For Raw, the promo ran between Roman Reigns and Undertaker really got me excited for their match this Sunday. Roman Reigns did a great job coming off as cocky going into this match and he also did a good job firing up the Philadelphia crowd, who he does not have good experiences with (Royal Rumble 2015). The Undertaker had a great promo firing back as well saying that Roman Empire will collapse at WrestleMania. I loved the Undertaker’s promo too because it had a throwback feel to it and really showed the history that the Undertaker character has had for this company.
For Smackdown, the contract signing between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon was a great segment to start their show off and help build up their match at WrestleMania. My favorite part of this segment between the two was Styles saying that he was untouchable in the wrestling ring and considering the fact that this match doesn’t have a stipulation; McMahon will be in trouble this Sunday. But, McMahon answered back and said that it doesn’t matter who he is fighting, that he always brings out the best in them, which I feel will definitely be the case this Sunday and don’t be surprised if this match steals the show.
For Raw, the final confrontation between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar was a disappointment. When the main event for WrestleMania is announced, the buildup is always given the most time and there is usually one last brawl between the superstars before the PPV. That wasn’t the case between these two though. Paul Heyman did his spiel about how Lesnar is going to win, then Goldberg comes out and says that he is here for a fight, Goldberg comes down to the ring, hits Lesnar with a spear, and that’s it. Even the announcers were confused because they thought Goldberg was taking down Lesnar in order to spark a brawl, but it was just a typical Goldberg spear. If this proved anything, this shows that this main event will not be a long fight and don’t expect to see a wide array of moves; just finishing moves left and right to entertain the fans and to determine who the winner is.
For Smackdown, it wasn’t something that they did during the show; it was the lack of doing something on the show. I am referring to the Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin rivalry. They did a sit down interview with both competitors on their show “Talking Smack”, but that show isn’t on national TV. Smackdown needed to find a way to push this rivalry during their show whether it is a video package or have one of the guys having a match. The lack of pushing this rivalry on the Go-Home show for WrestleMania was definitely a disappointment.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows had to give everything they could to hype up their respective matches at WrestleMania. I think Raw did a great job doing that, but some work could’ve been done and I thought Smackdown would be able to take full advantage of that. Smackdown was able to do that this week in regards to their women’s championship match, their AJ Styles versus Shane McMahon match, their John Cena versus the Miz tag team match, and their main event. Smackdown did have the better show this week, but I will say that I am more excited for the Raw matches at WrestleMania. The way Raw has built up the Kevin Owens versus Chris Jericho match, the Triple H versus Seth Rollins match, and the Roman Reigns versus Undertaker matches this week, those will be the matches that all the fans will be craving to see and be the most excited for.