By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Roman Reigns Interrupted Triple H
Triple H must have thought it was Monday night when he did his usual lengthy, drawn-out promo. It doesn't matter if it's Raw or SmackDown, no show is safe from The Authority opening segment! I found it interesting they addressed the controversy from Royal Rumble, but there was no way they couldn't given how loud the boos were at the end of the event. I wish we could have seen more from Triple H and Reigns given their history, but at least it didn't require Reigns to take for a long period of time. I don't think Triple H's "huge" announcement will affect the WrestleMania 31 card too greatly, but I must say I am a bit intrigued to hear what it is.
Roman Reigns def. Big Show
Why does WWE think that pairing Reigns with Show in a feud would do him any good? It wasn't exactly getting the crowd behind him when it first started, long before the backlash he received at Royal Rumble. The match suffered as a result, but it still a half-decent match that the crowd surprisingly didn't crap all over. Reigns' clean victory gives my hope that this the end of the line for the rivalry, but something tells me we'll see them clash at some point against soon (maybe at Fast Lane?). The victory would have meant more for Reigns if Show wasn't so devalued at this point in his career.
Seth Rollins Issued an Open Challenge
Rollins continues to be a shining star and flourish in everything he's involved in. I wasn't the only one who was hoping Randy Orton would come out, right? His return is long overdue and I can't believe they've waited this long. It's become a running gag by this point. Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan coming out instead made sense from a storyline standpoint, but I'm ready for all three of them to be done with The Authority or at least stop appearing together.
Tyson Kidd def. WWE Tag Team Champion Jey Uso
Ah, the dreaded "tag team champion in singles match." It's such a lazy way of furthering a tag team feud, as I've expressed before, The Usos in singles competition rarely interest me. The match was fine for what it was, but the encouraging part was seeing Kidd pick up a win and moreover, seeing him and Cesaro apparently entering the tag team title hunt. These two teams could have a hell of a match at Fast Lane with the straps on the line and I hope that's the direction they're headed in.
John Cena Confronted United States Champion Rusev
Did anyone else feel like they were missing something while watching this? I understand why Rusev was mad coming out of his loss at the Royal Rumble, but his newfound feud with Cena feels like it came out of nowhere. Anyone who didn't watch the Rumble Fallout show or Raw on Monday night has no idea why this rivalry even began, and they didn't do a good job of making that known here. Nothing in this segment made me optimistic about their upcoming match at Fast Lane.
The Ascension def. Gold and Stardust
It seemed out to me at first why they'd pit The Ascension against a fellow heel duo in Gold and Stardust, but it became obvious throughout the match that they're teasing tension between the brothers. I'm all in favor of this as it's something they should have done a long time ago. Now my concern is if they're going to keep the limited Stardust character or bring back Cody Rhodes. I suppose we'll find out in due time, but I really hope it's the latter.
Daniel Bryan def. Kane in a Casket Match
They heavily hyped the match throughout the night which was smart considering this was the first Casket match in over six years, but no matter what they did, nothing made Kane look like a threat to Bryan. It's lost way too many matches in the last year to be taken seriously, hence why this match shouldn't have gotten nearly as much time as it did. I'm all for longer matches most of the time and Bryan made this bearable, but why drag out a match if the ending result is never in doubt? Furthermore, it didn't give me hope that they have a direction in mind for Bryan going into WrestleMania.
I was expecting a much hotter show considering there wasn't a Raw on Monday, but based off Triple H teasing something for next week's show, it leads me to believe they're treating that Raw as the Royal Rumble fallout show. This edition of SmackDown felt like a placeholder and the "live" aspect really didn't add anything to it. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't a bad show, but none of the featured matches felt consequential. Hopefully we get a better feel of what to expect on the road to WrestleMania this coming week on Raw.
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