Wrestling fans rejoiced on the nights of April 10 and 11 as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) made its long anticipated return to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL for Wrestlemania 37.
This was the first event that the WWE hosted in-person since March of 2020. According to the Tampa Bay Times, around 25,000 fans attended the event.
Wrestlemania was also streamed over Peacock, making it the first major pay-per-view to be shown on the platform since buying the WWE Network.
Night 1 opened with the “All-Mighty” WWE Champion Bobby Lashley dueling against “The Scottish Warrior” Drew McIntyre. The two large men battered each other, but ultimately, Lashley made McIntyre pass out with his signature Hurt Lock submission maneuver.
Opportunities were awarded to underrated talent, as female superstars Natalya and Tamina defeated four other tag teams to earn a championship opportunity to face Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Bazler. Unfortunately, the champions retained their titles when the teams fought on Night 2.
“The Swiss Superman” Cesaro utilized every ounce of his strength to defeat “The Messiah” Seth Rollins. At one point, Cesaro spun Rollins around the ring using only his head and shoulders!
Wrestlemania 37 saw several new champions crowned. On Night 1, the team of AJ Styles and Omos defeated Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) in Omos’ debut match.
Also, Night 2 saw the “Celtic Warrior” Sheamus defeat Riddle for the United States Championship, Apollo Crews defeat Big E for his Intercontinental Championship in the first ever Nigerian Drum Fight match, and Rhea Ripley defeat Asuka for her Raw Women’s Championship.
Even some celebrities got to see some time in the squared circle. Bad Bunny took to the skies in his in-ring debut with his partner, Damian Priest, against the pretentious team of The Miz and John Morrison.
Respectively, Night 2 saw Logan Paul ally himself with the fanatical Sami Zayn, and eventually see the notorious YouTuber receive a stunner from Zayn’s victorious opponent, Kevin Owens.
Night 2 also dipped into the realms of the supernatural in the match between “The Viper” Randy Orton and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Wyatt seemed to have the match won until his partner, Alexa Bliss, displayed a demonic persona of her own and allowed Orton to hit his signature RKO.
In my opinion, the main events of both nights were the highlights of the self-proclaimed “Show of Shows.”
Night 1 featured Smackdown Women’s Champion “The Boss” Sasha Banks take on “The EST of WWE” Bianca Belair. The two women exhilarated the audience in a fast-paced match that saw Banks receive a major gash from a whip of Belair’s hair.
Belair eventually pinned Banks to become the new champion. This match will go down in Wrestlemania history, as it was the first WWE event to be main evented by two black women.
Finally, Wrestlemania concluded with a triple threat match for the Universal Championship. The match featured Roman Reigns, Edge, and Daniel Bryan in an absolute brawl. There were many close finishes and some debilitating chair shots. Reigns ended up retaining his title after pinning both of his opponents simultaneously.
This Wrestlemania was absolutely wonderful. There’s something special about the reaction of a live crowd that brings these matches to life. It was beautiful to see the looks on the superstars faces as they were met with cheers and boos alike.
I would recommend this for anyone looking to get into wrestling. The stories are well explained throughout the show, and the action is enough to draw a person into adoring the superstars involved.
To learn more about WWE, check out their weekly episodic shows: Monday Night Raw on the USA Network, and Smackdown on Fridays on FOX. Additionally, all WWE shows and pay-per-views can be streamed on Peacock Premium.
Read more about Wrestlemania in Santé Shasko’s “Wrestlemania 37: WWE Welcomes Back Fans.”