And we’re back again for another recap of the events that unfolded within WWE. This week confirmed 2 long running rumoured Wrestlemania matches with Cena and Nikki vs Miz and Maryse, as well as the underwhelming Shane vs AJ Styles.
Dana Brooke Breaks Out: Dana Brooke featured in singles action against Sasha Banks on RAW. Not your typical awesome moment you might be wondering. But it’s what took place after that was pretty awesome. Sasha got the win in a heel fashion by holding Dana’s leggings for the pin. As Sasha celebrated the victory Charlotte entered the ring and began a verbal assault on Dana pretty much telling her she’s not good enough. Dana snapped and attacked Charlotte in a brutal manner. The best part is that the crowd sided with Dana and she received a great ovation from her retaliation at Charlotte. Dana was one of my highlights in NXT. I thought she was destined for big things there and feel she was perhaps called to the main roster too soon. And since being on the main roster has gone from being one of the main women of the division to a lackey for Charlotte, so it was good to see her breakout and get some focus. A single’s run for her could be great. It would appear she’s being setup for the face side of a feud with Charlotte which is very different from how she was in NXT, but if it gets her more exposure then that’s great. I do hope she gets a heel run on the main roster as her time on NXT as a heel with Emma as her lackey was brilliant. It’ll be good to see that potential that was there on NXT finally on display on the main roster.
HBK Warns Reigns: On RAW, Reigns cut a promo calling out the Deadman. What Roman got was Mr Wrestlemania himself Shawn Michael’s. Now while this could be seen in a negative light, of having yet another WWE Icon and legend endorse Reigns, it didn’t go down like that. HBK was out to flat out warn Reigns that Undertaker is “going to eat you alive!“. Who better than Shawn to warn Reigns about the threat that Undertaker can be? What also stood out for me on this promo was Reigns flat out ignorance, cockyness and all round smugness. It’s a brilliant trait that he should play on and WWE should run with. Reigns is not going to be cheered, and if he beats Undertaker, Reigns has effectively signed himself up to be a heel for life. So have him play up the smug traits that he shows now and again in his promos. A particular highlight was Reigns saying to Shawn, “The Undertaker retired you, and I’m the guy that’s gonna retire him!”. It’s a scenario I do not want to see at all, but in terms of building this clash up, it was a great promo and WWE utilized Shawn very well here to stress how dangerous Undertaker is.
AJ Styles Beats up the boss: No AJ doesn’t beat up Sasha Banks, He beats up the actual boss of Smackdown Live, Shane O’Mac. And he did it an absolutely brutal fashion waiting for him the garage area of the arena. I do not want to see Shane vs AJ at Mania, I’ve stressed before I feel it’s a waste of AJ’s talent and a cheap way to get Shane on the card. But the genuine aggression and emotion on display during AJ’s attack on Shane was so convincing that he want’s nothing more than to hurt Shane. It was a pretty awesome brutal moment from Smackdown Live.
Titus O’Neil and his Brand wants a film part: Yeah, so Big Show and a variety of other WWE superstars are in another WWE / Hannah Barbera crossover film. This time WWE and Jetsons. Great. Big Show is a major part of this film. The Titus Brand is jealous and is huge fan of the Jetsons. So pushes Big Show during a backstage interview with New Day. This resulted in a match. There you have it, one of the most pointless matches from one of the most painfully cringe inducing backstage segments on RAW in a while. Terrible all round.
MoJo Rowley vs Ziggler: Yeah so last week’s little dig from Ziggler has in fact resulted into a rivalry between these 2. Yay, just what we wanted. So the match itself was a show case, teasing Rowley as a potential Andre the Giant Battle Royal Winner. He threw Ziggler over the top rope 3 times. On the 3rd time, Ziggler just walked backstage and took the loss via count out. A waste of time on Smackdown Live this. No one really cared about the match and the result was just pointless.
Smackdown’s Main Event plays second fiddle to Shane: The main event of Smackdown Live was American Alpha vs The Uso’s which when read out sounds like it should be a great tag team match. And for the most part it was. It was good to see probably the 2 strongest teams on Smackdown against each other. But Shane’s attack from AJ and his retaliation was on display during the match, showing back stage segments of Shane making his way to the stage. It took away from the match that these teams were putting on. Even JBL Said “The match is great, but attention is diverted elsewhere as Shane makes his way to the ring!” Way to shit on your TAG team champions and their chance to shine on the main event. Shane vs AJ is not going to be the highlight of Mania (i’ll regret typing this) regardless of how incredible AJ is. To take away from what was a good tag match just to build Shane up and show his bravery and desire is terrible. American Alpha and Uso’s should be feeling pretty pissed off about this.
