Before we begin, an important observation about this week's RAW and Smackdown Live:
In the 5 hours of live "wrestling" this week, WWE managed to put on 6 matches. Two were multi-person/team "Battle Royals," two others were singles matches and the last two were tag matches. Guess how many of each were on each show. If they can only fit in 6 matches in 5 hours over two days, prepare to strap in because Wrestlemania features 10 matches, plus a Flo Rida concert, plus the Hall of Fame segment, plus 10-15 minutes of WWE declaring Wrestlemania the greatest night in human history, in a scheduled 4-hour run time (Not counting the 2-hour Pre-Show and it's 3 scheduled matches).
So what DID happen on WWE TV this week?
The show began with one of WWE's most favouritest things, the Promo Train. Bayley came to the ring, and was interrupted by Charlotte, who was interrupted by Sasha, who was interrupted by Nia Jax. Each woman in their own way predicted victory at their Fatal 4-Way which was also suddenly an Elimination match. We then found out they also had a tag match right then.
1. Bayley and Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax
Bayley and Sasha got the win with a Belly-To-Bayley and then Nic Jax killed everyone. Charlotte was still there too.
In the Back, Sami Zayn was mourning a recently-fired Mick Foley and decided to enter the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, because that's way cooler than what he was doing last year. Stephanie McMahon then popped into frame like an RKO and told Sami he'd had to earn his spot in the Battle Royal by defeating Kevin Owens in a no DQ match, or she's going to fire him. Harsh, but fair.
To break up the monotony, Seth Rollins then met Triple H in the ring for the WWE's second favouritest thing, a Contract Signing! If you've never seen one, they all break down like this:
Wrestler A: I don't like you, so sign this contract and we can fight.
Wrestler B: I don't like you either (angrily scrawls name on contract)
Wrestler A: (Signs as well). Cool.
Then they punch each other in the face a lot.
Seth & HHH's "Hold Harmless" contract signing went like like this :
HHH: I used to like you, so sign this contract and we can fight.
Seth: I don't like you anymore either (angrily scrawls name on contract).
HHH: (Signs as well). Cool.
Then they punched each other in the face (And knees!) a lot.
2. Over The Top Rope Challenge
The second "match" of the night was an over-the-top-rop Battle Royal to... I dunno, prove how tough Big show is? Big Show eliminated Jinder Mahal, Bo Dallas, and both members of the Shining Stars. Then all this guys got BACK in the ring alone with Golden Truth and Curtis Axel to eliminate Big Show. Big Show then beat everyone up until Braun Strowman showed to up to say "hey. I could beat you up. But I don't feel like it right now." And then... it was just... over.
At the beginning of the show we were treated to footage of the Undertaker (or someone wearing an Undertaker mask) hanging out in a graveyard, alluding to the ring being his yard, but the graveyard being Roman Reigns' yard, but both were undertaker's yard and he was going to put Roman in the ground, about a yard down. So, Roman made his way to the ring to say "...what?" And then talk about the size of his dog. Undertaker confused that with "dong" and climbed up from under the ring to face Roman. Undertaker then made the lights go out again as the show went to commercial.
When we came back, there was supposed to be a match between The Club and Enzo Amore and Big Cass, but Cesaro and Sheamus, who were there too, attacked The Club with a LADDER. Then The Club retaliated by attacking them with a LADDER. So Enzo and Cass joined the fray, attacking everyone with a LADDER.
In an unrelated note, late Tuesday WWE announced that the Triple Threat Tag Team Match at Wrestlemania would be a LADDER match.
3. No Disqualification Match: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
The Main Event, Non-Talking Division was the fifth meeting between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens since WWE assured us their feud was over forever. Samoa Joe and Chris Jericho both arrived to employ the deadliest weapon in any WWE star's arsenal, the distraction. This allowed Sami to get the win and a ticket into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, a match that Mojo Rawley gets to be in simply for existing, on the Wrestlemania Pre-Show.
