I have rewritten some of these sections for this article multiple times, but no matter what I do, many parts are still coming off as me ranting and being overly negative. I want to be positive about wrestling and try to put myself in the shoes of creative and other showrunners, because wrestling fans can be uncaring and a bit selfish at times, not to mention overly critical. I am honestly very patient when it comes to seeing where storylines go, how superstars grow, and do not mind a couple of blow-off matches if the wrestling is top-notch and the payoff is good, but this week just was not doing it for me for the most part.
Lucha Underground continues to impress. Johnny Mundo versus Son of Havoc was a great match with two amazing competitors that took full advantage of top rope maneuvers and had multiple high spots. Ivelisse was not about to let her male counterpart hog the spotlight though, having an entertaining match with Angélico. Alberto Del Rio—I mean, El Patron—is finally here, but he has been followed by one mean and impressive hombre named Texano, and this looks like it will be a good feud. It is hard to believe that one of the best promos I have seen in this promotion so far comes from Big Rych, the man formerly known as Ezekiel Jackson, but he is back for vengeance and it could be a good program. I also love that the lines between face and heel seem to be blurred here more; making some of these programs flow better in my opinion.
TNA Impact Wrestling began this week with a nice three on three match featuring The Revolution taking on Matt Hardy and the wolves. This bout was high energy and contained a few good tag team sequences as well as spot on reversals and counters; a great way to start the show. Sadly, there is not too much else to mention of worth. I am glad to know Al Snow can still wrestle, and it was cool to see Drew Galloway/Mcintyre, but I want to see him wrestle. Also, are we already done with Awesome Kong and Havok being in a feud? It seemed that she is interested in Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim now—which does not sound bad—but did her previous engagement really have a conclusion? The battle royal match main event was not bad, but why reveal the final five and the first five? That seemed to take away a lot of the surprise. I am not questioning TNA further though. They seem to have their own problems at the moment.
I am so interested to see what creative is doing with Rhyno in NXT. Though the show has been going on in its current format for a while now, the landscape is still new and fresh in some ways. So who can come down, and what they could do, is still being determined. I like that. Wait, what the hell did Enzo Amore do to his face? He and Big Cass seem like they have improved some of their tag team maneuvers, and though I want to see them get the belts eventually, what does this all mean for the Vaudevillians? Solomon Crowe debuted, and he has a fun rope maneuver. I have been going back and watching some of his work as Sami Callihan in CZW, but I know some people are concerned. Ulysses asked me, “why should I be interested in him?” Give it time, let’s give it some time. He did save someone from a turned over car after all. Also, is it too much to ask for more Blue Pants? Owens versus Neville was good; keeping him dominant. Each of these victories is earned, against viable opponents who give him their all. This is good television.
Smackdown had a fun interaction for Ambrose and Barrett, a decent Luke Harper versus Roman Reigns match, and a bout with Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler that everyone knew would be good. The rest was boring, but Smackdown was a much better go-home show for Fast Lane than Raw, which I feel like they should space out better.
I have said before that some of the recent PPVs have felt like over-hyped episodes of Raw, but Fast Lane really did. The sets are not different anymore, the commentary is the same for the most part, and although there is more wrestling, the story seems to progress at the same pace. I take that back since this is the bullshit holdover event in waiting for Wrestlemania, the story progressed slower. I want Elimination Chamber back!
The opening match was a six man that felt thrown together at the last minute—because it probably was—and came across as short and disappointing. Not sure why the match ended the way it did, but in the end the whole thing seemed like a platform for Randy Orton to have a strong return. The event picked up a bit with the Dust Brothers—as I shall now call them—facing off against each other, in something I found rather interesting. Golddust won, but I have a feeling Stardust will come out on top overall, and I hope it is handled well. This could be really good for Cody Rhodes. The Masters of the Universe defeated the Usos for the tag team champions. It felt like a good time for a change, as the Usos are very talented, but can be boring. Both of these matches had some fun action in them, and I want to see Kidd and Cesaro go far with this.
Triple H called out the icon, Sting. This was cool and all I guess, but really felt like it did not need to take up a spot on this card. This may have even worked better on the following Raw. I see the feeling creative was trying to achieve here, but it did not do anything for me. I am still riding the Sting high, but it is time to see him wrestle, or at least give him some more motivation. Paige versus Nikki Bella and Ambrose’s fight with Bad News Barrett were both matches with decent work in them that needed more time and better endings. I do love what Bray Wyatt did—we all knew it was him—but I had more fun trying to figure out how I would book his match against Undertaker.
I was happy with the outcome of Rusev versus Cena, but that was a win/win for me no matter who won. The match began slow and built up to some fun stuff, with Rusev catching Cena off the top rope for the slam being the best part. I hope McMahon knows what he is doing with this feud, because it could make Rusev into a true powerhouse. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns had a good match, with Reigns looking better than usual, without Bryan carrying him. I am not sure this did him any favors with the casual fans that were not already in his corner though, and it did nothing for the story in my opinion. To top all of this off, there was no anticipation built for Raw—and almost zero for Wrestlemania to be honest—but the dead-ass crowd did not help either. I am watching it again, wondering if I was too harsh on Fast Lane, but nothing about this show really sat right.
Some dumbass on Twitter said that Wrestlemania 30 was one of the worst WM events in history. 1. This person was horribly wrong. 2. At this rate, hold that judgment until we see what Wrestlemania Play has to offer. I want to be positive, but I sense some serious disappointment on the horizon.
Raw was honestly better than Fast Lane, but part of that could have been that Fast Lane was just that bad—there is a formula to figuring this out I am sure. Dolph Ziggler had a good match with Wade Barrett and I am okay with throwing R-Truth into this mix. He is a talented worker who does not get a lot of opportunities to shine. I was stoked to see the Prime Time Players—one of my favorite tag teams—give The Ascension their first loss. I hope this turns out to be a good feud. Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman’s promos with Roman Reigns helped to retroactively build their match from the PPV and hype the Wrestlemania main event some, but reminded me why Reigns needs someone like Heyman to speak for him. Orton also managed to keep me interested in his character motivations throughout the show. The best thing Monday night though was Stardust’s promo after Raw that he cut for the YouTube segment against his brother and the other Attitude Era members so to speak. It was passionate and said a lot in a short time. I would love to see more stuff like this.
The divas were disrespected with a twenty-six second match this week that seemed to accomplish nothing. That is why #GiveDivasAChance was trending. I agree. Let them fight, and let them prove they can work. If not that, send them back down to NXT where the ones who can work will be respected. That was ridiculous. I liked what AJ Lee said on Twitter, even if I think it was a bit misdirected. I want to see the divas given more of a chance in the future. I was looking forward to Nikki Bella’s title defense against Paige, but it seems like the writers were not.
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