Coming in Hot – This Week in WWE – 4/2-4/4/2018

Monday Night Raw – 4/2/2018

  • The show opened with what felt like an arbitration hearing, with Triple H and Stephanie on one side behind a table and Angle and Rousey on the other.  In the middle, for some ungodly reason, was Coach serving as moderator.  I hate Coach, so I skipped the majority of this segment, but in the end, Triple H pushed Angle out of the ring and Stephanie put Rousey through a table with an awkward looking chokeslam.  Rousey and Angle will win on Sunday.
  • Bayley defeated Sonya DeVille then got jumped by Absolution, Sasha came to the rescue but talked a bunch of trash about it afterwards so her and Bayley threw down.  This was the perfect spot for Absolution to jump in again and get the better of the former best friends.  At least they’re giving some kind of story to the Women’s Battle Royal match.
  • Seth Rollins def. Finn Balor in one hell of a match via the curb stomp.  The “this is awesome” chants were not even enough to express just what kind of display these two just put on.  This was just a Raw match, guys.  And neither one of you owes anyone anything at this point, so thank you.
  • Asuka and Dana Brooke def. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James when James tapped to the Asuka Lock.  After the match, the “mean girls” jumped Asuka and Nia ran down to make the save.  She’s going to obliterate Alexa in a week, and I’m super excited about it.  I also read a great interview this week that I can’t seem to find at the moment where Nia talked about being thrilled to be a part of this storyline because she knows Alexa is just playing a part, and because it translates to things she has dealt with her whole life and she wants to help empower girls and women of all sizes to stand up for themselves.  Good stuff.
  • Braun Strowman introduced us to his tag team partner, his twin brother Brains.  This was obviously a joke, and the tag team champions escaped relatively unscathed.  He will introduce an actual partner on Sunday (I’m banking on Dean Ambrose).  In a later segment, Curt Hawkins plead his case, so Braun put him through a sheetrock wall.
  • The Undertaker still did not show up to accept the challenge from John Cena, which I will assume is to the dismay of those who grotesquely overpaid on Stubhub to see him in Atlanta.  As soon as he was added to the scheduled to appear list those ticket prices skyrocketed.
  • Matt Hardy def. Golddust in a battle of the veterans who are entering the Andre Battle Royal.
  • Elias squashed Heath Slater, the real winner here was Rhyno’s “I Walk With Slater” shirt.
  • Kurt Angle, in an effort to protect his main event at Wrestlemania, had part of the locker room stand on the ramp to prevent Roman from getting to the ring while Paul Heyman cut a promo with Brock bouncing around at his side.  Of course, during the promo Paul felt the need to say that no one in the locker room is good enough to hold Brock’s jock, and then Roman, when prevented from getting to Brock, reminded them that they were protecting “that part time bastard”.  There’s some legitimate bad blood here.  I think they may actually throw punches on Sunday.  In any event, Roman landed 5 Superman Punches, got cheered pretty damn good when he picked up the belt, then ate an F5, and both of the “main eventers” ended the show fairly well beat up, but Brock still somehow on top.  It should be noted that during the promo, Heyman indicated that should Lesnar lose, they were both leaving and Brock was going back to UFC, so put the rumors to rest, like we didn’t already see this coming.  It was nice to see Roman get cheered in Atlanta.  This town is fairly notorious for hating him.

