The Bloodline Addressed WWE Champion Brock Lesnar; Lesnar Addressed Universal Champion Roman Reigns
This whole angle took up the first half hour of the show, and although I can understand viewers feeling like it lasted longer than it should have, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Reigns and Paul Heyman played their roles perfectly during their promo, Lesnar nearly killing them in the parking lot was a bit over-the-top yet still a cool angle, and Lesnar's subsequent in-ring response was great stuff. Yes, Lesnar vs. Reigns has been done to death since 2015, but this latest renewal of their rivalry has been the best yet.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs def. Los Lotharios
These teams briefly feuded late last year, though it didn't make much sense at the time because Nakamura was the Intercontinental Champion. I'd be open to them feuding again coming out of WrestleMania 38 if Nakamura and Boogs win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, but The Usos could easily retain instead. Nonetheless, this was a nice little match designed to give Nakamura and Boogs a minor momentum boost before they challenge for the tag titles at WrestleMania. Los Lotharios are a lot of fun to watch.
Drew McIntyre and The Viking Raiders def. Happy Corbin, Jinder Mahal and Shanky
This was the six-man tag team match we were supposed to get last week before it turned into an angle instead. How anyone could possibly care about the Corbin vs. McIntyre feud is beyond me, but the two of them are doing what they can to fill the time between now and WrestleMania. This was a perfectly passable six-man tag team affair with the right trio going over. I'm not sure why Madcap Moss wasn't in Shanky's place unless the idea is to tease tension between Corbin and Moss already.
Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan Ended in a No Contest
The buildup to the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship match at 'Mania has been so lame that I fully expected this to last only a few minutes before being interrupted by Carmella and Queen Zelina. We did end up getting a non-finish (though it was by Shayna Baszler and Natalya and not the champs), but the match itself was excellent and was given an ample amount of time. These four worked wonderfully together. If the 'Mania match is anything remotely close to this, it will be worthwhile. Baszler and Natalya being added does nothing for me because they're yet another makeshift team and their involvement isn't needed.
Pat McAfee "Apologized" to Austin Theory
Right before this segment, McAfee was called into Mr. McMahon's office, and although Vince wasn't shown on camera, McAfee explained in his in-ring promo that McMahon ordered him to apologize to Theory for what he did to him last week. This was a very good exchange between the two. McAfee has been a blast on commentary, but people may forget that he was a phenomenal promo guy during his short stint on NXT in 2020. Despite coming together so quickly, the build to this bout at WrestleMania has been well done so fa.
Ridge Holland def. Kofi Kingston
I'm glad there doesn't appear to be any "heat" on Holland for accidentally injuring Big E last week. If there was, I assume he wouldn't have won here. Speaking of Big E, it's awesome to see him in high spirits on social media and it's about time WWE offered some sort of an update on his status on TV. This was a basic bout, but it was decent for the time given. I was shocked not to see King Woods makes the save for Kingston as he was clearly outnumbered. WrestleMania is in two weeks, so when do they decide to bring him back?
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair Attacked Ronda Rousey
I hate to say it, but a lot of what we've seen from these two heading into WrestleMania has fallen flat. I'm a fan of both women, but the feud simply hasn't been clicking. That said, last week's parking lot brawl to close the show as well as this segment here did help a little bit. I've been saying for weeks that Flair needed to get the upper hand at some point, so at least it finally happened here. This was better than most of what we've gotten from them since Royal Rumble, but I'm very curious how the crowd will react to their match in the main event of WrestleMania.
Last week's show was memorable for the wrong reasons and was pretty abysmal on the whole, but I thought this edition was a definite improvement. I realize that's not saying much and the blue brand has largely been lousy since the Draft in October, but there wasn't anything I overly hated from this show, which was a plus. We also got confirmation that Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania will be an Anything Goes match, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll have in store. Solid effort this week, even if this year's road to WrestleMania has left a lot to be desired.