I think we’ve talked enough about how unimportant this show is as even WWE has seemed to acknowledge it. They have gone out of their way to start advertising Wrestlemania already, mainly because it is taking place a mere three weeks after Fastlane. That is nowhere near enough time for a Wrestlemania build but at least they are doing something with it in advance. That means at the cost of Fastlane, but how many people are going to care? Let’s get to it.

Alexa Bliss vs. Randy Orton

Let’s get this out of the way early because this story has been awful. Odds are this is going to set up the return of the Fiend, or whatever the latest Bray Wyatt incarnation we’re getting, to get us to the final blowoff at Wrestlemania. I’ve been dreading this since the second they announced it because it is going to have a lot of supernatural shenanigans and that is not a good thing.

Since this is not likely to be a match but is billed as one anyway, I’ll take Bliss to “win”, as I can’t imagine Orton actually doing anything to her. I know it’s going to be bad and I don’t need to see it, but at least it’s better than watching Orton vs. the Fiend again….or at least I think it is. Anyway, Bliss wins the non-match.

Women’s Tag Team Titles: Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler(c) vs. Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks

This is a tried and kind of true method of building towards a singles title match and thankfully we seem to have moved past the point of doing a title change here, as it would be one of the worse things that they could do. What worries me is the amount of Reginald that could be involved, because WWE REALLY wants to do that Jax Likes A Small Guy story for whatever reason.

I’ll take the champs to retain here, even though they have no other challengers and have done about all they can with the belts. Banks vs. Belair needs to be a story about the two of them instead of the two of them dealing with other people, so hopefully that is where we go after this match ends. I’m not sure what to expect going forward, but these stories need to be split up already.

US Title: Riddle(c) vs. Mustafa Ali

Redemption almost has to be coming to an end sooner or later a they have been on fumes for the entirety of their run. Maybe they get a boost if Ali can win the title here, but it’s not like anything else they have done has worked so far. The team is so far removed from its original identity that they don’t really even have characters anymore, so winning a title might give them a little something to focus on.

That being said, I can’t imagine they take the title off of Riddle so soon so I’ll go with him retaining and furthering Retribution’s problems. At the very least it would be nice to see Mace and T-Bar turned into a tag team as they could give New Day some issues in a hurry. That’s a little ways off though, as Ali has to lose to Riddle first, which is what I see happening here.

Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman

Why? What did we do to deserve this, which very well may set up a rematch at Wrestlemania? I know Shane is a McMahon and that makes him one of the stars of the show, but it does not make him fun to watch in the ring. McMahon has been the face in this story since the beginning and watching him outsmart Strowman and beat him up on Monday didn’t help things.

For the sake of my sanity, I’ll take Strowman here, but I don’t think I have much of a reason to believe that is correct. There is little reason for this match to take place other than getting Shane in the ring again and the green slime deal did not make things any better. We’re pretty much down to hoping for a miracle with this one and that is not a good place to be.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins

This was added during this week’s Smackdown and that means you should be able to see the path to Wrestlemania from here. Nakamura is standing up for Cesaro after Rollins took him out the previous week, like any good friend should be doing. That will likely set up Rollins vs. Cesaro at Wrestlemania, but first we have to get through this one and it should be a fun one.

There is no reason for Nakamura to win here so I’ll take Rollins as he gears up for Tampa and Cesaro. Maybe we can get the good Nakamura here instead of the coasting version, but given how he is feeling in this story, can you blame him for not exactly being thrilled? We might even have a great one in there, but I’m not exactly getting my hopes up for it this time.

Intercontinental Title: Big E.(c) vs. Apollo Crews

I want to like this one and there is a chance that we can get a good match, but everything will fall apart again as soon as Crews starts talking. I know that it is nice for him to have a character, but the combination of Coming To America and Black Panther accent is hurting what would otherwise be an interesting character. Big E. has sold the emotions while still taking a beating, so the potential is there.

I’ll take Big E. to retain here as I can’t imagine they take the title off of him that soon. Throw in the fact that Crews sounds so out there and it is hard to imagine the title changing hands. Crews is better than he was about a year ago, but I have no idea how far they think he is going to go without some adjustments. The talent is there, but as usual with WWE, they aren’t quite hitting the presentation.

Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus

This is No Holds Barred and the Raw main event of the show. That’s not the worst idea in the world as these two have had some pretty awesome matches so far and I could go for watching them beat the fire out of each other on pay per view. There is a slight chance of throwing a monkey wrench into the McIntyre vs. Lashley Wrestlemania title match but that might be a stretch.

I’ll go with McIntyre here, but I can’t shake the feeling that they might try something. Lashley interfering would make some sense, though I’m not sure if that would change what they have already announced. We could be in for a heck of a fight here though and these two have shown some outstanding chemistry together. Let them do their thing and have the match of the night though, because that’s what they could do here.

Universal Title: Roman Reigns(c) vs. Daniel Bryan

Now here we have the match where I really hope they do change something around, because this should be Wrestlemania. Bryan has made me believe in him all over again with those awesome promos on Friday and it would be great to see him get the chance to do his thing one more time on the big stage. Unfortunately we are getting Edge instead, and he will be ringside this time as the outside enforcer.

I really want to say that they’ll pull a surprise here (not necessarily a title change, but something that brings Bryan into Wrestlemania) but I don’t think they will. Edge will get involved in the finish and I could go for him trying to spear Jey Uso and hitting Bryan to cost him the title. That’s pure fantasy booking, but Reigns isn’t losing here and he’ll retain the title on his way to Tampa.

Overall Thoughts

The potential is there. This show feels like it could be rather good based on the complete lack of expectations coming into it and that is not a bad thing. There is little reason to care about the show but if the action and storytelling are both there, we could be in for a nice night. Odds are they are going to be in and out quickly as has been the case with most B level pay per views as of late, so for once we can call this cautious optimism.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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