Five Stars From #WWE #RAW (3/12/18): It’s WrestleMania Season

Welcome back, wrestling fans. Now that Fastlane has come and gone, WWE is officially on the fast track to WrestleMania. Counting last night’s show, there are only four Raw’s left until WrestleMania. The biggest show of the year will be here before we know it, and the good news is the early card looks great. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar is a rematch of one of the more intense and stiff Mania main event’s in recent memory.

Ronda Rousey/Kurt Angle vs. HHH/Stephanie is a great idea for Rousey’s first match. The match will have a main event feel thanks to the other three who are involved but it keeps Rousey away from the Women’s title until she’s earned it. MIz/Rollins/Balor should be fantastic with the IC title on the line. Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax is becoming a very emotional storyline with Bliss playing her heel role perfectly, which is going to lead to a groundswell of support for Nia. Braun Strowman might be challenging for the tag titles solo which is just preposterous enough to work.

All in all, WrestleMania is looking good on paper. Now, let’s get to the five stars from last night’s Raw!

Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.

5. Roman Reigns

I’ve really enjoyed the build to Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar II. Instead of going the traditional route with Reigns and Lesnar going face to face or brawling for weeks in a row, they’ve kept it one sided. If they tried to build this like a normal title match, the crowd would continue to shit on Reigns. By keeping Lesnar away and allowing Reigns to finally sound like a normal guy, they’ve started to bring some fans to Roman’s side. Roman cut a fantastic promo on Lesnar two weeks ago and followed it up with another strong speech last night. When WWE allows Reigns to talk tough and keep it short he’s a much more believable character. While Reigns has held up his end of the build so far, WWE used their trump card last night.

While it’s easy to think of Vince as this super popular legend, the facts are that he’s one of best heels in pro wrestling history. He makes it so easy to hate him, and if you’re looking to build sympathy or support for a character, you pit them against Vince. Remember Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus from three years ago? The crowd rooted for Reigns almost by default because Vince was on the other side.

Last night Reigns called out Vince in the ring then confronted him backstage. That led to Vince temporarily suspending Reigns while also mentioning Brock Lesnar does enjoy special privileges, but he’s earned them. Brock Lesnar was always cheered because of his freakish skills and unmatched intensity, but it’s much harder to cheer for him when he’s aligned with or supported by Vince. This will almost certainly lead to a Vince/Reigns confrontation, which should enhance an already great build.

4. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor

Miz vs. Rollins vs. Balor could have zero build and i’d still be psyched for their match at Mania. They’re three of the best workers on Raw, and they’re fighting for what should be the workhorse championship. Since Raw is a 3 hour show every week, they’re obviously going to feature some type of segment with those three, and I’d prefer it to be more wrestling than promos. Miz TV is always enjoyable, but Miz is so far and above both Rollins and Balor on the microphone and this match doesn’t need a lot of talking up to get people excited.

Rollins vs. Balor was a fun match, and I particularly enjoyed the ending. Rollins and Balor are evenly matched, so if you’re going to have someone go over clean, it shouldn’t be a dominant victory. They also know each other well and have a shared history. I don’t think either should win with their finisher either, which is why I liked this so much. Rollins loves to hit the top rope suplex/falcon arrow combo to soften guys up for his finisher. While he executed the suplex perfectly, Balor knew he was going to roll over into the falcon arrow. He was able to use that knowledge to his advantage and reverse the falcon arrow into a roll up for the win.

It wasn’t a dominant victory, but it showed you how quickly someone can pickup a win, which if it happens at Mania, means there will be a new IC champ.

3. Asuka vs. Mickie James

Asuka finally made her WrestleMania decision Sunday at Fastlane. Asuka vs. Charlotte is a dream match any way you look at it, and it’s a much better title match than Asuka vs. Bliss would have been. As great of a character as Alexa is, there is no realistic way for her to beat Asuka without a metric ton of shenanigans. That shouldn’t be the route they take for Asuka at Mania, so I’m glad she’s challenging Charlotte. Asuka even threw some shade at Bliss by saying she wants to face the best women’s champion at Mania. To add insult to injury Alexa’s backup plan Nia Jax was a no show. forcing MIckie James to be the poor sacrificial lamb.

