Women Steal The Show, Kofi Steals The Crowd As RAW, SmackDown Set The Table For WrestleMania

Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

In the final week of build for WrestleMania RAW and SmackDown Live! delivered the goods in setting up a handful of solid matches for the Showcase of the Immortals. But in a week with strong performances, one segment stole the show, setting up an epic main event in New York.

The strength of the Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch segment from Monday Night RAW cannot be stressed enough. It was arguably as good a segment as WWE television has had in years. It didn’t hurt any of the talent’s standing and elevated a match that was already penciled in as a historic main event.

WWE has often forced what they want in past WrestleMania (see any event that ended with Roman Reigns in the final match) and they have paid for it with dreadful crowd reactions. This year, they listened after trying to force their hand again.

It seems clear that, from the get go, WWE wanted a Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey match to headline New York, but The Man was having none of it and the WWE Universe has helped push her to what should be a career-defining victory Sunday night.

After four years of forcing The Big Dog into the closer role while fans revolted, there was a chance to make that mistake again. But Becky forced their hand and the fans are destined for the most memorable ending since Daniel Bryan forced the WWE’s hand at WrestleMania XXX.

The segment on Monday night with all three women getting arrested, blasting through car windows, fighting while in cuffs and taking knees to the face into a door has just made everything all the more intense and has a genuine buzz from fans asking, “What is going to happen next?” instead of groaning, “What are they going to force on us next?”

The writers deserve some credit for forcing Charlotte into the event. It seemed desperate at first to reward The Queen, but her addition has been anything but a third wheel. She has elevated the match, she brings a perfect heel quality and her longtime career alongside Becky makes adds enough intrigue to make the match sell the entire show.

Of course, they aren’t the only ones bringing their A-Game into the Granddaddy of Them All.

Kofi Kingston has ascended to the top of SmackDown Live! and his match with Daniel Bryan could steal the show. The New Day has been a perfect stable behind Kingston’s rise and the stable as a whole has earned a WWE Championship run … maybe they could use Freebird rules?

All kidding aside, this match is tough to call and could be stretched out for another month or two, but it seems the time is right for the strap to go to Kingston, even if it is for a short period.

The rest of the megacard has a ton of intrigue to it as well.

On RAW, Batista has performed perfectly in the Hollywood hotshot role who wants a shot to quiet his mentor. With the stipulation of Triple H’s career on the line, and the fact that it appears a number of babyfaces are in line for wins on Sunday, it is likely that Batista is going to fall in what should be a great attraction match between two members of the most decorated stable of all time.

The future of RAW also seems to be at stake with Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar feuding for the Universal Championship. With a trip to Saudi Arabia around the corner, expect the feud to continue, but it is tough to pick who will walk out of New York with the belt. It seems that with all the trouble Reigns had in topping The Beast, it would be odd for WWE brass to let Rollins continue to foil Lesnar (remember, he topped him and the Big Dog after cashing in at WrestleMania 31 and retained the title later following a Brock disqualification in a one-on-one match).

Elsewhere on RAW, Reigns has an intriguing match with Drew McIntyre as the Scottish Psychopath has been on a tear and is clearly in waiting for Main Event status. And It seems we are going to see Finn Balor bring out The Demon to topple Bobby Lashley for the Intercontinental Championship in a match that will not likely end the feud between the two.

It is a shame that Kurt Angle has not been given more to work with in his farewell match, but a swerve would not be unwelcome at the big show. Baron Corbin is a solid ring worker and is probably underappreciated, but he just does not have that pop you would expect to match up with the Olympic Hero in his final go round.

The Blue Brand has two solid matches to go with the Bryan vs. Kingston matchup as well.

Shane McMahon has successfully turned The Miz into a full babyface and it would not be a shock to see Miz come out of this feud on fire and ready to feud with his former nemesis, Daniel Bryan.

And in that mix could also be Randy Orton and AJ Styles who have successfully told a great story about how two wrestling megastars got to a similar point in their careers with very different paths. Hopefully the two of them get plenty of time to tell a great story in the ring, because they are both great at building a match step by step, even at The Viper’s frenetic pace.

The most difficult thing the WWE is going to face this weekend is the timing of the show. With so much on the card and so many solid builds, hopefully something unexpected stands out. Maybe the women’s tag team championship or Samoa Joe’s defense of his United States Championship can find a way to steal some buzz in a night full of high-profile matches.

And don’t lose sight of Kevin Owens, it would be unexpected for him to not force his way onto the card in future events. He has been solid in his segments to build for the Styles vs. Orton clash and the historic main event. He is just too golden on screen to be left off of it for long.

RAW Top 10

  1. Becky Lynch
  2. Ronda Rousey
  3. Charlotte Flair
  4. Batista
  5. Seth Rollins
  6. Brock Lesnar
  7. Roman Reigns
  8. Drew McIntyre
  9. Finn Balor
  10. Bobby Lashley

SmackDown Live! Top 10

  1. Kofi Kingston
  2. Daniel Bryan
  3. The Miz
  4. AJ Styles
  5. Shane McMahon
  6. Randy Orton
  7. Samoa Joe
  8. Kevin Owens
  9. The IIconics
  10. Rey Mysterio

Overall Top 5

  1. Becky Lynch
  2. Ronda Rousey
  3. Charlotte Flair
  4. Kofi Kingston
  5. Daniel Bryan

The following editorial was written by Geoffrey Rowland and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Geoff’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post or by tweeting him @Geoff_Rowland