Hi folks! Today, I’m here to bring you a brief analysis on who I believe came out of WWE WrestleMania 37 as the biggest winners & losers. Of course, WWE could undo much of it with the post-episodes of Raw & SmackDown. I would include Cesaro, but I wanted to keep this to a round number; so please consider him an honorable mention. Let’s begin!
#1 Winner: The Fans
Yeah… cheesy I know. Can you imagine being a WWE fan and having to wait over a year to be there? I’m positive that everyone attending was ecstatic to be there. Although no one looked more thrilled than the boss. You could see the sheer joy on Vince McMahon’s face as he welcomed us to the show.
It was so refreshing to hear chants again, that’s what wrestling has been missing. Without them, wrestling promotions fly blind without knowing what’s getting over. You can’t know if something is tanking without the gauge of an audience. Vince is old school and doesn’t rely heavily on social media feedback, so I bet he had one ear out of the gorilla position. The future is bright, not just for WWE, but for its universe of loyal fans. We’re getting back to normality.
#1 Loser: Edge
I had Edge penciled in to win the main event of Night 2, but it was yet another Roman Reigns domination after missing out last year. Jey Uso’s involvement and Reigns’ heel booking helped to cushion the blow. At least WWE is consistent, but I think hearts sank because WWE told an exceptional comeback story. It was so enticing that some booed Daniel Bryan in Edge’s favor. I believe many were ready to accept the Rated R Superstar as Universal Champion, even if it were for a short while.
Where does he go from here? Is he going to blame the loss on the fact it was a Triple Threat? Why didn’t he find a helping hand, knowing that Jey Uso would get involved? It feels like he’s not becoming champion soon. I guess he could return to Raw and challenge Lashley? WWE set everything up for him to win, but he lost. He “dreamt” this, but dreams don’t always come true.
#2 Winner: Bianca Belair
I remember her being the third wheel in a NXT feud between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair last year. She was an afterthought. A challenger, but not worthy of any attention from Charlotte. And here she is, one year on. The Royal Rumble winner, and beating a veteran star in Sasha Banks in a main event of WrestleMania.
It’s safe to say that Belair has finally made it. She is ESTablished. Many said it was the best match of night 1, and one of the better matches of both. This is what WWE needs though. NXT has a Performance Center to develop the next generation of superstars. If WWE keeps putting the titles on the same old names, NXT becomes pointless. Belair is proof that the Black & Gold brand still works.
#2 Loser: Randy Orton
I tried my best to shed light on what was to many… a disappointing opening match for night 2. I’m intrigued by the continuing story elements, but I can see why some were annoyed that the buildup led to a 7-minute match. Not only that, but Randy Orton was an afterthought in a match he won.
The months of build has led to the reveal that it’s for Alexa Bliss vs. The Fiend, and Orton was nothing but a glorified puppet all along. Also, it’s telling of his mindset that he felt the need to rib Mandy Rose’s slip on the way to the ring. He was more concerned about making a joke than the conclusion of their encounter. Why? Because he knows it puts him nowhere. As far as he’s concerned, all the back and forth could be nothing.
#3 Winner: Bad Bunny
I did not know who he was before he showed up on WWE TV, but he has proven more worthy than the vast majority of celebrities. At least he took the time to train, learn the moves and do them safely. Others are inducted in to WWE’s Hall of Fame for showing up and saying a few words. They sure don’t get in the ring and do what Bad Bunny did.
Slightly annoyed that literally anyone can do a Canadian Destroyer these days, but it’s a pretty move to showcase to anyone who doesn’t know Petey Williams. Bad Bunny’s status helped to shed spotlight on to Damian Priest, who sorely needed some after being bumped up from NXT to the main roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hangs around a while longer.
#3 Loser: Drew McIntyre
I was rooting for him, but something in my gut told me he wouldn’t put Lashley away. Many assumed he’d claim back the WWE Championship because he never got to enjoy a crowd at last year’s WrestleMania. But Vince McMahon doesn’t think that way, and sadly he had to put Lashley over by passing out. Now, losing by a TKO isn’t a bad way to lose. In fact, it’s the best way he could lose and remain strong in the eyes of fans.
