WWE Battle Of the Brands 4/2-4/3/18 Raw vs. Smackdown: Last Ones Before Wrestlemania!

RAW

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MVP: Seth Rollins

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Show Opened by the Rousey/Angle and HHH/Steph Face Off

This segment acts as a Q and A with Coachman asks the questions. There are many basic cuts about their opponents from both sides. The main idea from HHH and Steph is that they own Rousey and that WWE is their life and not their opponents. A photo op breaks into a brawl with HHH attacking Angle with a microphone. Steph puts Rousey through a table so the Bosses stand tall. 

Bayley vs. Sonya Deville

  • The Women’s Battle Royal Trophy is crazy ugly probably because they had a Moolah Trophy and had to improvise.
  • Multiple botches early by Bayley not being able to roll through and looking unfocused. 
  • The strikes from Deville look pretty stiff. 
  • Awkward Flying Crossbody by Bayley, not going for the pin.
  • Mandy Rose distracts Bayley so Deville hits a roll up. Bayley turns it over for a roll-up victory.

Winner: Bayley                                             Rating: N/A

After the match, Sasha Banks saves Bayley from an Absolution attack. Banks asks Bayley to raise her hand for saving her and Bayley finally in ring assaults Bayley.

Asuka video package on her Undefeated Streak

Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins

  • Congrats to the Miz on the newborn baby!
  • The Miz joins commentary.
  • Series of Rest Holds start the match.
  • Great Miz commentary on being a new dad and tying that into his current storyline.
  • Fight Breaks to the outside and Balor hits an apron kick after a basement dropkick.
  • Blockbuster by Rollins.
  • Drive-By knee on the apron by Rollins.
  • Balor does a comeback series of forearms. 
  • Inverted DDT by Balor, near fall.
  • Huge Superkick by Rollins, near fall.
  • Suicide Dive by Rollins
  • The Miz shouts out “This is one of the greatest matches I’ve seen this year” Umm, Okay.
  • This is Awesome Chants.
  • Coup De Grace reversed into a Falcon Arrow, Balor tries to roll up like two weeks ago off of the second suplex, near fall.
  • Ripcord Knee, near fall.
  • Rollins looks at the Mania sign and goes for a frog splash but Balor gets the knees up for a near fall roll up.
  • The Crowd is on Fire. Involving a lot more excitement in this match.
  • Barricade Powerbomb by Rollins reversed into a Shotgun Dropkick.
  • After a dodged finisher attempt sequence, Rollins hits a curb stomp for the win. 

Winner: Seth Rollins                                           Rating: ****

I don’t agree with Miz’s bold claims for match of the year but this was a very good TV match with a hot crowd. Good enough to pick up Rollins the MVP of this show. 

The Bar comes out to try and find out Braun Strowman’s tag team partner for Mania. Strowman seems like he’s about to reveal his partner. He goes backstage and returns in a white shirt and glasses as “Brains” Strowman. The Bar tries to attack Strowman but gets taken out. 

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal promos from Goldust and Matt Hardy result in a match next. 

Goldust vs. Matt Hardy

  • Two super bizarre characters.
  • Goldust sends Matt into the post and goes outside to punch him in the face.
  • Spinebuster by Goldust.
  • Delete Turnbuckle Smashes from Hardy.
  • Side Effect by Hardy, near fall.
  • Michael Cole is still anti-Hardy.
  • Twist Of Fate rolled up Goldust.
  • The second twist of fate ends the match.

Winner: Matt Hardy                                                                            Rating: **1/4

Hardy yells “Procure!” at the Trophy

Cena’s Answer From Undertaker?

Cena announces that silence from the Undertaker means no to boos from the crowd. He is okay going to Wrestlemania as a fan. Cena puts over Mania moments like Daniel Bryan, Rusev Day, Elias and the Women’s matches. He decided to try and summon Undertaker in Atlanta and asks them to make some noise. Cena says he’s upset with Taker for ignoring the fans. He name drops “Dead Man Walking”. He says it’s clear you left your hat in the ring but you left your balls too and Cena leaves. 

Elias Concert by Heath and Rhyno. Elias beats Slater in a match.

