WrestleMania 37: WWE Welcomes Fans Back for Two Nights of History
Goosebumps. That’s what you get hearing the roar of a live WWE crowd after more than a year of virtual shows. Yes, WrestleMania 37 was back to business April 10 and 11 in Tampa, Florida, with Chairman Vince McMahon standing at the head of the entranceway with his roster of superstars behind him to welcome a sold-out crowd of 25,675 fans — a total of more than 50,000 over the two nights, per WWE — to Raymond James Stadium.
— Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) April 10, 2021
Mother Nature, however, gave Night 1 a lightning and rain storm, forcing the biggest show of the year into a weather delay. But that didn’t stem the enthusiasm, with fans and performers visibly emotional before the event even began. Lana even tweeted that she’d almost cried after hearing her name chanted:
I almost cried when I heard the fans chanting my name. I have tried my absolute best to show them just how much this year on my own has driven me to be better. Thank you to everyone, and I hope you have an amazing time back at the show. #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/OvVAgBIZ0p
— CJ “Lana” Perry (@LanaWWE) April 10, 2021
The weekend event, of course, still adhered to COVID protocols. WWE partnered with local Tampa officials much like the Super Bowl did a few months earlier in the same stadium, with a limited number of tickets sold for each night. All in attendance sat in socially distanced pods (empty gaps were filled by fan cutouts). There were mask requirements, enhanced sanitization, health screenings, and temperature checks. The WrestleMania app was helpful with mobile ticketing, ordering food or merch, and completing waivers and health questionnaires to get through the gates.
Still, there was no denying that for the wrestlers, the joy of being surrounded by energetic crowds helped elevate each match.
Here, a look at the sights and sounds from inside the “Show of Shows.”
Herstory: Night 1
Skipping first to the night’s main event, it featured the sight of Bianca Belair dethroning Sasha Bank for the SmackDown women’s title. It was the first time two women of color headlined WrestleMania, and they earned it. The fans in the audience were split on who to cheer for, but there was perhaps more of a connection to Belair since this was her first appearance on the grand stage. The “EST” of WWE stepped up against the more experienced Banks, who’s arguably the best female wrestler to lace up the boots today. Fans live saw a heartwarming scene after cameras stopped rolling where fellow WWE superstar Montez Ford joined his wife Belair for the post-match celebration.
The weather delay happened after Bebe Rexha’s incredible rendition of “America the Beautiful” with guitarist JinJoo Lee. After they performed, WWE ring announcer Mike Rome alerted the thousands in attendance to seek shelter.
It’s the first time in Wrestlemania’s 37-year history that there was a weather delay. Shout out to the unsung heroes who make up the ring and production crews and who readied the squared circle when the festivities began almost half an hour later.
First One Out
WrestleMania hosts Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil were actually the first faces seen after the start of Night 1, but the first WWE superstar to stand in the ring was Drew McIntyre. “The Scottish Warrior” wasn’t able to wrestle away the WWE championship from incumbent Bobby Lashley, but just having that very real moment made him feel like a winner. It was a reward for a dedicated soldier who was a shining light on Raw Monday nights throughout the pandemic.
One of the biggest live reactions of Night 1 went to Bad Bunny. The award-winning rapper won over the fans with flashy moves like spinning head scissors, diving off the top rope, and a stunning Canadian Destroyer piledriver. He worked more than a few spots, holding his own with Damian Priest against their opponents The Miz and John Morrison. Past WrestleMania celebrities including Mr. T, Lawrence Taylor, Snookie, and Floyd Mayweather involved in matches, but Bad Bunny was up there with the best.
Head of the Table: Night 2
Starting with the big one, Universal Champion Roman Reigns pinned Daniel Bryan and Edge at the same time to close out Night 2 in spectacular fashion. Adding to what made this match special is the fact Bryan and Edge both battled back from what was thought to be career-ending injuries over the years, while Reigns overcame leukemia. The crowd was the most invested in this match as the three took them on one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
Earlier, YouTube sensation Logan Paul sat ringside while his new friend Sami Zayn fought Kevin Owens, who by far got one of the biggest pops of Night 2. Paul basically got the complete opposite reaction from the fans as Bad Bunny as “Logan Sucks” chants echoed throughout the stadium. After Owens pinned Zayn, Paul tried to play both sides. Owens wasn’t having any of it and gave him a Stunner for his trouble.
The Bellas Gonna Ball
Over the two nights, Bayley kept interrupting Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil during their hosting spots. The 2020 WWE Hall of Famers the Bella Twins were tired of hearing the SmackDown superstar so Nikki Bella slapped the microphone out of Bayley’s hand after she said her ex John Cena wasn’t there. Nikki and her sister Brie then beat Bayley up further. Does this mean we’ll see one more run from the Total Bellas stars?
Now, for a rundown of the results:
Night 1 Results (April 10)
- Bobby Lashley overcame challenger Drew McIntyre for the WWE championship.
- Natalya and Tamina survived a tag team turmoil match over Lana and Naomi, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose, The Riott Squad, and Billie Kay and Carmella.
- Cesaro swung his way to victory over Seth Rollins.
- The debuting Omos and AJ Styles won the Raw tag team championship from The New Day.
- Braun Strowman channeled his inner King Kong to defeat Shane McMahon in a steel cage match.
- Bad Bunny and Damian Priest took down The Miz and John Morrison.
- Bianca Belair defeated SmackDown for the women’s champion Sasha Banks.
Night 2 Results (April 11)
- Randy Orton defeated The Fiend with Alexa Bliss.
- Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler retained the women’s championship against Tamina and Natalya.
- Kevin Owens pinned Sami Zayn with Logan Paul.
- Sheamus beat Riddle for the United States championship.
- Apollo Crews defeated Big E for the Intercontinental championship.
- Rhea Ripley took out Asuka for the Raw women’s championship.
- Roman Reigns retained the Universal title against Edge and Daniel Bryan.