PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.
•Top Stories of the Week
WWE announced that WrestleMania 36 will be happening at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Raymond James Stadium is the home stadium of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jim Ross announced on his podcast that he will not be resigning with WWE when his contract expires at the end of March. Ross said that he and Vince McMahon spoke and mutually agreed to part ways. Ross also said that he didn’t think he would be out of a job for long. Many assume he’s talking about being an announcer for AEW, but that has not been confirmed at this time.
Luke Harper made his return to in ring action at a WWE Live Event in Rochester, N.Y. on Saturday. Rochester is Harper’s hometown, which may be why he was at that show. Because Rochester is his hometown, the fact it was a Raw Live Event he wrestled on and not a Smackdown Live Event may just be coincidence and not noteworthy regarding where he may end up on television.
WWE Announced Harlem Heat as the fourth inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame on Monday. This year’s class now includes Degeneration X, Honkey Tonk Man, Torrie Wilson, and Harlem Heat.
Bobby Lashley won back the Intercontinental Championship on Raw this week.
Kurt Angle announced on Monday that his farewell match will be at WrestleMania this year. His opponent has not been announced.
The WWE Performance Center announced three new signings on Monday this week. Robert Strauss, Stokely Hathaway, and Cal Bloom have all joined the WWE.
•WWE Weekly Event Results
WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Rochester, N.Y.) 3/9/19
(1) Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) defeated Nia Jax & Tamina to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championships
(2) Luke Harper beat Mojo Rawley
(3) Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose
(4) Natalya & Dana Brooke beat Alexa Bliss & Lacey Evans
(5) Finn Balor (c) defeated Bobby Lashley to retain the Intercontinental Championship
(6) The Revival (c) beat Bobby Roode & Chad Gable to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match
(7) Ronda Rousey (c) beat Ruby Riott to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
(8) Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin in a No Disqualification match
WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Detroit, Mich.) 3/9/19
(1) Samoa Joe (c) beat Jeff Hardy to retain the United States Championship
(2) Nikki Cross defeated Sonya Deville
(3) The New Day beat The Bar and Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura
(4) Rey Mysterio beat Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega)
(5) Daniel Bryan (c) (w/ Rowan) beat Mustafa Ali to retain the WWE Championship
(6) Carmella & Naomi defeated The IIconics
(7) Asuka (c) beat Mandy Rose to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
(8) A.J. Styles beat Randy Orton
If you attend a live event, please send results to email@example.com. Thanks!
•WWE TV Match Results
WWE Fastlane (Aired on WWE Network) 3/10/19
(1) The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) beat Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev (w/ Lana)
(1) The Usos (c) defeated The Miz & Shane McMahon to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships when The Miz was pinned by Jey Uso. Shane attacked The Miz after the match.
(2) Asuka (c) beat Mandy Rose (w/ Sonya Deville) to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship. The pinfall came after Mandy tripped on the ring apron that Sonya had lifted into the ring while she was looking for a kendo stick under the ring. Mandy was upset with Sonya, but it didn’t seem like they were breaking up.
(3) The Bar beat Kofi Kingston in a Two-on-One Handicap match. Kofi came to the ring thinking he was getting added to the WWE Championship match, but Kofi was tricked by Vince McMahon into this two-on-one beat down.
(4) The Revival (c) beat Ricochet & Aleister Black and Chad Gable & Bobby Roode to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship when Gable was pinned after the Shatter Machine
(5) Samoa Joe (c) beat Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega), R-Truth (w/ Carmella), & Rey Mysterio in a Fatal Four-Way match to retain the United States Championship
(6) Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) beat Nia Jax & Tamina to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championships
(7) Daniel Bryan (c) (w/ Rowan) defeated Kevin Owens & Mustafa Ali to retain the WWE Championship when Bryan pinned Ali. The ring announcer announced that this match was a triple-threat right before Owens and Bryan made their entrances. Ali then came out as the surprise third competitor in the match.
(8) Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte via Disqualification when Ronda Rousey hit Becky Lynch once causing the DQ, it was not a beat down angle at all. Ronda just ran out to hit Becky once to intentionally cause the disqualification. With the disqualification victory, Becky has been added to the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
(9) The Shield beat Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Baron Corbin when Roman pinned Corbin after a Triple Powerbomb
Monday Night Raw TV Results 3/11/19
(1) Seth Rollins beat Shelton Benjamin
(2) Bobby Lashley defeated Finn Balor to win the Intercontinental Championship. Lio Rush would not initially come to the ring with Lashley, but would come through the crowd to distract Balor, leading to the pinfall.
