WrestleMania 37 Night 1: Bianca Belair wins Women’s Championship

John Pollock's coverage of the first night of WrestleMania 37 featuring Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair, Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre & more.

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the first night of WrestleMania 37 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Wai Ting and I will be LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café immediately after the card with our WrestleMania Night 1 POST Show.

RESULTS
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair def. Sasha Banks (champion) in 17:17
*Bad Bunny & Damian Priest def. The Miz & John Morrison in 15:02
*Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman def. Shane McMahon in 11:28
*Raw Tag Team Championship: AJ Styles & Omos def. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (champions) in 9:47
*Cesaro def. Seth Rollins in 11:27
*Tag Team Turmoil: Tamina & Natalya def. The Riott Squad, Carmella & Billie Kay, Lana & Naomi & Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose
*WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (champion) def. Drew McIntyre in 18:10

The WrestleMania Kickoff began with the panel of Kayla Braxton, Booker T., JBL, Jerry Lawler, and Peter Rosenberg.

The hour consisted of the panel previewing the matches and a variety of elaborate video packages for the key matches on night one.

Sonya Deville joined the panel during the final fifteen minutes of the kickoff show.

The main show began the roster on the stage and Vince McMahon gave a speech thanking the fans and welcoming everyone to WrestleMania.

Bebe Rexha performed American the Beautiful.

They incorporated the opening video of last year’s show into the latest one.

The show opened with Michael Cole informing everyone they needed to take a delay due to the weather. Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe are on commentary with Cole to fill time.

Sarah Schreiber interviewed Shane McMahon backstage. This was clunky and they appeared on different pages. Thankfully, MVP and Bobby Lashley replaced Shane McMahon and MVP cut a promo. Drew McIntyre confronted them, and they screamed back and forth. This was followed by interviews with all three members of New Day, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens (who by far the best equipped and cut a hell of a promo), Seth Rollins, The Miz, and John Morrison.

It was after 8:30 pm ET when the delay ended.

Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan came out as the co-hosts of WrestleMania. Hogan did receive boos from a portion of the audience. This went way too long and people just wanted the matches to begin after the lengthy delay.

BOBBY LASHLEY VS DREW McINTYRE FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

Whether it was the effects of the rain delay or the smaller crowd compared to what the stadium can hold, the audience sounded subdued and Lashley even tried to get them going mid-way through.

McIntyre sold before landing an overhead belly-to-belly and attempted the Future Shock DDT, which was blocked. Lashley was back in control and attempted the Hurt Lock, which McIntyre prevented. McIntyre hit the Inverted Alabama Slam for a two-count.

McIntyre applied a kimura while on the turnbuckle, which Cole linked back to his match with Brock Lesnar last year. McIntyre suplexed him off the turnbuckle and set up for the Claymore and was hit with a chokeslam.

McIntyre hit three consecutive Future Shock DDTs but Lashley managed to kick out. The audience chanted “this is awesome” and the match was clicking by this point, McIntyre went for the Claymore and Lashley slid to the floor leading to a tope con giro from McIntyre.

McIntyre escaped the Hurt Lock running Lashley into the buckle, and McIntyre rolled to a kimura and Lashley reached the rope.

McIntyre went for the Claymore and stopped because MVP yelled from the floor, it came off awkward, and led to Lashley applying the Hurt Lock. McIntyre kicked off the turnbuckle and flipped back but it was still applied. They went to the ground and the referee called it off.

WINNER: Bobby Lashley in 18:10

They needed to work to get the audience, but they came around by the back half of the match, it turned into a very good match. This didn’t feel like the end of the program but something they can resume as there aren’t many main event options on Raw.

Bayley showed up backstage with Titus O’Neil and the N.W.O. members that went into the Hall of Fame. She wanted to “too sweet” them and only Sean Waltman would, they all walked off and left Bayley standing alone.

WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH

The winning team advances to challenge Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler on night two for the Women’s Tag Team Championship.

Naomi & Lana vs. Carmella & Billie Kay

Lana leaped for a kick that came nowhere near Kay and the announcers had to acknowledge it.

Kay used a sunset roll-up on Naomi with Carmella propping her up with her feet and they won in 2:21

Carmella & Billie Kay vs. Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan

Kay started the match with Morgan. Kay knocked Riott off the apron with a boot, they went for the same double-team roll-up spot onto Morgan but this time the referee caught them.

