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WrestleMania 37 Preview

April 10 & 11, 2021

Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

Slogan: Who TF wants to spend 2 nights in Tampa?

Runtime: Somewhere north of the Justice League Zack Snyder Mega-Extended Director’s Cut including all the bloopers and behind-the-scenes mini-features

TH: So we’re going to jump ahead by 25 years from our last post to do a quick preview for WrestleMania 37, coming up this weekend. This is a bit of a change of pace for us, since we’re writing about a future event instead of watching and responding to one from the past, but we obviously couldn’t miss this opportunity to catch the trending wave and surf that sweet curl to Internet superstardom.

First we need to point out the obvious, that two damn nights of WrestleMania is too many.  WM36 followed the same format and, while we haven’t gotten around to watching that one yet, I think we can safely say that it’s completely unnecessary. Also, the card below is what we understand it to be as of Tuesday, April 6 — these things can and do change at the last minute, so apologies for any matches we missed!

GIF of Clint Eastwood looking disgusted (from Gran Torino)
Live footage of Rich looking at the card for WM37

RS: Look, first of all, I don’t watch Raw or Smackdown because they don’t actually have wrestling on them any more (I sound like my dad. This would be a great premise for one of those “turn into your parents” home insurance commercials.) With that being said, this WrestleMania card would have just been Monday Night Raw and SmackDown episodes for a week 20 years ago. There are not enough matches to warrant two nights. No doubt there will be at least an hour of scripted, neutered promos in between. With that ringing endorsement, let’s get into it!

NIGHT 1 – SATURDAY, APRIL 10

Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre – WWE Championship

TH: We like both of these guys and are looking forward to this match. Drew McIntyre’s extended reign as WWE Champion has been one of the highlights of the past year, and he always puts on a good show. Lashley is physically impressive, for sure, and these two should be compatible. I hope there’s actual wrestling, though, and not just a slugfest. Sidenote:  I’m sorry that WWE didn’t stick with the Hurt Business angle longer. I thought it was brilliant, with lots of opportunities for feuds and other storylines. I’d much rather watch MVP in a business suit directing the action than wedged into that bodysuit one more time.

Prediction: I’m rooting for Drew, but I think Bobby Lashley keeps the belt.

Portrait of the Hurt Business heel stable
The Hurt Business: Another sad casualty of the economic downtown caused by COVID-19.

RS: Lashley won the belt in the most telegraphed way. I believe I messaged Tim the moment Lashley lost the US Championship that he dropped that belt to get a big push for the WWE Championship. That’s right, I haven’t watched WWE regularly in at least 10 years and can still predict their shit. I really dig Drew and I don’t like how they took the belt off him, but it is definitely time for Lashley to shine and have a real title run and a WrestleMania moment win doing so. WWE has had far too few Black champions.

Prediction: Lashley keeps the belt for a long run, and maybe even turns face?

Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair – SmackDown Women’s Championship

RS: I predicted Bianca to win the Rumble, because, well, WWE still telegraphs shit.  Not as bad as they telegraphed Shawn Michaels’ win over Bret Hart in the WrestleMania XII Iron Man match, but still, we saw this coming. Both of these women are talented and the best assets in WWE’s roster. With WWE’s absolute shit history with women, it’s about damn time they get something going.

Prediction: Bianca is going to win. Sasha may take a little break to do more TV or movies. It’ll also be a good look to have a POC holding belts in all three brands.

Sasha Banks in her "Legit Boss" jacket and boots
Gonna buy this outfit to wear to work, so my employees know what’s up. Also it’s been a while since I had a chat with Human Resources, so we can take care of both of those things at the same time.

TH: As Daniel Bryan would say, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” The women’s division has been the strongest part of WWE recently (IMO), and both of these ladies are fun to watch. I’m happy to see them headlining an event of this caliber (even if it’s on Night 1.) This is the main event of WM37, to me. Tangent:  Sasha’s interview on Stone Cold’s Broken Skull Sessions really impressed me — she’s clearly someone with an appreciation for the history of the business and respect for the men and women who’ve come before her. It helps that she can wrestle her ass off, too.

Prediction: Tough to call. Bianca is up and coming, but I don’t think she’s quite there yet to take the championship. Happy to be proven wrong, of course, but I’m going with Sasha. (Though Rich’s prediction re: Sasha taking some time off is convincing.)

Bad Bunny & Damian Priest vs. The Miz & John Morrison

TH: Sure, I guess. Why not. Presumably (hopefully) this will be the end of the Bad Bunny storyline, though it’s in good company with the venerable tradition of the music superstar guest spot. (Think back to Cyndi Lauper way back at the first WrestleMania, or Alice Cooper at WrestleMania III.) The difference here is that Bad Bunny has really gotten into the actual wrestling, and he’s not half bad. I like Damian Priest a lot, too — he’s got a unique look and legit skills and had some awesome matches on NXT. Miz and Morrison are a good team, especially now that Morrison is a little older and his star has diminished a bit, but I don’t think they’ve got a chance here. (After all, Bad Bunny was on the SuperBowl AND Saturday Night Live. Miz is on… a reality show spinoff of Total Divas and the Wipeout-ripoff gameshow, Cannonball.)

Prediction: Bad Bunny & Damian Priest get a decisive win to close out this storyline.

Artist's rendering of the sun exploding
Fingers crossed.

RS: I don’t give a shit. 

Prediction: I dunno, the sun crashes into the earth? Go to AEW already, John Morrison. (Note from Tim: I’m calling this a prediction for Bad Bunny/Priest. We need to be able to score these things to see who’s a better person.)

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

RS: I’ve always liked Cesaro. Seth Rollins just kinda got left in the dust and all I can hear is WWE’s horrible announcing crews screaming his name nonstop.

Prediction: Hey, let’s call a tradition right here. Double countout. 

TH: Cesaro is a specimen, I just wish WWE could find something more interesting to do with his talents. Seth Rollins doesn’t do anything for me; he’s the poor man’s CM Punk.

Prediction: Cesaro? I guess? I can’t imagine anyone cares. I like the double countout prediction, though — seems appropriate for a match that nobody is really paying attention to.

The New Day vs. A.J. Styles & Omos — Raw Tag Team Championship

AJ Styles gif of him saying, "I'm trying to get that shampoo/conditioner endorsement"
There’s no way this man gets hair like that from a 2-in-1

TH: I think it’s pretty universally acknowledged that A.J. Styles is perhaps the best wrestler on the current WWE roster. His style is dynamic, his matches are creative, and his hair is flat-ironed to perfection. Since he started showing up as A.J.’s bodyguard a while back, I think we all anticipated that Omos would eventually become more than an intimidating presence outside the ring, so I’m glad we’re finally at that point. He has been in training with WWE since 2018, and has performed in a few house shows against the Street Profits and Viking Raiders, though this will be his big in-ring debut. Everybody (me included) loves The New Day, but they’ve had the belts off and on for a while now, and I feel like that story well is starting to run dry.

Prediction: A.J Styles & Omos become the new Raw Tag Team Champions

RS: A.J. Styles is the new Shawn Michaels but way more likable. They even keep giving him big bodyguards that turn into tag partners and, most likely, rivals. The New Day and FTR are the two best tag teams in the sport right now. (Young Fucks can buck off.) I’m also still bitter over the bullshit they did to Kofi with Brock Lesnar. Omos is a big motherfucker and A.J. Styles is better than Kenny Omega (the hot takes keep coming!) I guess A.J. couldn’t talk HHH into one last match so they’re doing this instead. This match really hangs on how good Omos looks in the ring.

Prediction: A.J. and Omos take the straps. This will either steal the show if Omos is good, or be the worst match of the night if he sucks.

Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman – Steel Cage Match

GIF of that creepy "Y tho" baby
Live footage of Tim thinking about this match

TH: As Bizarro Daniel Bryan would say, “No! No! No!” Or maybe, “Why? Why? Why?” I truly don’t understand. Was anyone asking for the return of 51-year-old Shane McMahon pretending to be a tough guy? Do people enjoy him performing stunts that would be ill-advised even for a professional athlete? Who are the fans who were like, “Yeah, Braun is cool and all, but what if he wrestled a guy with hypertension and gray hair who insists on wearing baseball jerseys all the time?” The only thing that would make me excited to watch this match is if Braun actually got to kill and dismember Shane live, on camera. Whether or not he ate the remains could be left up to him in the moment, in the interest of artistic freedom.

Prediction: Shane takes a beating for schadenfreude, for America. Braun may or may not get the win because, you know, the rich get away with everything and never suffer any consequences, but I’ll show my perpetual naivete and pick Braun.

GIF of Shane McMahon making the "seriously?" face
This guy? Really?

RS: This may be the night we see Shane O’Mac finally die. Falling from the top of the Titantron may not have killed him, but Braun could probably do a Wookiee to him (rip his arms off and beat him with them.) I really like Braun but am in agreement with Paul Wight’s advice to him that he does too much. Just, for the love of Ric Flair, don’t add train sounds to Braun Strowman.