James/Asuka was a lot of fun, mainly because Mickie understands the value of fighting different styles of matches against different opponents. She was super aggressive against Asuka, and even got a few near falls. Asuka has been undefeated for 55 years for a reason though, and eventually adjusted to pick up the tap out win.

2. Alexa & Nia

While Asuka/Charlotte has a leg up from an in ring standpoint, Alexa vs. Nia Jax has all the emotional weight behind it. Alexa and Nia have been “friends” for awhile now, with Alexa using Nia for her size and strength while Nia has been getting the extreme short end of the stick. Nia continues to persevere, but it’s starting to take a toll. Last week’s interaction between Bliss and Nia was heartbreaking, and it’s a credit to how strong both of these characters are. Bliss is the absolute worst, while Nia has been manipulated for so long that it’s starting to break her down. She keeps going though, because at the root of it all is her friendship with Bliss.

Yeah…about that friendship. After Nia murders a poor local competitor, a hot boom mic picks up Alexa talking some major hurtful shit about Nia. Nia is in the ring listening the entire time and eventually storms to the back and destroys the women’s locker room that Bliss and Mickie James were in. Alexa tip toed the line with NIa for so long, but she finally went too far when Nia was within earshot. If you have even a tiny piece of a heart you’re going to be rooting for Nia to rip Alexa to shreds as soon as possible.

1. Braun Strowman

Braun Strowman winning the tag team battle royal by himself doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but stay with me here. 1. Watching Braun Strowman destroy ten other guys is always fun. 2. The Raw tag division is useless, and there’s no point in trying to turn one of the current teams into believable contenders. I’m not saying one or multiple teams can’t be revamped, but four weeks prior to WrestleMania is not the time to do that. 3. If this win stands, I think Kurt Angle should force Braun to find a partner. How fun would it be watching this unstoppable monster try to find someone who he hasn’t already tried to murder to be his tag team partner?

Strowman isn’t the most trustworthy guy, but having an automatic tag team title shot at WrestleMania could convince someone to join forces with Braun. I’m interested to see who that could be.



#MusicMonday: Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

I think it’s safe to say we live in an argumentative society. If you have an opinion, chances are someone else will have the exact opposite stance. Luckily this isn’t an opinion, but rather a statement of fact. ‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman is the best song in the history of recorded music.

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

The song was released in 1988, which is coincidentally the year I was born. I’m not saying this was meant to be my favorite song, but I’m also not NOT saying that. I recently emailed the preferred playlist to the band that is playing at my wedding. This song was not on the band’s website, but it was one of my special requests. The lead singer replied back asking to confirm that Fast Car is performed by Tracy Chapman. You are goddamn right it is. Have a great week on purpose everybody.


Five Stars From @WWE #RAW (2/26/18): Roman Reigns, Miz, Asuka & More!

WWE Raw was live from Anaheim, California last night. Most of the show centered around fall out from Sunday night’s Elimination Chamber. I wrote a short post about Ronda Rousey’s contract signing yesterday, but the main takeaway from the Chamber is that we’re inching our way towards WrestleMania. Alexa Bliss is still the women’s champ, The Bar are still tag champs and Roman Reigns is the new #1 contender for the Universal title. Let’s get to the five stars!

Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.

5. Alexa Bliss

Raw opened with women’s champ Alexa Bliss and her best friend (?) Mickie James gloating about her win in the first ever women’s elimination chamber. Bliss cut a masterful promo after her win on Sunday, playing the crowd like a fiddle and eventually stomping on their dreams. I think Sunday night was Bliss’s best overall performance on the main roster. She won the match with a combination of resourcefulness and true wrestling skill, and then finished it off with a great promo.

Her promo last night wasn’t as good as Sunday’s, but it was effective. It worked so well because everything she said was true. She did win the first ever women’s elimination chamber, and she did win it on her own. Mickie James is apparently her best friend now, but she was already out of the match by the time Alexa entered. Alexa moved on to talk about breaking Asuka’s streak at WrestleMania, which brought out the Empress. Thankfully WWE didn’t have Asuka try to match Bliss on the mic, and hopefully they realized Asuka’s facial expressions and body language have more impact than any promo.

Bliss turned full heel once Asuka got into the ring. She made fun of Asuka’s poor English skills, which is not as easy as it sounds. Alexa could have easily crossed the line from arrogant and conceited to offensive and insensitive. I personally don’t think it went too far, and it got the crowd firmly on the side of Asuka. Alexa also laid the perfect trap, as Nia Jax came out to attack Asuka 3 on 1. Alexa Bliss continues to be a smart, sophisticated heel.

4. Multiple Stories For The Women’s Division!

Bayley and Sasha Banks ran down to help out Asuka which gave us our first match of the night, playa. It wasn’t the most exciting match in the world, but I appreciate them advancing multiple stories. Bayley and Sasha are destined to blow the roof off of the Super Dome as WrestleMania. After Sasha eliminated Bayley from the Rumble and Lion King’d her at Elimination Chamber, Bayley bailed on her last night. The back and forth betrayal could get monotonous for the next five weeks, but you know the pay off match will be awesome.

Even though Alexa is champ, Nia and Asuka are the two most dangerous women on the roster. They proved that again in this match, with Nia bull dozing people and Asuka picking up the win. Alexa/Nia/Asuka vying for the women’s title and Sasha/Bayley in a grudge match feud are two very good stories for the women on the Road to WrestleMania.

3. Seth Rollins & The Miz

Before the Rollins/Miz match, Miz was given a microphone. 99 out of 100 times that’s a good thing, and last night was no exception. Miz is forcing the IC title to be relevant through his performance, which makes guys like Rollins and Balor wanting the belt feel like a real thing. It’s not just a guy wanting a championship because that’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s a guy wanting a championship because it’s an important part of your most important show.

Onto the match. Has anyone had a better 7 day in ring stretch than Seth Rollins? He wrestled for 60+ minutes last Monday, killed it in the Elimination Chamber and then had a fantastic match last night against Miz. The Miz is such a great bad guy that he gives almost every match he’s in an old school heel/face dynamic. Rollins has had a hell of a week and is super easy to root for, but when you add in the fact that you want to see The Miz get his ass kicked, it makes the match that much more enjoyable.

Rollins is aces in the ring right now, and watching him fly around taking out Miz, Axel and Dallas was a delight. As happy as I am that the curb stomp is back, he should start getting some pins with the top rope suplex into the falcon arrow. That’s such a crowd pleasing move, but it loses a little bit of it’s luster when you know the guy is going to always kick out.

This was a great match though, and I only have one minor complaint. Having challengers beat the champion so the challenger can face the champion again is a weird trope. The roster is too deep for that to consistently happen. Miz/Rollins was great, but I’d rather see Seth beat other guys to earn a title shot instead of beating the champ in a non title match. It’s a weirder story, and takes away from the eventual title match.

2. Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns is almost the perfect wrestler. He’s consistently good to great in the ring, has a believable look and CAN be good on the microphone. Every good Roman Reigns promo has a natural feel to it. His best one to date was a five word promo on the Raw after WrestleMania last year. Last night’s was a close second. If you look at Reigns, you know right off the bat that everything he says should be quick and impactful. He doesn’t need clever writers. He’s a 6’3 bad ass Samoan with wrestling royalty in his blood. If he’s going to speak, there should be a point to it. Last night he had a point to make, and he made it well.

WWE was advertising a face-off between Lesnar and Reigns all day. Lesnar was scheduled to be there and the face-off was in the script, but Lesnar never appeared. I’ll leave the speculation to the internet, but this worked out perfectly for Reigns. For the first time in a long time, he felt like an actual person instead of a first draft of a character.

He spoke with intent and purpose and whether this was a heavily scripted promo or not, there was some absolute truth behind it. It’s not secret Lesnar is an asshole, and that he only works for the money, and that he only cares about himself. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say Reigns doesn’t respect Lesnar, but I would not be surprised if he doesn’t like him.

