This week on the Road to Wrestlemania, the entire landscape of WWE complete changed over a two day period. After watching Elimination Chamber, I thought that there would be a lot more fallout from the event. On Monday Night, Triple H started the night by announcing that four of the best superstars from NXT would be making their arrival. Those four stars were Ricochet, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and Aleister Black. They didn’t just arrive to Raw. They took over Raw and Smackdown over a two day period. I am going to go on record and say that Lafayette, Louisiana should never get another WWE televised show again. This crowd was absolutely horrible and showed no reaction to anything. It had me very concerned about how the four NXT callups were going to be used going forward. The only fallout that really took place from the Elimination Chamber was Braun Strowman destroying Baron Corbin, which is a feud that has gone long enough. Strowman has been one of the top stars in the company for nearly three years now, and he needs something meaningful and special going into Wrestlemania. I found it interesting that he has been saving Kurt Angle as of late, but when Strowman was attacked 3-on-1 at Elimination Chamber the Olympic Hero was nowhere to be found. I will be curious to see where Angle and Strowman head in the coming weeks as we get closer to the biggest show of the year. Raw closed out with Ronda Rousey taking on Ruby Riott, which was one hundred times better than what they did at Elimination Chamber. Ruby Riott should be considered one of top female stars with how gifted she is.
Smackdown continued to focus on the four NXT callups and I must say that the crowd in New Orleans was one thousand times better. All four NXT stars had great matches on both nights, which makes a lot of people ask the question if they are here on the main roster to stay. The biggest part of the Elimination Chamber fallout was Kofi Kingston continuing his momentum. Kingston had a hell of a performance this past Sunday and reminded everyone of how great he was and still is before he joined The New Day. He pinned Bryan on Smackdown and now gets a one on one WWE Championship match at Fastlane in a few weeks. I really applaud WWE for giving Kofi the chance to shine because he has always been a great in-ring performer. After Orton threw a temper tantrum years ago he never got to be in the main event spotlight after that. Speaking of Orton, I really wonder what’s next for him as well as Styles, Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy. They all deserve big matches at Wrestlemania and I hope that they get them. One thing I noticed is that Rey Mysterio, Nakamura, Rusev, R-Truth and The Good Brothers were not on Smackdown this week. I feel like the NXT four threw off the entire booking process this week, but hopefully next week will get a better idea of what’s going on. I am glad the NXT four are getting a huge opportunity, but lets not forget about the Smackdown regulars heading into Wrestlemania.
Tuesday Night ended with 205 Live, where it was announced that an eight man tournament would take place to determine Buddy Murphy’s next challenger at Wrestlemania. The announcement of the tournament was very underwhelming and disappointing. They keep using the same guys who have been beaten over and over again. They need to use talent from the NXT and NXT UK brands to freshen up some match-ups and storylines on the show. NXT and NXT UK are the two hottest shows on the network so it would be logical to use that talent on the other WWE Network show. My biggest takeaway from 205 Live is that Mike Bennett continues to have great matches, but continues to lose them. I think something big is in store for Bennett much like I think their is something big in store for Ryder and Hawkins on Raw. The week ended with an incredible match for the NXT North American Championship between Johnny Gargano and Velveteen Dream. Even though Gargano loss the match I believe the last few weeks of his career have been absolutely amazing. In my opinion, he deserves a match at Wrestlemania. Honestly if I were WWE, I would give all four men a match at Wrestlemania. I would have Ricochet versus Finn Balor, DIY vs. The Usos and Aleister Black versus Drew McIntyre. That is just my observation, but we will have to wait and see what takes place for the NXT four on the Road to Wrestlemania.
This week seemed like an off week but an exciting week with the new faces and new matchups that took place. With six weeks left until Wrestlemania only two matches are set in stone and one is being built up. Outside of the three obvious matches I have no clue what direction they are headed. Keep checking back on the Road to Wrestlemania to see how Wrestlemania 35 shapes up.
Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin in a Tables Match
Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor and Ricochet defeated Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush
The Lucha House Party defeated Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
NXT North American Johnny Gargano and NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defeated Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival
Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose
Aleister Black defeated Elias
Raw Women’s Championship Ronda Rousey defeated Ruby Riott
Aleister Black defeated Andrade
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano and NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defeated Sheamus and Cesaro
Mandy Rose defeated Smackdown Women’s Champion Asuka
Ricochet defeated Eric Young
Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy defeated WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton
Humberto Carrillo defeated TJP
Ariya Daivari def. Johnny Lyons
Cedric Alexander def. Mike Kanellis
Aleister Black defeated Roderick Strong
Mia Yim defeated Xia Li
The Velveteen Dream defeated Johnny Gargano to win the NXT North American Championship
Current Wrestlemania Card
WWE Universal Championship- Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Seth Rollins
Raw Women’s Championship- Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Charlotte Flair