By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Day 1
Aired January 1, 2022 on Peacock, WWE Network, and pay-per-view
Aired live from Atlanta, Georgia at State Farm Arena
WWE Day 1 Kickoff Show match result: Sheamus and Ridge Holland defeated Ricochet and Cesaro in 9:45. Holland suffered an injury and had to leave the match…
The main card opened with a video package that included Migos and various WWE wrestlers… Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed viewers to WWE’s first “premium live event” of 2022. They addressed the news of Roman Reigns being pulled from the show due to testing positive for COVID-19, and Brock Lesnar being added to the WWE Championship match…
1. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Kofi Kingston and King Woods for the Smackdown Tag Titles. The Usos wore the Bloodline t-shirts that feature them, Reigns, and Paul Heyman. Cole said this was the 167th day of the Usos’ title reign. Kingston was isolated until he performed a tornado DDT and made a hot tag to Woods.
Woods picked up a near fall, but then Jimmy worked him over at ringside. Back in the ring, Jimmy performed a corkscrew neckbreaker from the ropes for another two count. Jey tagged in and the Usos performed a popup Samoan Drop on Woods, which led to another near fall.
A short time later, Kingston tagged in and went for Trouble in Paradise on Jey, who beat him to the punch with a kick. Jimmy tagged in and performed a top rope splash for a near fall. McAfee noted that Gable Steveson was sitting in the front row and thought the match was over.
Kingston rallied and got a near fall off an SOS. Woods tagged in. Kingston put Jey over his knee and then Woods performed a top rope double stomp, which resulted in a near fall. Kingston tagged in again. Jimmy tagged in and both Usos drilled Kingston with a double superkick. The Usos hit a double splash on Kingston and had him pinned, but Woods broke it up.
Woods sent Jimmy to ringside and tried to dive onto him, but Jimmy caught him with a superkick. Jimmy tagged in and then the Usos hit 3D on Kingston and then Jimmy scored the pin…
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeated Kofi Kingston and King Woods in 17:05 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: The strong match that we have come to expect from these teams. Woods is from Atlanta, so at least they didn’t have him take the pin for his team. I liked the Usos using the 3D finisher. It was a cool throwback spot and I guess only time will tell if it was just that or if there’s some other purpose to them using the Dudleys’ finisher.
A video package recapped Big E winning the Money in the Bank contract and then cashing in successfully on Bobby Lashley…
Big E was interviewed by Kevin Patrick in the backstage area. Patrick asked him about Brock Lesnar joining the match. Big E said he didn’t have this on his bingo card. Big E mentioned all of his five-way opponents and said you could line them up and he will knock them all down. He said he would find a way to retain his championship…
Kayla Braxton spoke with Migos on the backstage ring set and noted that they are from Atlanta. They said they are longtime WWE fans who have been watching since they were kids… McAfee thanked Migos for supplying the official Day 1 theme song…
Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance. They did their lame ass comedy bits. Drew McIntyre’s entrance spared the world from listening to more of their jokes…
2. Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss (w/Happy Corbin). Cole and McAfee called the match. McIntyre dominated in and out of the ring to start until Moss caught him returning from ringside. Moss struggled to hold up McIntyre, but he got eventually did and was able to perform a fallaway slam. McIntyre battle back and both men ended up on the top rope.
Moss crotched McIntyre on the ropes and set up for a move, but McIntyre sat up and suplexed Moss back into the ring. McIntyre did his countdown and went for his finisher, but Moss caught him with a kick. McIntyre ran the ropes again and hit the Claymore Kick, then made the cover and got the three count…
Drew McIntyre defeated Madcap Moss in 9:45.
Powell’s POV: I would say that this match didn’t look like a premium live event match on paper, but I’d never heard the words “premium live event” strung together until tonight. Seriously, the trivial shit they worry about is just astonishing. Anyway, this didn’t feel pay-per-view worthy despite the best efforts of both men. The Madcap Moss gimmick is so awful that it doesn’t even feel like it belongs on Smackdown. Pull the plug on this awful gimmick and give the guy a chance.
