This Week In The WWE: 2/23 – 2/29

Somewhere on the Road to WrestleMania, the WWE has lost its mind and creative wisdom!

Yup, I said it.

In a time where audience is eroding and stocks are on the wrong side of the ledger, the WWE has turned its collective championship eyes at Goldberg. Yes, 53-year old Bill Goldberg. Again.  For the second time in three years, Goldberg has taken out a younger star in mere minutes. In March of 2017 at Fastlane, it was Kevin Owens and now it’s The Fiend/Bray Wyatt.

I hate it!

The Fiend, over the past 8 months, is one of Smackdown’s most entertaining superstars. And with 2:00 of work in Saudi Arabia at Super Showdown Thursday, it was all thrown away.

Now, I get that Vince McMahon wants another superstar to highlight WrestleMania and a possible PPV deal before April’s big event, but this is not the way to do it. You shouldn’t have to tear down and discard one of your top draws just to give Goldberg a title he doesn’t deserve. Even if it is a transitional champion to get to Roman Reigns.

And to boot, at Super Showdown, we get The Undertaker coming back to lay waste to AJ Styles and Brock Lesnar obliterates Ricochet in less than two minutes. Add in John Cena’s return on Smackdown Friday night and we’ve got WrestleMania turned into a night of the elder statesmen.

I’m not saying that you can’t use the veterans and former stars, but don’t do it at the expense of the younger talent. Get them over. Make them over with personality and creative booking. Make it special and make it realistic. Make me want to be invested instead of trying to get the cheap, quick pop!

Right now, they are treating WrestleMania as a throwaway event and not something that I MUST see! It’s supposed to be THE biggest day of the year and now it’s just thrown in with Super Showdown and Elimination Chamber as another event over the month.

Count me as one who does NOT want to see Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns, John Cena vs. The Fiend/Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles. Those matches are not MUST SEE for me.  Now, if it was Cena going for a Championship, he is 16-time World Champion after all, that’s something else. But, we can’t have that now that Goldberg beat The Fiend.

Remember, we already got Cena vs. Wyatt at WrestleMania 30.

Unfortunately, it looks like the lazy, predictable approach has even gotten to NXT, usually a standout week in, week out. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair should’ve been a standout match, but lacked the high quality, emotion and intensity.

On RAW, how many times did we need to see Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler recapped?

Now, enough for the rant!

There were some positives on SmackDown. The tag team title match in the Elimination Chamber between John Morrison & The Miz vs. The Usos vs. The New Day could be epic! Sasha Banks’ return, despite the loss, is a good thing. A better show than in recent weeks and the best of the week for the WWE.


Super Showdown Results

  • The OC (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) defeated The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
  • The Undertaker won the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy Gauntlet Match over R-Truth, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio Jr. and AJ Styles
  • Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: The Miz and John Morrison defeated The New Day to win titles
  • Angel Garza defeated Humberto Carrillo
  • RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy defeated The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) to retain titles
  • Mansoor defeated Dolph Ziggler
  • WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar defeated Ricochet to retain title
  • Steel Cage Match: Roman Reigns defeated King Corbin
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley defeated Naomi
  • Universal Championship Match: Goldberg defeated The Fiend/Bray Wyatt to win title

Star of the Week:

Goldberg – I may not like it, but capturing the second biggest title in the company deserves a top spot, right?! I just wish he would’ve earned it.


RAW

RESULTS

  • Angel Garza defeated Humberto Carrillo
  • Ricochet defeated Luke Gallows
  • Aleister Black defeated Erick Rowan
  • Bobby Lashley defeated R-Truth
  • Angelo Dawkins defeated Buddy Murphy (DQ)
  • Seth Rollins defeated Montez Ford
  • Randy Orton defeated Kevin Owens

What we loved:

Stand up KO – It was nice to see Kevin Owens be the next guy to take on Randy Orton for his attack on Edge. After all, how many times can we see Owens get punked by Seth Rollins and his Monday Night Minions (Buddy Murphy and the Authors of Pain)? Well, one more time I guess to help Randy Orton get a win. But at least it was a fun twist for a night.

Aleister Black vs. AJ Styles – Sign me up for this one! But, something tells me we won’t get it as advertised now that Styles is looking for revenge against The Undertaker. Now, if you want to put The Undertaker with Aleister Black to fight The OC, I’m down with that.

Meh:

Garza vs. Carrillo – twice in four days was not exactly their best effort.

Huh:

So, no one comes out to save Edge or Matt Hardy against Randy Orton, but the entire locker room clears out to take care of the Elimination Chamber contract signing with Becky Lynch, Shayna Baszler, Asuka, Natalya, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott. That’s just so illogical on so many levels my friends!


