Well, due to time constraints we ended up not watching Fastlane. It's still on The Network so I will likely go back one day just to watch the AJ Styles-Chris Jericho match, if nothing else, but we decided not to watch it live and then after reading about it I decided it wouldn't be worth watching the replay either, so yeah, there's your Road to Wrestlemania.
The next night on Raw we saw the return of Shane McMahon. Shane had some nice points to make and then Vince set up a match between Shane and The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and it's going to be Hell in the Cell. While people are thinking Shane McMahon shouldn't really be an opponent for The Undertaker (Which is another story for another time, though I believe at the pace The Undertaker moves now Shane O'Mac is fine for him to face) no one seems to be talking about what this means in the storylines.
See, if Shane McMahon wins his match he gets control of WWE and if he doesn't win then he no longer holds whatever he is holding over Vince. This essentially means that if Shane McMahon loses then The Authority stay in power. Or, another way to think of that is that if The Undertaker wins then The Authority stays in power. So... Does that mean The Undertaker is working with The Authority? I mean, have they run this by him before putting him out there to defend the company? What if The Undertaker wants Shane to be in charge because he thinks Steph and Trips are doing a bad job? Do you really think 'Taker is the type of guy who just does what Vince tells him to do?
Aside from that, we saw Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Street Fight made official for Wrestlemania. I hope that makes the Dallas crowd happy enough to not crap all over HHH vs. Roman Reigns. I mean, with no Money In The Bank winner to cash in I fully expect Roman Reigns to get the clean win and then a title reign to follow, but just listening to Detroit boo Reigns and cheer for HHH already (When HHH was beating him up the crowd kept chanting "One more time! One more time!") makes me want to see this match at Wrestlemania if only for the crowd reaction but otherwise I have little interest in it.
Wouldn't it be awesome if HHH vs. Roman Reigns went on last at Wrestlemania and as they were making their entrances everyone in the crowd just left? Imagine Roman Reigns coming out through an empty crowd? That would quite possibly be the best way to send a message to WWE about this match, but for that reason I kind of think that HHH-Reigns might not go on at the end of the night.
Following Raw we watched NXT which meant we went two whole days without watching any wrestling. American Alpha defeated Blake & Murphy in a good match. I like how they are currently building up American Alpha as a team and giving them some wins (and letting the crowd get behind them) because it felt like all too often when there was a heel tag team champion they would just give a babyface team a couple of wins and then push them into the title picture. It's nice that Enzo & Cass can be involved in the title picture while American Alpha is making their way there in their own right. This will make it so that when the smoke clears between Enzo & Cass and Dash & Dawson then American Alpha will be in line rather than the typical "Okay, let's find another team to build up for a shot now". It's just nice that they can have the two components working at the same time.
Apollo Crews defeated Christopher Girard (FKA Biff Busick) and I learned that Apollo Crews does not have that extra E at the end of his name I feel like I've been giving him all this time. Is that new or did I just finally realize that? Still, it's nice to see new faces making their way into NXT and as even the commentators pointed out we also saw Rich Swann recently and so things in NXT seem to really be heating up. I feel like a lot of NXT talent should go up to the main roster after Wrestlemania to make more room for the new talent, but I still like having them here as well.
In an unsurprising match Tomasso Ciampa defeated Bull Dempsey. It makes me wonder if this is one of the reasons why Bull left. Not because he lost but because he sees new guys coming in and moving up the card while he seems to be stuck in the same place. If you look at it like numbers and 1 being the start and 10 being the top then I'd say Ciampa is moving up past a 5 now and I feel like Bull would be stuck at a 5 or 6. It's just the way things are in NXT though, not a reflection on Bull. I think something similar happened with Solomon Crowe how even Apollo Crews moved up while he stayed stagnant. I wonder if Baron Corbin will ever realize he won't make it past a 7. How many people need to come in, become champion and move up to the main roster before he has had enough? (Though to be fair, sticking it out has somewhat worked for Tyler Breeze)
The NXT main event saw Nia Jax and Eva Marie defeat Bayley and Carmella. I'd have a problem with this because it involves Eva Marie winning but then it also involves Nia Jax winning and, well, it doesn't really involve Asuka so I don't care too much either. Bayley and Carmella can afford the loss and Nia Jax really can't though if she did lose I'd just blame it on Eva Marie. (How rad is it going to be when Nia Jax turns on Eva Marie and beats her to all hell?)
