THE SHOWCASE OF THE IMMORTALS, THE SHOW OF SHOWS, THE GRANDEST STAGE OF THEM ALL WELCOME TO WRESTLEMANIA.
It is that time again, my favorite week of the year is in full swing as we inch ever so close to Sunday night. We have closed out the go home shows for Raw and Smackdown Liveso before we get to Wrestlemania we are going to breakdown each show and their match ups right here for you on PowerBomb Nation.
Lets start with grading the go home shows and my thoughts on which brand will get the win and have a more outstanding Wrestlemania Moment(s).
RAW – 3.8 STARS
The entire 3 hours was packed with great story telling, exciting events leading into Wrestlemania. It was all wonderful until the last segment where we get a less than stellar interaction between Lesnar and Goldberg to close the show.
SMACKDOWN LIVE – 5.0 STARS
The 2 hour powerhouse has steam rolled with the most exciting build up to Wrestlemania of the two shows. The storylines and action has matched well. The ending segment with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt was simply amazing, and a viper strike was the perfect way for SmackDown to leave before this Sunday
My pick on who will have the best entrance? AJ Styles, HHH and Undertaker
My biggest potential surprises? The Hardy’s, Sister Abigail
Hosts: The New Day
This should be great they are no in the company of the Rock and Hulk Hogan as hosts of Wrestlemania, I am sure they will have something very amazing for us to witness….casuse……..NEW DAY ROCKS
Lets look at the card (In order I think they will be on the show) and get a more in depth breakdown per match shall we.
WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF SHOW:
SMACKDOWN LIVE WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP (SIX PACK CHALLENGE)
Alexa Bliss vs Naomi vs Mickie James vs Carmella vs Natalya vs Beck Lynch
It seems that the plans were for Naomi to be the reigning Champion going into Wrestlemania; After all Orlando is her home town. Plans changed after she suffered an injury when she beat Alexa Bliss to capture her first Women’s Championship. So the title fell back around the waist of Alex Bliss. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon then decided to put all the available SmackDown women competitors in the match. Presumably this was done to see if Naomi would be healthy enough to compete. Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch and Miki James seemed to stay focused around the title Carmella has been doing her thing with Ellsworth and then on the last SmackDown Natalya through her name into the match. After the battle ensues Naomi’s music hit and she rushes the ring with one of the most exciting run ins I can remember from a female superstar and lays waste to the other five and celebrates by getting her glow on! After much speculation on whom would be competitors in this match, it is now being labeled a Six Pack Challenge.
So this was the match I was really hoping was the ladder match for the event, that is not the case. However this should get the crowd fired up and allow for the six women to showcase their abilities in the ring.
WINNER: NAOMI (NEW SMACKDOWN LIVE WOMEN’S CHAMPION)
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Neville vs Austin Aries
WWE made the right move by putting Austin Aries on the announce table for all cruiser weight matches while he healed from his orbital socket fracture. It allowed for the fans whom may not have been familiar with Aries to get a chance to embrace him and showcase what he does best; talk! I think the Universe as a whole has accepted Aries, however judging by the crowd reaction on the last Raw I do not think that his role as a face will allow him much success on Raw, Aries will need a heel turn to stay relevant past this Sunday!
Neville on the other hand has been a dominate force as the self proclaimed King of the Cruiserweights. I must say I for one was very skeptical when they brought him back as a heel, I have never been a fan of Neville as I thought he was a one trick pony and had nothing more to offer than some incredible high flying offense. His promo work as a face was really awful, and the Mighty Mouse Gimmick was not tolerable for me anyways, I am sure that kids around the world loved it. So upon his return as a heel I have been quite surprised at his effectiveness to be such an asshole, and I am digging every minute of it! This is the Neville that the WWE needs to continue to push forward. This is a potential 5 star match, just depends on how memorable it is after we finish the show somewhere around 11:00 Sunday!
WINNER: NEVILLE (RETAINS WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
THE ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
This has been one of the matches I look forward to on the Mania card for the last three years, it has elevated the career of Cesaro, and Baron Corbin. It allowed for a nostalgic feather to be placed in the BigShow’s cap and has given us incredible images of Superstars posing by the trophy which immortalizes Andre!
This years field includes: Mojo Rowley, Apollo Crews, BigShow, Curt Hawkins, Goldust, R-Truth, Shinning Stars, Curtis Axel, Hard Body Jinder Mahaul, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Dolph Ziggler, Ryno, Slater, American Alpha, the Uso’s, Mark Henry, Sin Cara, Kalisto, Titus Oneil, The Ascension, the Vaude Villians, and of course Sami Zayn.
This year it seemed there was no focus on this match as very few competitors were announced until the last week. However things quickly fired up as Raw hosted an over the top challenge featuring the Big Show and several of the Raw competitors. Show laid waste to them all looking to be the early favorite of the red brand heading into this weekend, that is until …………BRRAAAAUUUUUN ! Strowman walks onto the stage cutting a good promo in his big country accent telling Big Show he could come down there right now and throw Show out of that ring, but he will wait until this Sunday at Wrestlemania, and walks off.
This immediately charged this to a much see match, that is why I think this closes out the Kickoff show. Strowman added a much needed shot in the arm to this match, and it should give him a notch in his belt after the stellar year he has had and give him an huge amount of momentum going forward.
Here are the top guys whom I see that have a shot at the win:
Raw: Strowman or Sami Zayn
SmackDown: Mojo Rowley
Largely this is filled with place holders to give us a few spots and make Braun look as dominate as possible!
WINNER: BRAUN STROWMAN
So now hit the fireworks and start the video packages as officially start the Showcase of the Immortals!
Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin
This match has been a solid story, and should provide an very entertaining match this Sunday. This to me has been in the mold of matches from the 90’s Monday night sagas! This should be a physical altercation that gets away from the referee and spills out of the ring with some great hardcore spots along with a strong possibility of some major blood! The real purpose of this match is to elevate Corbin, he has the tag of one of the next big things so look for him to capture the IC title and continue his destructive ways on SmackDown Live.
WINNER: BARON CORBIN (NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION)
NON SANCTIONED MATCH
HHH vs Seth Rollins
First I hate the idea of a non sanctioned match, LAME! However this has show stealer written all over it! This has been a match years in the making which has caused the build up to be really good. Week after week Rollins has been searching to play the Game with all attempts unsuccessful, and that looked to remain as Samoa Joe put Rollins on the shelf with a leg injury. This match has been in limbo for most the road to Wrestlemania as no one was usre of Rollins status. The past two weeks reassured that he would be ready to go as HHH held the story in tact with some scathing promo’s showing us just why he is that damn good. Rollins passion for the business and getting his hands on HHH was well portrayed! HHH should do his part and put Seth over giving the Architect a huge win!
WINNER SETH FREAKING ROLLINS
AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon
When this match first was rumored most people complained. I know, who could imagine the WWE Universe complain. However AJ has done a phenomenal job beating the hell out of Shane to make us really care about it. The head through the car window and the killer tri color black eye has really advanced the story and gotten many on board. I think the most telling part of the story came this past Tuesday on the go home edition when AJ addressed Shane, telling him this is not Hell in a Cell, this is not a street fight, you stay out of the ring for 10 seconds, you loose. Basically what are you going to do when you get in the ring and you have to face one of the best ever? This added a new wrinkle I had not really considered this, we all know Shane can hit some amazing spots, but he in AJ’s world now, a straight forward wrestling match.
WINNER AJ STYLES
MIXED TAG TEAM MATCH
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs The Miz & Maryse
What a great story this has been, easily has become one of the most talked about matches on the card! I have been shocked at the amount of people whom this is now the match they are looking forward to. Give it to the Miz for the real life he has managed to bring to wrestling over the past few months. These seemingly close to home shots at Cena and Nikki have really made this story amazing.
As the late great Dusty Rhodes once said, To get the crowd into your promo, make them uncomfortable.
That being said this feud has had all sorts of real tension and really has had you squirming in the seats, which has made it an excellent story going into Wrestlemania.
The real story of this is what will happen after the match, it has been rumored that this will be Nikki’s last match, she is still however listed for shows after Mania, so that remains to be seen. The bigger story could very well be will John Cena propose to Nikki after their Wrestlmania match? We all are very aware each and every week they are foreshadowing it, so I guess only time will tell.
WINNERS JOHN CENA & NIKKI BELLA
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens
You could not ask for a better designed feud than what these two have given us over the past few months. Their friendship made us smile, laugh and cry. I feel Owens received a longer title run because of what him and Jericho have accomplished together. Not saying there was anything wrong with his championship run, but Jericho or at least the pairing of the two could have very well been the reason it was so successful and went until FastLane.
Jericho has been on arguably his best run in WWE history, the man has gotten paper, a clip board and clicking a pen OVER! The list has become one of the most exciting things on Monday night to mark out over, and on the go home edition of Raw we got to finally see Kevin Owens added to the list!
Being a huge Jerichoholic and a massive K.O fan this has been very exciting to me, but during the festival of friendship is when this match really got me. I littereally have not wore my K.O shirt since that time. I was a little boy all over again watching as Shawn Michaels super kicked Janetty through the Barber Shop Window.
I am sure we will find out that Owens is working under the orders of HHH, and this alliance with Samoa Joe could cause Jericho to be written off TV at Wrestlemania!
WINNER KEVIN OWENS (NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION)
Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
Another classic slow build has seen the eater of worlds transform into the Lord of Lords and has set a path of destruction towards Randy Orton at Wrestlemania. This has been the ultimate game of chess as each week since right after Summer Slam we saw Orton chasing after the Wyatt Family, getting so close but always coming up slightly short. Orton joins the Wyatss in a stunning move that had Luke Harper Leary, but Bray embraced his new brother and the Wyatts went on to capture the SmackDown Live Tag team Championship.
Orton won the Royal Rumble, claimed to not fight Bray as long as he is the master, and he waited. Luring Wyatt into a false sense of security, even Luke Harper left the family as he felt Bray was blinded by Randy and that he could see the snake in the grass that Bray could not. Once he had him there the Viper struck. Letting Wyatt know that at Wrestlemania he will be coming for the WWE Championship, and he will be coming for Bray Wyatt then setting the Wyatt temple (old cabin in the woods) on fire, burning the remnants of the departed Sister Abigail. This enraged Wyatt, and then made him stronger. He bathed in the ashes and became more powerful embodying the power of Sister Abigail.
This past Tuesday Randy had his own cryptic message for Bray, claiming to have destroyed him and everything he lives for and that this Sunday he will reclaim the title that is his. A viper strike hits the screen as SmackDown Live ends.
**Speculation** We may see the Family reunite with Bray this Sunday, maybe Bray is playing a better chess game? Luke Harper sure did see something in Brays eyes Tuesday. Also prior to Smackdown Live going on the air the night Randy burned Abigail an old tweet resurfaces with digging sounds like a shovel, then Eric Rowan carrying a body away from the compound. Could the body have already been moved? Is Wyatt toying with Orton? Will we see Sister Abigail this Sunday at Wrestlemania?
Easily one of the best build ups for Wrestlemania 33
WINNER BRAY WYATT (AND STILL WWE CHAMPION)
RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH
Anderson & Gallows vs Sheamus & Cesaro vs Enzo & Big Cass
This has been a long chase for Enzo & Cass, this has been a great run for the Club and this has really made Sheamus and Cesaro a legit team. With the introduction of the ladder which caused a huge gash upon the forehead of Sheamus on the go home Raw this is now the ladder match for Mania. This should be a smash mouth, brutal and physical match with a great chance of blood and pain!
With the Club being booked so strong right now, and the fact that they are so entertaining I can not imagine a scenario in which they loose, except one……. ***SPECULATION***** This would in any other case be a lower card match, however there is a chance that brilliance will happen! We all are aware it seems the Hardy’s are on their way back in, the night after Raw just doesn’t do it for me, what if during the match VanGaurd 1 appears the Broken Hardy’s show up at Wrestlemania during the match, take the titles from atop the ladder and become the NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS solidifying there expedition for gold!
WINNERS THE CLUB UNLESS THE HARDY’S SHOW UP!
UNDERTAKER VS ROMAN REIGNS
So here we go, the part where everyone will start cussing me.
There is only one outcome for this match, I do not like it, but I have accepted it and I suggest you should as well. Roman has easily been one of the best performers on the roster in the last three years. His matches with AJ Styles, John Cena, Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman have been really really great and it is not all due to his opponent! He is good, hell he is a great performer and with the build up we have seen over the past few months since the Royal Rumble we can expect the Big Dog to mark his territory and dispense of the DeadMan. I hope that Undertaker can keep up in a match with Roman, we may have some interference by one Braun Strowman to help give this match some legs. Roman has the largest crowd reaction out of anyone, LETS GO ROMAN……..ROMAN SUCKS…….LETS GO ROMAN……ROMAN SUCKS……sound familiar? Get use to it, he is the top dog and will be the top dog for years to come, I do not see roman leaving for Hollywood anytime soon!
WINNER ROMAN REIGNS
RAW WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP
Bayley vs Charlotte Flair vs Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks
The women’s revolution is live and well and is getting its exciting climax at Wrestlemania 33! This should be a high quality match up as it is an elimination match. These women have constantly put on some of the best programming on Monday nights and really are the must see segments! I think this will be a straight forward match that will be very enjoyable. I expect that they will all gang up on Nia Jax and eliminate her, then they will focus on each other. It is very interesting that WWE chose to have Charlotte and Sasha chasing the title as we go into Mania. However this is allowing Bayley to get a huge Wrestlemania moment and enter as champion. I look for Charlotte to have her moment at the end of the match.
WINNER CHARLOTTE FLAIR (NEW RAW WOMENS CHAMPION)
WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar
Lets start here, it is ok to put this belt on Goldberg then Lesnar, it is ok if Lesnar holds this belt for a year and only defends it once a month and either him or Paul Heyman appear on Raw each week. It will add value to the WWE Universal Championship, in 20 years we will look back and the fact that the names Lesnar and Goldberg will be associated with this title will mean the world so stop bitching that they should not be using the title in this match, it is for the good of the title.
Over the last six months we have seen Goldberg get the better of Lesnar and each time it has been in quick fashion. I expect this to be the same here! Look for Goldberg to get distracted and or Lesnar to block a spear and then take Goldberg to SUPLEX CITY. Not just any trip to Suplex City, a trip to Suplex City that will take the Goldberg out of the WWE and reinforce that Brock Lesnar is the most dominate individual in the WWE, hopefully this leads to a year long title reign that will allow his successor to receive a giant rub when Brock is defeated.
WINNER BROCK LESNAR (NEW WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP)
SO wow! What a show? On paper this could be tremendous, if it goes off like it very weel could this may be one of the best Wrestlemania’s we have witnessed as each of these matches could really steal the show! I am very excited for this years Showcase of the Immortals and I hope that you are too, if you were not before reading this I hope you are now! Lets look at a could other things that we all look forward to at Mania!
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