Big E, Liv Morgan and the Real Winners and Losers from 2022 WWE Day 1January 2, 2022
Big E, Liv Morgan and the Real Winners and Losers from 2022 WWE Day 1
WWE Day 1 was set up as a major show, but the card changed before Saturday's event could begin. Roman Reigns announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and dropped off the card.
Hopefully, The Head of the Table can make a safe and easy recovery. WWE is never the same without Reigns, but many stars filled the vacant spotlight.
Liv Morgan faced her biggest challenge yet in Becky Lynch and put on a career performance. It was a huge moment for a young star who proved she is ready for the next challenge even if she could not get the win.
Edge continued a great run after returning from injury. He not only picked up a big victory over The Miz, but he was also joined in the ring by his wife, Beth Phoenix, who looks ready to fight again soon.
Drew McIntyre should be in position to challenge Roman Reigns by WrestleMania 38 in early April. Instead, he struggled against the midcard duo of Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss.
While Ridge Holland was technically a winner at WWE Day 1, he never factored into the finish because of a broken nose suffered during the Kickoff tag team match.
Big E ran through many challengers on his way to the top. He was on an all-time tear, and it felt like he could not be stopped. However, he ran into the man who ended his friend Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship reign, Brock Lesnar.
WWE Day 1 was not quite the show it promised to be, but it was still a special night for certain stars who proved themselves to be true winners.
Loser: Ridge Holland's Opportunity to Shine
Ridge Holland finally got his big break. Even if it was the Kickoff show, he had a chance to prove he was worthy of competing alongside Sheamus, Cesaro and Ricochet. Instead, Holland broke his nose when The One and Only landed poorly on a standing 450 splash.
The Celtic Warrior still picked up the win, which is a good sign for the future of Sheamus and Holland as a tag team. When the former rugby star recovers, he should get more chances to shine.
His strength and speed combination make him an absolute star to watch. He just needs better luck. A few key injuries have delayed his rise to the top.
With one of the absolute best as his partner and mentor, Holland is in a great position to thrive. It was not his night, but 2022 could very well be Holland's year.
Edge had a phenomenal 2021, consistently delivering in big matches against top competitors. However, it looks like 2022 could be even better.
When Beth Phoenix stepped away from commentary, it was clear WWE must have some plan for her, and it came to fruition at WWE Day 1 as she arrived to help her husband beat The Miz.
The veteran couple both changed wrestling on their own. Together, they can have a final run worthy of their talent. The Glamazon has deserved a run in this era of women's wrestling that can allow her to show how good she is.
These WWE Hall of Famers together can have a great match against Miz and Maryse before turning to bigger opponents and moments. Edge has to be loving the chance to work directly with his wife while continuing to pick up big wins on the last run of his career.
On top of it all, The Rated-R Superstar gave The A-Lister one of his best matches in the last couple of years, though the two certainly have better in them for the future.
Loser: Drew McIntyre
Last year at this time, Drew McIntyre was the WWE champion. The company's booking sold him as a main event act, near the level of Roman Reigns. This year, he spent nearly 10 minutes struggling to put away Madcap Moss.
At the very least, this should have been McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin, who has some credibility and can stand up to The Scottish Warrior. This was a squash match that was extended to nine minutes so that Moss could show off some of his athleticism.
WWE's booking is built around tiers of talent. The top stars do not struggle in matches like this. WWE may see more in Moss than it has shown so far, but he should have had no chance against McIntyre.
The Scottish Warrior is in a unique position where he should feel ready to challenge The Head of the Table before long. Instead, he is struggling with a midcard heel to start off the Road to WrestleMania.
Worse yet, based on the way he got laid out after the match, this feud seems to be far from over.
Winner: Liv Morgan
It may feel wrong to call Liv Morgan a winner after she lost the biggest match of her career, but she performed at too high a level to be seen as anything less than a main event act.
Few women can outperform Becky Lynch, but Morgan did just that at WWE Day 1. She was the better woman and pushed through limited chemistry to pull off the best performance of her career.
While she could have pulled off a major upset, it is WrestleMania season. It only makes sense for Big Time Becks to lead the charge for Raw as champion. What mattered was that Morgan showed she deserves the spotlight she was given.
No one will forget this performance anytime soon. From the insane sunset flip powerbomb off the second rope to the in-ring psychology that allowed her to push one of the best to desperation, to the Rings of Saturn that nearly stole it, Morgan looked like a star from the opening moments.
The future is bright, with Morgan just one step away from greatness. She will win gold in 2022. It just did not happen on Day 1.
Loser: Big E
WWE recently got a significant amount of credit for just how many Black wrestlers the company had pushed to the top. Big E led that charge as a star who had become a voice for the locker room while competing against the absolute best.
This Fatal 4-Way match was a chance to solidify E's reign. Instead, he was just the last chip to fall as WWE returned to a very familiar champion. The Beast Incarnate not only won but also pinned the dominant champion with relative ease.
This felt eerily similar to the frustrating moment when Kofi Kingston lost the WWE Championship to The Beast Incarnate. Lesnar had built some good will, only to throw it all away so that he can be the guy again in WWE at a time when the company does not need him.
As much as WWE Day 1 showcased some great young talent, it ultimately came off as less of a fresh start for WWE and more of a return to the conventional. E deserved better. He was ready to carry the WWE Championship into WrestleMania.
I can only hope that the plan is to give The Power of Positivity his rematch on a grand stage where he can pull off a huge victory. I just find myself losing trust in WWE after decisions like this and the usual aftermath of such moves.