This Sunday we will be two weeks a way from the biggest show of the year and I have a lot of mixed feelings about this years Wrestlemania. There are some matches and stories that are really solid while others are just being thrown together out of the blue. Raw took place from Chicago this past week and I can safely say it was a major disappointment. Chicago has played host to great Wrestlemania moments as well as key moments on the Road to Wrestlemania. The biggest disappointment was Kurt Angle announcing Baron Corbin as his farewell match. No disrespect to Corbin, but his career has been a shame over the last year and a half. The Authority gimmick really ruined him and he hasn’t done anything meaningful in quite some time. I am also disappointed that Braun Strowman has been relegated to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The Battle Royal was created five years and was meant to be a launching pad for new superstars. Now it’s used as a lazy booking tool and a way to fit everyone on the card that doesn’t have something meaningful.
Tuesday Night wasn’t much better in terms of buildup towards the biggest show of the year. The IIconics put themselves in line for a Women’s Tag Team shot by beating the Boss N Hug Connection. Speaking of the Women’s Division, it was announced that next week Naomi, Carmella, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville will compete in a Fatal Four Way match to determine who will challenge Asuka at Wrestlemania. Asuka went from having a monumental buildup and match last year to be given a meaningless title defense this year. We are just two short weeks away from Wrestlemania and the WWE Championship match still has not been made official. I understand trying to push Kofi Kingston as the ultimate underdog, but having a guy compete in two gauntlet matches within a month of each other is a bit much. Also, having Daniel Bryan call anyone a B+ player is the least credible thing you could do with his character right now. There is no way possible to recreate what he did five years, so they need to quit forcing the issue. I am hoping that next week that the matches for the WWE Championship, Intercontinental Championship, and both men’s Tag Team Championships will be announced.
As Tuesday concluded, we found out who the new number one contender would be for Buddy Murphy’s Cruiserweight Championship. Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander in a really great match to earn his spot on the Wrestlemania card. Nese and Murphy had been friend and training partners, but that has all went out the window. At Wrestlemania, these two will collide for right to be called the best on 205 Live. The week ended with NXT and the unfortunate announcement that Tommaso Ciampa had to vacate the NXT Championship. Johnny Gargano’s spot was safe but he now needed a new opponent for the vacated championship. An incredible Fatal Five Way took place between Adam Cole, Ricochet, The Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle and Aleister Black. Everyone in this match had the credibility to go into Takeover as Gargano’s opponent, but at the end of the night only one man could go on to Takeover: NYC. That man is Adam Cole and he will compete against Gargano in a two out of three falls match for the NXT Championship. Takeover: NYC just got a whole bigger and brighter, and has the potential to be the best show of the weekend.
Where the main roster disappoints it seems like NXT makes up for it. That has always been the theme of the Big Four Pay-Per-Views in WWE. With two weeks left until the biggest weekend of the year, I am genuinely more excited for NXT Takeover New York than I am Wrestlemania 35. Maybe it’s because of the difference in leadership, booking, and storytelling. It could be one or all of things combined but at the end of the day NXT will deliver. Can fans honestly say the same about Wrestlemania this year? Until next week, this has been week eight on the Road to Wrestlemania.
Finn Balor and Braun Strowman defeated Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush
Elias defeated No Way Jose
Kurt Angle defeated Chad Gable
Sasha Banks defeated Natalya by DQ
Ricochet defeated Jinder Mahal
Ronda Rousey defeated Dana Brooke
Apollo Crews defeated Baron Corbin
Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins
The IIconics defeated The Boss N Hug Connection
Kofi Kingston defeated Sheamus, Cesaro, Rowan, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton in a Gauntlet Match
Daniel Bryan defeated Kofi Kingston
Mike Kanellis defeated Akira Tozawa
Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander to become #1 Contender for the Cruiserweight Championship
Adam Cole defeated Ricochet, The Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle and Aleister Black in a Fatal Five Way
Current NXT Takeover NYC Card
NXT Championship: Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match
WWE UK Championship: Pete Dunne(c) vs. WALTER
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler(c) vs. Io Sharai vs. Kairi Sane vs. Bianca Belair
Current Wrestlemania 35 Card
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Seth Rollins
WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch
WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe(c) vs. Rey Mysterio
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy(c) vs. Tony Nese
No Holds Barred: Triple H vs. Batista
The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal