WKPWP - Mailbag - Keller & Fann talk WrestleMania line-up
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The KO Show – HIT: The final Smackdown before WrestleMania got off to a good start with the KO Show with Kevin Owens’ guests, A.J. Styles and Randy Orton. This wasn’t as good as the verbal back and forth Styles and Orton had a few weeks ago which really got this feud going. Unfortunately, since then there hasn’t been much to it. This was a good final way to underscore the issues between them heading into their match. It should make Styles’ fans want to see him get the better of Orton on Sunday.
Usos & Ricochet & Black vs. The Bar & Nakamura & Rusev – HIT: This was a good eight-man tag match. The idea was to set up a fatal four way for WM which is the punishment for The Usos for forfeiting in the gauntlet match last week against the Usos. The tag division on Smackdown is much better than Raw so it is nice that they are getting a WM match. But, the fatal four way doesn’t seem like that much of a punishment to me. And I wish it was clear as to whether Alexa Bliss was making the match or just announcing it. If she did make it, it should be clear why she as the host has the power to do that.
IIconics – MISS: I need to go back and re-watch the IIcontics in NXT. I just don’t remember them being this annoying. I don’t remember them being this screechy. I recall them having a good heel act without being so over the top with change the channel heat like they are on Smackdown. Am I misremembering? Now whenever they get a microphone, I start to reach for the remote control.
Miz vs. Sanity – MISS: I don’t see The Miz as a badass who can take on three men like Sanity in a falls count anywhere match and win fairly easily. Not all babyfaces have to be that type of character. I’m not a fan of Sanity. The three wrestlers aren’t that good, so I’m not worried about them being protected. But, this still felt unbelievable to me. And I also question the idea of using a specific stipulation in a match to hype another match which will have the same exact stipulation. It is overkill. The best part of this was when Shane McMahon interrupted the match to make it falls count anywhere and the ring announcer started to announce him a second time, but Shane waived him off. That was a nice moment, but the match itself didn’t work.
Becky Lynch – HIT: The presentation with Becky Lynch standing on the announce table and cutting a promo was unique. One of the reasons Becky got over with the fans last year was her strong babyface mic work, before she developed The Man persona. Add that to her already great mic skills and she has really taken off as a character and she did a great job here. I still wish she was facing Ronda Rousey one-on-one. I have no doubt that she would be getting much stronger reactions if Charlotte Flair hadn’t been injected into this with such a terrible convoluted storyline.
18 Person Tag – MISS: There isn’t a reason to hype the two WM battle royals. They are meaningless. Naomi winning last year didn’t do anything for her career. Same can be said for Matt Hardy and Mojo Rawley when they won theirs. It is simply a way to get everyone on the roster (other than the cruiserweights) on the WM show. They are on the pre-show where they belong, so neither is even a PPV match. So, why waste time with silly stuff like this match?
Joe vs. Ali – HIT: This Hit is for Samoa Joe getting a strong win over a fairly credible opponent in Mustafa Ali (I’m ignoring the stupidity of WWE getting rid of his first name). I really wonder what WWE’s plan was for Elimination Chamber and Fastlane if Ali hadn’t gotten injured. Kofimania would not have happened. Was Ali supposed to have that strong showing in the gauntlet? Would he have faced Daniel Bryan at Fastlane? Would we be getting Kevin Owens in the WWE Title match at WM?
Contract Signing – HIT: This go home show which started off well ended well also. Bryan and Kofi were both good in their performances in talking about their WWE Title match at WM. WWE finally put the heat on Kofi vs. Bryan instead of Kofi vs. Vince McMahon. It was smart not to have Vince on at all. They took far too long telling the story of Kofi trying to earn this shot so by the time we actually got there, they didn’t have enough time to tell the story of Kofi vs. Bryan. This contract signing was good, but too late. The story is just about wanting to see Kofi win, which is good, but could be so much better.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell’s views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET’s “Hitlist” section here.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JonMezzera.