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– by Michael Connally

WWE has a long standing tradition of not shaking things up too much right before Wrestlemania.  With Smackdowns pay-per-view Elimination Chamber done two weeks ago the biggest change in that show was Cena losing the title to Bray Wyatt.  Raw’s final exclusive pay-per-view played out like everyone thought it would with only one title changing hands.  When Stephanie McMahon and Triple H don’t bother to show up on camera and leave Mick Foley in charge it shows that even the head brass didn’t want to shake things up.  Now for the next 29 days everything will be set for Wrestlemania with only a couple questions still to address.

 

Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa def. The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar (Kickoff Match)

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

This was supposed to be one of the most entertaining Kickoff Matches in a while. Instead it fell flat mainly because the cruiserweight division isn’t strong enough yet to hold tag team matches on pay-per-views.  It would’ve been better off to have two single matches instead of the impromptu single matches we got later with Jinder and Rusev.

Samoa Joe def. Sami Zayn

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

This match was par for the course with mostly everyone predicting Samoa Joe would win his WWE pay-per-view debut. I was hoping like most that Finn Balor would be involved in this match in some way but that didn’t happen. Both wrestlers put on a good show and probably set up a rematch at Wrestlemania if Finn Balor is not back in time.  

Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. Enzo Amore & Big Cass

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

This was the match I thought we might see a shift and the titles change over.  Instead we got a great match with a typical ending with Anderson and Gallows keeping the titles.  The decision makers probably want to wait and have the titles change over at Wrestlemania.  You have to admit that Enzo and Big Cass have risen up the ladder in popularity really fast among the main audience.

Sasha Banks def. Nia Jax

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

It was in all a matter of how Sasha would win this match.  Sasha has been on the receiving end of some vicious beat downs the past couple shows.  That really didn’t change this go around but Sasha was able to get some decent shots in before pinning Nia with a rollup.

Cesaro def. Jinder Mahal & Big Show def. Rusev

These impromptu matches created by Mick Foley seemed like something that you would’ve seen on Raw and not a pay-per-view.  Especially since neither Jinder or Rusev won their matches and they were the ones who wanted a singles match.  The only positive out of this was for Cesaro to get a pay-per-view match which he deserves.

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville def. Jack Gallagher

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

So I haven’t really gotten invested in the cruiserweight division but after this match I can see why some fans have bought in.  Neville has found a avenue to become a star and better used in this division.  His Corkscrew Shooting Star Press is downright amazing and reminiscent to the old days of the cruiserweight division.

Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

Whoever thought Reigns was going to lose this match is an idiot.  Overall it was a good match especially seeing Strowman through reigns around and through the table.  Looks like we will get Reigns vs. Taker at Wrestlemania.

Raw Women’s Champion Bayley def. Charlotte Flair

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

Charlotte’s pay-per-view winning streak comes to an end and Bayley holds onto the title until Wrestlemania.  Overall a decent match that had a weird ending with Sasha Banks playing a factor in Bayley’s win.  All this means is that Bayley has won and defended her title with help and Charlotte will use that to get her rematch at Wrestlemania.  

Goldberg def. Kevin Owens to win the Universal Championship

Courtesy of WWE

Courtesy of WWE

This was ridiculous! 4 minutes of Kevin Owens walking around the ring before the bell has rung.  Then literally 30 seconds of spear and jackhammer all thanks to Jericho walking out.  This match had potential even with so many already knowing that Jericho would play a factor.  Why couldn’t Kevin actual beat Goldberg up for a couple minutes before Jericho came out.  The only thing that fans can come up with is Goldberg is still recovering from his injury and can’t wrestle.  

Overall most people knew what they were getting before the first bell rang.  It is just a shame that WWE didn’t put a little more thought in this pay-per-view instead of just looking ahead to Wresltemania.