TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 2/27: Cena’s path to WrestleMania continues, Bryan-Shane angle continues, a serious side of New Day emerges

By Jeff Vandrew Jr., PWTorch Specialistf

John Cena
John Cena (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Cena’s Path Continues…

Recap: The how opened with John Cena in the ring claiming that he was trying to find his path to WrestleMania. He was soon joined by Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. Bryan mentioned that for once, he and Shane were on the same page, and he placed John Cena in a match with AJ Styles, with the stipulation that a win by Cena would get him into the WWE Title match at Fastlane.

Later, on his way to the ring for his match with AJ, Cena had a staredown with Shinsuke Nakamura.

Cena then defeated AJ to earn a spot in the title match at Fastlane.

Evaluation: The Fastlane title match is now becoming almost comical in adding more participants every week. WWE is unfortunately taking Shane McMahon’s comments about more competitors making the match more entertaining to heart.

Fastlane is frankly a farce at this point.

Forecast: If you had asked me last week, I would’ve laughed at the idea of adding even more competitors to the ridiculous Fatal Five Way at Fastlane. Nonetheless, we’re now at a Six Pack Challenge. Honestly, although it would be a terrible idea considering he’s already facing AJ at WrestleMania, I can’t rule out Shinsuke Nakamura being added to make it a seven man match.

The Bryan-Shane Angle Continues…

Recap: Sami Zayn had a match with Baron Corbin, while Kevin Owens was on commentary. Backstage, Shane McMahon expressed dismay that Bryan allowed Owens to be at ringside. During the match, Dolph Ziggler appeared and superkicked Owens. A distracted Zayn was pinned by Corbin after the End of Days, however Corbin then quickly received a Zig Zag from Ziggler.

Backstage, we saw Shane very pleased at Ziggler’s actions. Bryan then asked if he could take the rest of the night off to see his family. Shane happily granted his request.

After the later match between AJ Styles and John Cena, Owens and Zayn attacked Cena and AJ. Dolph Zigger ran in appearing to rescue the faces, but then turned on AJ. Cena responded by putting Ziggler in the AA.

Evaluation: It’s hard to say where the Byran-Shane angle is going, as there was no real advancement tonight, except that based on Shane’s reaction to Ziggler’s attack it’s now possible that Ziggler is working for Shane McMahon.

Forecast: I’m starting to believe that WWE has no plan for this angle and the writers are winging it as they go. I’m not expecting any resolution or advancement at Fastlane, but rather more dragging out of the angle until they figure something out for WrestleMania.

A More Serious New Day…

Recap: The Usos came to the ring with their normal pancake gimmick. They were interrupted, however, by the Usos who criticized their jovial countenance.

Big E responded to the Uso’s criticism by stating that the New Day had broken barriers and accomplished a lot over the past five years He reminded the Usos that the New Day hosted a WrestleMania of which the Usos weren’t even a part.

The Bludgeon Brothers then slowly approached, causing the Usos and New Day to leave the ring.

Evaluation: Big E’s promo was a change of pace from the normal New Day stuff. He actually showed genuine intensity and came across as caring about championships rather than just goofing around. It was a welcome change. The New Day humor is fine, but they should also be able to turn up the intensity when called for.

Forecast: At Fastlane, I would expect the Usos to retain the titles. The close of this segment would have me believe they’ll be facing the Bludgeon Brothers at WrestleMania.

Random Thoughts…

Considering Josh Duhamel was one of the big names fingered by Richard Rodriguez, it was interesting to see him backstage tonight with the Fashion Police…


NOW CHECK OUT THE COLUMN ON RAW: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – RAW 2/26: Cena figures it out, Many possible turns for the women, WrestleMania mixed tag with Rousey takes shape

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