Morgan hit the codebreaker and Riott hit a senton from the top to pin Kay in 2:04.

Carmella hit Morgan with a superkick after the pin.

Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan vs. Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose

Brooke & Rose had matching pink outfits and sunglasses on.

Brooke hit a blockbuster on Riott and Morgan broke it up. The Riott Squad double-teamed Rose with Riott hitting the Riot Kick.

Rose scaled to the top and nearly slipped, suplexed Morgan off and Brooke landed a Swanton. Brooke went for the cover but Morgan reversed with an inside cradle to pin Brooke in 3:20.

Greg Hamilton mistakenly announced The Riott Squad was eliminated before correcting himself.

Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan vs. Tamina & Natalya

Natalya went for the sharpshooter immediately and Morgan countered with a small package for a two-count. The Riott Squad double-teamed Tamina with a running boot and senton from Riott and pin attempt by Morgan for two.

Tamina connected with a superkick and they hit the Hart Attack on Riott. Natalya teased the sharpshooter but instead tagged Tamina, who climbed to the top and hit the Superfly Splash to win the match.

WINNERS: Natalya & Tamina in 3:44

These were such short matches that it was hard for anything to stand out and the first few were actually very bad. The last one was easily the best of the bunch and sets up the title match for tomorrow.

SETH ROLLINS VS CESARO

Cesaro unloaded with uppercuts in the corner and landed a discus lariat dropping Rollins. The Neutralizer was attempted early with Rollins countering it with a back body drop and hit Cesaro with a sling blade. Rollins survived a swing attempt.

Rollins came off the top with a corkscrew splash where he rotated 360 degrees in mid-air coming down on Cesaro.

Cesaro swung Rollins with a tilt-a-whirl and hit the Neutralizer for a near-fall. He yanked Rollins off the rope and attempted another, but it was blocked, and Rollins hit a pedigree for a two-count.

Rollins struck Cesaro in the neck from behind, he went for the stomp and was thrust in the air and hit with an uppercut. Cesaro used the UFO (no arms) and called for the Cesaro Swing and the audience began to count and reached 23 before hitting the Neutralizer for the win.

WINNER: Cesaro in 11:27

Cesaro hit 23 on the swing count, which is one more than he did initially that set off the entire feud.

This was a very good match and they gelled so well together and the only argument was not having more time as they easily could have gone twenty minutes without issue.

Cesaro was emotional after the win and Corey Graves emphasized the significance of this win and how popular Cesaro is with the locker room.

Kayla Braxton interviewed Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode and asked their prediction for the Raw Tag Team Championship match. Roode said he’s known AJ Styles for a long time and you should never bet against him.

Big E. appeared on the stage to introduce Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods.

KOFI KINGSTON & XAVIER WOODS VS AJ STYLES & OMOS FOR THE RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Kingston and Styles started the match as Woods played Francesca. They continually cut the ring off with Woods even explaining how effectively they were cutting it off. Styles attempted to evade them and get to his partner, unsuccessfully. It was completely backward with Omos positioned as the babyface for the hot tag.

Kingston was tagged and hit a springboard splash onto the back of Styles as he was hunched over.

Styles finally tagged Omo for the big moment in the match. Woods bounced off Omos, he caught Kingston off the top and swung him to the floor.

Omos hit a backbreaker and applied a claw on Woods followed by a backbreaker on Kingston.

Styles came off the shoulders of Omos with a Phenomenal Forearm to Woods. Omos hit a Tree Slam on Kingston and stepped on Kingston for the three-count.

WINNERS: AJ Styles & Omos in 9:47 to win the Raw Tag Team Championship

Omos did his part and New Day went above and beyond selling every ounce of offense for all it was worth. Long-term, it’s a question of how far you can go with Omos but this debut could have not been laid out better and the audience getting into the novelty of the unbeatable monster.

Styles held up the title on the shoulders of Omos.

SHANE McMAHON VS BRAUN STROWMAN IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH

Jerry Lawler was the guest commentator for this match with Cole, Saxton, and Samoa Joe.

Before Strowman enters the ring, he is attacked by Elias and Jaxson Ryker with chair shots to the leg. The bell rings as McMahon attacks Strowman with more chair shots inside the ring.

McMahon attacked with leg kicks and those awful punches as Strowman was limping from the chair shots. McMahon got a metal plate off the cage and attacked Strowman with it.

