This was a rather exciting week of television for WWE all four shows really delivered and I can say I was thoroughly entertained throughout.
Goldberg kicked of Raw with an in ring promo and it was not long before Kevin Owens came out and the two went back and forth for a while. The improvement character wise made from when Owens won the gold to now is outstanding. Goldberg on the other hand should keep his promos shorter than his matches as proven tonight it was painful to listen to after about a minute. The segment was saved by Owens who like I said has improved immensely and it showed during this opening segment.
The New Day were in the first match of the night but not before the endured everyone to another long winded intro that got over like a fart in church. They tried to play off what happened at the Oscars the night before and it didn’t work at all. They announced they would be facing The Shining Stars and when Primo and Epico came out they were informed that there was a mistake and New Day would be facing Rusev and Mahal but later in the show the Shining Stars would be in action against Big Show in a 2 on 1 handicap match. The one thing I took from this match was Mahal looks great and could be a star if they were ever to book him correctly.
The Cruiserweights had their usual segments on the show the first being a tag match with Jack Gallagher and TJ Perkins defeating Tony Neese and Neville. The feud between Tozawa and Kendrick was continued as Kendrick gained the upper hand yet again after attacking Tozawa after a match from behind.
Sheamus defeated Titus in a pointless filler match. Big Show Squashed both Shining Stars. Cass defeated Luke Gallows in a decent match but the antics of Enzo are beginning to make me think that he and Cass could be on the road to a potential break up. The Women’s match and the backstage segment between Bayley and Sasha on this show heightened the rumours that there could be a possible heel turn coming at Fastlane for Sasha and maybe a feud with Bayley leading in to Wrestlemania with a four way being the rumour with Charlotte, Nia Jax, Bayley and Sasha being the rumoured contestants.
Seth Rollins made his first appearance since his injury and have a good promo but was then cut off by HHH who delivered a great speech both hinted at a possible show down between the two but made sure not to make promises if Seth is not cleared.
The Main Event was the best match in WWE this week as Samoa Joe collided with Cesaro. The lead up to this match was interesting as in years gone by WWE have gone out of their way to remind everyone what ever a wrestler did before coming to the WWE did not mean anything once they were in the WWE. These days it seems they can’t wait to mention rivalries that had happened in other companies like NJPW or ROH but still they never talk about TNA ? Anyway this contest was great, Cesaro did a brilliant job of selling his injury and Joe was excellent as the destroyer and his promo after was superb. The one thing I would say is maybe Joe could of been more dominant. I think they are in desperate need for top guys and if the feed a few to Joe over the next few months and let him completely destroy them then that will help get Joe to where they need him to be. I did like the brawl between Sami and Joe, while I understand a lot of the critics of Zayn I believe he has improved since the turn of the year and is one if the only true baby faces on Raw and he put in an excellent showing in thus brawl with a dive of the stage. But if they want to build Joe like I think they do then they will have to let him destroy Sami at Fast Lane.
The last segment of the show was another pointless contract signing but what looked so predictable turned into ab insane frenzy with Strowman and Reigns literally tearing the house down. I loved every minute of this both did an excellent job of hyping up the match for Fast Lane but who ever wins that one should make things more clear for the plans for Wrestlemania and beyond for these two.
Smackdown was started with John Cena as the guest on Miz TV. I liked every bit of this as Miz and Cena duelled on the mic. Both gave a great performance but then everything these two built up came crashing down as soon as Maryse and Nikki got involved proving that the talents of Miz and Cena are wasted in a Mixed Gender Tag Match at Wrestlemania.
The first actual match was a 2 out of 3 falls match with Becky Lynch defeating Mickie James. I have never been a massive fan of Lynch and my dislike of her grows stronger every time I see her perform. There is not one singular thing that I dislike, it’s a multitude of them that’s the main reason I lost interest in this one. It’s a shame Mickie was on the losing end of this one yet again and I do wonder if she was just bought back to put other women over who are not nearly half as talented as she is.
So the saga over who will be the number one contender at Wrestlemania dragged on in to this show and even after tonight’s show no one is any the wiser on what WWE have planned and many are saying even the WWE are not sure about what to do for the best. Well this match between AJ and Harper was excellent. I felt Harper really showed he is more than capable against performers the statue of AJ Styles and this did him no damage what so ever. AJ winning was the right choice as most people really did not see Harper as a viable contender and who can blame them after the piss poor booking he has had over the last couple of years most would say he is no more than a glorified jobber. Like I said the match itself was excellent both put on a great show, Shane coming out and restarting the match after the ref counted three whilst Harper’s foot was on the rope. The distraction when Harper Superkicked Shane whilst aiming for AJ was enough for AJ to win and told us that if not for that distraction Harper may have been able to pull it off. I see Harper interfering in Wyatt’s match at mania and after that maybe a feud with Bray and or Orton then maybe if he shines give him a shot at a title.
So it was announced for next week there will be a mixed gender tag team match with Cena and Nikki going against the formidable challenge of Carmella and Ellsworth.
Curt Hawkins gave the performance of a life time on this show. He was fed to Dean in impressive fashion as Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Hawkins as soon as the lunatic fringe entered the ring and that was that. Ambrose then turned his attention to Corbin and it seems set that these two will clash at Wrestlemania. The one thing that struck me about this part of the show was the hair on both these two. Both are suffering from Early Male Baldness and I think the comb forward style Ambrose uses really is of putting, his hair gets thinner by the minute and soon there will be no hair too comb forward. As for Corbin he has a great look, is talking better during promos, has improved immensely in the ring but it’s the receding hair line that is what is the main problem for me again like Ambrose they either need to uses some form of Male Baldness pharmaceutical or just shave it all of, maybe a hair vs hair match could help both ? It seems that Natalya may be in line for a shot at the title and why not she more than deserves it after the hard work she had put in over the years and one more run as champ could be good for both Nattie and Smackdown.
