Brock Lesnar is the first one to grace us with his presence today. He is joined as usual by his advocate Paul Heyman. They get glee out the replay footage of Reigns beating. Heyman informs us that Reigns is not there tonight. Heyman admits that they hired the US Marshals which makes them the heels except it’s 2018 so they get cheered anyway. Roman Reigns comes through the crowd after Heyman finishes up. Reigns tosses Lesnar into a post. Reigns hits him with chairs. Lesnar recovers enough to overhead throw suplex Reigns. Lesnar levels him with the steps. Lesnar tosses him into the ring, hits him with the steps again. Lesnar wears him out with a chair. He tops it off with with an F5 onto the stairs.
I feel bad for these announcers who have to pretend that these beatings to Reigns mean something. The outcome at Wrestlemania is so predictable in his favor. Nia Jax gets to watch more of the hurtful footage because the WWE likes to torture her. Mickie James comes out after the footage with Alexa Bliss. James is wrestling Jax. I have to wonder why the WWE wants all of their challengers and title holders look weak going into their title matches. James dominates the match until a Gorilla Press into a Samoan Drop for the win by Jax.
So this WWE video package is killing me, I’m fine with the angle they’re going with (again, I’m not buying what they’re selling because HHH & Stephanie McMahon are executives now and Ronda Rousey is going to be a regular performer) but they keep talking about how Rousey is coming into their world, yet nearly the whole video package focused on Stephanie boxing, which isn’t wrestling! Keep showing her highlights from the ring. She had to have won more matches than the one Pedigree they showed.
Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali are taking on TJ Perkins & Drew Gulak. Drake Maverick is on the head set. They do a good job of hyping Alexander vs Ali while tossing in some commentary. Alexander gets tagged from behind but doesn’t know it. Lumbar Check. Ali gets the pin with the inverted 450.
The Miz wants to talk about the state of the Miztourage. They seem happy about their job. The Miz isn’t happy about their performance though. Seth Rollins comes out before the issue can be resolved. He tries to help it along by saying that they should be appreciated for the fact that he wouldn’t have the Intercontinental Title if it weren’t for them. Finn Balor comes out and resolves this problem. He mentions that Bo Dallas called The Miz a phony A lister. The Miz boasts that they need to be focused on his title reign because he could be better than a bunch of IC Champions then mentions Mr. Perfect. Curtis Axel appears to turn on him to but it was a rouse. They attack Balor & Rollins. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson make the save by attacking Dallas & Axel. Sling Blade by Balor. The Miz rolls out before Rollins can Stomp him.
Kane had a promo. He tells John Cena he is going to Hell. Sucks for him.
Asuka comes out. Here entrance is longer than her match with Jackie Frost. Finally, a good old squash match for a change. Congratulations! A challenger looked strong.
I think my favorite thing in wrestling right now is Corey Graves explanations of the Woken Universe. Also got a kick out of the tweet calling Michael Cole an Obsolete Mule too. Good gravy, funny stuff. Matt Hardy has created such a great character. He declares in his own unique way to be in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Bayley is entering the Women’s Battle Royal. Sasha Banks wants to clear the air. They do just that and end up fighting back stage. Good old fashioned back stage brawl. Nicely done.
Braun Strowman comes out. He still hasn’t chosen a partner for WM. He is fighting Sheamus tonight. Cesaro comes out with him. They have figured him out. He catches people by surprise so they want to take that element away from him. Strowman offers to answer if Sheamus can beat him. Strowman clobbers Sheamus with a reverse Beats of Balorin and flips him out of the ring. Strowman misses a kick which creates an opening. Sheamus works over both and knee and arm. Cesaro tries to pop Strowman. The ref notices. Sheamus tries to take advantage but doesn’t. Corner splash. Power Slam for the win.
Kurt Angle comes out to introduce Ronda Rousey. Angle assures her that she’s ready for Wrestlemania. He also warns her that it won’t be easy. She wants to earn everything that she gets in the WWE. She calls Steph “limousine tough” and a few other insults. She’s ready to rip her arm out. Paige & Absolution interrupt her. She offers Ronda a spot in Absolution. Ronda politely declines. Paige tries to tell her not to cross the boss. Paige makes the offer again. Rousey turns her down again. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville come in to attack. Rousey clobbers Deville. She suplexes a cowering Rose. Rousey looking strong. Maybe the WWE got the message that Wrestlemania is in under 2 weeks.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson have a match against Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel. Anderson & Gallows get the “need to get a win to get it going again” talk from the announcers. Boot of Doom gets broken up by Bo Dallas. Gallows takes out Dallas. Magic Killer for the win.
Elias always gets the crowd to do the “Walk With Elias” part then craps on them every week. It’s pretty funny that people boo instead of cheering. Rhyno is his opponent. Drift Away for a quick win. The biggest focus of the match was Elias possibly being Braun’s partner. Elias attacks Heath Slater after the match.
I got to save a Smackdown Live sized chunk of time by blowing through the John Cena/Undertaker video package. He and Kane are having a No DQ match for the main event. This match escalates quickly. Cena ends up sitting up like The Undertaker. He then fires up. Five Knuckle Shuffle. Tosses Kane into an exposed turn buckle. Choke Slam by Cena only gets a two count. Kane sits up while Cena sets up a table. They exchange and Kane comes out on top with an upper cut. Kane tosses Cena through a table propped up in the corner. Cena kicks out at two. Kane brings in another table. He gets put through it with an AA for a Cena win. Cena wonders where Undertaker is. He screams for him. Cena wants a Yes or No after getting the crowd to chant for him. Cena wants an answer by next week. I hope it’s no. – Kevin DiFrango