This week marked the start of the Road to Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans. NXT Takeover and the Royal Rumble were monumental events that made a fun filled weekend. I felt like it was the first time the main roster show wasn’t a let down after a Takeover show. Their were a lot of surprises, great moments and things that you won’t forget any time soon. Following a monumental Saturday and Sunday I felt like something was missing on Raw and Smackdown. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but eventually I’ll figure it out. Before I begin my thoughts for the week here are the results from each show.
Braun Strowman defeated Kane to qualify for the Elimination Chamber
Elias defeated Matt Hardy to qualify for the Elimination Chamber
The Miz defeated Roman Reigns to retain the Intercontinental Championship
The Revival defeated Heath Slater/Rhyno
Asuka defeated Sasha Banks(MATCH OF THE WEEK)
The Bar defeated Titus Worldwide to retain WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
John Cena defeated Finn Balor to qualify for the Elimination Chamber
WWE Smackdown Live
Rusev defeated Kofi Kingston, Jinder Mahal and Zack Ryder to become #1 Contender for the US Championship
The Bludgeon Brother defeated Two Jobbers
Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable defeated Breezango
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Cedric Alexander defeated Gran Metalik in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament
TJP defeated Tyler Bate in Cruiserweight Championship Tournament
Nikki Cross defeated Lacey Evans
TM61 defeated The Ealy Brothers
Roderick Strong defeated Tyler Bate
I felt Monday Night Raw was missing Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar. I felt Lesnar should have been there to gloat on the fact he beat Kane and Braun Strowman and maybe have a confrontation with someone who might be in the Elimination Chamber. I also felt after dropping the bombshell that she has arrived in WWE I think it was a letdown that Rousey was not there. I felt like she should have made her presence known after stealing the spotlight from the 30 women who competed in the Royal Rumble. The two things that stuck out to me were Braun Strowman’s path of destruction continuing to happen and the announcement of the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber match. In my mind Braun Strowman needs to have WWE Universal Championship and get a lengthy full time run with it. I think he’d be great for the title and the title would be great for him. The Elimination Chamber is going to be interesting for Alexa Bliss. She has to defend the Raw Women’s Title against six other competitors and if she can get through this tough challenge then she might go down as one of the greatest Women’s Champions of all time.
Tuesday Night felt really off with a few things like not having The Bludgeon Brothers attack The Uso’s when they came out. The Uso’s have ran through everyone in the Smackdown Tag Team Division. I feel like now would be a perfect time to bring up the Authors of Pain or move The Revival over from Raw. I also think it’s going to be a really bad idea if they break up Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn this early on into their new found friendship. I personally feel like Kevin and Sami should challenge for the Tag Team Championships and have their Wrestlemania moment together. Speaking of Wrestlemania moments, it will be an epic moment when AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura square off at Wrestlemania 34. I think it might be the first time in history two competitors headlined Wrestle Kingdom and Wrestlemania in their careers. After Smackdown was over we moved on to 205 Live where the new General Manager was announced and his name is Drake Maverick. Drake was once known as Rockstar Spud in TNA Impact Wrestling and right off the get go he had made a huge announcement regarding the vacated Cruiserweight Championship. He announced that there would be a 16 man tournament to determine the new Cruiserweight Champion and it would culminate at Wrestlemania. 205 Live doesn’t even have 16 Cruiserweights so who could be in this thing? Well Tyler Bate appeared this week and Roderick Strong will be appearing next week. I would love to see Pete Dunne, Mark Andrews and Rey Mysterio involved in this tournament, but I guess we will have to wait to find out who will be involved.
NXT showcased an incredible match between Roderick Strong and Tyler Bate with one downside to it and that is Tyler Bate lost in two very good matches right in a row. In my opinion, Tyler Bate has not been used correctly since he lost the UK Championship last spring to Pete Dunne. Both Bate and Dunne should be exclusively to WWE and it might be time to scrap this whole idea of a UK Division since they really haven’t done a lot with it. With all the new talent coming into NXT like EC3, Ricochet, War Machine and Candice Larae I will be curious to see how everyone fits in and where the direction of certain people will go. There is a lot of people headed into a certain direction and that direction is New Orleans on April 8th. This is just the first week on the Road to Wrestlemania and there is nine more weeks to go. The things we know for sure are is that Brock Lesnar will walk in as WWE Universal Champion, Asuka will be challenging for one of the Women’s Championships, and Shinsuke Nakamura will be challenging for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 34. Until next week keep tuning in to WWE programming to see what takes place on the Road to Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans.