I didn’t think the Smackdown could top Raw this weak, but I was wrong. Either way, both shows were strong and WWE is proving that they’re on a roll early in this Mania season.
The championship just looked right on Bray Wyatt. Along with that, his promo was fitting and it felt quite epic. However, it was for the best that he didn’t go on for too long, because he may have lost the crowd.
Seeing that Cena and Wyatt were set to square off later on the show, it only made sense for John to interrupt Wyatt’s promo. It also made a ton of sense for AJ to show up, as he had every right to demand a rematch for the WWE title. At this point it was only right to make the main event for this show a triple threat. I marked out when Bryan made that announcement, as I’d consider it to be Wrestlemania main event worthy.
The Ascension vs American Alpha
The Ascension have been gaining a bit of momentum, and that added to the excitement of this match. It simply goes to show to what some subtle booking can do for lower card wrestlers.
As for the actual match, it wasn’t anything too great. The first bit felt a tad bit unsynchronized, and the rest was a typical American Alpha come back win. The main highlight was easily the video promo from the Usos.
James Ellsworth vs Dean Ambrose/ Ambrose-Corbin Brawl
I absolutely the idea of this match. Like Bryan said in their backstage promo, these to had some unsettled business and it needed to be settled. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t see the ass kicking Ellsworth deserved. Instead we were given a great spot with Baron Corbin viciously throwing Dean through a table. I’d consider that to be a strong kick off to their eventual Mania feud.
Mickey James vs Becky Lynch
They could’ve held off on this match for at least another week or two. Their match from Elimiantion Chamber was far from the hottest thing on that show, and it certainly needed some more build.
While I did criticize the decision to book the match, it was actually better than their meeting at Elmination Chamber. The back and forth was a lot more even, allowing for this to feel unpredictable. The pacing was fluid and the two showed to have more chemistry when they initially wrestled.
In my opinion, the finish to the match was well orcastrated. It didn’t feel to cheap, and it furthered this program for at least another week.
Naomi/Alexa Bliss Promo
There’s no hiding that Alexa was the highlight of this promo. Naomi was decent, but it was crucial that Alexa used this moment to gain heat for their feud.
AJ Styles vs John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
Luke Harper attacking Bray Wyatt before the match was a complete swerve. I legitimately shouted “oh shit!” when Haprer appeared. That was certainly a fun way to start the action. To make matters better, the match itself started off at a great pace.
From the start, these three showed to have an incredible amount of chesmitry. While they utilized signature moves, they weren’t fully overdone. When done correctly, stuff like that adds a lot to the match and the intensity.
When AJ put Wyatt through the table, I didn’t think this contest could get any better, but I was wrong. Even after a huge spot like, these three found ways to keep the crowd on edge. There were a few near falls, although they were done well without spamming finishing maneuvers.
By the time everything was said and done, I thought everybody involved looked great. Cena was able to dominate, AJ was able to use skill to stay competitive, and Wyatt properly used his crafty ways to gain an advantage. With that being said, it was incredible to see Wyatt gain a clean win, especially over Cena. That truly means the company is behind him.
Like most people, I assumed Orton would deliver a RKO to Bray when he came out, but this turned out to be a pleasant swerve. Now that Orton has swore his alligence to Bray, us fans should be in for an entertaining Wrestlemania build.
This was honestly the best possible follow up to Elimination Chamber as each feud was given the right amount of spotlight. I believe everything about this episode was done well enough to stretch these programs for the next month.
The low point of the show was the Ascension vs American Alpha, while the high point was main event. Overall, I give this show an 8.5/10.