Matthew Roberts, courtesy of WWE Home Video, takes a look at the latest WWE DVD release, WWE Day 1.
The first “Day 1” (and presumably the last WWE Day 1 until January 1st falls on a weekend again… well, it is a Sunday in 2023… anyways) kicked off with a hot, fresh, never before seen a match between The Usos and The New Day… It’s a match in its various combinations we’ve seen a hundred times (or so it feels) but you can kind of understand why the WWE keeps presenting it. And it’s not just because tag teams are thin on the ground. The two teams work well together and at the very least always guarantee entertainment. Tonight they got over fifteen minutes and they put it to great use. It was a good back and forth full of super-smooth action and had a nice ending to boot.
There was no real way that Drew McIntyre against Madcap Moss could follow that. Maybe that was the point. Of course, this match highlighted the hypocrisy of a certain portion of the audience. People cry that the WWE “pushes all the same names all of the time”. And then they cry that Madcap Moss gets a match on a “Premium Live Event”. Of course, in reality, this was never going to be a “moment” for Moss and although it was competitive enough it was a fairly routine win for Drew. Perhaps as it should be.
The Raw Tag Team Title match between RK-Bro and the Street Profits couldn’t hold a candle to the Smackdown match which opened the show but it was still an entertaining enough match. This was followed up by the clash between Edge & The Miz. The WWE had certainly gone all out in the build-up to this one and had made it seem like a grudge match that we just had to see. So naturally, the two started slow, which also kind of gave away the fact that this was going long. In the end though, whilst it was a good match the ending, with the return of Beth Phoenix to negate the interference of Maryse, made it all seem like a set-up for the mixed tag that we would get at the Royal Rumble.
The Raw Women’s Title match between Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan had similarly been built up well. If you’d said beforehand that these two would have got over fifteen minutes to work with I would have wondered if it was a good idea. But in the end, it was a perfectly good match. Not excellent, but well worked in terms of the storyline and both were clever enough (with guidance from the agents too I guess) to keep it all within that they could do well. Liv looked as good as she could here be given that the logical storyline of the underdog finally grasping that title was never going to happen.
And so it was time for the main event. The WWE Championship had originally been a Triple Threat match until Bobby Lashley was added. When Roman Reigns and a positive covid test put pay to his match with Brock Lesnar, the Beast Incarnate was added to this one well. The match itself went less than ten minutes but given the short notice in terms of the match being set that’s probably not a bad thing; a multi-man match like this where all concerned are playing with longer-term storylines is not easy to put together on the fly. So they just went for a sprint but made sure that it was fast-paced and heavy-hitting action all the way.
Overall the show was a success. The action was never less than solid and if there was nothing that stood out as an all-time classic it would be difficult to find fault with most of the action. Add that to some storyline developments and you have a good show that did what it needed to do.
The DVD add the Kick-Off Show match that pitted Sheamus & Ridge Holland against Cesaro & Ricochet. It’s a good effort that is hurt when Holland suffers a nose break. That said, with three good workers on show there was never any danger of the match collapsing completely as a result.
8 out of 10.