Curt Hawkins asks to be Strowman’s partner and gets sent through a wall backstage. 

Asuka and Dana Brooke beat James and Bliss.

Brock and Reigns Face-off

Built up by Angle asking Heyman to stop a fight if it breaks out and an Angle, Reigns segment. Wrestlers stand in the ramp to break up a fight if needed. Heyman cuts a typical Heyman promo saying that Lesnar will beat Reigns and saying that if Brock doesn’t retain their gone. Reigns come out and get the wrestlers to move by saying that their full-time talent should want to see a part-time bastard get beat up. Reigns and Lesnar brawl. Reigns poses with the title but get an F5 to have Lesnar stand tall.

Smackdown Live

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MVP: Charlotte 

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Daniel Bryan Opens The Show

Bryan brings out Shane returning from the attack a few weeks ago. Shane congratulates Bryan on being medically cleared. Bryan apologized for being behind Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and wants to hug it out. The crowd chants “Hug it Out” showing that Bryan is still over with the crowd. After reluctance, Shane hugs it out to Yes! chants.

Charlotte vs. Natalya

  • The rematch of the pretty good match they had on SD Live two weeks ago.
  • Natalya frequently plays the crowd.
  • Headscissor lock Takeovers by Charlotte, Natalya escapes the ring.
  • Natalya sends Charlotte into the post getting on top.
  • Surfboard lock by Natalya, Charlotte escapes. 
  • Chops by Charlotte leads to a comeback.
  • Backpack Stunner by Charlotte escaping the sleeper, Moonsault by Charlotte reversed into the knees.
  • When Both are down, Carmella comes out to cash in. Before Carmella cashes in, Charlotte boots away the briefcase and takes out Carmella. Natalya goes for a roll up, near fall.
  • Figure Eight taps out Natalya.

Winner: Charlotte                                            Rating: ***1/4

These two women have great chemistry shown from multiple great matches in their past. Charlotte showed great resiliency giving her the MVP this week.

After the match, Asuka comes out and the two have a promo face off. 

AJ Styles interview on the match at Wrestlemania and his feud with Nakamura.

Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal

  • Bobby Roode joins commentary.
  • Singh sings before Mahal’s entrance but English drops a rap before Rusev’s.
  • Rusev Day is still really over.
  • Rusev has to win on Sunday, Seriously.
  • Rusev comes back with a series of kicks.
  • Thrust kick by Mahal, near fall.
  • Singh gets kicked off the apron, roll up by Mahal, near fall.
  • Matchka kick puts away Mahal.

Winner: Rusev                            Rating: **1/2

Rusev gets RKO’d out of Nowhere. English attacks Orton but gets thrown into an RKO by Roode. Roode gives Orton his title and both stand tall.

Shinsuke Nakamura interview that is one of his better promos.

8 Man Andre the Giant Memorial Build Up Tag Match

  • Ryder and Mojo start flashing back to their feud.
  • Primo?!
  • Mojo blasts Tye into the corner but Tye dodges and sends him into the corner. 
  • Hot tag by Fandango.
  • Rough Ryder on Mojo.
  • A sequence where everyone gets thrown over the top rope, Corbin throws Breeze into everyone. 
  • End of Days puts away Fandango.

Winner: Baron Corbin’s Team

Owens and Sami come through the crowd to deliver a promo on the announce table angrily about beating Shane and Bryan Sunday. Shane and Bryan come out and say goodbye because they say this is the last time they will be seen on Smackdown.

Styles and Nakamura beat Gable and Benjamin in a main event tag match. After the match, Styles plays games with Nakamura taunting the phenomenal forearm.

Grades: Raw: D, This show did none of what it was supposed to do. Leaving unanswered questions that shouldn’t be answered at Mania. Everything else but the Reigns/Lesnar segment and the Rollins vs. Balor match left me wanting more and not being excited for Wrestlemania.

Smackdown: C+, This show did a very mediocre job of building up to Mania but at least it did. The match between Charlotte and Natalya was a highlight also was the Shane and Daniel vs. Zayn and Owens segments.

The Better Brand This Week: Smackdown Live. Record: 1-0

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