Booking WWE's Top Feuds of 2021 After WrestleMania 37 Results
WWE's WrestleMania 37 started with a classic between Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley on Night 1, then closed out Sunday night with another classic in the Triple Threat match between Roman Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan.
That is to say, WWE didn't pull any punches for the first major event with fans in the stands in more than a year. Titles changed hands, storylines concluded or got major extensions, and Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair made history in the main event of Night 1 as one part of an overall passing-of-the-torch theme for the women's division.
So, where do things go from here?
WWE has plenty of options, sure. But a handful of notables stick out as capable of riding the momentum into a strong few months, as all involved slowly turn eyes to SummerSlam as the next major event.
Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
Rhea Ripley taking down Asuka to win the Raw women's title on Night 2 was somewhat predictable, but it was critical, as she and Belair ushered in a new generation for the women's division.
Not that the older generation will just go down without swinging.
One notable name who wasn't at 'Mania? Charlotte Flair, one of the original Four Horsewomen. The not-well-explained absence wasn't a big detriment to the show, in part because it's clear Flair will return soon enough with something to say about what happened at 'Mania.
The same goes for Becky Lynch, but more interesting might be Flair and Ripley linking up again. The veteran went down to NXT last year and had some interesting feuds, so they already have good chemistry and a pre-established angle. Stretch it out to the first pay-per-view after Mania and Ripley can have a strong start to her reign.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
This one comes with a catch—tensions have escalated enough between Edge and Bryan that they turn eyes away from the universal title and feud with each other.
That would leave Reigns without an opponent, which won't last for long.
Fans might throw out an eye-roll at the idea of a Reigns-Seth Rollins feud again. And Rollins, after all, just took a loss at Mania to Cesaro.
But the catch here is simple: Everything is different now that Reigns is a final-boss-type heel in the Brock Lesnar mold. He's been booked strongly, and that doesn't figure to change for the better part of another year. He just had his big heel performance in front of a live crowd for the first time, stacking two Hall of Famers atop each other to get a pinfall and retain his title.
Besides the interesting dynamic here in a feud between former brothers of the Shield, most interesting is how this new sadistic Reigns can change Rollins' character. He's far enough removed from his good-guy run that ended in disaster with the Fiend to start changing back to a fan favorite for good, so a slow burn here could work some magic.
Bobby Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar
WWE made the smart move to start 'Mania, having Lashley retain his title over McIntyre.
Long story short, McIntyre's golden as a main-event staple for the rest of his career after his amazing pandemic-era run as a top guy. Now Lashley is right in the same lane, likely using his 'Mania win as a launching point that allows him to follow much of the same trajectory.
So, what's next for Lashley, a new juggernaut of a champion who is finally free of midcard purgatory?
Brock Lesnar, of course.
A Lashley-Lesnar feud has been something fans have wanted as a dream match for a long, long time. Both have prior MMA involvement and similar styles, and Lashley himself has talked plenty about it.
Never say never, either. Lesnar has been missing in action while fans weren't permitted in arenas, but the Monday night Raw after Mania is essentially another extended night of Mania each year. It isn't unreasonable for fans to go into that expecting Lashley's big celebration to encounter a certain interruption, kicking off an epic feud that stretches into the summer.