(3) Aleister Black & Ricochet beat Bobby Roode & Chad Gable
(4) Nia Jax (w/ Tamina) beat Natalya (w/ Beth Phoenix) via disqualification
(5) Kurt Angle defeated Apollo Crews
(6) Drew McIntyre beat Dean Ambrose in a No Disqualification, No Count-out, Falls Count Anywhere match
Smackdown Live TV Results 3/12/19
(1) Aleister Black, Ricochet, & The Hardy Boys vs. Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura, & The Bar ends in a No Contest after The New Day interfered by attacking the heel team of Rusev, Nakamura, & The Bar
(2) Asuka defeated Sonya Deville (w/ Mandy Rose) after Mandy Rose pulled the ring apron causing Sonya to slip.
(3) Rey Mysterio & R-Truth (w/ Carmella) beat Samoa Joe & Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega) when Rey pinned Joe
(4) Daniel Bryan & Rowan defeated Kevin Owens & Mustafa Ali when Rowan pinned Ali
205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) 3/12/19
(1) Cedric Alexander beat Oney Lorcan
(2) Tony Nese defeated Drew Gulak
– Alexander and Nese will face off next week, the winner will challenge Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania.
WWE Main Event (Aired on Hulu and WWE Network) 3/14/19
(1) Tyler Breeze beat EC3
(2) Lucha House Party defeated Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers
Source: WKPWP Post-Raw On-site correspondent
•Upcoming Lineups for Stadium/PPV Events
WWE WrestleMania on April 7 from New York City, N.Y.
– Alexa Bliss announced as the host of WrestleMania
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. TBD for the Cruiserweight Championship
Triple H vs. Batista in a No Holds Barred match
Kurt Angle vs. TBD in Kurt Angle’s final match
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Fri. 3/15/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sat. 3/16/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Five Flags Center, Dubuque, Iowa
Sat. 3/16/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wis.
Sun. 3/17/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, Ill.
Sun. 3/17/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Resch Center, Green Bay, Wis.
Mon. 3/18/19 WWE Raw, Allstate Arena, Chicago, Ill.
Mon. 3/18/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, Ill.
Tue. 3/19/19 WWE Smackdown, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
Fri. 3/22/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Cure Insurance Arena, Trenton, N.J.
Sat. 3/23/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, First Arena, Elimra, N.Y.
Sat. 3/23/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, N.Y.
Sun. 3/24/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Keybank Center, Buffalo, N.Y.
Sun. 3/24/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass.
Mon. 3/25/19 WWE Raw, TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Mon. 3/25/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, PPL Center, Allentown, Pa.
Tue. 3/26/19 WWE Smackdown, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.
Fri. 3/29/19 WWE Live Event – Supershow, Eastern Kentucky Expo Center, Pikeville, Ky.
Sat 3/30/19 WWE Live Event – Supershow, Wesbanco Arena, Wheeling, W.Va.
Sun. 3/31/19 WWE Live Event – Supershow, Giant Center, Hershey, Pa.
Mon. 4/1/19 WWE Raw, Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Mon. 4/1/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Berglund Center, Roanoke, Va.
Tue. 4/2/19 WWE Smackdown, Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md.
Sun. 4/7/19 WWE WrestleMania, Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Mon. 4/8/19 WWE Raw, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tue. 4/9/19 WWE Smackdown, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mon. 4/15/19 WWE Raw, Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tue. 4/16/19 WWE Smackdown, Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Fri. 4/19/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Sat. 4/20/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
Sat. 4/20/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Bank of Springfield Center, Springfield, Ill.
Sun. 4/21/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, Minn.
Sun. 4/21/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Tax Slayer Center, Moline, Ill.
Mon. 4/22/19 WWE Raw, Wells Fargo Center, Des Moines, Iowa
Mon. 4/22/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Sioux City, Iowa
Tue. 4/23/19 WWE Smackdown, Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
Mon. 4/29/19 WWE Raw, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
Mon. 3/29/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington, W.Va.
Tue. 4/30/19 WWE Smackdown, Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Sun. 5/5/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Ford Center Evansville, Evansville, Ind.
Mon. 5/6/19 WWE Raw, U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Mon. 5/6/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, The Corbin Arena, Corbin, Ky.
Tue. 5/7/19 WWE Smackdown
Wed. 5/8/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, WWE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
•Latest TV Highlights
Monday Night Raw
Bobby Lashley regained the Intercontinental Championship from Finn Balor tonight. Lashley came to the ring alone, but Lio Rush would eventually make an appearance. As Finn Balor went for the Coup de Grace, Lio would come through the crowd and start ringing the bell frantically to distract Balor before he jumped. Balor would chase him for a second before jumping back into the ring. As Balor jumped into the ring, Lashley hit him with a spear mid-air and would get the three count.
