Insecurities, man. What other explanation do we have for how Becky Lynch behaved on this show?
Stephanie McMahon opened the show by bringing up the obvious to Lynch; sure, you can avoid doctors. But if you cannot get medically cleared for WrestleMania, you can’t wrestle. And I know we’re just generally accustomed to Stephanie being a villain, but there was nothing villainous about her on this show. She held her tongue when Lynch insulted her and tried to look out for her talent.
And yet Becky Lynch assaulted her boss for doing a very fair thing on this show.
Some folks will say that means Lynch is a heel, but I really don’t agree with that. Instead, I think we’re seeing the crack in her persona of being “The Man.” Remember what happened to get Lynch to this point; she suffered defeat after defeat, setback after setback, before finally standing up for herself – and more importantly believing in herself. For not apologizing for shooting for the top and taking no prisoners along the way. That’s what won her the fan support.
Don’t you think she’s scared that all of that will be for naught if she’s truly hurt? That’s really the only explanation that makes sense for her actions to me. And if I’m right, I think it’s a nice, humanizing touch.
As for Lynch’s opponent at WrestleMania, Ronda Rousey’s insecurity is plain as day. She came out fuming after Lynch’s segment and tore through the Riott Squad. She grabbed a mic and cut a frazzled promo to goad Sarah Logan into a match after defeating Liv Morgan. She wanted Ruby too, but the Squad ran off before Rousey could complete the trifecta.
So...yeah! None of this was all that entertaining, but it was good character work, I guess?
Kurt Angle, this is your life
C’mon. Don’t act like that Angle promo didn’t sound like a this is your life segment.
Essentially, Angle isn’t happy with how things are going for him as a wrestler. Despite being a legend and all that, father time is getting the best of him. Corbin and McIntyre interrupted to threaten ending his career, Braun Strowman helped level the playing field...tag team match, playa!
The match was fine, I guess. The point of this one was to really call back to Angle’s past failures. He had to break an Ankle Lock to get to his tag team partner, for example. And when it felt like this match really had a chance to be something good...Strowman got his team disqualified.
Why does Strowman do these things? He kept trying to beat up the baddies after the bell, but caught a Claymore to the face. He was able to recover before McIntyre and Corbin could put Angle through the steel steps...but that’s how the show ended.
What was this? I’m struggling to figure out what comes next, do you know what I mean? Does this become an Angle vs. Strowman match at WrestleMania or something? Your guess is probably as good as mine.
Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox and Nikki Cross – This was an Elimination Chamber qualifier and Nikki Cross was brilliant in telling the story here. Since no one wanted to “play” with her, she found Fox and is ready to dish out some chaos. That chaos came by attacking Bayley and Banks during their entrance and getting a leg up in their match.
Banks must be one of the people injured right now because she didn’t do a lick in this match except sell on the apron. And hey, I would be too after that vicious match she had with Rousey. I feel like I’ve been pretty cynical with this review, but even my heart melted when Bayley found a way to get the win and Banks ran into the ring to cling to her best friend.
The Revival win a title shot - ...Didn’t SmackDown just do this four-way tag match for a title shot gimmick? And didn’t they do it better? This match didn’t click with me which is unfortunate. It was used to show off the new team of Heavy Machinery as well and I can’t say I’m all that enthused about them. With that said, I think the Revival’s the right choice here. They’re the only team I trust on Raw to tear it down with Bobby Roode and Chad Gable – and WWE’s tag team scene desperately needs that to happen.
Started from the bottom and I’m still at the bottom... - Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins got together backstage to bemoan their fate a bit before rallying to embrace their professional failures. In the end, they’re ready to work together and start the climb back up. This should be a fun little journey, although it already feels reminiscent of the B-Team.
Rollins recap video - #NotMyMainEvent
Elias def. Jeff Jarrett – I try to say nice things in these reviews – or at the very least, I try to point out why something didn’t work for me. Y’all...I just have no interest in seeing Jarrett or Road Dogg. They don’t add anything valuable to the show at this point.
I know Elias needed something to do but...can this be the end of this? Please? (I already know we’re getting Road Dogg vs. Elias next week.)
Finn Balor def. Lio Rush – After a week of awful for Balor, he’s back to his winning ways. Despite Lashley thrashing him before his match with Rush, he was still able to take care of the Cruiserweight.
With that said, this show was severely lacking in “stars,” do you know what I mean? Rousey and Lynch were the start of the show. Rollins wasn’t here. Balor was probably the first “top guy” to show up in nearly two hours. He got the proper reaction, at least.
Moment of Bliss is still a freaking train wreck – The good? EC3 is so damn extra. The dude comes out in baby oil and tights for a dang talk show. The bad? Alexa Bliss’ flirting is gross and embarrassing and Nia Jax’s trolling is unbearable.
Luckily, Dean Ambrose came out as a good guy again and killed it with his interview with EC3. Anyone else get Mitch Hedberg vibes when he said “If you’re EC3, where are EC1 and 2?”
EC3 def. Dean Ambrose – My favorite part of this match was how quickly we all have pretended to forget bad guy Ambrose. The crowd was firmly in Ambrose’s corner for this one. EC3 still pulled off a victory with a quick roll up.
Mojo Rawley’s losing it – Anyone else get Bray Wyatt vibes with that laugh?
This show was really weird, man. It lacked star power and very few people are standing out. I’d honestly say the only people who made me feel optimistic on this show were the Boss N Hug Connection and Balor vs. Lashley. Everything else has some work to do.
Not as low a grade as it could be because they’re missing folks but man...this is WrestleMania season. Get it together.