Sammy Guevara def. Matt Sells
Sells was in action on last week's episode. He scored more offense here than I thought he would, but Guevara went over in the end as he should have. He's a blast to watch in the ring and continues to shine even without a crowd. He was also able to show off his personality, which made the five minutes entertaining. I'm looking forward to his rematch with Darby Allin in the first round of the newly-announced AEW TNT Championship Tournament,
Shawn Spears def. Shawn Dean
Tully Blanchard did not accompany Spears to ringside. I guess he was deemed "non-essential" and wasn't brought in for the taping. At any rate, Spears has been looking for a tag team partner for months, but he put his search aside for one week to focus on singles competition. This was a fine match that gave Spears a much-needed win before he clashes with Cody in the first round of the title tourney.
The Undertaker Addressed AJ Styles
First of all, the WrestleMania 36 video package for AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker that kicked off the show was excellent. Secondly, that was easily the best Undertaker promo I've heard in years. I loved how he was essentially in "American Badass" mode and actually came across like a human being for a change. There's a time and place for the Deadman persona, but it's refreshing that we haven't been getting that during his storyline with Styles. Here's hoping we get this version of Undertaker when he and Styles face off this weekend.
Shayna Baszler Attacked Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch
As I've said before, Lynch has been killing it on the mic for the past month and this was another quality promo from here. I liked how she hyped her upcoming encounter by tying it into her WrestleMania win last year, which was replayed in its entirety. I appreciated that she's stayed serious and it's added to my excitement for their match. Baszler's sneak attack was well done and was a nice way follow up Lynch blasting her with a chair from behind last week.
Isiah "Swerve" Scott def. Joaquin Wilde
Between this and his win over Oney Lorcan last week, Scott seems to be getting back on the right track following his recent loss to Austin Theory on NXT. He's an awesome athlete, but I still feel we need to know more about him. I don't think he and Wilde have ever faced off in WWE before, so this felt fresh and was a well-wrestled opener. As undefined as Scott is, at least he isn't obnoxious as Wilde, who is almost insufferable with the dumb DJ noises and over-the-top attire.
Tony Nese def. Oney Lorcan
These two have had more than a handful of matches against each other over the last year, so while this was nothing new, their chemistry is always excellent and this was another enjoyable encounter from them. There was nothing at stake, mind you, but they delivered to the best of their ability. Nese winning in clean fashion was genuinely surprising considering the current NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin is a heel and Lorcan would be a fun opponent for him.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley, Sasha Banks and Tamina Attacked Lacey Evans and Naomi
Everything involving the SmackDown Women's Championship picture has been a total miss for me over the last month. As I've said before, Bayley vs. Banks one-on-one at WrestleMania 36 makes a lot more sense than the Fatal 5-Way they have planned. By the way, it was originally advertised as being a Six-Pack Challenge, but I believe Dana Brooke had to be pulled due to being quarantined (you won't get any complaints out of me). Everyone interrupting each other was whatever, and Tamina standing tall over Evans and Naomi would have led to a silent reaction even if it wasn't an empty arena.
Drew Gulak def. Shinsuke Nakamura
It's amazing that Nakamura went from competing for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34 to losing to Drew Gulak a week ahead of WrestleMania and (likely) being left off the card entirely. Such is life, I suppose. This was a nice little match as Gulak and Daniel Bryan continue to be a blast together. Thanks to Gulak's victory, Bryan will now contend for Sami Zayn's Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
Imperium (Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) def. Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter
I didn't think Smith and Carter had the slightest chance of winning coming into this contest, but they ended up surprising me down the stretch by coming close to winning on a few occasions. Then again, Imperium is always excellent and work well with just about everybody they step in the ring with, so I should have expected this to be as entertaining as it was. Smith and Carter are a solid tandem, but Imperium never cease to deliver and were the right choice to win.
Aoife Valkyrie def. Nina Samuels
Valkyrie has been rolling in recent weeks and I appreciate how it didn't take her nearly as long as it did Ridge Holland to start facing credible competition. Her last match with Isla Dawn wasn't anything special, and unfortunately, this wasn't a vast improvement by any means. Valkyrie is a work in progress, but from what I've seen, she's very good. It's just a shame her opponents aren't as interesting. I feel we'll get a better grasp of what she's capable of once she starts having matches with the likes of Kay Lee Ray and others at that level.
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