Kevin Owens was interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Owens wasn’t happy about Brock Lesnar being added to the match, but he said he would get revenge for what Lesnar did to his “soulmate” Sami Zayn. Owens said he would have a new plan and then said he had to go to with Seth Rollins…
A long Seth Rollins video package aired…
3. “RKBro” Randy Orton and Riddle vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins for the Raw Tag Titles. Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton called the match. Migos accompanied RKBro to ringside. They sat behind a velvet rope in chairs next to the broadcast table.
The live crowd was behind RKBro. There were boos when the Profits posed for the crowd early in the match. Ford tagged in for the first time and did a strange danced while Orton glared at him. Ford backed Orton into the corner. Orton expected a clean break, but Ford chopped him. Orton returned the favor with a poke of Ford’s eyes.
Riddle tagged in and performed an assisted moonsault. The Profits ended up isolating Riddle, who eventually made a hot tag. Orton powerslammed both opponents and then both Profits ended up on the apron. Orton pulled them in for a double Draping DDT. Orton struck the Viper’s Pose and went for an RKO, but Ford countered into a rollup for a two count.
Riddle worked over Dawkins and was setting up for a springboard move when Ford shoved him to the floor. Ford ended up performing his always impressive big dive over the top of the ring post onto Orton and Riddle at ringside.
Back in the ring, Orton set up for a superplex, but Ford fought free and headbutted Orton, who fell to the mat. Ford went for a splash that Orton avoided. Riddle returned to the ring and ended up popping Ford into the air and then Orton hit Ford with an RKO on the way down and then pinned him.
“RKBro” Randy Orton and Riddle defeated “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in 11:15 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Migos entered the ring and celebrated with RKBro. The Profits recovered and then shook hands with Orton and Riddle while the Migos trio applauded…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. I’m actually surprised they didn’t get more time considering that the card has one fewer match due to Reigns being sidelined. RKBro has pretty much run through all of the Raw tag teams so I’m not really sure what’s left for them to do.
Backstage, Drew McIntyre was searching for the locker room when Schreiber showed up and asked him Happy Corbin is up next for him. McIntyre said Moss is one tough son of a bitch. He started to talk about Corbin when Corbin and Moss showed up and attacked him. McIntyre held his own briefly, but Corbin ended up working him over with a chair. Moss put the chair around McIntyre’s head and then Corbin picked up some piece of equipment and slammed it onto McIntyre. Adam Pearce and WWE referees ran off the heels and checked on a choking McIntyre…
Powell’s POV: I can’t say enough that Corbin and Moss need to be freed from those terrible gimmicks. It’s so hard to take them seriously even when they do something like this, and it’s not doing McIntyre any good to be working with them.
A Royal Rumble video ad aired for the Saturday, January 29 event… A Bianca Belair video package aired…
Kayla Braxton knocked on Brock Lesnar’s dressing room door. Lesnar actually answered the door and she asked him about being added to the WWE Championship match. Lesnar said he can do whatever he wants to do and he’s a free agent thanks to his advocate Paul Heyman. Lesnar said he would win the WWE Championship and then called it a spoiler while winking into the camera…
After an ad, a video package recapped the Edge and Miz feud…
The Miz and Maryse made their entrance. Edge was raised from under the stage while The Brood theme played. Once Edge was halfway down the aisle, his usual theme played and he was introduced by ring announcer Mike Rome…
4. Edge vs. The Miz (w/Maryse). Miz performed an early hip-toss and then posed while letting out a primal scream. Miz went to the ropes and mugged for the crowd. Edge eventually took control after Miz missed a move in the corner. Edge drove Miz to the mat and covered him for a two count. Edge caught a charging Miz and slammed him to the mat for another two count.
Edge sold left leg pain from some earlier Miz offense. Miz eventually tripped up Edge on the apron, causing Edge to fall face first onto the mat. Miz slammed Edge’s head onto the top of the broadcast table several times, then entered the ring and soaked up boos from the crowd. Miz returned to ringside and climbed onto the table. Miz went for his finisher, but Edge slipped out of it and drove Miz face first onto the table.
