This week in WWE: John Cena tries to find his road to WrestleMania
This is a weekly look at the action in the WWE:
A braggadocios Alexa Bliss opened the show recounting her victory at Elimination Chamber. Her insults to her WrestleMania opponent, Asuka, prompted her to come to the ring. Unfortunately, it was a trap as Nia Jax, Mickie James and Bliss attacked her. Bailey and Sasha Banks came down to help out Asuka, but the heels would walk laughing after laying them out. This lead into a six women’s tag match, because of course it did. Banks spent a long time in the ring. When she tried to tag Bayley, she jumped off of the ring so Banks could not tag her. Eventually, Banks tagged Asuka who submitted James to win the match. “I have failed”, John Cena opened his long rant about his inability to get a high profile match for WrestleMania. He teased the fans by “issuing a challenge to Undertaker”, but he clarified that the match could never happen. Before leaving the ring, he explained that he will find his opportunity at SmackDown Live. Bray Wyatt ambushed Heath Slater before their match. After his attack, he took to the mic to tell Matt Hardy that they will be meeting again.
The Miz was heated at Kurt Angle, who did not give him a clear answer about who his WrestleMania opponent will be. He explained how, as Intercontinental Champion, he must be respected. He promised whoever came to the ring would receive a beating. Seth Rollins answered the call, and defeated him with a ridiculous Frog Splash from all the way on the other side of the ring. Finn Balor came to the ring. He, too, has a match with Miz. The Mizterouge stopped the match from happening as they attacked Balor, causing Gallows and Anderson to race down to save their good brother. Kurt Angle settled things by banning everyone from ringside and restarting the match. If Miz causes a DQ, he will not be participating at ‘Mania. The champ tried picking the bones of Balor after the attack, but Balor would be able to steal one from Miz.
Roman Reigns explained how he is a man of his word. He said he would win the Elimination Chamber match, and he did. Brock Lesnar was scheduled to have a face off with him that night, but he did not show. Reigns called out Lesnar for hiding behind is contract, and even called his advocate, Paul Heyman, a bitch. The Bar retained their tag titles defeating Titus Worldwide in a Two out of Three Falls match. Braun Strowman and Elias faced off in the last match of the night. Strowman dominated the match, but Elias grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed him with it. Stroman tried to chase Elias backstage but after the attack to his eyes, Elias was able to escape. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H closed the show demanding an apology from Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey. Angle apologized, Rousey, too, demanded an apology from McMahon for slapping her at Elimination Chamber. McMahon apologized, but Triple H’s actions spoke clearly as he sucker punched Angle as they were leaving the ring.
Just as he promised, John Cena came to the blue brand in search of a match at WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon agreed to add him to the match at Fastlane if he defeats AJ Styles in the main event. Baron Corbin defeated Sami Zayn in the opening match. Kevin Owens was on commentary when, suddenly, Ziggler surprised him with a super kick that distracted Zayn allowing Corbin to pick up the win. For good measure, Ziggler surprised Corbin with a Zig Zag after the match. Ruby Riott defeated Naomi with a Riott Kick. She mocked Charlotte, “two down, one to go.”
The New Day, too, wondered what they will be doing at WrestleMania. They explained their desire to face their longtime rivals, The Usos. The Tag Champions came to the ring to express their frustrations about missing out ‘Mania after ‘Mania while New Day got hand out after hand out. This, of course, upset Big E who explained they worked their ass off and were not there “because of their daddy”. Backstage, Roode and Orton faced off. Orton explained that their feud was nothing personal; he simply wants what he has never had, The United States Championship. Nakamura defeated Aiden English. As he began to walk to the back, John Cena came out to the ring and stared down who he hopes he will be facing at WrestleMania. His main event match against Styles was a doozy. Cena put the champion through the table, and eventually hit him with a third Attitude Adjustment to pick up the win. This meant that the match at Fastlane is now a Six Pack Challenge. Owens, Zayn, Corbin and Ziggler were not pleased about this as they came out to the ring and a brawl ensued to close the show.
The big theme of the week is “what is x competitor doing at WrestleMania?”
The uncertainty, frankly, entertains me. For a lot of people, this part of the year is the best. Finding out who will face who at WrestleMania is one of my favorite parts of the year. Whether it was Miz, The New Day, or Rollins trying to figure out their path, it’s exciting to see the pieces start to fall together.
Of course, the most exciting one of them all was Cena’s week. His “I need to find my way in this new generation” promo is getting a bit repetitive, but the matches he delivers when he is in this mode have not. We now know he’ll be at Fastlane. I do not expect him to win that match, which makes his future that much more exciting.
Next week, the build to Fastlane will hopefully heat up. After that, it is a straight path to New Orleans and WrestleMania.