Since this is the last SmackDown before WrestleMania and everyone’s getting ready for the PPV, the show was dedicated t to bringing attention to the main talking points for WM31.
Jimmy Uso def. Cesaro, Big E & Fernando
I always find it funny when there are more people around the ring than in it. Unless it’s a Lumberjack match, it usually means that the fight will be a joke, due to too much outside interference. However, this was not the case last night,
Surprisingly, in this Fatal-4-Way, there were no alliances. It was truly every man for himself and it made the match so much more exciting. We haven’t seen Big E deliver such an impressive performance in a very long time. He manhandled all three of his opponents, sometimes all three at the same time.
Cesaro was the creative one. He ran interferences and saved the match quite a few times. It almost made me forget that this wasn’t a title match. At one point, the Swiss Superman used Fernando as a weapon to neutralize both Big E and Jimmy Uso. This sort of originality is why the fans like Cesaro so much.
Fernando was the unaccountable factor. Since he’s pretty much a faceless character, people tend ot forget he’s even in the match. However, he’d join in at key points in the match and change the course of the fight. It’s an interesting suggestion as to what Los Matadores might do on Sunday.
Jimmy Uso was as brilliant as usual. As the high flier in the match, he brought a few visually spectacular spots. He won the match and deservedly so. However, this normally would mean that the Usos won’t have the same luck at WrestleMania.
Although the build up to the Tag Team Titles match wasn’t well-planned at all, the match itself could be entertaining. It gives an opportunity to teams that get no exposure to shine and I’m convinced they’ll take it.
The Bella Twins vs. AJ & Paige
Since there were no real matches planned and the build up to Mania is already done, the WWE had enough time to give the divas space to talk. I don’t remember ever seeing a divas talking segment as long as this one on a WWE show. I enjoyed it, although I know it will be a one-off thing.
Aj and Paige decided to stay united against the Bellas but the rivalry between the frienemies is too deep-seated to not play a part in the match on Sunday. The Twins stood their ground, saying that their sisterly bond cannot be broken. I think this might be foreshadowing. I can’t see Brie shying away from the title in favor of her sister for too long.
The divas match on Sunday will give start to the Divas Championship hunt. Usually, it goes the other way round – the rivalry is already there and gets resolved at Mania. It is a bit strange to not have the title defended on the biggest stage of them all. However, let’s enjoy it for what it is, the match will open doors and define the second half of 2015 for the Divas Division.
John Cena, Mark Henry, Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan def. Rollins, Big Show, Kane & Bray Wyatt
The WWE somehow managed to come up with a way to put 6 of the matches on the WrestleMania card in one fight. The commentators were more likely to not have enough time to talk about everything, rather than struggle for topics.
Overall, Roman Reigns got the biggest push out of this match. He came off looking stronger than ever. He never lacked momentum and never tagged out because he desperately needed to. In the end, he cleared out the ring on his own, while his team mates stood and watched. He wasn’t even the legal man at that time. Yet, when the hype video of Reigns vs. Lesnar played the crowd erupted in LET’S GO LESNAR chants. WrestleMania will be hard for Reigns no matter what.
Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt were also mostly protected. They had their moments to shine and when they took hits it was in a situation where anybody would have struggled. I found it a bit odd that the WWE saved Bray for so long and then suddenly threw him into a match right before Mania. Plus, he was on the losing side of the ring. I think Wyatt should have been kept out of this one.
Big Show and Mark Henry tried to sell their improvised Andre The Giant Battle Royale rivalry but nobody bought it. I don’t think a single person believes either of them will win this. Kane was even more irrelevant. He was supposed to butt heads with Show over the Trophy but at some point in time he got replaced by Henry in this narration.
I was just about to put down in my notes that Rollins was looking surpsingly good in the match, especially knowing his recent booking but then he got overpowered by Cena and entered a situation where he couldn’t have survived without J&J Security. The only consolation is that he tagged out and didn’t have to lie down for the three count. He was protected at least that much.
John Cena was John Cena. The fans chanted the usual chants and he did the usual moves. I don’t think it’s his fault any more. I think regardless of the storyline he’s in Cena will be perceived the same way. He will always survive everything and this kills the suspense. Sadly, it’s likely to kill off Rusev as well this Sunday.
This closed down the events before WrestleMania. Share any Mania related thoughts and questions in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!