With WrestleMania on the horizon, how does the WWE main roster set up the Show of Shows? Do we get even more hype? Or do we get nothing special?
Raw has been mostly painful the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, but SmackDown is usually solid.
Will I be surprised? I’d like to be surprised, but I think I’m a little jaded at this point.
Let’s find out.
- Sasha Banks, Bayley, Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs Nia Jax, Tamina, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce: Phoenix wins via Glam Slam – * ¼
- Jinder Mahal vs Apollo Crews: Crews wins via Frog Splash – N/A
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (c) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet: Revival win via Count Out – *** ¼
- Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Ronda Rousey vs The Riott Squad: Rousey wins via Arm Bar – **
- Heavy Machinery vs Roode & Gable: Machinery wins via Compactor – *
- Braun vs…who cares: Braun squash, yay – N/A
- Baron Corbin vs Rey Mysterio: Corbin wins via Deep Six – ** 1/2
Stephanie comes out, attempts a dumb April Fool’s joke (at least you tried) and then makes the Women’s Triple Threat a winner takes all match. So if they really want to send the fans home thinking it was the best Mania ever, seeing Becky hold up both titles at the end would be a perfect way to do it.
Heyman and Lesnar come out, I’m already bored, Rollins confronts Lesnar, little shoulder bump and then Rollins hits Lesnar in the balls. Visions of Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles dance through my head.
An eight woman tag match, that no one cares about. I mean even if it is nice to see the women get more spots on TV and PPVs, this isn’t a good look. A comedy duo of IIconics, the Samoans which are just unlikable as people, Sasha botching arm drags and Nattie being a charisma vacuum. This was hard to watch, the match at Mania will probably be the worst on the card. This was wasted time.
Batista cuts the best promo he’s done all year: “Kiss my ass”
Elias does nothing, but at least he’s getting TV time. Poor bastard.
The Battle Royal needs to be hyped? Like we think it matters? And lumberjacks just so you get to see most of the people who will get eliminated and possibly win a trophy that is the equivalent of a participation award? Apollo Crews is the tallest midget! Yay! Another waste of time segment.
The tag team titles are on the line, and the match was actually alright. I say that more because Raw has slowly been lulling me into a coma, and not because the participants are bad. Revival looked great, the Gory Special was fantastic, and the finish was perfect as well. However, Ricochet and Black attacking The Revival just because they didn’t win, AGAIN, makes you wonder what the hell is going on. You haven’t really established these two guys aside from a few throw away interviews that just proved neither can talk and Ricochet looks like a babyface. But they take advantage of The Revival whenever they get a shot. Heel/Face dynamic may not always be necessary, but the lack of anything tangible here is lazy and stupid.
EC3 and Tyler Breeze talk to Alexa Bliss, make a reference to the last SNL episode and then when Braun overhears them, they pass the buck to two nerds down the hall. It was funny, but that just means there will be a pointless squash match, in a night of pointless crap in the ring.
Roman is being interviewed and Drew jumps him! I’d really like to see McIntyre get the win at Mania to give Roman a rival to focus on for the next few months/rest of the year. This could definitely be a great main event rivalry for years to come. Both men are money.
Six woman tag match, that again didn’t really matter. The Riott Squad are worthless currently, everyone just wanted to see Ronda/Charlotte/Becky explode. And after Ronda finished things with an Armbar…we got the brawl! It started off fine enough, then once the fake police showed up, we started moving towards that ridiculous territory. Some cool moments before everyone was handcuffed and even when they got to the back. Car windows were broken, car crashes happened, Ronda nearly got decapitated by Charlotte…but it was all a bit much. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely felt it went too long and just started becoming more comical than cool.
WWE is trying to make us care about Heavy Machinery. But really…why? Just because Otis is a big goofy imbecile? Roode and Gable have to work their way back up from the bottom, I get it. But they’re much better than trying to establish a tag team which hasn’t been seen as more than comedy but their big. If Authors of Pain every come back, I can’t wait for them to destroy Heavy Machinery.
Braun squash, it’s like it’s 2016 all over again.
Demon reveal was kinda cool and Lio selling it worked okay. But this is another angle that isn’t really hot.
Mysterio and Corbin happen, and it was an okay match. Granted it did seem like Mysterio was legit hurt after trying to flip out of a suplex. The assumed injury slowed the match down a bit to make it feel rather plodding. Injuries are neither man’s fault, but it still hampered the match and just capped off a generally “MEH” show.
Overall Score: 5/10
Average show. The in-ring work was sadly uninspired, the backstage segments did amuse me here or there (like EC3 and Tyler Breeze passing the buck to two jabronis). The women’s brawl went a bit long and came off awkward to me at times, but had cool moments and I wasn’t offended by it or anything. All in all though, these Go Home shows definitely reinforce the fact that we don’t have to pay 60 dollars for these shows anymore.
They definitely give us 10 dollars worth of hype. Take that for what you will.
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- The Usos, Aleister Black & Ricochet vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & The Bar: Usos win via Double Superkick – ** ½
- Falls Count Anywhere: SAnitY vs The Miz: Miz wins via Production Box – ** ¼
- The Hardyz, Heavy Machinery, Asuka, Carmella, Naomi, Nikki Cross, R-Truth vs Lana, Zelina Vega, Andrade, Shelton Benjamin, Gallows, Anderson, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville & EC3: No Contest – -* (negative)
- Samoa Joe vs Ali: Joe wins via Coquina Clutch – N/A
Well we kick off with the Kevin Owens show, and by god is Owens the best host in the WWE right now. AJ and Randy didn’t need any provocation to get heated, but as soon as Styles hits the “failing drug tests” line, KO just says nothing, stands up and exits the ring. Good segment because we got a little bit of action and good subtle comedy with KO.
This 8 man tag match was decent but worthless. Hell Alexa came out afterwards basically to say the same thing of “Since you forfeited for the New Day, you will have a 4 way against the other people in the ring at Mania”. So very effectively just saying, you didn’t have match, and now you get to do this again, just more haphazardly. Will it be a good match, yes cause all 8 men will put on a good match. But it was still such a boring “twist”.
I love the IIconics, cause I have a weakness for Australian accents…but this segment wasn’t necessary. It just came off a little grating and like a time filler.
The Miz seems to have tapped into his Marine persona now that he’s fighting for his father’s honor or whatever. Shane has assumed the role of evil corporate son, and the gimmick with the ring announcer was perfect. When Shane added the stipulation, the announcer was about to announce Shane and even he had to say “not now”. So little things like that were amusing, but this match was hard to swallow. We’ve grown accustomed to the former Real World bitch boy to need every trick in the book to win against lesser opponents. But now he can take out 3 guys in a falls count anywhere handicap match. Just…sigh.
Becky doesn’t really say much, beyond establishing herself as the sentimental favorite since she pandered to the crowd well. It was a cute moment, but generally unnecessary.
So…because Mysterio took the night off to tend to the injury we get this 18 person clusterfuck? Why? Jesus…no, this was a mess and nothing good. Otis was a creep, hooray, Asuka stood tall so she prolly won’t win at Mania…but come on. Even SmackDown is wasting my time this week.
Joe murders Ali in less that 4 minutes I think. At least Joe looks like a monster and if Mysterio is actually hurt, it makes a potential squash look more convincing.
Daniel Bryan and Kofi contract signing. We know how these go. Kofi and New Day’s conviction to the story being told make anything they say resonate, even if it’s nothing really new. So well done by all parties, but this entire week on main roster was skippable.
Overall Score: 5/10
This show was insanely average. For everyone who thought Raw producers were doing stuff last week, this felt more like a Raw. Lots of rehashed match ups, thrown together multi-man clusters and a generally bland overall feeling. Plus as much as I like Miz, this sudden ability to destroy SAnitY just because of…reasons…is ridiculous. Many people had issues tolerating his Marine character because he usually plays chicken shit heel, and now since he’s angry face fighting for his family, he can beat the hell out of 3 men, 2 of which tower over him? Suspension of disbelief people.
So nothing was irritating about the show, but it just felt lazy and like it was limping to cross the finish line. Hopefully WrestleMania delivers.