NXT

RESULTS

  • Cameron Grimes defeated Dominik Dijakovic
  • Xia Li defeated Mia Yim
  • Tommaso Ciampa defeated Austin Theory
  • Killian Dain defeated Bronson Reed
  • The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) defeated The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler)
  • Charlotte Flair defeated Bianca Belair

Don’t get me wrong, the effort in the ring was there. Just overall, this latest episode of NXT just didn’t do it for me. I expected a can’t miss event from Flair and Belair and it just didn’t happen. Maybe they just had an off night chemistry-wise, but I just expected more. Otherwise, it was just a bunch of matches with a couple of run-ins thrown in for some intrigue.

Finn Balor vs. Imperium has some interest, but why did we blow off the Gargano feud so quickly after one match? That seemed odd. Gargano, predictably, went after former friend and foe Ciampa after the NXT TakeOver: Portland screwjob. Ending Balor vs. Gargano and Ciampa vs. Cole seems like a blowoff and not a deserving finish.

Hopefully, just an off week for the folks from Full Sail. Their product isn’t failing at the moment, they are just getting outperformed on many levels by their counterparts on All Elite Wrestling, who are showing more of a flair for the dramatic in front of a bigger crowd week-in and week-out.  Plus, it just seems like they are having more fun. That’s a lesson all of the WWE could learn.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Non-title Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi defeated Bayley (DQ)
  • Lacey Evans &  Naomi defeated Bayley & Sasha Banks
  • Robert Roode defeated Kofi Kingston
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Curtis Axel
  • Non-title Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: The Usos defeated John Morrison & The Miz

What we loved:

Tag team love in the chamber – New tag team champs – John Morrison and The Miz get a monster of a first title defense. They have to face The Usos and the former champs, The New Day along with Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, Heavy Machinery, and Lucha House Party in the Elimination Chamber in Philadelphia next Sunday. That could be epic my friends! Nice win by The Usos getting instant heat on the new champs with the upset victory Friday night. Not a good luck for the new champs though after gaining the belts on Thursday.

Boo boo Bill – LOVED. LOVED. LOVED the fans in Boston (my people!) booing the (bleep) out of new Universal Champion Bill Goldberg. The only thing shorter than Goldberg’s match at Super Showdown was the one line back and forth between Roman Reigns and Goldberg. We all know where this is going folks. What Vince wants, Vince gets. Whether we the fans want it or not.

You knew it was coming:

Cena vs. The Fiend – You just knew John Cena’s announcement that he wouldn’t be part of this year’s WrestleMania wasn’t going to stand. It lasted all of about 30 seconds. So, now we get Cena/Wyatt II in Tampa. Playing the hits for the big show is all this is.

Huh?

Daniel Bryan – I look at Daniel Bryan’s matches the last few weeks after losing to The Fiend and I think he’s wrestling on the old All-Star Wrestling. He’s showcasing his wares in matches he’s clearly the favorite in against guys that have no chance against him while Bryan waits on his next storyline. Kind of odd they have nothing for him yet. I’d love to see him in a classic match we didn’t see coming. How about Bryan vs. Cole II in Tampa?


Elimination Chamber Card:

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match: The Usos vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Heavy Machinery vs. Lucha House Party vs. The New Day vs. John Morrison and The Miz

Elimination Chamber Match – Winner gets match at WrestleMania vs. Becky Lynch for RAW Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler vs. Ruby Riott vs. Natalya vs. Sarah Logan vs. Liv Morgan vs. Asuka

Intercontinental Championship 3-on-1 Handicap Match: Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Braun Strowman


Parting shots:

Oh no Joe – Tough to see Samoa Joe suspended 30 days for a Wellness Policy violation. A concussion and now suspension takes him out of one of the bigger angles on RAW but should be back in time for WrestleMania.

Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux – You have to think this couple is going to make a big debut either right before WrestleMania or in Tampa. Are the glitches a foreshadowing for something big for these two?

WWE Backstage – I’ve had high hopes for this show and it has had its moments. But, without CM Punk every week and no consistency other than Renee Young each week. I’ve been disappointed lately. Loved the talk between Mark Henry and Keith Lee last week. But did we really need a Bella Twins baby contest this week? Ugh!

Two cage matches for NXT this Wednesday? Sounds like overkill to me.

If you get a chance to listen to Lacey Evans on Boston radio Friday morning, it was a good listen on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Listen to it here.


Thanks for letting us share our thoughts! Shoot me an email at jcrowe567@gmail.com. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions! You can also check out my blog, The Crowe’s Nest as we delve into more pro wrestling, sports entertainment and the World of Sports. My apologies ahead of time – I AM a Patriots and Red Sox fan! If you’re not down with that, I’ve got TWO WORDS for you… NEW ENGLAND!

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