SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
CHARLOTTE THE NEW CHAMPION…
Recap: During a backstage interview, Becky Lynch emphasized that Charlotte Flair was a “third wheel” in the WrestleMania Triple Threat. Charlotte then came to the stage and objected to that characterization, saying she’d show how deserving she was.
After a commercial break, an unadvertised title match between Asuka and Charlotte was announced. The announcers acted shocked.
The two had a very solid match that ended with Charlotte submitting Asuka with the Figure 8 to win the title.
Evaluation: It has seemed for a while like WWE has been moving toward unifying the women’s divisions. The women’s tag titles are already on both shows, as are Becky, Charlotte, and Ronda. Now that both titles are in the WrestleMania main event, it seems likely the match will be winner take all.
Forecast: Ultimately the unified titles should be a good thing, as there aren’t enough women to support two titles and a tag title. With SmackDown moving to Fox soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually all the titles are unified.
MIZ & SHANE FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE…
Recap: Miz came out at the bottom of the first hour for a promo. He said that while he’s always excited for WrestleMania, this year it was personal. He said he wanted to face Shane in a falls count anywhere match.
Shane then came out surrounded by security and lover card heel wreslters. He said that every since he laid a beating on Miz’s dad, he had been watching the video over and over and felt great about it. He said he felt euphoric, accepted the stipulation, and said Miz asking for it was the biggest Miz-take since his father impregnated his mother.
Miz charged Shane but was intercepted by Shelton Benjamin. Shelton, Sanity, and others attacked Miz, but Miz made a comeback as Shane retreated.
Evaluation: Shane was a good heel here, and the fans are behind Miz as a face. This angle is working.
Forecast: Miz gets a feel good victory over Shane at WrestleMania.
KOFI HEADED TO WRESTLEMANIA…
Recap: New Day led off the show with a promo detailing how Kofi had been mistreated over the past 11 years. They said they had considered quitting WWE. They then called Vince McMahon to the ring.
Vince came down. Before he could say much, Daniel Bryan and Rowan came out. They again referred to Kofi as a “B+ Player.” He told Vince to let the New Day quit if they were disgruntled, as they could be easily replaced by three wrestlers from NXT throwing waffles into the crowd.
Vince then told everyone to shut up and also referred to Kofi as a “B+ Player.” He then said he wasn’t sure whether or not Xavier and Big E were a “B+ Tag Team.” He said that Kofi had run out of opportunities, but that if Big E and Xavier could win a tag team gauntlet, Kofi would be in the match at WrestleMania.
In the Main Event, Big E and Xavier defeated Gallows & Anderson, Rusev & Nakamura, and the Bar. After the victory over the Bar, however, the Bar put Big E through a table.
With chances looking slim, the Usos were the next to come out. To the surprise of all, they wished Kofi luck at WrestleMania and forfeited the match.
The last team Big E and Xavier had to face was Daniel Bryan and Rowan. In the match, Big E clotheslined Rowan over the announce table, turned the table onto him, and re-entered the ring, leading to a count out victory.
The show closed with Vince McMahon being interviewed on the way to his limo, saying we’d see if a B+ Player could win at WrestleMania, followed by a shot of the locker room celebrating.
Evaluation: This week was a superfluous way to kill time. It’s not WWE’s fault that the peak of this angle hit too early, since it wasn’t planned, and this certainly wasn’t terrible.
Forecast: With all this build, it certainly seems Kofi is taking the title.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 3/19: Miz Atones, Becky and Charlotte Face Off, Kofi Loses