Date: February 28, 2014
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
There are no major stops left before we get to Wrestlemania and things are rounding into focus. The only big question at this point is the World Title situation, as Batista vs. Orton seems to be the end game but for the life of me I can't imagine that actually happening. Batista is scheduled for a big interview tonight which might answer a few questions. Let's get to it.
Here's Batista for his big speech. He loves this business but didn't come back to please the fans. He's back to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the people can deal with it. Batista can destroy anyone put in front of him and he's the best representative of the WWE, including Hulk Hogan or the Rock. What happened to this business? Where's the attitude anymore?
The people are chanting the names of 195lbs wannabes but they'll never be him, so deal with it. He takes his shirt off to show how much he looks like a superstar and promises to destroy all of our heroes on the way to the main event of Wrestlemania. Total heel promo here, which should help with the reactions a bit.
Batista's music plays but here's Dolph Ziggler for an interruptions. Dolph says you don't tell the people who to get behind because they'll make up their own minds. Batista is a dinosaur and eventually they go extinct. If Batista is looking for the real men, there's one standing right in front of him that wants a match tonight. Batista says it's on so Dolph dropkicks his hat off and runs.
Big E./Mark Henry vs. Real Americans
Swagger takes Big E. into the corner to start but walks into an overhead belly to belly. Henry comes in and shoves Jack around before slamming him down with ease. Back to Big E. as this is one sided so far. Swagger gets slammed around a bit more before it's off to Cesaro who sends Big E. into the buckle to take over. Cesaro actually does his apron suplex to Big E. in an amazing power display, but Swagger makes a blind tag in the process so Cesaro can't cover.
The Vader Bomb gets two for Jack but Big E. throws Cesaro away with ease and tags Mark back in. Henry powerslams Swagger down but Cesaro breaks up the World's Strongest Slam with a boot to the face. Big E. and Cesaro fight to the floor and Jack takes out Henry's leg, setting up the Patriot Lock but Cesaro tags himself in. The Neutralizer is good for the pin at 5:30.
Rating: C-. This was more of an angle than a match which is fine for the most part. Hopefully Cesaro comes out of this as the face as he's much easier to cheer than Swagger. Thankfully Big E. didn't take the loss here and didn't look bad at all. It looks like Cesaro vs. Swagger at Wrestlemania, which is kind of a waste of the new star too.
Del Rio comes in to see Vickie about a rubber match with Batista, but since Batista is busy, Alberto is taking the night off. Oh and he thinks Vickie's hair is nice. Thankfully Sheamus is standing off camera and comes in to say he'll take a fight with Del Rio, which Vickie approves.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus shoves Del Rio around to start and sends him outside. Cole: “I've got to be honest.” JBL: “Why wouldn't you be?” Sheamus hits a shoulder off the apron and sends Del Rio into the steps. Back in and Del Rio counters the ten forearms before kicking him off the apron. Cue Christian towards the ring as we take a break.
Back with Del Rio clotheslining Sheamus down and Christian on commentary. Del Rio goes to the corner but gets taken down in an electric chair drop. The Brogue Kick misses and a Backstabber gets two for Alberto. Christian doesn't believe that Sheamus kicked him by mistake a few weeks back and he won't forget it. Alberto misses a shot and gets caught by the forearms but comes back with a superkick. The low superkick connects for two but Del Rio misses the enziguri in the corner. Sheamus hooks up the Cloverleaf but Christian comes in for the DQ at 9:10.
Rating: C. Better match than I was expecting here but it's still an uninteresting pairing because there's no doubt as to who is going to win EVERY SINGLE MATCH. Christian vs. Sheamus is the same thing, which makes me wonder why it's so hard to book Sheamus. Have him fight guys that can give him a battle and let him lose once in awhile.
Christian runs off, Del Rio gets kicked in the face and Christian runs back in for a Killswitch to Sheamus.
We look at Bryan challenging HHH on Raw.
We look back at Hogan returning on Monday.
Alexander Rusev comes out and stands on a pedastal for his promo this week.
We look at Shield having problems on Monday with Ambrose cositing Reigns a match. The two of them get in an argument in the back but Rollins plays peacemaker.
Batista vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph sends Batisa to the floor to start and the stalling begins. Back in and Batista easily powers Ziggler into the corner and throws him around. Ziggle can sell being overpowered like few others. Batista takes him into the corner for the shoulders but misses a big one and hits the post. Dolph jumps over him and hammers away but has to escape the Batista Bomb. Batista's knee gets kicked out and a Fameasser gets two but both guys are down. Ziggler gets caught in a pair of spinebusters and there's a third for good measure. Batista does the thumbs down and it's the Batista Bomb for the pin at 6:26. Nearly a squash.
Rating: D+. Not a great match but it's FAR better for Batista than what he's been doing lately. Dolph is a good meal for Batista and the tweak in his character could help Big Dave a lot. I'm not sure how they're going to do heel vs. heel unless Orton makes a very surprising turn, but there's still a door for a third man.
We look at the Wyatts injuring Cena on Monday.
Here are the Wyatts with something to say. Bray talks about everything we do in life being based on lies. Men go to work to buy those sports cars to impress men. Then women put on a mask every morning because the world tells them to. Then we see lies on billboards in the form of a man with a plastic smile. He's the Superman and tells you everything you need to hear.
Bray sings part of What A Wonderful World before promising to spend the remainder of his days slaying the mighty dragon of John Cena with the sword of his tongue. Follow the Buzzards, but here's Shield for a staredown. Before anything happens, HHH comes out and makes Shield vs. Wyatts II for Monday. Bray taunts Shield by saying they heard their daddy. Reigns gets in the ring and the staredown is on but Rollins and Ambrose dive on the Family. Bray is left alone against all three of them but calmly walks out.
Video on Cameron from Total Divas.
Divas Title: Cameron vs. AJ Lee
The champion takes Cameron down with ease to start but Cameron screams a lot and gets two off a bulldog. Tamina shoves AJ out of the way of a charge in the corner and gets ejected, allowing Cameron to get two off a cross body. AJ comes right back with some kicks to the chest and the Black Widow is good to retain the title at 2:00.
We look at Brock and Undertaker on Monday.
The expert panel talks about what we just saw.
Kane/New Age Outlaws vs. Daniel Bryan/Usos
Bryan and Gunn get us going with the fans chanting for the Goat Face. It's quickly off to Jey vs. Kane with the Uso being taken into the corner for a corporate beating. Roadie comes in for some shaky punches but Jey takes him into the good corner for a tag off to his brother. A double elbow sends Road Dogg to the floor and us to a commercial.
Back with Gunn hitting a tilt-a-whirl slam on Jimmy and bringing in Kane for a kick to the chest. The big side slam gets two more and we hit the chinlock. Kane wisely takes out both of Jimmy's partners and a boot to the face drops Jimmy. It's back to Road Dogg who walks into a kick to the face to put both guys down. There's the hot tag to Bryan who cleans house and hits his signature stuff on Gunn as everything breaks down. The Usos send Dogg and Kane to the floor for nice planchas but Billy hits the Fameasser on Daniel for two. Bryan backflips out of a suplex and it's the running knee for the pin at 11:38.
Rating: C. This was fine and gets the point across with Bryan getting the pin over one of Bryan's buddies. The interesting question is what Bryan does at Wrestlemania though as a match vs. HHH makes sense but there's going to be a near riot if he's not in the world title match. There's time to switch things around but I'm not sure where they go.
Overall Rating: C+. We're firmly in that period where it's all about hyping up Wrestlemania and there's nothing wrong with that. I like the look of the card more and more every week as the title match looks to be more in flux. Vince waited sixteen years to let a heel walk out of Wrestlemania with the title so I can't imagine he'll go heel vs. heel for the belt without a big face being added to things.
That being said, who can they add? Bryan vs. HHH looks to be set in wet cement, so they can either make a last second change to that or throw in a returning Punk. Bryan makes the most sense but Punk in the title match would calm some fans down. The fact that it's hard to tell at this point makes this an even more exciting time and it's going to be a fun month heading to New Orleans.
Real Americans b. Big E./Mark Henry – Neutralizer to Henry
Sheamus b. Alberto Del Rio via DQ when Christian interfered
Batista b. Dolph Ziggler – Batista Bomb
AJ Lee b. Cameron – Black Widow
Daniel Bryan/Usos b. Kane/New Age Outlaws – Running knee to Gunn
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