The Shield opened Raw this week to “give their farewell address” as WWE put it. The announcement itself wasn’t anything of note. Roman said he had business to handle, and announced he was going to have his first singles match in five months tonight. Roman said Dean has business to handle too, but they don’t know what that is. Roman would then talk about Seth and his match with Brock at WrestleMania, then Roman and Dean would leave Seth alone in the ring. Seth would then start talking about WrestleMania, but Paul Heyman would interrupt. The two would talk back and forth until Shelton Benjamin would attack Rollins from behind. Rollins and Benjamin would have a match while Heyman joined the commentary table for the match. On commentary, Heyman said that Lesnar would be on Raw next week due to Michael Cole’s comments about him during the match. Seth would eventually beat Benjamin with The Stomp. Later in the night, Roman came out for his match, but Drew McIntyre would attack him from behind before Corbin came out. After a thorough beat down, Seth would come down to help Roman back to the training room. Dean would meet them there and as Seth and Roman went into the training room, Dean would see Triple H and demand a match with McIntyre. Triple H made the match and it started right after this. They would brawl around the arena, but McIntyre would eventually get the upper hand by grabbing a pencil off the announcer’s desk and jamming it into Dean’s face. McIntyre would score the pin after wedging Dean into a stairwell and hitting him with a Claymore Kick.
Triple H and Batista would face off in a rather awkward segment. Batista was standing on the stage with a wall of security while Triple H was in the ring. The two would argue back and forth, Batista kept saying “Give me what I want” while Triple H was threatening to beat him up and saying “I’m not giving you a damn thing.” Inexplicably Triple H would give Batista exactly what he wanted, a match at WrestleMania. Triple H would add the caveat that the match will be on his terms before announcing it’ll be a No Holds Barred match.
Kofi Kingston gets an opportunity next week to qualify for WrestleMania. Vince McMahon came to the ring and started off by saying he gave Kofi an opportunity to compete but he failed on Sunday and then pointed out that he didn’t specifically say he was being added to the WWE Championship match (I think he technically did and accidentally flubbed a line, but that’s beside the point). The New Day interrupted and Big E said “If I’m being honest, we’re not in the mood for you to teach us a damn thing.” Xavier and Big E tried telling Vince Kofi deserves the opportunity and Vince responded saying nobody deserves anything, not even him. Eventually, Vince said Kofi isn’t championship caliber, and he will one day go into the WWE Hall of Fame, but as a member of New Day, not alone. Kofi eventually spoke for himself and told Vince he isn’t looking for a handout. Kofi went on to talk about all he’s done for WWE, missing birthdays, holidays, and saying he even missed his son losing his first tooth last week, but he never complains. He then asked Vince to tell him what he needed to do to get the Championship match. Randy Orton’s music played and Vince said all he had to do was beat this man. Then Samoa Joe came out, then the Bar, then Rowan. After each man Vince added “and beat this man.” After Rowan came out with Daniel Bryan Vince said that Kofi would need to beat all of these men in a Gauntlet match next week and he’ll be going to WrestleMania. Smackdown went off the air as The New Day got the better of all five men Kofi will be facing next week.
Randy Orton and A.J. Styles faced off tonight. Randy came to the ring and said he needed to get something off his chest. He then began questioning A.J. on Smackdown being “the house that A.J. Styles built.” Randy then mockingly started comparing his timeline in wrestling to Styles’ saying that in 2002 Randy made his WWE debut while Styles was wrestling for $10 a night in a high school gym in front of 12 people. In 2005 Styles was wrestling in Florida “getting a tan with Dixie Carter” while Orton was wrestling Undertaker at WrestleMania. Randy finished this timeline by saying Smackdown is the house that Randy Orton built. A.J. then came out and said guys like Randy couldn’t have survived the indies especially doing things like Orton’s signature pose and “a knockoff Diamond Cutter.” Styles then pointed out that Orton has been a member of a lot of groups including Evolution, Legacy, Rated RKO, and even The Wyatt Family noting that “it sounds to me like you’ve had a lot of babysitters.” Orton then started talking about being the landlord of Smackdown and rent being due and make the check out to R-K-O (kind of cheesy). This lead to A.J. challenging Randy to a match at WrestleMania, but that match has not yet been made official.