Kevin Owens promo on RAW: KO addressed the crowd and addressed Jericho, he came out with a great line to build Samoa Joe up. “Who needs best friends when you’ve got a destroyer?”
Corey hints as who’s being fired: One of the main parts of RAW was who was Mick Foley going to fire? Michael Cole reminded us that, “Someone is gonna get fired tonight on RAW!” At this moment Corey drops hint’s at who that might be by casually pointing towards Cole and Byron Saxton.
It’s easy to confuse people for Tom Phillips: Backstage Chris Jericho is approached by Mike Rome who has a resemblance for Tom Phillips. Jericho addresses Rome as Phillips, Rome attempts to correct Jericho which was a big mistake. “I know you’re name Tom Phillips, You’re Tom Phillips. Don’t insult my intelligence Tom Phillips. You know what Tom Phillips? You just made the list Tom Phillips!”. At least Mike Rome is safe from being on the list.
AJ Styles Opening Smackdown Live: AJ Styles opened up Smackdown live with a very impassioned promo about how he’s been pretty hard done by since his loss to Cena at the Rumble. And he did a very good job in reminding everyone about the unfair treatment he’s had. And everything he said was accurate. Cena waltzes back to WWE and demands a title shot and gets one. AJ wasn’t allowed a one on one rematch but had to partake in Elimination Chamber. He then had to win a battle royal to be number one contender. Then beat Luke Harper twice and then finally have to beat Orton just to be considered for a title shot. Where as Orton burns a house down and gets given a shot at AJ for the number one contender-ship. It all actually made you feel for AJ and can see why he’s pissed at Shane. He should be at Mania against someone other than Shane though.
Miz backs AJ’s claim: So during AJ’s opening statement he addresses that Cena can just walk back into WWE when he likes and demand a title shot or any match he wants. Miz during Miz TV backed these claims with his own statement towards Nikki Bella. “You don’t get to make matches Nikki, Who do you think you are? You’re not John Cena!”
Tag Division on NXT that Revival built: NXT’s tag division right now is looking pretty healthy. DIY came to the ring to approach Authors of pain demanding a title shot. Revival came to the ramp to express their displeasure at this and make a claim at a title shot. They used a great analogy to back their-selves up. “You don’t bench Tom Brady, you don’t pull Michael Jordan from the 4th quarter, and you don’t let the Revival sit from the side watching a division they made!”.
Chris Jericho & Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe: Need I say more, these 4 in the ring together is insane.
Becky vs Natty: Good match, and Carmella coming out at the end to remind us she’s relevant was a good touch. Helps to promote the SD Womens title match at Mania by reminding us that Carmella too can be a threat.
Bobby Roode vs Ohno for NXT Title: A long and decent NXT main event. Ohno is looking very sharp and a legitimate candidate to be a future NXT Champion. Shouldn’t be seen as a surprise though given how he’s successfully taken the indies by storm.
NA – Did not watch
Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn & Jericho: As mentioned in the best of RAW. These 4 guys were in the same ring at the same time. It’s a pretty incredible image. And it hits home how WWE’s roster is insanely stacked. It feels like WWE has one of the strongest rosters across all brands to date and it’s simply mind blowing. Reel off names in your head and let it sink in. So many indie darlings are now in the biggest wrestling promotion. Sure they’re not all being treated as we’d like. But given how talented the roster is not everyone can be champion. But WWE sure are trying given how many championship titles there are in the company now. I’ll just type a few names to remind you. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, Austin Aries, Neville, Akira Tozawa, Bobby Roode, Nikki Cross, Asuka, Ember Moon, Chris Hero, Sami Zayn, Jack Gallagher. It’s seriously impressive.
Corey Graves “The idea of AJ vs Shane at Mania does nothing for me”: Could not have said it better myself. Corey Graves openly admitted that AJ Styles is one of the greatest wrestlers of this generation and that the idea of him facing off with Shane O’Mac does nothing for him. And I couldn’t agree more. I mentioned it last week, I’ve mentioned it a few times in this post, and I expect as they build the matchup over the next 2 weeks i’ll mention it more. I cannot help but feel this is a waste of Mania card. AJ Styles deserves to be at Wrestlemania, but not like this. He’s so class and should be putting on wrestling spectacles with other talented wrestlers, not Shane McMahon. It’s a shame it had to go like this and a shame that it might be 3 years into AJ’s WWE career till he get’s to shine at Mania. (His debut Mania at match against Jericho was unfortunately a bit of a stinker, and this year might be a hell of a match, but deserves more than Shane).