“BOOM! BOOM! BOOM-BA-BOOM! BOOM!” The show starts with an impressive opening of pyro, before the lights are raised and several sections of the excited crowd are shown waving various signs. The focus then switches to the announce table where Michael Cole and JBL introduce and hype tonight’s show…
No Pre show needed. It’s The Road to WrestleMania people!
Firstly, we get a video highlighting the key points from last Sundays Elimination Chamber. Bray Wyatt retaining his WWE Championship, abandoning his apostle at the same time and leaving him in the clutches of The Bullet Club. Sting retaining his US Championship but ultimately coming face to face with the ultimate foe, Gallows and Anderson retaining the WWE Tag team Championships in the closest of matches. Dolph and Swagger starting life in earnest away from CWC, and Antonio Cesaro booking his place in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.
But fuck all that. Because there is one man in this building that deserves centre stage more than anyone..
Antonio Cesaro fucking stuts, skips, and strides his way to the ring in the dopest suit that he could find. His smile beams from cheek to cheek. The WWE Universe are cheering in universal approval of his mammoth win, and Cesaro is all to ready to indulge them.
Well he would be, but every time he lifts his microphone he’s interrupted by chants “CES-AR-O, CES-AR-O!”
Cesaro – “Last Sunday, I entered one of the most hellacious structures on planet earth, with 5 of the most badass guys on this planet. And do you know what happened? The most badass guy in there outlasted them all”.
WWE Universe – “YEEAAHHHHHHHHH”
Cesaro – “For the best part of a year, I have scrapped and scraped my way into your hearts and up the food chain. While higher uppers, authority figures and my opponents criticised, berated, and even assaulted me. You. Stood by me. It was us together who came out of the Elimination Chamber victors on Sunday, and it will be us as victors who come out of Wrestlemania with.. (87)
Bray Wyatt on the Tron – “Ahahahaha. Ahem. Antonio Cesaro. The Swiss Superman. The strongest wrestler pound for pound in the entire WWE. You, have earned the right to be named my next plaything. But you’re not like the others. Oh no no no. You’re not like Dean Ambrose or Triple H. Noooo. You need to be approached.. Delicately. You see Cesaro. All of my foes are unique. Dean Ambrose needed his mind twisted and bent, but it was always going to iron out. Well, back to a lunatic level anyway. That’s why I struck first. Triple H is an egomaniac. Elevating his ego even more was easy, then striking him down even easier. You. You are made of stronger stuff. I wonder if you’re even corruptible at all. But you see. I don’t need to know everything about you. I have others who do that for me…”
The lights turn back on and Antonio Cesaro is faced with The White Sheep Erick Rowan. He immediately strips off his suit because he seems to always be wearing wrestling gear underneath. He signals in a referee and here we bloody well go!
As you can well see, the match did not go as swimmingly as Cesaro did anticipate. Bray Wyatts one remaining follower channelled all of his inner fight… But that can only go so far… As the Peak of Technique… Is on a roll
In a bout that had good wrestling and a decent reaction from the crowd, Antonio Cesaro defeated Erick Rowan in 9:57 by pinfall with The Neutralizer. (78) (Fair play for a Rowan match)
Bray back on the Tron – “Well done Antonio! You have just about survived the first trial of what will be an arduous journey for you. Rest up, as next week you will find me. RUN.”
Backstage, General Manager Jim Ross has called in The Bullet Clubs AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes. JR says that he saw their little speech on CWC this week, and while he admits that everything that happens inside the Elimination Chamber is legal, there can be no question that both men have some karma to be set on them.
JR – “And that karma will be sorted out tonight. I want this Road to WrestleMania to go down as hassle free as possible. Tonight. I will end this Bullet Club v Shield hufflepuff. AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes. Tonight you will go 2 on 2 with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. And IF. just if, Dean Ambrose manages to pull himself out of bed in the time between now and tonights main event, and fancies joining his former bretherin to make this match 3 on 2 handicap match, then so be it.”
