WWE WrestleMania 2021 Results: Roman Reigns and Biggest Winners, Losers from PPV
WrestleMania 37 is in the books, and for the most part, the Superstars who needed to emerge as the biggest winners from the event did.
Roman Reigns and Bianca Belair, the faces of SmackDown on Fox, stood tall following the most significant matches of the show, the performers around whom WWE Creative will craft the biggest storylines and moments for the foreseeable future.
For their success, though, there are the failures of “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, Edge and Daniel Bryan, the biggest losers of the two-night extravaganza.
Why did those former world champions end up on that side?
Find out with this deeper dive into the biggest winners and losers from the 2021 edition of wrestling’s Granddaddy of Them All.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Sunday night, Roman Reigns took two of the most respected wrestlers of their generation, stacked their beaten carcasses on top of each other, and pinned them to successfully retain his Universal Championship. His win, and the manner in which it came, was an announcement from management that Reigns is undeniably the guy.
In years past, he has been the last man standing after beating Triple H and The Undertaker, yet there was still an air of uneasiness surrounding Reigns. Was he really the guy? Would fans ever embrace him as such? A heel turn and character reinvention have rendered Reigns that defining character that an entire company can be built around.
As an intense, unstoppable villain, fans want to see him lose. They want him to drop the title so badly, even more so when Jey Uso interferes, and the result is an eventual monumental showdown with someone like Big E, who can be the fans’ savior from the oppressive rule of The Head of the Table.
After years of being booed out of buildings because fans hated his generic babyface persona and the fact that WWE Creative was hellbent on shoving him down their throats, fans embrace Reigns as the lead heel because he has been so extraordinary in that role.
Sunday’s main event ended with a chorus of boos, not because the audience was rejecting the outcome, but because The Tribal Chief established dominance and fans just really wanted to see him get his ass kicked. Maybe later, when someone steps up and can overcome Reigns’ onslaught—as well as interference from Uso and Paul Heyman—and forcibly take the title.
For now, Reigns stands atop the WWE mountain, its top star and, finally, the centerpiece around which the company revolves.
Loser: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
The Fiend’s loss to Randy Orton at WrestleMania is one of the event’s all-time worst booking decisions, especially given the fact that the company spent six months building to his return and victory, only to have him distracted by Alexa Bliss’ supernatural witchery and fall prey to the RKO.
The match between the masked menace of WWE and The Viper was the easiest thing to book on the entire show, and instead, WWE overthought things, booked the Bliss black ooze nonsense and gave fans the exact opposite of the finish they needed to justify the months of television time devoted to the program.
As it stands now, Orton burned a Superstar alive and faced no repercussions or payback before picking up the WrestleMania victory and moving on like nothing ever happened. It was a cop-out, a finish that made no sense within the context of the story and one that may have served as the death knell for a character that, just over a year ago, was the most interesting in the company.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair’s journey from 2021 Royal Rumble winner to SmackDown women’s champion culminated Saturday night with an emotional victory over Sasha Banks in the main event of Night 1. Greeted with the pomp and circumstance befitting a new champion, Belair celebrated as pyro erupted throughout Raymond James Stadium.
She acknowledged her family, was greeted by husband Montez Ford, and excitingly rose the title overhead like a champion ready to assume her role as the face of women’s wrestling on Friday nights.
For any other woman with Belair’s relative inexperience, what awaits her would be daunting. The EST is special, though. She is athletic, charismatic, confident and damn good for someone with less than five years under her belt.
Belair is strong, can do things no woman in the history of WWE can and is a phenomenal role model for a generation of young female fans. Saturday’s main event championship victory over Banks was not some sort of charity victory, either.
Belair won the SmackDown women’s title because she earned it. She will retain it because she earned it. Her journey is just beginning, the result of hard work and determination, the sort of thing you hear about but rarely see manifest itself in a career as promising this early as what Belair has set forth.
WrestleMania Night 1 was hers, the coronation of a new queen of the ring, and the greatest moment in her young professional career.
Losers: Daniel Bryan and Edge
Daniel Bryan and Edge entered Sunday’s main event against Roman Reigns as favorites to dethrone the Universal champion and enjoy one last defining moment on the WrestleMania stage. Instead, they found themselves piled up like beaten, battered veterans who had seen their best days flash before their eyes.
They were just the latest victims in Reigns’ world domination, fodder for The Head of the Table on wrestling’s grandest night, which raises the question: now what?
Both will cry foul after Jey Uso interfered in the proceedings and directly contributed to his cousin’s successful title retention, but that goes out the window with the image of Reigns pinning both men in the ultimate sign of disrespect.
There is the chance they will engage in a feud, bitter because of their loss and ready to unleash their frustrations on each other.
Either one is a far cry from conquering The Head of the Table and capturing the blue brand’s top prize on wrestling’s most prestigious night. Their emotional comebacks and journeys back to the WrestleMania main event were snuffed out by a competitor simply more dominant and unstoppable than they.
Fairy tales don’t exist, so says Reigns, who proved as much Sunday.
Where that leaves Edge and Bryan to go from here is the question, especially since it will be a long time before fans get the image of Reigns pinning both for the three-count out of their minds.