WWE decided to pull off an unusual move to start off 2022, scheduling the Day 1 pay-per-view event for New Year’s Day. The action will go down from State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
There is no WWE pay-per-view event scheduled for December, so all focus on weekly TV will be on building to the big Jan. 1 event. One championship match is already set, with Big E defending the WWE championship against both Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a triple threat match. Plenty more matches will be made in the coming weeks, with all the promotion’s world titles on the men’s and women’s side expected to be defended on the card.
As with all major WWE events, Day 1 will stream live on Peacock. The main card will begin at 8 p.m. ET following a kickoff show one hour prior.
Let’s take a look at what we know — and what we expect — at WWE Day 1.
WWE Day 1 matches
WWE Championship — Big E (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens: In late October, Rollins won a ladder match on Raw that guaranteed him a future title shot. That was largely sidelined through November as Big E was tied up with Roman Reigns and Survivor Series. Rollins then announced that he would get his title shot at Day 1, only to see Owens — who had recently turned heel by attacking Big E — face Big E with the stipulation that Owens would be entered into the match with a victory. Owens was able to provoke Rollins into attacking him during the match, leading to Owens being named the winner via disqualification and his participation in the Day 1 title match confirmed.
WWE Day 1 predictions
Universal Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar: Reigns beat Lesnar at Crown Jewel with a load of help from The Usos. An enraged Lesnar attacked on SmackDown, an attack that carried over into thrashing WWE official Adam Pearce. Lesnar was subsequently suspended for his actions. After Sami Zayn won a battle royal on SmackDown to decide the next challenger to Reigns’ title, it was announced Lesnar would return to SmackDown on Dec. 3. A New Year’s Day clash between Reigns and Lesnar would make a lot more sense than Reigns vs. Zayn. Then again, the Lesnar vs. Reigns rematch may not happen until WrestleMania.
Raw Women’s Championship — Becky Lynch (c) vs. Liv Morgan: Morgan already cemented a title shot, with that opportunity set for the Dec. 6 edition of Raw. With less than a month to build up a new challenger, it seems the easy play for WWE would be an unsatisfying finish on Raw and a rematch set for Morgan. Lynch is on a good run since coming back from her layoff to give birth to her first child, having put on good matches with nearly everyone she has set foot in the ring with. That will give Morgan a good opportunity to be elevated by holding her own with Lynch on a big stage.
SmackDown Women’s Championship — Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Toni Storm: Like Lynch, Flair is a champion in need of a fresh challenger. It seems WWE has selected Storm to fill that role. Storm and Flair have mixed it up in recent weeks, including Flair hitting Storm in the face with two pies on the post-Thanksgiving edition of SmackDown. With no other option clear for Flair, expect Storm to get the chance to step in for a title match.
Raw Tag Team Championship — RK-Bro (c) vs. Dirty Dawgs: RK-Bro are a central focus of Raw every week and have been tied up with a host of matches against Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. While there are possibilities to turn the match into a four-way including The Street Profits and AJ Styles & Omos, it seems clear that the Dirty Dawgs will challenge in some capacity.