WrestleMania 2018 Review and Repercussions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WrestleMania 2018 Review and Repercussions - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jonathan Maldonado Thursday, April 12, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Jonathan Maldonado, Jordan Chaffiotte and Robert DeFelice will be giving their reactions to WrestleMania 34.

Let's discuss...

Question 1:Asuka's streak came to an end at WrestleMania as Charlotte Flair retained the SmackDown Women's Championship. Was this the right match to end the streak and does Carmella's successful cash-in afterward cheapen Asuka's loss?

MALDONADO: This one felt right in the moment. While Asuka is certainly a monster in the women's division, Charlotte retaining against Asuka's streak raises her star as high as it deserves to be. In fact, I think she can reach even higher. I'm a huge Charlotte fan and I have no doubt that she'll go down as the greatest women's professional wrestler of all time. The match was picture perfect in my opinion. These two warriors went at it from the opening bell and gave all they had. It seems the the match may have been hindered due to legitimate injuries to Charlotte, but for me that only added to how great this match turned out to be.

After SmackDown Live, I'm left with a sour taste im my mouth. Carmella is credible as a heel and the perfect character to utilize the Money in the Bank contract. However, following that match and with regard to Asuka, this feels cheap. Perhaps it was the way in which it happened. This might be nitpicking, but having Charlotte rise to her feet following the beat down by The Iconics, then take a boot (which looked incredibly weak by the way) from Carmella made Charlotte look a bit weak. I'd rather have had Charlotte out cold in the ring, Carmella pin her, then have Charlotte come to and slowly realize what happened. Seeing her awake and aware and laughing at Carmella made Asuka's loss seem exposing rather than just succumbing to the better woman on the night.

CHAFFIOTTE: This was my match of the night. In fairness, Charlotte did not need the rub, but she's also the most believable. She is the greatest women's champion in WWE history. If that match had gone on about five minutes longer with a stronger finish, it would've been perfect. Even with what felt like a sudden moment (and me being easily distracted and almost missing it), the match was exciting and well-told. Both women came out looking strong, Charlotte just got the upper-hand this time. I love a good hug-it-out moment.

Once Charlotte won, I got really nervous that we were about to witness a Carmella cash in. It actually makes the most sense. Either you have Carmella end Asuka's streak- which you can't do, or you have two failed cash ins in one year - which you also can't do. So having her cash in right after Charlotte wins is the best option. It doesn't cheapen the win for me at all because it was time. Now that it's happened, I'm actually glad and happy for Carmella. While Charlotte is always a credible champion, there's nothing wrong with letting someone else have a run.

DEFELICE: I'm grateful that I'm getting the chance to go into more depth about how I felt about this match than I did on the post-show podcast. I hated this finish. I really thought the girls were just starting to get into a rhythm and I wasn't at all expecting Asuka to tap out, especially so quickly. I've learned over the last few days that I'm in the minority in thinking that this match wasn't all that special but I think I was just too disappointed in the quick loss to make a true judgment on the in-ring performance. A real side effect of WrestleMania night, it's one night where you truly transform into a wide-eyed fan again. That being said, I look forward to re-watching this match very soon and giving a more performance-based opinion on it.

As far as the Carmella cash in, I really thought that that moment was better suited for WrestleMania as well but that aside, I liked it and I'm glad that SmackDown has a fresh face at the forefront of its women's division. Does it cheapen Asuka’s loss? No. I just think that Asuka's entire streak looks like another stepping stone for Charlotte's undoubted Hall of Fame career. I wish they would have just let Ember Moon beat her in NXT.

Question 2: WWE swerved the universe and kept the Universal Championship on Brock Lesnar, but followed it up by announcing a rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble event. What’s your reaction to this ongoing story?

MALDONADO: Sheesh, where to start with this one. Wait I know, GET RID OF BROCK LESNAR. Listen, I like Lesnar's physicality, what he can potentially bring to the ring and the general badassery of the man. He just doesn't care enough for me. We know for a fact the guy is in business for himself. He doesn't get thrills from the fans, he hates being on the road, and only gets pumped up for a match with guys he believes are on his level. I want the title on Raw every week, I want a guy at least amused to be there and I want Paul Heyman to find another guy.

My condolences to Roman Reigns. Bully Ray on a recent Busted Open broadcast said it best when he explained how Reigns has done nothing wrong and there isn't a single night that any fan can point to as the moment the universe decided to turn on him. A few smart marks started a trend of hating on the guy and it caught fire with the rest of the smart marks and then the casual audience. This guy put his body through literal hell at Mania, even taking legitimate blows to the head and bleeding the hard way. This guy deserves the belt more than any other guy on the roster. I can't wait for this feud to end and get Reigns onto something more beneficial to his run with WWE. With Lesnar only on a handful of nights a year, Roman has nothing to do but filler until he can finally get a few minutes with Lesnar.

Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. We've got a rematch at the confusing but intriguing Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia in a steel cage match. Who knows what WWE has planned for this. After the Mania shock, I don't even want to speculate on the outcome. Let's just hope it's over soon.

CHAFFIOTTE: Zzzzz oh, sorry, think I dozed off there. This hasn't been interesting to me in about three years. Which is a shame, because Roman certainly is. Roman vs. Samoa Joe, Roman vs. Seth Rollins, Roman vs. Finn Balor. All would be exciting match ups with the potential to put on a match of the year contender. When did the main event become the least compelling wrestling on the show?

Call me a smark but I do want to see the title on television every week. I want to see people clamoring for it, I want it to feel like it means something. Brock Lesnar has never and will never deliver that. The line is just too long for anyone who doesn't really want to be here to be taking a spot. Say what you will about Roman, he's capable and he wants to be here. Let's get that title on Roman at the Greatest Royal Rumble and move on already.

DEFELICE: Very strange finish. Does Roman get it in Saudi Arabia? Maybe, but that would lessen WrestleMania. However, judging by the way they're booking this Saudi Arabian card, I don't think they care. I really have to echo the sentiments of Jordan and say when it comes to Roman dethroning Brock, you really need to make a decision in Saudi Arabia. Either he's the guy, or he's just another face on the card. Time to decide and move on.

Question 3: Following WrestleMania, who would benefit the most from a change of scenery in the upcoming Superstar Shake-up?

MALDONADO: Please, for the love of all that is good, send Finn Balor to SmackDown. Raw is too crowded, and Vince is too disinterested to give Finn a real shot on Monday nights. He would thrive on the blue brand and barring any main eventers changing sides, he'd be set for greatness with the cast of characters on Tuesday nights. Throw Gallows and Anderson over there also, and we've got all the WWE club members on one show, where Finn can either feud or join forces with AJ Styles and the others can join the hottest tag team division in WWE.

Let’s face the facts. Finn is slightly charming on the mic, but we just want to see him go in the ring. SmackDown being the more pure wrestling show out of the two, he’s set up for success here. The fans love him, and there would be plenty to do on SmackDown, the land of opportunity.

CHAFFIOTTE: That's a hard one. Not too long ago I would've said Finn Balor in a heartbeat, but his program with Seth has been stellar and I don't think it's done. It seems like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will be traded back to Raw and that's fine. The question is who goes to SmackDown in their place? Samoa Joe should've always been on SmackDown where the main event and upper midcard scenes are less crowded. He'd be a great opponent for new United States Champion Jinder Mahal before climbing his way to AJ Styles. A feud with Randy Orton could hold him down for a while too.

On the women's side, Sasha Banks is the most in need of switching it up. She's too good to be playing second fiddle like she has on Raw. Carmella will need a strong first contender for the SmackDown belt in order to prove herself, and no one sells like the Boss. If you'll excuse some wishful thinking, send Bayley over with her too. In my mind, there's only one match worthy of the first ever women's WrestleMania main event and that's a Four Horsewomen fatal four-way. In exchange, Natalya can get a new start on Raw. She'd be a great addition to help guide the likes of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville develop now that Paige is on SmackDown.

DEFELICE: I could drone on about a lot of things but I'll give you one major male star, one tag team, and one female Superstar.

Finn Balor needs to move. He's been nothing on the red brand and he needs the fresh start to become the major star that he seemed destined to be. I think the SmackDown environment will help him a lot, because there won't be a lot of pressure to compete with the heavyweights. THIS MOVE IS A MUST!

As far as tag teams, let me just say that no tag team on the main roster has disappointed me more than The Revival. I will always be their biggest supporters but they need the fresh start as well and hopefully SmackDown will take better care of them.

Sasha Banks would probably be so proud to be the cornerstone of the SmackDown women's division because SmackDown was the brand that treated Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit like stars long before the rest of the company did. While she's not viewed as underappreciated as those talents were in their time, she could definitely use the fresh scenery and fresh opponent lineup as well.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN MALDONADO

Jonathan Maldonado is a lifelong wrestling fan from the Bronx, NY. He grew up during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era and is a sucker for the flippy stuff and a good wrestling tee. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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