WWE Day 1

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WWE Day 1
WWE Day 1 (2022) poster.jpg
Promotional poster featuring Roman Reigns
PromotionWWE
Brand(s)Raw
SmackDown
DateJanuary 1, 2022
CityAtlanta, Georgia
VenueState Farm Arena
Attendance13,657[1]
WWE Network event chronology
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WWE Day 1 was a professional wrestling live event produced by WWE. It was held for wrestlers from the promotion's Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. The event aired on pay-per-view (PPV) worldwide and was available to stream through Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network internationally. It took place on January 1, 2022, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the company's first PPV event to take place on New Year's Day. The event's title alludes to its New Year's scheduling and was WWE's first PPV to have the New Year's theme since New Year's Revolution in 2007. Its scheduling also caused the cancelation of the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event, which was usually held in late December.

Seven matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, Brock Lesnar defeated Seth "Freakin" Rollins, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley, and defending champion Big E in a fatal five-way match to win Raw's WWE Championship by pinning Big E. Lesnar was originally scheduled to face Roman Reigns for SmackDown's Universal Championship, but that match was canceled hours before the event due to Reigns testing positive for COVID-19. In other prominent matches, Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan to retain the Raw Women's Championship, RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) defeated The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship, Edge defeated The Miz, and in the opening bout, The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston and King Woods) to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

On July 23, 2021, the American professional wrestling promotion WWE announced that it would be holding a major event on Saturday, January 1, 2022, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, which would feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands. The State Farm Arena is the home venue of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association, and the announcement was made by the Hawks' all-star point guard Trae Young.[2] Due to the event taking place on the first day of the year, it was titled Day 1. This marked WWE's first PPV event to take place on New Year's Day.[3] The company previously ran a New Year's-themed PPV event called New Year's Revolution from 2005 to 2007, but each of its events were held shortly after New Year's Day.[4] As revealed on the day of the event, it was also WWE's first event to be promoted as a "premium live event", a term the company introduced to describe their major events that are available via pay-per-view and the streaming services Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network in international markets.[5][6]

Tickets for the event went on sale on August 27, 2021.[2] One of the official theme songs was "Straightenin" by the hip hop trio Migos. On December 10, 2021, WWE announced that the trio would be making a special appearance at Day 1.[7]

The scheduling of Day 1 caused WWE to cancel their annual TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event for Raw and SmackDown, which had been scheduled for December 19, 2021. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reported that TLC was canceled to allow WWE to focus on Day 1 after November's Survivor Series. There would have also only been two weeks between TLC and Day 1, followed by the Royal Rumble in late January.[8][9]

Storylines[edit]

The event included matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands,[10][11] while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.[12]

On the October 25 episode of Raw, Seth "Freakin" Rollins won a ladder match to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship.[13] On the November 29 episode, it was announced that Rollins would receive his title match against WWE Champion Big E at Day 1. That same night, however, WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville set up a non-title match between Big E and Kevin Owens, who had also competed in the ladder match, where if Owens won, he would be added to the title match, much to the displeasure of Rollins, who had been at odds with Owens over the past few weeks. In an attempt to sabotage the match, Rollins interfered, thus Owens won by disqualification and was added to the championship match, making it a triple threat match.[14] The following week, after Big E had defeated Owens in a steel cage match with Rollins on commentary, Bobby Lashley came out and viciously attacked the three.[15] On the next episode, Lashley, who Big E had defeated for the title in September, explained his actions and demanded to be added to the championship match at Day 1; however, Owens and Rollins took exception while Big E stated that it did not matter who he faced as he would still be champion after Day 1. Pearce and Deville then came out and scheduled Lashley to face Owens, Rollins, and Big E, respectively, where if he won each match, he would be added to the championship match. Lashley was successful and was added to the WWE Championship match at Day 1, making it a fatal four-way match.[16] Furthermore, free agent Brock Lesnar was added to the match following the announcement of Roman Reigns' positive COVID-19 diagnosis on January 1, thus making it a fatal five-way match.[17]

On the November 29 episode of Raw, Edge made his return from hiatus, which was his first post-draft appearance since the 2021 WWE Draft results went into effect on October 22. Edge, who was drafted to Raw, then listed off names of potential opponents he had not yet faced. The Miz, along with his wife Maryse, interrupted, with Miz also making his return from hiatus after filming the 30th season of Dancing with the Stars. Miz felt disrespected as his return was not promoted like Edge's was and also because he was not on Edge's list of potential opponents. After a heated verbal exchange, Miz teased fighting Edge, however, Miz rejected and departed.[14] The following week, Edge was a guest on "Miz TV". After another heated verbal exchange between the two, Miz challenged Edge to a match at Day 1, and Edge accepted.[15]