Smackdown Live – 4/3/2018

  • The show is book ended by Shane and DB (not counting the main event).  In the opening segment, they hug it out and appear to be on the same page.  Later in the show, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn make their way through the crowd and cut a solid promo standing on the announcer’s desk.  I don’t know why everyone seemed shocked they were there.  Shane thanked Daniel for reinstating them in the opening segment, so they’re allowed to be there this time, unlike their “sneaking into” house shows of late.  The administration had me pumped up in the opening segment, but didn’t have the same level of intensity when they were opposite KO and Sami.  Also, is it just me or does their constantly saying “Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will never be seen in a Smackdown ring or arena again” telegraph the fact that the good guys get the win and the bad guys are moving back to Raw?
  • A bunch of the Andre competitors were in an 8-Man tag match.  Baron Corbin picked up the pinfall on Fandango.  Corbin was teamed with Mojo, Dolph Ziggler and one of the Colons (where the f*** did he appear from?)
  • Carmella teased another cash-in as Charlotte was mid-match against Natalya.  This was a good showing from both The Queen and Nattie, who at one point locked Charlotte in a Surfboard Stretch that was impressive enough, but Charlotte using nothing but core strength to sit up out of it was a bad ass reversal.  Carmella didn’t manage to cash in, yet again, but the distraction wasn’t enough to get Natalya another roll up on Flair, as Charlotte locked in the Figure 8 to win the bout.
  • Post match, Asuka danced around on the way down the ramp and went into her usual promo about nobody being ready when an already worn out Charlotte snatched the mic and assured her that if anyone was ready, the Smackdown Women’s Champion was most definitely ready for Asuka.  They’re doing a great job of building both this match and the AJ-Nakamura match, neither of which need much effort aside from putting the match on the damn card.  They’re both going to be fantastic matches.
  • Rusev def. Jinder Mahal with the Matchka Kick.  Post match, Rusev ate an RKO Outta Nowhere.  When Aiden English attempted to help out, Bobby Roode pushed him off the middle rope into an RKO of his own.  The Glorious One would hand the US Championship to the Viper in a show of respect.  I really don’t know how this match is going to go, but let’s just say that this Sunday is most definitely going to be Rusev Day.
  • The only effort to hype the Tag Championship Triple Threat was a lame ass backstage segment plugging the fact, as if you didn’t know, that if you sign up for WWE Network that you’ll get Wrestlemania for free.  All it really did was make the Bludgeon Brothers look cheesy, which is counterproductive for two guys that get a pop simply because people like them in ring, because they certainly don’t cut lengthy promos or anything.
  • AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin when Styles landed the Phenomenal Forearm on Gable for the pin.  Post match, the same scenario as last week played out, only this time AJ pulled up short on a Phenomenal Forearm to Nakamura to return the favor in the mind game.

Mixed Match Challenge Final – Asuka/Miz vs Roode/Flair – 4/3/2018

You didn’t think that Asuka’s streak was going to end on Facebook Live did you?  Congratulations to Rescue Dogs Rock, the recipients of $100,000 in donations as the charity of choice for team Aweska.

205 Live – 4/3/2018

  • Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa vs Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado ended in a no contest.  Another brawl broke out between the two.  They’ve let this string on for a while, but it’s still a damn fine way to build fire for the first Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship.  It’s also easy heat for Itami to repeatedly go for Metalik’s mask.  Whether you’re into Lucha Things or not, you know that culturally it is shameful to have your mask ripped off.
  • Tony Nese got a squash match.  I guess that’s a good thing, means he might get a build again here soon.
  • Buddy Murphy def. Kalisto with Murphy’s Law.  Go watch this match.  Memphis is normally a pretty solid crowd, they were electric during this one.  The match was fantastic.

NXT – 4/4/2018

  • This episode was heavy on promo material for Saturday night’s Takeover.  That’s not to say it was bad, because the package they put together for Gargano-Ciampa was almost as good as Ciampa’s Twitter page at hyping this match.
  • Kairi Sane def. Vanessa Bourn
  • AoP vs Dunne & Roddy ends in a no contest.  The two healthy members of the Undisputed Era join the fray and attack the four competitors.  The mentality, as presented, was that they figured with no winner in the Dusty Classic, there was no number one contender coming for their tag titles with Fish on the shelf with the knee injury.  No go, says Regal, as the Dusty Classic will now culminate in a Triple Threat Match for the Tag Team Championship at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans (you read that with Regal accent, didn’t you?)
  • When confronted by the Undisputed Era with regards to how it’s possible for them to defend the tag title with Fish out and Cole already in the six-man ladder match for the NA Championship, Regal gave them three options.  1) Adam Cole will pull double duty.  2) O’Reilly will go it alone in the triple threat tag match.  3) Adam Cole will pull out of the ladder match to prioritize Undisputed Era’s Tag Title.  I’m banking on one, and now that I’ve said it, I can see him winning them both.
  • Another No Contest in Dane vs Sullivan.  The rest of the field in the ladder match joins them in the ring.  This match is going to be insanely good.

That’s your week, leading us into Wrestlemania weekend.  I’m heading to New Orleans shortly to meet up with the rest of The Dark Match team for what’s sure to be an amazing weekend in professional wrestling/sports entertainment.