AJ and Cody laugh, saying that there is literally 0 chance that that is going to happen. As the two men walk out of the office. They trade places with two men their club have recently become acquainted to. Perfect Plie’s Joe Hennig and Fandango. PP ask JR for another shot at Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows tag team titles, but JR says that they lost fair and square. Before the men walk out though. JR tells them to wait….
JR – “You lost. Yes. But who hasn’t lost? We’ve all lost at some point, and you guys put in one heck of a show. One day you guys are going to be at the top of the tag team division, and I’m going to keep giving you the platform to do that. Get yourselves into the ring. Because after the break you’re going to face up against WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kota Ibushi, and the man he faces at WrestleMania, his best friend Adrian Neville. Why you ask? I just think it will be interesting.
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat….
Perfect Plie go and do the bloody unthinkable again. Kota Ibushi and Adrian Neville, now bereft of issues relating to Dolph ZIggler and Jack Swagger, went about their business without pressure and with clinical beauty. Fandango, who spent most of this match tagged in. Was always a step behind.
But Neville obviously has a point to prove to his friend and future opponent. Opted to not tag in Kota when the time was right for a Phonenix-plex that would have ended this fairly nicely. Vital seconds were lost when thinking about tagging, vital seconds in which Fandango tagged in Curtis Axel.
Perfect Plie defeated Kota Ibushi & Neville in 11:18 when Curtis Axel defeated Adrian Neville by pinfall after a miscommunication cost the cruiserweight tag team.
Kota 79! Neville 72. Hennig 62. Fandango 65.
Post match. Kota stands with his belt over his shoulder, questioning Neville over his actions. Neville just shrugs off the questions, as both men head to the back.
Next we get video showing Brock Lesnar’s systematic beat down of John Morrison inside The Elimination Chamber on Sunday. The video then goes to show Kevin Owens’ premature entry into the match, before KO ultimately eliminates The Beast (albeit with some help).
You know shit is going to go down when Brock comes down in shorts, with a mic. The Beast is notorious for being a man of few words… But tonight is obviously one of those rare occasions when The Beast has something he needs to get out of his head.
Brock – “Kevin Owens. For months getting in my way as been a game to you. Well It’s never been a game to me. Before the Rumble. At the Rumble. In the Chamber. Well, on Sunday I ripped apart your friend and I intend on doing the same to you. I have bigger and better fish to fry than an indy know-it-all like you. Now get out here now and face your conqueror like a man. Or I will come back there and find you…”
Unfortunately for Brock. It looks like he might not get his man… JR comes out and unleashes a flurry of security to surround Lesnar and the ring. There isn’t a single gap to be found. Brock is surrounded.
JR – “Look Brock I’m sorry. I can’t have you two going to war here tonight. Brock you’re my most prized asset here, and despite what you think of Kevin Owens, you just broke John Morrison into pieces… Kevin Owens is one of the guys I intend to promote heavily on this brand, he’s part of the future, and you two merely tearing into each other is just not good for Smackdown Live…
Unfortunately for JR’s plans. Kevin has decided to make his presence known.
With mic in hand. Kevin speaks. “JR, look. I’m sorry it’s come to this. But YOOOOUUUUU (Kevin looks at Brock). YOU. Have made yourself an enemy for life. You think I’m scared of you Brock ? You think I’m scared? I’m KEVIN F***ING OWENS. I beat John Cena on my first night in this business, tore apart Sami Zayn multiple times, and do you know what. In John Morrison, I finally found a peer worth standing up for. You are scared of us Brock. That’s why you’re stood in that ring now, confident now you’ve split us up. I DON’T CARE IF YOU BROKE THE UNDERTAKERS UNDEFEATED STREAK. BECAUSE I’M GOING TO BREAK YOUR FREAKIN’ NECK.
(Big crowd pop)
KO marches on down to the ring, only to be confronted with a wall of security. Brock see’s to this however, launching through the back of the security wall, opening a hole for Kevin to enter. The security scramble to get back into position, but by then..
