By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Summer Rae def. Emma
As much as I like how the Divas division has been spotlighted in recent weeks with AJ Lee, Paige and The Bella Twins, WWE needs to start focusing on the talents of other ladies as well, including Summer and Emma. Both women are great wrestlers that are so underutilized that you would never know. They were given the chance to showcase their skills here, but most of the match wasn't anything of note and once it started to get to the next gear, it ended up abruptly. Summer and Emma could be viable contenders to the Divas Championship if they were given some character development and time to actually wrestle on the main shows.
The New Day def. The Ascension
I can't believe The Ascension went from being prominently featured and scoring wins over former tag team champions to being relegated to serving as enhancement talent. Some will say that it was only a matter of time, but did anyone think it would be so soon? I still stay The Ascension have the potential to be a very good tandem if they weren't saddled with such a stupid gimmick. Speaking of stupid gimmicks, The New Day is contending for the WWE Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania on Sunday, so it was only logical they would win here. The match itself was decent, but it exposed the glaring flaws in the current tag team division.
By John Napolitano
Seven months ago I wrote my inaugural John's Jargon column, which featured my predictions for, in my opinion, the hottest, no pun intended, pay-per-view of 2014, SummerSlam. When one revisits that iconic card, the first thing that stands out is that from top to bottom the night was stacked with high profile match after high profile match. From Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins squaring of in a lumberjack match, to Paige and AJ Lee furthering their celebrated rivalry, and all the way to John Cena losing to Brock Lesnar in dramatic fashion for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I challenge someone to find a more succinctly superb show in recent memory, but I digress. After the “Biggest Party of the Summer” concluded, this hashtag heel ended the night four for four in predictions. I’ll be the first one to admit that was not my best work in the prediction department; however, I consider it a testament to the shock value and entertainment quality of the phenomenal show we were given.
Fast-forward 283 days later and the WWE Universe is presented with an equally, if not more, promising card that is WrestleMania XXXI. The 2015 Road to WrestleMania has followed the trend of years past in that it’s had plenty of ups and its fair share of downs. Gone are the days, so it seems, of a full-fledged creative bull rush from the Royal Rumble to the “Showcase of the Immortals.” The Road to WrestleMania is complete with a lot more bumps and detours than is suitable for my taste. I don’t want to completely discredit this year’s build to WrestleMania. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Paul Heyman, Triple H, and especially Sting have done an incredible job of hyping up WrestleMania XXXI. The card is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in recent years. The execution of each matchup will be instrumental in having the show go off without a hitch, but who will be on top of the mountain when the clock strikes midnight on March 29, 2015? Here are my predictions for the show of shows, WrestleMania XXXI.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Jimmy Uso def. WWE Tag Team Champion Cesaro, Big E and Fernando in a Fatal 4-Way
Honestly, there's nothing they can possibly do at this point to get excited about the tag team title match at WrestleMania. It should be fun from an in-ring standpoint, but the involvement of The New Day and Los Matadores is a total turn-off. I appreciate the effort to build toward the match with this four-way involving one half of each tandem and it was fine for what it was, yet too short to mean anything of note.
The Bella Twins Interrupted AJ Lee and Paige
It was so great to see the Divas get some promo time for once. Granted, it came on the SmackDown go-home show before WrestleMania, but it was better than nothing at all, right? I often complain how there isn't enough storyline support in the Divas division, and this is exactly what the Divas tag team match at WrestleMania needed. The war of the words between the four ladies was entertaining and definitely added a little extra something to their upcoming match. Here's hoping their given the chance to shine on Sunday.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Son of Havok def. Angelico
I love how they've slowly executed a double turn with Havok and Angelico by endearing Havok to the crowd more and more by the week. The build to him splitting from Ivelisse has been excellent and they teased it tremendously early on by showing the cracks in the relationship. The match itself was very fun, only getting more entertaining as it progressed with the crowd gradually getting behind Havok. It was slightly far-fetched for him to cut a promo before going for the win, but it was still a great moment. Havok seems like a natural babyface given his likability, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he fares on his own.
AAA Champion Alberto El Patron def. Texano in a Texas Bullrope Match
Typically, I'm not a fan of Texas Bullrope matches for the reason that they often feel limited in terms of what the competitors can do. However, not only did the stipulation fit the feud, but they went all out and delivered a strong match that exceeded my expectations. They utilized the extreme environment very well, put each other through hell by hitting each other hard with the rope, and provided a handful of stellar spots. The use of the table was very good and Patron locking in the armbar out of nowhere to score the win was a pleasant surprise. This goes without saying, but Patron looked more motivated in this match than he ever did in his four years with WWE and it's not hard to see why.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss
Perhaps it was because they were back home in front of Full Sail University, but I enjoyed this encounter between the two more than I did their initial one last week. They might have been holding back last week to save their very best for this match, and if so, that was wise. Bliss still has a ways to go in the ring, but she's coming along nicely and she's a very likable character, so the crowd is behind her during her matches 100 percent. Furthermore, Banks is the perfect person for her to work with and get better. It was far too soon for Banks to be dropping her title, but Bliss definitely showed potential in her impressive outing here.
NXT Champion Kevin Owens def. Finn Balor
I figured they would have saved this for a little later down the line since it's such a big match, but don't take that as a compliant; this was every bit as awesome as you'd expect. It was a bit slow early on, but it built the match to a great climax down the stretch and both guys put forth a strong effort. They pulled out some sweet spots (Owens slamming Balor from the top rope) and told a solid story with Balor's knee injury, which ultimately played perfectly into him hitting his finisher only to come up short. Balor looked strong in defeat and left the door open for a rematch if they choose to go that route.
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