Another week of television, another week in which you probably neglected WWE's four lower-rung shows.
Everyone says that the "Road to WrestleMania" begins at the Royal Rumble. But I say it's in the weeks leading up to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view that the Road begins. They are laying the groundwork for the feuds and three-month story arches that will make WrestleMania the biggest event of the year.
Between now and April 7, everyone working for WWE has just one thing in mind: WrestleMania.
As wrestlers, some of the guys are hoping to earn a spot in one of the main event matches. Some guys are hoping to earn a spot that at least shows they’re still relevant; maybe a mid-card title, or their first pay-per-view match with one of WWE’s top-tier performers. Some of the guys are hoping for nothing more than being a part of a dark match battle royal or a gimmick-heavy lumberjack match.
As Vince and the creative team begin to fill the roles they have set for WrestleMania, everyone is under pressure to perform at the top of their game, hoping to catch favor with Vince, the creative team and the WWE Universe. That goes for everyone from Brock Lesnar and The Rock to John Cena and CM Punk to Tensai and JTG.
Since the five hours of programming on Raw and SmackDown don’t provide enough opportunity for every Superstar to get their chance to shine in the spotlight, many are relegated to the WWE’s other programs.
To find out how the wrestlers are doing on the four shows you probably didn't see last week, we can take a look at my weekly review of WWE's NXT, Main Event, Superstars and Saturday Morning Slam. After we review everything that happened on these shows, we'll decide who benefited the most last week and who needs to be sending feelers to TNA and ROH.
My "highlights" version of all four shows is below.
If it piques your interest enough to read on, this slideshow breaks down the shows individually, segment by segment, complete with my Questions, Predictions and/or Honorable Mentions.
If you disagree with my selections of who benefited/suffered the most, there's a comment section below.
On NXT, Adrian Neville won his debut match when he faced off against Sakamoto. Trent Baretta got a disqualification victory over Leo Kruger after a reversed decision in a match that furthered the drama by also involving Kassius Ohno and William Regal.
Big E. Langston had his first NXT Championship title defense in an impromptu squash match with Camacho. The main event saw Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel defeat the team of Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow.
On Main Event, Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro's fantastic match ended without a decision when The Shield crashed the party. The Miz tried to help Orton fend them off, but they couldn't do so, and Cesaro hit the Neutralizer on a vulnerable Miz.
In the second match, the Primetime Players put over The Usos, and Brad Maddux had a comical appearance on commentary.
This week's Superstars brought us a couple of decent matches. It opened with Kofi Kingston getting a victory over Michael McGillicutty. They showed a couple of Raw replays before giving us a Zack Ryder win in a match with JTG.
On Saturday Morning Slam, Natalya defeated Alicia Fox in what turned out to be a pretty impressive match. Sheamus defeated Michael McGillicutty in a match that was more comical than anything else.
They set up next week's main event of The Miz vs. Darren Young when the Primetime Players interrupted The Miz during a backstage promo.
Now, if you care to read more about any of these happenings, please enjoy the slideshow.