Reigns speaking with a fiery passion is such an easy guy to root for. He’s already great in the ring and has a bad ass look. If you remind people that he actually loves what he does and cares about the business and fans once in awhile, the fans will respond. When’s the last time you heard more cheers than boos during a Reigns promo? Well it happened last night, and the best part about it was that it was earned. If WWE sticks with Reigns vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania, I guarantee you Reigns enters as the fan favorite.

1. Ronda Rousey, Slow Burn

The main event of last night’s show was Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle explaining their actions from Sunday night. The whole Kurt Angle/pneumonia/hallucinating story is silly, but I thought Rousey was very good here. She was much more confident on the mic, and that’s because her material was better. Ronda Rousey isn’t a character. She’s an actual real life bad ass. I understand having her explain this is her dream and she’s happy to be in the WWE. But I’m much more interested in the ‘I will rip your arm out of your socket’ Ronda Rousey.

The good news is that this will definitely lead to Angle and Rousey vs. HHH/Stephanie. HHH and Stephanie are experts at being dick bags, so it won’t be hard for the crowd to get behind Rousey. Let’s just hope Kurt Angle remembers not to blankly stare at the ceiling when HHH is around:


Ronda Rousey Kicked Some Ass At #WWEChamber

The Raw brand had their final stop on the road to WrestleMania last night. WWE Elimination Chamber was a really enjoyable show featuring both a men’s and women’s chamber match. Alexa Bliss successfully defended the Women’s championship while Roman Reigns outlasted Braun Strowman to become the #1 contender for the Universal title. We predicted both of those things. My favorite part of the show wasn’t a match, though. It was Ronda Rousey being a bad ass.

Ronda Rousey Contract Signing

Kurt Angle, HHH and Stephanie McMahon were all in the ring to welcome Rousey aboard. After a Rousey promo, business immediately picked up. Kurt Angle was ushered out of the ring, Rousey and Steph went to nose nose, HHH was thrown through a table and Stephanie slapped the hell out of Rousey. The crowd loved it, because Rousey should always be kicking ass instead of cutting promos. I enjoyed it for that reason, as well as WWE remembering their history. Rousey, Steph, HHH and The Rock had an altercation at WrestleMania 31. There’s obviously still some unfinished business there, and I’m glad WWE is keeping that story line going. Also, it’s a smart move to have Rousey work with Steph and HHH instead of immediately inserting her into the women’s title picture. You want the crowd to be on Rousey’s side, and it’d be too easy for them to turn on her if she’s forced into something.

This was a great ‘official’ introduction for Rousey, and perfectly planted the seeds for a mixed tag WrestleMania match. Kurt Angle is the most likely partner for Rousey, which should be a lot of fun.


066 – Our Ice Dancing Songs

Average Nobodies Podcast

for February 23, 2018

On today’s show we’re chatting about People Watching, the Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, Black Panther, What We’re Watching and a preview for the return of our Oscar nominated TV Club. You can chat with us on Twitter (@AverageNobodies), toss us a like on Facebook (@AverageNobodies) and heart all our pictures on instagram, (@AverageNobodies). Don’t forget, this podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and YouTube.

Your Average WWE Elimination Chamber Preview & Predictions #WWEChamber

WWE Elimination Chamber

After a successful Royal Rumble, the Raw brand will make their final stop on the road to WrestleMania at Elimination Chamber. Sunday’s show is co-headlined by a men’s and a women’s Elimination Chamber match. The winner of the men’s match moves on to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the Universal title. Alexa Bliss will be defending her women’s title inside the chamber, which is the biggest possible champion’s disadvantage I can think of. Let’s get to the preview and predictions!

Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.

Ronda Rousey Contract Signing

Ronda Rousey will officially sign her WWE contract Sunday night. I’ve already given my take on the Rousey-WWE partnership, but I don’t have a clue what they have planned here. The only thing I can think if some type of confrontation with Stephanie McMahon. The rest of the Raw women’s division will be preoccupied with their matches, so I don’t expect any of them to get involved. Plus, the plan seems to be Rousey and a partner vs. HHH/Stephanie at WrestleMania, even though everyone online loves to complain about Rousey getting a title shot at the big show. There’s been no indication of that and it wouldn’t make sense with Asuka/Nia Jax already in the title picture. Hopefully the Las Vegas crowd gives Ronda a deserving applause, and we get a peek at what’s next for the Rowdy one.

