Drew McIntyre entered to start the show. The announcers said his match against Bobby Lashley would be the main event of Saturday’s show.
McIntyre recalled what WrestleMania was like last year before moving on to Lashley. He said it would be the biggest fight of their careers. They would rip each other apart and he looked forward to it. He noted their similar career paths but the biggest difference between them was McIntyre’s willingness to sacrifice.
McIntyre said Lashley always had the luxury of being able to go home after work but McIntyre didn’t always have that luxury during his career. There was a time where he was across the ocean while his mom was at home sick and he couldn’t go visit.
McIntyre wondered how Lashley could beat a man who was willing to sacrifice everything. Baron Corbin wasn’t going to stop him tonight and he planned on ending the All Mighty Era.
Lashley and MVP interrupted. Lashley said it took them both a long time to reach the top but now only one of them can remain there. Lashley knew that the locker room was afraid of McIntyre but Lashley saw fear in him last week when he put him in the Hurt Lock.
They argued about who was tougher until McIntyre dared him to get in the ring. MVP cut him off before he could finish to remind him that their match is Saturday, not tonight. MVP said he would lose dignity, consciousness and the match at Mania.
McIntyre said he would run over Lashley at Mania. MVP thought that was tough talk from someone who may not make it to Mania.
Baron Corbin came out next (wearing a suit). He planned on finishing what he started last week and there would be no championship match for McIntyre. Corbin said he would kick McIntyre’s punk ass. McIntyre smirked.
Riddle approached New Day in Gorilla. Riddle couldn’t believe what Omos did to them last week and doesn’t recall seeing anyone get as high as Kofi Kingston did when Omos pressed him over the barricade. Kingston didn’t want anyone getting that high at Mania, but they did plan on partying after they successfully defend their tag titles. Xavier Woods asked Riddle about Sheamus and Mustafa Ali. Riddle made weed jokes before leaving.
Samoa Joe was back on commentary.
Tag Team Champion Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) defeated AJ Styles (w/Omos) (1:21)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
Styles applied the Calf Crusher very early in the match so Kingston taunted Omos by chucking a mic at him. As Omos sauntered toward him, Kingston slipped in the ring momentarily which caused Styles to let go of the hold for some reason. Woods then rolled him up for the win. The announcers noted that this was three straight losses for Styles.
Bad Bunny and Damian Priest were shown arriving in a Bugatti.
Braun Strowman / Shane McMahon segment
Braun Strowman entered the ring which was surrounded by a steel cage. Strowman said he was bullied his entire life by people like Shane McMahon because of his appearance but those people didn’t know what he was capable of and Shane doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into.
Strowman said Shane would have nowhere to run and he planned on beating Shane on behalf of everyone that’s ever been bullied and called stupid. Strowman yelled about what he would do and claimed Shane would leave in a body bag.
Shane entered. He said he tested Strowman’s intelligence by letting him pick the stipulation and admitted that a cage match wasn’t a stupid idea. However, Shane was a McMahon and he planned on beating Strowman at Mania, then Strowman would look himself in the mirror the next day and realize that he was stupid.
2-on-1 handicap match: Braun Strowman defeated Elias & Jaxson Ryker (w/Shane McMahon) (2:37)
Elias and Ryker could be in the ring simultaneously per the rules. They double-teamed Strowman for a bit but Strowman fought back and powerslammed them both for the pinfall win. (He attempted to pin both men at once but struggled to do it.)
The Miz and John Morrison walked through the back with cans of red paint. After telling Kevin Patrick that they were artists, they approached Bad Bunny’s Bugatti which they claimed was worth $3.6 million. They drew stuff on the white car with red paint before bailing.
A pissed-off Bad Bunny stormed through the back to his car. (They piped in booing as if the crowd would be appalled to see the defaced car again.) Miz and Morrison attacked him from behind and chucked him into a Nissan that was parked nearby. Miz taunted Bad Bunny until officials chased them off. Priest appeared once they were gone.
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Rhea Ripley earlier today. Ripley didn’t plan on revealing any strategies for Asuka. She said they’d have to work together against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler and Asuka would have to wait to get her revenge (for Ripley dumping the table on her).
Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (w/Reginald) defeated Raw Women’s Champion Asuka & Rhea Ripley (12:00)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Down
Ripley had a brief exchange with Jax but decided to tag out by patting Asuka on the head. Jax briefly had control until Asuka hit a Codebreaker and forced a tag on Ripley. Ripley cleared the ring before grabbing Reginald but Baszler wiped her out by the legs. Jax drove Ripley into the side of the ring which led to break.
