Final Picks for Reigns vs. Lesnar, Lynch vs. Morgan and Full WWE Day 1 2022 CardJanuary 1, 2022
Final Picks for Reigns vs. Lesnar, Lynch vs. Morgan and Full WWE Day 1 2022 Card
After having so many ups and downs in 2021, it's up to WWE Day 1 to kick off 2022 with a bang.
At first glance, the card has some big deals and some filler. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar is the top priority and arguably the only reason this event is even happening. But Edge will also face The Miz, and other titles are on the line, too.
Of course, the card is always subject to change—especially so in this current climate. But assuming the lineup stays put, what are the most likely outcomes of these matches?
Before the show starts, let's run down a final round of predictions for WWE Day 1 2022.
Kickoff Match: Cesaro and Ricochet vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland
This match spawns out of the 12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet Match from SmackDown wherein Sheamus took out Cesaro with some help from Ridge Holland, only for The Swiss Cyborg to get revenge and cost The Celtic Warrior a spot over Ricochet.
While The One and Only failed to ultimately win the gauntlet match, that victory over Sheamus puts him square in the sights of the former WWE champion and his new protege.
In the grand scheme of things, it means more for Sheamus and Holland to get this victory. It will go further to strengthen their bond as a team rather than for two babyfaces like Cesaro and Ricochet to have been paired up simply to be their opponents. They aren't a team and won't be carrying a win with them going forward.
Prediction: Sheamus and Holland are victorious.
Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss
Above all other matches on this card, this one feels the most like filler. Arguably, it's the type of segment someone would fast-forward even if it were on an episode of SmackDown. On a pay-per-view, it feels even less worthy of taking up time.
Perhaps the original plan was to build to Jeff Hardy against Drew McIntyre in a No. 1 contender's match or something else that was a bigger deal, only for that to go south with The Charismatic Enigma's release. Whether this is the backup plan or not, it's only there to stall for time.
There is no way Madcap Moss wins on his own. It's extremely unlikely he wins to begin with, but if he does, it will only be because of interference from Happy Corbin.
Whether that happens, or the more likely outcome of simply having McIntyre beat Moss, watch out for a Corbin vs. McIntyre match to follow this up, be it on SmackDown or Royal Rumble.
It's all heading in the same direction, so McIntyre might as well win to keep him looking strong.
Prediction: McIntyre wins.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits
The implosion of RK-Bro is inevitable. At some point in 2022, these two will split and start to feud with one another, likely leading to a match at WrestleMania 38.
Now is not the time to break up Randy Orton and Riddle, though. In particular, The Street Profits shouldn't be the ones to take the titles off them, as that would probably result in boos from the crowd. It should be a heel team who spoils RK-Bro's fun.
Instead, this should be a straight-up competitive match between two of the best teams in the company, where Orton catches Angelo Dawkins or Montez Ford in an RKO out of nowhere for the win. Here's hoping it's Ford after one of his trademark frog splashes—the height he gets is something to behold.
Prediction: RK-Bro wins.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs. The New Day
The Usos and The New Day have a storied history together. They've traded wins and titles for years in this quest to one-up each other as the top tag team in the past decade.
For the most part, any time they're opposite the ring, you're better off flipping a coin for the winner than trying to predict who gets the victory that particular time. In this situation, though, one team does have a creative advantage.
The New Day has been snatching some wins lately. That often points to the other direction for the pay-per-view, as WWE likes to set up the potential of a win only to do the reverse.
On top of that, heading into WrestleMania season with The Usos no longer tag team champions would be strange. So much has been made about The Bloodline's success running SmackDown that if they drop the belts, it will reflect poorly on Roman Reigns.
The New Day already have something going on with King Xavier Woods. Adding the titles to them would be superfluous.
It wouldn't be the biggest shock for the belts to change hands, but The Usos might as well retain.
Prediction: The Usos win.
Edge vs. The Miz
If WWE Creative doesn't use this as an opportunity to set up a mixed tag team match between Edge and Beth Phoenix against The Miz and Maryse, something's rotten in the state of Denmark.
That is such a clear and obvious path to head down. Anything short of that is underwhelming.
That's not to say Edge and The Miz aren't capable of having a great match on their own. Both know how to sell it in the ring and can craft a compelling match with better psychology than just a series of maneuvers as a stunt show.
But, ultimately, this comes down to Maryse ringside causing a distraction or interfering in some way for The Miz to steal a victory. Then, Phoenix should appear on an episode of Raw in the future to balance out the equation, fight beside her husband, and then the two of them can take down the arrogant "it" couple.
Prediction: The Miz wins.
Raw Women's Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan
It may feel like now is the time, more than ever, for Liv Morgan to reach the mountaintop. Becky Lynch only retained her title by cheating, right?
Unfortunately for her fans, it's just hard to believe it's actually going to happen here.
While the Road to WrestleMania doesn't technically start until after Royal Rumble, that's only a few weeks away. Given the two options, WWE is far more likely to stick with The Man as champion for the biggest show of the year than someone who—as popular and talented as she is—hasn't proved herself to be on the same level.
Technically, Morgan could win this and drop the belt back to Lynch in the coming month. Stranger things have happened even closer to WrestleMania. But that's the exception, not the norm.
When in doubt, go with the bigger star, especially if they're holding a championship. The champion does have two advantages to retain, so even if Lynch loses this by disqualification or countout, she'll keep the title around her waist.
Prediction: Lynch wins.
WWE Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
The journey the WWE Championship has taken to get to Day 1 has been all over the place. Originally, Big E was set to face just Seth Rollins, before Kevin Owens found a way into the match.
That was during a time where it was unknown if he would re-sign with WWE or leave the company by the end of January, calling into question why he was involved to begin with.
Bobby Lashley then came on board, too, making this a Fatal 4-Way. Oddly enough, he's been almost booked as a babyface in recent weeks, despite not having a full turn.
Owens re-signed, and now, Rollins is up in the air for competing after contracting COVID-19.
There is no obvious match to set up for WrestleMania for any of these Superstars, meaning anyone could walk out with the WWE Championship, and it could be a confusing mess or exactly the game plan WWE is cooking up behind the scenes.
As fans, we're not privy to these ideas, if they even exist. WWE might not know who will win until just before this show starts, for all we're aware!
When in doubt, lean toward the champion retaining. Even if it isn't a strong edge, it still leans in Big E's direction. Just don't be shocked if the belt goes to one of the challengers.
Prediction: Big E wins.
Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
It seems fairly certain WWE is banking on this not only selling the event as the big draw but also setting up yet another rematch between the two for WrestleMania.
As much as it would be great to say that means something huge will go down to keep fans interested and willing to wait four months for a follow-up, history has shown WWE doesn't always bother to do that. Sometimes, the company just tells, rather than shows.
Looking at Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar from the past, their feuds have often had finishes that go nowhere, only for a rematch to happen "just because." Look at how a whole year was spent building to The Beast Incarnate finally losing to The Big Dog at WrestleMania 34, only for Lesnar to retain, fight Reigns again at Greatest Royal Rumble, win again there, but lose at SummerSlam.
Maybe WWE will put in more effort and something big will happen, with or without Paul Heyman being the impetus of that moment. Don't get your hopes up that it is a guarantee, though.
This is a complete unknown. The hook could be that Heyman joins Lesnar and screws Reigns to set up a title change, Reigns could retain because Heyman's dissension was a ruse, or it could be as straightforward as Reigns retains and Lesnar wins the Royal Rumble to earn a rematch.
Since so much has been made about Reigns beating Lesnar's days as champion, if he were to lose it now, less than a month away from breaking that record, it would be shocking.
Prediction: Reigns wins.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.