Becky and Charlotte also spoke about their match with Ronda. Becky came out first and talked about setting this entire match in motion by picking Ronda, but Charlotte got shoehorned in by Vince, then Becky was suspended a few times and arrested and eventually earned her way back into the match. Becky addressed Ronda causing the D.Q. finish on Sunday and played it up as if it was her master plan all along. Becky said “Lads, lads, do you know how hard it is to play mind games on a woman with no brain?” She then said she got Ronda so wound up she did her bidding for her by getting her put back in the WrestleMania match. Charlotte came out and sarcastically congratulated Becky. Charlotte then said it’s one thing to be hot for six months, but she’s been hot for four years and that’s why Vince chose her to get the job done. She said Becky can spin it however she wants, but she was given a handout on Sunday and never in her life has she seen someone do so little, but take credit for so much. Becky interrupted by saying “Shut your face, you plastic-faced dope” then telling Charlotte that in four years she didn’t do anything with the women’s division and now that The Man has come around they’re going to main event WrestleMania.
•Listen to the latest Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – Smackdown Post-Show
PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by ProWrestling.net’s Jake Barnett as they discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first, then an on-site correspondent from Dayton, Ohio followed by a mailbag segment. They talk about Vince McMahon giving Kofi an opportunity, Shane McMahon explains his motivations, A.J. Styles and Randy Orton make people care about their match, Becky Lynch verbally spars with Charlotte and takes digs at Ronda Rousey, and more Fastlane fallout and WrestleMania…
-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice
•WWE Social Media Highlights
WWE announced on Thursday last week that Tampa, Florida would be the host of WrestleMania 36 next year. Hulk Hogan, Stephanie McMahon, Titus O’Neil, Triple H, Charlotte, and Roman Reigns all spoke during the event. Here is a link to the video that streamed live.
WWE WrestleMania 36 announcement
We are LIVE from Tampa, Florida, for a very special WWE WrestleMania 36 announcement!
Posted by WWE on Thursday, 7 March 2019
Ronda, behind her new heel persona, has gotten even more insane on Twitter. She posted this video to her personal YouTube channel and it got quite a bit of attention because she’s claiming she didn’t go with the script on Monday, and won’t do what WWE tells her to do anymore. It is not PG rated, she curses quite a bit, so just a warning about the strong language!
Multiple wrestlers reacted to the Ronda video:
Ronda’s new character is not real. She is playing a badass but we all know she ain’t in REAL LIFE
— All Might Big Rüs (@RusevBUL) March 8, 2019
I’m not a big fan of Aleister Black talking on the mic all the time. I think he would be more interesting if he was just a silent assassin type of character, but this burn on Lana was incredible.
A dream team?We have Aleister who is so ordinary & insecure he had to tattoo his entire body to fit in with the misfits. Ricochet who just flips all over the ring with no emotion like the cirque du soleil & then we have the legends…THE HARDY’s returning for the 17000th time!YAY https://t.co/exgTDj4B8p
— Lana Day (@LanaWWE) March 12, 2019
Interesting words from someone who’s body is 90% “enhanced”. https://t.co/OVNWoSfNlA
— Devil's Blood (@WWEAleister) March 12, 2019
Body shaming? Oh no my easily triggered fake outraged friend, I am calling on the paradox that is a person that wishes to do what she wants to do to her physique telling another person that wants to do to his physique that he is insecure for doing so. Pot and kettle https://t.co/UCF4MgM67t
— Devil's Blood (@WWEAleister) March 12, 2019
The Usos and The Hardy’s are teasing a tag team championship feud on Twitter. That would be a fun WrestleMania match up. Bully Ray/Bubby Ray seemed to take exception to The Usos claiming to be better than Team 3D
THE ONE TEAM WHO HAS NOT BEEN LOCKEDDOWN……”WELCOME” https://t.co/zuUzcbU66s
— The Usos (@WWEUsos) March 7, 2019
#HouseHardy looks forward to visiting Da Uso Pen….VERY SOON.
They've all tried to keep us locked down for 27 years–From the LOD to DX to the APA to E&C to the Dudz to the Bar to the Bucks of Youth. Nobody's done it yet.
You're "WELCOME" to The Hardy Compound too, brudahs. pic.twitter.com/uq0fIzD9DC
— Matt Hardy, REDEFINED (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 7, 2019
LOD, DX,APA,E&C, DUDZ, BAR….good teams….but we “THE DAMN USOS!!!!! #TheTruTagTeam https://t.co/jhRwgpwiYW
— The Usos (@WWEUsos) March 8, 2019
I got your “good” right here Uce… pic.twitter.com/pGHvOKOPXm
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) March 9, 2019
RUN IT. https://t.co/8bkn0NGWD0
— The Usos (@WWEUsos) March 11, 2019
The New Day continue to be outspoken on Twitter. Knowing them, it’s in storyline and they’re not speaking out in real frustration, but I still enjoy the complaints.
