By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for my live reviews of both nights of WrestleMania 37 beginning with the one-hour Kickoff Shows at 6CT/7ET. Dot Net Members will have exclusive access to the audio reviews that Jake Barnett and I will record after both shows. Join us via PWMembership.net.
The build to the majority of the WrestleMania 37 matches was lousy, particularly on the Raw side. But many of the matches look good on paper and this could end up being a very good WrestleMania. Some fans have groaned about the lack of big names or special attractions. Stop. This is the show that WWE has needed to deliver for years now. They relied too heavily on names from the past and it was damaging to the full-time wrestlers. I wish they would have leaned into a “next generation” type of marketing pitch to emphasize that this event is primarily about today’s stars and I definitely wish they would have done a better build. But I am looking forward to this WrestleMania and the return of fans for the first time in over a year. And perhaps the coolest thing about the event is that I feel a real sense of mystery when it comes to the outcomes of the top four title matches. This should be fun. Let’s get to it. As always, I’m guessing just like you are.
Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: I’m happy that Banks and Belair are getting to close night one, but it makes the lousy build to their match all the more baffling. This should have been built up as a showdown between two elite talents. Instead, they incorporated Reginald, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler, and oddly had Banks and Belair take losses when they should have been plowing through opponents in singles matches. I need to forget the build in order to see this as the night one main event. And that should be easy once the bell rings, as Banks is one of the best in the business, and I’m anxious to see how the talented Belair handles the pressure of the big stage. I have gone back and forth regarding this prediction. After seeing how badly Rhea Ripley’s year went after she lost to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36, I’m hopeful that the company will take a different approach with Belair.
Bianca Belair wins the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship: The show opening match that could easily be the night one main event. WWE has done a lot of terrible things on Raw, but they got it right with Lashley and McIntyre. This feels like a showdown match. McIntyre opening the first show with fans back in attendance is a cool move. They could keep the party going by having him win the title in front of fans after his big moment of beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 was met with the sound of silence at the Performance Center. They could also feel less pressure to deliver a satisfying main event in the opening slot and save McIntyre’s big win for SummerSlam if the company believes they will be playing to a full house by then. Good cases can be made for both men holding the championship, but I’m going with the feel good moment to start the show.
Drew McIntyre wins the WWE Championship.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. AJ Styles and Omos for the Raw Tag Titles: Well, we know that Omos won’t flinch if you throw a microphone at his abdomen. I assume Styles does the heavy lifting while Omos is used for key power spots and a lot of no-selling. The New Day duo feel really cold at the moment, and it doesn’t help that they are trying to be comedic on the dreadful Raw show where Riddle and R-Truth are also doing bad comedy. As for the match, I don’t have a strong feeling either way, so I’ll give the big man the win in his debut.
AJ Styles and Omos win the Raw Tag Titles.
The Miz and John Morrison vs. Bad Bunny and Damian Priest: Celebrities usually win WWE matches. I assume Bad Bunny hops into his $3 million car and drives off into the sunset. Can he take Miz and Morrison with him so that they could get the break from television that they desperately need?
Bad Bunny and Damian Priest win.
Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman in a steel cage match: Please let the finish be that a confused Strowman can’t figure out how to open the cage door, allowing Shane McMahon to escape over the top of the cage. Realistically, Shane will take a big fall off the top of the cage and through the broadcast table at some point. And perhaps he’ll even win the match because stupid Braun shoves him off the top of the cage. But I’m going with the full-timer to win.
Braun Strowman wins.
Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro: The match is built around this being Cesaro’s first WrestleMania singles match. Will that be the feather in his cap or will he actually get the win? I assume the feud continues beyond this match, which could point to a Rollins win. But I’ll go with Cesaro winning and Rollins doing something after the match or on next week’s television to extend the feud.
Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan vs. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Tamina vs. Naomi and Lana vs. Carmella and Billie Kay in a tag team turmoil match for a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: The final push for this match on Smackdown made Natalya and Tamina look dominant. While I can’t rule out Carmella stealing a win somehow either with Kay or a replacement partner, I assume there’s a reason that Natalya and Tamina were suddenly booked like the Road Warriors in 1986.
Natalya and Tamina win.
-I picked a lot of babyfaces to win. WrestleMania should be a feel good show, but I probably went overboard.
-I’m going with 13 as the over/under for the number of times that the WWE 24/7 Championship changes hands over two nights. Every celebrity in attendance will probably have a moment with the title, and then some of the usual suspects will end up with it before R-Truth wins it back on night two.
-In honor of the WrestleMania number, 37 is the over/under for the Swing revolutions during the Cesaro vs. Rollins match.
-One of the most fascinating aspects of the show is how WWE would handle a thunderstorm. There is a chance of bad weather on both nights. WWE has dodged potential weather bullets when they ran outdoor shows in the New York/New Jersey area in April, but Mother Nature may finally catch up with them this year. Actually, I think it’s the ghost of the year 2020. It was such a terrible year where whatever could go wrong did go wrong, to the extent that I remain surprised that a pipe didn’t burst while they were filming WrestleMania 36 at the WWE Performance Center.