But losing in any form does not instill me with confidence. I seriously doubt McIntyre is becoming WWE Champion soon, and this defeat could easily send him in to a downward spiral. When many thought he would be “The Man” of Raw, to mirror Reigns on SmackDown, Lashley has taken the spot instead. And it must light a fire under him! If McIntyre wants to get back on top, he needs to up his game even more.
#4 Winner: AJ Styles (& Omos)
Don’t we love AJ Styles? Seriously, this man is a legend and bonafide Hall of Famer. When he took on Omos as his tag team partner, the first thing we thought of was the Triple Crown & Grand Slam. It wasn’t really about Omos, although I think his debut went down as well as anyone could’ve expected.
There was a time when I thought Styles would never make it to WWE. Now look at him! The Phenomenal One has proven to be among the best of WWE’s greatest ever performers. We should applaud his hard work. There’s nothing left for him except to keep on adding to his already huge list of accomplishments. Once he & Omos are done, he better get back in to the main event scene. I’m sure we’d love to see him claim the Universal title.
#4 Loser: Bayley
Ding dong! I can’t begin to fathom what has happened to Bayley. She must be injured, right? There’s no way WWE is choosing to use her like this because they want to? I don’t get it. Someone wake me from this nightmare!
She goes from being the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion of all time… to getting beaten up by The Bellas. Who wants that?! Nobody does, that’s why The Bella’s got booed and not her. Seriously WWE, either tell us Bayley is injured or get her back in the ring. This is a monumental waste of talent. Also, get rid of the dumb talk show.
#5 Winner: Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley is dealing with two camps of fans. The first has seen all of her outstanding work in NXT, while the second are fans who only saw her lose to Charlotte Flair last year, and lose to Bianca Belair at the Royal Rumble. WrestleMania was the first time they’ve ever seen her win a match.
Ripley was the first NXT UK Women’s Champion and later dominated NXT as the Women’s Champion too. She has made both babyface and heel roles work. But because she’s so young (24!), there’s still much to learn. Ripley is one of the youngest wrestlers to win a title in WrestleMania history. And yes, I can admit she didn’t have great chemistry with Asuka. It’s because they never worked together before. But I’ve seen what Ripley can do when she has chemistry with her opponents. Her matches with Toni Storm and Shayna Baszler were great! Yeah, she was probably carried a little, but it takes two to tango.
The main thing for me is that WWE is daring to push someone so young. Do you want fresh blood? You want new superstars? This is WWE doing that. They can’t rely on Undertaker’s and Brock Lesnar’s forever. Although, I do think she lost something after being defeated by Flair last year. Rhea lost some of her edge. Either she was told to tone it down, or it’s a confidence thing. It feels like she’s someone who needs to be in the right frame of mind to be at the top of her game. If she’s not, it’s creeping in to her work because she isn’t old enough to do this instinctively, yet.
#5 Loser: Hulk Hogan
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. You know you’ve hurt a legacy when Titus O’ Neil gets all the pops over you… brother. Not that Titus doesn’t deserve praise, but still.
— Justin J. Lopez (@stellar_jl319) April 11, 2021
I don’t know what to think of Hogan anymore. He was already controversial, so to add racist remarks to his list is not doing him any good. It’s not something people are likely to forget in a hurry. As much as WWE and its superstars defend him, I don’t think fans will let Hogan live it down.
WWE has already inducted Hogan twice in to the Hall of Fame. There’s not much left for him to do in wrestling, other than to give back. But we know Hogan isn’t about that. He doesn’t manage or train people. If he shows any interest in someone, there’s always an ulterior motive. So I don’t know with him anymore. I’d rather see Flair… at least he’s still entertaining and tries getting others over.
Should he just stick to his restaurant? Do you think there is anyway he could redeem himself in the eyes of the WWE Universe? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!