Prediction: Braun has to win this. Since this is the modern WWE, there probably won’t be any color. Shane will just spotmonkey it until he dies before our eyes. Also, even though it’s a cage match, this is clearly the match that will destroy the Spanish announcing table if it’s still ringside.

NIGHT 2 – SUNDAY, APRIL 11

Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan – Universal Championship

TH: I really, really try not to be a hater. I think people who constantly shit on pro wrestling, even while they watch multiple wrestling shows every week, are misguided and miserable souls whose only joy comes from tripping the elderly, knocking down small children, and telling good dogs they are bad dogs. But I am not impressed by this match at all. Edge was a good worker back in the day, and I am glad his medical situation has improved to the point where he felt able to come back and perform. And yes, his surprise entrance at last year’s Royal Rumble was a genuine “oh shit!” moment and a gift for the fans. But I think that should have been a one-off, perhaps with him returning in a ringside role as a commentator, manager, or something else. (Raw General Manager, maybe?) As with Shane McMahon, I don’t know of anyone pleading for the return of the 47-year-old former champion who just might paralyze himself if he lands the wrong way. Daniel Bryan is reliably entertaining, a great performer, and eminently likeable. He feels slightly out of place here in a three-way match with these two, though. Roman Reigns is the anti-Daniel Bryan, permanently unlikeable, even as a babyface, but a solid and athletic worker. This has potential to be a good match, but also potential to be a bit of a mess if they don’t find a way to balance the action between three very different performers.

Prediction: Edge gets one more chance to hold the title, though maybe not for long.

Three Stooges gif
Exclusive advance footage of this Triple Threat match

RS: Dusty, broken-neck Edge has been resurrected. Why? I dunno, he needs money? More vampire blood? I didn’t like Edge that much back in the day. I never understood his appeal. Roman Reigns is garbage. I’m a hater on that. I’m uncomfortable with his hair, I don’t like him wearing body armor in his matches, and a superman punch finisher for someone from the Anoa’i family just doesn’t ring with me. Daniel Bryan, the constant underdog, top notch, would watch and pet again.

Prediction: You don’t have Edge get the title shot from winning the Rumble for him to not then win it in some way. I don’t know why this is suddenly a triple threat match. My hope is also that Jay Uso causes Roman to lose, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley – Raw Women’s Championship

TH: I haven’t watched as much NXT as I’d like, but what I’ve seen of Rhea Ripley has impressed me. I’ll be interested to see how she matches up with Asuka, who’s very different physically and stylistically.

Prediction: I think Rhea’s on her way up and gets the title this time.

RS: Asuka is fun to watch and so is Rhea. No shit talk here.

Prediction: It’s Rhea’s time.

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton

Set from Pee Wee's Playhouse
The stuff of actual nightmares

TH: This has to be, hands down, the dumbest angle I’ve seen in a long time. You might remember (hopefully not, if your therapist has done their job) Randy vs. The Fiend at last year’s Survivor Series, which was a pre-recorded snooze that featured a ton of pyro and ended with “The Legend Killer” lighting a Fiend-shaped dummy on fire. You know, for the kids. I find Randy boring and annoying; his constant sneering and mugging for the camera is just tiresome. Just as tiresome is The Fiend gimmick, and the faux-”disturbing” kid’s show Firefly Fun House. Look, I grew up on Pee Wee’s Playhouse — nothing you can show me is going to disturb me at this point. Fun fact: Bray Wyatt’s real name is Windham Lawrence Rotunda, and his dad is Michael Rotunda, who appeared in the tag team U.S. Express with Barry Windham at WrestleMania, and as Irwin R. Schyster (IRS) beginning with WrestleMania VIII. Pedigree! A modest proposal for the WWE creative team:  Wyatt wins and The Fiend somehow leaves his body and enters Orton’s, so that he becomes The Fiend, and we can all go on with our lives.

Prediction: Satan is on Bray Wyatt’s side, but Satan also wins when we pretend Randy Orton is an interesting wrestler. So I think we use the slogan from the Aliens vs. Predator movie for this one — “Whoever wins, we all lose.” I think it’s The Fiend, though, hopefully paving the way for some sort of non-supernatural comeback for Wyatt and demotion to B-list for Randy.

RS: Jesus Christ, enough. I hope they both are set on fire somehow. 

Prediction: See above. (Note from Tim: I’m not sure how to score this prediction, so Rich gets no credit for any possible outcome. I’m the editor, I make the rules.)

Big E vs. Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship

RS: I’m a big fan of Big E. I also like Apollo Crews. But, didn’t Big E just squash him on TV recently? I’m really confused about what’s happening here. 

