The WWE Day 1 PPV – sorry, “premium live event” – was fun, if forgettable, way to start a new year with wrestling. Most of the matches were average, but none were terrible. Like many recent events, all WWE Superstars are good enough to be average or above average, but something is often lacking to bring these matches to the excellent category.
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns was out of the event due to a positive COVID test.
Live from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, the first match is…
Sheamus And Ridge Holland Vs. Cesaro And Richochet
Early in the match, Ridge Holland had a nasty injury to his face/nose. That resulted in essentially a handicap match for Sheamus. The match flowed well, considering losing 1 of the four competitors early. The match, though, just kind of was there. And it hurts to see Ricochet constantly lose. It was ok, not great. A Brogue Kick from Sheamus to his former BFF Cesaro ended it.
The Usos Vs. The New Day
WWE Day 1 was basically the tag team event for the year. The Usos and the New Day have been feuding for what feels like 20 years. This isn’t a bad thing, as they are both excellent teams. The New Day – King Woods and Kofi Kingston – feel underused as a tag team now, though. It was a standard match for these two teams, but they are still excellent—lots of fun action and classic moves.
Drew McIntyre Vs. Madcap Moss (with Happy Corbin)
This was absolutely the biggest “Who cares?” match of the night. It’s good that newer guy Madcap Moss got a spot on the card at a significant event, but… it was just all very much a nothing burger. The highlight was Madcap stumbling during a Fall Away Slam and balancing with the turnbuckle. A great ring veteran kind of move. Later, Drew got attacked by Happy Corbin and was probably taken to a “local medical facility.”
RK-Bro Vs. The Street Profits
This is a weird kind of match where you know the outcome going in, and it won’t help put anyone over. The Street Profits are great, but just kind of floundering. RK-Bro is always fun, but they are both wrestlers that could be utilized better in other spots. Orton had his standard double draping DDT, and it always looks cool. The Migos were at ringside, meaning, hey, RK-Bro are going to battle the Migos now. A nice little respect moment between RK-Bro and the Street Profits. Another tag match and another average match.
Edge Vs. The Miz (with Maryse)
Edge and Miz have been feuding because…. they need something to do. Edge interrupted Miz’s wedding vow renewal with the classic Brood bloodbath, BUT this time it was black goo (perhaps the same goo that Ultimate Warrior had come out of his hairline years ago) because blood isn’t PG.
Edge came out to a Brood entrance, which was fun. Miz is always good at making insane faces, including being scared or a cowardly heel. Maryse interfered, sending out Edge’s real-life wife, Beth Phoenix. It was all another very average match with a fun story that… well, it was fun. Don’t think too hard about why this is happening. Maryse hit Edge with her purse. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale… 1. 2. No! Edge wins with a spear. Everyone involved here is a great performer, but the match was just, well, average. That’s the theme of the night.
Becky Lynch Vs. Liv Morgan
The Main Event was the match of the night, but this gets a special mention if only for Becky Lynch’s amazing jacket with the stuffed rams on it. Becky and Liv are 2 of the best in the business. I prefer Becky as a face, but, hey, I get it. Heel Becky is fun, too.
Lots of fun outside action, including Liv paying Becky back for her brutal arm injury on the ring stairs. Liv Morgan had a beautiful Missile Dropkick. She also had a great Rings of Saturn. Alas, Liv lost to Big Time Becky Lynch despite building up a classic childhood championship dream angle for Liv Morgan. The whole build-up was very Shawn Michael’s Boyhood Dream. It was disappointing from a storyline point-of-view for me. Liv looks weak now, and who knows what will happen with her.
And wow, what athleticism by both women.
Fatal 5-Way For The WWE Championship : Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, BIG E, KEVIN OWENS, AND BOBBY LASHLEY.
With Roman Reigns out due to COVID, the Raw WWE Championship match went to 5 men, with a shocking victory from Brock Lesnar.
I guess shocking isn’t the right word, as we kind of always expect Lesnar to win a title and end up butting heads with Roman Reigns at some point, but as he wasn’t even supposed to be in the match, it was a shocking end from a story perspective. Do we get a champion versus champion match? How do you get Lesnar and Reigns to fight with a purpose now?
Rollins and Owen continue to be two of the smartest characters in history. They actually – GASP! – worked together in this match to try and take out the other men before fighting for the pin. Of course, it didn’t work as planned, but it’s nice to see characters act smart instead of like fools. And both of these men are at the top of their game.
The action was non-stop. Lesnar took a huge spear early. Lashley went through the announce desk. Everyone got some great moves in, and, yeah, it was constant and fun. Seeing so many massive men in motion is always a blast. I have no idea why Big E took the loss to Lesnar, other than Big E was the champion, so maybe they felt a loss wouldn’t make him look weak. Maybe Big E will challenge for Reigns’ Universal Championship?
The main event was the match of the night and now leads us to start asking many questions about where the story goes from here. Oh, and for some reason, Johnny Knoxville is entering the Royal Rumble. Hopefully, he does better than Drew Carey.
The entire vent was just kind of there and primarily average, but thankfully no match was terrible. If you have Peacock, watch it or at least skip to the main event and see the chaos of giant men battling.
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