Please listen to my very first podcast reviewing Wrestlemania 35.
Please listen to my very first podcast reviewing Wrestlemania 35.
It’s finally here. It’s finally here. Wrestlemania 35 is this coming Sunday in my backyard Met Life Stadium. Sadly, I am not able to attend but will be at the HOF ceremony and the Monday Raw after Mania. The card has a whopping 16 matches and the pre-show will start at 5PM. You can bet this event will end way after midnight. For those who are going to be in attendance, I hope you dress a little warm. Met Life can be chilly and windy. For those of us watching from our couches get the snacks and beverages ready for a long night.
The beautiful Alexa Bliss is your host and Elias is the musical headline act.
So let’s get to the matches and predictions.
Raw Tag Team Champions Revival Vs Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins
I am going to start with a match that was just added for absolutely no reason other than Vince for some reason wanted to add it. By adding this match all this shows is how clueless the Uncreative has gotten in the WWE and how we as fans continued to be lied to and abused. The Revival is putting up the tag team titles against Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Are you kidding me? This match has had no build what so ever and Hawkins has not won a match in 2 years. So let’s give him a title match at the show of shows. Why? Because Ryder issued a challenge to the Revival. So Vince books this match instead of the only tag team match any of us actually wants to see and that is the Uso’s vs the Hardy’s. I am pretty sure the Uso’s challenged the Hardy’s too.
We were told that Asuka could not defend the title at Wrestlemania because Vince felt that no one would have cared about that match. So he had Asuka drop the title to Charlotte Flair. If Vince felt that no one would care about the Asuka match, then what about this tag team match he scheduled. No one cares about the Revival facing Ryder & Hawkins. There would have been a small amount of interest if Revival was facing Ricochet and Aleister Black. I am hoping this match gets on the main card so I can use it as a bathroom and stretch break. By the way, there was plenty of fans who wanted to see an Asuka vs Naomi or Carmella match.
The winner: Probably Ryder and Hawkins. Vince wants to prove that anything can happen at Wrestlemania. But the tag team divisions are such a joke anyway no one will care.
The Men’s & Women’s Battle Royal
These are two matches that only on the card to give the remaining talent a match at the show of shows. Both will be on the kickoff show and the winner does not get a push or a title shot or anything except a trophy. I have no issues with letting the talent get on the card in a match. But I do have an issue with the WWE UNcreative. Can someone tell me how you can dedicate TV time on Raw week after week to promote a Men’s Battle Royal match that will not be on the main card? To go a step further there will be 2 competitors in the match who are not wrestlers. This takes away 2 spots for actual wrestlers who now won’t appear in any match at Mania. SMDH. I just don’t get it. Not that it means anything but we kind of know who is probably going to win both matches. But for prediction’s sake, I will list the probable winners and who I want to win. I hate this picture because Carmella needs to be in the center and should pop off the picture.
Men’s Battle Royal: Braun Stroman. Vince has absolutely no idea what to do with Stroman. It’s a shame because he is a good talent. He will probably win. I would like to see either Andrade or EC3 win. Andrade is so talented. I want to see him in a big angle. I am a little concerned that now we are seeing pictures of Charlotte and Andrade together that he might become an afterthought. Dude is way too talented. Also, EC3 is a top talent with great mic skills. Just another superstar that the WWE Uncreative does not know what to do with.
Women’s Battle Royal: Asuka. We expect Asuka to win as a makeup for how her title reign and losing of the title was actually booked. I have no problem with that if they plan on pushing her again. But I would like to see either My Wife Carmella or Sonya Deville win. Carmella is magic whenever she is on TV. I like Sonya. It’s time to get her in a worthwhile storyline. Sonya and Mandy have not been involved in anything big since Paige retired. I must point out that we still don’t know all the participants in this match yet. If Lacey Evans gets into the Battle Royal I think she will win. But we will probably see her do another catwalk at some point during the night.
Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy vs Tony Nese
I don’t spend any time watching this division so any pick I make would be a guess.
The Winner: Tony Nese
Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos Vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black Vs. The Bar Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev In A Fatal Four Way Match
As fans, we deserve better than this. Everyone wanted to see the Uso’s defend against the Hardy’s. Instead, we get this 4 team schmoz match. Truth be told Rusev and Nakamura should not be a tag team. They were just thrown together because WWE Uncreative does not know what to do with these talented wrestlers. It’s the same thing with Ricochet and Black. So putting the straps on either team just makes no sense. Nakamura desperately needs to go to Raw for a fresh start. Rusev needs a push because we have seen how versatile he is if given a chance. As for Ricochet and Black please put them on one show and break up this tag team. Both are extremely talented. But we never hear them talk. As for the Bar. Great tag team and honestly I have no idea what to do with them. So for me, this is an easy prediction. But this match can be entertaining.
The Winners: The Usos Retain.
Kurt Angle Vs. Baron Corbin. Angle’s Farewell Match
I keep hoping for a last minute swerve to this match. Maybe Corbin gets pulled from the match. Maybe someone like John Cena lays out Corbin in the back before the match so he could send Angle out in style. Otherwise, this match is useless and has no point. I can’t understand the mentality of booking this match. The second it was announced the fans were all over this and Vince knows it. So why hasn’t he done anything about it? Is his ego that big? Well, we know it is. Is he really that stubborn? This is Kurt Angle’s last match. And it’s obvious he needs help delivering it. Corbin is not that person. In reality, this is one time where the moment is going to outshine the match. The match is secondary. Kurt should be allowed to go out in style.
The Winner: Kurt Angle
Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley vs. “The Demon” Finn Balor
The Demon is coming to Wrestlemania as Balor faces Lashley for hopefully the last time ever. Seriously it is time for these two superstars to go their separate ways. Lashley should be in Universal title picture. Balor is fine where he is. Although he does have main event talent. This match needed something different and the Demon Balor while it’s a sight to see is not what I was looking for. No, what I think happens is that we see the end of the relationship between the Hype Man Lio Rush and Lashley. They also need to go their separate ways.
The Winner: Finn Balor as Lio turns on Lashley
United States Champion Samoa Joe Vs. Rey Mysterio
This is the one match that we could see a change to. Rey is rumored to be injured and might not be able to go. If that happens we probably see John Cena in this match. In all the small builds for this match, we saw Rey’s son Dominic featured in the interviews. Dominic who is training to be a wrestler looks like he is going to be involved in this match somehow. For what I have no idea. Maybe he helps Joe win the match and Joe takes him out too. There really is no reason to have this match. Rey is not going to win the title. But you never know with Vince. Samoa Joe does deserve a Wrestlemania moment. I only wish he could have been in WWE his whole career.
The Winner: Samoa Joe
AJ Styles Vs. Randy Orton
This match on most cards could be the match of the night. But with Daniel Bryan/Kofi Kingston on the card this match will probably be the second best of the night. For a story that had nothing when they first teased it backstage, man has this taken off. The in-ring promos were brilliantly done. All they had to do was just speak the truth. And it worked big time. AJ mentioning Orton’s past suspensions was golden as was Orton’s counter calling AJ the new corporate bitch. I am now excited to see this match and I know these performers will bring their A game.
The Winner: Randy Orton. This match can go either way.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Bayley & Sasha Vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya Vs. The IIconics Vs. Nia Jax & Tamina
I don’t know if anyone realizes this but this is the third straight Wrestlemania where Nia Jax has a title match. I am not trying to downgrade Nia here but she does not deserve this. Not when there are others who are just as good as her or better not on this card. But Vince is pushing her. I have no idea why she is in this match with Tamina since they lose a title match at Fastlane. I have to say I props to you Nia. Give us a good show as you always do. I am not giving hate to Nia Jax. Please believe me. I don’t have a great feel on this match. I thought for sure once Charlotte won the Smackdown Women’s title that we would finally have the Four Horsewomen moment with all 4 having the gold sharing the ring as Wrestlemania ends. Now I don’t know. I hate these multi-person schmoz matches as my boy BC Amplified always says. In reality, this is the entire women’s tag team division minus the Riott Squad who have been moved to job city. I prefer to see Sasha Banks as a singles wrestler.
The Winners: The IIconics. I probably will be wrong here. But my thinking is Nia and Beth get into a program after Wrestlemania. Sasha and Bayley get started in a Horsewomen angle hopefully. And its time for fresh matchups.
Roman Reigns Vs. Drew McIntyre
When Roman returned from his battle with Leukemia it was a shock to the fans. I also think it shocked the WWE too. Naturally Roman was not in an angle so the WWE had to get one for him in a hurry as the clock was ticking towards Wrestlemania. Because of the last ride of The Shield that wasted three weeks and Since Drew didn’t have any plans it was a natural fit. However, this angle did not have enough time to build in my opinion. Dean Ambrose was used as a pawn in this angle and since he is supposedly leaving the WWE it didn’t matter that he lost these matches. Whatever was building Drew up was fine with the WWE. I expect a physical match but certainly not a classic one. Drew has a lot of positive momentum and WWE can’t mess that up. Who knows where Roman’s character goes from Wrestlemania. He is the male face of the company.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Shane McMahon vs The Miz Falls Count Anywhere Match
This match was in the works since November 2nd at the Crown Jewel PPV in Saudi Arabia. This isn’t years ago where angles were built slowly. So this is a throwback to the good old times. This was done slowly and just kept building. In fact, how they got this tag team to split up was done perfectly. Everyone felt the Miz would turn on Shane and be that great heel we know he can. But Shane did the turn. Involving the Miz’s father was a good touch and I expect him to somehow get involved this Sunday. Shane who is really good on the mic might have cut his best promo ever fully embracing the McMahon demeanor that his father has. The Miz not to be undone and who is also great on the mic did his best work cutting face promos. His Real World reference was great. His line of “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard enough” was truly brilliant. This match will be crazy as we know Shane is going to do something sick. Its falls count everywhere and you can expect this match to be all over MetLife Stadium.
Winner: The Miz
Triple H Vs. Batista No Holds Barred Match
In another match where the seeds were planted a while ago. On October 16th during the Smackdown 1000th episode is where this angle started. Since Batista is not an active wrestler it worked out well to allow this to just be a seed until it was time to bloom. Batista attacked Ric Flair during his 70th birthday party. We then had 2 really good weeks of promos from Batista and the Game. Triple H’s line of “Galaxy of The Independents League” line was damn funny. Then the promo’s got bad. That was not what I was expecting. But now it’s time to get in the ring. This will be a fight and it will be brutal. Triple H putting his career on the line means absolutely nothing. He wrestles once a year anyway and he is the boss. He can do whatever he wants.
The Winner: The Game Not that it really matters but I am picking the Game.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar Vs. Seth Rollins
Seth is probably only in this match because Roman Reigns got sick. But he took the ball and ran with it as good as he could. It’s hard to promote a match when your opponent is never on TV. So if it was not for Paul Heyman this angle would be just a waste of time. There has been no storyline for this match except for Seth winning the Royal Rumble. And we can all hope that he wins the strap. I do expect Brock to fling Seth around pretty good. It’s hard for these smaller guys to wrestle a big guy like Brock. But let’s hope for a good match. Brock has done well putting over smaller wrestlers.
The Winner: Brock Lesnar. Everyone expects Seth to win the strap. For that reason, I think Brock retains the belt. He probably loses it at Saudi.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan Vs. Kofi Kingston
Talk about a gem of a story falling right into your lap. That’s exactly what happened here and give the WWE Uncreative credit. They built on it. The storyline for this angle was done brilliantly. Kofi’s promos were gold. Fellow New Day mates Xavier Woods and Big E’s promos were gold. Daniel Bryan’s promos were gold. Everything about this angle was gold. Xavier Woods pointed out that Bryan was in the exact same spot as Kofi. This was Vince at his creative best. We haven’t seen this Vince in a long time. I even think they did a good job with putting a seed in our minds that the New Day turns on Kofi. This is going to easily be the best match of the night. As good as he is I still think Daniel Bryan is underrated.
The Winner: Kofi Kingston. Kofi finally gets to hold a major strap. If they decide to have Daniel win the match, please don’t have the New Day turn on him.
RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey VS. Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair Vs. Becky Lynch Winner Takes All
For the first time ever the women are going to close out Wrestlemania. This story has been way too drawn out. It started to play out on TV right before Survivor Series. In reality, it started the day Ronda signed a WWE contract. This was always Vince’s dream. He wanted Ronda and Charlotte to close out Wrestlemania. But there was one problem. Becky got hot. Nia Jax messed up and broke Becky’s jaw. Becky’s character got super over with the fans and she had to be pushed hard. So what does Vince do? He adds her to the match. Mind you this match was never announced or finalized until March. But those who follow the business really close know this was going to be a triple threat match ever since Becky got hot.
I have been highly critical of this angle for a long time now. It is completely dragging in my opinion. Becky Lynch was once the hottest thing going. She no longer is. Partly because Kofi Kingston surpassed her. Partly because Becky has not been able to sell it in my eyes. Becky is still a great talent. WWE is trying to re-create the Stone Cold Steve Austin character and angle and should never have done that. Her promos have been a little weird and awkward but not more than Ronda’s promos. Ronda Rousey has done everything the WWE has wanted her to do. She has brought in more fans from different areas. She has been to work every week and put over her opponents. She has definitely upped the game. She was never in NXT or some other developmental league so her promos are not good but are getting a little better. She was brought in as a face but now she is a heel as she should have been all along. But I do understand why WWE had her as a face when she started. But I would have loved to see Ronda being the bad ass all along. Everything she has said has been true. She does not need the WWE for money. She already has money. She is not like these other female stars who get paid just enough to enjoy the lifestyle but not enough to leave the company. But most importantly she said this main event match does not happen with her.
Charlotte was placed in this match because Vince has always wanted her to be in this match. Vince and Charlotte are really playing the angle of Charlotte getting everything handed to her because she is Ric Flair’s daughter. In reality, she is the best all-around female wrestler on the roster. She is also the female face of the company. But it also gives WWE the option to have Ronda drop the strap without getting pinned or tapped out which is what I see happening. I am still looking forward to this match. I hope the Four Horsewoman angle finally gets kicked off during this match or directly after it.
The Winner: Becky. Becky I think will win but she should not be the winner. This is an iconic moment for the WWE. Becky is not an iconic wrestler. Charlotte is. But the way the story is looking Becky comes out the winner.
There are my predictions. I will hopefully if all goes well start up a weekly podcast to begin next week. Hopefully dropping on Wednesday or Thursday. Stay tuned.
Wrestlemania is now less than 2 weeks away. Let’s talk about this week’s Raw and Smackdown.
I honestly don’t know where to begin with my Monday Night Raw review. This show was so bad. This show was so boring. This show did absolutely nothing to further anything for Wrestlemania. Last week Raw took a step back. This week Raw fell off the face of the Earth. I am going to review every segment which my man BC Amplified counted 11. I wasn’t going to originally but I want to bury every segment of this show.
OMG Ronda. Who is writing her promos. When the announcement came Monday afternoon saying the triple threat women’s match featuring Ronda/Becky/Charlotte was the main event of the card, all it did was officially confirm what we have known all along. Twitter exploded with everyone making comments. Becky and Charlotte’s comments were what you would expect any woman who helped build up that division and revolution. Ronda’s comments were what you would expect someone who is not a lifer in the business. And it was brilliant.
Let’s face it. For as talented and beautiful and amazing as all these women are this does not happen without Ronda. Case closed. Truth hurts. But this angle has been screwed from the start and WWE botches it in every way possible. I won’t give them grief for Becky getting injured by Nia before Survivor Series which did change a lot of things. I will give them grief for copying what they did the year before with the women of SmackDown Live going to Raw and jumping all the women in the locker room setting up Survivor Series.
Copying and recycling angles and pushes and characters doesn’t always work. Especially when you are trying to copy an iconic angle and character like Stone Cold Steve Austin. No one should ever try to duplicate that. The Austin/Vince McMahon feud was done brilliantly. Becky is not Stone Cold. She can’t cut promo’s like Stone Cold. She can’t sell that angle like Stone Cold. This is in no way putting Becky down. Becky is a great worker. She needs to be her own character.
We already have Charlotte using her father’s legendary gimmick. For Ric it was a lifestyle. He lived that life. Charlotte does not. What Charlotte has become is the female face of the company. I have much more to say about this on my Smackdown Live review.
Ronda’s tweet was perfect. In case you missed it or need a reminder here it is:
Well said Ronda.
So as we open the show on Raw we already know there is going to be a beat the clock challenge with Ronda/Becky/Charlotte. For what reason I don’t know. At least they are all on the same show this week. I have been critical of Ronda’s promos. I think she tries hard. She is just not as polished and others are. To be fair there are still some wrestlers who have been doing this for far longer than Ronda who still can’t cut great promos. But Ronda is in the main event. She needs to deliver.
As she hits the ring her comment was brilliant. “For the first time ever women are going to be the main event at Wrestlemania. For the Raw women’s championship, it’s going to be me vs Charlotte vs Becky. And I only have one thing to say. Your welcome.” Boom she drops the mic. Perfectly done. That is all she needed to say.
Then she grabs the mic and says something else. Drops the mic again. Then grabs the mic again and says another thing. Then drops the mic again. I really don’t care what she said. To me the whole spot was ruined. Then out comes the Riott Squad, who we haven’t seen for a while to get buried even more. Out comes Becky to ring side. Cuts a stupid pointless promo. Stop with the Ronnie and weirdo please. Becky’s promo made absolutely no sense. Becky got hot and WWE forced her into this match. Anyone who has any common sense knows what Ronda’s presence means to this division. Then Charlotte. I am the reason we are in the main event. These women are supposed to hate each other and no one attacks one another.
Ronda beats Sarah Logan in 90 seconds. Charlotte can’t get Ruby Riott to tap out in less than that. She gets mad and kicks Becky who does win in less than 90 seconds. Big deal. This whole angle was very poorly done. It was just the start to an awful night.
Next up we have Finn Balor facing Lashley and Lio Rush in a handicap match. Finn needs to win to force a title match against Lashley at Wrestlemania. Haven’t we seen this exact scenario before. OMG. Just horrible. Lio comes out and says he is injured and can’t compete. So here comes Jinder Mahal into the match. Which pretty much means with all the extra people outside the ring becomes a 5 on 1 which we all know Finn will win because “The Demon” is coming to Wrestlemania as Finn probably wins the strap back as Lio turns on Lashley. This intercontinental title has become a joke.
Now we see Elias in the first of a few promos on the streets if NYC. I love the Elias gimmick. Always have. I would like to see him wrestle more and out in a good angle. Funny thing about these promos. You didn’t need to script this angle. This is what happens every day in NYC.
Next up we once again have Aleister Black and Ricochet beating the Raw tag team champions The Revival in a non-title match. How many times has this been? Another repeat match that maybe gets on the Wrestlemania card. I told you this was going to get worse.
Out comes Drew McIntyre to cut a promo no doubt wanting Roman Reigns’ answer to his challenge. Once again another Wrestlemania match with no build. I will give WWE a slight pass because maybe Roman came back earlier than expected and they had no idea what to do with him. They did the stupid Shield reunion for the I don’t know 10th time. We all know Roman is accepting the challenge. But we got Joe who was not happy that Drew mentioned his family. Roman beats up Drew. Drew gives Roman a low blow and there you have it. A main event worthy match that was not built the right way.
You want a time check. We still have 2 hours to go.
Now we see Dean Ambrose confronting Drew in the back about his comments calling him a cockroach. Dean challenges Drew to a last man standing match. There is your main event. I thought Dean was dead after the last time he fought Drew. Is Dean staying or going? Who the hell knows. At this point I don’t even think Dean knows. If he is leaving why is he main eventing Raw.
Next up we have the Boss Sasha Banks vs Nattie in a repeat from last week’s match that Nia and Tamina interrupted. We still have not been told who Boss & Hug Connection will be facing at Wrestlemania. Well at least confirmed. Smart marks know it will be a fatal 4-way match with Nattie & Beth vs IIconics vs Nia and Tamina. WWE is sure doing a great job getting their entire women’s division tag team division in a match at Wrestlemania. They sure don’t care about the Smackdown Live women. More on that later.
More of the same. Nia and Tamina break up the match and we see Beth Phoenix get pushed even more. Sasha and Nattie are too good of wrestlers to have their match continuously interrupted. This was another segment that we just saw last week. Are you kidding me WWE? Wrestlemania is 2 weeks away.
Next up is the announcement of the Hart Foundation going into the Hall of Fame. We see a video of them with Nattie crying for her father. I like this Hall of Fame class. I will be there for the ceremony. I would have liked to see the entire Hart Foundation go in together. Please Martha Hart let Owen get inducted into the HOF to take his rightful place among the elite.
Next we have a backstage interview with Kurt Angle. Baron Corbin crashes the interview. Please Vince replace Corbin with John Cena. Please Cena just show up and take out Corbin and let Angle have his moment. The best part of this segment was the beautiful Charly Caruso.
Now predictable we see Boss & Hug backstage and here comes Charly Caruso again. Giving her more camera time is always a good thing. Sasha said we will take on all opponents at any time. So boom there is your official fatal four-way match for the Women’s tag team titles.
Next up “A Moment Of Bliss” with Braun Stroman and via satellite Michael Che and Colin Jost. Again another waste of a segment with both SNL members now in the Andre the Giant battle royal taking up two spots that is more deserving to actual WWE superstars. This segment was longer than Bliss’ previous spots. I am starting to get concerned that WWE is going back to using the women just as pretty faces.
Next up is another Elias segment in front of Madison Square Garden. You knew he would put in a Billy Joel reference. If anyone has not seen Billy perform at the Garden, I suggest you do. It is quite the performance.
Time check we have 1 hour and 15 minutes to go. I had to re watch this because I was falling asleep.
Next up is yet another rematch from last week with Apollo Crews Vs Baron Corbin. ZZZZZZ.
Then we see a promo for the big Wrestlemania event. We are told all three will be on ESPN Sportscenter the next day at 7:30 for an in studio interview. No doubt they all took a ride together on Vince’s private plane. These women are supposed to hate each other yet on Sportscenter, which I watched they were all smiles. Just unreal.
Out comes Seth Rollins for yet another promo about his match with Brock Lesnar without Brock in the building. Out comes Paul Heyman who again cuts a great promo as he always does. This match has no build and I feel bad for Seth because he had worked so hard for this.
Next up is the continuation of the Kurt Angle retirement tour. Samoa Joe is coming from Smackdown to face Kurt because of their extensive history at TNA. Kurt just can’t do it anymore and it is painful to see him in the ring at this point. It is even more painful to see the United States champ lose on TV for the second week in a row. While I can understand losing to Kofi Kingston but not to Kurt Angle. WWE does a great job of burying their champions.
Here comes the Game for another segment about his match with Batista. Batista wants The Game to put his career on the line in this match. Wow is this supposed to create juice for this match. They should have stopped after the face to face and left it alone. The Game wrestles what 2 or 3 times a year. He is the boss so no matter what happens if wants to wrestle again he will.
Elias promo number 3. Would have loved to see him in a brawl with another wrestler. But no. And why? Because WWE refuses to put him into an angle with another wrestler. Instead he will be just a comic foil at Wrestlemania either getting jumped by Cena or Taker or someone like that or being put into an impromptu match with Bliss against R Truth and Carmella. Anything that gets Carmella camera time is fine by me.
Next up is the main event that we just saw two weeks ago. Of course Drew wins.
This was 3 hours out of my life I can’t ever get back. Make that 4 hours because I had to go back and watch the parts I fell asleep for. If there was a lower grade than F to give this, I would do it.
Now for Smackdown. There were a few things I was looking forward to. The fatal four way to decide who faces Asuka at Wrestlemania and the continuation of the Kofi and the New Day angle. We had no idea what was going to happen with this. I thought Kofi might be putting his career on the line for a match with Daniel Bryan. I also wanted to see if the Uso’s vs The Hardy’s was going to be set for Wrestlemania. But curve balls were thrown at us right from the start.
