Figured I would re-post last year’s show with some updated thoughts/sarcastic comments.
March 11, 2018
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton
Kickoff : Mojo Rawley, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs Tye Dillinger and Breezango
This was the kickoff match so I wasn’t expecting much but this was kind of fun. Breezango is always hilarious. Tye is still really over despite all but being off TV for weeks at a time. Chad Gable is a god among men and his partners are both crazy strong and athletic, so everyone held up there end. Nothing memorable but a nice appetizer for the upcoming show. (So Tye is gone and other than Gable, most of these guys are somehow worse off than they were last year. Got it.)
Winner: Tye got the win for his team with the “Perfect 10” knee to Mojo.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev (w/ Aiden English)
I really liked this opener. It wasn’t an all time classic or anything but it did it’s job. Nakamura CAN’T lose right now so the result wasn’t in doubt, but they gave Rusev enough offense where he didn’t look like a complete loser. There were several spots where it looked like they might do something crazy and give the guy a win, but realistically that wouldn’t work. The match was good but not great and both men looked alright coming out of it. This Rusev popularity is something that doesn’t appear to be going away so they better act on it. (So they kinda acted on the Rusev thing a little bit but overall the potential that both guys had as draws was completely flushed away in the last year. Ridiculous.)
Winner: Nakamura got the pin following the Kinshasa.
United States Championship: Randy Orton vs (C) Bobby Roode
This was bland as hell. Technically fine, both men are great wrestlers but it was just kinda boring. The build up wasn’t all that great and couldn’t cover up the sheer “blah” I felt while watching it. Other than the ending, I didn’t feel any sense of urgency out of either guy. It was just a match to have a match and didn’t do it for me. (That sums up both guys perfectly honestly.)
Winner: Randy nails the RKO of a Blockbuster attempt for the win. NEW CHAMPION!
- After the match Jinder arrives to cause carnage. In the end Bobby layed out both guys with the Glorious DDT to stand tall. We are soooo getting that 3-way at WrestleMania kids. (Actually a 4-way.)
- Sami and Kevin discuss their issues. Kevin seems thrown off.
Naomi and Becky Lynch vs Natalya and Carmella
This match started out really good… but then got less good the further along it went. Towards the ending there were several issues that stuck out. This was just another way to fill the card and get some more people a payday, so that’s fine. I really wish they would have given us a reason to care about this other than a Twitter feud with a whole 5 days of build. It was fine. (I don’t remember this at all. Becky is sure in better shape this year though.)
Winner: Carmella got the superkick on Becky after a slight Natalya distraction.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: New Day (w/ Big E) vs (C) The Usos
This was obviously on it’s way to being the best match of the night before the ending. No matter what combination of the New Day you put with the Usos they have a great match. This time they were stealing the other team’s move-sets and it was great. This was easily the best match on the card at this point but unfortunately they have to move the story along at some point and they chose this match to do it. The Bludgeon Brothers came in an destroyed everything in their path (it had to be done really) to finally pay off all of those stare downs they have been having. I’ll be honest though the sickest thing of the night so far was Xavier taking that powerbomb on the steps…it looked like he got hurt. Let’s hope he didn’t. (So the BB’s are no more. The New Day is in a weird spot waiting for Kofi’s push. Meanwhile the Usos are tag champs again. Essentially we are in the same spot.)
Winner: No contest due to the Bludgeon Brothers killing fools.
- AJ and Shinsuke have a heart to heart about their upcoming MOTYC at WrestleMania. These guys are going to kill it and in a just world this is your main event. (It wasn’t the main and the match was good but not great.)
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ruby Riott vs (C) Charlotte Flair
Both ladies came out by themselves but of course it didn’t stay that way. I really liked this match because it made Ruby look like she can hang with Charlotte while still making Charlotte look like a world beater. The ladies outside the ring getting tossed was fun and it was a twist to have the babyface (Becky Lynch and Naomi, I had to look it up because last year I didn’t think about the future apparently.) ladies be the first to go. Ruby did well enough for herself where she should still be in the title hunt and that makes me happy. Charlotte had to get the strong win because now we know her WrestleMania opponent. (Charlotte in a title match at Mania will happen for as long as Vince lives.)
Winner: Charlotte got the win following a spear and Figure 8.
- After the match the music Charlotte Flair LEAST wanted to hit hits and out walks Asuka. We get our sign point and another awesome WrestleMania match. I’m pumped for this one too. (Amazing match.)
WWE Championship 6-pack Challenge: John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin vs (C) AJ Styles
I hope we are finally at our destination with this stuff after 9 months of buildup. Shane screwing both Sami and Kevin out of the championship really needs to set something up for WrestleMania now. The match was fine and John Cena nailing an AA on everyone only for them to gang up and kick his ass was hilarious. Everyone looked good at times but there was a lot of laying around as well. It was match of the night but it wasn’t a high bar to cross really. (Another match that could have been way better. To take stock, KO is going for the same belt Sunday. Dolph is a comedian. Sami is still on the IR. Corbin is going to get squashed this year and AJ is kind of a non factor. I didn’t see most of that coming.)
Winner: AJ got the victory after hitting the Phenomenal Forearm on Owens (with a LOT of Shane McMahon shenanigans).
Overall Thoughts: It wasn’t a spectacular show but it had it’s moments of awesomeness. The really positive thing is it moved some of the WrestleMania stories along. Nakamura and AJ is now set, that makes everyone happy. Charlotte and Asuka is now pretty much a lock and that also rules. Shane, Sami and Kevi look like their issue is finally coming to a head so that’s another plus. Also John Cena is…well he is still story line screwed. All that is relatively good news except one problem…ALL OF THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED ON TV AND NOT A PPV. Other than that the show was fine. (This was not a very memorable show. I really hope the 2019 version exceeds it by a mile.)
Check this show out now on the WWE Network.
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