Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
Return Of The Whack
– Minor to note that there were subtle changes to the opening theme montage. It’s indeed WrestleMania season.
– It was smart to start things off with the returning Randy Orton, whose promo was sensibly to the point, being angry about being taken out by Seth Rollins and The Authority. When they all came out suit-clad, things went back to being same old same old. It seemed that Orton had been cast as the new anti-hero and his reason for revenge was self-explanatory, but with it being so close to Mania, is it best to disappoint fans with his rejoining of The Authority? While it made sense they’d want him back, they needed to hotshot this possibility quickly. Of course, the business meeting segment just hyped further tension between Orton-Rollins, but it’s obvious a Mania match with them is in the cards and it wasn’t worth killing the “return momentum” Orton already had.
– Smart to return from commercial mid-promo from Bad News Barrett.
– The Barrett-Dolph Ziggler match seemed to be a way to get Barrett to beat somebody that had no momentum lately and Ziggler was that guy, while at the same time, able to put on a good television match. R-Truth out on commentary made things a little interesting, assuming that they’re following up on his victory against Barrett on Smackdown. Perhaps a three-way IC Title match at Mania is in order? It’s hard to take Truth seriously though with his win-loss record, though having him say more than the city he’s in and “what’s up” is a step in the right direction. Ziggler getting the win only added to the amount of competitors for this potential Title match. Dean Ambrose’s interaction with Barrett and purposely bumping shoulders with Ziggler only added more fuel to the fire. For what it’s worth though, for Ambrose to talk about giving the IC Title prestige and then steal something that’s not his is kind of contradictory.
– The business meeting segment with The Authority-Orton hyped the tag team main event and while this seemed like a sudden turn of events, it only makes planting tension between Orton and Rollins all the more obvious later on. Like we said before though – is it worth five weeks a wait?
– The Ascension boxed promo had them disrespect another legend and challenge another current tag team. Big whoop. They’re flailing on the main roster.
– The Prime Time Players-The Ascension match was all over the place. Fans aren’t ecstatic about PTP being back and it’s not like we’ve even had a promo explaining their return. Most of the match was Young selling, only to pull out a surprise win. The more noteworthy thing was Ascension being defeated for the first time wasn’t sold like a big happening. It’s just ho-hum.
– The Reigns promo stared with him having a more favorable reaction from the crowd, but will he continue to have that reaction from other cities? Bryan’s interaction with Reigns set up everything well, explaining his rise and fall. Paul Heyman coming out and his interaction was a great followup, though he made some outlandish statements. Reigns’ response was okay in parts, but this still doesn’t have that “big fight” feel to it.
– The Tag Team Championship rematch between Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) and The Usos (w/Naomi) seemed confusing on paper because this sounded like an already planned WrestleMania match. Nevertheless, it was solid while lasted, until Natalya interfered and cost Kidd/Cesaro the match. The controversy surrounding interference might stretch this out a bit more.
– The backstage segment with Damien Mizdow and The Miz continued their tension a bit with Mizdow telling Miz he got a leading role in a movie and Miz only concerned with lint on his jacket. Vintage Miz?
– The Bray Wyatt casket promo continued his streak of solid promos. We have to look forward to Undertaker’s eventual response.
– The Stardust-Jack Swagger originally come off as a squash match for Stardust to be built off of as a despicable character with a little social media to explain the match. Except that went the other way with Goldust coming out to distract Stardust to get caught in the Patriot Lock in a loss. How can we take Stardust seriously?
– The In-ring segment with Cena, Rusev and Lana was pretty good, but not as good as their previous segments. It just put into perspective the FastLane match and had more of a “Continental Feud” feel to it. This now gives him more of an out to win the United States Championship – “for the country.” Meh. Rusev saying no is something for now, but we know it’s going to happen sooner than later. Ironically, Cena’s attire was almost the same as the Russian colors.
– The interaction between Rollins and Orton backstage was good – it established the obvious tension between the two and it wasn’t like it was gone all of a sudden. Orton’s words served to appease Rollins and hyped the main event. It almost seemed as though Orton was letting Rollins into his trap, but that would’ve made sense, which is not what WWE did.
– The Sting video package summed up his WCW persona right from the bleach-blonde hair and face mask into the “Silent Crow” persona in response to the nWo and how he was loyal to WCW and hyped the confirmed WrestleMania match. Why couldn’t WWE give this amount of background and detail into all of their storylines?
– The Paige/Emma-Bellas match was incredibly lame and over in seconds. Emma was brought back without a whimper and this was just a mess. Poor Paige. Is the rest of the Divas division purposely being booked to be boring to make her character more appealing?
– The Bushwhackers being the new HOF inductees was only a matter of time. Cool for them though.
– Curtis Axel’s new t-shirt is great. His entering into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale match along with the Miz served hype to that match. Ryback coming out kind of meant that he’d win undoubtedly and also declare himself as a battle royale contender. Squash affair.
– What a shocker. The “fired/rehired” trio takes on Show/Kane/Rollins on Smackdown.
– The Bryan/Reigns-Orton/Rollins (w/J & J Security, Kane, Show) main event match was solidly wrestled, but the intrigue came from expecting Orton to turn on Rollins and that didn’t quite happen. In essence, now they burned through a vengeful return angle and made Orton look like a chump for going back with the Authority organically. Bad time for the screen to go black too. Orton RKO’ing J & J Security seemed to set the moment up right, but that quickly went away when he tapped Rollins on the shoulder and left the ring. This isn’t the way to make fans excited for WrestleMania, not to even mention that Bryan and Cena don’t have official opponents with just over a month left. What is WWE doing?
– Dolph Ziggler def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall
– The Prime Time Players def. The Ascension via pinfall
– Tag Team Championships – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro def. The Usos via DQ; The Usos retain
– Jack Swagger def. Stardust via pinfall
– The Bella Twins def. Paige/Emma via pinfall
– Ryback def. Curtis Axel via pinfall
– Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton/Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security, Big Show, Kane) via pinfall
Posted in WWE
Tags: Bad News Barrett, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Damien Mizdow, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Emma, J & J Security, Jack Swagger, John Cena, Kane, Lana, Naomi, Natalya, Paige, Paul Heyman, R-Truth, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Stardust, Sting, The Ascension, The Authority, The Bellas, The Big Show, The Bushwhackers, The Miz, The Prime Time Players, The Usos, Tyson Kidd