The New Day starts the show which was kind of expected. Big E and Xavier are really selling this great. They are talking about quitting the WWE. Big E and Xavier are both great on the mic. It’s more of the same spiel as we have heard for a few weeks now. They politely call out Vince McMahon. They didn’t demand it like Ronda did. So that was an interesting touch. Out comes Vince and says “let’s get serious. You guys are not quitting.”
Daniel Bryan comes out and starts saying Kofi has had several shots and didn’t get job done. Then finally Xavier called him a hypocrite because not too long ago he was in the same spot as Kofi. Vince then told Kofi he had done all he could do and his partners need to run a tag team gauntlet match to get Kofi to get to Wrestlemania. HMMM could they be setting up a huge swerve with the New Day. More on that later. But I started to wonder who is going to be in that tag team gauntlet. That match will close the show and most likely needing an hour of TV time.
Daniel Bryan admitted on Total Bella’s that he loves to play the heel. Granted that show was taped in November of last year before his full heel turn actually played out. Daniel is such a good worker in the ring and on the mic. Thank god Brie kept pushing him to fight for his dream.
So what do we have next. In a huge curve the WWE threw at us. We see Becky getting interviewed backstage. Becky can’t sell this anymore if she ever did. The same old stuff gets said over and over in her promos. Can’t we get her something better to say? Charlotte comes out to the ring in her wrestling gear. She was not advertised for a match as far as I knew. So immediately I start to do the math. Gauntlet match around an hour of TV time. The opening segment took up about 13 minutes of TV time. We have the fatal 4 way women’s match that you figure is 10 to 15 minutes of time. Is this the whole show?
So Charlotte says on the way to the ring that she is no third wheel and she is about to show you that she is not. We go to commercial and I am like who is she going to face? 4 of the women are already set to be in a fatal 4-way match. It’s not Becky. Asuka in a non-title match? It was clear Charlotte was going to win the match but is beating Asuka the right way for Asuka to go into her Wrestlemania match? There is Lana but she has not wrestled in a while. So what is the plan?
It’s Asuka in a title match. Wow. Can you imagine if Charlotte wins the belt? What would happen to the Wrestlemania main event? I doubt Charlotte would be doing double duty at Wrestlemania. So as we put the pieces together if Charlotte wins then the fatal 4-way match gets scraped and not only Asuka but one of those four or more get screwed out of a Wrestlemania match.
This match was bad ass. I can watch these two in a match any day of the week. Why does Asuka get buried so much when she is so talented in the ring? She makes Becky tap out at the Royal Rumble and gets buried after it. Then she loses to Mandy Rose. Then beats Mandy and Sonya Deville with both Mandy and Sonya in advertently costing each other the match. Asuka should not need any help to win a match.
Would they really give Charlotte the strap going into Wrestlemania? At the 40-minute mark the match ends with gasp Charlotte winning the strap from Asuka. Even though this was a great match why does Asuka get buried? Is the WWE going to unify the Raw and Smackdown titles? That would be a huge mistake if you ask me.
Social media has exploded after this match. Everyone is hating on Charlotte. It’s not her fault. If she is doing a lot of behind the scenes politicking, then yes you can blame her. But don’t hate on her for doing what her bosses want her to do. I feel so bad for all the women that are seemingly getting left behind.
Aside from Asuka we have Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. WWE were working on an angle to split them up. What happens to that and do we even care anymore. I feel bad for Carmella who works so hard and treats the fans so amazingly great. I feel bad for Naomi who has seemingly fallen out of favor despite being a talented performer. I even feel bad for Lacey Evans who we did not see on either show doing her cat walk. I am sure she would rather be in the ring but this is what the WWE creative gives us.
I love the Women’s Revolution. I think the women were out performing the men every week. This was until they stopped pushing the women. I wonder what Stephanie McMahon thinks about all of this. All the work the women did was for Ronda/Charlotte/Becky to have a moment at Wrestlemania. Or is the plan to have all the Horsewomen have a title and do a pose in the center of the ring in Met Life stadium. That leaves out Ronda who in her year plus time did as much as anyone to make that moment. It does not happen without her.
I heard a rumor that Vince was afraid no one would care about the Asuka match at Wrestlemania. Well that is the fault of the WWE Uncreative and booking. Asuka who didn’t lose a match at NXT and was billed as a top tier talent is being treated like a glorified jobber. Well maybe not to that extent. But her tile reign was awful. If she is not booked on TV, there is nothing she can do to get over with the fans so that her match at Wrestlemania becomes interesting.
Another rumor is why the Raw and Smackdown women’s title should be unified. The thought is that with the tag team division now being brought in there isn’t enough women to compete for the Smackdown women’s title. What? I can name 7 women on Smackdown roster that are not tag teams. Here is the list: Carmella, Naomi, Mandy, Sonya, Lana, Zelina and now Asuka. The only real tag team on Smackdown is the IIconics.
How about Raw. We have Alexa, Alicia Fox (whatever her status is), Dana Brooke, Ember Moon (when she returns from her injury), Mickie James (I know she could be getting phased out) and Ruby Riott. So that is 6. If you unify the titles than 2 of the 3 participants in the main event join that group. I don’t buy it unless the WWE is going to release a lot of talent.
I have been wanting the women to get their own weekly show. Now I am not so sure anymore. WWE Uncreative can’t do anything right. I have wanted the Horsewomen angle to start in the worst way possible and that is the only thing that can save the main event right now. So maybe that is what is going to happen. But why build up the women’s division only to tear it down. I don’t get it.
There is just too much male and female talent on the roster getting wasted. TV time is precious and probably a huge task to get done every week. But this company needs more TV time and getting the women their own show makes total sense to me. If you are now going to spotlight the Horsewomen, then please give these very talented and much deserving women their own platform. It is obvious with FOX on board there will be pretty significant changes being made.
Next up is Kurt Angle taking on AJ Styles. AJ says he respects Kurt and this is not an exhibition match. He is taking this match serious. Quick time check AJ walks to the ring at the 47-minute mark. Just after one minute of actual wrestling time we hear a buzz which only means one thing. Here comes a run in. It’s Randy Orton and he RKO’s Styles. He looks at Angle then continues to beat down AJ. Then Angle Slam to Randy. Angle picks up AJ and they hug. What a waste of a spot. WWE needed to burn some time so they threw in a match they advertised prior to the show and this match got the short end of the stick. If you saw Angle the night before then you knew it was for the better.
We now see an interview back stage with Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick talking about the Samoa Joe match at Wrestlemania. Good lord his son will be involved in the match. I bet he turns on his father. That is the only thing that will interest me. Let him turn on his father helping Joe win and then Joe takes out Dominic. Also we find out Mysterio will be on Raw to face Kurt Angle. Looks like Kurt is facing all his best opponents over the years that are under WWE contract. This gives me hope Cena gets into that Wrestlemania match. Since Cena does not have any set match yet.
Next up is the Miz for another promo on his match with Shane McMahon. We get word Miz had a Wrestlemania proposition for Shane. He wants this match to be a falls count anywhere match. I like it. Shane will definitely do something sick during this match. Another great promo by the Miz. He is so good on the mic.
Out comes Shane with security guards in front of him. Plus, he has Sanity, Shelton Benjamin and Andrade. Shane says the security guards are to protect Miz from Shane. Shane comes out and has the great line of saying “My only regret is that I didn’t do more harm to your father and truly punish him for spawning his greatest MIZTAKE in life and that’s when he impregnated your mother.” This angle has super heat now.
Miz attacks the security and breaks through them. He then fights off Benjamin, Andrade and Sanity. This match is going to be all over Met Life stadium.
So we have past the one-hour mark and now it’s time for the tag team gauntlet match. First up is Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Xavier and Big E win this match quickly. WWE buries another talented tag team who are most likely AEW bound. Next up is Nakamura and Rusev. This match was a little more physical. Xavier and Big E win this one too. Much like last week we see a crowd of wrestlers watching in the back cheering on New Day.
Out comes the Bar. Big E seemingly hurts his leg during the match. The Bar are getting the better of Xavier and Big E. Xavier wins by a rollup on Sheamus. Xavier and Big E are exhausted. The Bar attacks Xavier and Big E after losing. They put Big E through a table. Finally, The Bar leave. Who is coming out next?
It’s the Uso’s. Once in the ring they grab the mics and start a promo. They said we have had wars with the New Day. We respect Kingston and feel he deserves to face Daniel Bryan. Kofi has the respect of the locker room and the fans. Then the Uso’s forfeit the match. If you weren’t a fan of the Uso’s before you are now.
We see in the locker room Daniel and Rowan going crazy tearing up the room. Out comes Daniel and Rowan. Around the 1:55 mark of the night with only 5 minutes left the match needs to get completed. Bryan tells Rowan to clear the announce table. He does and also throws the chairs out of the way. Hmmmm. That is usually not done. Xavier takes out Bryan outside the ring. Rowan goes for his iron claw on Xavier and he reverses it and smashes him into the steel post. Then Big E does the same thing. He throws Rowan over the table against the barrier. I immediately saw how this was going to end. It’s the same thing Alberto Del Rio did to the Big Show in a last man standing match. Big E dumped the table on Rowan who was the legal man in the match. Big E goes into the ring and the New Day get the count out victory to win the match. Out comes Kofi who hugs his boys.
Kayla Braxton interviews Vince as he is getting into his limo. He says Kofi is going to Wrestlemania. But can a B Plus player beat Daniel Bryan?
Out comes the locker room to celebrate with the New Day. Some are saying that Xavier and Big E were looking at Kofi saying to themselves what about us and suggesting a heel turn during the Wrestlemania match. Anything is possible I guess. But I would be shocked if that happened. I do expect Kofi to win the strap but he won’t hold it long.
Overall the show was good. The Angle/Styles spot was bad. They also did Asuka wring but the match itself was great. I say this was a B show.
WRESTLEMANIA 35 CARD AND THOUGHTS
The show of shows is fast approaching and the entire card still has not been released yet. Depending on how much you follow the online posts it’s all over the place. Are they going to have 17 matches? Is Vince concerned the show will be longer than last year? Are they going to not have every title defended? What day is today? What month are we in? My god it never stops. So let’s look at what we have confirmed as of Sunday March 24th. I will also start to make my predictions and thoughts on the announced matches.
Ok so there are some prominent names left off this card destined to be in either the Men’s battle royal or not on the card altogether.
Will the Revival defend their Raw tag team titles at Wrestlemania? It would further showcase Ricochet and Alesiter Black. Knowing the WWE, they will make this a 4 team schmoz match adding Bobby Roode and Chad Gable and maybe Heavy Machinery. While I hate to see Ricochet and Black on the kickoff show that is where this match is destined to be.
Other big names such as Kevin Owens, Nakamura, Rusev, whoever loses the women’s fatal 4-way match on SD Live, Big E, Xavier and a whole bunch of Men’s mid card talent without matches. The men will be in the battle royal. As for the women maybe you have 6 or so not involved in some way in the card. Does it make sense to have a women’s battle royal that will have more NXT women than main roster women in the match?
I have to give it to the Revival. They are trying to get noticed. In reality they are a very talented tag team. WWE has dropped the ball with their booking of this team. But please god I don’t want to see them face Gronk and Mojo Rawley at Wrestlemania. This is such a Vince move too. Would it surprise me to find out Gronk has been training for the last month to be able to appear at Wrestlemania? Absolutely not. Everyone thinks he is going to be working for the WWE anyway at some point now that he is retired from the NFL.
While I am at it kudos to you Lana. For some Rusev is an after-thought and I can’t understand why. He has great in ting ability. If you have ever seen Total Divas or the recent “Drop The Mic” show you would know he has tremendous personality and charisma.
I have been saying for 2 months now that I feel the women need their own weekly show. With SD Live moving to FOX there is a spot open on USA who I can’t believe would not be open to anything the WWE pitches. There is just too much talent being wasted. I know 2 more hours of live TV and yes the show needs to be live is a lot. But I think it needs to happen. Especially if Smackdown Live moves to Friday and it’s live.
What are your thoughts on the card?
