A Rather Uneventful Wrestling Notepad To Match The Road To Wrestlemania So Far

“You, me and everyone else here knows I have the ability to kill you with my bare hands without breaking a sweat, and the only thing stopping me is my decision not to.”

I don’t know who wrote a line that good, but I bet you honest to god cash money it wasn’t one of those 30 writers. It’s going to take me a while to get over that shit at the Royal Rumble, but at least for now I can be legitimately excited to see Becky and Ronda at Mania. Well, unless they decide to ram Charlotte in there and make it a 3-way. Nothing whatsoever against her, but if there’s one thing this match doesn’t need, it’s anyone else. The excitement and money is absolutely in a singles match. Anything else will only serve to water it down.

Speaking of great lines, Samoa Joe telling Jeff Hardy to treat this like an AA meeting and keep your mouth shut while I’m sharing with the group might have been the highlight of Smackdown.

Did I literally just watch the Usos cut a promo about being on Miz TV, a place where they will be going to cut another promo? Yes, yes I did.

Why are we doing the everyone in the multi-man match suddenly needs to get involved in a random singles match all at once so that they can fight each other for reasons unknown gimmick several weeks out from Elimination Chamber? Now there’s nothing left for the go home show unless they just do it again. Ok, never mind. They’re probably just gonna do it again. But maybe next time it’ll be everyone getting involved in a tag match, which is completely different, obviously.

I don’t know what an Eric Bugenhagen is, but I think I enjoyed watching it.

My first thought is that I hope he never gets called up to the main roster, because the moment he does, he’s done. He strikes me as someone like an Adam Rose or a No Way Jose. Over and fun in NXT, wasted and ruined in WWE proper.

Stick around for the Drew Gulak vs. Matt Riddle match that comes after young Bugenhagen on that episode of NXT, because it was also great in a completely different way.

I’ve asked this before, but how can WWE and NXT be under the same corporate umbrella? It seems impossible. One has fun characters, great storytelling and excellent wrestling, while the other is WWE. It’s so maddening because it shows that if they wanted it to, WWE’s programming could be so much better than it is so much more of the time.

I do have to give them credit for getting something right on Raw. They’ve been telling the story that Becky Lynch has an injured knee after the Royal Rumble. She refused to let the doctors look at her, because she doesn’t trust the McMahon’s and thinks they’ll pressure the medical folks not to clear her so they can give her match at Wrestlemania against Ronda Rousey to someone else. Why? Well, they haven’t exactly filled in all of those blanks yet, but they did at least bring up that in general, there is decades of evidence suggesting that you shouldn’t trust a McMahon. Anyway, Becky mistrusts them so much that she attacks Stephanie and slaps Triple H on back to back nights for suspending her. Then, on Raw this week, they announce that Becky did see a doctor. I’d be mad about that, but in a far too rare instance of attention to detail they were sure to point out that she saw *her* doctor. Nice work. Glad at least one pushed babyface isn’t a moron. Now why, you may ask, aren’t I upset about the part where Hunter and Steph said that their doctors agreed with Becky’s doctors that she’d be ok in a couple of weeks? That’s because we’re not supposed to see any of the McMahon’s as 100 percent heel or face. I don’t really like that they’re being both or even that they’re around in the first place, but if they are and if that’s the line they’re going to walk, this was done about as well as it could have been done.

And of course, as I’m typing that last bit, they go and announce something silly. A 2-on-1 handicap match for the intercontinental title? What even is that? If you don’t want Finn Balor pinning Bobby Lashley, don’t book the match. The only possible saving grace here is that maybe it works out that Finn pins Lio Rush, Lashley kills him for costing him the belt and then I never have to see the hype man version of Lio Rush ever again. I think I could live with that.

If they can restart a random ass 6-man tag that ended due to a bad call, why aren’t they doing it at important times like title matches?

For history’s sake, I was wrong. They did not do a partners that don’t get along tag match to build to the chamber. They did a gauntlet where the winner gets to go in last. It was rather enjoyable. I don’t know if there are any big plans for Kofi Kingston, but it was nice to watch him be a very good wrestler for a while. Orton ended up winning. Good choice. The last thing I need to see is a Randy Rest Hold marathon.

Oh bugger off, Elimination Chamber Kickoff show! You have a fucking hour to kill and you’re telling me that the only time you can cut backstage for a dumb New Day segment is in the middle of the Cruiserweight Title match? We’d all be fine not hearing the wisdom of Jonathan Coachman and Stan Rogers or Sol Rosenberg or whatever that other interchangeable geek’s name is for a few minutes.

I’m not quite sure I understand these Kevin Owens videos where he’s bowling and picking up pizza and generally being a good old hard workin’ family man. When you hear his out of character interviews it sounds like that’s who he really is, but as a storyline it’s kind of weird and I’m not sure where you go with it. But he doesn’t like pineapple on pizza, so whatever this is has that going for it, at least.

WWE is short on genuine feeling moments these days, which made everyone’s emotion after Sasha and Bayley won the Womens Tag belts come off super awesome and like something people will remember for a while. It felt like an honest to god history making accomplishment instead of just another segment.

I know I said I have nothing against Charlotte, but I really don’t like her promos. Sometimes the words are there, but she has such a forced, rehearsed delivery that I just can’t take her seriously.

Man, the last several minutes of the Elimination Chamber with Bryan and Kofi were great. I don’t know how much mileage there is in Kofi as a top singles star, but there certainly seems to be some. I’m definitely here for them wanting to find out, that much I know.

If you’re short on time, just watch the two Chamber matches. If you’re really short on time, watch both from the point where it comes down to the last two teams/dudes on through the aftermath. You’ll miss practically nothing by skipping the rest of the show unless you need to see Braun Strowman getting beaten up or Becky Lynch hitting people with crutches.

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