Strowman attacked McMahon, went for the powerslam but his leg gave out. McMahon landed a spinning a DDT and landed the coast-to-coast dropkick.

Elias and Ryker climbed the cage to help McMahon climb over, Strowman crashed into the cage that sent the two to the floor and McMahon fell as well.

On top of the cage, McMahon found a toolbox inside of a can and nailed Strowman in the head. McMahon was climbing down, waved through the fence and Strowman grabbed him by the hand and ripped the cage fence and pulled McMahon inside.

They were both on top of the cage, Strowman yelled, “Who’s stupid now?” and tossed McMahon off the top of the cage to the canvas.

Strowman yelled, “this is for every person that has ever been called stupid” and hit a powerslam to defeat McMahon.

WINNER: Braun Strowman in 11:28

The match was structured around enough stunts and distractions that it worked for the time allotted and went for a simple story of Strowman gaining revenge and earning a decisive win while McMahon paid the price.

Michael Cole got set to throw to a Hall of Fame video package when Bayley crashed the announcer’s desk and called Cole “an idiot”. She threw to the video package.

The 2020 class of the Hall of Fame was brought out on the stage except for Jushin Thunder Liger.

A promo for WrestleMania 38 featuring Steve Austin aired for next year’s event at AT&T Center next April 2022.

Booker T. was the guest commentator for the next match.

There was a procession of people in bunny costumes hopping down the ramp and was followed by The Miz & John Morrison entering to an intentionally poorly lip-synced version of “Hey Hey, Hop Hop”.

Bad Bunny entered on a giant Mack truck that pulled up to Raymond James Stadium and drove into the stadium with an elaborate fireworks display.

THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON VS DAMIAN PRIEST & BAD BUNNY

Bad Bunny landed a punch on Miz and Morrison reacted, “rabbits are lucky”. Bad Bunny used an arm drag and sent Miz to the floor.

Bad Bunny executed a tilt-a-whirl head scissors on Miz and impressing the crowd. Miz cut him off but Bad Bunny fought them off in their corner as he attempted to get to Priest.

Bad Bunny sold for a long time before he finally made it to the corner and tagged Priest. The two hit stereo Falcon Arrows on Miz and Morrison as the heels were sent to the floor. Priest hit a dive followed by Bunny with a high cross to the floor.

In the ring, Priest went for his finisher, but it was countered with the Skull Crushing Finale, but Bunny broke up the pin.

Bad Bunny hit Morrison with a Canadian Destroyer on the floor. Booker called it a “Bunny Destroyer”.

Priest put Miz on his shoulders and Bunny came off the top with a crossbody and pinned Miz.

WINNER: Damian Priest & Bad Bunny in 15:02

It was a well-laid-out match, the audience appreciated all that Bad Bunny did and hopefully, it does something for Priest. It was clear from the beginning that Bunny took this very seriously with the amount of preparation he committed to and this was overall, a very successful crossover with a celebrity.

SASHA BANKS VS BIANCA BELAIR FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

The bell rang and the two were nearly in tears, it was quite a moment and the entrances were spectacular.

Belair was sent to the floor and Banks went for a suicide dive but was caught after Belair rolled through and military pressed her up the steps and into the ring.

Belair did a pair of slingshots hoisting Banks in the air and did two deadlifts getting Banks in the air for a vertical suplex. Belair hit a standing shooting star onto Banks’ back. Belair attempted a 450 splashed and landed on the knees of Banks.

Banks was in control, used a double springboard tornado DDT and a splash off the middle rope but couldn’t keep Belair down for the count, and got upset.

Banks got the Bank Statement while wrapping up Belair’s arm with her ponytail, Banks tried to roll away from the rope, but Belair rotated and got the break.

Belair was in the tree of woe, Banks missed with the double knees into the corner as Belair hit a 450 splash for a near-fall and Belair was shocked.

The Kiss of Death is stopped when Banks grabs the ponytail, Belair grabs it and whips Banks hard with the ponytail. They struggle and Belair ends with the Kiss of Death and wins the match.

WINNER: Bianca Belair in 17:17 to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship

The strangest part was Michael Cole’s call of the finish yelling that Banks kicked out, when she did not, and had to correct himself but it was not the match to mess up the call on.

The match was very strong. A star making moment with Belair and the two delivered in the big spot.

About John Pollock 3981 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.