The WWE Championship will be on the line at WWE’s first-ever Day 1 pay-per-view event with Big E set to defend the gold against two opponents instead of just one: Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens.
Day 1 will take place in Atlanta and it will be the first time that WWE holds a pay-per-view event on New Year’s Day, which is on a Saturday in 2022.
WWE President Nick Khan explained why WWE was doing a New Year’s Day PPV in 2022 in an interview back in August.
“We’re looking for any sports date, on the sports calendar, where a sporting event doesn’t exist. And I’ll give you an example of that. So, this coming New Year’s Eve, is a Friday night. Atlanta expects 300,000 to 400,000 people to go to Atlanta for New Years. And by the way, the two college football playoff games are also on that Friday, December 31st New Year’s Eve. My belief is that people who are going to Atlanta, they don’t wake up the Saturday morning after a long night out for New Years, and say ‘Okay, let’s go home.’ They want to do something on Saturday night.”
Following Monday’s Raw last night, we know what the first big match is for Day 1.
At the start of Raw, Seth Rollins announced that he would challenge Big E for the WWE Championship at Day 1 because Rollins earned the right to do. Rollins won a 4-way Ladder Match on the October 25 edition of Raw that also included Finn Balor, Rey Mysterio and Kevin Owens.
Since that big win by Rollins, we have seen a change in Kevin Owens, who grew increasingly frustrated about being a “nice guy” and turned heel with an attack on Big E soon after that loss. That has led to Owens having matches against Rollins and Big E, including a match against Big E on Raw last night.
There were several segments on Raw where Owens told Rollins that he would be added to the Big E/Rollins match at Day 1 if Owens could beat Big E in their match. Rollins wasn’t happy about it, complained to WWE Official Adam Pearce about it with Pearce saying Owens was lying about it. Later in the show, Pearce and WWE Official Sonya Deville liked what Owens was saying, so they agreed that if Owens could beat Big E then he would be in the WWE Title Match at Day 1.
In the main event of Raw, Owens faced Big E with Rollins on commentary. Since Owens knew all he had to do was win by any means, he tried to antagonize Rollins by leaving the ring and hitting Rollins in the head at one point. Rollins said he wasn’t going to get drawn in like that because Rollins didn’t want a triple threat – he wanted a singles match. Later in the match, Owens went after Rollins again and this time, Rollins responded by going into the ring and punching Owens. That meant that Owens won the match by disqualification, which also meant that the match at Day 1 would be Big E defending the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a triple threat match. Owens was happy that he outsmarted Rollins while Rollins was furious about it.
In other Raw news, Becky Lynch will defend her Raw Women’s Title against Liv Morgan next week on Raw. Morgan earned that title match by winning a match against four other Raw women.
As of this writing, no other matches have been announced for WWE’s Day 1 PPV event.