William Regal announced Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn in two out of three falls to be number one contender for two weeks and then next week he said a new talent would be debuting which WWE already spoiled as being Austin Aries. I think that NXT is going further with this whole number one contender thing than anyone else has ever done before. Most people would have probably just given up by now and made it a triple threat match in Dallas. But what happens when Joe goes up 1-0, then Sami ties it 1-1 and some more nonsense comes into play where Joe is making Sami tap while Sami is pinning Joe? Then will it just become a triple threat?
My next plan involved catching up on Lucha Underground. We had two episodes to watch, which were episodes 4 and 5 from the second season and we last left off with Joey Ryan coming in as an undercover cop. Episode 4 opened with Ivelisse and company asking for a match which they got against Chavo and two of what used to be Big Ryk's thugs. Angelico got the win for his team and I still think Ivelisse should get a rematch for the title at some point.
Texano came back after the first match and attacked Chavo so apparently we're still going with that feud. I fully expect to see Texano vs. Rey Mysterio at some point. Johnny Mundo has this promo where he both talks and clips of his matches are shown. I'm pretty sure a number of wrestlers in NXT could benefit from something like this. Joey Ryan is backstage talking with Cortez who he mistakenly calls Reyes. Joey Ryan says he will show him how to win, though in the next match Joey Ryan ends up losing to Cage. So much for their, you know, trying to arrest someone who has gone missing or whatever.
In the main event, Prince Puma defeated Pentagon Jr. but that didn't stop Pentagon Jr. from getting cheered at times. That's what I love about The Temple-- they just appreciate good fighting and don't care about good guys versus bad guys (Which either Matt Striker or Vampiro pointed out on commentary during the match as well) The show closed with a beaten Sexy Starr who runs into The Mack. He asks her who did this to her and she says "Mo" or something like that and he acts all tough like, "I'll kill him!" and she says "Not him-- her!" The Mack turns around and looks terrified so it looks now as if we're going to have *another* strong female character debut in Lucha Underground. If I didn't know better based upon the timing I'd say it was going to be Awesome Kong, but still, this should be good and I am once again left wanting more.
Luckily for me I have a fifth episode to watch as well. We open with Jack Evans vs. PJ Black and, well, the former Justin Gabriel just can't seem to catch a break here in Lucha Underground. Drago stares down Jack Evans but he still doesn't buckle under the pressure. I like this depth they've given Jack Evans' character though. Matt Striker tried to rhyme something about Jack Kerouac, attack and PJ Black and he said he made it up but I bet he really stole it from Sage Francis.
Famous B gets a promo in a used car lot and says he'll turn you from a jobber into a robber. So... They're bringing back Cryme Tyme then? Wasn't Famous B a jobber last season? Why would that make you want to take any sort of advice from him??
King Cuerno and Killshot had an all right match, though it seemed to just be a way to build up King Cuerno and the fact that Matt Striker is always wrong. Next, Texano ran the guantlet by facing the two members of The Crew who didn't get eaten by Cueto's brother or whatever and then Chavo Guerrero himself. Chavo got the win by cheating so it looks like that feud isn't over yet. Then we go to a promo with Dario Cueto and, hey, why isn't Joey Ryan making an arrest? Someone question the camera man! Break the fourth wall!!
Dario Cueto also admitted that his brother killed their mother in front of him and it was a happy day for him. O.... K.....
Pentagon Jr. says he wants Prince Puma. Catrina grants him the match after he threatens to break her arm. She says putting his hands on her was the biggest mistake he's ever made. But I feel like it could lead to a match against Mil Muertes and Pentagon Jr. could be in line for a title shot, so how is that so bad?
In the main event, Johnny Mundo got the win over Cage by hitting him with some kind of steel pipe when Taya came out and caused the distraction. It was an all right match and seeing Taya come up from AAA isn't a big deal to me I just wonder why Melina didn't come in instead. Before we go, King Cuerno says it's time to cash in his title shot and Catrina says he already has a match for next week as he'll be defending his title against Fenix in a ladder match. I like to think of King Cuerno as the masked Shawn Michaels of Lucha Underground and that match should be great. I also enjoy how everyone is seemingly gunning for Mil Muertes' title and not doing... whatever it is Dolph Ziggler is doing over in WWE.