Prediction: Unless Big E is going to be the one to take the belt off Edge at Backlash or whatever dumb name the next not-pay-per-view is called, Big E retains the IC belt, which is probably what will happen.

Old lady with glasses looking at a laptop. Caption says "An e-mail from Nigeria? Must be important!"
I can help him out AND make a little money in the process? Where do I send my bank account numbers?

TH: I’ll admit I don’t watch SmackDown on a regular basis — Friday night is Zoom Jeopardy night — so I don’t know what these two are feuding about or really know what to expect. Big E is ridiculously over-muscled; I’m not even sure how he walks around with pipes like that. (Per Wikipedia, his personal deadlift record is around 104 lbs less than the all-time American national record set by… Mark Henry! He really was the World’s Strongest Man!) I liked Big E a lot as the third member of New Day — he was the power member to Kofi and Xavier’s high flyers and offered a rare opportunity to invoke The Freebird Rule. Apollo Crews’s character seems to be that he’s Nigerian? (He’s actually Nigerian-American and his accent is a put-on.) It’s unclear if he is the Nigerian prince in exile who’s been emailing me for some time now.

Prediction: I don’t have a stake in this match or enough knowledge of Big E or Crews to make a prediction here, so I’m tossing a coin. Big E gets the win and keeps the Intercontinental Championship, and deadlifts a school bus to celebrate.

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

TH: These guys are both pretty fun to watch. I like the idea of a kinda schlubby fat guy, who looks like he should run a BBQ truck, whose main move is the Stone Cold Stunner. I’ve heard that Kevin Owens went to Steve Austin and got his permission before making that his finisher, which I respect. I really don’t get him as a superstar, though. Sami is fascinating to me — IRL he’s a Canadian Muslim of Syrian descent, a vegan, and a Bernie Sanders supporter who created a charity for medical aid in Syria. (He’s also BFF’s with fellow Canadian Kevin Owens.) His gimmick calls for him to dress like a Fidel Castro impersonator who shops at Goodwill, for some reason.

Prediction: This one’s another toss-up, so I’m going with Kevin Owens for the win, then these two BFFs move to Austin and open a vegan BBQ truck. Mmm, jackfruit.

BBQ food truck with weird cartoon pigs on the side
Message to Kevin & Sami: We found this BBQ truck online for a mere $48,000. They might be willing to knock off some $$ to update the graphics, if sexualized hogs aren’t your thing.

RS: Sami Zayn’s conspiracy theory shit bothers me as a librarian. It also feels too much like he’s a Q-Anon gimmick. But his in-ring work is cool. I Like Kevin Owens but he doesn’t fit in with the dull, PG-rated modern WWE. He should be trashing people, cursing, giving the finger, and pounding beers. He should be Stone Cold.

Prediction: I can’t see them further burying Kevin Owens after his seemingly 10,000 chances at taking the belt from Roman Reigns, so he’s going to snap Sami in half. Then, they’ll open up a vegan BBQ taphouse, but they won’t use jackfruit, they’ll use portobello mushrooms.

Riddle vs. Sheamus – United States Championship

RS: Riddle is fucking nuts to wrestle barefoot and I like that WWE was willing to put a strap on someone like him. He’s fun, he’s anti-establishment but in his own way. I’d argue that he’s WWE’s Orange Cassidy. Sheamus, Christ he’s gotta be getting old, and they still haven’t let him out into the sun. He should have been in an episode of “What We Do In the Shadows.” Sheamus is a solid performer but past his prime.

Prediction: Sheamus has to put Riddle over. Riddle for a clean win and a massive bong hit using Sheamus’s hollowed out shillelagh. 

GIF of Spicoli character (from Fast Times at Ridgmont High) saying "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."
(Presumptive) New US Champion Riddle talks about his training regimen

TH: Oh snap, why hasn’t WWE done a shillelagh fight yet?? I would pay $1,000 for a month of Peacock for that. Anyway, look, I like the character of Riddle. I dig him riding around on his little scooter and being a total stoner idiot with no idea what’s going on. That’s relatable AF, highly entertaining, and it makes me hungry for pizza rolls. I acknowledge that it would be funny to have him feud with someone who takes himself too seriously AND who is also a similarly C-level star. Unfortunately, a championship match (even the sorta-made-up US Championship) and a spot at WrestleMania against Sheamus ain’t it, chief. Unfortunately, I think Riddle is on his way up while Sheamus is on his way down, so…

Prediction: Riddle wins the belt and tries unsuccessfully to turn it into a bong.

Agree? Disagree? Love Randy Orton? Don’t be embarrassed, but leave us a comment and explain yourself. And check back next week to see how we did on our predictions.

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