moments.
So the Cesaro Swing is great and all, but bless Cesaro for bringing back the Airplane Spin--a devastating finisher in like 1950. Cesaro brings an element of fun to in-ring competition without being a comedic character, and as a giant goofball myself, I appreciate the hell out of that.
In all honesty--this is a review, so I'm supposed to be honest, I guess--this match lived up to my expectations, which were high. This is a real cool Wrestlemania moment for Cesaro, one of the best wrestlers in the company. Now, WWE… let's keep that momentum going.
Chris: First thing's first, I love Rollins' new music. And, of course, we got the swing in. But Rollins made Cesaro work for it, coming up with a number of creative reversals to avoid the dastardly dizzying move. And we saw some new tricks from Rollins, who executed a corkscrew splash from the top rope--and it looked fantastic.
I'm going to be honest here, I don't like the swing. I don't like being dizzy, but also it's been so overused over the years that I'm just not a fan. But I'm clearly in the minority. It's super over with the audience and I love it for that.
But let's talk about the outcome. We've been talking on Wrestle Buddies how this was the moment to elevate Cesaro to become a main player in WWE and with a decisive victory over Rollins, I really hope that's what ends up coming to pass. This man is too talented to not be one of the top names in the company. But regardless of what happens next, these two put on a wildly entertaining match with a crowd-pleasing outcome, some interesting high spots, and plenty of hard-hitting moves.
The New Day (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos - Raw Tag Team Championship
Winners: AJ Styles and Omos
Mat: Big E introducing The New Day made me so very very very happy. Like tear-to-my-eye happy. Hearing the crowd chant "New Day Rocks" made me very happy. The New Day just makes me happy.
The story in this match is "AJ is going to tag Omos, eventually." It's so weird that we're not seeing The Phenomenal AJ Styles here. It's more of Styles just trying to tag in his very tall friend. Then, Omos finally gets tagged in and all the agility and wherewithal that The New Day has goes completely out the window, to cater to the in-ring debut of Omos--who did very little here.
When all is said and done, Omos and Styles have the win. I don't mind those two getting the titles, but the first half and the second half of this match have two very different versions of The New Day. It just didn't feel real to me. I know, this is wrestling, it's predetermined and what not--but I need it to feel real.
Chris: Big E kicking things off with a proper New Day introduction was exactly what we all needed. That said, this match is so odd to me. I'll say this, it was wildly entertaining. The New Day were amazingly funny throughout, and seemed to be having the best time making AJ Styles look foolish. But why is AJ Style made to look the fool? This is a multiple-time world champion and one of the greatest wrestlers in the business. Making him look like an incapable moron seems to be bad planning, long-term.
Now, let's talk about Omos. He's a great visual. He's a giant just throwing people around. But having him thoroughly destroy the New Day in seconds for the tag titles, to me, is incredibly short-sighted. AJ gets nothing from this, Omos needs more seasoning to live up to this. Again, I'll say this was an entertaining match, but let's be clear: Omos didn't have to do much. The New Day bumped around the ring like lunatics for everything he hit them with and then the match was over. I don't know how to feel about it.
Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon (Steel Cage Match)
Winner: Braun Strowman by pin
Mat: This match does nothing for anyone. You know from the get-go that this was all about Shane taking a massive bump, which he did from the top of the cage into the ring. But hey, Braun ripping apart the cage while Shane escaping happened, and that was a thing.
Braun ends up getting the pin--instead of escaping for some reason--and nothing will come of this. He also flexed in front of the pirate ship, which was the most enjoyable part of the match. Make Braun a pirate.
Chris: This match was a bust for me from the jump. I refuse to believe, in any way, that Shane McMahon could physically best Braun Strowman. Yet, in the early parts of the match that's what happened. The end result was never in doubt and the feud that it was built on was a massive failure. At least it didn't last long, I guess.
Additionally during the evening, 2K Games announced WWE 2K22, and revealed the first--very early--footage for the game. If you want to learn more, check out the Wrestle Buddies mini episode about the footage we watched for a press event below.
Bad Bunny & Damian Priest vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Winner: Bad Bunny & Damian Priest by pin
Mat: The match opened with a bunch of bunnies coming to the ring, then John Morrison and The Miz performing one of their songs live. I did not appreciate WWE commentary crapping all over it. Booker T enjoyed it though, and that made me happy.
For the majority of the match, I was putting my kid to bed, so I missed almost everything else. Family comes first, even during Wrestlemania. Unless I was actually at the show, then he'd have to read a book to himself.
Here's what I saw. Bad Bunny doing some great selling. Bad Bunny caring about wrestling as a craft. Bad Bunny doing a Canadian Destroyer. Again, while I can't rate this match, from what I saw, it was a blast. Bad Bunny rules.
Chris: This is a match of amazing entrances, from an army of bunnies to Bad Bunny on top of a semi-truck. It all looked awesome and, had the match ended there, it would've been perfectly serviceable. That said, this match was actually a lot of fun. Bad Bunny has clearly been training for his Wrestlemania spotlight. He may not be a technical marvel, but he more than held his own in a very entertaining match. Heck, he even busted out a Canadian Destroyer!
This was also a showcase for Damian Priest, in his Wrestlemania debut, and he delivered. Hopefully, this leads to him getting a substantial push on Raw. As for Bad Bunny, chances are this is the last we'll see of him but what a way to go out on top. In the world of celebrity involvement, this has been one of the best.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair - Smackdown Women's Championship
Winner: Bianca Belair by pin
Mat: Hey look, a main event quality match that's actually the main event. There's a reason these two are center stage for Night 1. Sasha Banks puts on high-quality PPV matches and Bianca Belair is everyone's new favorite wrestler because she's a monster in the ring.
So many moments from this match were the moment of the night, and Belair carrying Banks above her head, walking up the stairs, and throwing her in the ring was amazing. I have not been this invested in the match and the in-ring storytelling between two wrestlers in years. This was captivating, and although my expectations were high, it somehow surpassed it. I don't see anything else on Night 2 being this good--and this is after a long day where the show was delayed for an hour.
I'm at a loss for words. I'm simply wowed by these wrestlers. Hell yes. Thank you.
Chris: I'm glad this match is the main event. It deserves it. The feud leading to it was a bit hit-and-miss for me, but there are no two more deserving to headline this show and them having an excellent match was a foregone conclusion.
Sasha Banks deserves a lot of credit for her heel work here, and the use of Bianca's braid against her was practically perfect evil wrestler material. But holw cow, Belair showing just how powerful she is over and over again was just fantastic. I honestly don't have any critiques. The story that was told from these two, the innovation in the ring, all of it was just top notch and so worthy of being a Wrestlemania main event. I dare any match from Night 2 to top this. And good luck getting the sound of that hair whip out of your mind.
See you all tomorrow night.