Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s the final SmackDown before the Ultimate Thrill Ride (though, I’m sorry, I don’t know when WrestleMania had to become hyped like a Six Flags attraction). We have final hype for Shane/Styles, the women’s match, the mixed tag match, the IC match and probably a whole bunch more. It’s going to be a busy and full two hours, so let’s get things moving.

Best Match of the night:

I am going to go with Harper and Wyatt.  Solid match, and Harper could be huge. Hard to realize he’s got like, no role in ‘Mania. Nice catatonic Bray, I suppose selling his new “Sister Abigail” mode, and Orton sends the show to black with a deep, dark, heavily edited vignette.

Worst match of the night:

I was going to put the women’s match on it, but it evolved into a tag match, and then broke down into hype for Sunday that brought out Naomi. And her appearance redeemed things.

So, instead, I give this to the ten man tag match.

Say it with me, WWE Creative: Ten man tag matches SUCK more often than not. Survivor Series is the exception (and even then, I favor the four v four format).

Crowd Chants of the Night:

AJ Styles

Shane O Mac

John Cena sucks

Yes! Yes! Yes!


Star of the Night

There were a number of really nice performances, but I could not settle on just one for star of the night. Several choices, all good.

Spot of the Night:

Naomi gets two spots here. The Hurricanrana on Natty on the ramp was just a stunner, and that was one very big Rear View, too.

Jobber of the Night:

Can I put James Ellsworth here, since he was the poor dumb bastard who had to wear all the WreslteMania 33 gear, and escort the Princess of New England to the ring.

OK, maybe thats not such a crumby job…but he’s still got no chin.

Upset of the Night:

Nothing really happening there.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Kind of surprised that they brought Naomi back tonight, as opposed to keeping her as a surprise for Sunday night. But once things broke as they did, you could just tell she was showing up tonight, and holy [email protected] what a Hurricanrana on Natalya, on the ramp, as Naomi charged down to the ring to even the numbers. Anyone wondering who the odds on favorite is now?

And as good as the Bellas spoof was, Cena brought it tonight on the mic….and oh man, did he just ask Miz if he was firing blanks?! Damn. And he got bleeped? Wow…when did we hop on a time machine back to the Attitude Era?

Botch of the night:

Didn’t see one. Guess that’s a good thing, five days before the biggest show of the year.

Commentary of the night:

Is this the National Geographic Channel?

Is Tyler gonna change out of his nylons?

Someone wake up Captain Steubing and tell him he has a match on Sunday

LOL Moment of the night:

Tyler Breeze, dressing in drag and trying to get a shot at the SmackDown women’s title match.

And Daniel Bryan instead put Breezango in the Andre Battle Royal.

And, while I think it was a bit much, the Miz spoof of Total Bellas had some comedic value. I suppose the rip on Daniel Bryan is the hook that gets the GM involved in the match, and you could argue that these bits are the funniest of these types since perhaps the Huckster and Nacho Man.

Noteworthy Moment:

Surprised they opened with Shane/AJ, though I guess closing with Wyatt/Orton makes sense, because the title should be more prominent. But it was a strong opening, with Shane acknowledging AJ is as good as fans think he is, giving credit where credit is due, and AJ really asking Shane if he knows what he’s signing up for. Not phenomenal, but a pretty strong promo.

Not Blue Brand related, but RAW made it’s tag match a ladder match. Why on Earth didn’t they do that last night? I mean, it was flipping obvious…

Hard to not like the build for the mixed tag. As much as they are a generally horrible match, in my opinion, they’ve done a strong job about building it up and making people want to see it.

I probably missed it before, but I like the new look for Harper. He got a new wife beater shirt. Good for him!

Overall lowlights:

I get it. WrestleMania is a big show, with like, thirteen matches. But the mega-cards, the really, really big ones? They NEED to have EVERY title defended on it. And barring something unexpected, we have the SmackDown tag titles not even on the line at the show. The Usos are, instead, fodder in the Andre Battle Royal. I think every one of us knows that neither Jimmy or Jey has a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning that match, but by putting them in, WWE is basically saying jobbers in THAT match are more valuable than the tag team titles. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but you’d think the belts would mean more.

Overall highlights:

With just two hours, things were not as out of balance as RAW, so I felt this show worked a bit better like that. Some really good mic work from both Styles and McMahon, as well as Cena and Miz.

The women started slow but were glowing by the end of their segment, with Naomi returning and gunning for the title on Sunday.

Harper and Wyatt had a really nice match, and Orton got his final words in.

After the final bell:

A solid go-home show. I think the matches that did the most to boost their profile had to be Styles/McMahon and the mixed tag match, as they showed the best.

I was rather surprised, however, that the IC belt got ZERO attention. None. Barely a mention, and unless I dozed off for a blink, no live screen time. That’s pathetic, to be blunt. Considering the history and presitge that the belt has, how it used to be seen, it’s once again being relegated to a forgotten title. Considering it hasn’t been defended in what feels like eons, it needed some love and got none. Lots of time spent on a couple segments, which were good segments, but they could have been 5-10 minutes shorter to give the IC hype like 15 minutes or less. Hopefully the match on Sunday makes us all forget that they weren’t on this one.

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