Angle starts us off this week, stating Roman Reigns will not be there because he’s still suspended. But he still turned up. Yay? Creative are really going all in trying to push Roman as the babyface they want him to be but he’ll never be universally loved. He has a point- he shows up every week, and Lesnar turns up when he feels like and puts on 20 or 30 second matches. But out come “U.S. Marshalls” (actors obvs) and Roman beats them down. HERE COMES THE PAIN! Lesnar beats down a now handcuffed Reigns. Gets a round of boos. Everyone hates Lesnar but is it enough to make Reigns the saviour they want? I reckon not.
The undisputed greatest woman’s champ ever in history Alexa Bliss v Asuka. And what was a fairly solid match, even Alexa having some good offence and not just hair pulling, she took the count out. But Nia came to settle the score, Bliss runs off. So, Nia and Asuka v Mickie and Bliss next week then. And Nia taking on Bliss at Mania. FINALLY Jax will get her shot. She’s been alot better in recent weeks, and as much as I love Bliss, it’s time someone else had a run.
BRAAAUUUNNN v Cesaro. In a one on one match, you realise how good Cesaro is. Against Strowman even more so. Strowman wins naturally, but it wasn’t the cakewalk he’s used to. He needs a partner for Mania, I’m hoping for Elias, but I’m worried it’s gonna be Bray Wyatt, seeing as his match v Hardy is tonight rather than Mania.
Revival v Titus Worldwide. Revival win via Shatter Machine. Revival are criminally under utilised. Apollo is better than this. Titus sucks.
Banks and Bayley v Absolution. Again. Absolution win because of Sasha and Bayley argueing. If this isn’t heading to a match between them at Mania then the whole thing is being wasted. They had some amazing matches in NXT, and even though they’ve been watered down on the main roster (Vince’s fault) Wrestlemania is the time and place. Do it. Do it.
Cena calls out Taker once again for an answer to his challenge. And man he layed it on thick. And he meant every word. In case you weren’t aware, Cena is one of two people currently who can do their own promo with no script, the other being The Rock. We didn’t get Taker, but we got Kane, who simply chokeslammed Cena and left. Dunno what it means but Cena v Kane doesn’t have the same mystique to it. We don’t need this match at Mania.
Miz and Miztourage v Balor Club. Was all Miztourage for a large proportion of the match. Once Anderson got in you realise Anderson is easily good enough to go solo. Gallows, not so much but in a team he makes the difference, which is why the fact they’ve been held back is dumb. Rollins or Balor winning the IC title at Mania is just fine. Honestly, even Miz retaining would be ok. Which makes it hard for me to pick a winner.
Bray Wyatt v Matt Hardy Ultimate Deletion. What the fuck is this shit. I mean, it’s not quite Wyatt v Orton house of horrors match bad but it’s pretty dismal. Almost comically bad. Just finish this crap up and be done already. Wyatt can’t do long drawn out rivalries and Hardy’s Woken persona isn’t quite as good as his Broken one from TNA. We did see a glimpse of Jeff as Brother Nero so it at least had that. But please don’t do it again. Ever.
We start with a little video of Daniel Bryan, who has finally been cleared to compete in WWE again. In case you didn’t know, every other doctor had said he’s good to go, except for WWE medical who are notoriously stringent. So YES! YES! YES! D-Bry is back. Everyone wanted him to come back at Mania, but it would overshadow all the other matches and knowing Bryan, he wouldn’t want to take away from anyone else’s glory. So post Mania would be my guess.
Rusev v Shinsuke Nakamura. I hate myself. I’m getting sucked into the whole Rusev Day thing. I’m looking at it like this- he’s so much better than how he’s been booked, and Rusev Day is like a small rebellion, the fans telling creative HEY! RUSEV DESERVES BETTER! Also, Aiden English needs a title run. Even if it’s for the tag titles, that would be fine. Nakamura wins with a roll up, English attacks him from behind but Shin didn’t need help as he kicked them both in the head. Nakamura to win the title is looking more and more likely.
Baron Corbin v Tue Dillinger. Yes, Tye still works here. Corbin wins with End Of Days. He probably should have hit it earlier after catching Dillinger in mid air, but either Tye or Corbin botched it a bit and it looked messy.
Charlotte v Natalya. Quite a good match as you would expect from a Flair v Hart, but it was, quite frankly, ruined by Carmella cashing in. However, the bell never rung for a new match so she still has the contract as Natalya won the match in the confusion. Go back on the WWE network and find Charlotte v Natalya in NXT. It’s worth it.
Harper v Jimmy Uso. Harper win with a discus clothesline. Meh. It was fine I guess but we’re probably getting Usos v Bludgeon Brothers for the tag titles. Post Mania there’s likely to be a shakeup so I’d put money on Usos dropping the titles and going to Raw.
Liv Morgan/Sarah Logan v Naomi/Becky Lynch. For the love of god nobody cares. Lynch/Naomi wins. Whatever.
Daniel Bryan addresses Owens and Zayn attack on Shane last week. The long and short of it is they’re fired. Kayfabe fired but fired nonetheless. They attacked Bryan, who then fought back, and it was GLORIOUS. He’s officially back. Now, I’ve already said he probably won’t want to overshadow anything by coming back at Mania, but if that’s the plan, it’ll be Sami and Kevin v Daniel and Shane. Which is absolutely fine because the match will be about Daniel Bryan and not Shamed piss poor attempt at wrestling.
For the third week running, Chiampa takes to the ring to speak and is met with a rousing boo from the audience, with a few “Psycho Killer” chants thrown in. This time he actually speaks though, saying how Gargano is gone and never returning. Everyone hates him, and I love it. I love a proper heel, not just a heel character that the universe loves anyway (Killian Dain, Velveteen Dream and such), but Gargano was masked in the audience and attacked him. Match at Takeover? Probably an “unsanctioned match” but a match we want to see anyway.
Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan v Roderick Strong/Pete Dunne. (DRTTC First round match) It should have been Burch and Lorcan v Moustache Mountain, but Tyler Bate got injured and had to sit out. So Strong and Dunne instead, which is fine because I’m a big Bruiserweight fan. But most impressive was how brutal this match was. Slaps, chops, uppercut all sounded hard. Dunne and Strong won, but Lorcan and Burch have nothing to be upset about. They brought the fight and I could of watched another 15 minutes of it easy.
Aaliyah v Ember Moon. Pretty much a squash match. Shayna Baszler appeared on commentary. Words exchanged. No drama.
Raul Mendoza was supposed to be in action, but Andrade Cien Almas attacked him on the ramp and started shouting in Spanish in the ring. Called out Aleister Black. Nothing happened.
ADAM COLE BAYBAY v Kassius Ohno. A hard, hard fought victory from Cole. Ohno had a descent showing, but it’s nice to see Cole win clean, without help from Fish and O’Rielly. If he’s not the first challenger for Aleister Black I’ll be very surprised. Ohno can’t have many years left, he had a good career in the indys as Chris Hero (he was a stable mate of Cesaro in Ring of Honor) but since returning to NXT he’s not been too much of a big player, instead being used to put other talents over. Which is a shame but he must of known going in what his role would be.