WrestleMania 37 Night One reactions: Bianca Belair, Bad Bunny, fans, more
By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports WWE Analyst
Night one of WrestleMania included fans returning for the first time in over a year, weather delays, historic world title matches and recording artist Bad Bunny blowing away expectations.
First, we have to talk about the fans. I’ll be writing a more in-depth article later this week on how it felt being in the crowd at a WWE event again, but to say a live audience was missed would be an understatement.
Their energy was felt from the moment the show started until the second it ended, and everyone in attendance was so grateful to be there that they all made sure to enhance the event as much as possible with their voices.
The show began with WWE’s roster on stage behind Vince McMahon as the Chairman of the Board gave a heartfelt speech about what it meant to have fans back.
Then, in the most "of course" way possible, a weather delay caused the show to pause for 20-minutes and every fan at Raymond James Stadium had to get cover up.
Thankfully, this only happened once, and the show was able to continue weather delay-free for the rest of the night.
The only real downside to the weather delay was the way in which it seemed to affect Drew McIntyre’s first entrance of the night. Some of the fans were still filtering back in at the time, and I don’t think it was quite as big as it would’ve been had the delay not happened.
Either way, Drew and Bobby Lashley still put on a fantastic opening match that saw the two competitors beat the absolute hell out of each other. At one point, McIntyre even hit three Future Shock DDTs in a row!
That wasn’t enough, though, because Lashley eventually won the match after Drew passed out in The Hurt Lock.
This was one of those instances, to me, where the difference between what a live, paying audience wants and what the die-hard fans on social media want was very evident.
A lot of people in attendance seemed to be disappointed Drew didn’t get the win over Lashley to regain his title, as they were looking forward to cheering when it happened, whereas most of the social media audience I saw was of the belief that retaining was better.
Personally, I see both sides of this, but I think the latter is on the right side of history at the end of the day. Lashley needed that win if they want him to be one of their top stars going forward.
Before he even stepped in the ring, Benito got Night One's coolest entrance as he rode to the stadium atop an 18-wheeler that eventually drove right up to the stage.
Even if you don’t like Bad Bunny, you can’t help but love the fact that this guy is living his dream and making it look cool for all of us in the process – since he knows what other fans want to see.
The 27-year-old recording artist then put on, arguably, the best celebrity wrestling match in the history of WrestleMania.
Bad Bunny put in the work to impress over the past few months and it absolutely shined through from bell-to-bell.
The guy not only worked a majority of the match and did a vertical suplex, a la magistral cradle, and a dive off the top rope, but also a destroyer on the outside of the ring to John Morrison.
I don’t think a single soul was expecting him to go that far with everything – not even me, who had been praising his arrival on WWE TV since day one – and on the way out of the arena, he and Bianca Belair were the two names on everyone’s lips.
The chatter for Bianca was much deserved, too.
In her first singles match at WrestleMania, Belair defeated one of the industry’s top stars in Sasha Banks to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and the entire stadium erupted with excitement to share in her moment.
Two of the highlights from this match had to be Bianca using her hair as a whip again, which gave her opponent a very visible mark after, and Sasha’s cool-looking face-buster reversal.
Banks and Belair had had no choice but to come through when the time came, and neither one buckled under the pressure.
Instead, they took the challenge with pride and made damn sure no one would forget that, for a second, there was a question of whether they’d close the show or not.
That was big for wrestling history, for both of their careers and for millions of fans watching around the world.
Stay tuned for more WrestleMania coverage later this evening during Night Two of the event featuring The Fiend vs. Randy Orton, Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley, Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan and more!
Ryan Satin is a WWE analyst for FOX Sports. Satin previously appeared on FS1's "WWE Backstage" and founded Pro Wrestling Sheet, where he broke countless news stories as editor-in-chief.