Wrestling Review: WWE Day 1 (2022)

WWE is kicking off the year with a bang, as the first day of the new year plays host to WWE Day 1. In the main event, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar continue their now legendary rivalry, as Paul Heyman’s loyalty has apparently come to the forefront. Reigns fired his “wise man” on Smackdown two weeks ago, after Heyman implied that he was still in the pocket of Lesnar, but what will happen when these two long time rivals go to war once again? Meanwhile, the WWE Champion Big E faces a huge task of his own, as he must battle three other competitors — Kevin Owens, Seth “Freaking” Rollins, and Bobby Lashley — with the gold on the line. The odds are not in the favour of the WWE Champion, but Big E has made no secret that he willing to fight and and all challengers to remain at the top of the mountain on Monday Night Raw. The Raw Women’s Championship will also be on the line, when Liv Morgan will receive one more championship match against The Man, Becky Lynch one more time. After a controversial victory for “Big Time Becks”, Liv made it clear that this time she will do whatever it takes to prove that she belongs in the conversation of the best woman on the WWE roster. The team of Randy Orton and Riddle, collectively known as Rated RK-Bro, will also defend their Raw Tag Team titles against The Street Profits, while the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Jimmy & Jey Uso, will battle The King of the Ring, Xavier Woods and The Hand of the King, Kofi Kingston. Finally, Edge will be in action as he faces The Miz, and after weeks of frustration, Drew McIntyre will go one on one with Happy Corbin’s stooge, Madcap Moss.

[Well apparently not. Before the show, Roman Reigns confirmed he tested positive for COVID, so the Reigns/Lesnar match was obviously cancelled. Instead, Lesnar was added to the WWE Championship match which is now a Fatal 5-Way.]

+ Big E (c) vs Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley (WWE Championship): this was incredibly exciting, as all five guys have been treated as important (to vary degrees) over the last months. The match was essentially a sprint, with no down time between any moves, but that worked for what they were trying to do. I was not a fan of the ending, and certainly not a fan of the winner, but the match itself was easily the highlight of a very weak show
+ The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) (c) vs The New Day (Kofi Kingston & King Woods) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships): you already know what I’m going to write here, because we have seen this match so many, MANY times before. The action was good, and of course the chemistry is fantastic, but until literally the final moment of the match there was just nothing new to see here. I am still going to consider this a positive, but there are too many rematches in WWE, and this is the worst offender since Cena/Orton

Becky Lynch (c) vs Liv Morgan (WWE Raw Women’s Championship): this started off really slowly, and all throughout it was very sloppy. That said, the crowd was incredibly into it, and both women managed to sucker me in at a few points. But this was not good at all, all the way up to a potentially botched finish
Edge vs The Miz (w/ Maryse): I have no particular love or hatred of the Miz, but he is objectively not the kind of person you have a match with if the goal is to have a great match. Edge’s original return against Orton was incredibly underwhelming, and the recent stuff with Seth was good – but in no universe, not even the WWE Universe, is Miz on Seth’s level as a wrestler. This was bad with a bad finish
RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (c) vs The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): Montez Ford was the only good thing about this match; none of the others seemed to be putting any effort into their work at all. Orton was plodding, Riddle was never his explosive bets, and Dawkins is just so far below Ford it was hard to get excited about him at all. Montez deserves more
Drew McIntyre vs Madcap Moss (w/ Happy Corbin): what in the holy hell was this even meant to be? I thoroughly enjoy Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin, but there no reason at all this needed to longer than two minutes, tops. What a waste of everyone’s time
Cesaro & Ricochet vs Ridge Holland & Sheamus: well this certainly didn’t go the way that Ridge Holland wanted it to, as he had his nose shattered into his face on the very first move. Otherwise, this was a really standard affair with some baffling and backwards psychology, as the bad guy, Sheamus, valiantly fought back two-on-one against his opponents. This was silly and should have just been Sheamus/Cesaro given some actual time

Should you watch this event: Aside from Brock Lesnar actually wrestling, this was a nothing happening, regular weekly TV show top to bottom. There was nothing standout on this show, there was nothing exciting coming out of it (aside from the vaguely implied matches we might get “at some point”) and none of the matches were blow-away good. What a waste of talent.

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