Date: March 26, 2019
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
Ok it has to be tonight right? I mean it has to be. Tonight has to be the setup for Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan for Wrestlemania. Now when I say has to be, I mean it should be but probably won’t be as WWE is likely waiting until the very last possible chance to make the match for some reason. Let’s get to it.
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Here’s New Day to get things going. That means a lot of chanting for Kofi, which shouldn’t be very surprising at this point. If Woods could be serious for a minute, the last few months have been an emotional roller coaster and the fans have been here from NEW DAY SUCKS to NEW DAY ROCKS. It’s been worth every bit of it and the KOFI/NEW DAY ROCKS chants begin.
However, given all the obstacles places in Kofi’s path, they’re considering walking away from WWE. Kofi has been treated badly for eleven years and he’s lived the power of positivity the whole time. They can’t make a decision until they get answers and they would need to be from Mr. McMahon. Therefore, they’re not leaving the ring until Vince comes out here. Cue Vince but before he can say anything, Daniel Bryan and Rowan interrupt instead. Bryan says New Day is a stale novelty act that Vince created and all he has to do is bring up three people from NXT, call them Fresh Afternoon and have them throw waffles into the crowd.
Kofi is a loser and Vince shouldn’t let Big E. and Woods get in his head. Vince has been right to keep Kofi out of the title picture and the people refuse to accept that reality. Bryan and Kofi argue about who is the hypocrite but Vince wants everyone to shut up. He doesn’t like the threats of quitting that were never going to happen.
Vince still sees Kofi as a B+ player but the question is if New Day is a B+ tag team. There is a way for Kofi to get to Wrestlemania: Big E./Xavier have to win….a tag team gauntlet match. Are they really managing to be this lazy on the Road to Wrestlemania? Doing three gauntlet matches in about seven weeks is their brilliant idea?
In the back, Becky Lynch talks about how she’s bringing the people and Ronda Rousey is bringing the title, but what does Charlotte bring? Charlotte comes out to the ring and says she’ll show you how worthy she is.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Charlotte
Asuka is defending and the announcers are rather stunned. They fight over wrist control to start until Asuka grabs a headlock. A shot to the ribs puts Charlotte on the floor and we take a break. Back with Asuka getting two off a sunset flip but getting kicked in the knee. Asuka shrugs off the kicks and hits a hip attack in the corner, followed by a sliding basement dropkick for two. Another hip attack misses and Charlotte kicks her in the face. Charlotte’s moonsault is countered into the Asuka Lock with a rollup getting Charlotte out of trouble.
Back from a second break with Asuka getting two more off another kick to the head. Asuka heads up top but gets caught in a super Spanish Fly for a rather near fall in a spot you almost never see on the main shows. The followup takes too long though and it’s a triangle choke from Asuka, which is reversed into a sitout powerbomb (What else would it be?). The Figure Eight gives Charlotte the title at 15:52.
Rating: B. Another very good match from these two as they work well together, but that’s quite the curve ball for the main event. Odds are this leads to a unified title, which is the best thing for everyone right now. You have Asuka, Rousey, Becky and Charlotte at the moment and if Rousey is leaving, there’s no need for two titles between three big stars. Let the rest of the division fight over the Tag Team Titles and go with the traveling champion, as it’s best for everyone.
With Asuka down on the floor, Kurt Angle comes out for his match. Way to make the women look important there guys.
AJ Styles is honored to be Kurt Angle’s final Smackdown opponent and isn’t taking this match lightly.
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
They shake hands and hug before the match before AJ pulls him down into the Calf Crusher. Angle is about to tap but hangs on long enough to reverse it into the ankle lock. AJ sends him into the corner for the break and here’s Randy Orton with an RKO to Styles for the DQ at 1:30. NOW WHY COULDN’T THEY DO THAT WITH SAMOA JOE LAST NIGHT???
Post match Angle gives Orton the Angle Slam, dropping him on the way to the mat.
Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick say that Samoa Joe isn’t going to have a good time at Wrestlemania when Rey becomes the new US Champion.
Here’s Miz for a chat, but first he needs to agree with the MIZ IS AWESOME chants. We’re twelve days away from Wrestlemania and the only thing he can imagine is ripping Shane McMahon limb from limb. Miz wants to hurt Shane so badly that he wants to change things a bit by making it a Falls Count Anywhere match. This brings out Shane, albeit behind a group of security guards and various midcarders. After having the ring announcer do a well done introduction, Shane says Miz sounds as dumb as his father looked.
We see an image from Fastlane of Shane grabbing Miz’s dad by the face with Shane saying it makes him feel better every time he sees it. Shane loved hurting Miz’s dad to the point where it was euphoric. Therefore, the stipulation is accepted, though Shane says he made a mistake of not hurting Miz even more. It was the biggest mistake since Miz’s father impregnated his mother.
Miz beats up the security and the wrestlers (to be fair it was Sanity and Shelton Benjamin) as Shane watches from the stage. A dive off the barricade lets Miz beat then into the crowd in a rather strong moment. They’re getting twenty minutes at Wrestlemania aren’t they? They’ve presented the thing as the third biggest match on the show so far.
We look back at the opening segment.
We look back at the Women’s Title match.
We look back at the SNL guys agreeing to enter the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
The IIconics are excited to be in the Women’s Tag Team Title match.
Tag Team Gauntlet Match
If New Day wins, Kofi gets his title shot at Wrestlemania. Big E./Xavier Woods are in first and Anderson and Gallows are in second. Woods goes straight at Anderson to start and it’s UpUpDownDown for the elimination at 49 seconds, which isn’t even enough time for me to make fun of Anderson and Gallows for still being around.
Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura are in third as a crowd is gathering to watch backstage, including the Hardys, Rey Mysterio and Becky Lynch. Woods headscissors Nakamura down but misses a Stinger Splash in the corner. That lets Nakamura hit the running knee in the corner and Woods is sent outside as we take a break.
Back with Good Vibrations and a knee drop getting two as the audience has grown. The reverse exploder is countered and it’s Big E. coming in for some overhead belly to bellies. The Warrior Splash looks to set up the Big Ending but Big E. gets sent outside. That means a whip into the steps for Rusev but he’s fine enough for the Machka Kick back inside. Woods is back in for a dive onto Rusev as Kinshasa misses. Nakamura goes into the post and UpUpDownDown pins Nakamura at 9:27 total.
The Bar is in fourth and we’re joined in progress with Sheamus working on Big E.’s leg before handing it off to Cesaro. That means the Swing into the Sharpshooter but Big E. kicks him out to the floor. The hot tag is broken up but Big E. manages to fight them both off and, after a backdrop to Cesaro, the hot tag brings in Woods. Everything breaks down and it’s a big flip dive onto the Bar. A guillotine legdrop gets two on Cesaro with Sheamus diving in for a save.
Back from another break with Big E. caught in a half crab from Cesaro but Sheamus charges into a powerbomb. It’s back to Woods, who dives into an uppercut for two. The spike White Noise is broken up though and it’s a rollup to pin Sheamus at 23:55. We’re not done though as the Bar takes out Big E. and powerbomb him through a table.
The Usos are in fifth and want Big E. to get up and fight. Hang on though as Jimmy grabs a mic and says the Usos have fought wars against the New Day. Kofi deserves the shot so since he’s already earned respect from everyone….so the Usos forfeit at 26:23. We cut to the back where Bryan and Rowan freak out and wreck their locker room (that’s a lot of chairs for two people).
Back from another break with Rowan and Daniel Bryan being announced as the final team. Big E. can barely stand so Bryan wraps his leg around the post as Rowan crossbodies Woods. We settle down to a regular match with Bryan stomping on Big E. and grabbing something like an ankle lock/half crab hybrid. Big E. gets over for the hot tag to Big E. anyway and it’s a flip dive onto Rowan.
The Rock Bottom out of the corner plants Bryan and the Big Ending connects but Rowan makes the save. The claw slam gets two and it’s time to load up the announcers’ table. Woods is back up with a tornado DDT off the steps to drop Bryan and Rowan goes into the post twice in a row. A clothesline sends Rowan over the table and Big E. turns it on top of him to win via countout at 37:49.
Rating: C+. I liked this one better with the slightly shorter length and some more creative ways to end some falls. Above all else, the champions involved didn’t get pinned, which is a lot better than what I was expecting. The problem is I also expect New Day to turn on Kofi for getting him into the match and leaving him with the glory.
A rather calm Vince gets in his limo and says Kofi is going to Wrestlemania to face Daniel Bryan for the title.
The locker room comes out to celebrate with Kofi to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. Well they nailed this one for the most part, assuming you don’t mind a strong curve in Charlotte winning the title. Kofi FINALLY being set up for the title match is a great thing, though I don’t think he gets the title. I’m rather relieved that they didn’t have Angle go over AJ and they even threw in some storyline advancement. Throw in no mention of the Women’s Battle Royal or the Smackdown Tag Team Title matches and I’m very pleased.
Charlotte b. Asuka – Figure Eight
AJ Styles b. Kurt Angle via DQ when Randy Orton interfered
New Day won a gauntlet match last eliminating Daniel Bryan and Rowan
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