After a few weeks or really since Roman Reigns came back Monday Night Raw was getting better. Sure not all 3 hours can be action packed. At least not from the material the creatives at WWE have been giving us but for the most part the show should be enjoyable. WWE took a giant step backwards with last night’s Monday Night Raw that generated zero momentum for Wrestlemania and making Vince re think one of his matches for the big card because the fans hate it. I can honestly say I was sleeping on and off during Raw this week and I doubt that I will be during Smackdown Live.
The WWE had a golden opportunity to showcase new or returning talent this week with a few of the headliners off the card. Instead we were force fed matchups we have seen too many times and highly anticipated matches that just flat out sucked. I don’t even know where to start. But it doesn’t even matter. 75 percent of this show was a huge disappointment.
We were told this past weekend of 2 major announcements for this Raw this Monday.
Let’s start with the second one. We have seen Balor fight Lashley for too many times now. My god when is it going to end. Lio Rush always gets involved and usually costs Finn the match. But we have the specter of the mystery partner in the mix. I actually thought long and hard about this. There are several superstars coming back from injury that we all want to see. There could also be some other surprises. My last blog had a bunch of names that I thought the mystery partner could be. I had 9 names down.
Apollo Crews? He has been on TV a lot lately and maybe getting a push. There were other plans for him. More on that later. Luke Harper who recently returned to a Raw house show? Does not really make sense because he is a heel. Same with Bray Wyatt and who knows if the family is getting back together. I thought maybe Kurt Angle because we were told he is working hurt and needs to have tag team matches now. I thought the Dead Man just because if he is working Wrestlemania maybe he shows up and makes a challenge. Besides he hasn’t wrestled on Raw since I can’t even remember. But Taker can pretty much show up and do what he wants whenever he wants. Maybe some NXT star getting called up. I am not up to date with NXT so I can’t even give you a name. The first name on my list of possibilities was Braun Stroman because he was doing nothing and he often times gets thrown into something stupid. Plus, he has a history with Lashley. But this would have been the most boring pick.
But the two I really wanted to see were Sami Zayn who by what you read is 100 percent healthy and ready to go. And Johnny Gargano. He was all ready to have a huge push with DIY until Tommaso Ciampa got hurt and this could be a good way to re-introduce him to the WWE Universe. Another name I would have put here was Ricochet. I knew Aleister Black was on his honeymoon but I read somewhere he was still going to be on Raw. He wasn’t and Ricochet beat Jinder Mahal in a match that made no sense for Mahal.
So as the night gets started and this match is talked about, before Finn Balor even comes out do we really need to hear Michael Cole say this pairing is going to be monstrous. Are you kidding me. How do you even spoil the surprise or nightmare like that? For me I like the anticipation of hearing the music then the Superstar comes out from the back to my happiness or dismay. This is one of the reasons I love the Royal Rumble match so much.
So out comes Braun Stroman as the mystery partner much to the dismay of the whole WWE Universe. The match makes no sense at all. It is something we have seen a million times before. Balor and Lashley need to never have another match together. Maybe move one of them to Smackdown Live. Stroman is destined to mess with the Saturday Night Live people at Wrestlemania further embarrassing a character who was once invincible. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS MATCH?
But it does appear that Balor and Lashley will have another round at Wrestlemania as we saw Stroman literally throw Lio Rush all over the yard so bad that he was spitting on himself. I give Lio credit for taking this beating as Lashley just looked from the ramp while his “Hype Man” got destroyed. So is this what we see at Wrestlemania? Lio screws Lashley out of the title breaking up this partnership? Does anyone else really want to see Lashley vs Lio Rush after Wrestlemania. So I give this “Surprise” a F rating.
Next is the second disappointment of the night. Who will be Kurt Angle’s opponent for his retirement match at Wrestlemania? There is really only one man that makes 100 percent sense. John Cena. There are tons of history between the two. Angle was Cena’s first opponent so it is very cool to have Cena as Angle’s last opponent. How many times do you actually have that possibility? Besides Cena wants to work Wrestlemania. Let them have a 10-minute match or as long as Kurt can go. If you saw Angel vs Chad Gable who should be a singles wrestler last night on Raw you know the tank is at zero for Kurt. It’s sad to see this because Angle is a legend but it is time to go now.
Also this gets Cena on the card without really needing to build up the match. The moment of the match should be bigger than the actual match. Cena was rumored to be facing Samoa Joe. Why waste that for Joe? Let Joe further a storyline with someone else instead of facing Cena in a one-time match. Anyway do we need to put Joe over by having him wrestle Cena. Joe is already over. I can certainly understand if Cena would be facing Lars Sullivan as this was the original plan. As we found out last night Joe has been booked with Rey Mysterio for Wrestlemania. John Cena is a man without a match right now. Vince make that change right now please.
WWE leaked out a possibility of Shelton Benjamin facing Angle too. That also makes sense but not more than Cena. I also thought maybe the Undertaker. It would also get him on the card. They could have a quick match and again the moment has to be bigger than the match. Afterwards Taker possibly breaks character and hugs Kurt. I also thought maybe Samoa Joe because of their history in TNA. Kurt has that kind of respect that a lot of the boys would want to be in that last match.
I even had some tag-team match ideas. I only did this because Kurt can’t carry a match anymore and needs a lot of help. So maybe with Demon Finn against Lashley and Lio. Or with Curt Hawkins against Corbin and Elias so Hawkins breaks his losing streak and also gets Corbin and Elias on the card. Or with Braun against Corbin and Elias. Same reason. I did have as one possibility Baron Corbin.
So it is Baron Corbin. Ugh so unreal. No one likes that. Let me repeat this. NO ONE LIKES THAT. These matches were not even interesting when they were wrestling each other just last year. So why now. In a true WTF moment for the WWE here comes word that Vince is looking to change the match because the fan reaction has been very negative. Uh you think Vince. Jeez WWE and Vince. You had 2 spots where you could have struck gold. Instead what did you get. If I could give this a F- or lower, I would.
As for the rest of the show what a gigantic clusterfuck it was. There was legitimately one thing I actually liked. Well two and surprise both had to do with the women’s division. So let’s start from the beginning.
The show opens with Brock Lesnar coming to the ring to say nothing as usual. Thank god he has Paul Heyman to be his mouthpiece. I am so tired of Lesnar. But we know he is going to stick around because FOX wants Brock on their show. We already knew Seth Rollins was facing Drew McIntyre in the main event in a match that we have seen how many times in the last how many months. Talk to my man BC Amplified about that. Drew who is now being wasted by bad booking comes out to tell Brock there won’t be much left of Rollins after tonight. Out comes out hero Rollins with a chair to get retribution for his brothers and lays a whopping on Drew.
Rollins walks in the ring with the chair and Brock leaves. Heyman throws in the line you’re the champ and you’re not getting paid to fight tonight. Paul is brilliant. Anyone who can teach the Bella Twins how to cut a promo has to be very good at his job.
Next up is the Balor/Stroman/Lashley/Rush segment. I am not talking about that anymore. The only mildly interesting moment from this is the continued teasing of a split between Lashley and Lio. Oh and Stroman officially enters the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. This is confirmation there will be a men’s battle royal. I mean there are a lot of guys not involved in any confirmed or rumored matches. I can’t say that about the women because there is still a lot we don’t know.
We see Ronda backstage with her husband walking into the arena. I am not sure we have ever seen her husband on camera before. That should have been a clue as we never see spouses walking into the arenas. Ronda blows off the referee and security guards. She needs to be the bad ass.
Next we have “A Moment Of Bliss” and Corey goes crazy like a teenage boy in heat. Elias will be her guest and he announces he is the musical guest for Wrestlemania. That takes him off the card and gets him on camera. This will probably lead to an angle. I liked this segment. Alexa is one pretty woman. “Hello I am Elias” and “Hello I am Alexis,” I loved the connection between the two. Alexa really played this segment up.
I liked this until No Way Jose’s music hits with Otis leading the conga line. Two things about this. One is Heavy Machinery is now the newer version of the Bushwhackers. Two is where is Jose. It didn’t take a genius to figure out Elias was going to get blindsided. Elias did and this led to a match that Elias wins the match. Angle is over. What’s the point? UGH
Next up we have the Kurt Angle announcement followed by a match against Chad Gable. Kurt just has nothing left and to have a great match he needs someone to really carry the whole match. Corbin is not capable of that. But I have no problems letting him wrestle every week til he retires. I do expect or more like hope he has a tag team match next week.
Corbin comes out after the match to gloat about being picked for the Wrestlemania match. Can we please get a camera on him once Vince replaces him? This better happen soon.
So now we get to where something good actually happens. Out comes Boss Hug to address the IIconics and not appearing on Smackdown Live yet. We get the announcement that they are heading to Smackdown Live tomorrow. There isn’t much time left to fill at Smackdown Live because of the gauntlet match and the Miz promo already announced and I am sure another Becky/Charlotte face to face.
So out comes Nattie and Beth Phoenix. Beth has a great promo about how the dragon has awoken and she wants the tag titles with Natty and how Nia and Tamina got her going again. Beth looks to be in great shape and she issues the challenge to Boss Hug. Sasha downgrades Nattie and gets a slap for it. This leads to a match between Sasha and Nattie. Nia interrupts on the ramp and Tamina looking bad ass comes out from behind to lay out Beth, Bayley and Sasha. So now we have a 3-way match for the tag team tiles.
Next we have another stupid Mojo Rawley promo. Would someone just break the fucking mirror already.
Ricochet is alone tonight and beats Jinder Mahal. Whatever. If my heart is not into writing about Raw, it’s because the show was that bad.
Next is Ronda Rousey against Dana Brooke. They way this has played out for Dana has been great. And we get the backstage moment with Brooke before heading out to the ring saying I am not better than Ronda but I need to be better for 3 seconds. Great spot.
The match lasted 19 seconds and Ronda tried to break Dana’s arm after she tapped. Great sell by Dana. Ronda leaves and goes to kiss her husband who is sitting ringside and security comes after to her for what reason I have no idea. One security guard puts his hand on her and she lays him out. Then her husband lays out another security guard. Then her husband picks her up into the crowd and the exit the arena. Meanwhile poor Dana is in the ring selling her kayfabe injury which is now part of the storyline. I like the out of control Ronda. This is what she should have been all the time. Using her husband as a control mechanism is a good twist. I am anxious to see where this goes from here. Oh and I am not sold that she is leaving after Wrestlemania either.
What I don’t understand is why bury Dana Brooke when she finally got connected to the fan base. And now she is selling an announced injury so where does this leave her?
Now we have a waste match of Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews. Crews wins. If your trying to sell a Kurt Angle Vs Baron Corbin match, why is he losing to Crews on Monday Night Raw 3 weeks before Wrestlemania. I just don’t get it.
Next up is an interview with Batista in his home office. Batista dressed in a suit and we see ugly drapes and a red painted brick wall. Pretty good spot for Batista. I will give it to Batista. He got some parts in movies until he landed a huge part in a money making franchise as Drax and off he went.
Alexa tells Braun to calm down and let he broker a peace with SNL.
Now we have the Main Event of Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre. Drew challenges Roman for a match at Wrestlemania. Shocker. Who really cares. Drew wins the match after Brock distracts Seth. Way to build up Seth for Wrestlemania. Seth who has lost a lot of momentum since the Royal Rumble loses for some unknown reason.
We find out after Raw goes off the air that Corbin gets involved and Dean Ambrose saves Seth. Wrestlemania is 2 weeks ago and we need a better show than this beforehand.
As for Smackdown Live we knew of 3 segments. The Kofi Kingston gauntlet match that was supposed to start the show but didn’t, The Miz promo in response to Shane O’Mac’s promo and the Boss Hug Connection addressing the IIconics. And no doubt more of Charlotte and Becky too. So that is most of the night already booked. So I was already looking forward to the show.
The gauntlet match was advertised to open the show. But when it didn’t I wasn’t mad because The Miz was opening the show. Miz is so golden on the mic. He really digged deep down to cut this promo. He showed a lot of real emotion. For an angle that we knew it was coming once they started to team up both the promos of Miz this week and last week Shane O’Mac, I am really excited for this match. Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard enough.
