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Road to WWE Wrestlemania 34: Week 8

“If you fight for your dreams, your dreams will fight for you.” Those were the words echoed by Daniel Bryan this week after WWE broke the news of him being medically cleared to return to in-ring competition. This was his dream, the fans dream, but I feel like this Wrestlemania season has been the Wrestlemania of dreams. We have the dream match of AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, the dream of having a full time WWE Universal Champion, Ronda Rousey’s dream of competing in the WWE and John Cena’s dream of facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Before I begin with my thoughts for the week here are the results of WWE programming for the week:

Asuka defeated Alexa Bliss
Braun Strowman defeated Cesaro
The Revival defeated Titus Worldwide
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks
The Balor Club defeated The Miz and The Miztourage
Matt Hardy defeated Bray Wyatt

WWE Smackdown Live
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev
Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger
Natalya defeated Charlotte
Harper defeated Jimmy Uso
Becky Lynch and Naomi defeated Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan

205 Live
Lince Dorado and Hideo Itami went to a No Contest
TJP defeated Kenneth Johnson
Mustafa Ali defeated Drew Gulak to advance to the Cruiserweight Championship Finals(Match of the Week)

Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Ember Moon defeated Aliyah
Adam Cole defeated Kassius Ohno

The week kicked off with Roman Reigns calling out Brock Lesnar and ended up getting a whooping for his troubles. It seemed like after the first segment things were really quiet on Raw up until Ultimate Deletion. I really enjoyed Ultimate Deletion because it’s meant to be fun. Matt Hardy’s character is meant to be comical, funny and fun. I don’t think it’s that hard of a concept to understand. Do I think TNA did a better job with theirs? That’s debatable. What’s not debatable is that this could have been the best thing to happen to Bray Wyatt. Bray has been stale for a very long time now and the character has lost a ton of momentum. I don’t think that’s necessarily Bray’s fault but rather the blame of WWE’s lazy creative team. The other thing that stuck out to me on Monday was how well Braun’s match went with Cesaro. Braun just isn’t some big monster who gasses out within five minutes of a match. He has proven time after time that he can hang with the best. The most intriguing going into Wrestlemania for me personally is who will Braun Strowman’s partner be? I’ve heard so many different rumors, theories and reasons that quit frankly it’s more entertaining than some of the stuff on TV.

Monday Night seemed quiet because Tuesday one of the best announcement’s in WWE history took place. Two years after announcing his retirement Daniel Bryan was medically cleared to return to in-ring competition. He kicked off Smackdown with a very heartfelt speech that my in tears because of how happy I was for him. Even though he announced he was cleared to come back he did acknowledge he still had duties as the General Manager of Smackdown. He said he had to address the actions of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from attack they had on Shane McMahon. Bryan explained the consequences of their actions and reluctantly fired them on the spot. An irate Owens and Zayn attacked Bryan, but before Bryan went down he showed signs of the great performer he’s always been. When he took the apron powerbomb I knew he was definitely back in a big way. Although Bryan left on a stretcher I have a feeling he and Shane will get their revenge on the “Yep” Movement,

Tuesday Night ended with one of the most hard hitting Cruiserweight Matches I’ve seen in recent memory. Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak had a great match which could have gone either way. I’ve said since the tournament started that 205 Live has gotten so much and at Wrestlemania the Cruiserweight is finally going to be put into the spotlight. One person who has been in the spotlight a lot lately is Tommaso Ciampa. I’ve never seen one guy get so much hate from a crowd then I have him. He finally said a few words Wednesday night, but before he could leave the arena he was jumped Johnny Gargano. He and Gargano are going to have a great match if they ever get around to having one. The current Takeover New Orleans Card still only has two matches that have been announced, which has made NXT programming really frustrating to watch. Going forward I would love to see more stories taking place on NXT and not just random matches. NXT has way too much talent not be developing more stories. With two weeks left hopefully NXT Takeover New Orleans ends up being a really awesome card. Until next week, remember Controversy Doesn’t Come Without Criticism.

Current NXT Takeover Card
NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas(c) vs. Aliester Black
NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon(c) vs. Shayna Baszler

Current Wrestlemania 34 Card
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Roman Reigns
WWE Championship: AJ Styles(c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz(c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
United States Championship: Randy Orton(c) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode
Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss(c) vs. Nia Jax
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair(c) vs. Asuka
Raw Tag Team Team Championship: The Bar(c) vs. Braun Strowman and Mystery Partner
Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal

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