SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Strowman & McIntyre vs. Mace & T-Bar – MISS: Rinse and repeat from last week with Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman switching roles. This doesn’t make either of them look good. It felt repetitive after last week’s main event. It is disappointing that Mace and T-Bar are still calling themselves Mace and T-Bar.
Priest & New Day vs. Miz & Elias & Ryker – MISS: The match wasn’t bad, but it went on forever. The pre-match bit was stupid with the singing and the tomatoes. I don’t want to see Damian Priest brought down to this level by participating in the New Day silliness. How is he supposed to get over when WWE does such a poor job of capitalizing on his WrestleMania match teaming with Bad Bunny? How does he get over when his team takes so long to beat three guys who have been so defined down? He needs to move on from The Miz ASAP.
Sonya and Charlotte – MISS: The only thing worse than a heel authority figure in wrestling is bickering feuding authority figures with poorly defined roles. I was never a fan back in the day of things like Vickie Guerrero undermining Teddy Long’s authority or other similar situations. WWE hasn’t defined the roles of either Adam Pearce nor Sonya Deville. How does she have the authority to overturn a suspension that Pearce made? Can’t he just overturn her overturn (like when you Nope a Nope in Exploding Kittens)? I don’t want to see a referee involved in a storyline. That isn’t interesting. Charlotte Flair was very good in her role and I continue to appreciate her new heel persona. But, the story was a mess.
Sheamus – Carrillo – HIT: This was a good follow up to Sheamus beating up Humberto Carrillo before he had a chance to actually answer the open challenge last week. Carillo has a lot of talent and potential, so it was good to see him getting some revenge this week. He showed good fire in attacking Sheamus. This effectively set up a United States Championship match between these two which should be pretty good.
Lashley & MVP – HIT: Bobby Lashley and MVP did a nice job in this in ring promo talking about the potential for a triple threat match at WrestleMania Backlash. It was good to hear Lashley gloat about beating McIntyre at WrestleMania while complaining about not being treated well as the WWE Champion.
WrestleMania Backlash – MISS: I don’t care that much about the name change of the PPV. Backlash has historically been the backlash of WrestleMania. This just makes it official. It didn’t really bother me until this week when it reached the level of annoying WWE corporate speak. Most people shorten things and give things and people nick names. In WWE, they are instructed to always use the full name. It gets awkward when every singe person in the company says the full name WrestleMania Backlash. At some point in the real world, someone would just say Backlash and it would be ok. It is so overly scripted and makes everyone feel like inhuman corporate puppets.
Team R-K-Bro – HIT: I have to admit to getting a kick out of Randy Orton sort of getting a kick out of Matt Riddle. I’m not sure where WWE is going with their team. The announcers were convinced that Orton was going to do an RKO on Riddle as he was pretending to want to be a team. But he didn’t. You knew he wouldn’t because the announcers are always wrong on everything due to Vince McMahon producing them to try to use reverse psychology on the viewers which backfires constantly. I am curious to see where they go with these two. I also with Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin were treated better than this.
Asuka & Naomi & Lana vs. Ripley & Jax & Baszler – MISS: It is hard to take this match seriously when it was interrupted by Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose to throw water at Jax & Baszler to continue this idiotic storyline about Nia Jax tripping and slipping all the time. At least the right team won as the Tag Team Champions need to be actually treated as a strong team which they seldom are.
Bliss and Lilly – MISS: More of the same crap that has nothing to do with wrestling. Does Alexa Bliss actually wrestle any more?
McIntyre vs. Strowman – MISS: There was enough good wrestling in this main event to give it a Hit. McIntyre and Strowman deserve credit for their effort in the ring. The problem was that you knew that it wasn’t going to end until there was some sort of interference from Bobby Lashley and MVP considering they made it clear that they wanted McIntyre to win in order to keep the Title match from becoming a triple threat. I didn’t expect Mace & T-Bar to also get involved but that just muddied the water further with several interferences in one match. Also, if they are so worried about Drew taking another loss so they had to make it a triple threat so Strowman can do the job, why not have Strowman win the #1 contender match in the first place? I wrote at the time that it was a mistake to have McIntyre win that match as any outcome against Lashley was a bad one. If this was the direction they were heading in, they should have just had Strowman win from the start.
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.