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Atlanta, Georgia will see the first WWE Day 1 PPV on January 1, 2022, in what I hope ends up being a New Year’s Day tradition. Big things are expected of this this PPV considering that Brock Lesnar and been brought in for the main event so continue his feud with Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. The WWE Championship, Raw Women’s Championship, and both Tag Team Championships will also be up for grabs as Big E defends against three challengers in a fatal four-way, Becky Lynch takes on an upstart, RK-Bros take on the “Bronament” winners, and the Usos meet their nemeses one again. Two personal feuds round out the card as Miz and Edge fight over respect and Drew McIntyre and Madcap Moss fight over a sword.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar, WWE Universal Championship match
Story in a nutshell: After failing to capture the Universal Championship from Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel, Brock Lesnar gets another shot at the champion.
The Brock Lesnar story arc from the Book of Reigns picks up following Lesnar losing to Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel thanks to shenanigans. An irate Lesnar took out his frustrations on Reigns and the WWE staff on Smackdown getting himself fined and suspended. During his suspension, Sami Zayn won a battle royal to become the number on contender for Reigns’s title. Returning from suspension, Lesnar convinced Zayn (implying the infliction of grievous bodily harm if he didn’t agree) to have his match on Smackdown instead of Day 1 and management agreed. Lesnar would then face the champion at Day 1. To make sure it was Reigns he’d face, Lesnar inflicted grievous bodily harm on Zayn prior to the match.
In the meantime, Reigns continued to question his advisor, Paul Heyman’s loyalty. Eventually things came to a head when Reigns asked Heyman why he was protecting Lesnar. Heyman replied that he was protecting Reigns FROM Lesnar. Upset that his dominion was questioned, Reigns fired Heyman from his employ… violently. Lesnar then ostensibly saved Heyman from any further harm.
Prediction and analysis: This is the first time Reigns’s title reign feels like it is in real jeopardy. How many times can Lesnar keep losing, even due to shenanigans, and still seem like a threat. Despite this, I think despite being kicked out of the tribe, Heyman is going to prove his loyalty to Reigns in order to win his way back into Reigns’s good graces, so Reigns retains.
Big E (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley, WWE Championship Fatal Four-way match
Story in a nutshell: What was once a championship match earned by Seth Rollin has become a fatal four-way as Kevin Owens and Bobby Lashley insinuated themselves into the match with the champion, Big E.
Seth Rollins won a ladder match to earn a title shot against Big E. Kevin Owens manipulated the situation to get added to the championship match if he defeated Big E in a non-title match. Owens won the match by disqualification when Rollins interfered. A wild Bobby Lashley then appeared and demanded to be added to the match. Lashley had to defeat Rollins, Owens, and Big E in one night to be added to the match, a feat he was successful in achieving.
Prediction and analysis: I think any of these men can be a good choice for champion if they are taking the belt off of Big E. Things are set up for Lashley to take out Rollins or Owens only to have the pin stolen by the other one, leaving Big E “protected” from being pinned and giving sympathy for Lashley if he’s going babyface. However, rule of thumb, the champion usually retains in a multi-man match so I’ve got Big E retaining.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Liv Morgan, WWE Raw Women’s Championship match
Story in a nutshell: After champion Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan by cheating in a championship match, Liv Morgan was granted a rematch at Day 1.
Liv Morgan won a fatal five-way to earn a shot at Becky Lynch’s WWE Raw Women’s Championship. Lynch won the match using the ropes as leverage. Morgan challenged Lynch to a rematch and Lynch accepted. Lynch attacked Morgan injuring her arm. As revenge, Morgan went to Lynch’s school to attack Lynch but got her stunt double instead.
Prediction and analysis: If Liv Morgan doesn’t win, I just don’t know what they’d do win her. I can see her hold the title for a couple of weeks just to drop it back to Becky Lynch, but I’ll play it safe and say Lynch retains.
Edge vs. The Miz
Story in a nutshell: Edge returned from hiatus to put over young talent he wants to wrestle only to be confronted by Miz.
Edge made his first appearance on Raw since the draft to chart out his plans, naming wrestlers he hadn’t faced before. He was interrupted by Miz and his wife, Maryse. Miz felt disrespected for not being included on Edges list and for not receiving the same “pomp and circumstance” Edge did since Miz too was returning from hiatus. This led to several heated exchanges between the two including some sneak attacks facilitated by Maryse. Edge got the laugh heading into this match when he gave Miz a Maryse a Brood-like oil bath (I remember the good old days when it was “blood”) when the two renewed their vows.
Prediction and analysis: Another rule of thumb when predicting PPV outcomes is whoever looked strongest on the go-home segment loses. This means Edge loses thanks to Mayse’s involvement eventually setting up a mixed tag between Miz & Maryse and Edge & Beth Phoenix.
Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford, WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match
Story in a nutshell: The winners of the RK-Bronament, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford take on the tag team champions, Randy Orton and Riddle.
In order to determine RK-Bros next challengers the RK-Bronament was birthed into the world. The Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford, defeated the teams of AJ Styles & Omos and Rey & Dominick Mysterio to earn their shot at the titles.
Prediction and analysis: RK-Bro may arguably be Raw’s hottest act right now and it doesn’t seem to be cooling down any time soon. Eventually there’ll be a break-up, likely heading into WrestleMania but I’d keep them solid right now. Turning to the Street Profits, I’d keep an eye out for discord in that team instead. Champions retain.
Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso (c) vs. King Woods and Kofi Kingston, WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship match
Story in a nutshell: King Woods and Kofi Kingston seek revenge from the humiliation Woods suffered at the hands of the Bloodline by winning the titles from Jey and Jimmy Uso.
While Lesnar was away, the Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Jimmy Uso) entertained themselves by humiliating King Woods on the buildup to Survivor Series. Once beyond that, Reigns moved back to his feud with Lesnar leaving the Usos to clean up.
Prediction and analysis: I don’t see a reason for the Usos to drop the belts. I also don’t see where New Day goes next from here so we could very well see these two teams trade the belts back and forth. Again. I’m going to say the champions retain but well likely see these guys tussle some more.
Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss
Story in a nutshell: The WWE tends to include a match on their PPVs that makes me question what I am doing with my life, and this is the one for Day 1.
Drew McIntyre has a sword. The sword’s name is Angela. Drew uses Angela to scare wrestlers. Adam Pearce took Angela away. Drew stabbed Pearce’s desk. Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin stole the desk. Drew pulled the sword from the desk. Drew is now the king of Britannia. Madcap Moss is wrestling Drew.
I remember when Drew was cool…
Prediction and analysis: Drew wins since this is all to set up Drew versus Happy Corbin.
Preshow: Cesaro & Ricochet vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland
Story in a nutshell: Cesaro and Sheamus rekindled their rivalry from ages ago only Sheamus now has an understudy in Ridge Holland and Cesaro has the first wrestler he saw in the dressing room that wasn’t running after the 24-7 title.
While it doesn’t seem like there was much thought put into this program outside of “who can we use to make Ridge Holland look good”, Cesaro added to the drama by bringing up his prior relationship with Sheamus when they were the tag team The Bar. I wouldn’t mind if the two rekindled the feud that led to the team’s formation in the first place.
Prediction and analysis: Holland and Sheamus win.