To kick off the new year, WWE is launching a brand new PPV called "Day 1". New PPVs don't always do well for WWE but with rumors of this show being Nick Khan's brainchild, plus Trae Young and The Migos in attendance, WWE is going all out for this show. Plus, this is the first wrestling show in the State Farm Arena in Atlanta since Feb 2019 with AEW Dynamite. The Atlanta area has been starving for some wrestling. Despite AEW coming into Georgia recently, they had their show an hour out of the city. So for Atlanta, this is a big show and the audience will be there. At the time of writing, the Day 1 gate has sold 99% of their tickets. This is a huge show and everything is being set up right for WWE, it's just can WWE nail it. Let's find out.
Cesaro & Ricochet vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland - Kickoff Show
For the past several weeks on Smackdown, these four men have been going at each other, with the peak steaming from the 12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet match on Christmas Eve. I typically like the kickoff matches in WWE because lately, they tend to be solid matches that have no real expectations. So I am expecting good hard-hitting action from most of these men, and Ricochet doing his best of flying around the ring. WWE sees something in Ridge Holland, so expect his side to get the win, if not also the pin.
Prediciton: Sheamus & Ridge Holland
Edge vs. The Miz
Recently returning to WWE following his rivalry with Seth Rollins, Edge is back. I don't know how many more of these Edge returns were going to have but, hey, I guess enjoy them while they last. Speaking of enjoying things, this storyline has not been enjoyable at all. The Miz and Edge started with a Punk/MJF promo, beat each other up a little bit, then Edge dropped blood at The Miz and Maryse's vow renewal. But if I know WWE, that is a tip-off. With Maryse's reintroduction into the WWE canon, it would only make sense if Edge's wife Beth Phoenix joins the fray at some point too. This match would have a satisfying conclusion, but expect one in a mixed tag match at the Royal Rumble.
Prediction: The Miz
Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss
What is there to say about this match? The build has basically just been making fun of McIntyre because he wants a title. Don't Happy or Madcap want titles too? I am expecting a squash and WWE to start building McIntyre up to be a title challenger or a possible Rumble winner. Yeah, I know Roman and Brock is the plan but WWE loves triple threats. And McIntyre needs something to do.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre
The Usos vs. The New - Smackdown Tag Team Title Match
As someone who has been down with, I don't know, roughly the first day of this rivalry, I can tell you that this match has all the makings of a big moment and match. You have the hometown hero/king in Woods, you have the potential of rap group Migos rapping out the Usos (or at least, I think they should), Kofi's return from injury, and a bunch of storyline hatred, I am hoping this match will be good. For the love of God, please kick all the in-match promo talking to the curb and let these four go at it. Possible match of the night vibes yall.
Prediction: The New Day
RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits - Raw Tag Team Title Match
The winners of the illustrious RK-Bro-nament (a portmanteau of a portmanteau) challenge 2021 Count Out Year-End Award Tag Team of the Year nominees RK-Bro for the Raw Tag Team Titles. The thing about tournaments, er bro-naments, for me is that if the winner of said challenge doesn't win, it kinda dunks on the rest of the division. What other title matches would we want to see if the best of the division can't be the champions? So on that premise, LOGICALLY, it would make sense for the Street Profits to win. Being WWE, I also see a breakup in the future. Orton jokingly teased one on Raw, and everyone is expecting it to be Orton that does the turn, but I think that is not creative. The better move would be to turn Riddle and make him a badass. Maybe group him up with Alpha Acadamy and make a great faction? Just don't the swerve no one is expecting and get the juices flowing.
On the other hand, Riddle has to be a face on NXT this Tuesday with MSK, a team who is struggling to be a babyface in that crowd, so maybe it's best to wait.
Prediction: The Street Profits
Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan - Raw Women's Title Match
Now here is when things get interesting. Due to the, hopefully, small Covid outbreak earlier in the week, there is a chance this match won't even take place, with Becky Lynch bowing out. However, CDC guidelines have changed, allowing a 5-day quarantine with a negative test, which would mean Lynch could, in theory, attend the show. This all remains to be seen.
Let's say Lynch does make the show. In that scenario, I can't see Liv Morgan winning, with the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania season around the corner, I cannot see Liv Morgan walking into Wrestlemania with a title. As I discussed on Ring Post Radio, I think the better move is for Lynch to retain, maybe have another match at the Rumble, but have Lynch ultimately win again, so that Bayley can return and win the Rumble and challenge Lynch at Wrestlemania.
If Lynch cannot attend this show, let's make this an open challenge for Liv Morgan. Put the #1 Contendership on the line and have Bianca Belair come out. Let's redo the Summerslam spot, except make the match, I don't know, an actual match.
Prediciton: Not Liv Morgan
Big E vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins - WWE Title Match
The storyline heading into this match is that everyone earned their way into the match. Seth Rollins won a four-way Ladder match. Kevin Owens beat the champion, and Bobby Lashley beat all three men in one night. For me, I see two outcomes. First, Big E retains the title. He has taken a couple of losses and everyone else had to work to get into the match, so it only makes sense for Big E to work hard to retain the title. The symmetry is there.
The other possibility I imagine is Kevin Owens walking away with the title. The man just signed an alleged $2-$3 million/year contract with WWE, when he could have easily walked away. Owens is WWE's first big win in the contract game. It makes perfect sense to, as a thank you, give Kevin Owens the WWE Championship and have a proper Wrestlemania match.
I don't know entirely who could win but I hoping with the caliber of wrestler in the match, we could see something good.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar - Universal Title Match
This would is going to be a doozy folks. It's not often WWE pulls the top guy versus Brock Lesnar card but this match is another indicator of why Day 1 is meant to be a big deal.
I understand the frustration some people are having with this match. We have all seen this match 4 separate times, with more multi-man variations. This is an old hat. However, the hat still looks good, so can I really complain?
This match ultimately ends with storylines, having Paul Heyman finally choosing between Reigns and Lesnar. If Heyman chooses Reigns, then I can see Lesnar winning the Rumble and heading to Wrestlemania. If Heyman chooses Lesnar, then we get another title change and Roman will probably win the Rumble. I like the idea of master manipulator Paul Heyman going outside the box and choosing Drew McIntyre. I mean, Heyman choose McIntyre before when Heyman wrote Raw. Who's to say he won't do it again. Despite fun stuff, I think the always safe bet is Brock Lesnar winning the match and forcing Roman to see him at Wrestlemania.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar