WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 1, 2017
1) A short movie – After cutting Cena's microphone, Miz went after John for having everyone in his pocket, his word is "gospel" in the back and Miz is tired of being the "other guy." Miz brought up their WrestleMania history when Miz was able to defeat him and that Cena is jealous of him. He then dressed down Cena as he once ripped The Rock for going "Hollywood" and now Cena has done the same thing. The entire time Cena pandered to the crowd who was, like usual, pretty split on him.
Even though what Miz said wasn't wrong, it struck me a bit strange as he's had the Hollywood vibe for quite a while. Maybe that's just more of a reason to hate the guy when he ignores his own hypocrisy. Cena finally got to talk and brought up the fact that if he was such a "manipulator," why would he bother with Miz when he would rather take on The Undertaker. Cena crushed Miz's soul by saying he copied Rock, Jericho, Flair's figure-four, and Bryan's moves. "Every single person in this building and watching at home knows exactly who I am. Who the hell are you?" Maryse didn't let Cena go without giving a piece of her mind or her hand. That brought Nikki out to drop a bomb, "You mess with my man, I'm gonna break ya, b----." So good! By the time it was done, we were about twenty-five minutes into the show, but can't say I minded one bit. Amazing opening that basically beat Raw entirely on its own.
2) Micke-DT... - That's a horrific name for a finisher, but it got Mickie James up one to nothing against Becky Lynch in their 2 out of 3 falls match. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this feud hasn't grabbed me yet, not sure if I just don't believe the animosity between these two, or if it's from their matches ranging rough to "a good opener." Becky was able to tie things up as Alexa Bliss came to the ring and distract the ref during a crucial moment in the match. Lynch was able to overcome to win by submission, but the most interesting thing was Mickie James ran into Alexa, knocking her off the ring.
3) A new challenger? – I initially thought Mickie hitting the champ off the apron might start up something between them, but then along came Natalya. She still had bad vibes, so maybe WWE will try out the heel vs. heel thing? I'm hoping so, Natalya suddenly switching back to the good side would be incredibly abrupt and honestly, kind of annoying. At this point, there are only so many women Alexa can feud with, so Natalya will do for now.
4) There can be only one - Harper looked ready for Styles as he got the best of The Phenomenal One in the early stages the match, he used everything around the ring to slow the former champion down. For a large majority of the match, Harper took it to Styles until AJ was finally able to get a pin, ending in controversy, yet again. Shane came out and restarted the match (feud incoming!), Harper mistakenly superkicked Shane, Styles was able to win the match, yet again. Somewhat surprising, but it seems likely Styles will lose the opportunity and Harper will somehow get involved with Randy and/or Bray Wyatt.
5) A harsh finish – Ziggler and Crews wasn't particularly special, but the ending of Crews getting his neck chopped on a chair and then atomic dropped on a chair was pretty brutal. Ziggler then acted like a big jerk post-match. If WWE is looking to rebuild Ziggler as a heel, they are doing a solid job, Kalisto and Crews really haven't benefited from this feud.
6) What an ending! – Every once in awhile WWE likes to go a little nuts, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't (New Day at the Wyatt Compound). That promo by Randy Orton was everything I enjoy about pro wrestling, it had history, emotion, and it was ridiculous. Almost thought he was going to dig up a dead body, but "luckily" he just burned the Wyatt's home to the ground. It was a turn most of us expected sooner or later, but the execution of it was fantastic, although, I did see some people on social media not as thrilled with how it went down. Bray sat helpless in the ring, talking to himself, begging someone to help him, or maybe his sister, as his house went up in flames. I will be very curious to see how they figure out WrestleMania with Orton, Styles, and to a lesser degree, Luke Harper, all deserving of the title shot.
John Cena – Poor Miz, sometimes I think he (and anyone who really goes after Cena) will get the best of him and that will be it, but not last night. I'm pretty sure Miz had an out of body experience where he just physically couldn't take the mind melting, career crushing truth that Cena sent his way. I know some fans were disappointed with Cena getting this mixed tag match for WrestleMania, but if these segments can be even half as entertaining going forward, it should be a fun ride to Orlando.
Luke Harper – Had a funny start with that "Thank you" to Bryan and Shane, put on a solid match and I just like when he talks at length. "I've always been fighting a constant battle in my mind with the demons inside, but I've made peace with them now, and now they help me. Because I have new eyes and I can see what true evil is. Bray Wyatt, I am not afraid of you and when I win tonight and get my chance to face you at WrestleMania, you Bray Wyatt, you, will be very afraid of me."
Curt Hawkins – His best performance, thus far.
James Ellsworth – He got a week off, but we have to get him back in his usual spot. He's painful to watch, painful to listen to, and Carmella is gaining nothing from working with him. I hate to be so harsh and critical of people who are just trying to entertain us, the fans, but James is just not someone I want on my screen, ever. I hope Nikki pins him next week.
Tag Division - Not that I'm really complaining here, but didn't really see anyone from this group last night. I was kind of hoping they would do something on SmackDown between The Usos and American Alpha to keep that thread going, but clearly this entire division is on the back burner.
This Week's MVP
Randy Orton – I initially had Cena in this spot, and figured there was no way he was getting bumped out of it, but Orton did just enough to get the award this week. Just watch the video, nothing I can write will be any better.
Loved this week's show, while Styles vs. Harper was solid, the matches overall kept the rating from getting to the 8.5+ range. Still, it was amazing how fast two hours can fly by when the content is of great quality.
Grade (out of 10): 8 (Last Week: 7.5)
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