Back in the ring, Edge went for a cross body block from the ropes and got a near fall. When both men stood up, Miz went for his finisher again, but Edge countered into a pin for a two count. Miz went for a figure four, but Edge kicked him away. Miz kicked Edge moments later, causing Edge to go through the ropes and into the post.
Miz applied a figure four. Edge fired up and eventually rolled it over. Miz escaped the hold and went for an STF, but Edge blocked it. Miz catapulted Edge into the corner and then covered him while using the ropes for leverage. The referee spotted Miz, who acted like he won. The referee informed him that she caught him. The crowd chanted “you can’t do that.”
Edge took Miz down and applied a Crossface. Miz rolled onto Edge, who rolled through and maintained the hold. Maryse helped Miz put his foot on the rope to break the hold. Miz rolled to the floor and Maryse tended to him. Edge reached over the ropes, but Miz clotheslined him over the top rope.
Miz returned to the ring and went for one of his signature spots, but Edge stuffed it. Both men threw simultaneous kicks that left both men down. They got back to their feet and traded strikes. Miz got the better of it and kicked Edge into the corner, then hit him with his running clothesline.
Miz went up top. Edge joined him on the ropes and performed a hip toss that sent Miz crashing into the ring. Both men got up slowly. Edge went for a spear, but Miz leaped over him. Edge crashed into the corner. Maryse hit Edge with her purse. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for a good near fall. Maryse climbed onto the apron and barked at the referee.
Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix came out and seethed while standing on the stage. Phoenix’s entrance theme played and she walked to the ring and went after Maryse while Miz barked at her from the ring. Maryse ran to the stage. Phoenix turned her attention to Miz and told him that she’s watching his ass. Miz turned and ate a spear, which led to Edge getting the three count…
Edge defeated The Miz in 20:00.
Powell’s POV: It was hard enough to be excited by this match on paper, and now it looks like they want viewers to be excited about a mixed tag match where the heels have little heat and don’t feel like threats to the babyfaces. I would say that Miz needed to win this match to help the cause, but that would have killed this crowd and perhaps hurt Edge more than it would have helped Miz. This feud is a mess and it’s now about seeing Edge and Phoenix team together because their opponents feel so soft.
After some advertising, Kevin Patrick told Bobby Lashley that his chances of winning the WWE Championship took a hit due to the addition of Brock Lesnar to the match. MVP cut off Patrick and said that the other entrants are trembling with fear over Lesnar, but that’s not the case with Lashley. The segment closed with Lashley saying it’s a new year and there will be a new WWE Champion…
After more ads, a video package set up the Raw Women’s Championship match…
5. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan for the Raw Women’s Championship. Mike Rome delivered introductions from the floor once both wrestlers were inside the ring. The Raw team called the match. Morgan was the early aggressor and applied Lynch’s own Disarmer finisher, which Lynch escaped. Morgan countered into another submission hold that Lynch broke by reaching the ropes. Graves praised Morgan for using most of five count before releasing the hold.
Lynch came back and performed a weak looking leg drop on Morgan, who was leaning over the middle rope. Lynch covered her for a two count. Lynch rubbed Morgan’s face into the mat. Moments later, Lynch performed an exploder suplex and covered Morgan for a two count. Morgan made a comeback and let out a primal scream. Morgan performed a missile dropkick and got a two count.
Later, Lynch cut off Morgan on the ropes and then joined her. Morgan blocked a superplex and slipped under Lynch for a powerbomb, but Lynch threw punches at her to avoid the move. Morgan sprung off the middle rope and then performed the sunset bomb for a near fall. Lynch regained offensive control and draped Morgan over the ropes. She went for another leg drop from the ropes, but Morgan avoided it.
Morgan performed a missile dropkick. Lynch rolled to the floor. Morgan ran the ropes and then hit a suicide dive. Morgan rolled Lynch back inside the ring, but Lynch rolled out the other side. Morgan followed Lynch to the floor where Lynch ended up slamming her head into the broadcast table several times. Morgan returned to the ring to beat the referee’s ten count. Lynch tossed her right back to the floor and followed her.
