During the main event of WrestleMania 37 Night 1, Micheal Cole took to commentary to note that Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks was the first time two black women competed for a SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
And while WWE has taken its own sweet time to finally create equality of opportunity at WrestleMania among its very diverse roster, the Night 1 main event was just one of several black historical moments on the show.
WrestleMania 37, or #WrestleMelanin, featured nine black WWE Superstars in singles or tag matches, the most black WWE Superstars ever to be featured on a WrestleMania card in that capacity. Four black WWE Superstars won or retained championships at WrestleMania 37, the most ever.
Big E and Apollo Crews not only wrestled in the first all-black WWE Intercontinental Championship in WrestleMania history, the Nigerian Drum Fight marked the first championship singles match between two black men in WrestleMania history.
MORE FOR YOU
Not only were black WWE Superstars featured in matches, many made the most of their elusive opportunity. Omos garnered rave reviews for his in-ring debut on the main roster, making quick work of The New Day to capture the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships alongside AJ Styles.
“Omos, all of 7-3, simply obliterated Woods and Kingston in the most entertaining way imaginable,” said Andreas Hale of Sportingnews.com. Brett Brookhouse of CBSSports.com gave Omos’ debut match a B+, calling him a “completely effective monster.”
Praising the WrestleMania 37 Night 1 main event between Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks, Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net called the match “a terrific match and it turned out to be the rightful main event.”
Similar to WWE being late to its women’s evolution, which dates back to only 2015, Black Excellence is slowly—but surely—becoming more of the rule than the exception. As WWE continues to make the most of its eclectic locker room, the results will continue to be promising.