Glad I opened twitter today or else I wouldn't have known that we have a match this Sunday https://t.co/VlqGQ8BxsI
— ✈️ GDC Wed/Thurs✈️ (@XavierWoodsPhD) March 8, 2019
This doing the right thing clearly ain’t it. Maybe we need to knock over a liquor store or something to be a star here…Please send me your petty crimes suggestions.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) March 11, 2019
DM me https://t.co/R0AiJkChSH
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) March 11, 2019
Never that. Then they win.
— KOFI (@TrueKofi) March 11, 2019
So, during Fastlane, WWE attempted something new. They had a watch along that was free to everyone even without the WWE Network. I didn’t watch it, but I did see this clip from Pat McAfee’s twitter. There’s no need to explain this, just watch…
What an absolutely magical moment between @DashWilderWWE and @ScottDawsonWWE #ftr #WWEFastlane #WatchAlong pic.twitter.com/8Gv0EU5liY
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 11, 2019
Another awesome promo by Becky backstage after Ronda caused the disqualification that put her back in the WrestleMania match.
EXCLUSIVE: @BeckyLynchWWE is heading to #WrestleMania and has every intention of chasing @RondaRousey OUT of WWE. #WWEFastlane pic.twitter.com/mVQNXNmzez
— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2019
What in the world has WWE done to Finn Balor? The Inaugural Universal Champion has become an absolute joke! He’s in a never-ending feud with Bobby Lashley and he continues to look like a fool.
First, he comes out the night after the Royal Rumble and gives a rather weak promo that basically says “I almost had you Brock! Oh well,” which is insane, then Lashley randomly attacks him that night. Okay, I thought that this could be a cool feud for the Intercontinental Championship. Boy, was I wrong. Fast forward to the Raw before Elimination Chamber where we find out that Lio Rush is going to be added to the match for a two-on-one handicap match. The announcers harped on what an advantage that is for Finn. What?! How is a two-on-one handicap match beneficial for the baby face? You’re completely undermining him by saying stupid stuff like that. Lio Rush isn’t a typical manager; he’s an active wrestler who, for quite a while, was undefeated on 205 Live! Then to make matters worse, they have Balor win the title at Elimination Chamber BY PINNING LIO RUSH?! You’ve got to be kidding! Could you do any more to undermine Finn’s character than to have him “triumphantly” win the championship by having him pin the non-champion defending the championship? It’s insane!
So we move forward to Fastlane. Automatic rematch clauses aren’t a thing, unless they are, because Bobby Lashley got a rematch. Lashley did pin Balor on the 3/4/19 edition of Raw, so maybe that was the justification, and I just don’t remember that being explicitly said, so I’m not going to harp on this point. Moving on… At Fastlane last Sunday, Finn Balor loses again. How does he lose? Lio Rush rings the bell mid-match, causing a distraction. This distraction isn’t what cost Finn the match, though; instead of ignoring Rush, Balor decides to abandon completing the Coup de Grace for the potential win to chase Lio Rush around like they’re in an episode of Tom & Jerry. When Finn finally turns his attention back to Lashley, he gets in the ring and eats a Spear for the loss. Just unbelievable!
I’d like to point out that if Lio ringing the bell had been the distraction that cost Balor the match, I’d actually understand and not think that Balor looks like a complete dope. The bell ringing is an audible distraction and it would be confusing because it does signal the end of a match, just like an inadvertent whistle in a football or basketball game causes everyone to stop and look around to figure out what happened. Instead of doing that reasonable distraction finish, let’s make Finn Balor look like an idiot chasing around the heel manager. I just don’t understand why they’ve done this to Balor.
I assume this may lead to a final rematch at WrestleMania and we may even get The Demon for it, but I can’t even pretend to be excited for it. The Demon is always cool to see, but Finn is going to pull out The Demon because he can’t pin Lashley for the title, or stay disciplined enough to not be easily distracted? Meanwhile he didn’t come out as The Demon for his last two Universal Championship opportunities. That makes no storyline sense at all. Even if Balor pins Lashley and wins the championship at WrestleMania, it’s not exactly a huge triumphant moment that everyone has been waiting for because they’ve booked this angle horribly! Both of these guys deserve better, and the Intercontinental Championship deserves better too. The Intercontinental Championship has changed hands three times in three months. The Miz made the Intercontinental Championship valuable again, and all of that has been completely undone in my eyes because they just keep trading it back and forth.
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