Friday, 9 April 2021

WWE WrestleMania 37 Highlights 2021

 

WrestleMania 37 Night 1 PPV 4/10/21 April 10th 2021





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WWE WrestleMania 37 Results: Night 1 Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Sana Ejaz Khan
    Credit: WWE.com

    After months of buildup and anticipation, several weeks of dedicated storytelling and multiple days of pro wrestling from every promotion able to run a show, WrestleMania 37 has finally arrived.

    This is the single-most important pay-per-view of the year for WWE and its Superstars. It's the event with the most press coverage and the biggest worldwide audience, which means everyone is looking to make a lasting impression with their performance.

    This year's PPV is the company's first attempt at a return to normalcy. After a year without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic, this is the first time the WWE Universe was able to attend the show live and see the men and women of WWE do what they do best. 

    It will still be some time before the company returns to touring, but for now, we get to experience pro wrestling with reactions from a real crowd again. It's the way this wacky form of entertainment was meant to be enjoyed. 

    Saturday's show opened with the WWE title match between Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley and closed with Bianca Belair challenging Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women's Championship. 

    Let's take a look at every bout from the first night of WrestleMania 37 and see if WWE was able to live up to our lofty expectations. 

Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship)

1 OF 7

    Vince McMahon and the entire roster were on the stage as the show opened. The Chairman said they have missed the WWE Universe and he thanked everyone for coming to WrestleMania. Bebe Rexha sang "American the Beautiful."

    Then...the weather stepped in. A rain and lightning delay forced WWE to think on its feet a bit. We got a lot of improvised promos that were entertaining and clearly unscripted. It was reminiscent of classic PPVs before they used video packages to push feuds and did quick pre-match interviews. It was surprisingly entertaining and helped make the rain delay more bearable. 

    After over 30 minutes of delays, Titus O'Neil and Hulk Hogan came out to kick things off as the hosts of the show. They hyped all of the matches set to take place to the best of their ability. Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring at the 40-minute mark to battle Bobby Lashley.

    They locked up and the crowd popped immediately. They came to a stalemate and locked up again. The All Mighty scored the first takedown, but McIntyre popped right back up to his feet. The Scottish Warrior hit a belly-to-belly suplex and Lashley got right back to his feet, too. 

    They traded a few insults before both men started throwing punches. The champ took control when they took the fight to the ringside area. McIntyre went for an armbar but Lashley countered and unloaded on him with forearm strikes. 

    McIntyre hit a nice northern lights suplex for a two-count. The All Mighty hit a nasty spinebuster but still couldn't get the pinfall. The Scottish Warrior hit a reverse Alabama slam, but the WWE champion kicked out at two. Neither competitor could get the upper hand for long.

    Lashley countered a Claymore with a spinebuster, but it didn't keep McIntyre down for long. He grabbed Lashley and hit three Future Shock DDTs for a close two-count. MVP pulled him out of the ring to avoid the Claymore, so McIntyre took both men down with a dive over the top rope. 

    The Scottish Warrior put him in a kimura lock but had to break when he reached the bottom rope. MVP distracted McIntyre to prevent the Claymore and allow Lashley to put him in the Hurt Lock. After a long struggle, McIntyre passed out and the ref was forced to call for the bell. 

    Grade: A-

                                   

    Analysis

    WWE did an excellent job improvising during the rain delay. The Superstars gave great promos and it felt like everyone was on top of things while they waited for the all-clear. 

    When it comes to the match, this is the kind of powerhouse vs. powerhouse bout that defines pro wrestling. It was just two big dudes beating the life out of each other.

    They started a little slow but as time went on, they hit bigger and bigger moves. Both men did things we have never seen from them before to make this special.

    They also left themselves room to grow in future encounters. They didn't throw everything and the kitchen sink into this bout to make sure they could top it down the line. This was a great way to open the PPV and set the tone for the rest of the show. 

Women's Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match

2 OF 7

    Lana and Naomi started this gauntlet match against the new pairing of Billie Kay and Carmella. After Mella took control of Lana, Kay tagged in. Lana hit a leg sweep and brought in Naomi to take control.

    Thanks to an illegal assist from Carmella, Kay pinned Naomi to get the first win. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan were out next. The Riott Squad came in hot but ended up on defense after Kay backdropped Riott out of the ring.

    The ref caught Mella trying to help Kay get the pin again, allowing Riott and Morgan to recover and hit a double-team finisher for the pin. Mella gave Morgan a quick superkick before leaving.

    Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose were the fourth team to enter the match and almost won right away when Brooke hit Riott with a blockbuster for a near-fall. They went back and forth for a few minutes with quick tags and two-counts. 

    Brooke hit a superplex on Morgan and Rose followed up with a senton bomb. Morgan was able to roll her up for the pin. The announcer incorrectly stated The Riott Squad had been eliminated before correcting himself. Natalya and Tamina were the last team to enter the match. 

    Morgan almost pinned Nattie right away with a rollup. The two second-generation Superstars asserted their dominance early and often. Natalya and Tamina hit a Hart Attack clothesline on Riott. Tamina hit a Superfly Splash to get the win. 

    Grade: C-

                                   

    Analysis

    Kay was channeling Damien Mizdow by trying to mimic Carmella's mannerisms during their entrance. It was funny but also a reminder of how far Kay has fallen since The IIconics split.

    Unfortunately, this bout suffered from the problem a lot of gauntlet matches face. Every match felt a little rushed, so the whole thing was a series of pinfalls that weren't convincing.

    It did have some highlights, though. Morgan and Riott had some fun spots against all three of the teams they faced. It just wasn't enough to keep this from being kind of a mess. 

    The finish was predictable, especially once it was clear who would enter the match last. Natalya and Tamina are convincing as a dominant duo, so hopefully, they have a good match with Nia Jax and Tamina on Sunday. 

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

3 OF 7

    As soon as the bell rang, Cesaro hit a huge uppercut and tried to grab Seth Rollins for the big swing. The Messiah avoided it but he couldn't avoid the corkscrew springboard uppercut. 

    The Swiss Cyborg hit a beautiful dropkick to Rollins on the top rope. Rollins countered a gutwrench superplex and hit a bucklebomb for a two-count. He started to focus on Cesaro's arm to limit his uppercuts. He jumped up to the top rope and hit Cesaro with a superplex into a falcon arrow for another near-fall. 

    Cesaro cornered him for a flurry of uppercuts before he turned Rollins inside out with a clothesline for a two-count. The Messiah countered the swing twice before The Swiss Superman finally grabbed him. He got in nine revolutions before his arm gave out and he had to stop. Rollins broke the Sharpshooter by reaching the bottom rope. 

    The former WWE champion hit a springboard knee and a sling blade as he started to build momentum. He hit a corkscrew splash for another two-count. Cesaro countered the ripcord knee with a Neutralizer, but Rollins kicked out at the last possible second. 

    The Messiah hit a Pedigree for yet another near-fall. He talked some trash and declared himself a god. He nailed Cesaro with a forearm and a kick to the back of the head. The Swiss Cyborg countered the Stomp with an uppercut. He swung Rollins around on his shoulders with no hands for a moment before he called for the Cesaro Swing one more time. 

    Rollins was swung 23 times before Cesaro hit the Neutralizer for the victory. 

    Grade: A

                                

    Analysis

    The problem with a match like this is we build it up in our heads so much before it happens that it is almost impossible to live up to our expectations. Luckily, these two were up to the challenge.

    Surprisingly, they kept the risky spots to a minimum and focused more on innovative counters and storytelling. They did a good job making Cesaro into the underdog even though he is physically equal or above Rollins in almost every way. 

    The fans gave him a great reaction when he won. If WWE is smart, it will follow through on this push and put him into the hunt for a title of some kind.

    Like Lashley and McIntyre, Cesaro and Rollins left themselves room to improve in a future encounter. This was great from top to bottom. 

The New Day vs. AJ Styles and Omos (Raw Tag Team Championships)

4 OF 7

    Big E introduced Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods for their match against AJ Styles and Omos for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Omos came out wearing his usual attire instead of traditional wrestling gear. 

    Styles and Kingston started for their teams. The Phenomenal One hit the first takedown with a headscissor, but Kingston stayed on him as they exchanged counters. The former WWE champion dropped Styles on his face and smiled right at Omos as Woods played the trombone to taunt them.

    As Woods vocally pointed out, The New Day effectively cut the ring in half to keep Styles isolated. He prevented the tag multiple times as Styles tried to reach Omos. 

    When he finally reached the colossus, Woods looked like he knew he was screwed. He tried to hit a few kicks that had no impact on Omos whatsoever. He stared down at both members of The New Day before he started destroying them.

    Styles jumped from the shoulders of Omos to hit a Phenomenal Forearm. Omos hit Kingston with a huge slam and pinned him with one foot to win the titles. 

    Grade: B

                                 

    Analysis

    This was all about making Omos look like one of the most physically dominant Superstars on the entire roster. In that regard, it succeeded.

    Was this a spot fest or technical showcase? No, but it didn't need to be. Omos came in and almost singlehandedly destroyed one of the greatest tag teams of the modern era. Few have looked as unstoppable in their debut match.

    From a storyline perspective, this was exactly what it needed to be. The New Day's cockiness finally backfired and now, Kingston and Woods have to regroup while Styles and Omos rule the tag team division with an iron fist. 

Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman (Steel Cage)

5 OF 7

    Shane McMahon was out first and he held the door closed so Braun Strowman couldn't get in. This led to Elias and Jaxson Ryker attacking him with chairs at ringside. They threw one in the ring so McMahon could use it as the match began.

    He beat down The Monster Among Men with several shots to the back and legs. Strowman stopped him from escaping through the door, so he tried to climb the cage. Shane-o-Mac tried to keep his distance but once he was forced to engage, he used his quickness to avoid the powerhouse and hit a series of strikes.

    He somehow tore a piece of sheet metal from the top of the cage and hit Strowman a few times for a two-count. He hit the coast-to-coast dropkick, but Strowman kicked out at two. Elias and Ryker tried to help him climb out of the ring until Strowman hit the cage wall to send them crashing to the floor. 

    McMahon hit The Monster Among Men with a toolbox before he climbed over the top of the cage. He was about to win when Strowman trapped one of his hands against the cage. He ripped the cage wall down and pulled McMahon back into the ring. 

    They ended up standing on top of the cage and Strowman threw Shane all the way down to the mat. He climbed down and hit a powerslam for the win. 

    Grade: C+

                                   

    Analysis

    The buildup for this match was atrocious, so expectations were low. That being said, Strowman and McMahon overachieved and ended up having a decent match.

    The big fall from McMahon was brutal, and Strowman peeling open the cage was a cool spot. Everything else was exactly what we expected this match to be. McMahon tried to outsmart his opponent but ultimately failed.

    Being better than expected help keep this match from killing the pace of the show, which was a serious concern when it started. Let's hope this is the end of this storyline because Strowman needs to use this win to pivot back into the title picture. 

The Miz and John Morrison vs. Damian Priest and Bad Bunny

6 OF 7

    The Miz and John Morrison were accompanied to the ring by a couple of dozen guys in bunny suits. They were so cheap that ears were falling off of the bunny masks left and right. 

    Bad Bunny arrived riding on top of a big rig after Damian Priest made his entrance. The A-Lister didn't want to fight Priest and demanded Bad Bunny start for his team. 

    The Grammy winner came in and decked The Miz in the face, catching him off guard a bit. The Miz focused and took control. He put Bunny in the corner and raked his eyes against the top rope. Bunny countered a hip toss and hit an arm drag to send The A-Lister out of the ring. 

    He almost pinned The Miz with a rollup before he regrouped with Morrison in the corner. He threw Bad Bunny against the ring ropes hard but was met with a shoulder thrust from the apron. The Miz helped Bunny hit a swinging headscissor takedown.

    JoMo tagged in and hit a back elbow as Bunny tried to hit a corner splash. Bunny kept finding ways to surprise them, but he also took a lot of punishment. He hit The Miz with a DDT out of nowhere to give himself a chance to tag Priest. 

    The Archer of Infamy came in and ran through The Miz and Morrison like a bulldozer. He and Bunny hit simultaneous falcon arrows for a two-count. Bunny hit Morrison with a Canadian destroyer at ringside before he helped Priest finish off The Miz with a double-team move for the win. 

    Grade: B+

                                

    Analysis

    Celebrity matches are never going to be clinics, but on their own terms, they can be highly entertaining. Bad Bunny clearly put in the effort to make sure he didn't embarrass himself or the company. 

    Some celebrity performers come in and do a few moves. Bunny actually worked the majority of this match without any help from Priest. Other than Stephen Amell, it's hard to think of a celeb who put in this much work. 

    Since expectations are always low for celebrity matches, Bunny came out of this looking great. He took it seriously, put in maximum effort and looked better than anyone could have hoped. He had a lot of help from The Miz and Morrison, who deserve a lot of credit for making him look credible. 

    This match had to be graded on a bit of a curve but all four men deserve to be praised for their performance. 

Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair (SmackDown Women's Championship)

7 OF 7

    Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks made history Saturday by being the first two black women to work the main event of WrestleMania. Both women looked like they were on the verge of tears as the crowd began to cheer. They collected themselves and locked up. 

    They got into a shoving match before they started running the ropes and trading counters. The Boss hit the first strikes of the match to amp things up a bit. She sent The EST out of the ring and hung her up on the top rope. 

    Belair caught Banks to counter a crossbody and pressed her above her head. She walked up the stairs and threw her in the ring. The Boss fired off a dropkick for a quick two-count. 

    Banks tried to use Belair's braid against her but it backfired when The EST yanked her into the ring post. She powered The Boss up into a vertical suplex and bounced her off the top rope a couple of times. She struggled to keep her up before bringing her down in an impressive show of power. 

    The challenger started building up a head of steam and hit a standing shooting star press. She hit Banks with a glam slam and climbed to the top rope. Banks countered a 450 by putting her knees up. 

    The EST hit two powerbombs before Banks countered a third. Belair kicked out after a frog splash, so Banks began to focus on her arm. She shoved Belair into the steel steps to soften her up for the Bank Statement. She used the braid to lock in the hold but it wasn't enough to stop The EST from reaching the ropes. 

    Belair avoided a meteora in the corner and hit a 450 splash. When Banks kicked out, Belair couldn't believe it. She nailed The Boss with her braid before hitting the KOD for the pin and the win. Tears of joy streamed down her face as she held up the title in celebration. 

    Grade: A

                                 

    Analysis

    The emotion at the start of this match helped make it feel like the true main event of WrestleMania, and the crowd helped reinforce that feeling with its reaction. 

    As the match unfolded, both women used every trick in their playbooks. It's hard to think of anything else they could have done to make this any better.

    Sure, there were a few small mistakes here and there, but the match as a whole was fantastic. They sold for each other, took risks and made every move count. When Belair was declared the winner, the crowd went nuts.

    The first night of WrestleMania was enjoyable and set the stage for night two to be even better. Just about every outcome was the right booking decision and every match had something to enjoy. 

WWE SmackDown Highlights 9 April 2021

 

WWE Smackdown Live 4/9/21 April 9th 2021




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WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights from April 9

Sana Ejaz Khan

    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE kicked off its biggest weekend of the year with a special WrestleMania edition of SmackDown, featuring the annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and a blockbuster Fatal 4-Way Match for the blue brand's tag team titles.

    Also featuring comments from Roman Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan ahead of their main event Sunday night at the Showcase of the Immortals, the episode served as the perfect primer for the two-night extravaganza.

    Who emerged victoriously from the advertised bouts, and what did the three competitors in the Triple Threat match for the Universal Championship have to say?

    Find out now with this recap of the April 9 show.

Announced for Friday

1 OF 8

    The lineup for Friday's broadcast includes:

       

    • The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
    • SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Alpha Academy vs. The Street Profits vs. Rey and Dominik Mysterio
    • Roman Reigns, Edge, and Daniel Bryan address the WWE Universe ahead of WrestleMania

        

    Coverage begins at 8 p.m.

Don't Tell Daniel Bryan "No"

2 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    Daniel Bryan kicked off this week’s show, excited about being so close to WrestleMania. He expressed his desire to hear the roar of the crowd at WrestleMania. There is nothing like winning the world heavyweight championship at WrestleMania, he said.

    He said a career of hearing “no” has made him say “YES!” He recalled the injury that sidelined him for three years and the people that said he’s never come back. He said yes. They said he couldn’t tap out Roman Reigns. He said yes. Adam Pearce initially said no to a title shot, he said yes.

    “This Sunday at WrestleMania, they’re getting the best damn Daniel Bryan they’ve ever seen!”

    A fired-up Bryan asked, “can Daniel Bryan walk out of the main event of WrestleMania as universal champion?” “YES! YES! YES!” he exclaimed.

        

    Grade

    A

         

    Analysis

    This was a fantastic promo from Bryan, who undoubtedly understood the importance of putting the final touches on the hype for his championship opportunity. It was a well-structured promo with a common thread and one that reminded fans exactly what Bryan’s character is all about, in case fans forgot.

    It highlighted his motivations, showed the fiery passion that made him such a fan favorite in the first place, and set the stage for Bryan to be the beloved hero in this year’s main event.

    On a night where hyping up WrestleMania is absolutely key, Bryan turned in his best promo performance in weeks and dared his opponents to tell him “no” one more time.

Fatal 4-Way Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships

3 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    As The Street Profits chanted “YES!” along with Bryan backstage, SmackDown tag team champions Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode attacked from out of nowhere. Alpha Academy joined in, followed by Rey and Dominik Mysterio, giving way to the advertised Fatal 4-Way Match for the gold.

    The Mysterios rolled early, standing dominantly heading into the commercial commercial break.

    Back from the break, Montez Ford took Roode down with a big dropkick for a quick two count. The newly aggressive Otis and Chad Gable halted Ford’s momentum, working him over with slams and a northern lights suplex from the latter for a near-fall.

    Ziggler joined in, only to be taken down by Ford, who drove him to the mat. The action broke down following the hot tag, leading to the Mysterios delivering a double 619 to Roode. A frog splash from Dominik scored a near-fall that was broken up by an interfering Otis.

    The action continued to break down, leading to a top-rope frog splash from Ford to Gable. An alert Ziggler rocked Ford with a superkick and Roode, off a blind tag, scored the pinfall for the successful title retention.

        

    Result

    Ziggler and Roode defeated The Street Profits, Alpha Academy, and The Mysterios to retain

        

    Grade

    B+

        

    Analysis

    This would have been a hell of an opener for either night of WrestleMania.

    It was an action-packed match that highlighted the strengths of each team while positioning the champions as vulnerable late. Then, like good heels, they seized an opening and did exactly what they had to in order to retain their titles.

    The only problem with it as it was presented here? The commercial breaks really hurt the flow of things. Without them, this could have been a hell of a match and certainly worthy of inclusion on the WrestleMania card.

    It will be interesting to see where things go from here. The Street Profits were seconds from victory, only to have it stolen out from under them. Will it be enough to warrant a rematch? Might a new team step up?

    It bears watching but one thing is for certain: the tag division on Friday nights is far healthier than it was just a few months back.



Tamina vs. Nia Jax

4 OF 8

    Credit: WWE.com

    A prerecorded promo from Big E put over the beating he has coming for Apollo Crews at WrestleMania, live from his hometown of Tampa.

    From there, women’s tag team champion Nia Jax made her way to the ring with partner Shayna Baszler by her side for a match with Tamina, who was accompanied by Natalya.

    As Tamina matched Jax’s fury, Reginald ran interference, allowing The Irresistible Force to down her opponent. Tamina fought back as Natalya pulled Baszler off the apron and brawled with her at ringside. She rocked Jax with a superkick and flattened her with a Samoan Drop.

    Baszler broke up the pin, drawing a disqualification before retreating with her partner. Natalya checked on her partner as we headed backstage to Kayla Braxton, who was standing by with The Riott Squad’s Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan.

    Billie Kay interrupted, followed by Carmella who revealed the newly formed team will be a part of Tag Team Turmoil at WrestleMania. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke followed before tension mounted and a brawl broke out.

    The segment ended with Tamina and Natalya brutalizing the competition, sending both Morgan and Brooke into anvil cases and leaving them lying.

        

    Result

    Tamina defeated Jax via disqualification

        

    Grade

    C+

        

    Analysis

    It was nice to see WWE focus time and energy on the women’s tag team division the last couple of weeks, but one can only imagine how much more anticipated this weekend’s matches would be had it started earlier.

    What if there had been any creative effort into establishing the teams involved ahead of the show rather than having them score the occasional win here or there to set things up?

    It is the same old story for WWE Creative. The good news? This feels like a bigger deal than it would have been had it been thrown on the Kickoff Show and left to wallow in mediocrity, especially with the turmoil match and the tag title match being spread out like they are.

Edge's Dreams Manifested

5 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    Edge made his way to the ring for a few words before Sunday’s main event.

    He said when he dreams things, he has to manifest them because that’s how things work in his world. He didn’t walk away from wrestling, it was ripped away from him. He didn’t forge another career off the back of it, this is all he wanted to do.

    “I didn’t come back for some greatest hits tour,” he said. He came back to main event WrestleMania. “I missed nine of them, so I won’t apologize for that.”

    He accused Bryan of weaseling his way into the main event, ruining a clash of two eras between him and Reigns.

    Edge claimed to set the template for Reigns, calling him “Samoan Edge” based on the number of similarities between them. 

    He cried foul over no one recognizing the incredible feats he has accomplished to come back. He will be the universal champion after WrestleMania. He dreamt it and he will manifest it.

        

    Grade

    A

        

    Analysis

    Edge was the ranting, raving, desperate character we have seen him devolve into in recent weeks in a promo that was all over the place.

    He touted his own passionate journey, took exception to Bryan being in the match at WrestleMania, took credit for Reigns’ entire shtick and talked about manifesting his dreams.

    It was a great promo, with some strong facial expressions out of The Rated R Superstar and just enough content to set up post-Mania programs with either Bryan or Reigns, if WWE sees fit to take things in that direction.

Sasha Banks Talks WrestleMania, More Sami Zayn Hijinx

6 OF 8

    Credit: WWE.com

    Sasha Banks cut a promo ahead of her SmackDown Women’s Championship defense against Bianca Belair, laughing off the idea of the 2021 Royal Rumble winner dethroning her. 

    Elsewhere, a video package recorded earlier in the week saw Sami Zayn show up announced at the boxing facility that Logan Paul and brother Jake were working out. The conspiracy-minded Superstar tried to buddy up to the celebrities but quickly found himself denied entry back into the facility. 

    After the video aired, Zayn appealed to the commentary team that all was ok with him and his buddy Paul. Kevin Owens arrived and attacked him as Superstars made their way to the ring for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

        

    Grade

    C+

        

    Analysis

    Short and sweet, these were two small and inoffensive additions to storylines that had already wrapped up everything they hoped to accomplish a week ago.

    Banks is the overconfident heel champion entering the match with Belair while Owens is hellbent on avenging last week’s attack.

    We know where all the characters involved are coming from and that is a nice change of pace considering the creative void many undercard matches often suffer from entering WrestleMania.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

7 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    Participants: Akira Tozawa, Angel Garza, Erik, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado, Kalisto, Tucker, Drew Gulak, Mace, T-Bar, Slapjack, Humberto Carillo, Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, Murphy, Jaxson Ryker, Elias, Shinsuke Nakamura, King Corbin, Jey Uso, Mustafa Ali, and Ricochet.

    Benjamin and Alexander teamed up early to moderate success but their dominance came to an end when the rest of the competitors teamed up to dump them.

    The former members of Retribution teed off on Elias and Ryker, eliminating them before Ali eliminated Mace and T-Bar. Lucha House Party momentarily reunited before Metalik and Dorado eliminated Kalisto. Dorado dumped Metalik for good measure.

    Back from the break, seven Superstars remained in the competition: Murphy, Garza, Corbin, Ricochet, Nakamura, Ali, and Uso.

    Corbin eliminated Murphy and Nakamura dumped Garza to the floor with Kinshasa. Ricochet eliminated Ali, but ate a superkick from Uso that sent him to the floor. Nakamura fought from underneath, eliminating Corbin. After an exchange of strikes, Uso reversed Nakamura’s momentum and sent The Artist to the floor for the win.

        

    Result

    Uso won

       

    Grade

    C-

       

    Analysis

    There were a handful of the Superstars involved with a genuine chance of winning the whole thing and it ultimately came down to them. No one was elevated, no one came out of this any better for having participated. WWE went the predictable route and it was what it was.

    Were there a few cool spots? Sure, but nothing constituting anything we haven’t seen a million times in every one of these matches.

    It was a match for match’s sake, an Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal the is starting to feel like an obligation rather than a useful tool to get stars over at this point.

Roman Reigns' Final Assessment Ahead of WrestleMania

8 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    In true Head of the Table fashion, Roman Reigns put Jey Uso in his place, interrupting his celebration and stalking toward the squared circle for the show-closing promo.

    The Tribal Chief said WWE is winning every time he shows up. “You know the phrase. You bought the shirt!”

    He said Edge needs to stop whining about things being taken away from him because Reigns is the one who took it from him and everyone else in WWE. He vowed to defeated Bryan and Edge, saying, “every single day of the week, when you train at a 12, the 10 comes easy.” 

    The universal champion looked into the camera and issued a warning to the rest of the SmackDown roster: “You think what I did this year was special? Wait ‘til you see what I do next.” 

        

    Grade

    A

       

    Analysis

    The third promo from the Triple Threat participants, the third “A” grade.

    Reigns was on fire here, the consummate overconfident villain absolutely sure that he is going to leave WrestleMania the same way he entered, despite the odds stating otherwise.

    He was great as he managed to incorporate his own catchphrases and even squeezed in Paul Heyman’s “not a guarantee, it’s a spoiler” line.

    Reigns has completely reinvented himself, transitioning to the role of bad guy so much easier and more naturally than he ever filled that of the hero. He is imposing, dangerous, cerebral and does not hesitate to rely on interference from Uso or Heyman, even when he may not need it. 

    He is great. He is the best thing about WWE in 2021 and though it is unlikely, he should retain his title at WrestleMania.

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