As a service to fans who have a general interest in WWE but may not have seen a match since Royal Rumble, Survivor Series or even SummerSlam, we are happy to provide this FAQ as a guide to WrestleMania 37, two nights of matches 10th and 10th April 11th in the house that Tom Brady rebuilt.
Why is the WrestleMania 37 slogan “Back in Business”?
Because WWE is committed to charging a live audience large sums of money to see their product – and it’s back to business for 25,000 fans masked (hopefully) in pods around Raymond James Stadium , the first live audience for WWE in over a year.
What should have been the actual slogan?
“WrestleMania 37: No, you can’t just jump to the main event on Sunday.”
The triple threat match between Universal Champion Roman Reigns and challengers Edge and Daniel Bryan is all that is great about WWE. They cracked the code on Reigns by flipping it last year and aligning it with Paul Heyman. They managed to squeeze more nostalgia juice out of Edge, who returned at the 2020 Royal Rumble, had a cinematic street fight with Randy Orton at WrestleMania 36, tore his triceps, returned to win the 2021 Royal Rumble from # 1 and then Reigns speared in the Elimination Chamber to declare that he would fight for the universal title at WrestleMania.
Roman Reigns talks about the great run he’s been on lately and looks forward to doing it again in front of fans at WrestleMania.
This spear came moments after Reigns defeated Bryan, who earned a title shot by winning the Elimination Chamber Match shortly before. Bryan got a rematch at Fastlane, where Edge was the “special guest enforcer” for the match, which in WWE means “will definitely finish when you attack someone”.
True to form, there was a referee bump, Edge took control of the game and Bryan accidentally hit Edge with a chair shot while chasing away Reign’s lackey Jey Uso. Oops. Bryan later got Reigns in the “Yes Lock” and got the Champion to shut down (!), But our Special Guest Enforcer ignored it and … knocked both boys down with a chair causing Reigns to finally get the Bryan put the pen down.
On a subsequent SmackDown, the WrestleMania match between Reigns and Edge turned into a triple threat in which they faced Bryan … causing Edge to go insane and defeat both of them.
This is just a smart booking here. Roman Reigns vs. Edge as the face trying to win this last big championship? It would have been fine. Small and predictable, but good. Roman Reigns against the “Rated-R Superstar” heel Edge and Daniel Bryan in his ideal form – a baby face that tries to overcome insurmountable opportunities – is awesome. Keep this in mind: WrestleMania is the first time Roman Reigns has performed in front of live fans. You booed him for years. Now, as a cool paragraph, he’s probably being cheered on. Except now he’s in a match against a beloved Hall of Famer and Daniel Bryan, the people’s underdog. In theory, they will still exploit him.
Reigns vs. Edge vs. Bryan is unpredictable and the most compelling game on the map. Well, at least one that doesn’t involve a Nigerian drum fight.
A what now?
WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E talks about what it means to have his first single game at WrestleMania in Tampa.
Big E from The New Day is our Intercontinental Champion. Apollo Crews, a native of Sacramento-American, has taken on the role of a Nigerian king (the crews’ real parents were both born in Nigeria). He challenged Big E to a Nigerian Drum Fight, a match in which there were “no rules, no restrictions, just beating so loud it sounds like a drum”. We imagine the winner is the first to play the solo of “Wipeout” with his fists against his opponent, but we are likely to reconsider.
Better to think about it than not to worry about it at all – like Shane McMahon’s match against Braun Strowman in a massive steel cage.
How can a cage match not have a compelling plot? Doesn’t the cage match exist to emphatically resolve long-standing feuds?
Absolutely, which makes this match all the more confusing. To sum up this feud: The McMahon Scion said Strowman was not intelligent, poured Nickelodeon-like green slime on him during a RAW game, and faked an injury at Fastlane to get out of a rematch. So they meet up on Saturday so a 51 year old Shane can jump and / or fall off something big. Either the cage or Strowman’s shoulders. One of both.
Are there any other non-wrestlers involved in WrestleMania?