So Smackdown Live got off to a great start. And now we move onto a non-title match between the Women’s tag team champions Boss Hug Connection vs the IIconics. IIconics win by cheating putting them into the Women’s tag team match at Wrestlemania. Yet another non-title match that the champions lose. This happens way too much now. All this did was make this a 4-way match and quite possibly a 5-way match. Oh well.
Next Rey Mysterio announces his match against Samoa Joe at Wrestlemania for the US title. And his son Dominic is there who is bigger than Rey. You think he gets involved in the match?
Come on Smackdown. Your losing some steam before Kofi brings the house down.
Move into the next segment. It’s the KO Show where he will have Charlotte and Becky sitting down face to face for yet another promo for the Wrestlemania match somehow without the third person in the match Ronda Rousey. This was a boring ridiculous segment with KO stirring the pot bigtime. He said the one thing I think we can all say we love you KO for finally saying it. He said I am tired of hearing you talk just fight. That is spot on for this angle. It is dragging now. The fight between Charlotte and Becky was awful. No one sold anything. It didn’t even look real. And they were trying to one up Ronda which neither are ever going to do.
Next we have an AJ Styles promo. Then we have a Daniel Bryan leading right into the Kofi Kingston gauntlet match which started at 8:53 and running straight through til 10.
To beat 5 superstars is hard to do. As Kofi wrestles Sheamus in the first match we see some of the high risk moves he is known for. But you know that as he moves along the gauntlet he will start to slow down as fatigue will set in. I did expect the first match to be traditional with a regular ending. When Kofi pinned Sheamus after the SOS I was not surprised. Now it would get much harder for Kofi. He has to beat a fresh Cesaro which he does. Then comes Erick Rowan who gets disqualified for using a chair. Rowan then continues to beat up Kofi until the next opponent comes out. Samoa Joe is next up for Kofi and he gets a roll up win.
Finally, the last man is Randy Orton. You see the whole locker room watching on a TV cheering for Kofi to get this done. I check the clock and there is 25 minutes left in the show. Man that’s a long time for Kofi to have to wrestle Orton. So Kofi rolls up Orton for the win. I check the clock and it’s 9:52 and there is 8 minutes left in the show. You had to know something was up.
Out comes Vince McMahon and he says Kofi has to win one more match. His opponent is Daniel Bryan. Well to make a long story short Kofi loses and Daniel Bryan calls him a B Plus player. The irony is Bryan was called that in the lead up to his Wrestlemania 30 match. Now he is on the other side.
This match is going to happen. Vince is going to keep this up for another week at least. Kofi and Bryan have good ring chemistry. Smackdown Live ends with the rest of the New Day consoling Kofi. Kudos to Big E and Xavier selling this on Wednesday saying they feel like quitting WWE.
On the whole Smackdown was a good show. We knew a large portion of the show was booked for Kofi and the Miz. So filling out the other 40 plus minutes was going to be very important. If not for the awful Charlotte/Becky segment this show would have been a great show.
And of Course if Carmella would have gotten camera time.
I don’t usually blog more than once a week but with Wrestlemania coming up there is a lot of things to talk about like the potential or expected card and other happenings. I would like to say I read a lot of web pages to find out what is going on. I do not have a source on the inside of WWE so what I blog about is based on what I read online which may or may not be true. My opinion is based on what I see on TV and on the various social media outlets.
WWE Superstars are now regularly building their story lines by using Twitter and Instagram. Since the WWE is heavily followed on these platforms it makes perfect sense for the company to encourage the superstars to get their angles and stories lit through social media. One billion follows are definitely an inflated number when you realistically look at it but still I do believe that WWE has the most followers overall of any sport, entity or company. It’s like free publicity or TV time for all the talent to get their stories told. Plus, you have instant fan reactions all day long.
I read something today about Ronda Rousey taking time off after Wrestlemania for whatever reason it is rumored this time. The first rumor was she wanted to start a family and if that is the case who knows when she will be back if ever. Now there is a different reason floating around. According to the internet she is going away for a long time after Wrestlemania because the fans turned on her. I have said this before and I will keep saying it until everyone realizes what is really going on in my eyes.
Ronda Rousey owes absolutely nothing to the WWE, the WWE Superstars and the WWE Universe. She has accomplished everything the WWE has wanted her to do and more. She has made the WWE a lot of money. She has brought a new wave of fans to the product further expanding the reach of the WWE brand. And she has brought a new attitude and intensity to the women’s division that was never there before. If you watch the Total Divas and Total Bellas shows you know this is true. The way the other women who are on that show talk about her confirms that. Plus, she has a great friendship with Charlotte Flair among others. But with that Ronda is not a WWE Superstar. She is a MMA fighter who might not totally get what the WWE does.
The reason I say that is if she is truly mad that the fans turned on her then she totally does not get what the WWE is all about. To be a great WWE Superstar you need the fans to react to you either positively or negatively. The negative part obviously has to be where they don’t tune you out and ignore your segments, your promos and your matches.
Ronda came in as a face and she should have never been a face. Although I do understand why the WWE did that. But flipping the roster between being a heel to a face is not an un common thing. Even the immortal Hulk Hogan was a heel and a face. Even the two golden boys Roman Reigns and John Cena get booed like a heel while never actually being a heel character. Okay you can certainly make the case that when The Shield made their debut they were heels working behind the scenes with Paul Heyman against Ryback who was definitely a face. But Ronda when the fans turn on you and still are interested in your character and story line you are most definitely over.
Ronda must not really get what this business is. It’s Sports Entertainment and this is what happens when your character is over with the fans. Maybe she can’t separate the two. Look at Charlotte Flair. She is playing a heel right now but she is the female face of the company. She is the one who talked at the Wrestlemania 36 press conference and not the other women who sat front row and only got a mention. Sure there was meet and greets after the press conference but only the people who were there got to see that. Flair might get booed on TV but in public she is cheered. That is what the WWE is all about.
Now Ronda’s a heel and she should have been a heel all along. This is what she is good at. Things change in the WWE all the time. Ronda was signed for a lot of reasons. One reason was to main event Wrestlemania 35 against Charlotte Flair with Flair being the heel. The emergence of Becky Lynch was unexpected and the WWE needed to change things on the fly. You never know how the fans are going to react to an angle or a promo. A lot of times it’s how that Superstar sells it.
The WWE would not allow Ronda to go on you tube and break down the walls and spill the secrets like she did without the WWE’s blessing. You know this to be true because after she initially did it she was allowed to go on TV and continue saying the same thing. Maybe she acted on her own the first time. I don’t know that answer. But she definitely has created a lot of steam for someone like Dana Brooke. This angle Dana is in now could have saved her WWE career. Someone like me who was not a Dana Brooke fan before but I now find myself rooting for her to succeed. I loved how she came to the ring without a lot of makeup and just opened herself up to the world. Dana jumped on the coat tails of Ronda’s comments and now is running on her own for at least one week. She will have a match against Ronda on the next Monday Night Raw. While she won’t win the match she could further develop her bond with the fans by putting on a good performance. I must also say Ronda has put over a lot of the women already in matches. Let’s be real. Ronda is a real fighter who could probably legit hurt any woman on the roster very easily.
I am trying to figure out if Ronda is just selling the angle or is she just really mad that the fans who once cheered her are now turning on her. Sometimes telling the truth is all you need to get over. It worked for Dana Brooke. Ronda’s last few promos have all been true. She does not need the WWE. If you don’t think Ronda has bank, then you are not paying attention. She had bank before taking one cent of the WWE’s money. Yes, Ronda was a little harsh in her promo. Maybe she was given some freedom to speak as her weak spot has been how she delivers her promos. Her line that the WWE pays you just enough money that you love the good life but not enough that you can walk away. So the other women need the WWE’s money. Ronda does not.
I don’t believe one word of her leaving after Wrestlemania. I do think Becky wins the title by pinning Charlotte so Ronda keeps her mystique of not technically losing the match. Maybe she does take a few weeks off. If the reports were true that she is the highest paid female performer on the roster she has earned every bit of it. Unlike Brock Lesnar who never shows up and never defends the title. Ronda shows up every week. Maybe not to house shows but she doesn’t need to. It’s also clear to me that the influence of FOX and what they want the WWE product to be is being instilled. Fox wants Ronda on their shows. If Ronda is really just selling this angle and deep down inside loves this business, then she stays.
Speaking of social media furthering a story line there has been nothing but insults thrown back and forth between Carmella and Zelina Vega. We have regularly seen Zelina interfere in her business partner Andrade’s matches but when you mess with R Truth you have to deal with Carmella who has quickly came to the aid of her tag team partner. At Fastlane there was almost a cat fight between the two during the kickoff show. Now Zelina has attacked Mella on Twitter. In true Staten Island fashion Mella has fought back and I can’t wait to we see a one on one match between the two.
Nia Jax and Beth Phoenix also are trading insults on Twitter. Nia was telling the hall of famer to stay retired and not block another talented woman from getting her chance. The Glamazon is not having any of that and said I will see you on Monday. I hope Beth’s return is only as a tag team. I do not want to see a one on one match between these two at Wrestlemania.
Do you still don’t think we need a women’s weekly show? Do you really think Carmella and Zelina want to be valets every week? The fact that the Twitter wars are only happening between the women’s division, how do we not showcase these ladies every week. I had asked for a two-hour show but in reality when you look at the amount of time the women got on TV during last week’s Raw and Smackdown Live an hour and a half show would be like winning the lottery.
Let’s examine the spots and the amount of time:
Monday Night Raw
Ronda/Dana segment: 8 minutes
A Moment Of Bliss: 4 minutes
Lacey Evans/Nia Jax & Tamina/Nattie & Beth Phoenix/Sasha & Bayley: 5 minutes
Asuka/Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville leading into the IIconics promo: 8 minutes
Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair after 2 minutes of dead time where we saw yet another recap of Ronda’s promo from the night before 9 minutes.
I won’t count Carmella and Zelina as they were only relevant for 5 seconds of the tag team match. We didn’t even see R Truth and Carmella get introduced first so no dance break and no rap from Mella as we saw last week on Smackdown Live. Seeing Carmella is the highlight of Smackdown. This match was later on the show which leads me to believe something ran longer than expected before hand or they wanted to make sure there was more than enough time for the New Day/Vince McMahon segment.
We won’t count Lana who was in the corner of Rusev for the 8-man tag team match. She barely got camera time and was not involved in the match.
What is interesting to me is that they ran the Asuka vs Sonya match immediately into the IIconics promo directly into the Becky and Charlotte promo. It’s like they said let’s bunch together the women to get them on the show so we can move on. The Asuka vs Sonya match did nothing but further along the split of Sonya and Mandy. In the process we saw the continued burying of the Smackdown’s Women’s Champion Asuka who is too talented of a performer to get treated like this. Asuka has no build for her Wrestlemania match only to be a side piece to the Mandy/Sonia split. There is no reason why that match couldn’t be 10 minutes of great wrestling with the same ending.
Now we hear rumors that Lacey could be added to that match but she did her cat walk on Raw this week and not Smackdown when she had been doing double duty for over a month now.
The Nattie vs Nia match barely got off the ground as 30 seconds in Beth jumped into the ring and hit Nia after Tamina held Nattie’s legs. Beth clears house and my oh my what a great set up this was. Well not really. The second Nia and Tamina get to the back stage area, Sasha and Bayley attack them.
So here is the amount of TV time the women had during the 5 hours of Raw and Smackdown Live
Total minutes: 34
Total minutes of actual match time:3 minutes 15 seconds
That is if you consider what Nattie and Nia had an actual match. Missing from TV all together were the Riott Squad, Mickie James and Naomi. Carmella, Zelina and Mandy were all valets this past week. Is Lana still hurt. She must not be hurt because she said she should fight Asuka at Wrestlemania. She was a valet too. And I loved that she called out for Asuka at Wrestlemania.
The women need their own show. I hope the WWE brass will read this. There is so many possibilities that I am going to do their job for them and write up a program for the all Woman’s show post Wrestlemania. I know booking another arena might be an issue for them. So I am going to look into some of these details. I like having projects and this is one I want to look into.
TO THE WOMEN OF THE WWE. I would love to meet any of you during the Wrestlemania week.
Before I get to the Men’s division I want to say thank you Becky Lynch.