Finally in the real and true Main Event, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg both came out and sweat a lot while they stared at each other real hard. Then Goldberg speared Lesnar because he's 100% not losing his Universal Title at Wrestlemaina in a match that's sure to go the distance, producing blood, sweat and tears in what will surely be a classic match to be enjoyed by the ages.
Over on the Blue Side, I wasn't sure if Smackdown, given it's shorter run time of only 2 hours was going to be able to get to the same level that Raw was at this week, but I have to say; they did not disappoint.
The show began with AJ Styles and Shane McMahon in the ring for... A CONTRACT SIGNING!
Presided over by Daniel Bryan, the two took about 15 minutes to assure everyone that unlike last year, when Shane did an exciting thing by jumping off the Hell In A Cell-Cell, their match this year would feature NOTHING. That's right. No Gimmick, no stipulation, no strange rules, just straight-up, good ol' fashioned wrestling with count outs and everything. Needless to say the crowd was very confused by this concept.
1.1 Carmella with James Ellsworth vs Becky Lynch
The first match of the night also featured Alexa Bliss and Mickie James on commentary that was obviously better than the match they were watching because Smackdown went to commercial and when we came back, the match had been changed to:
1.2 Carmella with James Ellsworth and Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James and Becky Lynch.
Of course, this couldn't go uninterrupted and Natalya came down to pick up the commentary baton, which caused a distraction so Carmella could get the win.
Then, after ANOTHER commercial break (during which I can only assume all five women just stood around looking at their watches) Natalya jumped into the ring and a brawl began, only to be interrupted by the returning Naomi who announced she was in the Women's Title Match that no one else had to announce their intentions to be in.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Why would hometown favourite Naomi, who'd been on the shelf with an injury and would be a logical surprise return at Wrestlemania show up now? That would have made for one of the best crowd reactions and Wrestlemania moments on the Card, wouldn't it?
In an unrelated note, WWE announced late Wednesday that the Smackdown Women's Title Match had been moved to the pre-show that no one watches, presumably in favour of a segment where Flo Rida beats up Heath Slater.
Up next, The Miz and Maryse showed the final instalments of their Total Bellas parody. At the end of the film, Miz dropped his act and cut a really intense promo on Cena and Nikki... who promptly showed up in the Ring so Cena could talk at the couple about how they are the ones who are the ball-lickers and other such cutting barbs as "you're not the "it" couple, you're the 'shhhhhhh it' couple."
Then Miz & Maryse left and Cena & Nikki made out. WRESTLEMANIA!
2. 10-Man Tag Team Match: Heath Slater and Rhyno, American Alpha, and Mojo Rawley defeated Breezango, The Usos, and Dolph Ziggler.
Mojo Rawley won. That's it. That's all you need to know.
3. Luke Harper vs Bray Wyatt.
The main event of the evening was Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt having a "Who Wears The Black Tank Top Better" match. Unfortunately, since there was about 4 minutes left of the show, they wrestled for 2 of them, then Randy Orton popped up on the video screen as Bray won the match. What followed next was literal gibberish as Randy talked very slowly about nothing intercut with footage of vipers eating things.
So, everything is set and Wrestlemania week is underway! The Card for the Showcase of The Immortals (whatever that means) is:
- The Fourth Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal - Big Show, Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley and more
- SmackDown Women's Championship Match - Champion Alexa Bliss vs all female SmackDown LIVE Superstars who are available to compete, including Naomi
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match - Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
- WWE Championship Match - Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton
- Universal Championship Match - Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
- The Phenom vs. The Big Dog - The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
- Power Couples Collide - John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
- Non-Sanctioned, I mean "Hold Harmless" Match - Seth Rollins vs. Triple H
- SmackDown LIVE Commissioner vs. The Phenomenal One - Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
- Raw Women's Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match - Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
- United States Championship Match - Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens
- Intercontinental Championship Match - Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin
- Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match - Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
I'll have predictions right here Friday afternoon and will be live tweeting during the event if you'd like to follow along! See ya then!