For sure! It’s part of the mania tradition as well as pointing to the stupid sign in the rafters to make a match. Mr. T at the first WrestleMania. Lawrence Taylor to headline WrestleMania XI. Rob Gronkowski at WrestleMania 36, along with greats like Marshmello and Santa Claus as WWE 24/7 champions. Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny is also a former 24/7 champion and joins the pantheon of WrestleMania guest actors by teaming up with the recent NXT appeal Damian Priest against the adorable hideous John Morrison and The Miz. It was a build highlighted by dueling guitar strikes from Bunny and Miz, the desecration of Bunny’s millionaire Bugatti, and the fact that this whole feud started because the Grammy winner refused to work with him well-known hip-hop stars Miz and Morrison.
Bad Bunny has done some ringing work, and this match was supposed to be some dumb fun involving a celebrity at WrestleMania – instead of a dumb celebrity interfering with the fun at WrestleMania. That brings us to Logan Paul.
Which was Logan Paul? The one who boxed KSI or the one who boxed Nate Robinson?
Yeah, it doesn’t matter. The YouTube star will be in Sami Zayn’s corner while wrestling with longtime enemy Kevin Owens at WrestleMania. Zayn made a documentary aimed at showing that forces beyond his control prevented him from taking over the WWE. Paul says he will join Zayn at WrestleMania but is skeptical of his results. Owens doesn’t believe Zayn at all and somehow a match was made between the two.
We hope the WWE television partnerships result in Logan Paul showing up disguised as “Grandpa Monster,” his eliminated “The Masked Singer” persona.
Do we have matches whose setups are a little less sophisticated?
Yes! As usual, the women’s department brings clarity to the process. Rhea Ripley wants to win her first RAW title. Asuka holds the RAW title. They have never met in a WWE ring. Boom, match.
Bianca Belair wins the Royal Rumble. She has never held a title in WWE. She challenges SmackDown Champion Sasha Banks. Boom, match.
The tag teams of Naomi and Lana, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, The Riott Squad and Natalya and Tamina want a shot at the champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. So on Night 1 of WrestleMania, these teams meet in a Tag Team Turmoil match to get a shot at the belts on Night 2. Boom, match.
Easily clean setups with straps on a leash. None of them build on the premise that a challenger doesn’t like a champion because he rides a scooter barefoot backstage.
Why does it seem like it leads back to Matt Riddle?
Because it is so! Except it’s just a mystery now. Every favorite deaf skull had the audacity to make a goblin joke on Sheamus, fresh from his feud with Drew McIntyre, while riding around on a scooter. Sheamus attacked him with Riddle’s own scooter and then defeated him in an untitled match to set up that battle for the US title. It’s all abrupt and fictional – and Riddle’s acting is like Rob Van Dam’s an uninterested pup – but if you like kicking, boy, we have a match for you.
Speaking of kicking and Drew McIntyre, what’s wrong with our Scottish friend?
Drew McIntyre talks about his WWE Championship game against Bobby Lashley and the importance of having fans at WrestleMania.
He’s trying to regain his WWE Championship from Bobby Lashley. D-Mac won his Elimination Chamber Match, but suffered a post-match beatdown from Lashley that sparked the most glorious moment of pseudo-spontaneity the WWE can offer: the opportunistic redemption of the Money In The Bank briefcase for a title shot. The Miz did just that, pinned the remains of McIntyre, and became champion for [checks calendar] like a week before Lashley demolished him on RAW to win his first WWE Championship.
So you have two of the most powerful Superstars ready to fight, with McIntyre always getting curious, “but Lashley never pinned the champion for the title!” Redemption arch. Also fascinating: That WWE broke up The Hurt Business, Lashley’s popular faction with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. Lashley was upset that they lost a 2-on-1 match against McIntyre that had them excluded from the ring.
– WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2021
It doesn’t sound like you think this faction is completely disbanded, does it?
Are you asking if I think it might be the Hurt Boys? [arches eyebrow like The Rock] “Back In Business” at WrestleMania 37? Then apparently you smell what I’m cooking.
Hey, I can tell you haven’t mentioned AJ Styles yet. Is he still buried in the grave that Undertaker dug for him in WrestleMania 36’s Boneyard Match?
No, he’s not in the grave. Unfortunately he is very buried.
As one of the most talented actors in the WWE, Styles decided he wanted to become the Tag Team Champion for … reasons? So he works with his bodyguard Diesel … um … Wardlow … wait … Omos, there it is, towards the new day.
Omos is a former college basketball player billed 7-foot-3 and he will make his official in-ring debut at WrestleMania. So no pressure. The build isn’t the best, but three of the four cast members here can definitely get it. While Omos is very big.
