Weekly Wrasslin' Wroundup (Mar 21-24)

One more week before Wrestlemania, and there's not much more for WWE to say. Well, they had one more thing to say, but it was sucky.

WWE MAIN ROSTER:

There were quite a few good matches on Raw this week. And some entertaining talky bits, too. A nice long opener between Owens and AJ, even if it ended the same way as their Smackdown match (Owens winning due to Y2Distraction). Big E had a slightly awkward match with Rusev that still worked because of the sheer madness of the five guys outside the ring. And also New Day working as faces. And also Big E busting out the splash on the apron. And also the coining of "Shame-us".

We also got a new match set for Mania, and my worst fears have been realized. The Intercontinental Championship will be a "give everyone a Wrestlemania paycheck" mosh of a ladder match with Owens defening against Sami Zayn, The Miz, and Dolph Ziggler (who have a vested interest in the belt) and Stardust, Sin Cara, and Zack Ryder (the schlubs Kevin Owens tried to set himself up against to dodge the first three). Ugh. Hope that changes, doubt it will.

They also appear to be trying to get Roman Reigns over as a crazy violent person who's lost his shit and is randomly attacking HHH at every opportunity. This is, shockingly, not working at all. That match at Mania is going to be a goddamned nightmare.

But with the Mania matches all set, there's nothing WWE can do to make them more interesting. So we see the usual booking tricks - one on one matches for the tag competitors, participants on commentary while their opponent wrestles, interruptions, distractions, ramp confrontations, and run-ins.

NXT:<>

NXT didn't move anything forward either. We had squashes or semi-squashes for Alexa Bliss, Finn Balor and Elias Samson. Samson isn't clicking at all with anyone, and they should maybe stop trying instead of pairing Apollo Crews with him because they've got nothing better for Crews to do. We had Joe beating up the only-employed-on-tape Bull Dempsey and Danny Burch, and a competitive match between Asuka and Emma that didn't really mean anything.

I like NXT, but they may need to rethink their model. Lucha Underground succeeds in one hour each week because the only time they check in with anyone is to further their story. Sure, we don't see everyone every week, but when we do see them, their story picks up where it left off, and moves forward. And every story gets a match or vignette every 2-3 weeks. NXT, by comparison, wastes time with jobber matches reminding us that wrestlers are still employed but with no narrative momentum. I mean, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe were both on this week's show, a week and a half before their title match, and they didn't interact with each other or really even talk about their title match. Joe glared about it once. That ain't right.