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Welcome to Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE Wrestlemania 37 – Night One review exclusively posted here at NoDQ.com. It feels great to finally be here to witness a big WWE event with a live crowd again. Then, with the weather delays, you got to see the WWE operate on the fly and it was pretty good. Imagine that, wrestlers cutting their own unscripted promos and it was FUN.
Usually for bigger WWE events, I write my columns on the fly so that I can not only instantly capture my thoughts as the show happens, but not spend hours after the shows typing this column. Saves me time, gives you an instant column.
Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE Wrestlemania – Night 1 Review
Considering how large Raymond James stadium really is, the WWE made this stretched out 26,000 in attendance look like a full crowd. Looks quite good! Welcome back, fans!
Awesome rendition of “America the Beautiful”… Loved it!
I enjoyed that Vince McMahon, with all of the wrestlers on stage, introduced Wrestlemania 37. He deserved that moment. For the past year, critics and COVID warriors told Vince to “shut it down” and yet he kept the ball rolling despite them. He gave us wrestling… Yeah, it could have been better with fans in attendance, but he kept the ball rolling and tried to new things (MVP managing Lashley, Roman turning heel, pushing Bianca Belair, etc). Interesting choice of wrestler positioning, as Roman Reigns was in a suit and standing right beside Vince McMahon instead of Shane McMahon.
Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan came out to hype the show. This was fine, though Hogan said “brother” many, many times…
OPENING MATCH was Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title. This was GREAT… I was just watching Wrestlemania 18 this morning for the Hogan vs. Rock match and I was amazed at what little effort both guys truly made in comparison to matches that you see today. Yet, you won’t see the same reaction of matches today to what was seen with Hogan vs. Rock. Drew vs. Bobby reminded me of that, as it was two unusually large human beings having a big man match and not having to do daredevil moves to tell a story in the ring (besides Drew’s leap over the ropes onto Bobby and MVP). Match told a great story and had an amazing finish with the brief MVP distraction being enough to cost Drew the match by being locked into and passing out from the Hurt Lock. [ **** 1/4] I was glad that WWE kept the title on Bobby here, as it’s HIS time to shine at his later age. Drew has another decade of his career left.
Total CRINGE backstage segment with Bayley saying goofy things in front of the New World Order. If you’re going to place that all time GREAT stable, don’t waste their time with a stupid comedy segment. You just know that those veterans are like “WTF was that”? What the hell was on Bayley’s face?
Up next was the Women’s Tag Team Turmoil to determine which tag team gets to wrestle Nia and Shayna on Night #2. This match was just bad and entirely rushed to get through each team. Quite the outfits worn by Mandy and Dana, by the way… Quite the slip by Mandy, too, along with her hair somehow being longer again. The right team won with Natalya and Tamina, as I’d really push their bloodlines if the WWE chooses to have them win on night #2. This match didn’t feel like it was a Wrestlemania match. [ * ]
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins was up next. Can we give Cesaro a first name again? We keep referring to “Seth Rollins” as “Seth Rollins”… Beautiful corkscrew splash hit by Seth Rollins. Rollins seemed to have the upperhand at first but then Cesaro smashed him at the end, which I liked… The UFO move was crazy, and then the spin and then the finisher… It finished off a good story where a cocky and arrogant Seth Rollins put Cesaro down repeatedly and Cesaro made him pay in the end. Match was brief but paid off the storyline to give Cesaro a big win. [ *** 1/2 ] Hopefully, this results in a major character change for Seth Rollins because this heel character is worn out.
New Day vs. AJ Styles/Omos was up next. Big E introduced them… You know, WWE, you can accomplish both… They can remain New Day as a trio AND Big E can remain a singles competitor. This match is all about Omos… Guy is freakin’ huge, but is he agile and has he been well trained from the Performance Center? New Day wants AJ Styles to start, which might seem wise… But AJ is quite the accomplished wrestler… I swear, Kofi Kingston has amazing hang time for any flying move that he pulls off. Story being told is that Omos’s hot tag is going to matter, as New Day is working on AJ. Someone needs to tell Omos to NOT do backbreaker moves with his knees. That is the #1 thing to do on any taller athlete. Lots of power moves by Omos and that finishes off New Day to crowd NEW tag champions. [ ** ] He did alright… Just keep it simple for big guy and the Tag Team scene will protect him. This could work… Match was New Day working on AJ Styles and then the hot tag came in to promote the debut of Omos.
Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman in a CAGE Match was up next… Somehow, this entire storyline was a 51 year old Shane bullying a 6’8″, 350 pound guy who used to be a power lifter… WWE wonders why nobody gets over, especially if they have to sell for backyard wrestling Shane McMahon. And as my buddy Virtue said, Braun Strowman slayed Bill Goldberg quickly last year and yet he struggles with 51 year old backyard wrestler Shane just one year later. Shane, of course, takes a big bump. [ * ] That’s enough, Shane. Retire already and stop humiliating larger wrestlers who have to sell for you. We’ll forget about your big bump tomorrow because you’ve tried many big bumps to impress us for many, many years.