‘Woken’ Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt

What’s the opposite of exciting? A piece of wood? This Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt has been the wrestling equivalent of a piece of wood. That’s not pessimism, either. That’s just reality. I’m a huge Wyatt fan, and ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy was one of the most unique wrestlers in recent memory, but their feud has been bad. It’s been made up of short matches, dueling backstage promos and laugh off’s. All those wary of a Hardy/Wyatt feud when Hardy was still in TNA have been proven right, because WWE creative is basically Vincent Adultman when it comes to giving Wyatt something meaningful to do. Need an example? Watch the link I added in above. THAT is the build to their match at Elimination Chamber.

This feud is dead in the water, so I think it’s time to move on to something interesting. Let Wyatt beat Hardy, turning him from ‘Woken’ to ‘Broken’ (since he now owns the rights to that character). Let them team up and form a revamped version of the Broken Universe from TNA. This would ideally give them a better storyline than they have now and add a fresh tag team to the stale as hell Raw tag division.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt

Asuka vs. Nia Jax

While this could be viewed as a throw away match, it actually has a lot going to for it. If Nia Jax wins, she joins the Raw women’s title match at WrestleMania. In addition, Asuka’s winning streak will be in the most danger it’s ever been in on the main roster. These two have fought in NXT and on Raw, so you know they can have quality matches together. Nia is the only woman on the roster that forces Asuka to fight from underneath, and it’s always fun to watch Asuka adapt. Asuka might be quicker and more experienced, but Nia’s strength makes up for it.

This match is a tough call. The better story for WrestleMania would feature Alexa and Nia in some kind of title match. You also don’t want to end Asuka’s historic streak right before she has her first title match at WrestleMania. With Nia ambushing Asuka on Raw, I could see this ending in a double count out with both women brawling on the outside. I’m not a fan of ending pay per view matches like that, but these two still have a lot of story to tell.

Prediction: Double count out

Tag Team Title Match: The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide

The only downside to the incredible two hour gauntlet match on Raw was it left little time to build up other storylines for Elimination Chamber. One of those storylines is the tag titles, which hasn’t been interesting in far too long. The Bar have been fighting Titus and/or Apollo (Crews no more) for what feels like the entirety of 2018. Sometimes The Bar come out on top, sometimes Titus Worldwide wins. I guess that was enough for Titus Worldwide to get a title shot, which is fine, but not overly exciting. The tag team division needs a hard reset, and I think teams like The Revival and a Hardy/Wyatt partnership could help things. It wouldn’t make sense for The Bar to lose their titles before WrestleMania, especially when Titus Worldwide haven’t been built up as legitimate challengers.

Prediction: The Bar

Women’s Elimination Chamber

Mark it on your calendar, folks. The first ever women’s elimination chamber match is this Sunday, and it’s time for them to make history.
Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James, Mandy Rose, Sonja Deville and Alexa Bliss all vie for the Raw Women’s Championship in a grueling every woman for herself match inside 60 million pounds of steel. Or however many pounds Michael Cole says these days. I was there for the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell match and those ladies delivered. There’s no doubt in my mind they will do it again on the road to WrestleMania. Expect a stable alignment, some star making spots and possibly an unexpected pin from Mandy Rose and/or Sonja Deville. I highly doubtful either of them walks out the new champ, though.

Personally I’d like to see a strong showing out of Mickie James. Think of this as a resume builder for her eventual Hall of Fame induction. Bonus points if she lands a Mick Kick at any point.
The main story here is between Bayley, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss. The bond between Bayley and Banks will continue to crack, and ultimately lead to the ever opportunistic Alexa Bliss retaining her title. That sets up a collision course with Asuka (and possibly Nia Jax) at the grandest stage of them all. More importantly, all the women will leave this match with their stars shining brighter than ever before as the women’s revolution continues to destroy barriers.

