Day 1 – Really Better Than Expected!

WWE pesented Day 1, which had many of us wondering what their plan was for this whole new take on the WWE PPV, and then Omicron decided nope, things were not going down as scheduled.  Watching wrestlers test positive through the week leading up to the show left a lot of us pointing and wondering what was going to happen.  As for the overall look and feel of the show, it was like any other PPV, but beyond that they did exactly what I said they were going to do, pull it out with great matches when we all think it’s going to tank.  I’m quite impressed with most of this PPV, so read on and see what Queen has to say about Day 1.

 

 

Sheamus & Ridge Holland vs Ricochet & Cesaro

Let me just start this match by saying that if you haven’t seen the video of Ricochet leading Happy Birthday for Cesaro, you should.  Cesaro looked so embarrassed.  I love watching him when he’s simply Claudio.  He’s such an interesting man, someone I’d love to just hang out and chat with.  I’m sure I’d fall to a puddle of goo and simply stare at him, but a girl can dream.

Then there is Ridge, who took a foot to the face from Ricochet, no one’s fault.  It really was an accident but sucks for Holland in his first WWE PPV match to be taken out.  Hopefully he doesn’t blame Ricochet because it was very obviously an accident watching it back.  Otherwise, the match was visually fine, while nothing really exciting happened, both Ricochet and Cesaro gave us massive shows of strength and, as always, Sheamus was the consummate pro, giving the fans a solid match.

 

SD Tag Team Championship Match

Usos (c) vs New Day

I’ll fully admit I was not at all happy or impressed with seeing this match for the umpteenth time, because there’s absolutely no Tag Division on SD or Raw, but it was brought to an impressive level.  It was what they needed to do so this match didn’t look like the same thing they show us every week.  It was high flying, explosive, and they did a solid job of really taking it to that next level.  It wasn’t a jaw-dropping, WM extravaganza we will be talking about for the rest of our lives, but it was a solid opening match to a PPV that has me questioning most aspects of the WWE as it is going into 2022.

The double team flying off the corners onto Kofi looked horrible in slo-mo.  I know what they were trying for, but like Kane tombstoning Linda, if the camera seeing how careful you’re being (which I’m thrilled he was) it’s going to look like poo on HDTV.

 

Madcap Moss vs Drew McIntyre

They were talking down what Corbin was wearing to ringside, but if it’s a sweater and not a sweatshirt, I really like it.  About the match?  It was actually better than I expected.  It wasn’t fantastic and a massive step back for McIntyre, but not every match will be the main event for the top strap.  Even top guys spend some time in the midcard.  So while not a thrilling match, it wasn’t as bad as expected and Corbin added a lot from outside the ring.  It felt like he was out there to distract us from Moss in the ring, but I thought with McIntyre he looked decent and didn’t make a fool of himself.

 

Raw Tag Team Championship Match

RK-Bro (c) w/Migos vs Street Profits

Migos out with RK-Bro was kinda cute.  They seemed in awe of it all, but trying to play it off as if this was the norm for them.  The posing, climbing on the corners, etc.  It really was adorable, right down to their roped-off area ringside to watch the match.  Even better was them on their feet watching it closely after Orton got the hot tag.

This was a traditional match in that Riddle was beaten down until Orton got the hot tag and almost lost the match.  I love watching these four in the ring.  Yes, it sucks that there are less than ten teams in the WWE total right now and we see the same matches over and over, but this one was a step up from what we’d been getting from them.  All four know how to step things up for PPVs, but this was something special between the four of them.

The RKO that ended it was a thing of beauty.  I’ve never seen another person set up an RKO like that and Ford bumped and sold it like the pro he is.  I loved the respect between the teams at the end.

 

Edge vs Miz

This was the match of great entrances.  Maryse looked amazing in black with Miz.  They know how to work the fans.  I wasn’t expecting Brood Edge, but when the music hit I was marking out.  They even brought back the elevator for his entrance.  Then again, it’s Edge, and he equals money in a big way.  I get stepping back to the Brood for Edge to change things up in a different way, but it feels strange to not have Christian or Gangrel there for it.  I hope we get a Gangrel cameo if they continue with this music/entrance.

As expected, they left it all out there for the fans.  They worked all over the ring, somehow didn’t break announce, and Maryse was the question outside the ring through it all.  Of course she hit Edge over the head with her purse.  Why else would she bring a purse to ringside?