I always LOVE the Hall of Fame segments on Wrestlemania and conveniently enough, they can split 2020 and 2021 among the nights.
It would be quite fitting if Steve Austin wrestled one more match at Wrestlemania 38 in Dallas, TX…
A whole bunch of Easter Bunnies suddenly appear… God help me, it’s Bad Bunny/Damian Priest vs. Miz/Morrison. And Bad Bunny appears on top of a Semi Truck and has music playing that I cannot even understand. How can we find out how much he’s being paid for this night? I’m willing to get that it is easily $1-2 million… How do you feel about that, full time WWE wrestlers? You complained for YEARS about the Rock, Brock, Triple H, and Batista “taking spots”… How about a non-wrestler not just taking a spot, but a big payday from your employer too? On top of that, Bad Bunny is a short and thin guy who is a non-wrestler… Miz should crush him here to start just based on physics alone, but that’s not now 2021 corporate WWE works. Their 60 “Data Scientists” have performed regression models that tell them that non-wrestling fans somehow like Bad Bunny, so here we are. Miz tried to throw Bunny outside the ring and Bunny ran right into the ropes, LOL. And then Morrison to sell for him, too… 30 years combined experience selling for a non-wrestler in his first match. HOW EMBARRASSING. You just know, however, that the corporate shill Miz is like “this is a great opportunity for me”. At least now, Miz and Morrision is working Bad Bunny over as a heel tag team. Somehow, inexperienced Bad Bunny knows how to perform a Tornado DDT off the top rope… Uh huh. At least now, we get Damian Priest getting his Wrestlemania debut and he looks like a total badass. After a fury of offense, the match returns to the Bad Bunny show who has fully recovered from the Tag Team beatdown and does a splash on Miz/Morrison on the outside. Then, in the ring, Miz recovers and hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Priest and somehow, Bunny recovers from his body splash to make the save! What the hell… Made Priest look weak by getting locked into Miz’s finisher so easily and then needing Bad Bunny for the save. And then Bad Bunny hits a Canadian Destroyer on the outside on Morrison… Bunny hits a crossbody on Miz while the Miz was on Priest’s shoulders… [ -** ] Negative stars for that nonsense. I don’t care how big of a music star that Bad Bunny might be… It’s an INSULT to your full-time trained wrestlers to have a smaller guy with ZERO in-ring experience join your profession and not just hurt you inside the ring, but beat you as well.
MAIN EVENT and it’s Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the Smackdown Women’s Title… Hopefully for them, Wrestlemania permanently becomes a 2-night event so that main eventing the first night means something. Man, those Sasha Banks memories in that video were quite impressive… She’s had quite a nearly 6 year career of moments in the WWE and it was really only the last year where they really pushed her as a top star. Sasha added a little lime green to her blue hair… I love her choices in tights. Obviously, she’s beautiful and would look great in anything, but it’s her sense of style that helps set her apart and makes her physically look like a big star. I LOVE the fact that Bianca Belair was tearing up before the start of the match… Big moment for her, as she’s never performed at Wrestlemania before and it has been a while since she has seen fans. Whoa… Bianca rolled with a bodysplash by Sasha and then stood up and full body pressed Sasha… Not only that, but she walked up the ring steps and tossed her into the ring. Absurd strength! Match was heavy with Bianca showing off her athleticism while Sasha was doing her psychological stuff. PERFECT MIX of styles… Bianca did a standing Shooting Star Press! Holy cow! Give CREDIT to Sasha, the veteran here, who is selling like a champ to make Biana look amazing too. It takes two, folks… Then, Sasha uses Bianca’s ponytail against her to help lock in the Bank Statement. I LOVE THIS MATCH!!!! Fans are booing, Sasha, too… Amazing psychology by Sasha. Only weak spot was when Bianca was hanging upside down from the top rope and it appeared that Sasha missed something, but then Bianca hit the 450 Splash to get the crowd back. Sasha then went for the ponytail again (psychology, baby!), but Bianca fought back and hit her with that ponytail like a whip to the midsection and then eventually hit the Kiss of Death (KOD) for the win. EXCELLENT WOMEN’S MATCH, as Bianca hit some amazing athletic stuff and Sasha sold for her perfectly. [ **** 3/4 ] One of the best Women’s matches we have ever seen thus far in the WWE. They NAILED the Main Event spot, baby! Congrats to both ladies! I loved seeing her family going bonkers at ringside!
LAST WORD: Sadly on Peacock, you cannot just select matches as you used to on WWE Network. Because if you had that convenient feature, you could just watch only the Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre, Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins, and Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair matches… SKIP the rest. The Tag Team Turmoil match felt like an undercard match of RAW or Smackdown while Shane McMahon and Bad Bunny made full-time wrestlers sell for them. WWE is sacrificing making money with their full-time roster for getting 1 night publicity out of shock value of Shane’s stunts or Bad Bunny’s tiny frame doing moves that he should have in his first match. And WTF was up with that Bayley backstage segment with the New World Order? The 3 great matches outweighed the HOT GARBAGE, however, and we’ll go [ B+ ] for Night #1. Go see those 3 matches… They were GREAT!!
So just chill… Until the next episode!
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