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I Was There for WrestleMania 37

I Was There for WrestleMania 37

I Was There for WrestleMania 37

Originally Written in the Body Slam Brigade Newsletter Issue #50 – Read and Subscribe Here

Fans and journalists often criticize WWE’s short term booking and scripted promos, but nobody can deny WWE’s ability to put on a spectacular show. WrestleMania 37 was spectacular!

Arriving in Tampa, you would have been hard pressed to find a surface that wasn’t plastered with the face of one of the many WWE superstars performing at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday and Sunday. The faces of Sasha Banks, Rhea Ripley, Roman Reigns and countless others were everywhere you looked.

Whether you’re a wrestling fan or not, those banners guaranteed that you could not exist within Tampa without knowing about the massive event that was about to rain down on the city. While wrestling fans anticipated the ability to chant, cheer, and boo for the first time in over a year, Mother Nature was determined to have her say.

The greatest event in entertainment would start with a rain delay. WWE has dealt with all kinds of drama like fans knowing about Goldberg and Brock leaving the company to threats on the life of Sergeant Slaughter to just last year when the pandemic caused WrestleMania to be held on a closed set.

Despite all the crazy issues WWE has encountered over the years, WrestleMania has never teetered on the edge of cancellation due to weather.

In storyline, Vince McMahon teamed with his son Shane to defeat Shawn Michaels and God at Backlash 2006 (I’m sure you cringed reading that just as much as I cringed writing it), and apparently God wasn’t quite done with this rivalry. The showdown between Vince and Mother Nature only lasted a short time as Night 1 kicked off 30 minutes later than planned. Let the record book show that the opening contest of Night 1 was in fact WWE versus Mother Nature.

Mother Nature brought thunder and lightning to what the social media meme artists dubbed “WrestleRainia” and WWE spared no expense with pyro, lasers, and special effects once WrestleMania got underway.

There is so much great wrestling content available these days that I can’t honestly say that WWE programming is my favorite each week. That said, this event was full of the moments that create goosebumps, inspire joy, force you to scratch your head, and even a few that make your skin burn with fury. I don’t know about you, but that’s the combination of things that I want from all entertainment.

It also speaks to the diversity of WWE’s audience that the same moments that inspired joy for some caused others to scratch their head or even become angry. See Sasha Banks v. Bianca Belair and The Fiend Bray Wyatt v. Randy Orton for two examples.

No matter how spectacular the event, no matter how many external forces (Covid-19, government regulation, public relations, and weather) need to be overcome, and no matter how much joy a moment can bring to some . . . not everyone will be happy. That’s how life works.

From my point of view (which was 100 level seating about midway between the ramp and the ring), the event was a magical production. I’m so grateful to have been able to attend the event, and I can’t wait for the next one.

I Was There for WrestleMania 37

The darn ship at WrestleMania 37

A Little More

WrestleMania weekend is about so much more than the two day show. That’s obvious right? There’s NXT TakeOver, WWE Hall of Fame, and Impact even had a show at 3PM (right before WrestleMania).

Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll find that WrestleMania weekend offers a lot more than just that.

My crew and I went to Game Changer Wrestling’s (GCW) Collective Remix, which was a series of 12 shows over 3 days. The last show each day kicked off at 11:59 PM, so I have to admit that we didn’t see much of those shows. You’ll often hear wrestling promoters describe their events as a variety show. Well. . .the Collective Remix was a variety of shows. I saw everything from Effie’s Big Gay Brunch to Acid Cup 3 to Allie Kat’s Hot Girl Shit to Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport and plenty more on top of that.

The names of those shows kind of speak for themselves. GCW presented Spring Break as the third show on Day 2. I don’t know if this is GCW’s WrestleMania or not, but I certainly recognized the Spring Break brand before arriving in Tampa.

The match between Joey Janela and Chris Dickinson highlighted the action as far as I’m concerned. The match leaned heavily on the hardcore side, but got a little crazy when Dickinson called for chairs and an entire section of fans tossed their seats into the ring. If Chris Dickinson called for those fans to follow him into the ring, then it’s not without question that they would have stormed the apron and caused a riot.

The aftermath of fans tossing chairs in the ring at GCW Spring Break

It’s not always easy to lose yourself in the energy of a wrestling match, especially not to this degree, but these fans had foam welling up at the corners of their mouth and they wanted VIOLENCE. Eventually order would be restored and the match continued to it’s conclusion with Joey Janela (dressed as Bam Bam Bigelow) getting the win.

In a fun and perhaps devious twist, the GCW crew pulled all the chairs out of the ring on the side where all the fans stood waiting, but instead of handing them back to the now standing foam mouthed spectators, the GCW crew just placed the chairs under the ring for the duration of the show. Here’s your lesson: don’t throw your chair if its the only thing you have to sit on.

Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport

In addition to Spring Break, I also had awareness of the Bloodsport brand before I watched it for the first time over WrestleMania Weekend.

Remember how I said that the Collective was a variety of shows. The uniqueness of Bloodsport is obvious from the beginning. No ropes. No pins. The matches only end by knockout, referee stop, or tap out.

Bloodsport 6 included many big names like Jon Moxley, Chavo Guerrero Jr, Rocky Romero, Davey Boy Smith Jr, and Josh Barnett himself.

If you’re someone that has a hard time suspending disbelief when watching cruiserweight wrestlers fight heavyweight wrestlers, Bloodsport pairs the athletes up in accordance with their body type. No suspension of disbelief required.

I can’t point to any one match or moment on this show that captivated me over another because the show held my attention the entire time. I’m planning to watch the previous five events on FITE TV and begin covering Bloodsport on MinutesToBellTime.com (it was that good).

Toward the end of Jon Moxley v. Josh Barnett at Bloodsport 6.


I want to mention that I was surprised to run into a number of fans at GCW that were not only skipping out on WrestleMania, but actually turned their nose up at the prospect of going. While not the intention of WWE, WrestleMania today marks a special weekend where Wrestling Fans of all types can come together from all over the country (and world) to appreciate Pro Wrestling in whatever style we want.

I loved my trip and can’t wait to go again.

Match Results

WEWRESTLEMANIA 37, NIGHT 1 – RECAP – April 10, 2021

(1)  Bobby Lashley defeats Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship – Hurt Lock for the win (18:21)

(2)  Tag Team Turmoil

  • Carmella/Billie defeat Naomi/Lana when Billie rolls up Naomi (2:20)
  • Riott Squad defeats Carmella/Billie (05:16)
  • Riott Squad defeats Dana/Mandy
  • Dana hits top rope senton, Liv rolls her over for the pin (09:18)
  • Natty/Tamina defeat Riott Squad with Hart Attack followed by SuperFly splash by Tamina on Ruby (14:01)

(3)  Cesaro defeats Seth Rollins – Swing (~19) – Neutralizer for the win (10:50)

(4)  AJ/Omos defeat New Day for the Raw Tag Team Championship – Omos two-handed pop-up slam for the win (09:47)

(5)  Braun Strowman defeats Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage Match – Elias & Ryker attack with chairs before Braun gets in the cage – Shane tossed off top of cage to mat – Running Power Slam for the win (11:27)

*Hall of Fame 2020 Class

(6)  Bad Bunny/Damian Priest defeat Miz/Morrison – Priest with Electric Chair on Miz and Bunny comes of the top turnbuckle with a crossbody for the win (15:04)

(7)  Bianca Belair defeats Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship – Kiss of Death for the win (17:18)

WWEWRESTLEMANIA 37, NIGHT 2 – RECAP – April 11, 2021

(1)  Randy Orton defeats The Fiend – Alexa pops out of the jack-in-the-box, distracting the Fiend. RKO for the win (05:54)…AFTER…lights out…Fiend & Alexa disappear…WTF?!

(2)  Shayna/Nia defeat Natty/Tamina for the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Natty puts SharpShooter on Nia but Shayna is legal & locks in the Kirifuda Clutch. Natty goes to sleep for the win (14:20)

(3)  Kevin Owens defeats Sami Zayn – KO counters attempted 2nd Helluva Kick with a Superkick and another Superkick. Stunner for the win (09:16)…AFTER…Logan Paul congratulates KO, Sami is pissed & gets in Logan’s face…Sami gets stunned … Logan raises KO’s hand, KO is not impressed…Logan gets a Stunner

(4)  Sheamus defeats Riddle for the United States Championship – Riddle goes for a springboard moonsault and runs into a Brogue Kick for the win (10:52)

(5)  Apollo Crews defeats Big E for the Intercontinental Championship when Daba Kato interferes, delivers a chokeslam to Big E, drags Apollo on top of Big E for the win (06:49)

(6)  Rhea Ripley defeats Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship – Riptide for the win (13:28)

(7)  Roman Reigns defeats Edge/Daniel Bryan to retain the Universal Championship. Edge delvers ConChairTo to Daniel Bryan. Reigns delvers ConChairTo to Edge, drags Edge on top of Bryan & pins both men for the win (21:41)


“I Was There” is a column written by wrestling fan and writer Ryan Joy. Ryan left his corporate job at the end of 2019 to perform a close study of professional wrestling. These are his stories. Ryan is the host of the Daily Wrestling News Show, which he distributes through Facebook, You Tube, and as a Podcast. He also writes a free weekly wrestling newsletter called The Body Slam Brigade that you can subscribe to at www.BodySlamBrigade.com. 

I Was There for WrestleMania 37


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