Wrestlemania week has once again come and gone. Wrestling fans all around the world can finally take a second and relax. From Thursday to Tuesday, there was wrestling all around New Orleans. It was all available online for those of us not in New Orleans. I really wanted to go this year, but it is an expensive trip down. Seeing Bourbon Street taken over by wrestling fans is a cool sight though. I really want to find my way to Brooklyn/New Jersey next year for Mania.
Now that Wrestlemania week has come and gone, it is time to look back on it and talk about the positives and negatives from the last few days.
POSITIVE: NXT Takeover
This may have been the best Takeover show to date. Every match delivered in its own way. The ladder match was full of crazy spots and was a great debut for Ricochet in NXT. He may not have won but he came out of the match looking the best. Gargano and Ciampa had a heated brawl that delivered on the build up to their rivalry. Even the tag match, which I would consider to be the “worst” match on the card, was still a good match that had a great story with Roderick Strong turning to join the Undisputed Era. From beginning to end this was a great show and kept us entertained for three hours.
Negative: Ring of Honor Streaming
Supercard of Honor may have been a good show, but ROH’s streaming service was god awful. We didn’t even get a semi-decent stream until the ladder match. And from what I read the first few matches on the show were good. But Ring of Honor should have known that they were going to have a high number of viewers for this show and they had multiple problems throughout it. And their makeup for people, which I believe was discounts on merchandise, wasn’t that great of an offer. Hopefully ROH gets things straightened out for their next big show.
Positive: Ronda Rousey’s Debut
I don’t know if the WWE could have laid out a better match for Ronda Rousey’s debut. The crowd was rabid for her to tag in and get her hands on Stephanie McMahon. And Ronda looked good in the match. People, myself included, were worried that she would look clunky in the ring. Especially with Stephanie who is not much of a natural wrestler. But Ronda looked as smooth as you could hope she looked. The crowd loved her going after Triple H. I don’t want to say she looked as good as Kurt Angle when he first debuted, but I can’t think of a better debut from someone new to wrestling in quite some time. If she can do all of that with just Stephanie McMahon, imagine what she could do with the likes of Becky Lynch or Charlotte?
Negative: Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar
Whoever booked this match should probably lose their job. Sure, the crowd didn’t care. But how hard was it to lay out the match just like they did at Wrestlemania 31? The problem was that the build was focused on Lesnar leaving for UFC, and that didn’t end up happening (at least for now). I would say this was the worst possible outcome for the Mania main event. At least if Reigns won here, the fans could just move on and deal with it. Now we will be forced to deal with more of “will Reigns win the Title or not.”
Positive: The Bullet Club Storyline
While I was slightly disappointed in the Cody/Omega match, I will say that the storyline that played out during the match was fantastic. Cody gets some flack from people about the role he is in (even from me at one point), but he has become a super villain like performer in his role. The drama in the match at the end with the Young Bucks accidentally super kicking Omega giving Cody the win was well done. So was the post match angle with the Bucks trying to apologize to Omega but Omega turning them away. I’ve yet to see the finale of “Being the Elite” but I heard that was good as well. They are building up the Bullet Club story nicely to All In.
Negative: Alberto del Patron
How does this guy still get work? He’s proven to be nothing but a pain in the ass wherever he goes. He was at Impact’s meet and greet then no-shows their big weekend show only hours later. That is so unprofessional on his part. He was a headache in the WWE and his personal problems with Paige were well documented. There was a time in the WWE where I thought he could be a big star. But that faded after Wrestlemania 27. And ever since then I never really bought into the guy. Hopefully no promotion is stupid enough to book him ever again after this weekend’s latest incident.
Positive: Shinsuke Nakamura’s Heel Turn
I was a bit skeptical with Nakamura turning heel after his match with AJ Styles. Maybe it was because I was a bit letdown by the match itself. But I was questioning why the WWE did what they did with Nakamura after giving him so much fanfare and a big entrance leading into the match. But then on Smackdown he seemed like a completely new Nakamura. I got a laugh out of his “Sorry, no speak English” line to Renee Young. Then he looked like a true heel interrupting the Daniel Bryan/AJ Styles match on Smackdown. And the crowd booed him pretty strongly at the end of the show. Maybe heel Nakamura will be the Nakamura we all expected to see when he joined the WWE.
Negative: RAW’s NXT Call Ups
Maybe it is just me, but I wasn’t too inspired with the call ups to RAW from NXT. I think it is too quick for Ember Moon to be up on the main roster. She was just getting her footing in NXT and I thought she was do a rematch with Shayna Baszler. No Way Jose SCREAMS Adam Rose to me. And the Authors of Pain without Paul Ellering will take a bit to get used to. I’m assuming Ellering doesn’t want to go on the road full time, which makes sense. But I was left uninspired with these three debuts by the end of the show.
Positive: Carmella As Smackdown Live Women’s Champion
Carmella reminds me a lot of Alexa Bliss when she first won the Women’s Title. Carmella is a notch below the likes of the Four Horsewomen when it comes to in ring work. But her mic work and work as a heel is top notch. She can talk with the best of the women in the WWE and that is how she will get the crowd heat behind her. I fully expect Carmella’s reign to be a short one, but I think she has the chance to impress and get people behind her. I think Carmella will surprise a lot of people.
Negative: The End Of Rusev Day?
First Rusev eats the pin in the U.S. Title match at Mania. Then he doesn’t win the #1 Contender’s match on Smackdown. Then he is booked to face the Undertaker at the GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE EVER. And then a day later he is out of the match and replaced by Chris Jericho. I’m really starting to wonder what the future of Rusev is in the WWE. I wish he could get released and show up at the G-1 over the summer. Rusev is over and deserves so much more then he is getting in the WWE.
BONUS: Superstar Shakeup Picks
To RAW: Charlotte, Natalya, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Bobby Roode, Rusev, The New Day
To Smackdown Live: Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Bayley, Finn Balor, Gallows and Anderson, The Miz
Until Next Time,
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