TV Talking Points – 12th-14th February

Another week has passed on the Road to Wrestlemania, and unless I’ve just gotten to the stage of completely zoning out when it happens, we got less sign-pointing this week. We even got serenaded by Braun Strowman, which even though I’m not writing about was too good of a visual to not use above. But we did get various developments for Elimination Chamber and Fastlane, so it was a good week for storyline progression. What actually happened? Read on for the highlights!

Raw

Doubling up on making history

The advertised Raw main event was a second chance fatal-4-way between the men who lost Elimination Chamber qualifying matches – Finn Balor, Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt and Apollo Crews. But in the middle of the show, Seth Rollins made his case to Kurt Angle that he should be added to the match, and he was – making it a fatal-5-way. There was controversy in the finish, as both Finn Balor and Seth Rollins had Wyatt pinned for a three count. Both men won the match, so Kurt Angle announced that at Elimination Chamber, as well as having the first ever women’s Chamber match, for the first time ever there would be seven men competing inside the steel structure!

 

Putting pen to paper

Coming out of the Royal Rumble, the obvious talking point was the “surprise” appearance of Ronda Rousey. She got the world talking, but we haven’t seen her since. On Monday though, Kurt Angle announced that at Elimination Chamber, Ronda Rousey would officially sign her Raw contract. And he did it in the most nonchalant way possible – the video below is entitled “Ronda Rousey Will Sign Her Raw Contract at WWE Elimination Chamber”, but Rousey is only spoken about for the first 10 seconds.

 

Renewing old rivalries

I wrote last week about the hints of a Sasha Banks heel turn, and the possibility of a future match between her and Bayley – but I didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as this week! Hopefully as a prelude of things to come, these two did battle one more time in Bayley’s hometown, and it was impressive. This pairing just has a chemistry, with an intensity from both women that has been sorely lacking. It was a strong match, the best either one has produced for a while, ending with the hometown hero standing tall for once.

 

SmackDown

Fastlane becomes a 5-way

There was no AJ Styles on the show this week, but the main focus of Tuesday’s two hours was around the quest to become WWE Champion. Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin were supposed to do battle to earn a spot in the title match next month, but they were attacked by Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens – possibly turning one or both of Ziggler and Corbin face in the process. As a result, Shane O’Mac made Corbin vs Owens and Ziggler vs Zayn, ruling that if Corbin and Ziggler won, then they would be added to the match at Fastlane. They did, and so now we have AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens vs Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship set for the last stop before Wrestlemania.

 

Hindering the Viper

Last week Randy Orton looked to have inserted himself firmly into the United States Championship picture with an RKO to the champion, Bobby Roode. So this week Roode put out an open challenge for his title, but made it clear he hoped the Viper accepted. He got his wish, but before they could throw down they were interrupted by Jinder Mahal, who made his intentions to claim the US Title known. A three-way brawl ensued, and it was the Modern Day Maharadja who left standing tall.

 

NXT

United Kingdom Championship shines again

Is it possible for Pete Dunne to have a bad match? You know, saying that, is it possible for Pete Dunne to even have an average match? Every time he walks on to our screens for the yellow brand you know you’re in for a treat, as he proved yet again this week defending his United Kingdom Championship against the “messiah of the backbreaker” Roderick Strong. This was always going to be a strong showing, but with the Bruiserweight having already beaten Strong and Johnny Gargano, how much longer can they justify keeping him away from the NXT Championship picture?

 

And that’s it for the second week of shows in February! Next week we see the go-home Raw for Elimination Chamber, as well as the Title vs Career match in NXT of Andrade Almas vs Johnny Gargano. Oh go on then, I know I didn’t write about it but I’ll leave you with the video explaining the context of the top picture with Braun Strowman and that double bass. Until next time!

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