Speaking of actors who can make it: The reliable Cesaro meets Seth Rollins in a single game. The plot here is that Rollins is still a delusional messianic figure who believes he is the leader of the SmackDown locker room, and Cesaro, like Kong, does not bow to anyone. So Rollins tried to injure Cesaro by stomping a steel chair around his neck before being stopped by WWE officials. This is a potential show stealer, and it will be interesting to see if Rollins ends up being just another rung on the ladder Cesaro has steadily climbed as a solo artist.
But again: Good, clean, understandable booking: “You are very bad and tried to behead me with a steel chair, and now I will try to get my comeuppance at WrestleMania.” No evil doppelganger, no strange black vomit or a burned demonic animal in sight.
OK, think it’s time to talk about The Fiend
– WWE (@WWE) March 22, 2021
Please remember a few years ago when Randy Orton became a student of cult leader Bray Wyatt, only to turn him on and burn down “The Wyatt Family Compound.” They later met at WrestleMania 33 when Orton defeated Wyatt for the WWE Championship. Remember that match when Wyatt tried to give Orton the Heebie jeebies by projecting images of insects on the ring screen? It’s a shame he didn’t go for something really scary, like footage from Orton’s appearance in “12 Rounds 2: Reloaded”.
A few years later, Orton is again in a feud with Wyatt, his “The Fiend” persona, and Alexa Bliss, an off-brand Harley Quinn. Here are some recent things that have happened in this feud over the past few months:
An “Inferno Match” on “TLC” in which the ring was surrounded by spirals of fire, the weapons of Orton and The Fiend spontaneously going up in flames. Orton won the match with an RKO while The Fiend’s jacket was on fire. Then he poured gasoline on The Fiend – 100% not exchanged for a clear mannequin at this point, no sir! – and completely ignited it in flames.
A “cliffhanger” where it looked like Orton was going to set Bliss on fire at the end of RAW and hold a match while standing soaked in gasoline when the show went off the air.
A match between Orton and Triple H that was interrupted when the executive vice president of Global Talent Strategy & Development’s sledgehammer caught fire and Bliss threw a ball of fire at Orton’s face. He would wear a protective mask that made his face look like the template for “create-a-luchador”.
Bliss becomes possessed by the fiend’s spirit and Orton materializes behind her with a burned face to give her an RKO.
Bliss materialized during a game between Orton and Edge to drip red goosebumps from her mouth and distract Orton.
Orton dripped black goosebumps from his mouth during an interview about The Fiend.
Orton had a conversation with a second Randy Orton who told him there was a reckoning for his actions, and then the first Randy Orton let the black goosebumps come back out of his mouth.
Bliss blew out a match on a video screen that shot fire out of the ring and made Orton cough black goose bumps.
Bliss and Orton had a “match” in Fastlane in which he coughed black goose bumps, a lighting device almost fell on him, Bliss shot a lightning bolt from her hand (!) At Orton and a hand reached out of the ring mat as if it were Stephen King’s “Carrie” grabbed Orton’s leg and on that hand was The Fiend in a super melting mask.
Orton threatened to set The Fiend on fire again – because apparently it worked so well the first time – but was beaten up by him and Bliss as a prelude to WrestleMania.
Um, that sounds like the best and the worst that ever happened at the same time
There really is nothing quite like it in wrestling right now, which is both its blessing and its curse. It’s a crazy story that will culminate in yet another “cinematic” match. One that The Fiend had with John Cena remains one of the boldest creative things WWE has done recently, so some goodwill has built up here.
Nothing like the rest of this WrestleMania card that really emphasizes the inherent stupidity of the whole angle. But guess what: the same goes for most of the Undertaker storylines that are now revered.
That’s really the beauty of WrestleMania. The WWE likes to call it “The Showcase of the Immortals”, but it’s really just “Wrestling’s Largest Buffet”. There’s the serious and the stupid. There are stake games and games that seem to be thrown together in a week. There are feuds that you know you wanted to see until they graduate and matchups that you didn’t know you had to see until they were on this map.
It’s two days of action where something becomes a moment to remember. Especially for those fans watching a WWE event live and in person for the first time since this cursed pandemic began. WWE is “Back In Business” with WrestleMania. We hope business is going well for everyone involved.