Prediction: Alexa Bliss

Men’s Elimination Chamber

This is the first ever Elimination Chamber match with seven participants. Other than that, the rules remain the same. Two men will begin the match, with a new man allowed to enter from their pod every five minutes. Miz will be the first entrant, while Elias will be the last. The winner of the match will challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal title at WrestleMania.

This match is similar to the Royal Rumble odds system. While there are 7 men in the match, not all of them have the same odds of winning. I think you can count out Rollins, Balor, Elias & Miz. Rollins had his star making performance on Raw, and while I think he puts on a show again Sunday, I would be shocked if he won. Elias is a definite star in the making, but I can’t imagine putting him in the main event of WrestleMania just yet. Miz and Balor would be the perfect heel/face dynamic feud for the IC title at WrestleMania, so I hope that’s the route they go with those two. If WWE can find a way to develop that feud within the chamber, that would be ideal.

That leaves us with Cena, Strowman and Reigns. Before I scare you: no, I do not think John Cena is winning. Based on Monday’s gauntlet match, I do think he and Reigns will be the final two. Only Reigns and Cena didn’t pick up a win in the gauntlet, while the other five guys were allowed their time to shine. Plus, if Reigns is going to win, it would make sense for him to beat Cena last, who is the only guy crowds want to see win less than Reigns.

The Potential Winners

If you’re a wrestling fan on the internet, chances are you’ve seen the rumors for the last 9 months that WWE wants Reigns/Lesnar at Mania. In a snow globe, the rematch from WrestleMania 31 sounds awesome. Reigns and Lesnar beat the crap out of each other in that match, and Reigns is always at his best when he’s tested physically. If that’s the route WWE chooses to go, people will be mad, but it’s not the worst option. It’s also not the best option. Outside of that Reigns/Lesnar snow globe is the most popular man in WWE, the mother f’ing Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman.

If you’ve been watching WWE pretty much any time over the past year, you know this is Braun Strowman’s time. He’s one of the most physically gifted men WWE has ever had, and he’s improving each and every week. He’s good enough on the microphone with his short, impactful promos and crowds are literally giddy whenever he shows up. I can’t remember a time when a man was this ready for his moment, but Strowman should 100% be in the main event of WrestleMania. Just like Reigns and Lesnar, Braun and Brock match up perfectly from a physicality standpoint. And if Braun wins? That would set up future title feuds with Reigns, Rollins, Balor, Cena, Samoa Joe, etc. While he would technically be ‘the guy’, the roster is so deep he wouldn’t have to carry ANY of those feuds.

Because WWE loves to torture it’s fans, Reigns will enter the chamber as the favorite, but Braun should be the winner.

Prediction: Head – Roman Reigns. Heart – Braun Strowman


049 What Makes a Best Picture, a Best Picture?

You can chat with us on Twitter @MakeMovieGreat, toss us a like on Facebook @MakeMoviesGreat and heart all our pictures on Instagram, @MakeMoviesgreat. Don’t forget, this podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and YouTube.

Five Stars From #WWE #RAW (2/19/18): Next Stop, Elimination Chamber

WWE Raw was live last night for their final stop before Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay per view. Two hours of the three hour show featured a 7 man gauntlet match with the members of the men’s Elimination Chamber match. Hour three consisted of poor Asuka trying to cut a WWE style promo, The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide AGAIN and a 6 women tag match. Needless to say, hours one and two were much better than hour three. Let’s get to the five stars, including a historic night for Seth Rollins.

Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.

5-2 The Gauntlet Match

Seth Rollins

Raw started off with Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns in the first of six consecutive matches. Over an hour later, Rollins was still wrestling. His performance went from enjoyable to engrossing to record setting. Rollins is one of the best wrestlers/athletes on either roster, so watching him shine last night was wonderful. You know you’re having a great night when you pin both Reigns and Cena and that’s the last thing people are talking about. Rollins and Reigns have great chemistry, and they set the pace with last night’s show opener.

Cena/Rollins started a little bit slower, but once the near falls started popping up the crowd was super into it. I loved the roll through AA spot from Rollins, and this was one of the most human performances from Cena in a long time. John tends to still try to wrestle like super human Cena, but he’s much more enjoyable when he’s wrestling vulnerable.