On the November 8 episode of Raw, Liv Morgan won a fatal five-way match to earn a Raw Women's Championship match against Becky Lynch.[18] The title match took place on the December 6 episode where Lynch retained the title by using the ropes as leverage during the pin.[15] The following week, Lynch celebrated her win and insulted Morgan. An irate Morgan then came out, lambasted Lynch for cheating to win, and demanded a rematch at Day 1. The two then brawled where Lynch attacked Morgan's arm using the steel steps. Lynch then accepted Morgan's challenge.[16]

Canceled match[edit]

At Crown Jewel, Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar to retain the Universal Championship with help from The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso).[19] On the following night's SmackDown, an irate Lesnar attacked Reigns, The Usos, other wrestlers of the SmackDown roster, and security personnel due to being cheated out of the championship. WWE official Adam Pearce suspended Lesnar indefinitely and Lesnar responded by performing two F-5s on Pearce, who later fined Lesnar $1 million.[20][21] On the November 26 episode, Sami Zayn won a battle royal to become the number one contender for the Universal Championship. Immediately after the match, however, it was announced that Lesnar's suspension was lifted and he would return the following week.[22] That episode, Lesnar convinced Zayn to face Reigns for the title that night. WWE official Sonya Deville made it official and that the winner would defend the Universal Championship against Lesnar at Day 1. Before the match, however, Lesnar attacked Zayn, which allowed Reigns to quickly defeat Zayn and retain the title, officially scheduling Reigns to defend the championship against Lesnar at Day 1.[23] On the December 17 episode, as Reigns believed that Paul Heyman was responsible for Lesnar's return due to Heyman formerly being Lesnar's advocate, Reigns fired Heyman as his special counsel, and Lesnar saved Heyman from a beat down from Reigns and The Usos.[24] On the day of the event, however, the match was canceled due to Reigns testing positive for COVID-19, with Lesnar instead being added to Raw's WWE Championship match due to his status as a free agent.[17]

Event[edit]

Other on-screen personnel
Role: Name:
English commentators Michael Cole (SmackDown)
Pat McAfee (SmackDown)
Jimmy Smith (Raw)
Corey Graves (Raw)
Byron Saxton (Raw)
Spanish commentators Carlos Cabrera
Marcelo Rodriguez
Ring announcer Mike Rome
Referees Danilo Anfibio
Jason Ayers
Jessika Carr
Daphne Lashaunn
Eddie Orengo
Chad Patton
Charles Robinson
Interviewers Sarah Schreiber
Megan Morant
Pre-show panel Kayla Braxton
Kevin Patrick
John "Bradshaw" Layfield
Peter Rosenberg
Booker T
Sonya Deville

Pre-show[edit]

On the Day 1 Kickoff pre-show, Sheamus and Ridge Holland took on Cesaro and Ricochet. During the match, Holland suffered a broken nose after a botched twirl-whirl by Ricochet. Medical personnel arrived and escorted Holland backstage. In the end, Sheamus performed a Brogue Kick on Cesaro to win the match.[1]

Preliminary matches[edit]

The actual pay-per-view opened with The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defending the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day (King Woods and Kofi Kingston). During the match, Jey performed an Uso Splash on Kingston for a nearfall. Kingstin performed the SOS on Jey for a nearfall. The Usos then performed a Double Uso Splash on Kingston, however, Woods broke up the pin attempt. Jimmy caught Woods with a Superkick. In the end, The Usos performed the 1D on Kingston to retain the title.[1]

Next, Drew McIntyre took on Madcap Moss (accompanied by Happy Corbin). In the end, McIntyre performed the Claymore Kick on Moss to win the match.[1]

After that, RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford). In the closing moments, Riddle threw Ford in the air and Orton performed an RKO on Ford to retain the title. Special guests Migos were at ringside for the match and celebrated with RK-Bro after the match.[1]

Backstage, as Drew McIntyre was being interviewed, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss attacked McIntyre from behind with a steel chair. Moss placed the chair around McIntyre's neck and Corbin struck the chair using a metal tress, injuring McIntyre's neck.[1]

In the fourth match, Edge took on The Miz (accompanied by Maryse). During the match, Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock only for Edge to touch the ring rope to void the submission. As Edge applied a Crossface on Miz, Maryse placed Miz's foot on the bottom rope to void the submission. As Edge attempted a Spear, Miz avoided Edge and performed the Skull Crushing Finale on Edge for a nearfall. In the closing moments, as Maryse was distracting the referee, WWE Hall of Famer and Edge's wife Beth Phoenix came out and chased Maryse backstage. Edge performed a Spear on Miz to win the match.[1]