I called for Maryse to get involved and Auntie Beth to come out and settle the score.  I have to admit I was worried that Edge would lose here and Beth would show up on Raw, but this was better.  Further,  sweet Auntie Beth from the NXT announce desk wouldn’t jive well with this Viking badass Beth who came to the ring to stand by her man.  She looked amazing in those black leather pants and studded jacket.  The sorta neo Viking look she had going on with her hair brought the whole look together.  She is one of the sweetest wrestlers I’ve ever met, but I wouldn’t want to piss her off!

 

Raw Championship Match

Becky Lynch (c) vs Liv Morgan

On her way to the ring you could see Liv taking those deep breaths, calming herself to get to the ring and really shine.  The back and forth between the two has been great.  They both hit some great moves, but Liv has been more of a standout for me.  Not saying Liv was better than Becky in the ring, but that Liv has made bigger strides in this match, hit the bigger and more creative moves.  Liv’s reactions and facial expressions made this match so much more than the sum of its parts.

Not overly impressed with Becky’s recent wedgie gear, because it can’t be comfortable.  When Becky kept sending Liv from the ring I pretty much thought that she was going to win this one through cheating again, setting up for another cheat to win.  I think Becky was supposed to cheat to win but couldn’t reach the ropes.  I hope that doesn’t screw up where they’re going with this, because it’s not over.  I don’t know if Liv needs to win the Rumble now, or if she will get another chance for some odd reason.  Becky not able to ‘cheat’ to win this one could mean a change of direction.  She was obviously supposed to cheat there.

 

WWE Championship Fatal Five Way Match

Big E (c) vs Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar

What a beautifully hard-hitting way to start this match.  Six suplexes, Big E into the post HARD, Lashley putting BL through the barricade, KO with a massive splash on BL on the floor, then stairs against Lashley and BL.  KO and Rollins working together early on made so much sense.  The only way to work a match like this with some of the names in this match.  You have to take out BL and Lashley, then the ‘original’ three can fight it out.

I was worried when Big E came out because he looked drawn and ashy.  He looked worse than Rollins did in his video on Raw.  I spent most of the night trying to figure out how they were going to have BL in this match but not have him win it because he’s in such a massive, and one of the best, storylines in WWE right now, but obviously they felt the need to strap BL.  Please, hear me out before you roll your eyes at me.  Let me just say that I’m willing to bet BL had it in his contract that he was going to win the top belt in his first PPV match of the year, so it would make sense that he’d win this.  Further, he put in some solid work in this match, and he’s been on SD almost every week since his return.  He’s doing all the things that we’d been begging to have from him in the WWE, so I’m not having any issue with him winning at all.  In fact, I have a couple of ideas of what to do about it.  The first is to double-strap him going into WM.  He’d have to work two matches, but his matches are short.  Or, possibly, he could lose the WWE Championship at WM and win the Universal Championship against Reigns.  There are so many things they can do with this, and I’m excited to see what it is.

I know I’ve been so down on BL for so many years that I’m sure it’s coming as a shock to some that I’m so amiable to all this, but this is a very different BL.  He’s off the juice, showing personality – showed solid personality and quirkiness in the match as well – giving us great segments, and really seems to have found himself in the same way Orton found himself.  For the first time in BL’s career, I’m excited to see what BL does as WWE Champion.  It feels strange to write, but I’ve talked to enough people about this and feel comfortable with it.  Now he just needs to stay fun and personable.

 

Shut Up Graves, I’m Yelling Here!

Couple little points  I want to make about the show.  The first is how mad I am that they spent so much time advertising Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura, but never said a word, that I heard, about how it wasn’t going to happen and why.  They made a big deal of Reigns testing positive, which is a big deal with his underlying health issues.  He wouldn’t be working the ring if his platelets, liver functions, and white cell counts were off, so I’m hoping that he caught Omicron, doesn’t have any bad issues, and doesn’t end up with Long Covid.  The thing is that Reigns testing positive has nothing to do with Zayn and Naka testing positive and not having their match.  I feel WWE did them and us a real disservice by not saying a word about them not having their match.

On the absolutely opposite side, Migos were really adorable on mic backstage.  I don’t normally review backstage segments, but they impressed me in how they talked up WWE and 2022.  You could tell they wanted to play in the ring and run the ropes.  They handled themselves really well on mic, ringside, and in the ring.  I’m usually against most musicians being on WWE, but Bad Bunny truly raised the bar last year and I expect the rest to follow suit.  The respect was obvious and they were not performing, so I’m impressed.

I’m kind of excited to see what they give us on Monday night Raw, see you in the DD!

Queen