It’s been a long year for WWE and its fans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, both parties will be able to make up for lost time when they take over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for WrestleMania 37.
Given that professional wrestling is a business built on fan reactions and feeding off the energy of a packed audience, it’s not surprising to see how much WWE’s programming has been impacted by the pandemic.
WrestleMania, their biggest show of the year, went from an audience of around 80,000 people in 2019 to a crowd of zero in 2020 for WrestleMania 36.
Almost a year’s worth of shows were broadcast live from a variety of venues, with some events taking place at the Amway Center and Tropicana Field in front of crowds of monitors with virtual attendees, and some matches even taking place at WWE’s headquarters in Connecticut.
But, for the first time since the Elimination Chamber event in early March of 2020, WWE superstars will be able to return to their normal: competing at WrestleMania in an arena full of fans.
In fact, WrestleMania 37 will serve as the first WWE event to be held in front of a true crowd in more than 13 months.
Like loads of things since the pandemic first began in 2020, WWE’s philosophy as it relates to building the card for its Grandest Stage of Them All has seemingly changed, as well.
After years of WrestleMania’s with 10-plus matches lasting a total of five-plus hours on a single night in April, WWE will continue with a trend that began a year ago at WrestleMania 36: a two-night format.
And, while it won’t be the two-night experiment’s first rodeo, it will serve as the first time that WWE rolls with the idea for an event in front of an in-person audience.
With the weekend-long format comes the debate about which matches should serve as each night’s main event, and WWE has loads of options to consider before WrestleMania 37 kicks off on Saturday, April 10.
One clear-cut main event, taking place on Night 2 of WrestleMania 37, is the Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship, as Roman Reigns defends his title against Edge, the winner of the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble Match, and Daniel Bryan, Reigns’ longtime rival on SmackDown.
Another main-event contender from the blue brand is the SmackDown Women’s Championship Match between champion Sasha Banks and challenger Bianca Belair, the winner of the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble Match.
But, nipping at the duo’s heels for Night 1’s main event is the premier match from Monday Night Raw between WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and challenger Drew McIntyre, who had what was supposed to be his WrestleMania moment in front of a sold-out crowd in Tampa in 2020 robbed as a result of the pandemic.
While plenty of focus will be put on which match takes main-event honors on Night 1, the presence of fans with a year’s worth of steam to release will undoubtedly make Night 1’s first match a hot commodity for superstars to consider, as well.
No matter when matches take place or who comes out on top, WrestleMania 37 will be a welcome return to normal after 13 months of uncertainty, and WWE will undoubtedly try to put out a top-tier show to compensate for the long hiatus as it relates to crowds.
But, for those watching at home, WWE’s newfound partnership with Peacock could make things more confusing when it comes time to start streaming the event on Saturday night.
So, ahead of a historic, two-night lineup for WrestleMania 37, here’s everything you need to know about the weekend’s matches, and how you can watch depending on your location.
How to watch:
Night 1 will be streamed exclusively on Peacock in the United States, and shown through the WWE Network elsewhere, on Saturday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET.
Night 2 will be streamed exclusively on Peacock in the United States, and shown through the WWE Network elsewhere, on Sunday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET.
WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) vs. AJ Styles and Omos
Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon
Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs. The Miz and John Morrison
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
Tag Team Turmoil Match for a WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match on Night 2: Naomi & Lana vs. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke vs. The Riott Squad vs. Natalya & Tamina
Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
United States Championship Match: Riddle (c) vs. Sheamus
WWE Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Winner of the Tag Team Turmoil Match from Night 1
The Fiend vs. Randy Orton
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn