The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 35–Pre-Show

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 35 – 04.07.19

Live from Metlife Stadium in New Jersey

Your hosts are pretty much everyone.

Cruiserweight title: Buddy Murphy v. Tony Nese

Sadly, this year’s set has no Statue of Liberty to remind us that we’re totally in New York. Unless Velveteen Dream stole it for his entrance on Friday. I like the minimalist set, actually. Less is more. Nese charges in and dumps Murphy, then follows him out for a forearm on the floor. Back in, Buddy ties him up on the top rope and drops him with a gutbuster of sorts from the top, and I gotta admit I’m not really sure what the point of that move was, and follows with a chinlock. Nese fights out with a suplex into the turnbuckles and makes a comeback with a moonsault in the ropes, for two. Murphy tries to go up and gets cut off by Nese, but Murphy recovers with a powerbombish thing for two. Murphy with a knee strike, but Nese gets an inverted rana and fights back with kicks. Nese with something like an Air Raid Crash for two and he dumps Murphy and follows with a Fosbury Flop and back in for a 450 that gets two. Murphy comes back with a jumping knee and hits Murphy’s Law out of nowhere for two, but Nese is in the ropes. Murphy loads up the bare knee, but Nese suplexes him in the turnbuckle and hits the Running Nese for the pin and the title at 10:50. This was good wrestling, I approve. ***1/4

Hey! The Impractical Jokers show up for an interview with Charly. I love those guys, they’re hilarious.

Women’s Battle Royal

Asuka and Naomi are the only ones to get entrances and Maria gets tossed out immediately. Asuka takes out LaRae and Nikki Cross at 0:42 and Naomi trades acrobatics with Ember Moon while everyone else stands around punching each other, and Naomi gets tossed at 2:00. And then Lana puts Ember out at 2:30 and slugs it out with Kairi Sane. Sane tries the elbow and gets shoved down by Sarah Logan, and the Riott Squad teams up to throw Lana out at 3:56. Moments later Sane drops the elbow on Logan, but the Squad tosses her at 4:33. More triple teaming from the Riott Squad but Dana Brooke eliminates Ruby and Morgan at 6:30 before getting cut off by Zelina Vega. Sonya & Mandy toss Vega at 7:04 and then put Brooke out with a contrived charge by Brooke that misses at 7:30. Mickie superkicks Mandy Rose out at 8:00, but then gets shoved out by Sonya right after. Asuka is left alone with Sonya and Logan and manages to dump her at 8:57, but Logan tosses Asuka out and seemingly wins. But then Carmella reveals that she was never eliminated and superkicks her out to win at 9:56. Really, you’ve got all that talent in the ring and THAT’S who wins? So much for reheating Asuka right away.

So at this point, an hour into this, we learn that what we have just watched wasn’t even the pre-show, it was the PRE-pre-show. Stay tuned for the special “Talking Pre-Show” recap of the pre-show that will air on Twitch between the end of the pre-show and the start of Wrestlemania!

Kudos to Shawn Michaels for dressing up tonight, adding a tie to his t-shirt and leather vest look.

RAW tag team titles: The Revival v. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

Dawson works a headlock on Hawkins while Cole FINALLY mentions that Ryder & Hawkins are former tag team champions! Dawson with a rollup for two and makes fun of Ryder for choosing Hawkins as a partner. Which is pretty valid. Also, Corey and Michael finally admit that, yes, we are not actually in New York, but rather New Jersey. Well that only took 90 minutes into the show. Zack comes in and runs wild for a bit, but misses a charge and lands on the floor like a doofus. Back in, Revival with a Demolition elbow for two. Dash with an armbar on Ryder and lays the quality badmouth on Hawkins: “Stay in the corner and lose like you do, loser!” He really nailed him with that one. Dawson stomps the fingers and goes with a wristlock, which is not quite small joint manipulation but close enough for me. Dash continues working the arm, but Zack escapes a double suplex and hits a neckbreaker on both guys. Sadly, Dawson knocks Hawkins off the apron to prevent the tag, and Dash gets two on Ryder. Dawson chokes away on the ropes and Dash goes back to the arm. Finally it’s hot tag Hawkins, which is somewhere between “Hot tag Tito Santana” and “Hot tag Virgil”, and he runs wild with dropkicks. Backslide on Dawson gets two. Rollup gets two, and they collide for the double down. Back to Ryder for a sloppy Rough Ryder on Dawson and then a suplex on Dash that puts them both out of the ring in an ugly bump, but Hawkins tags himself in and gets two on Dawson. Sadly, Dawson runs Hawkins into the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and hits a brainbuster on the floor. Back in, Hawkins is apparently unconscious, but gets the surprise rollup for the pin and the titles at 13:25 to end the losing streak. Just a basic tag match with a million wristlocks. ** I give the Edgeheads about a 0.0001 chance of making it off RAW tomorrow night without getting Ryder’d.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

So like the women’s one, a million geeks suddenly appear in the ring, and we get entrances for the Hardy Boyz and the SNL guys, and Braun Strowman. And it’s the Titanic booking, as it’s everyone overboard as soon as possible with a million guys going flying over the top within 3:00. Braun misses his usual charge and hits the post, but lands on the floor via the middle rope. Heavy Machinery does their Worm and dumps the Ascension, but Braun comes back in and gets rid of another batch of geeks, including a terrifying spot where Harper tries to suplex Ali and Braun boots them both off the apron. Andrade stupidly takes Apollo off the apron with a rana to eliminate himself, leaving Braun against the Hardyz, and then the SNL guys come out from under the ring. We already had that booking in the other battle royal! Do they seriously not have any other ideas? Braun casually dumps the Hardyz and goes after the comedians, but we stop for some talking, because that’s exactly what this match needs. So Jost brings out his “therapist” and Braun beats him up. Che wisely eliminates himself, leaving Jost, and we actually get a spot where Braun misses a kick and Jost tries to push him out, only to have Braun gently throw Jost onto a conveniently arranged pile of guys for the anticlimactic win of the plastic cheese-colored monstrosity. Braun really showed those guys! They won’t mess with him again!

So yeah, the usual pre-game show. Enjoy Wrestlemania!