WWE Week in Review, March 8: The Usos Win Gold, Adam Rose Debuts
With WrestleMania 30 less than a month away, things began to heat up in the WWE Universe this past week on Raw, SmackDown and every other program. While the stacked card for The Show of Shows is starting to take shape, there are still many questions waiting to be answered.
Daniel Bryan was one of the WWE's biggest MVPs this past week, scoring wins on Raw, Main Event and SmackDown in addition to getting into the face of Triple H on Monday night. Will Bryan continue to pursue a match with The Game at 'Mania, or will he shift his sights back to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship instead?
After four long years, The Usos finally won their first WWE Tag Team Championships in front of a hot Chicago crowd on Raw. Who will step up to challenge the sinister siblings for their newly won straps as 'Mania nears?
There is no denying that there is dissension in the ranks within The Shield after Seth Rollins walked out on his stablemates during their match against The Wyatt Family. Although they seemingly reconciled on SmackDown, how long will it be until the dissension between them reaches its breaking point?
I will break down the week in wrestling by analyzing all of WWE's weekly programs and occasional pay-per-views, including each show's highlights, low points and other noteworthy, monumental moments. Also, I will give an award to the show and Superstar that shined the brightest over the course of the week.
Match of the Week: The Shield vs. the Wyatt Family (Raw, March 3)
Very rarely is the same match named the Match of the Week for two consecutive weeks, but it shouldn't surprise anyone that The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family once again took home the award. Eight days removed from their blockbuster of a match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, it was going to be difficult for the two factions to outdo themselves and produce an even better match they did initially, but they sure did come close.
As expected, everyone involved shined at one point or another and put forth a strong effort that saw the Chicago crowd split on who to root for. However, in a shocking turn of events, Seth Rollins walked off on his Shield stablemates, leaving Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to fend for themselves and ultimately take the loss against The Wyatt Family.
Now that the bearded clan can lay claim to being the most dominant faction in all of WWE, will this prove to be the last six-man tag team match The Shield ever competes in?
Superstar of the Week: The Usos
Before I begin, I would just like to say that Daniel Bryan was a strong contender for the latest Superstar of the Week. He emerged victorious in big matches on Raw, Main Event and SmackDown, but none of them came close the huge victory The Usos scored on Monday night when they captured their first WWE Tag Team Championships.
In defeating The New Age Outlaws, The Usos scored their first taste of gold in WWE. The next night on Main Event, they were successful in defending their newly won straps against Los Matadores in an impromptu match. To top it all off, they picked up a third win on the blue brand over Curtis Axel and Ryback. The Usos are definitely deserving of the gold, and I look forward to their reign as champions.
Show of the Week: Monday Night Raw, March 3
It was another strong week for WWE, as the company managed to deliver on all fronts. From Main Event having its best show in ages on Tuesday evening to NXT once again producing a quality episode, there was a lot to like about what went down in the last seven days.
However, there is no questioning that WWE kicked off the week the right way with an excellent edition of Raw on Monday night. The Chicago crowd planned on "hijacking" the show weeks in advance, and while that whole thing ended up being a bust, WWE gave the fans such a good show that Chicago natives had no choice but to sit back, enjoy it and watch it all unfold before their very eyes.
From the brilliant opening segment involving Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar to the night's controversial conclusion with The Authority standing tall over Daniel Bryan, it was a hot show from start to finish. With WrestleMania 30 right around the corner, WWE needs more shows like this heading into the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
This Week's Highlights
Adam Rose debuts
Aside from anything that happened on Raw, the debut of Adam Rose on NXT had to be the greatest thing I saw all week. I was initially skeptical of the gimmick given how he had been so believable in his role as Leo Kruger, but he was so dedicated to his new Rose persona that it was hard not to like him. Not only that, but it's hard to argue that he has one of the best entrances in all of wrestling today.
Daniel Bryan vs. Batista
The fact that the match started only mere minutes before the show came to a close didn't help matters, but it was still fun while it lasted. This was by far Batista's best match since returning, and Bryan sold well for The Animal's offense. The non-finish was smart booking, as it allows the actual finish to be saved for when these two have a real program together.
Raw's opening segment
Everything about this segment was brilliantly booked. I was very happy to see the CM Punk situation finally acknowledged, and who better to speak on it than Heyman? He handled the situation very well and did a great job of tying it into Brock Lesnar's match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30. Speaking of which, Lesnar cut one of the best promos I've ever heard from him before dismantling Mark Henry in an impressive fashion. An electric opening to Raw to say the least.
Paul Bearer to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
This had been coming for many months, but I was glad to finally see it finalized. Bearer's illustrious career is definitely deserving of a place in the WWE Hall of Fame, and it's good that WWE waited a year to induct him as opposed to doing to immediately following his death last March. I also liked how WWE made the announcement of his induction almost exactly one year after his passing.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Neither of these guys may have the most exciting character at the moment, but there's no denying they have great chemistry together. They had a very hard-hitting matchup on SmackDown that saw Sheamus ultimately emerge victorious. The end result was not surprising in the slightest, but it was still a well-worked match and a highlight from Friday night.
Sami Zayn vs. Corey Graves
I didn't expect these two to face off on the same show that the feud started on, but it was an enjoyable matchup that closed out NXT on a high note. They made the most out of the time they were allotted, and the roll-up finish plays nicely into Zayn's underdog gimmick while also protecting Graves, so everything about this match was well done.
This Week's Low Points
Big E vs. Cesaro and Jack Swagger
I understand that both of these matches were done in order to further the ongoing story between Cesaro and Swagger, but the matches themselves felt pointless. The same finish being done twice on the same show grew tiresome, especially after it was done last week as well. I look forward to when Cesaro eventually reaches his breaking point and snaps on Swagger, but Big E comes off as the third wheel in this whole thing.
Christian vs. Sheamus
Personally, I enjoyed this match and thought it was very well wrestled, but the live crowd simply didn't care. I don't think Christian and Sheamus deserved the unruly chants they received during this match, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this feud just isn't clicking. Christian has gotten one over on Sheamus twice, but he has yet to defeat Sheamus in singles competition. Can someone please enlighten me on what the whole point of this rivalry is anyway?
Daniel Bryan and Big Show vs. Batista and Kane
Similar to the aforementioned match, this was a solid tag team main event for SmackDown, but it felt randomly thrown together. I realize Bryan has history with Kane and Batista, but as of now, he isn't set to face either guy at WrestleMania. This marked Big Show's return, but he doesn't have much recent history with either Batista or Kane either, leaving me to wonder what purpose this match was supposed to serve in the long run.
The Bella Twins vs. Alicia Fox and Aksana
This was the third or fourth week that AJ Lee didn't appear on Raw. I realize she wrestled on SmackDown and officials possibly didn't want the Chicago crowd chanting CM Punk-related things at her, but why give us this pointless tag team match instead? Not only was it poorly wrestled, but it did nothing for anyone involved, so it served as filler and nothing more.
Emma vs. Charlotte
Obviously, Charlotte didn't improve much in the ring during her time away. She isn't as bad as she once was, but this was proof that she still isn't competent holding her own in matches. Emma attempted to bring the best out of her and make it an exceptional bout, but it would be wise to keep Charlotte out of action until she gets a bit better.
Los Matadores vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback
Both teams tried hard to deliver a good match, but the live crowd just didn't care. I don't think jobbing Ryback and Axel out to Los Matadores will make them look like credible threats to teams such as The Usos and others. Furthermore, the post-match interview with Los Matadores and Jerry Lawler was so bad that I can't even put it into words.
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Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.