The night belonged to Rollins though, who showed the best character work of his career. Imagine if THIS was the Seth Rollins we got when he was the champion instead of relying on J & J Security and Kane to win matches? I wasn’t sure if he could pull off the gutsy baby face role, but if you have doubts after last night you’re a crazy person. He gets compared to HBK from time to time, but this is the first time I saw some similarities in their character and in ring work. Fantastic stuff from Rollins.

Finn Balor & Miz

After Rollins was finally eliminated by Elias, Finn Balor entered the gauntlet. Balor and Elias are two of the best mid card guys in WWE, so it wasn’t a surprise that they had a solid match. Balor picked up the win, as he should have, and then was sneak attacked by Miz. I’m glad that Elias and Miz solidified themselves as the heels in the gauntlet match. After Rollins beat Cena, Elias rushed the ring and immediately attacked Rollins. It was a heel move, but also a logical one, because by that point Rollins was running on fumes. After Balor won a hard fought match against Elias,

Miz had Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel distract Balor while Miz attacked him from behind. Miz and Balor would be my dream IC title match at WM, and I was a little surprised Gallows and Anderson weren’t out there to help Balor. If they do fight again at Mania, Balor Club vs. Miz-Tourage would be a fun secondary story.

Once the match got going it was a lot of fun, and Balor fires up better than most guys. I loved the spot when he took out Dallas and Axel with a flip to the outside, and he was seconds away from beating Miz. Ultimately the numbers game was too much, as Axel and Dallas stopped Finn from hitting the Coup De Grace. That allowed Miz to recover and hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. I liked that decision for two reasons. 1. Miz won, but needed the help of the Miz-Tourage to do it. That could/should lead to Balor getting a shot at the IC title after the Elimination Chamber. 2. It set up Miz vs. Strowman, with everyone in the universe wanting to see Strowman destroy some human beings. It also produced this great GIF of Miz realizing his fate:


The final gauntlet match of Strowman vs. Miz was another great showcase for Braun. It began with Braun chasing down the Miz in a legitimately disturbing feat of quickness and ended with numerous power slams. If that’s the way every Strowman match ended from now until the end of time, I’d be OK with that. I thought having Braun enter the gauntlet last was perfect, as it allowed Rollins, Elias, Balor and Miz to do their thing without compromising the monster among men. Plus, the crowd knew he was coming eventually, and when he finally did appear, they were hot as hell for it. Braun also got to cut a quick, precise promo on the Elimination Chamber and Lesnar. It was perfect, and he followed it up with a few more power slams to the delight of the crowd.

If you needed more proof that Braun is ready for the title, watch his segment last night. There is no one even close to him right now, and if WWE pulls the trigger and puts him vs. Lesnar at Mania, they’re going to have a lot of happy fans. Unfortunately, I think having Reigns and Cena be the only two to not win a match in the gauntlet was done by design. I’ll get into this more in my Elimination Chamber preview, but I’ll be shocked if the final two in the chamber aren’t Roman and Cena.

1. Main Event

The 6 women tag main event featuring the participants in the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber was a good prequel for Sunday’s match. I thought Sasha, Bayley, Mandy and Sonya looked the best, and I’m glad there are multiple story lines that will exist within the chamber match. Everyone knows the chamber is every women for themselves, but it’s good to have to friendships and alliances that exist between the competitors. Sonya and Mandy are apart of Absolution; Bayley and Sasha are long time friends; Mickie and Alexa have struck up an unlikely friendship over the past few weeks.

That’s three different storylines within the match. I don’t foresee Mandy and Sonya having a chance to turn on each other, but I cant’ say for same for the other two alliances. Bayley and Sasha are friends now, but they were heated rivals in NXT. Mickie and Alexa are new found friends, but it’s clear Alexa is using Mickie so she has some type of backup in the chamber. Plus, Mickie has a history of ulterior motives, especially when it comes to winning championship gold.

The women didn’t have a ton of time with the men’s gauntlet match going two hours, but I enjoyed the tag match as a build towards the chamber match.



%d bloggers like this: