Early Predictions for the WWE Day 1 PPV Match Card

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2021

Early Predictions for the WWE Day 1 PPV Match Card

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    Credit: WWE.com

    For the first time ever, WWE will hold a pay-per-view on the opening day of the calendar year with Day 1, an event headlined by the latest matchup between universal champion Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.

    The next battle in their historic rivalry will main-event a show that also features WWE champion Big E against Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat match, and The Usos renewing their rivalry with The New Day as they defend the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

    Who will leave those contests with the gold and which other matches should fans expect to see in the lineup?

    Find out with this preview of the show, as well as some way-too-early predictions for those bouts already announced.

Not Yet Announced

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    Not yet announced for the Day 1 pay-per-view but expected based on recent booking:


    Toni Storm vs. Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship

    Charlotte Flair's reluctance to accept Toni Storm's challenge for a title match has defined the feud to this point but the prospective challenger dealing humiliation for humiliation Friday night by pieing the SmackDown women's champion in the face may be the emphasis for the heel finally accepting.

    Regardless, it's too early for Storm to win the title given how underdeveloped her on-screen character and presence is at this point in her main roster run.


    Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop

    Doudrop's jealousy over Bianca Belair's success and championship opportunities sparked a rivalry that has yet to see the two competitors battle in a singles match. That should change on New Year's Day.

    Doudrop could use the win to help establish herself on Raw and boost her credibility, but The EST of WWE is one of the elite stars in the company and a loss of that kind at a PPV is unlikely.


    Edge vs. The Miz

    Edge and The Miz both returned to Raw a week ago and wasted little time becoming enemies. While the feud is still in its infancy and may involve their significant othersBeth Phoenix and Maryse, respectivelythe timing suggests at least the first chapter of the program will culminate on January 1.

    A win for The Rated-R Superstar seems most likely but if the feud is to extend for any stretch of time, expect The A-Lister to score a sneaky, underhanded win to set up the next contest.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day vs. The Usos

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    Friday on SmackDown, Kofi Kingston returned to be by King Woods' side as he battled Jey Uso in singles competition. And it was only a matter of time before Jimmy interjected himself in his brother's match, drawing a disqualification.

    The babyfaces cleared the ring and proceeded to reveal backstage that they will challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on January 1.

    The competitors have clashed many times before in what can best be described as the most prolific and storied tag team rivalry of the modern era. They have done battle inside Hell in a Cell, at WrestleMania and everywhere in between. 

    The match will be great because it always is, and the crowd will be hot because it always is.

    The question is whether The Usos drop the title to create dissension within The Bloodline or if WWE recognizes it has something hot with the faction and keeps the championship with Jimmy and Jey. That seems the more likely option as officials will likely wish to keep The Bloodline as strong as possible entering WrestleMania 38 season.

    Prediction: The Usos retain

WWE Championship Match: Big E vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

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    Big E has been thwarting challenges to his WWE Championship reign since winning the title in September.

    He has seen off former champions Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, and he will have to overcome two more at the same time at Day 1 when he will defend against Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a Triple Threat match.

    The Visionary earned the opportunity by way of a victory in a ladder match while KO defeated Big E in a non-title match to earn his place in the bout.

    The red brand has done a solid job of throwing challengers at the New Day powerhouse, and winning a match of this magnitude would go a long way in firmly establishing him at the top of the card.

    Expect that to happen.

    With Owens' contractual uncertainty, it makes sense that WWE officials would add him to take the pin and preserve Rollins for the extension of his rivalry with the champion.

    Big E vs. Rollins has time left on it and will likely carry Raw through the first month of 2022, if not beyond. Owens provides an out from that scenario, even if he has earned better.

    Prediction: Big E retains his title, pins Owens

Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

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    Brock Lesnar stormed back to SmackDown Friday night following an indefinite suspension levied by WWE official Adam Pearce.

    The Beast Incarnate immediately slid into the No. 1 contender's spot after manipulating Sami Zayn into cashing in his title opportunity, and he will now resume his rivalry with the man who defeated him at Crown Jewel in October, Roman Reigns.

    The two industry giants have plenty of experience with each other, dating back to 2015 when they met in their first of two WrestleMania main events. And they seem to have been intertwined ever since.

    The Tribal Chief may have picked up the most recent victory, but Lesnar owns the win-loss advantage with a 4-3 record over Reigns.

    The outcome of the Day 1 main event almost certainly depends on The Rock's availability for WrestleMania 38 and the plans WWE may have for him to battle Reigns. If that is the case, The Head of the Table will even things up and defeat The Beast before turning his attention to the biggest show of the year. 

    If that isn't the case, don't be surprised to see Lesnar end the lengthy reign of his rival and wear the title throughout the build to The Show of Shows in Dallas on April 2-3.

    However, it just doesn't feel like Reigns is in any danger of losing the title right now, which is a testament to how strongly WWE Creative has built him since his return in August 2020. 

    Prediction: Reigns retains, most likely via chicanery