This week on the Road to Wrestlemania there were twists, turns, surprises and emotional returns. Monday Night Raw Kicked off with the return of Roman Reigns. The Big Dog has not appeared on WWE television since October when he announced he was battling leukemia once again. His return was one of the loudest reactions I’ve ever seen in my years of watching WWE programming. I feel like I have to address some of the negativity surrounding his return because people do have a tendency to be skeptical of things. Roman Reigns having leukemia is not a scripted or a storyline. Do you really think WWE would risk all the backlash considering their work with Susan G. Komen and starting Connor’s Cure? The WWE has crossed the line many times, but not when it comes to a deadly illness that they strongly fight to raise awareness for. Roman Reigns was not the only emotional story going on during Raw. The night was surrounded around Ric Flair’s 70th Birthday Party. The entire roster came out to celebrate but Flair did not make his way to the ring. A returning Batista found his way into the arena and attacked Flair, which he aimed at Triple H. It seems that Batista wants Triple H at Wrestlemania and if that’s the case I for one have no interest in it. That’s another discussion for another day, because I am focused on stories like Becky Lynch, Kofi Kingston and the NXT callups.
Smackdown kicked off with the contract signing between Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan for their match at Fastlane. Before Kofi could sign on the dotted line, Mr. McMahon came out and told Kofi he was being replaced with someone else. Mr. McMahon brought out a returning Kevin Owens who is now the challenger for the WWE Championship. Owens suggest that he and Kofi team up to take on Bryan and Rowan later in the evening. Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens are the only ones who returned this week. The Bar was scheduled to take on Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, but were met with a reunited Hardy Boyz. The Hardy’s haven’t teamed up in a while but it was great to see them back in their hometown for another run towards Wrestlemania. Speaking of tag teams, the team of Aleister Black and Ricochet have had another great week. They defeated The Revival on Raw, and had a great match on Smackdown against Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. I am really curious to see what happens with both tag team divisions on Raw and Smackdown going into the biggest show of the year. There are so many possibilities on both shows it will be intriguing to see which route they go with The Revival and The Uso’s.
Tuesday Night ended with 205 Live and the continuation of the Number One Contenders Tournament. I am not thrilled about this tournament, because they are not showcasing anyone new. Everyone in this tournament has either been beaten by Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander. Bring talent in from NXT and NXT UK and shake some things up. I would have loved to seen Mark Andrews, Tyler Bate, and members of Undisputed Era in this tournament. Another tournament that’s taking place is the return of the Dusty Rhodes Classic. There are some great teams in the tournament and I for am excited for it. NXT had some crazy things going on this week. The Boss N Hug Connection returned to NXT and laid out a challenge for the Women’s Division. A tag team in the form of DIY reunited and entered the Dusty Rhodes Classic. My favorite match this week took place in NXT where Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic beat the crap out of each other, which resulted in a double count-out. I have a feeling we have not seen the last of these two on the Road to Wrestlemania Weekend.
This week has been the best week so far on the Road to Wrestlemania. They are throwing everything at us and it seems more twists and turns are coming. The decision making of Mr. McMahon has been outrageous and I think within the next few weeks his character and role within the company is going to be a focal point as we head towards to the Showcase of the Immortals. Keep checking back on the Road to Wrestlemania for more news, matches and stories being told.
Ricochet and Aleister Black defeated The Revival
Kurt Angle defeated Jinder Mahal
Finn Balor defeated Lio Rush
Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose
Bayley defeated Nia Jax
The Hardy Boyz defeated The Bar
R-Truth defeated Rey Mysterio and Andrade
Aleister Black and Ricochet defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev
Kevin Owens and Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Tony Nese defeated Kalisto
Drew Gulak defeated The Brian Kendrick
Vanessa Borne & Aliyah def. Taynara Conti & Xia Li
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic ended in a Double Count-out
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler def. Mia Yim
Current Wrestlemania Card
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Seth Rollins
Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Charlotte Flair