Last weekend the WWE put on their largest event of the year, Wrestlemania. The show was broadcast across two nights and typically features the biggest talent in several high-stakes matches. Wrestlemania always features the company’s best and brightest, but this year felt different. It was a special show that featured the most diverse cast of WWE talent at any Wrestlemania, perhaps ever. It was through the diversity of the WWE that allowed Wrestlemania 37 to be a showcase for the company’s biggest black stars.
We’re two years removed from Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Title from Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 35. At that time, it felt as if that would be the pinnacle of placement for any black athlete on the company’s card, and there would almost certainly be no way to top it. Despite having some of the best black talents in the world, the WWE hasn’t featured many black people at the top of the card since The Rock left for Hollywood. That’s not to say that there haven’t been significant spots for black talent, they just haven’t been featured as prominently as their white counterparts. That all came to an end last night, though as WWE loudly and proudly featured prominent black talents, in prominent matches across both nights.
There were a total of eight (8) championship matches scheduled for both nights of Wrestlemania 37. Out of those 8 championship matches, four (4) of them featured black athletes. The New Day defended their Tag Team Titles against Aj Styles and the promising rookie Omos, Bobby Lashley faced Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title, Big E and Apollo Crews fought for the Intercontinental Title, and in the biggest moment of the entire weekend, Bianca Belair squared off against Sasha Banks for the Smackdown Women’s Title in the main event of night one. This marks the first time in history two Black women would main event a Wrestlemania match. Michael Cole, the WWE’s lead announcer made the call with epic grandeur, perfectly encapsulating how big the moment really was.
The significance of the night isn’t just on the talent involved though. It’s also in how they were booked, the characters they portrayed, and how even in loss, they all continued to be positive depictions of black people in the sport. The WWE Superstars featured in those top spots were essentially a microcosm of Black America, and all of our beautiful, diverse interests and talents. From the dominance of Bobby Lashley to the fun-loving nerdiness of The New Day, and the unbelievable creative versatility of Bianca Belair, Black excellence was on display all weekend long. Night One of Wrestlemania opened and closed with a Black man and Woman hoisting WWE Championship gold, while night two featured Apollo Crews proudly accenting his Nigerian heritage on his way to an Intercontinental Championship win.
Wrestlemania 37 was not only a massive win for the WWE, but also for the fans. It was the first time since the onset of COVID that fans were allowed back into a WWE Live event, making the moment even bigger for some superstars. WWE didn’t disappoint either, putting on one of the best Wrestlemania cards in recent memory, making way for several new stories to be told. All talent involved walked away looking like a million bucks, as no one match went too long, or ended too abruptly. For Sasha and Bianca, they made history on their night, and in the process will most certainly serve as inspiration for future generations to come. The Black men on the roster not only put on insanely great performances, but they also shattered through the glass ceilings that their predecessors may not have been able to.
All of the men and women involved with Wrestlemania 37 put on one hell of a show. The card was stacked top to bottom and was genuinely one of the best events WWE has put on in years. The quality within the matches themselves was also great, and WWE managed to tell several high-quality stories along the way. The biggest stories of the night just so happened to belong to the company’s Black men and women though, as this was a crowning moment in each of their careers. Moreso than that, this is a crowning moment for every black man and woman in the industry. The torch has been passed, and it is in very good hands.