I read this morning of what happened yesterday when Becky jumped the rail to take a picture with a fan who was physically unable to climb the stairs to get to her. While taking a picture with that fan another fan starting shaking and had a seizure. Becky held her tight until she stopped shaking and even waited until she knew the fan was okay. It is probably true that other WWE Superstars would do the same thing in Becky’s shoes but we don’t know that. We do know that “The Man” actually did it. Well done Rebecca Quinn well done.
The talk is that Kurt Angle is legit injured and might have to be in a tag team match for his final match at Wrestlemania. I want to see Kurt in a one on one match. The quality of the match is not nearly as important as seeing the moment for Kurt as he says goodbye. John Cena should be that opponent. We will find out on Monday night who Kurt is going to wrestle at Wrestlemania and if it will be a one on one or tag team match. Making lists seems to be the theme of this blog today so here is another one. I am going to list out the opponents either rumored or who I think could make sense.
One on one match:
In a Tag Team Match
Also on Monday night there is a tag team match scheduled with Lashley and “The Hype Man” Lio Rush against Finn Balor and a mystery partner. I have absolutely no idea who it is. We know it is not Seth Rollins as he is scheduled to wrestle Drew McIntyre. Roman Reigns won’t wrestle as he is going to continue to sell his injury he sustained against McIntyre last week on Raw. It does not make sense for it to be Dean Ambrose or Elias and certainly not Baron Corbin. I just checked over the Raw roster on WWE.com to see who it could be. I came across a few names that it could be.
So the two names I am going with are:
Over on Smackdown Live we have already been told that the Gauntlet match is opening the show. So to refresh our memories like we really need it its Kofi Kingston against Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Sheamus and Erick Rowan in a to be determined order. If Kofi wins he gets his match against Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania for the title. You don’t advertise this match unless Kofi either wins it or runs the gauntlet to the last guy and loses. Either way historically this match takes up if you include commercials around an hour of TV time. That is a lot.
Now we also were told the Miz is going to respond to Shane O’Mac. That will be a 10-minute segment at least. Miz is incredible on the mic and he will be given the time to further build up this match. So what is left for the rest of the show.
You know we will have yet another 10-minute promo with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Maybe the WWE does what they always do and teams them up together against the IIconics. Or maybe the IIconics wrestle Fire and Desire. But if the IIconics are going to be in that championship tag team match at Wrestlememania it would be nice to see them wrestle on TV again. Or maybe Sasha and Bayley make an appearance on Smackdown Live. I don’t see that scenario. Of course it is entirely possible we only have Becky and Charlotte on the show from the women’s division. Or in typical WWE fashion they just mash up the women in one giant schmaz match just like my man BC Amplified always says.
One thing is for sure about Smackdown Live. Whatever is announced so far makes the show lit. What they do with the rest of the 45 minutes or so will be huge and they must end the show with a bang. I say the Uso’s call out the Hardy Boys and make that official. Samoa Joe will definitely be on the show and probably R Truth with Carmella because they are pushing Truth for something. Also Andrade is a great talent and he needs to be on the show which means Zelina also is on the show as her story with Carmella continues to get told.
Rumored matches but not official
That’s 17 matches so far. Last year there was a total of 14 matches with three of those on the kickoff show. There is still a lot of names missing off this card. Aside from the women’s Battle Royal there are 3 women’s matches potentially involving as many as 15 women. So the battle royal will have a lot of NXT women in it. I would love to have Carmella face Zelina but I don’t see it unless they make it a mixed tag match with R Truth and Andrade.
Who else is missing? Dean Ambrose. If he is really leaving, then it does not matter if he is on the card unless he is doing a run in. If he is staying, then he is involved in something. Kevin Owens is another big name that does not have a singles or tag team match on this card. He did just get a title shot at Fastlane. Same with Mustafa Ali. But you need to have names for the battle royal which will be heavy with main roster guys.
So I was ready to post this to my website and noticed a couple of rumors that I don’t really think are possible but with two major stars in those matches it is possible the WWE might give them what they want.
We will know tomorrow about Kurt Angle’s Wrestlemania opponent(s). But I do see that he would be open to a team Angle reunion match with Shelton Benjamin. Not sure if it is a tag team match or in singles competition. I am not buying this.
The second one was interesting because everyone wants to wrestle this man at Wrestlemania. Finn Balor will be on the card as the Demon character. That is all but confirmed. He has said he wants to face the Undertaker. Who wouldn’t. I don’t see this as a possibility. The match would be terrible. The idea of the Phenom vs the Demon is intriguing. As I stated above Iisted Taker as a possible partner with Finn for his match Monday night even though he does not wrestle on Raw anymore. But if he is going to be appearing on the card then they need to start getting that set up.
The Battle Royal matches and Buddy Murphy’s match will be on the kickoff show. That is guaranteed. The PPV has a scheduled start time of 7PM. So it looks like this is going to be another long night of wrestling.
How does the card look so far?
RAW AND SMACKDOWN LIVE REVIEWS & WRESTLEMANIA POTENTIAL CARD
Instead of reviewing every inch of Raw and SD I think I will do this differently and just highlight what I liked and didn’t like before I move right into my WrestleMania segment. As I now re read this it looks like I did review both shows just in a completely crazy order of events.
The Woman’s Division.
This is my favorite part to talk about. As this division keeps getting hotter and the WWE is now starting to get more story lines going before Mania. It is still not known how many matches between the pre-show and main card will showcase the women’s division but as of right now I feel there is 4 matches with the potential to be 5.
Let’s start with the hottest angle going in the WWE. I have felt this has been dragging and getting tiresome but with Ronda Rousey’s heel turn being so bad ass it has taken this for a new turn. This is the Ronda Rousey I wanted to see in the WWE. She would legit wipe out any of these women except for the few who have some MMA experience. Her promo this week was spot on and edgy and I loved it. She has been only been speaking the truth whether you want to believe it or not. The 3-way match with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair is over hyped now so much that the WWE does not need to do anything more other than a brief mention of it every week.
I loved the Dana Brooke spot. She was so honest and appealing and what she accomplished was making me who was not a fan of hers now behind her and hoping she does get a chance. After all she was rumored to be on the chopping block once WrestleMania is over. We make the mistake all the time by giving up on or forgetting about those who do not get TV time. We all need to realize how hard these women are working behind the scenes and hoping to get a chance to show their skills.
As for the triple threat angle I am sure we will continue to see the same Charlotte/Becky promos throughout the next few weeks. I don’t know if it is what Becky says or if it is her voice but some of what she says is corny and now played out. Charlotte of course is the female face of the company and didn’t Becky and Charlotte debut the same time? So how does Becky say it took her to get them to the main event? No it was Ronda that took them there. Her attempt to make fun of Ronda’s lack of a brain was straight up whack. It’s time for this match to happen already.
I must say I do like what they are doing with the Tag Team division too. I heard a rumor they are looking to bring back more legends to build up the tag team division. So we have Nattie and Beth Phoenix. Even though that match between Nattie and Nia Jax basically lasted 40 seconds before Beth stormed the ring and cleared it out it served its purpose. The Glamazon is back and might stay a while. I also loved the fact that Sasha and Bayley attacked Nia and Tamina when they got to the back.
You really need to follow these stories on Social Media. The Iiconics cut a good promo just stating facts that Boss Hug has not appeared on Smackdown Live with the belts. It’s true but let’s face it. 2 of the Smackdown Live tag teams don’t seem to be tag teams anymore. Leaving only the Iiconics. I am fearful they are setting up a huge 4 team match at Mania
I also love what they are doing with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. If they are not going to be looking for the tag team titles, then just split them up. Mandy’s character “God’s Greatest Creation” is really picking up steam. I also think Sonya is a very gifted wrestler who does not need to be a valet for Mandy. The only bad thing about this angle is that it is making Asuka’s victories look cheap. Asuka was bad ass when she got to the main roster. She needs to get back to that.
Good move but not significant to make Alexa Bliss as the host of WrestleMania. If she can’t wrestle, then put her in a visible role. She has good mic skills and looked absolutely stunning this week.
Lacey Evans only had one cat walk this week doing it on Raw and covering the face of Renee Young who looked legit mad.
Naomi and the Riott Squad were not on TV this week. For some reason Naomi is getting buried. She is too good of a talent to be buried.
Now for my favorite part of the Women’s division. I have to say that I was very disappointed that my wife Carmella’s entrance and dance break was not shown on TV. I don’t think there is another Women’s superstar that gets as much love or is as followed on Social Media as Mella. She is indeed money. And its time for her to have a TV match against Zelina Vega. Please WWE make this happen.
ALSO WWE PLEASE GIVE THESE WOMEN THEIR OWN WEEKLY TV SHOW. IT’S ABOUT TIME WE SEE ALL THE WOMEN GET THEIR CHANCE ON TV.
Now for the Men’s division. The key theme this week was promo’s. With WrestleMania now less than 4 weeks away it’s time to get that card set. Smackdown Live had the two best promos. Without a doubt and Smackdown was the better show even though all of their matches were tag team matches and basically just thrown together. WWE is going to an edgier product and it shows and it’s playing off great.
The best promo was in my opinion Randy Orton and AJ Styles. All they did was just tell the truth about each other with a bit of comedy and edge. We sometimes forget how good a heel Orton is and just how good his mic work really is. The Dixie Carter reference was brilliant. AJ bringing up all the stables Orton was in was equally funny. These two had to cut a good promo to get interest in their WrestleMania match. Mission accomplished.
The New Day were golden on the mic as Big E, Xavier and Kofi each had their time to shine. They also showed some aggression by breaking up the 8-man tag team match. We sometimes forget just how much the New Day does for this company outside of the ring. Vince’s comment about how there isn’t anything bigger than his ego was funny as hell and also true. This was the best Vince McMahon promo we have seen in a long time. Kofi has to run the gauntlet next week on Smackdown Live to get his title shot. It is guaranteed he does it. Unless Vince wants to keep playing this game. Kofi is being booked as the true underdog and the fans want him and expect him to win the strap. For this reason, I am thinking we maybe get a curveball thrown at us.
I also love Shane O’Mac on the mic. We forget just how good a heel Shane is. I would love to see him just be the commissioner and not wrestle as much. But there is no doubt about it Shane is good for one big spot during every big match he is in.
Last but not least we have Triple H and Bautista. Triple H was all business in his jeans and leather jacket while Bautista came out dressed up and Hunter called him a blue nose ring model. I must say I was a bit disappointed in this promo. All of this you know what I want and I am not giving you what I want back and forth got a bit too much. Hunter’s comment calling the bodyguards the Guardians of the Independent League was golden. The ending of this promo got bad ass.
Please let’s push Elias more. He is money and I like the aggression he showed when No Way Jose interrupted his latest performance. Give Elias a title.
The Uso’s basically calling out the Hardy’s for a WrestleMania match has to happen and it better be a just those teams too. I think this would be the first time these two teams have ever wrestled. This would be a must see match.
The 8-man tag team match was ok even the ending when the New Day crashed the party and took everyone out.
I was a bit confused watching the Shield farewell speech as only Roman Reigns spoke. No one really knows what Dean Ambrose is doing. Eventually Roman and Dean left the ring so Seth can build his Universal title match against Brock Lssnar at WrestleMania. Of course Paul Heyman comes out and they had a very good promo. Then Shelton Benjamin attacks Seth which leads to a match that Seth wins. Shelton is from Smackdown Live and it was never really explained why he was there.
Seth and Finn give respect to each other as they pass on the ramp. Lashley awaits Finn in a title match. I hated the ending as Lio Rush interfered and distracted Finn as Lashley took the strap back.
Ricochet and Alesiter Black continued their winning ways as a tag team by beating Bobby Roode and Chad Gable and get jumped by the Revival. Finally, some real heat for the Raw tag team division.
They are making Braun Stroman into a joke with this angle with Saturday Night Live. This is the WWE’s fault. They should have given the strap when he was hot.
We heard Kurt Angle say at WrestleMania he will have his last ever match. He beat Apollo Crews and got a nice ovation from his home town crowd.