Morgan ran Lynch into the steps and then stomped her arm, similar to the way Lynch went at her arm on Raw. Back in the ring, Morgan caught Lynch sitting on the top rope and gave her an Codebreaker style move on her arm. Morgan went for her Oblivion finisher moments later, but Lynch countered into a Manhandle Slam and scored the clean pin…
Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan in 17:00 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: The finish seemed a little off. The effort was certainly there from both wrestlers, but the match suffered from the majority of the live crowd not really buying into the idea that Morgan would beat Lynch. Speaking of crowd reactions, there’s a dramatic difference between the massive reactions that Lynch was getting as a babyface to what she’s getting now as a heel. I was among the many who didn’t like the turn when it happened and they’ve done nothing since then to make me feel like they made the right call.
Backstage, Seth Rollins was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Rollins recalled that he was originally the only challenger for Big E before the others were added. Rollins got fired up and said he would Stomp heads and win…
The Raw broadcast team recapped the Kickoff Show tag match, including the injury suffered by Ridge Holland…
Johnny Knoxville’s social media announcement that he will be in the Royal Rumble match was shown…
A video package set up the main event… Entrances for the main event took place with Mike Rome introducing each wrestler as they walked to the ring. Brock Lesnar was the last man introduced…
6. Big E vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) in a five-way for the WWE Championship. Lesnar dished out some early German suplexes, but Big E ended up dumping him to ringside. When Big E followed, Lashley cut him off. Lashley hoisted Big E on his shoulders and ran him into the ring post. Lesnar stood up and took a spear from Lashley that drove him into the timekeepers area.
Lashley went to the ring and tried to suplex Rollins, but Owens cut him off. Rollins and Owens worked together. Lesnar stood up and was about to return to the ring when Rollins hit him with a suicide dive. Rollins held Lesnar on the floor while Owens splashed him from the apron. Rollins and Owens grabbed the top half of the ring steps and rammed them Lashley and then Lesnar with them.
Rollins and Owens cleared the broadcast table. A “we want tables” chant broke out. Rollins and Owens grabbed Lashley and tried to suplex him, but Lashley fought them off. Big E showed up and performed a uranage that drove Lashley through the broadcast table. Owens superkicked Big E on the floor. Rollins and Owens tossed Big E back inside the ring, then performed a double DDT that drove Lesnar onto the ring steps.
Back inside the ring, Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb on Big E for a near fall. Owens went up top for a Swanton, but Big E put his knees up. Rollins immediately splashed Big E and got a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Rollins set up for a Stomp on Big E, but Lesnar returned and hit Rollins, Big E, and then Owens with F5s. Lesnar stood up and celebrated only to be speared by Lashley, who covered him for a good near fall.
Lashley put Lesnar in the Hurt Lock. Big E broke it up and then hit Lashley with a Big Ending. Big E tried to hit the same move on Lesnar, but Lesnar stuffed it and hit Big E with an F5. Lesnar covered Big E and pinned him clean to win the championship.
Brock Lesnar defeated Big E, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, and Kevin Owens in a five-way in 8:25 to win the WWE Championship.
After the match, Lesnar laughed as he put the belt over his shoulder while kneeling in the ring. Lesnar looked at Lashley, who was glaring at him from the floor. Lesnar held up the championship and Lashley was shown watching him. Lesnar celebrated to end the night…
Powell’s POV: The main event was a lot of fun while it lasted. I can live with the title change, but I’m not a fan of Big E taking the pin. Why not have Lesnar beat Rollins or Owens so that Big E at least had a claim that he wasn’t pinned to lose the championship, which creates the need for a future title match. I guess they really wanted Big E out of the title picture. And it looks like Lashley is either next in line or a WrestleMania opponent for Lesnar given the post match scene.
