WWE heads into 2022 looking for a strong start. After skipping on a PPV event in December, the promotion with kick off on New Year’s Day with a bang as it debuts a new event dubbed WWE Day 1. It all goes down from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta with nearly every champion in action.
Two world championship matches are already set, with Big E defending the WWE championship against Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a fatal four-way match and Brock Lesnar challenging Roman Reigns for the universal title. 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 vs. Bobby Lashley: 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. Lashley was angry at being left out of the picture and beat Rollins, Owens and Big E in singles matches in a single night, earning his spot and turning the match into a fatal four-way.
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. Reigns manipulated Zayn into immediately taking his shot at Reigns on SmackDown, with Lesnar getting the shot at the winner at Day 1. Lesnar then took out Zayn before the match to ensure an easy win for Reigns and the rematch Lesnar wanted to kick off the year.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship — The Usos (c) vs. The New Day: In helping Reigns ahead of his Survivor Series match with Big E, The Usos took out Kofi Kingston and destroyed Xavier Woods’ King of the Ring throne, scepter and crown. With Kingston back in action, the two New Day members are looking for revenge — and yet another championship reign — when they face off with The Usos at Day 1.
Raw Women’s Championship — Becky Lynch (c) vs. Liv 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. Morgan failed to beat Lynch in a title match on Raw but threw out a challenge for a rematch. Lynch didn’t initially accept, attacking Morgan instead, including stomping on Morgan’s arm as it was pinned between the ring steps and ring post. Once Morgan had been appropriately compromised, Lynch accepted the rematch.
Edge vs. The Miz: When Edge made his return to Raw, he listed a variety of potential opponents but left Miz’s name out. This brought out Miz, who was making his own return after a stint on Dancing With The Stars. Miz turned down a chance to go one-on-one then and there but the two eventually agreed to a Day 1 clash. After agreeing to the match, Miz spiced things up by hitting Edge with a Skull-Crushing Finale.
Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss: The two are set to battle after an odd build that included trying to remove McIntyre’s sword from a desk and a Miracle on 34th Street match on Christmas Eve.
WWE Day 1 predictions
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.