The mediocre heel turn of Ziggler did not get any better as he was in another match with Apollo Crews and this time it was a Chairs match. Now for me Ziggler has had his day he is never getting back to being considered a top guy so I think it would benefit others if he was able to help make guys in to top stars like Apollo, who has really been struggling to gain any momentum since moving up to the main roster. With this feud I thought they may of given Apollo a few victories and help start a push but instead he has lost nearly every time he had gone one on one with Ziggler and he is even further away from moving up the card than he was before this feud. He is another that has suffered from the backward booking decisions made by the WWE.
Bray Wyatt was the final segment of the show and he rambled on for a few minutes before Orton appeared on the Video screen. It seemed that Randy was at the Spiritual Home of Wyatt and after explaining why he joined the Wyatts and his plans the obvious turn everyone had been waiting for finally happened and Orton burnt the hut to the ground. It was a cool ending to the show but it left the question of who is facing Wyatt at Wrestlemania up in the air once more.
Rumours are AJ may face Shane at Mania instead but for me that’s a waste of AJ, he had been the stand out performer on Smackdown since the split and deserves to been in the World title match at Mania. As for Orton and Bray while the story is there is anyone really looking forward to seeing these two clash in a match, it’s something we have seen previously but that was a failure.
The 205 Live episode this week did help build the two matches that are taking place at Fast Lane.
Noam Dar along with his main squeeze Alisha Fox was able to defeat Lince Dorado in a very good opener. The pairing of Dar and Alicia is growing on me every week and I really pleased Noam is flourishing in the WWE, I remember seeing him starting out in the UK Indy scene and to see where he is now is awesome. The most Charismatic man on 205 live was in the ring for an interview along with Tozawa, Aries is coming back very soon according to the video package that played on Raw and on 205. Yet again Tozawa was given another lesson by Kendrick and this feud is really starting to get much better. Kendrick is a great talker and is really helping Tozawa in that department by not letting him say much and with every sneak attack it’s really building up to where you really want to see Tozawa kick Kendrick’s arse.
I was really impressed with the team of Daivari, Gulak and Neese in the six man tag match against Perkins, Alexander and Mustafa Ali. All six guys are amazing to watch in the ring, while some work needs doing on their gimmicks, this match they put together was flawless.
A State of Address for 205 Live was delivered by the ‘King of the Cruiserweights’ Neville. He was cut off by Gentleman Jack Gallagher and the two conversed before a brawl broke out and then the line if the week was delivered by Aries on commentary ‘Dress Shoes Dropkicks’. Gallagher got the better of Neville in this scuffle and it really helped set up the match at Fast Lane for the title. I don’t see the title changing hands as since Neville debuted, turned heel and then became champ this show had gotten ten times better over that span of time.
There was two titles matches on NXT this week, but before that we were treated to a match between Shawn Malouda and Patrick Clark. Both are still young and trying to find a gimmick that works. It seems Malouda is going for the generic Samoan gimmick like others have from his family but Patrick Clark is really trying something different and it’s gonna take time but it could work if given a chance. And with a victory for Clark this may be the start of that chance lets see if he sinks or swims only time will tell.
The first title on the line was Asuka defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Peyton Royce. Even with Billie Kay in the corner distracting Asuka every chance she could and help her pal gain any advantage in their quest to take the belt away from Asuka but it was not to be a Asuka was as impressive as ever in her defence of the gold. After the match both Kay and Royce double teamed Asuka only to be stopped by Ember Moon who took out both women and then we saw what may be coming in the near future as both Moon and Asuka starred each other up and down.
#DIY had their rematch for the tag titles against The Authors of Pain in a match that I thought was even better than the previous one between the two teams in San Antonio. As it seemed like the titles may change hands out came the Revival and spoilt it for everyone by taking out DIY and then Authors of Pain with a few very impressive Shatter Machine’s. It seems that we may see a Triple Threat Tag Match at the next NXT Takeover show but I’m sure I’m not the only one who is baffled by the fact that the Revival are still in Developmental and not on the main roster yet .
Another good week of Entertainment from WWE the consistency over this period of the year needs to be spread out throughout the rest of the year. It’s a shame they can’t be this good all year round.
Fast Lane is on Sunday and the line up is decent so here is my predictions hopefully I will get more right this time than I did at the last PPV ( join me live on twitter during the show for Top Bants @UWReviews)
Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick vs Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa
Prediction: Swann and Tozawa win
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
Prediction: Sasha wins
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville (C) vs Jack Gallagher
Prediction: Neville Retains
WWE Tag Team Championship
Gallows and Anderson (C) vs Enzo and Cass
Prediction: New Champs Enzo and Cass
WWE Women’s Championship
Bayley (C) vs Charlotte
Prediction: Bayley retains with a possible heel turn from Sasha after the match.
Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn
Prediction: Joe is gonna kill Sami
Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns
Prediction: Super Reigns is victorious
WWE Universal Championship
Kevin Owens (C) vs Goldberg
Prediction: Owens holds on to gold after DQ caused by run in from either Jericho or Lesnar