Overall, this was a disappointing show and even the main event couldn’t save it. Obviously, a big part of that had to do with Roman Reigns missing the event due to COVID-19. This struck me as a two match show with Reigns and it felt like a one match show without him. That’s not to say that some of the other matches weren’t entertaining, but at times I felt like I was watching a house show with longer matches. I will be back with Jake Barnett and Will Pruett for tonight’s Dot Net Triple Threat audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below and by voting for the best match of the night. Happy New Year!
Any chance that Roman’s COVID-19 positive result is part of the big planned angle? Heyman switched the results to “protect Roman Reigns from Brock Lesnar”?
Near perfect main event to end one of the better WWE shows in a while. Lesnar vs Big E and Lesnar vs Lashley are both potentially tremendous programs and there’s still time to revisit Lesnar vs Reigns down the road.
Yeah I’m not sure why Jason didn’t care for this show. The first tag match was excellent and the other one was pretty good. The woman’s match wasn’t good (sorry a lot of them aren’t and Liv isn’t ready) and the Mac / Moss match was average (actually a good match with awful characters)
The main event was fantastic and putting the title on Brock and having him face Lashley at WM actually sounds better to me than another Brock Roman match
I dunno. I enjoyed the show and gave it a B
Side Note: I like the new term “premium live event”. Honestly what was the last year these were even PPVs anyway. That sounds very antiquated. When you watch something on Netflix you don’t say “let’s watch a video”
“I can live with the title change, but I’m not a fan of Big E taking the pin. Why not have Lesnar beat Rollins or Owens so that Big E at least had a claim that he wasn’t pinned to lose the championship, which creates the need for a future title match. I guess they really wanted Big E out of the World Title picture.” WWE has quite a track record of definitively and unceremoniously ending the championship tenure of Black wrestlers, and after Kofi and Bianca Belair Big E. just seems like the latest victim of the trend.
I’m betting we see Lesnar/Reigns in a Title Unification match at Mania.
Disappointing show? Man, it was good. I’m glad doesn’t wwe cater to the iwc. It as a solid show and they made the best of the reigns incident. This kind of reminded me of Great balls of fire ppv. This is the major leagues. Expect the unexpected.
Powell, the trivial shit YOU worry about is astonishing.
Powell shouldn’t do articles for WWE events anymore because it’s clear he has a bias. He found issues with every match but his AEW reviews are so glowing they should have their own rave.
lesnar should not have been added to the wwe champ match its not fair..and it shows a lack of faith from wwe in the matches they book that they could nt have left him off the show.
Lesnar back and immediately champion again, how exciting! Maybe he can wrestle Goldberg for the belt! Happy 2004 everyone!
While I don’t mind Lesnar winning (i mean, we all knew he would when he got added to the match), I agree that Big E shouldn’t have been the one taking the pin. Could’ve protected him. All 5 men looked strong in that match, and having Kev or Seth taking the pin wouldn’t have made them look weak, since they really held their own during the match.
The match was layed out smartly. All 4 other men can still be “in the contender’s picture” for Brock’s belt, which is great.
That being said, I’m hoping we finally see Brock vs Bobby for WM. I’m quite bored with Roman anyways, so I care very little for who’s going to be his opponent at WM.
boy the liv, becks story gets worse and worse and ontop of the crappy wrestling last night in their match…
MVP calling Lashley “the yin to Brock Lesnar’s yang” was probably the unintentionally funniest line of the night. I don’t think he meant to say what he actually said 🙂
I gave the PPV a solid “C.” While I liked the eventual entry of Beth Phoenix into this feud, it took waaaay too long. The Liv/Becky match was ok; some of the moves were great but the storytelling was mediocre. Fatal 5 way was BS. I agree that someone besides Big E should have taken the pin; It felt lazy and (almost) like a squash. I was like you were reading a realy well developed story and you turned the page in Chapter 5 adn… THE END. Booo
The main event was what it should have been. Lesnar is the 2nd biggest quarter hour draw WWE has these days, with Goldberg 3rd. Only Reigns is above those guys.
Only a bad booker/promoter wouldn’t keep putting him over when it’s clearly what the fans want, and the top draws in WWE show again that there are a lot more fans that want big dudes with charisma to be presented as ass kickers more than anything else.