For Raw, the ending segment with Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch was a great way to help build up one of the key matches for Fastlane as well as the main event for Wrestlemania. After Rousey gave Stephanie McMahon an ultimatum in regards to her match at Wrestlemania, McMahon announced that Becky Lynch would face off against Charlotte Flair at Fastlane and if Lynch won, she would be added to the Wrestlemania match. Roused agreed to this stipulation and then decided to go on a rant and turn into a bad guy. She ripped on the fans, WWE itself, and Becky Lynch. The show closed by Rousey beating up both competitors. Solid way to build up key matches going into Wrestlemania.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States Champion! After R-Truth decided to host another open challenge for his belt this week, it was answered by three guys. Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, and Andrade all answered the call and created a fatal four way match. The match was great from start to finish and Samoa Joe ended up winning. Joe has been long overdue for a championship in WWE so the United States Championship is a great starting point for him.
For Raw, while The Shield reunion is a feel good moment because Roman Reigns came back, it also isn’t clicking like it should. This is because the break up between these three the past few times has been so emotionally driven that the reunion doesn’t deliver back in the same way. There is a 6-man tag match between The Shield and Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin at Fastlane, but does not feel like one of the more important matches on the PPV.
For Smackdown, the only bad thing I saw from Smackdown was the fact that Andrade and Rey Mysterio will have a match at Fasltane, but on the pre show. These guys have already put on spectacular matches before and they probably will again, but the fact that those great matches have only led to them being on the pre show doesn’t make much sense.
The Final Verdict
Both brands put on very good shows before the Fastlane PPV. They were able to give time to all the matches on the PPV as well as help get some time to get some Wrestlemania build up too. As far as better shows from start to finish though, Smackdown had the better show this week. Putting a lot of focus on the WWE Championship match, tag team championship, women’s championship match, and the Becky Lynch is why Smackdown had the better show this week. Since the McMahon family has decided to be the authority figures, WWE television has been more interesting and put a little bit more emphasis in their rivalries.
Adam Cole Discusses Troubling Injury Recovery
AEW superstar Adam Cole has opened up about what he calls a “scary” recovery from a second concussion that he suffered at AEW and NJPW’s ‘Forbidden Door’ event back in June 2022, with Cole set to make his return to the ring soon.
Cole specifically talked about memory loss as the most troubling aspect of his recovery:
”The memory stuff is the really, really scary part to me” Cole said, during an appearance on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t CagesideSeats). “When you’re in the middle of a ring and there’s thousands of people around you and I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. That was really scary. So, I knew pretty early on after my memory started going that something was wrong.”
Cole’s road to recovery as an especially long one.
“The crazy thing was that after even a month, it was like that’s when real serious side effects started happening” he said. “Everything I said in my return in-ring promo that I did all of that was true, and more. There was a lot of stuff that was happening very late into the healing process, or, what I thought was late, like a month-and-a-half, two months.”
Cole is gearing up for his return to AEW, with all signs pointing to him stepping back into the ring at Revolution next month.
Donovan Dijak Suffers Injury at NXT Vengeance Day
NXT Vengeance Day was a rousing success for WWE on Saturday which saw a number of headlines come out of the event that was well-received by fans, including an injury suffered by Donovan Dijak during his match with Wes Lee for the North American Championship.
Dijak suffered an apparent broken finger during the match, which was seen on camera and shared on social media.
Following the event NXT general manager Shawn Michaels provided an update on Dijak, stating he did not suffer a broken finger – “Yeah, everybody is good” Michaels said. “I announced it at gorilla, it’s got to be a miracle, It’s not broken.
“We got him x-ray, they said it’s not broken and so yeah, I guess what you do is you kind of numb it and put it back in place and that’s what’s happening now. But it is, again, a modern miracle because we all saw it, it was pretty gnarly looking. But, apparently, he’s going to be okay, which is obviously fantastic news for us and him.”
Tony Khan Open to AEW/WWE Crossover
AEW owner and booker Tony Khan is certainly open to the idea of AEW and WWE working together for a potential crossover supershow, despite Khan’s consistent blasting of WWE over the last few years.
“It’s something I would certainly be open to and I think it’s an interesting thing for the future” Khan said during an appearance on WTF with Marc Maron. “It’s not something that’s ever really been done. They’ve kind of existed in their own space. We are working with a lot of wrestling promotions.”
Khan’s AEW has already worked with a number of promotions such as Impact Wrestling and NJPW, and WWE has even warmed to the idea of working with other promotions, as they have with Impact Wrestling, NJPW, and NOAH recently.
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