For Raw, the challenge has finally been laid out and now we wait for an answer. John Cena decided that since all of his opportunities have been squandered for a Wrestlemania match, he went on and decided to challenge the Undertaker. Everybody wants to see this match because they want to get the bad taste out of their mouth of Undertaker’s last match against Roman Reigns. Cena would be a perfect opponent to redeem that.
For Smackdown, the build between the big match between Charlotte and Asuka is off to a great start. Charlotte came out and said that she embraces the challenge of facing Asuka and that she is ready to be the one to end the undefeated streak. Asuka countered that by saying that she loves a challenge too, but that she bows down to nobody. Overall, I thought this was definitely the best way to start out building this up to help give it that big match feel.
For Raw, in regards to the Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar storyline, the road they took could’ve been handled better. Having Reigns be upset that Lesnar didn’t show up again is reasonable, but to call him “Vince’s Boy” when Reigns has been headlining Wrestlemania the past four years is where this didn’t make sense. Along with that, Reigns ended up getting temporarily suspended, which doesn’t make sense considering that Lesnar is a no-show and nothing happens, but Reigns says a few words and gets suspended. Maybe this is built to feel more sympathetic towards Reigns, when in reality it is just getting fans more upset that Vince is trying to rebel against Reigns when we all know that is not the case.
For Smackdown, to see how popular Rusev is and for him to be a part of the build between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura and not have his own thing going into Wrestlemania is somewhat of a shame. For the past two weeks, he has faced both of these superstars, only to lose. Along with that, it doesn’t help him gain any momentum towards a championship match in the future, so why not focus Rusev on something else going into Wrestlemania (such as the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?).
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were pretty good this week. They both focused heavily on the road to Wrestlemania and that’s how they should be. Smackdown did leave some questions up in the air though because while they announced Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens, it looks like they might be building towards a tag match that also involved Shane McMahon since they beat him up to close the show. The same can be said for the tag team championship as well because while the Bludgeon Brothers look like the #1 contenders, they still are laying out the idea of a triple threat tag match that also involves the New Day. For that, I will have to give this week to Raw for the better show. They built up all of their big matches properly and laid out some blueprints of upcoming matches as well (Braun Strowman vs. The Bar and Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss). In conclusion, this Wrestlemania card is looking better and better as we get closer!