Wrestling Fatigue is Real – Last Week/This Week in WWE Tonight – Wrestlemania through NXT TV 4/18/2018

Howdy Dark Match Faithful.

I’m fairly certain you’ve noticed I’ve been a touch lax in my responsibilities since TakeOver: New Orleans.  That’s for a few reasons.  First, TakeOver was probably the best overall wrestling show you’re going to see all damn year.  Second, wrestling fatigue absolutely exists.  While I was able to watch all the usual shows the last few weeks, the idea of applying any additional thought to it after 2 Progress Wrestling Shows (3 Hours Each), Supercard of Honor (Jesus, how long was that show?), watching TakeOver when I got back to the AirBnB from Supercard (3 hours), Wrestlemania (17 days long) and driving back from New Orleans was simply not something I was capable of doing.  Wrestling fatigue is very, very real.  So, let’s get everyone caught up.

Wrestlemania 34

  • Cedric Alexander def. Mustafa Ali with a Lumbar Check to become the new Cruiserweight Champion.  Match was great.
  • Matt Hardy won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal with the help of Bray Wyatt.  It was fine.
  • Naomi won the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal.  Booooooooooooooooo.  She got one of those bullshit Battle Royal wins where you’re on the outside laying in wait until someone thinks they’ve won then you slide back in and barely do anything to get the win.  Lame.
  • Seth Rollins def. Finn Balor and The Miz to become the new Intercontinental Champion.  This was a solid opening match.
  • Charlotte Flair def. Asuka to end the streak and retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.  While I had a sneaking suspicion this was going to be the outcome, it was an f’n great match.  Charlotte hit a Spanish Fly off the top rope.  That was insane.
  • Jinder Mahal def. Bobby Roode, Randy Orton and Rusev to become the United States Champion.  I don’t understand this move.
  • Rousey & Angle def. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon via submission.  This was surprisingly good.  I didn’t expect it to be.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers def. The Usos and The New Day to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions.  This match should have been given more time, it was essentially a squash match on a Wrestlemania broadcast which is just a waste of everybody’s time.
  • The Undertaker def. John Cena in about 45 seconds.  WTF was the point here?  That retirement moment last year where he left the gear in the ring and descended into the ramp was far too perfect for this shit.
  • Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon def. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn via submission, meaning Owens and Zayn were not reinstated to Smackdown.  You knew that was coming though.
  • Nia Jax def. Alexa Bliss to finally become the Raw Women’s Champion.  That’s been a long time coming.
  • AJ Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  Nakamura heel turned after the match, landing a low blow.  It was awkward, the match was very technical, so a lot of people were saying they thought it was boring.  It was just actual wrestling instead of people doing crazy shit.
  • Braun Strowman pulls child from audience, def. Cesaro & Sheamus to become the new Raw Tag Team Champion.  Due to the child’s school schedule, the belts were relinquished the next night on Raw.  The kid got a great moment and this was entertaining.  Sorry the rest of you were butthurt he didn’t bring Rey Mysterio out or some crap.
  • Brock Le……you know what, fuck this match.  I’m not even talking about it.

Monday Night Raw

April 9

  • Raw after Mania debuts:
    • No Way Jose
    • Authors of Pain
    • Ember Moon
  • Raw after Mania returns:
    • Samoa Joe (injury)
    • Jeff Hardy (injury)
    • Bobby Lashley (Impact Wrestling)
  • Stephanie McMahon tries to say that the water is under the bridge and she wants to be friends with Ronda.  Ronda puts her back in the armbar.
  • Sad Roman Reigns was cutting a promo only to be interrupted by the returning Samoa Joe, who wants a piece at Backlash.
  • Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and Jeff Hardy def. The Miztourage
  • No Way Jose wins a quick squash match.
  • Authors of Pain destroy Rhyno and Slater.
  • Ember Moon & Nia Jax def. Alexa Bliss & Mickey James via the Eclipse.
  • Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt def. Titus Worldwide.
  • Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn show up pandering for a job.  Kurt offers one spot to the winner of a match between them.  It ends in a double count out.  Neither one wins, enjoy the unemployment line boys.

April 16

  • Superstar Shakeups:
    • Dolph Ziggler is now on Raw, and he brought a returning Drew McIntyre with him.
    • Jinder Mahal to Raw.
    • Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
    • Baron Corbin
    • Miz is going back to Smackdown at the request of Daniel Bryan.
    • Chad Gable is coming to Raw by himself.
    • Bobby Roode
    • The Fashion Police
    • The Riott Squad
    • Mojo Rawley
    • Former IC Champion Zack Ryder
    • Natalya
    • Probably more, I couldn’t keep up with it.  The roster is entirely too deep.
  • Jinder joins Raw, loses the United States Championship to Jeff Hardy.
  • Natalya def. Mandy Rose.  Natalya gets jumped by Absolution, Rousey makes the save because they are friends??
  • Paige announces her retirement from in ring competition.
  • The Riott Squad interrupted the showdown between Bayley and Sasha.
  • The Fashion Police def. Cesaro & Sheamus.
  • Ember Moon def. Mickie James.  The highlight of this match was getting to watch Mickie James sell the Eclipse.  She’s a freakin’ legend.
  • Titus tries to recruit a returning Ziggler.  Worldwide gets destroyed by Drew McIntyre who emerges from the crowd.
  • Strowman, Balor, Rollins, Lashley & Roode def. The Miztourage, Owens & Zayn in 10 man tag action.

Tuesday Nights in the House that AJ Styles Built

April 10

  • After Mania Debuts:
    • The Iconic Duo, now the IIconics
  • After Mania Returns:
    • Big Cass
  • With Daniel Bryan having to step down as GM to return to action, Shane needs a new partner.  Well, there is a newly retired superstar looking for a way to participate, and he names Paige his new GM.  Brilliant idea (and that’s not sarcasm).
  • The Usos def. The New Day to become the number one contenders for the tag titles.
  • Naomi def. Natalya
  • Charlotte cuts a humble promo about just how good Asuka is.  She’s interrupted by the debuting IIconics, who come down for a beatdown of the Queen.
  • With Charlotte down from the attack, Carmella def. Charlotte on a MITB cash-in, becoming the new Smackdown Women’s Champion.
  • Randy Orton def. Bobby Roode & Rusev to become the number one contender for the United States Championship.
  • AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan ends in a no contest.  Shinsuke comes through the crowd to attack the pair.

April 17

  • Coming to Smackdown in the Superstar Shakeup
    • The Miz
    • Jeff Hardy
    • Absolution
    • Samoa Joe
    • Asuka
    • Andrade Almas & Zelina Vega
    • Cesaro & Sheamus
    • The Good Brothers
    • Sanity (sans Nikki Cross)
  • AJ Styles vs Rusev ends in DQ when Aiden English gets involved.  Daniel Bryan makes the save.  A tag match to come later.  Again, match ends in DQ as Shinsuke emerges from the crowd to get a low blow in on AJ on the apron.  Big Cass comes through the crowd the other way to hit DB with the giant Big Boot.
  • Shelton Benjamin wants you to know that he’s better off without the damn Chad Gable, he wants title opportunities.  So why not give him one?  Jeff Hardy def. Shelton Benjamin because everyone should.  Benjamin is crap.
  • Luke Harper squashes Jey Uso.  After the match, Naomi runs down to save Jey by begging for mercy from the Bludgeon Brothers.
  • Samoa Joe squashes Sin Cara.
  • Charlotte def. Billie Kay.  Carmella attacks with the title, and she and the IIconics are beating down the Queen when Becky comes to save her.  That doesn’t help, so here comes the debuting Asuka to even the score.

205 Live in the Age of Alexander

April 10

  • Drew Gulak def. Mark Andrews via submission.
  • Kalisto def. Akira Tozawa
  • Mustafa Ali joins Cedric Alexander and Drake Maverick in the ring to let them know he’s first in line for another shot.  This doesn’t last, as Buddy Murphy’s music starts, then the best kept secret comes through the crowd, destroy Alexander, then slips out while Drake yells after him.

April 17

  • Buddy Murphy failed to pass his weigh in, so he will not qualify to face Cedric Alexander at Greatest Royal Rumble.  The contender will be determined next week in a Gauntlet Match.
  • Mustafa Ali def. Ariya Daivari in a pretty damn good match.
  • The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher won a squash match.
  • In an absolutely fantastic match, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado def. Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa in a Tornado Tag Match.

If you still consider this “developmental”, you didn’t watch TakeOver: New Orleans

April 11

  • This show was mostly recap footage from TakeOver.  If you can’t watch the whole show, at least watch this episode of NXT TV so you get the gist.
  • Kairi Sane def. Lacey Evans.
  • Heavy Machinery vs Tino & Riddick Moss ends in a no contest when the “War Raiders” Hanson and Rowe emerge and lay waste.  It caught me off guard that they referred to them as the War Raiders when they were War Machine when they were shown at TakeOver: Philadelphia, but it makes it a little confusing to have Heavy Machinery and War Machine.  Too many machines, and Heavy Machinery were both here first and fucking funny.

April 18

  • Ricochet def. Fabian Eichner in his NXT TV Debut match.  Ricochet is amazing.
  • War Raiders won a quick squash match.
  • Lars Sullivan def. Killian Dane in one hell of a hoss fight.  The No-DQ stipulation played well to these guys, slowing Dane’s faster paced in ring style to something Sullivan is more used to.  They went at it, gave blood for the show, was a good one.  Hopefully, they’ve got another monster in the wings to keep Sullivan in good company with Dane headed to Smackdown Live.

I’ll be back to a normal schedule this week, and we’ll get back to the caliber of content you’ve grown accustomed to.  But now we’re caught up going into Greatest Royal Rumble week.