The men are face to face.
The security get back into position before fists can be thrown. Kevin is eventually escorted away… As JR stands on the ramp and does some mulling.
That whole segment got 99.
Be cheap. Eat Mcdonalds.
After the break. Jim Ross is back in his office, only to be confronted by NWA World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Jim says he’s happy to see him, as he plans on getting The Road to WrestleMania back on track.
JR – “Randy, you’re the NWA WORLD Heavyweight Champion. The beauty of that championship is that it goes above and exceeds promotions. It represents more than that. And, as you didn’t defend that championship at The Elimination Chamber, I’ve made some phone calls and have decided how that title will be represented at WrestleMania. Randy. This year you will be opening Wrestlemania in a ten man Royal Rumble style match. The prize will be your NWA World Heavyweight Championship. But the real interesting thing about this match Randy is that I’m giving the WORLD the chance to win back that NWA Championship. This match won’t just be open to WWE SMACKDOWN wrestlers. But also to other promotions! Now Randy. Sheamus has already been granted entry into the rumble match due to his constant good form. I want you to sit down and watch the tag team match coming up next. Because the winning team will earn the positions 3 and 4, at WrestleMania.
Austin Aries is having to team up in this match with his new foe, Hideo Itami. To face a team of Cruiserweights who only returned to CWC this week, but return in a big way they did.
Christopher Daniels and Kalisto!
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat, Austin Aries and Hideo Itami defeated Kalisto and Christopher Daniels in 10:17 when Hideo Itami defeated Kalisto by pinfall after hitting the GTS. This only came about however after….
With the referee distracted. Tyson Kidd lept out of the audience and slapped Christopher Daniels off of the ring ropes. He yelled “YOU WON’T STOP MY ASCENSION FALLEN ANGEL”. Kalisto turned to check on his partner, but then fell to Hideo Itami’s famed GTS. Tyson Kidd then locks in the Sharpshooter and gouges Daniels eyes until he’s eventually split apart.
Unfortunately for Hideo. He failed to witness Sheamus leg it down to the ring after the match had ended. He turns straight into a massive Brogue kick from the Celtic warrior. Who then points at the WrestleMania sign hanging from the cieling.
Cole – “So a 10 man inter-promotional NWA World Heavyweight Championship Rumble match to kick off Wrestlemania. What do you think John?”
JBL – “I love it Michael. Team Smackdown already have Randy Orton, Sheamus, Hideo Itami, AND A Double in the match up. There’s no way we can lose this title!
Retaining US Champion Sting makes his way to the ring. He grabs his -microphone and starts a-talking.
Sting -“So Dolph. You have a problem with me huh? You have a problem with me. What is it. I have better hair. a bigger set of balls? Or are you just that much of a pussy that you won’t face me man-to-man, one on one in this ring. Get out here, becuase I don’t know if you were privy on Sunday, but I have bigger fights and issues ahead of me. Bigger than you.
Dolph – “Sting. You have bigger fights ahead of you than me? Ahahahahaha. I’m called the showoff for a reason. I’m the top guy on this show. I’m the top guy in this company. And if you want me out of your hair. I want only one thing. A shot at the belt around your waist. That belt belongs to AMERICA, but description and by right. You’re only champion because JR gave you a shot at The Brian Kendrick. The same Brian Kendrick that I beat up weekly for fun! I have done nothing but elevate anyone I have been in the ring with and I am OWED, a shot. You didn’t beat me in that ring last time. And I will beat you this time…”
Sting – “If it means I can put you and your friend here in the ground, so be it.”
JBL -“HOT DAMN. UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH”
In a good match, Dolph Ziggler got slapped fucking silly… Swagger was a constant nuisance but Sting is a cut above..
But then… Oh but then…..
