WWE WrestleMania 37 Results: Star Ratings for All Matches from Full Show

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

WWE WrestleMania 37 Results: Star Ratings for All Matches from Full Show

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    Credit: WWE.com

    There are certain expectations that come along with a match at WrestleMania.

    Superstars are expected to deliver above and beyond what they would on a typical episode of Raw or SmackDown, or even another monthly pay-per-view offering. The lights are brighter, the stage bigger, and there is the opportunity to live forever with a single extraordinary performance.

    This year's two-night WrestleMania 37 featured several strong in-ring presentations, thanks to one of the most talented crops of talent the company has ever touted.

    With a loaded 14-match card, which matches performed up to the moment and which failed to inspire?

    Find out with these star ratings for each contest, which are graded out of five.

WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

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    Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley kicked off WrestleMania with exactly the type of match we expected from them.

    A physical, hard-hitting battle between two titans, it saw each competitor throw everything they had at the other in the name of leaving Tampa, Florida, with championship gold around their waist. McIntyre executed three consecutive Future Shock DDTs, but Lashley survived.

    Before the challenger could deliver his Claymore finisher, a well-timed distraction by MVP bought the champion some time, allowed him to move out of the way of the kick and apply the Hurt Lock for the win.

    A dramatic, heavyweight battle is exactly what the show needed to set the tone early, and it got it with this one.

          

    Star rating: ***¾

Tag Team Turmoil

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    Messy, disjointed and uneven, the Tag Team Turmoil Match to determine the No. 1 contenders to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler's Women's Tag Team Championship was the victim of strict time restraints.

    Rushed work led to sloppy and missed spots, a total lack of flow and no real story thread to speak of.

    The Riott Squad turned in the best showing of the five teams involved but ultimately succumbed to Tamina and Natalya's power and determination as the veteran competitors picked up the win and advanced to Night 2.

         

    Star rating: *½

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

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    Many pegged the match between Cesaro and Seth Rollins to steal the show at WrestleMania. Some thought it might be one of those defining matches, a classic in-ring encounter by two of the best in the industry. While it did not reach that level of excellence, it was still a very good match that highlighted the strengths of both men.

    Centered around the Cesaro Swing, the contest saw Rollins repeatedly shut down any attempt by The Swiss Superman to execute the move until late. Eventually, Cesaro did grab hold of Rollins' ankles and spin him around the ring 23 times before finishing him off with the Neutralizer.

    It was a career moment for Cesaro, who had long earned recognition as the best wrestler in the world, and the latest addition to Rollins' increasingly strong WrestleMania portfolio.

        

    Star rating: ***½

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day vs. AJ Styles and Omos

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    New Day's Raw Tag Team Championship defense against AJ Styles and Omos was never intended to be a great match. It was, rather, an introduction to the massive bodyguard as an in-ring competitor, and in that regard, it succeeded.

    The crowd roared as Omos stepped over the top rope and confronted Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, who were nothing short of fantastic as they sold the awe and fear the big man inspired. From there, he tossed the celebrated tag team around the ring before pinning Kingston with one foot on his chest, barely fazed by the "competition" set forth by the future Hall of Famers.

    Styles' Phenomenal Forearm from Omos' shoulders was sweet, too.

    While Omos' debut was a success and WWE made a hell of a monster out of him on Night 1, it still does not a great match make.

           

    Star rating: *½



Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon

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    Despite all of the perfectly valid criticism surrounding the Braun Strowman-Shane McMahon feud, their Steel Cage Match Saturday night was one of the pleasant surprises of the entire WrestleMania card.

    It did not overstay its welcome, as McMahon matches are oftentimes guilty of, nor did it unnecessarily complicate things. It was what it was: Strowman's revenge.

    After weeks of having his intelligence insulted, Strowman stayed focused and furious, shaking off a cookie sheet attack and pummeling McMahon. He dispatched Shane's cronies Elias and Jaxson Ryker, too, before literally tearing through the cage to get his hands on the prodigal son.

    The big bump off the top of the cage by McMahon was awe-inspiring, and the running powerslam, the same move used by Strowman to capture the Universal Championship a year earlier, was the right finish.

    A match better than it had any right to be.

         

    Star rating: ***

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

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    Speaking of better than it had any right to be, Bad Bunny turned in one of the finest celebrity performances in WWE history on Night 1, as he teamed with Damian Priest to defeat The Miz and John Morrison in a high-profile tag team match. 

    The Latin rapper sold everything thrown at him and executed some great fiery babyface spots when the time called for it.

    The heels controlled the heat section of the match, which was enhanced by the audience's genuine like of the celebrity.

    Priest exploded into the match and joined Bunny for a pair of dives leading to the finish.

    A hotter match than expected thanks to the overwhelmingly positive reaction for Bunny, it ranks right alongside Strowman-McMahon for overperforming match of the night. 

         

    Star rating: ***½

SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair

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    Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair turned in one of the best women's matches in WWE history, a legitimate feel-good story and further evidence of The Boss' in-ring excellence. 

    Centered around Belair's raw athleticism and Banks' repeated efforts to negate it by being the resourceful veteran performer, the match kept fans invested from the moment the bell sounded.

    The historic nature of it, as well as the coming-of-age performance by The EST, helped make this one of the weekend's best, as well as a genuine all-time WrestleMania moment. 

