Biggest Takeaways from WWE Day 1 2022 ResultsJanuary 2, 2022
Biggest Takeaways from WWE Day 1 2022 Results
Was WWE Day 1 a great start to 2022 or another sign that this year will be nothing but the same?
Saturday's event had the potential to be a game-changer even before the lineup was altered at the last minute. With Brock Lesnar moving into the WWE Championship picture instead of facing Roman Reigns, the possibilities were there for some major talking points and a lot of buzz coming out of this pay-per-view.
Now that the event's finished, let's look back and run down some of the biggest takeaways from WWE Day 1.
Full Match Results
- Kickoff: Sheamus and Ridge Holland defeated Cesaro and Ricochet by pinfall. Holland was taken out of the match with a broken nose.
- The Usos defeated The New Day by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Madcap Moss by pinfall.
- RK-Bro defeated The Street Profits by pinfall to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship.
- Edge defeated The Miz by pinfall.
- Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan by pinfall to retain the Raw Women's Championship.
- Fatal 5-Way Match: Brock Lesnar defeated Big E, Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins by pinfall to win the WWE Championship.
Bad Luck to Start the Show
The Kickoff saw a few hiccups.
First and most importantly was the announcement that Reigns had been pulled from the card. While that story broke prior to the pre-show, many fans likely didn't know about it until tuning in and hearing Kayla Braxton speak on the issue.
During a promo, King Xavier Woods found himself tongue-tied while talking about how he and Sir Kofi Kingston would win the SmackDown tag titles later on. A mild slip-up, but another flub nevertheless.
That preceded the opening match, wherein Ridge Holland suffered a broken nose. Suddenly, the segment turned into an impromptu handicap match, with Sheamus fighting Cesaro and Ricochet on his own.
All parties adjusted as well as they could in the circumstances, but it certainly wasn't the first hour WWE had hoped for.
The New Day and The Usos Never Disappoint
Every time The Usos and The New Day step into a ring, they tear the house down.
Few Superstars can wrestle multiple matches against the same opponent and keep things interesting. Normally, they have exhausted all their chemistry by the second or third match at best. But these teams have fought dozens of times and continue to elicit "this is awesome" chants.
Their accolades speak for themselves. Both have held the tag titles numerous times, with The New Day in particular breaking most records. But to be great on paper is one thing. To consistently prove it in the ring is another.
This was a great opener despite how many times we have seen the teams lock horns before. They went out, had another great match and set the bar for everything to follow.
Bonus points for The Usos winning with a new finisher—the 3D (or, as it will be renamed for them, the 1D). That was unexpected, and with The Dudley Boyz not in WWE, they are arguably the best tag team to take that finisher for themselves going forward.
Celebrity Involvement in WWE Hasn't Changed with the New Year
It shouldn't be surprising at all to hear that Migos played no role in the pay-per-view whatsoever. That's typical of WWE in that the celebrities are normally there for no reason other than to try to lend some mainstream media credibility to the company.
Look back at events decades ago, and you'll see the same thing. It's rare that someone does something special, makes an impact on the show and serves much of a purpose.
Normally, musicians at least put on a performance of sorts. Even that didn't happen here. Migos simply talked about how excited they were to be at the show, came out with RK-Bro, sat ringside and posed after the match.
What's the takeaway? Clearly, WWE figured having some Atlantan celebrities on the show would get some media coverage and maybe convince people WWE was a hotter ticket in pop culture than it is. This is another thing that hasn't changed with the start of a new year.
It's a shame WWE didn't figure out something more for them to do to justify their involvement.
The Street Profits Could Work as Heels
It's hard to find a more likable act than The Street Profits, as Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins have a natural charisma that's easy to get behind. They are cool, seem like guys you would want to hang out with and are super talented too.
But the way they worked opposite RK-Bro in the Raw Tag Team Championship match proved they have a heel run in them.
Even though both teams started and ended full-blown babyface, one duo was going to have to work more of a heel fashion by default so that the match dynamics worked. Quickly, The Street Profits showed it would be them, taunting the champions, doing push-ups and acting cocky.
Somehow, it felt natural. In particular, Ford looked to be having fun being a bit of the bad guy, reveling in how he could be more boastful.
The teams shook hands following their loss, but this could go a long way in future plans, as any time WWE wants to switch things up, we could be looking at a heel turn for The Street Profits.
We Definitely Need Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse
Heading into this show, it was safe to say Beth Phoenix would get involved in this feud to be by Edge's side to offset Maryse backing up The Miz. That wasn't necessarily a given for Saturday's match, though, so it was surprising to see The Glamazon show up.
Once she did, the crowd ate it up, which should be the confirmation WWE needs to follow this up with a mixed tag team match.
Whether it takes place on Monday Night Raw or at the Royal Rumble, the Hall of Famers against Miz & Mrs. is too good to pass up. Phoenix looks motivated and hungry for a match, Maryse deserves to get her comeuppance for interfering so much and it would be great to see what these married couples can do in the ring.
A Botch Cost Liv Morgan Her Future Momentum
Liv Morgan lost her first title match against Becky Lynch because the champion cheated by grabbing a rope. This caused Morgan to complain that Lynch couldn't beat her clean, setting up a rematch.
Unfortunately, the way this second title opportunity went down, a last-second botch has reframed this story.
After an awkward catch and slam, The Man went for a pin and was successful. However, she was clearly meant to put her foot on the ropes to give her leverage but was just shy of reaching it.
It's bad enough WWE wanted to simply repeat the same outcome as before. WWE programming has far too much copy-and-paste booking as it is. But at least then, Morgan could have retained some of her credibility.
Not reaching the ropes means Lynch's pin was clean and valid. She legitimately beat Morgan. No questions. No debates. There can be no excuses from Morgan about how she would have won if Lynch didn't cheat.
WWE could try to spin this as Lynch trying to cheat being the same as cheating, but it won't register the same.
A Great Main Event Here Is Setting Up a Triple Threat for WrestleMania 38
There are two talking points to come out of the WWE Championship Fatal 5-Way match.
The first is about the match itself, which was an adrenaline rush. From the moment the bell rang, this was on fire. Not a second went by that didn't feel packed with energy, which kept the audience on its toes.
Brock Lesnar was the focal point, as expected. In any match he participates, it revolves around him since he's one of the biggest threats and most accomplished WWE Superstars in history. Given most of his opponents focused on him and he was still dominating, that story was told rather well.
This was a great match, even if the outcome might be disappointing for those who wanted someone else to win.
But that brings on another point about what's to come next.
Whether or not it was WWE's intention to head in this direction, it seems there's a path forming on the Road to WrestleMania based on this outcome.
Lesnar and Reigns are due for a rematch. Both will be holding titles. Drew McIntyre has been held off from fighting Reigns and is one of the top picks to win the men's Royal Rumble.
Either The Scottish Warrior wins that and burns his title shot at Elimination Chamber, Super ShowDown or another event or episode of television prior to WrestleMania to get that out of the way or he's joining Lesnar and Reigns in a Triple Threat match with both titles on the line.
We're looking at a tweaked repeat of Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch from WrestleMania 35.
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.