Next up was Impact Wrestling and this week it was Lockdown 2016 which meant every match was held inside a cage. The show started with Beer Money vs. Eric Young & Bram, who apparently still don't have a team name, fighting outside of the cage. This allowed Young & Bram to shut the cage door with only Bobby Roode inside of it, so thus James Storm was trapped outside and Josh Mathews- being the idiot that he is- said how James Storm wasn't going to be able to get into the match. Ah, it's just like when James Storm left for NXT... Roode, fighting the odds on his own. Get it? James Storm does get back into the ring and eventually Beer Money wins so, I mean, this feud can end now, right? I remember seeing Beer Money coming out of the cage and thinking it was about what was next now.
EC3 cut a promo outside of the cage, then he and Rockstar Spud were in the cage and then Matt Hardy came out with his crew as well. Cutting promos during a cage-themed show is so awkward. How is it that EC3 hasn't changed since turning from heel to face and yet the crowd loves him? Oh, right. Because he's THAT GOOD. After a backstage segment involving The Decay- where all segments tonight should be- we go back to the ring for the X Division Title match and, well, Trevor Lee retained over Tigre Uno. I don't know what to say about this match, but the X Division needs a serious shot of adrenaline to get back to its former glory. That guy from The Decay who loves Rosemary... I've seen pictures of him with Finn Balor. Maybe he learned a thing or two from the once Prince.
The Dollhouse won their Lethal Lockdown match against not-quite-the-Beautiful-People. Velvet Sky was alone with Gail Kim and while I like Gail Kim and all, The Dollhouse is just where it's at in TNA right now. Mia Yim was out first- sorry, "Jade"- and from that moment on I only wanted The Dollhouse to win. Maria came out to tease participating in the match but thankfully that didn't happen. I'm just glad we got to see the women use some weapons in this match. No one lets the women use weapons enough, you know, but if you want to take your womens wrestling seriously you need to start letting them do what the men do.
Kurt Angle and Lashley had a fairly awkward in ring promo to sort of kill the mood. It's times like these I wish there was another manager out there like Paul Heyman who could handle these verbal exchanges for Lashley. I mean, he wouldn't have to be like, "My client, Bobby Lashley" and all that, but it would give off the idea that Lashley is a prize fighter and doesn't need to talk to you but rather will pay someone to do it for him.
Eli Drake actually lost to Odarg the Great inside the cage as when Odarg was leaving the cage his mask came off, revealing him to be Grado obvs, and so, you know, he was unmasked and all that, but Eli Drake is still getting the loss here and perhaps he should be more concerned with that. The jury is still out on Eli Drake for me though. After the match, there was a backstage segment where Abyss and Crazzy Steve beatdown Jimmy Havoc because of something to do with Rosemary. This could either be really good or really dumb, only time will tell.
In the main event of Lockdown Matt Hardy defended the title against EC3 and, well, to spoil an otherwise decent match Rockstar Spud turned on EC3 and cost him the match and the title. I understand that TNA wants to stack the odds as much as they can against EC3, build up Matt Hardy as this massive heel champion, so it will make the moment when EC3 wins the title back that much more special, but c'mon, guys, you don't have live specials anymore so when is that going to happen exactly? Is there even a Slammiversary still??
We ended the week with Smack Down! (no Main Event yet or ROH, those will be for next time) and it was a lot of fun to open the show with HHH talking. No, really. You know how WWE is really serious about their bleeding now? It's like, if someone bleeds, they automatically stop the match and have people come out with gloves on to clean it and all that. Yeah, HHH was carrying around a bloody cloth from the beating he gave Roman Reigns which just seemed oh-so-unsanitary.
Natalya made her Smack Down! return and in the main event (Yes, you could skip that far ahead in the show as well) New Day took on AJ Styles, Chris Jericho and Mark Henry. At the beginning of the show they teased a surprise partner for Y2AJ, but during the middle of the show Mark Henry volunteered. I kind of thought he might turn and join New Day but I'm glad he didn't. You never realize how small Big E is unti you see him next to Mark Henry. In any event, I can't decide if I would have been more disappointed if we waited until the match for Mark Henry to be revealed or not. Oh well. We have an episode of ROH and Main Event to catch up on before Raw tonight and then we continue on the Road to Wrestlemania!