Roman was supposed to fight Baron Corbin but Drew Mcintyre attacked him and laid him out. Dean asked Hunter for a Falls Count anywhere match against Drew and it was granted. This was a very good and brutal match. They fought all over the arena and Dean took a lot of punishment. Drew knocked him out with the Clayborn Kick and that is how Raw ended.
The tag team match of Mysterio and R Truth against Andrade and Samoa Joe was again a good match. These 4 have good in ring chemistry. Mysterio got the pin fall victory killing some of Samoa Joe’s momentum.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan beat KO and Mustafa Ali. Again Ali can’t win a TV match. Nothing spectacular about this match.
WRESTLEMANIA UPDATED CARD AND PREDICTED CARD
Here are the 4 announced matches for WrestleMania.
For the rest of the card let’s look at some un announced matches. The above matches are officially announced on WWE’s website as of this morning. I looked at last year’s card and there were 14 matches. Three were on the kickoff show with 2 of them being the Men’s and Women’s Battle Royal and eleven were on the main card. The WWE likes to have a few of these tripe threat matches or fatal four way matches just to get people on the card. The main event is already a triple threat match. I think there will be at least two more of these matches. So let’s get right to it.
That makes 17 matches. WOW. You will see four matches on the kickoff show with two being the Battle Royal matches and the other two I am not sure of. Notice I didn’t mention the Undertaker. I actually want to see Elias get into the intercontinental title match and win it. There are others too like Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali. So as of today this is how I see it. As we all know things can change in the WWE very quickly.
Well this was unexpected. The card was vanilla and predictable. I predicted every announced match correctly except for the New Day vs Nakamura and Rusev. But the unexpected part was all the craziness before the PPV started and during it. A lot of seeds were thrown around with Wrestlemania just 4 weeks away now. The card has become clearer now. Some of the matches were just ok tonight but you have to like what the WWE creative is doing now. They made a vanilla PPV exciting.
So we start on the kickoff show with Carmella and Zelina Vega arguing over who should get the next US title shot. These two are destined to have a good match maybe this week on Smackdown Live. As much as I love my wife Carmella I don’t think this leads to a one on one match at Wrestlemania. Maybe a mixed tag team match at Wrestlemania? Depending on how many matches are on the card. So anyway the match between Rey Mysterio and Andrade has now been moved to the actual PPV and has become a fatal 4 way for Samoa Joe’s US title with R Truth in the match. More camera time for my Carmella.
We then see the New Day and find out that the McMahons requested to see Kofi Kingston to talk about the WWE title. New Day beats Nakamura and Rusev. Ok match. Not expecting anything big. Please get Nakamura and Rusev involved in something big. Nakamura was super over before they turned him heel. If anyone saw Total Divas, they know the kind of personality Rusev has.
Now the main show starts. This show really flowed nicely. I wonder how it played out in the arena.
The first match was the Uso’s defending the tag team titles against Shane O’Mac and the Miz. The breakup of Shane and Miz has been inevitable as they are setting up their Wrestlemania match. So when Shane attacked Miz in front of his father after they lost to the Uso’s this was no surprise to me. I wish they made the Miz the heel because he is so good as a heel but still a good spot. The match was good too. A few big spots especially the mid-air collision between Shane and one of the Uso’s. Miz got a lot of pops from his home town crowd. Shane taunting Miz’s dad was a good touch.
Next we have a Wrestlemania Promo. Drew/Corbin/Lashley quick promo for their match.
Elias is in the house and he was not interrupted. This is a theme that played out through the night as Elias came out a few times to sing a song killing Cleveland. I love Elias. Hopefully he will walk the streets of Manhattan during the Wrestlemania week.
Another promo for HHH and Batista for Monday Night Raw.
Again rehashing the New Day from the kickoff show
Next up we have Asuka defending the title against God’s Greatest Creation Mandy Rose. Corey as usual acts like a 15-year old boy in heat whenever Mandy comes out. I never thought Mandy was going to win this match. The match was ok. Asuka is a really good wrestler and she deserves to be in a good program. Perhaps Asuka is not 100 percent after getting hurt at a house show on Monday night so the WWE did not want her to do too much. The ending really didn’t come off well as Mandy lost balance because of stepping on the ring apron as Sonya Deville went under the ring looking for a kendo stick. We get teased of a Mandy and Sonya spat so we will see where this one goes.
Next we see back stage where the New Day find Kofi standing out of the McMahon’s office. He never went in and said he has been waiting for someone to get him. New Day walk into the office and are like what’s up making their man Kofi wait. Vince says I was waiting for him. Vince says the WWE title match is now a triple threat match. The crowd pops as Vince says the match is happening right now. New Day is barred from ringside. I thought it was kind of odd to have this match so early in the card. Kofi comes out first. It is announced there is a change to this match and gets screwed as he is facing the Bar in a handicap match. The championship match is announced for later on in the night. Let’s further this Kofi getting screwed underdog role as the Bar squash him big time. But the crowd was popping for Kofi big time.
Back stage with the Boss Hug Connection. Blah still no buildup for this match.
Here comes Elias again to sign un interrupted. Now he is again attacking Cleveland and Kofi and the Miz again. Talks Steelers are better than the Browns. Loving this Elias angle.
We review the Shane and Miz breakup again. Kayla asks Shane for an explanation and gets blown off.
Next we have the triple threat tag team match for the belts. This was a better match than I expected. Ricochet is so incredible to watch and he has great chemistry with Aleister Black. The Revival are a good tag team they are just getting booked wrong. Gable and Roode also showed they are a good tag team. A lot of good spots in this match. The Revival retain by pinning Gable. Ricochet and Black clear the ring at the end. I am not sure what show they are going to eventually land on but these are three of the best tag teams in the WWE.
Let’s see Charlotte back stage getting her robe on and Becky limping out of the trainer’s room.
Next up is my favorite time of the card. The fatal 4-way match for the US title. R Truth and Carmella come out first to get the crowd running. Mella is rapping now and she is super over with the crowd. Mella is so beautiful and I am happy she is getting pushed. This was such a great match. Big spots all over the place. Andrade is a future star. R Truth was always under rated as a performer. Mysterio still got it and Samoa Joe deserves to be champ through Wrestlemania. They actually out performed their match from Smackdown Live this past week. For a big guy Joeis really athletic. Throw in Carmella lighting up Zelina Vega setting up something between them down the road and this match was well put together. Joe retains.
Boss Hug Connection vs Nia Jax and Tamina. Beth Phoenix is announced as the commentator for this match. I didn’t think much about it because she has been doing this the last couple of months. Nia and Tamina together are the biggest forces in the woman’s division. The match was ok. There is not much you can do when you are wrestling someone who is larger than you as Nia and Tamina are. Bayley dominated this match and they really made Nia and Tamina seem mortal here. Bayley rolls up Nia for the win. After the match Nia and Tamina lay waste to the Boss-Hug Connection. You almost knew that Beth Phoenix was going to say something. Beth hits Tamina. Nia lays out Beth. Here comes Nattie. She gets laid out. I am kind of liking what they are doing with Nia and Tamina. They eventually will be tag team champs. Now we will see what happens with Beth Phoenix. Maybe a Wrestlemania match? It’s really great to see a lot of women’s angles being created. Did someone say weekly female show?
It’s time for the Triple Threat match with Daniel Bryan vs Kevin Owens and Kofi Kingston. We see the history of this before the match. WWE is really selling this 3-way match. KO comes out first. Then Daniel. As we are waiting for Kofi we get Mustafa Ali? No Kofi. The crowd is booing and chanting for Kofi. WWE rolled the dice that this match would deliver without Kofi and boy did it deliver. Kofi will get his match at Wrestlemania. Why waste it now. Mustafa really put himself on the map with this match. The boys are really trying to outdo each other. KO had several big spots as did Daniel. The match was great and the crowd eventually got behind it. Daniel pins Ali after Rowan saved him from a certain pin fall. I am anxious to see where they go from here with KO. Also no Sami Zayn, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper who came back during the weekend at a house show.
Two matches left and they are very predictable.
We get a Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins promo.
We get a review of the Becky Lynch/Charlotte/Ronda story.
Now it’s time for Charlotte vs Becky Lynch. There isn’t anything else they can do with this angle right now except to do what we or most of us have known for a while now and that is to make it officially a triple threat match. The ending was really bogus though. I think we all expected to see Ronda interfere. But she comes in and hits Becky once causing a DQ and that’s it as Becky laughed. I would have rather seen Ronda destroy both Becky or Charlotte or have Charlotte attack Becky after Ronda hit her causing the DQ. Please do us a favor and not have any of these three in a match before Wrestlemania especially Ronda vs Becky.
Now we have yet another Elias concert. Brilliant. And what would a WWE TV event be without another cat walk by Lacey Evans. Please get in the ring already. Then out of nowhere we see Randy Orton RKO Elias. Then even more out of nowhere we see AJ Styles give Orton a Phenomenal forearm cementing their Wrestlemania match.
Now for the main event of the Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Lashley and Baron Corbin.
We get a video package of the last two weeks of the Shield. Now they keep talking about Dean Ambrose not re-signing his contract. As far as I can remember I have never seen the WWE ever do this. But they keep talking about it so it makes me think that Dean is not going anywhere. And maybe the significant changes made in creative is making a big difference.
This match was crazy. It was all over the place all over the arena. Some big spots by Dean and Seth. The ending was all too predictable. The Shield did all their spots. It did look like a sendoff. I just don’t think Dean is leaving.
So overall I will rank this PPV as an A Minus. Only because I didn’t like the ending of the Flair/Becky match and the Asuka/Mandy match. But I am glad the women who had three matches plus My Khaleesi Carmella and Zelina maybe building a storyline of their own. Not to mention Beth Phoenix who might have another match in her.
Big E and Xavier Woods vs Nakamura and Rusev.
Nak and Rusev are very underused right now. So anytime these two great talents are in a match albeit in the kickoff show is good. WWE needs to get these guys into meaningful story lines. As for Big E and Xavier. I keep saying there is no reason why the New Day needs to be strictly tag teams. As we see Kofi getting a singles push right now. Big E was thought of as a future champion when he began. I think this will be a good match with Nak and Rusev getting the win.
Andrade vs Mysterio
These two have had good matches. Mysterio’s job is to make sure Andrade gets over and it seems to be working. Andrade is a good worker. I am not sure I want to see this match again. Some think it will be one of the best on the card. Let’s give Andrade the win here.
The Shield vs Corbin, McIntyre & Lashley
I could care less about this match. Seriously. I didn’t like that the Shield got back together. If this leads to Ambrose re-signing, then great. Roman Reigns probably can’t wrestle a 10-minute match on his own and Seth Rollins in coming off an injury so this could be a way to ease both back into action. This Corbin, McIntyre and Lashley team must go. They keep getting matched up against the same wrestlers. Good lord let’s push Drew into the main event status and maybe after Wrestlemania he will be. Look for the Shield to win.
The Uso’s vs Shane and Miz
This match is too further along the inevitable Shane vs Miz match at Wrestlemania. Maybe they break up at Fastlane. And if so hopefully Miz becomes the heel. The Uso’s retain the titles.
Revival vs Gable & Roode vs Aleister Black and Ricochet.
I can’t get a read on this match. The Revival have not won a match on TV since winning the straps and have already lost to Ricochet and Black. But they had Nakamura and Rusev attack Ricochet and Black on Smackdown Live after they beat The Bar. So, what they are doing with the Ricochet and Black is beyond me. Since these titles don’t have any meaning what so ever maybe the Revival do win this match. I predict the Revival winning this match and the Ricochet and Black stay on Smackdown if they are serious about keeping them together as a tag team.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs Nia Jax and Tamina
There was no real build to this match. So that makes me feel like Sasha and Bayley will retain the titles. I think Nia is very under used right now. I think the problem is they don’t know what to do with her. She is so much bigger physically than most of the roster. Giving her a run with the tag titles might not be a bad idea but maybe this happens after Wrestlemania.
Asuka vs Mandy Rose
Asuka wins the title in a triple threat match. She makes The Man tap out at the Royal Rumble. Then we see her wrestle on TV once. And that match she lost to Mandy Rose with Sonya’s help. Supposedly she was supposed to wrestle on this past week’s Smackdown Live but got hurt the night before at a house show and Naomi filled in and got squashed by Mandy with Sonya’s help. Another match with no build up. Asuka took both out after the match so maybe we will see Naomi in her corner for this match. There is no reason to take the strap off Asuka. Asuka retains.
