On the latest episode of WWE After the Bell, host Corey Graves spoke about his excitement for the lead up to WrestleMania 37 this coming weekend. Graves spoke about this being the first night since the build to WrestleMania last year that WWE will have fans in the arena. For the past year, the company hasn’t been able to get the instant reaction from the crowd they are used to and Graves believes that something special could happen this weekend because of the return of fans.
“The overarching theme and curiosity from my perspective is how the WWE Universe is going to react to superstars,” Graves said. “I think, particularly at the beginning of night one, everybody is just going to be so enamored, wow, we’re here, we’re at WrestleMania in person, the electricity is going to be off the charts.
“But, let’s be honest, WWE fans, pro wrestling fans are a bit of a fickle bunch, they like to have their input and be very focal. I’m going to make this prediction: by the end of WrestleMania weekend, WWE has a new megastar that we didn’t realize we were sitting on.
Since last year’s WrestleMania, Roman Reigns has turned heel, while Bobby Lashley and Bianca Belair have ascended to the main event. Graves admitted that he’s not sure who will be cheered or booed at the event, but noted that Lashley might get a big reaction from fans.
“I don’t know who that is, I have a feeling [it’s] Bobby Lashley,” Graves on who might get a surprise reaction from the crowd. “I saw the backlash on social media after The Hurt Business was broken up, I hated it as a fan of those guys and a friend of those guys, I hated seeing that departure. I think Bobby Lashley right now, and I might be dead wrong, is resonating with fans in a different way. It’s a throwback but it’s fresh, it might be Bobby, Bobby might get one of the best ovations of anybody all weekend.
“If it’s not Lashley, maybe it’s somebody more obscure, someone is going to leave Raymond James Stadium this weekend a badge of honor from the WWE crowd that have not been able to vocalize how they feel or what they love or how strongly they feel positively or negatively about somebody on the card.”
2021 Royal Rumble winner Edge has been acting heel-ish in his quest to win the Universal Championship this Sunday. Graves said he’s not sure what to expect this weekend when Edge makes his presence known and whether or not the fans will cheer or boo after getting his first championship match since 2011.
“I don’t know, and that’s what’s exciting,” Graves said. “It’s such a weird conundrum as a fan. If you’ve been watching and following the evolution of this story as we lead up [to WrestleMania 37] with the addition of Daniel Bryan, there are so many amazing wrinkles to this story. I’m very genuinely curious as to what the crowd is going to do. They may cheer everybody, we may not hear a boo all weekend.
“I don’t envision that being the case, we may have a course of boo’s. We may have the biggest villain in sports entertainment on our hands and not realize it. We haven’t had that instant reaction and the fans there to go ‘Yes, this is our guy’ or ‘No we’re raging against this guy.’ It can go any number of ways and that’s a morbid curiosity that I have inside of me.”
WrestleMania 37 takes place this Saturday and Sunday. As always, Wrestling Inc. will have live coverage of both nights, as well as all of the latest news leading into the event.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.