         

    Star rating: ****

The Fiend vs. Randy Orton

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    The opening match of Night 2, the culmination of a six-month feud, was so hopelessly tone-deaf that one has to wonder exactly what management was thinking when it put it together.

    Randy Orton, no matter how good, did not need to get a single offensive maneuver in. It should have been The Fiend routing him and paying off the story. Instead, Orton dropped his opponent with multiple draping DDTs, then benefited from a distraction from Alexa Bliss en route to an RKO that earned him a wholly unnecessary win.

    Unlike Night 1, WWE overcomplicated things from the get-go Sunday, and the result was the worst match of the entire show.

        

    Star rating: DUD

Women's Tag Team Title Match: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Tamina and Natalya

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    As two singles matches, the Women's Tag Team Championship bout pitting Natalya and Tamina against Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax were perfectly adequate. As a collective tag bout, it was decidedly not.

    Tamina was super over as the badass capable of taking the fight to Jax, while Natalya combatted Baszler on the mat. Unfortunately, those two elements did not mesh to make a coherent tag team match. The effort was there from both teams, with Jax even flying through the air and taking a considerable bump off a big back body drop. 

    The finish made little sense, with the veteran Natalya losing sight of who the legal competitor was and falling prey to the Karifuda Clutch by Baszler. The champions retained, and the less-than-stellar state of tag team wrestling in the women's division continued.

        

    Star rating: *

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

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    Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn saved the show Sunday night with a greatest hits compilation of their iconic rivalry.

    The chemistry was obvious, the intensity appropriate given their lengthy history, and the callbacks to their previous encounters were a nod to fans who have been along for their journey.

    The exploder suplexes by Zayn were phenomenal, and the vertical suplex spot on the ring apron brought the crowd alive after an inauspicious start to the show. Zayn's callback to Battleground 2016 was fantastic, something even JBL called out in commentary.

    Owens winning with the stunner was the right call, as was his stunner to Logan Paul, who was the most over heel in the entire match.

        

    Star rating: ***½

United States Championship Match: Riddle vs. Sheamus

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    Heading into WrestleMania, it was apparent that the United States Championship match between Riddle and Sheamus would be a hard-hitting, intensely physical battle. We had seen the competitors wage war leading into the show, so we had every reason to believe it would be more of the same Sunday.

    It was.

    Sheamus and Riddle beat the hell out of each other, playing "can you top this" with heavy-hitting strikes and moves. Riddle kicked out of a Brogue Kick while Sheamus survived the Bro-ton and countered out of the Bro Derek.

    It wasn't until Riddle took to the air with a springboard moonsault that a mistake proved costly. As he rotated backward, Sheamus rocked him with a Brogue Kick, bloodying his face and securing the win.

    A dark horse candidate to steal the show, the match may have done just that had it not been for the extraordinary main event later in the broadcast.

        

    Star rating: ***¾



Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Title: Big E vs. Apollo Crews

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    Big E entered Raymond James Stadium with a ton of fanfare, played to the squared circle by Wale as fireworks exploded in the dark Tampa night. All of the pomp and circumstance ended with the ringing of the bell as the Intercontinental champion and challenger Apollo Crews unloaded on each other with kendo sticks.

    The usually fun-loving Big E was extra intense, conveying the emotions you expect from a Superstar whose life had been made a living hell by an increasingly determined challenger. Crews took big bumps, absorbed tremendous punishment and appeared destined to leave WrestleMania with the loser's share of the purse when Dabba-Kato returned to television and laid Big E out, assisting the challenger in victory.

    A shorter-than-expected match, it was essentially a hardcore match with some percussion instruments at ringside to adhere to the gimmick. Hard-hitting and at times violent, it was the perfect addition to a rivalry that has intensified with every passing week.

    Even if it could have used slightly more time to really allow certain spots to breathe.

        

    Star rating: ***

Raw Women's Championship Match: Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley

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    There was nothing inherently wrong with the Raw Women's Championship match between Rhea Ripley and Asuka. 

    It was a physical match, as should have been expected, and allowed both women to showcase their strengths. Ripley was tenacious, while Asuka was a wrecking ball, throwing her body at the challenger in an attempt to overwhelm her. 

    Asuka's willingness to, sometimes, recklessly throw wild strikes proved her downfall as a late kick missed, and Ripley put her away with the Riptide for the win and title.

    While the match was strong technically, it was hurt by a considerable lack of heat. The crowd, either tired or uninvested in the story that preceded the match, failed to provide the energy they did one night earlier for Banks and Belair.

    The result was another very good entry in Ripley's young WrestleMania portfolio but a battle that should have meant more to the crowd than it did.

        

    Star rating: ***¼

Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship

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    The two-night extravaganza built to the most anticipated match of the weekend, a Triple Threat bout between Roman Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan for SmackDown's Universal Championship.

    A perfectly constructed match that featured all three men shining at various moments, it lived up to lofty expectations. 

    Bryan was the grizzled vet, able to wrestle his way into success and out of trouble. Edge, the determined heel hellbent on achieving his goal of winning his first title in nine years, was equal parts gritty and unhinged.

    Then there was Reigns, who proved resilient, absorbing anything thrown at him and hanging in there long enough for Jey Uso to make his presence felt and The Head of the Table to benefit.

    The finish, with Reigns reaffirming his dominance by pinning both men, was superb and put an exclamation point on what has been a magical eight-month run for the top dog in WWE.

    An all-timer of a main event and one of the better three-way matches of all-time. 

        

    Star rating: ****¾