In the penultimate match, Becky Lynch defended the Raw Women's Championship against Liv Morgan. Early in the match, Morgan applied the Dis-Arm-Her on Lynch, who touched the ring ropes to void the submission. Morgan performed a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on Lynch for a nearfall. At ringside, Morgan trapped Lynch's arm into the steel steps and kicked the steps, as Lynch had done to her a few weeks prior. In the end, as Morgan attempted the Oblivion, Lynch countered and performed the Manhandle Slam on Morgan to retain the title.[1]

Main event[edit]

In the main event, Big E defended the WWE Championship in a fatal five-way match against Seth "Freakin" Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, and Brock Lesnar. During the match, Lesnar performed multiple German Suplexes on the other wrestlers except Lashley. Big E performed a clothesline on Lesnar taking him out of the ring. Lashley then performed a Spear on Lesnar through the barricade near the timekeepers area. Rollins performed a Suicide Dive on Lesnar followed by Rollins and Owens performing Frog Splashes on Lesnar temporarily taking Lesnar out. Big E performed a Powerbomb on Lashley through the announce table. In the ring, Owens performed the Pop-up Powerbomb on Big E for a nearfall. Lesnar returned to the ring and performed F-5's on Rollins, Owens, and Big E. Lashley then performed a Spear on Lesnar for a nearfall. As Lashley applied the Hurt Lock on Lesnar, Big E broke it up. Big E attempted a Big Ending on Lesnar, but Lesnar reversed into an F-5 and pinned Big E to win the WWE Championship for a sixth time.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

Raw[edit]

On the following episode of Raw, new WWE Champion Brock Lesnar reunited with Paul Heyman, who announced that Lesnar's first challenger for the title would be determined by Day 1's originally scheduled fatal four-way match between Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, Seth "Freakin" Rollins, and Big E. Lashley won the bout to face Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble.[25][26]

Also on the following Raw, The Miz and Maryse berated Edge and Beth Phoenix, after Phoenix had distracted Miz at Day 1. Edge and Phoenix then challenged Miz and Maryse to a mixed tag team match at the Royal Rumble. Miz accepted, despite Maryse's displeasure.[25]

Liv Morgan interrupted Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and wanted another rematch at the title. Bianca Belair interrupted, also staking a claim to a title match. Doudrop confronted WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville for an opportunity at the title. Deville and Pearce scheduled Morgan, Belair, and Doudrop to face each other in a triple threat match the following week to determine Lynch's challenger for the title at the Royal Rumble,[25] which was won by Doudrop.[27]

SmackDown[edit]

Universal Champion Roman Reigns opened the following episode of SmackDown only for his originally scheduled Day 1 opponent and new WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar, along with Paul Heyman, to interrupt him. Lesnar challenged Reigns to a champion vs. champion match, however, Reigns declined and then responded with a Superman Punch on Lesnar.[28] Reigns and a double crossing Heyman then cost Lesnar the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Lesnar then won the Royal Rumble match and chose to challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 38.[29][30] Lesnar also won the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber to regain the title, thus converting his Universal Championship match against Reigns at WrestleMania into a Winner Takes All Championship Unification match.[31]

Also on the following episode of SmackDown, The Usos defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day (Kofi Kingston and King Woods) in a street fight; this was also The New Day's final opportunity at the title. The Usos defeated New Day to retain the title.[28]

Drew McIntyre was reported to require surgery on his neck, however, he made a surprise return at the Royal Rumble during the Royal Rumble match and eliminated Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss.[29] Due to them almost ending his career, McIntyre declared he would continue targeting Corbin and Moss, and a rematch with Moss was scheduled for Elimination Chamber.[32]

Results[edit]

No. Results Stipulations Times[33][34]
1P Sheamus and Ridge Holland defeated Cesaro and Ricochet by pinfall Tag team match[35] 9:45
2 The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston and King Woods) by pinfall Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship[36] 17:05
3 Drew McIntyre defeated Madcap Moss (with Happy Corbin) by pinfall Singles match[37] 9:45
4 RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) (c) defeated The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) by pinfall Tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship[38] 11:15
5 Edge defeated The Miz (with Maryse) by pinfall Singles match[39] 20:00
6 Becky Lynch (c) defeated Liv Morgan by pinfall Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship[40] 17:00
7 Brock Lesnar defeated Big E (c), Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Bobby Lashley (with MVP) by pinfall Fatal five-way match for the WWE Championship[41] 8:18
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • P – indicates the match took place on the pre-show

References[edit]

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External links[edit]