#fistpump: So since this is the last show before Mania, I bet it’ll be at least half promos and the like. It doesn’t start out that way as the crowd gets it fist pumping done early with the arrival of Zack Ryder. They then cut to a shot of the commentators which has Josh as usual, but he’s joined by Matt Striker. Yes just Striker. No Booker. Best of all there’s no Cole, so Christmas comes early for everyone. It’ll be Team Teddy member Zack taking on Team Johnny’s Drew McIntyre. I am a bit bummed that they didn’t go the full version of Drew’s entrance music. The guitar intro leading up to the chorus is pretty good, but then again I suppose it wasn’t the full version since Drew is so low on the wrestler hierarchy. I do really hope there’s something for him post-Mania because he was a great heel during his time with the IC Title. Striker tries to empathize with Drew over the fact that he was fired from a job once too and reminds us all while he was taken off commentary. Nostalgic, but in a bad way. Despite a great showing, Drew falls victim to the Rough Ryder and gets pinned. I never can understand how the Ryder’s finisher actually works. He basically jumps up drives the opponent to the mat using his crotch.
axxess: So Josh throws it to Cole and Lawler who are ‘live’ at the Wrestlemania Axxess event and I won’t bother saying anything about these segments mainly because it’s mostly Cole blabbing on and on and they’re trying to fill the 2 hour show. There was a shot of Edge at an autograph signing and I mention it because he cut his signature long hair and now sports a short cropped style.
videopackaged: I’m also just gonna throw mentions of all the video packages into one big topic, because well it’s my column. Earlier on it was video hyping the Taker-HHH and Divas match. Odd pairing to say the least. It then gets a little more in-depth when it turns to Punk-Jericho. I like how they started off with a little history promo about Punk’s career in WWE with audio from his first ever promo and worked shoot played over. It gave the sense that everything Punk has done in his career has led to this, though that’s not really the case. Standard hype highlighting Jericho’s comments about Punk’s family. WWE does a lot of things well and one of those is putting together very excellent video packages and that skill is on display tonight. I don’t think Production or whatever department handles it gets enough credit. When they go back to Taker-HHH later, the fact that they have so many legends talking about how big it is really helps that. These are guys that have been in some epic showdowns, so they know what they’re talking about.
chokeartist: This segment also hypes a Mania match, but instead of a package about Show and Rhodes, Show gets an in ring promo and it really could have been done with a video promo. That’s because Show goes on about how he’s going to win at Mania despite the history, etc, etc, etc. Didn’t really accomplish anything new as what he said now has been said before.
#houseshow: The second match of the night about an hour and a half in, so that gives you an idea of how video heavy this has been. They’ve been doing this Jericho-Kofi match on recent house shows and from what some have said, they’ve been very impressive, so hoprfully this one will be the same caliber. It does match Kofi’s speed with Jericho technical skills quite well with each guy avoiding the other’s finishers. Jericho finally gets the Walls of Jericho locked in though it’s the Liontamer version.
#bigfinale: So the final segment of the show is the last piece of WWE TV that people will see before Mania and is a big sendoff. They do focus on the big money match of Rock-Cena, but instead of a hyper package they just replay their confrontation from RAW. It was a nice sendoff for RAW and the final words before their match, but replaying it on Smackdown doesn’t really do anything. People already saw it and there’s nothing new to learn from watching the segment again, so they could have done something better with the time.