Review for WWE Wrestlemania 37
Wrestlemania for now is no longer a one -day event: Spread over two nights it means we can enjoy it as two separate shows and its gives two chances to main event. All of these positives make the whole experience of watching this event odd, but also more satisfying. In the past, people have complained about the length of the show which is ironic as both together clock in over six hours between them, but because there is a natural break between them it is much easier to digest and this is possibly not an event I would want to watch all in one go.
After the last year of empty arenas and use of the Thunderdome, it is nice to see a crowd and funny that WWE still consider twenty-five thousand people ‘a small crowd’, but considering the stadium can hold over seventy thousand and the last with a crowd (Wrestlemania 35) was around eighty thousand you can understand it. However, it was nice to see and hear a crowd again and it did make the event feel more special.
Of the two nights, I feel that Night One won in terms of consistent enjoyment. It started with an excellent WWE Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. I have never been a huge fan of Lashley, but his work with The Hurt Business has been great and this match was the right way to start this night.
The tag team turmoil match for the shot at the Women’s tag belts on Night Two could have been awful, but was actually pretty entertaining. It is a shame that they did not go with The Riott Squad as this was a great showing from them and they are one of the few cohesive teams that WWE has.
Seth Rollins and Cesaro was a clinic and easily the best worked match of the night. This was not surprising by the two and to be honest with rumour of Cesaro leaving, it is great what WWE are doing to try and make him stay. It has been too long for him to be in the shadows.
The Steel Cage match between Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman certainly had its moments and was no doubt where most of the OMG moments will be from. However, I hate when they build Strowman up to be a monster only for him to be hurt and at times taken down by someone literally two sizes smaller than him.
The two tag matches were both great for almost the same reason. The New Day put their Raw Tag belts against AJ Styles and Omos and I expected Omos to be the weak one of the match. Instead, by isolating AJ and working a great ‘old skool’ tag match it made Omos’s entrance into the ring even more impressive.
As for Damien Priest and Bad Bunny against Miz and Morrison I thought this was going to be another ‘celeb stinks up the ring’ match. Instead he was a true highlight and I was stunned by how good he was in the ring. The match itself had some fantastic moments from everyone involved and the storyline build was one of the best. Seeing Bab Bunny perform a ‘Canadian/Mexican Destroyer’ was also one of the best things I have seen in years.
If only Night One had ended with that. However, the Main Event was Sasha Banks defending her Smackdown Women’s belt against Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair. This match highlighted my biggest issue with Sasha Banks: Her size. Whenever it is noted that her opponent outweighs/is taller etc. the match feels off. Banks is fantastic as a character and as a quick lightweight, but when they focus so much on her size it makes me disbelieve that she could win, let alone that she is champion. This is a shame, as the match was pretty good, although they went to the well with using Belair’s hair a few too many times, but overall a great match from them, just could have been a lot better.
When it comes to Night Two, it feels as though WWE overegged this with too many Championship matches to the point where we had four in a row and none of them were really given the chance to savour the victory. Of these matches Riddle and Sheamus for the US belt was fine, but I do feel they should have done more to push Riddle as this just wasn’t the right time to switch the belt. The Women’s tag match was fine, but I don’t buy either team as a cohesive unit. If they had went with The Riott Squad they could have gotten Baszler back into the title picture where she belongs.
The Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Championship was essentially just a Street Fight and I said last time that I found the whole storyline with Apollo Crews a little tasteless, but the match against Big E and the shock ending was pretty good, even if the stipulation was just unneccessary.
Asuka putting her Raw Women’s belt against Rhea Ripley was a pretty good match just let down by the ending. In my opinion, it was just too early to be giving Ripley this kind of push and I don’t personally think she deserved it. After two years of disappointments on the Grandest Stage of Them All, I expected this to be the time for Asuka to have her Wrestlemania Moment.
The other two matches which didn’t involve a title were Kevin Owens against Sami Zayn and Randy Orton against the returning The Fiend. Now the match between Owens and Zayn was fine, what wasn’t fine was the inclusion of Logan Paul who most people may have no idea who he was. The problem with that is that if you are me, who had no idea, you may go and research him and find just what an utter scumbag he is.
As for Orton and Fiend? All I will say is that presentation-wise, the match was fabulous. The entrance of The Fiend and the way he was presented felt amazing and it is such a shame that the match itself was rather one-note and a little pointless.
Finally, we come to the main event.
Now, I am not a fan of Roman Reigns, but I will say that I am glad he embraced being a Heel and has made it work. This is something that John Cena should have done to keep him fresh.
This was a match that was designed for a title change. Whether it was Edge or Daniel Bryan doesn’t really make a difference, but the whole build was just aching to have a new champion crowned. At one point both Edge and Daniel Bryan had submission holds on Reigns and I thought that maybe they would have a co-champion or restart the match and put the belt on the line between Edge and Bryan. Instead this match just ends and instead of all change, it is just back to normal. Shame.
Thankfully that is not where this set ends including three matches from the NXT Takeover Stand and Deliver events. It is a shame that they didn’t include both nights in their entireity, but what they do include is fantastic.
From Night 1 there is MSK, Legado Del Fantasma Grizzled Young Veterans in a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship and Io Shirai defending her NXT Women’s Championship against Raquel Gonzalez. From Night 2 they only include Finn Balor defending his NXT title against Karrion Kross.
The three matches are fantastic and great examples of just why you come to NXT for high quality wrestling and based on this I would say if they could have extended this to a three disk and include all of the matches it would have made this a 100% must have item. Not including Adam Cole against Kyle O’Reilly or from Night 2 the Pete Dunne against Kushida or Walter against Tommaso Ciampa matches is a shame.
Also included is a match from Raw with WWE Champion Bobby Lashley against Cedric Alexander. Not sure why they included this unless they felt they needed to explain why The Hurt Business seemed to end. It’s a fine match, but nothing special.
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale was put on Smackdown instead of Wrestlemania and it made sense, but having breaks every few minutes was a little annoying. Finally, we have a promo by Roman Reigns which was fine and one of his better promos, but I kept expecting something to happen and when it didn’t, it made it seem a little pointless.
Wrestlemania 37 feels like a PPV of two halves. Night One is almost perfect with some great matches throughout. Night Two felt like they were trying too hard and it all came crashing down on them. This is such a shame as at the end of Night One I was happy to award this a solid 9 out of 10, but on the basis of Night Two it bumped it down to a shaky 7 out of 10.
However, by adding those phenomenal matches from NXT I will level this out as an 8 as they are truly matches that deserve to be watched. In regards to the main card there’s nothing unwatchable and nothing that made me scream and throw things at screen, but nothing I particularly want to watch again.