Daniel Bryan vs Kevin Owens
KO gets this match basically because Kofi Kingston got too big too quick and his match against Daniel is better off saved for Wrestlemania. They could have given this match to another wrestler who was more deserving than the returning KO. But since Daniel is not going to lose then whatever. I do expect a run in during this match by either Mustafa Ali or maybe Sami Zayn.
Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch
OK so for those who were crying about Becky not being in the main event at Wrestlemania you can stop the tears after Fastlane. Becky will win the match either outright because the WWE has gone out of their way to keep having their best overall female wrestler continuously get beaten by a one-legged woman, or when Ronda does a run in and beats up both Charlotte and Becky. Either way by the end of Monday Night Raw the triple threat will be official.
So not a great card tonight. Maybe some surprises happen as we get one more week closer to Wrestlemania.
I am not going to discuss my thoughts on what could be the Wrestlemania card in this post. I got something better to write about which I hop to have up by tomorrow.
Wrestling Blog 3-7
After last week’s Raw which was the best Raw, we have seen in a while there was no way this week could ever top it. I mean just with the return of Roman Reigns alone was a lot to overcome. Throw in the Batista/Flair/HHH angle and Ronda’s promo there was a lot going on. So, what do we have to talk about this week? I am going to save the best for last which is the absolute madness involving the Raw Women’s Championship.
The show starts with Roman talking about wanting one thing and he asks Seth Rollins to join him in the ring. Who didn’t think Roman wanted to get into that title match with Seth and Brock Lesnar? I mean after all Roman never actually lost the belt. As un fair as it is for Roman this is Seth’s time. So, I was glad this is not what Roman wanted. By the way I am not completely sold on Seth winning the belt at Wrestlemania. There is no way Vince wants Brock going to a rival company. Instead Roman wants the yawn band back together. Who really cares anymore? Seriously. These things are better off as surprises like when they re united on the Raw after Summer Slam. I was in the building for that and it was electric. Now it looks like it’s forced and tired. Even if this is an attempt to keep Dean Ambrose in the company which is a good idea, I am still over it. Who the hell knows what to think about Ambrose anymore? Is he leaving or staying? Is this an angle? I am so tired of the Shield and on that point I am tired of Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Lashley. Drew needs to be in the main event already. Elias attacks Dean as he was walking to the ring to address the shield re union. Elias is so under used. I am going to petition the WWE to organize a Walk With Elias NYC night during Wrestlemania week. Imagine walking through the streets of Manhattan with Elias. There is no shortage of bars that he can play at. But overall just an average segment.
Next, we have a throw away 6-man tag team match. Kurt Angle needs to retire already. Sorry Kurt. You were great but your time is up. Give some TV time to EC3 and for god’s sake let him talk. Finn Balor has the Intercontinental title, so he is relevant but get him out of this angle. And Braun Stroman who just about killed Lio Rush I am not sure what to do with him anymore. Bad match with no story behind it only to be fed to the shield at Fastlane.
Nattie vs Ruby RIott is just a waste of two talented wrestlers. It’s okay to have several story lines for the women at one time. It’s like they want to keep pushing the Ronda/Becky/Flair angle to the moon which I get but you have other talent that needs story lines. Can you say a dedicated show just for the women? After the match which Nattie wins we have another ridiculous cat walk by Lacey Evans. This was old and tired two weeks ago. Just get her in the ring already. It’s like WWE does not want you to forget about her. Then why bring her up from NXT if she is not going to wrestle. If she is rumored to be getting a huge push and will be in an angle with Nattie then get it started now. Nattie can’t be the sidekick to Ronda for the next month. One Ronda and that angle does not need it and two Nattie is too good to be a sidekick
Now for one of things I wanted to see this week on either show. I have to say Batista cut a good promo. He clearly is the heel and he made sure it would stay that way. Then HHH started to talk about the real man Richard Flehr. I can see where this is going. WWE is trying to make this into a real-life angle. If that is the direction WWE wants to take this then so be it. I am not so sure I agree with it. Maybe they felt more juice is needed. HHH was golden talking about attending a couple of Natch’s weddings. Say what you want about HHH the man can still cut a mean promo. I am looking forward to the one on one next week. Hopefully they get some freedom when they are in the ring on the mic. Dave is Hollywood now but what’s up with that blue earring in his nose. Could be a very good segment.
Oh, Heavy Machinery runs the gauntlet on the minor leagues of the Raw Tag Team division. By the way has anyone seen Otis’ Instagram stories. Dude is always eating un healthy stuff.
The shield re-forms after Elias beats Dean. Ho hum. It would have been better if it was a surprise. Now we have a 6-man tag team match at Fast Lane. I get it. Roman came back earlier than expected. Now we have to fast track him into something for Wrestlemania. So, I expect him to be in tag team matches for the first few weeks to get some stamina back. Thus, the reason for the Shield re-forming.
Michael Che and Colin Jost with several promos through out the night. Who really cares about this? Seriously what a waste of air time and yet we keep seeing EC3 staring into the mirror with a spray bottle in his hand. SMH
Tamina beats Sasha. I was kind of surprised by this, but I guess you need to get some heat for Fastlane. Terrible build for this match. I haven’t seen Tamina win too many matches on her own. This title deserves a better story line than what we got so far. Horsemen always have gold.
Ricochet and Aleister Black win a match by DQ. The former champs Robert Roode and Chad Gable interfere. This sets up a triple threat tag team title match at Fastlane. Ricochet and Black are impressive talents and are getting super pushed right now.
I have to say I am already so tired of this whole Ronda/Becky/Flair story. Is anybody else? Make no mistake this will be a hell of a match and will close out Wrestlemania but my god the drama has to end. Since Ronda got into the WWE everyone knew it would be her and Flair closing out Wrestlemania. The problem is Becky got super over. WWE had no choice but to get her in this match. But I have a serious problem with how this is going about and hopefully after Fastlane we can finally just stop the madness. But WWE writers know best right, I guess. I think my biggest issue is that this angle started before Survivor Series. Your talking about over 4 months of build up. And it never ceases to amaze me that some fans thought this was not going to be a triple threat match which is the right call. So much can spawn off the outcome of this match including Ronda still being over if Becky and Flair team up to take her out of the match, so she does not get pinned.
Let’s start with Ronda. I have said this for weeks now. She can’t cut a promo the right way. I will say this she is getting better. But the last two weeks should have been epic promo moments and she for some reason either rushes or can’t get the words out. But one thing is for sure. Ronda brings the heat and the intensity. I watched both the Divas and Bella shows for some clues on how she was received by the other women on the roster. She got plenty of respect and the women knew they would have to up their game to get close to her level. Besides she knew a lot of the girls anyway. She is legit close to Nattie and Charlotte.
Ronda should have been a heel from day one, but I do understand why she wasn’t. What she said in her promo was 100 percent true. Everything she was brought in to do she has delivered. Stephanie changed the match at Fastlane and gave the title back to Ronda. I know it’s part of the storyline but in this story Ronda demanded something and was granted. And yes, the McMahon’s have made a lot of money because of Ronda. Brock brings that big fight atmosphere every time he wrestles which is not often. Give Ronda credit. She is there every week and she does put over the women. But she does not need this job and she has been respectful. I think she made a quote that WWE gives you enough money to live a nice lifestyle but not enough that you can quit. Ronda has made millions prior to the WWE and can pretty much do anything she wants and make real good money. I love the aggression she showed and let’s face it in a real fight she can legit hurt these women.
As for Becky. I have thought long and hard about this and I came up to the conclusion that I really don’t like “The Man” character. Becky got hot and WWE made her into the second coming of Stone Cold Austin. There will only be one Stone Cold and it does not matter to me that Austin has endorsed her. Her promos are not that good in my opinion and her voice annoys me. She is not on the level of Ronda and Flair. But she got hot and she might walk away with the strap at Wrestlemania because of it.
Charlotte Flair is the best all around player in the game. At least for the women’s roster. While I hate the Stone Cold/Becky creation I feel it is different when you are starting to channel your father’s legendary gimmick. After all it is genetic. Ric was an amazing heel and was so on point on the mic. Charlotte’s mic work is getting to that level. Her promos have been so good. Did you have any doubts? What I can’t understand is how many times is a one-legged Becky going to get the upper hand on Flair? There is nothing the WWE can ever do to make me believe Becky is on that level.
Smackdown overall was a good show. When a 2 hour show flows quickly you know it was a good show.
Daniel Bryan furthers his character as this heel environmentalist. Even though he is a heel character he is still a tremendous talent. Kevin Owens is also a tremendous talent. I like Owens as a heel better. But his mic work is also good. I would rather see in this match Daniel as the face and Owens as a heel. It was a good promo for both trying to generate some heat for the Fastlane match. Owens is announced in a match with Rowan later that night.
Miz pins Jey Uso. I have said it before that I love the Miz character. He is better as a heel and he needs to change to a heel when he fights Shane. This was a filler match as we are all expecting the inevitable breakup of Shane and Miz and their match at Wrestlemania. Is it me or does Shane look like he is not doing well? He looked kind of out of breath when he was giving his promo.
The best match of the night was the 4-way United States championship match. Any time Carmella is on TV it makes the night magical. I would love to see her wrestle more. The match had R Truth defending against Samoa Joe, Mysterio and Andrade. Very good match. Good pace. Good spots all over. Zelina Vega got involved and Mella booted her out. Andrade is a real talent. R Truth is underrated both in the ring and on the mic. But I am glad to see Samoa Joe finally win a strap on the main roster. I wasn’t too keen on bringing Mysterio back. Even though I would love to see others get TV time Rey still has it.
Ricochet and Aleister Black win yet again this time against the Bar. Rusev and Nakamura attacked the after the bell. The Hardy’s come in for the save. Ricochet and Black are doing both Raw and Smackdown and have a Raw tag team title match at Fastlane, so I am not sure where they are going with this. Maybe there will be some kind of big tag team match at Wrestlemania if they don’t win the straps on Sunday
Mandy Rose squashes Naomi. God’s greatest creation comes out and Corey as usual damn near busts in his pants. I don’t know why Naomi is getting buried. But ever since her husband was arrested, she seems to be getting the fall out. Hopefully it’s because Asuka got injured the night before and was held out of wrestling to preserve the Fastlane match. With Sonia DeVille interfering and Asuka laying out both we can maybe see Naomi in Asuka’s corner at Fastlane.
KO vs Rowan was just to further the story line. Daniel on commentary making fun of KO was funny. I liked the heat when KO just attacked him. When it became 2 on 1 Mustafa Ali saved KO who had admitted earlier in the night, he has no friends in the WWE. Very interesting. But the crowd was calling for Sami Zayn. I do expect a run in during the match at Fastlane
I already covered the Charlotte and Becky angle. Loved that Flair attacked her bad leg. I can’t understand why a one-legged Becky continues to beat down Charlotte. Whatever. I can’t talk about this angle anymore even though it’s the hottest angle WWE has going on right now.
How does Dana Warrior get a job in creative? She seems to get whatever she wants. I guess the Ultimate Warrior had pictures Vince or something. I am all for getting the woman’s perspective but jeez. Hey WWE I am a life long fan. Can you hire me?
Has anyone else noticed that WWE has gotten a but edgier in the last few weeks. That’s what happens when there is competition.
Do we really need to see John Cena in a Wrestlemania match? He has turned into what he despised about the Rock.
I watched the Wrestlemania 36 press conference today. It’s clear that Roman and Charlotte are the faces of the company and neither one has a strap.
Is it me or does Heavy Machinery kind of remind you of a modern day Bushwhackers? Hey before you laugh the WWE never saw the Bushwhackers when they were the Sheepherders and were very vicious.
Are we ready for an all-women’s weekly show? Too much female talent is being wasted. But the women closed both shows this week and could close out Fastlane too.
Stay tuned for my Fastlane Predictions and a look at the wrestlemania card as it fills up.