By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Batista Addressed the WWE Universe
The boos Batista has been getting since the Royal Rumble have been simply undeniable, so it was smart to turn him heel as soon as possible. That being said, he works so much better as a heel. He cut a hysterical and truthful yet rambling promo on the WWE Universe and turned anyone else still cheering him against him. He also clearly stated his intentions to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30 regardless of whether the fans are behind him or not. Dolph Ziggler's interruption was a pleasant surprise, as it was the first time he has been involved in anything notable in months. It also set up his match with Batista later in the night nicely.
The Real Americans def. Intercontinental Champion Big E and Mark Henry
The match made sense on paper given The Real Americans' recent clashes with Big E and Big E's partnership with Henry. The execution of the match left something to be desired, but the main focus was on the tension teased between The Real Americans. A split between the two is ultimately inevitable at this point, and I see Cesaro being the one going babyface. The Neutralizer on Henry was extremely impressive as well. The only issue I had with this match was how Big E and Henry were overshadowed, but at least Big E didn't take the pinfall loss for this team.
Sheamus def. Alberto Del Rio by Disqualification
It was well-wrestled for what it was worth, but could Del Rio mean any less at the moment? He scored a big victory over Batista on Raw that was completely forgotten about by this show. He was dominated for most of the match and the loss to Sheamus did him no favors. If nothing else, at least the feud between Sheamus and Christian was furthered here. It looks like they are on a collision course for WrestleMania, which gives me hope that Christian will finally be getting a singles match on the grand stage for the first time since returning to the company in 2009.
Batista def. Dolph Ziggler
This was easily Batista's best match since his return to the ring, which obviously isn't saying much since his only two matches have been against Alberto Del Rio. Ziggler was able to score some offense throughout the bout, so it wasn't a complete squash. Ziggler also sold nicely for Batista's power moves and was a good foil for the newly turned Animal. I didn't expect Ziggler to win anyway, but at least this match was effective in solidifying Batiata as a heel.
The Shield Interrupted The Wyatt Family
As usual, Bray Wyatt's promo was excellent and did a good job of furthering his feud with John Cena. The interruption of The Shield was unexpected and was actually met by cheers from the live crowd. Once again, they had an intense showdown that built anticipation for their upcoming rematch on Raw. I would rather seen the rematch saved for WrestleMania, but with Cena vs. Bray and a Shield breakup being rumored for the card, holding it on Raw in Chicago is the next best thing.
Divas Champion AJ Lee def. Cameron
Similar to their match from Elimination Chamber, AJ and Cameron worked a mediocre match. Although AJ carried most of the match, at least Cameron's in-ring abilities have improved to the point where her matches aren't absolutely atrocious. It was encouraging to see AJ win cleanly on her own after Tamina Snuka was ejected from ringside, but I still have no desire to see AJ and Tamina clash for the Divas title at WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan and The Usos def. Kane and WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos
The first portion of the match, while solid, felt formulaic. Everyone involved played their part well and the match was given good time for a main event, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary until the end. The finishing sequence was fun and concluded the contest on a high note. It was logical for the face team to go over, and it allowed Bryan and The Usos to get the better of their respective rivals and continue their recent strong momentum.
The show had a lot of enjoyable moments early on with Batista's heel turn, The Real Americans, The Wyatt Family and The Shield showdown and Christian attacking Sheamus. The final half hour of the show didn't feel like anything special, but it definitely didn't bring down the two hours as a whole. Most of the matches made storyline sense and were complete wastes of time, which is always a plus. As the road to WrestleMania 30 rolls on, I look forward to seeing more feuds featured on the blue brand in coming weeks.
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