I set up the page for this Afterglow hours before the show starts because I’m just that excited for the show. An hour before WM37 started I tuned in to watch some of WM17. A couple of us decided it was the best WM so far. Not our favorites, but the best WM. I just wish this first night had lived up to what I’d hoped for. Not so much.
I will admit that I’m worried about fans being live at WM and it will be a few weeks before we know if it was more than daft and actually dangerous. Around the ring it appears as though most people are masked up, but they are packed in quite tight for still being in the middle of a pandemic. Anyone who thinks that things have subsided enough for life to return to normal make me question their motives.
The Business of Hurt
I’ll admit I’m a bit shocked to see the WWE Championship Match starting WM, but it’s a solid match to start with. Gone are the days that the WWE Championship has to be the main event, and I kind of love that. It’s still greatly respected, and the opening match of a show is no longer the kiss of death. I love that in this century the opening match has changed from the worst spot on the card to be a place of honor, where the mood of the night is set, and really great matches have made it a key spot on the card.
Many people said that McIntyre was going to get heat at WM and that Lashley would be over with massive cheers. Luckily that hasn’t been the case. Honestly, I don’t know if the crowd mics were screwed up because of the rain, or if the fans were just out of sorts being there after a year of not seeing any WWE live, but through much of this opening match there hasn’t seemed to be the fan reaction I expected.
Three future shock DDTs looked great. I love how three has become the key number for moves like that. Thank you, Eddie and Angle. It wasn’t until those moves did, I believe the fans really wanted to be there. Now, I don’t know if they were asked not to yell like crazy because it projects more spittle through the air, but this is WWE, so I highly doubt it. Anyway, the fans finally got into it, but it took a while. As much as I dislike Lashley, I can appreciate a great match. This was good, absolutely PPV-level match, but I’m glad it wasn’t the main event, because it wouldn’t stand up to being a PPV main event, especially not a WM main event.
I love glitter and feel really naked tonight as I feel like I should be rocking glitter makeup myself through this. Honestly, until Mandy and Dana came in, I thought all the women were rocking some of the best ring gear we have seen. Then the blondes came out dressed like Attitude Era Divas in the worst possible way.
They obviously pushed this match faster than it was originally scheduled for due to the rain delay. They didn’t need to for the Peacock crowd, but there are still people who pay for WWE PPVs in the traditional way, and they don’t want Halloween Havoc 1998 to happen all over again. While not having enough time can be bad, it can also produce a truly tight match, like night one of NXT TakeOver. Shirai and Gonzalez took the shortened time and made a MoTY candidate. The Women’s Tag Division had their time cut and the match looked like it.
The Big Swing
It seems to me that more of Rollins’ moves have been stopped and brought back more than any other. I get that the curb stomp looks bad, but it’s nothing compared to Orton’s punt that would have killed Cody had he not had on face protection. Then there’s the buckle bomb that broke both Balor and Sting. He stopped doing it for a bit and I was thrilled, but now it’s back and I will cringe each time he hits it.
On the other hand, I could watch Cesaro swing Rollins for weeks. Between the big swing and the rack swing, Cesaro killed it in the ring. The force in Rollin’s head has to suck when he’s being swung, but it looks great and Cesaro finally got his WM moment, something he truly deserves. He was so sweet and humble after the match was over. You could see the emotion, the love on his face. This was why I watch pro wrestling, for moments like that.
I love how serious Omos is, but I wish he was wearing ring gear. I know some of the big guys like Braun, and even Bray, basically wear stylized street clothes in the ring, but the only thing that was at all stylized was Omos’ name and logo on his back pocket. Otherwise, he was running with the Molly Holly look – a basic shirt and too-short black pants. It didn’t work on her, and it doesn’t work on Omos.
New Day not only cutting the ring in half but yelling that they were doing just that was fantastic. It was great for New Day until AJ made it to his corner, then it was over. I can’t say that we really saw anything from Omos, but when you’re that big you don’t need to be overly creative in the ring. I did like how AJ was yelling orders from the corner. It sets up for when Omos and AJ split. Gives Omos a reason to hate and quickly destroy AJ. Either way, Omos got a few moves in, looked strong, and I’m sure he will get pushed up to bigger opponents when he’s ready, but he’s not at all there yet. It was a fun match, and good for a PPV, but not WM.
Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Braun spent more of this match bent over to take weapon shots from Shane than anything else. We knew that Shane would take the abuse and fly off something because he has no other reason to work WM other than to fly off something and sweat more than any wrestler on the roster but Otis. (BL isn’t signed at the moment, or he’d be the sweating benchmark.)
In the DD Sam said that this match was better than the build, and he was right. It was a solid Cage Match with a few interesting moments, creative use of the cage, and Shane got to fly, which is the only reason he works WM. I love that the bullied got the win, it’s not the best way to go about it. Basically, WWE told kids to take their bullies and throw them off a building or over a ledge. Not cool.
A Fluffle, Not Kerfuffle
I had to look it up after they bounced to and in the ring, so a group of bunnies is called a fluffle. How adorable is that? Because of his size I was worried about Bunny in the ring, but you can’t be very big if you’re going to hit helicopter head scissors the way he did. That first arm drag showed me that he hasn’t just been showing up at the PC, but he’s really learned how to do this.
What really impressed me is how he worked from below, took bumps through the whole thing, sold well, but also didn’t let it get him down. Priest got the hot tag, but it was his work with Bunny that was impressive. That Bunny pulled out a destroyer in that match, at his size, being as new as he is, is jaw-dropping. This was the best match so far of the night, and I’m going on record saying that I truly hope Bunny pulls a Jericho in reverse. Bunny needs to be a musician and a WWE superstar. It’s not just in his heart, but he can throw moves and take bumps like a pro. He needs to stick around!
I love how both women took that moment to really soak in the history that they are making with this match. Becky, Ronda, and Charlotte led the way and these two followed it with style and took it to a whole new level. Bianca did lose it for a moment, but she pulled it back and put on her game face. She’s great in the ring, but that power she showed by pressing Sasha above her head and climbing the stairs was insane! Then that delayed vertical suplex left me with my jaw hanging open. Who can hit a standing SSP without batting an eye? I’m in awe at her ring skills and wonder what new creative she will give us each time she is in the ring. For the first time, possibly ever, Sasha’s wig slipped the tiniest bit. I’ve always wondered how she works the ring in a wig without a chin strap, but she does it week in and week out.
While great from when they first went out there, about halfway through this match it turned into pure fire and they both stepped up to it. They left it all in that ring in a way that only few wrestlers understand. They made it something special, above and beyond simply historic. Neither rested on anything and made it a massive MOTY candidate. They both worked to their strengths, right down to Sasha using Bianca’s braid against her, though it came back to bite her with that hairline fracture on her ribs. This is one of those matches you have to see to believe and it was absolutely the match of the night by leaps and bounds.
Shut Up Corey, I’m Talking!
It’s been a year since there were fans in attendance, so I truly expected the fans at WM to be wild, possibly uncontrollably so. Sadly, they were less colorful, less excited, less noisy, and obviously gave less of a poo than anyone in the Thunderdome has since they put it together. There were a few chants, a few loud cheers, and a couple other loud moments, but for the majority of the night they were deader than I thought possible. Other than wanting to be out and doing something, I have to wonder how many of the fans there even cared about wrestling. I’m completely and utterly disgusted with the fans in Tampa.