The Lights go out and a sigil gradually falls from the rafters… Before you know it, it sets alight after a flash of lightning strikes it… Sting is transfixed.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Sting in 9:39 by pinfall with a Famouser following interference from Jack Swagger. Dolph Ziggler wins the WWE United States title. (Dolph 82. Sting 78).
Cole – “I don’t believe it….”
JBL -“WELL YOU SHOULD. DOLPH ZIGGLER HAS GOLD AROUND HIS WAIST ONCE AGAIN.
Cole – “And Sting has one hell of a spectre haunting him…”
Back at ringside. Cole and JBL have a big announcement to make…
Cole – “Ladies and gentleman do we have news for you. Following the altercation earlier tonight between Kevin Owens and Brock Lesnar, Jim Ross has decided that the issues between each of these men will not blow over in due course. And as such, their WrestleMania fate has been decided. In 3 weeks times. Kevin Owens will have the chance to live up to his moniker as “the defender of friendship”, as he faces the fight of his life, against The Beast, Brock Lesnar”.
Here we go. is it going to be 2 on 2 or 3 on 2?
AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes have made there way into the ring… And they await their opponents…
Reigns and Rollins arrive on the scene, and as you can guess. Dean Ambrose is not here.
AJ And Cody laugh and goad their opponents into the ring. Reigns and Rollins don’t need much of an invitation. And before you know it their exchanging fists in the ring. They fight around the arena for a few minutes, before the officials can get the teams into their respective corners for long enough to start a match.
Once it does get under way, Seth Rollins and AJ Styles finally give us something resembling a wrestling match. Rollins is slightly anxious, considering he was put away by AJ Styles in such elaborate fashion in the chamber. Rollins tags in Reigns who throws Cody around for a bit. Cody regains the upper hand after dodging a spear, causing Roman to fly into the turnbuckle… Reigns in this world isn’t invisible so that pretty much takes out most of his offence. But the big dog creates some space and looks to tag in Rollins…
Cole – “LOOK JOHN! IT’S DEAN AMBROSE!”
JBL – “My god he looks beat up. Look at the cuts on his head and his limp”
Cole – “The biggest question is, what Dean Ambrose are we looking at here? He’s wearing the same Leather jacket as he wore as The Apostle under Bray Wyatt’s mentoring, but he’s here!
All four men in the ring have stopped to watch Ambrose head down the ramp. He is indeed wearing his Apostle Jacket. But he stops before the ring..
He takes his jacket off, looks at it… Then throws it on the ground revealing the tank top he’s wearing..
Cole – “Can it be? Did Bray Wyatt’s betrayal bring Dean Ambrose back to us?!?!”
JBL – “It looks like it Cole!”
Sadly however.. Two men arrive to stop a fantasy reunion..
THE BULLET CLUBS KARL ANDERSON AND LUKE GALLOWS!
They lay into Ambrose and throw the already injured man into the rails. The match is thrown out. and the four men turn to Rollins and Reigns. It’s four on two. And although they managed to cause damage when they suprised all four men backstage on Sunday, the tables have totally turned here…
Rollins gets a Styles Clash. Reigns gets Cross Rhodes’d. And then they turn to Ambrose again….
All 4 men pull Ambrose over to the announce table. Put their fists in to mimic the Shield pose. Then do what everyone wants them to do. Gallows, Anderson, and Rhodes hit The Shields pattented Triple Powerbomb! Through the announce table!
AJ Styles is the man left in the ring. The Shield dismantled around him. and The Bullet Club Emblem on the Tron.
Show 82. Increase in popularity in 15 regions.
So if you want a list of the matches actually OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED for mania. See below:
SMACKDOWN RUMBLE MATCHES:
Bray Wyatt (C) v Antonio Cesaro (WWE Championship match)
Kevin Owens (The defender of friendship) v Brock Lesnar
Kota Ibushi (C) v Adrian Neville (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
NWA 10 man inter promotional royal rumble to kick off the show. (Randy Orton (C), Sheamus, Hideo Itami and Austin Aries confirmed entrants).