Kevin Owens Hosted The Kevin Owens Show with Randy Orton and AJ Styles
With their promos alone, Orton and Styles have managed to get me more excited for their encounter than any other match on the WrestleMania card. I'm sure they'll have tremendous chemistry in the ring, but these exchanges on the mic have been excellent. Here's hoping this feud continues coming out of WrestleMania. As for Owens, he felt like a total afterthought here. I'd be all for him entering the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on Sunday and winning the whole thing.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos. Aleister Black and Ricochet def. The Bar, Rusev and Shinsule Nakamura
SmackDown Live has plenty of talent to work with in its tag team division right now, but almost every tandem except for The New Day is directionless. If nothing else, they work well together and this was a quality eight-man tag team match. Afterward, Alexa Bliss announced that The Usos will defend the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against all four of these teams at WrestleMania. That's fine and all, but why the hell are The Hardy Boyz being relegated to the Andre Battle Royal?!
The IIconics Addressed Their WrestleMania 35 Opponents
This is the first time in a long while I can recall The IIconics getting promo time in the ring, and I assume this was done because very few fans actually expect them to walk out of WrestleMania the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. Their mic skills have seemingly regressed since they joined the main roster. Regardless of whether the material they're being given to work with is to blame or not, I can't stand to hear them talk most weeks. Needless to say, this did nothing to make them look like any more of a threat to the twin titles than they were before.
The Miz def. SAnitY in a Falls Count Anywhere 3-on-1 Handicap Match
Truth be told, I sometimes forget SAnitY are still with the company. At any rate, this started out as your typical 3-on-1 Handicap match, though Shane McMahon emerged halfway through to add the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation. That actually made this more interesting because it allowed them to take their fight backstage and in other parts of the arena. Miz cut a fired-up promo beforehand and went on to have a standout performance. As I've said in the past, his babyface run so far has exceeded all expectations.
Becky Lynch Addressed the WWE Universe
Lynch completely bypassing Corey Graves in the ring and instead addressing the audience from the top of the commentary table was a nice touch. She didn't say anything we haven't heard before, but it was solid followup to what we saw from her, Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair on Monday's Raw. It didn't cover any new ground, though, and was honestly pretty pointless. At least the crowd was with her throughout.
Naomi, Asuka, The Hardy Boyz, Heavy Machinery, R-Truth, Carmella and Nikki Cross vs. Andrade, Zelina Vega, Karl Anderson ,Luke Gallows, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Shelton Benjamin, Lana and EC3 Ended in a No Contest
Holy hell, this was an absolute mess. WWE tried to hype two different Battle Royals at WrestleMania with one giant meaningless match, and it just felt like a waste of time. My biggest takeaway was how out of place The Hardy Boyz and Asuka looked among the rest of the enhancement talent. Asuka being the last person standing all but guarantees she'll come close to winning at WrestleMania before being tossed by Lacey Evans.
United States Champion Samoa Joe def. Ali (Non-title)
These two had a fun little feud going before Ali got hurt two months ago, so I was wondering if Ali would beat Joe here to add himself to the United States Championship match at 'Mania (especially if Rey Mysterio is unable to compete due to injury). That didn't end up being the case, but this was a solid showcase for Joe while it lasted. Ali has been losing a lot since he returned last month, but here's hoping he is focused on again after Sunday. Meanwhile, Joe desperately needed a credible victory and this accomplished that.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston Signed the contract for Their Match at WRestleMania 35
Bryan and Kingston have both been delivering in their roles remarkably well over the course of this storyline and I was happy that they once again brought the goods in this segment. Bryan was a glorious a-hole in talking down to Kingston and making fans rally behind him as a result. Kingston had a hot rebuttal and kept it short and sweet with what he had to say. This segment didn't have to be anything more than what it was, which is what made it so perfect. I'm really, really looking forward to their WrestleMania match.
This go-home show for WrestleMania was a mixed bag. The WWE Championship contract signing and The Kevin Owens Show are well worth going out of your way to check out, but everything else was hit or miss. The two hours flew by,so there was that. Overall, the WrestleMania hype was decent, but it didn't move the needle for me (for better or for worse). I agree with the masses that this road to WrestleMania has not been the greatest, but I maintain that the event will be an entertaining one based on what's advertised.
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