Jax and Baszler worked over Ripley for a while following the break. Ripley dropkicked Jax before tagging in Asuka (who hesitated before accepting the tag). Asuka fought off both women before giving Baszler a German suplex and shining wizard for two.
As Asuka went to the top, Ripley knocked her off to the outside. Ripley slammed her before tossing her back in the ring where Baszler followed with a knee strike for the pinfall win.
To summarize: the champion got pinned and the title challenger got beat up for a long time.
Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin confronted MVP in the back. Alexander grabbed MVP by his suit jack and shoved him against some equipment boxes. Alexander said MVP’s greed would cost him.
He called MVP a parasite who was nothing without them. He was merely a washed-up cripple (he still walks with a cane). Alexander planned on giving Lashley a permanent scar and he couldn’t wait to see McIntyre win the title and expose MVP as a fraud. They left.
Schreiber happened to be nearby and asked MVP if he was concerned for Lashley. MVP said no. He was disappointed in Alexander and Benjamin. It was because of him that they were ever tag champions, got elevated to business class and were even relevant. Lashley appeared and asked MVP what happened. MVP said it was fine. Lashley threatened to break Alexander in half.
After a break, Schreiber asked Baszler and Jax if they were confident that they could retain their titles at Mania. They thought the question was dumb. Lana, Naomi, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Natalya, Tamina, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Billie Kay all basically appeared out of thin air to state their case and argue with each other. This was silly.
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) defeated Cedric Alexander (w/Shelton Benjamin) in a non-title match (10:20)
Benjamin attacked Lashley before the match and they double-teamed him until he fought off Benjamin and the ref started the match. Lashley dominated and the match actually went through a break. A distraction by Benjamin allowed Alexander to drive Lashley into the steps before hitting consecutive suicide dives, a Neuralyzer, and a diving dropkick for barely a one count.
Lashley came right back with a Dominator, spinebuster, and Hurt Lock for the win (after Alexander passed out).
Benjamin tried attacking after the match but Lashley took him out with a flatliner and Hurt Lock.
They plugged this week’s events. There was also a long video package for Orton/Bliss/Wyatt.
Damian Priest & Bad Bunny segment
Priest said Miz and Morrison crossed the line. He called Bad Bunny an award-winning icon while Miz and Morrison were old news. He said they should make it a tag match at Mania and Bad Bunny nodded in agreement.
Bad Bunny said he came here to follow in his dreams. He loves the business and respects the superstars. He remembers watching Raw and Smackdown and every pay-per-view with his family. He has a lot of good memories of WWE but doesn’t know what to think now after this experience.
Bad Bunny initially came here to do a performance at the Royal Rumble for a song with Booker T because he respects Booker. He listed Triple H, Steve Austin, Undertaker and Ric Flair among his other favourites. He used to like the Miz but realized that Miz never respected him — and for no reason.
Bad Bunny said he wasn’t a professional wrestler but he was a man. Miz disrespected his DJ and his fans. He acknowledged that he splashed Miz and Morrison off the top at the Rumble but that was no reason to hit him with a guitar and paint his car.
Bad Bunny said Miz crossed the line and he doesn’t even care why because Miz would respect him at Mania. “I’m going to shut your mouth and whip your ass.” (He did some of this promo in Spanish.)
Morrison and Miz interrupted on the screen. Miz said Bad Bunny didn’t belong there and they would send him home. Morrison accepted their tag challenge. They left in a limo.
Sheamus approached Ali in the back. Sheamus wanted to give him advice but Ali cut him off. Ali said Riddle represented what he wanted to change about this company. Ali planned on taking care of him tonight. Sheamus said he wanted to see it first hand and would be on commentary. As he spoke, Riddle zoomed by them on his scooter.
US Champion Riddle defeated Mustafa Ali in a non-title match (10:32)
Sheamus joined commentary. Riddle’s entrance had animated birds last week and they were back tonight.
Ali was in control but Riddle fought back after a break (which they took two minutes into the match). Ali cut him off by stomping on his foot and kicking him in the gut.
Riddle came back with strikes, a Pelé kick, running forearms, an exploder suplex and a senton but Ali countered a pin attempt into a Koji clutch. Riddle countered that, slammed Ali, and applied a choke but Ali got a rope break. Ali followed with a gutbuster for two.
Ali tried a DDT but Riddle caught him and hit Bro Derek for the pinfall win. (He pointed at Sheamus as he hit the move.)
Patrick asked McIntyre if he was intimidated by Corbin. McIntyre said you’d think someone with such a big head would have a bigger brain and know better than to go after him days away from Mania. He knew Corbin was dangerous but tonight’s result would be the same as always and after a Claymore tonight, he would go after Lashley at Mania.
Drew McIntyre defeated Baron Corbin (17:57)
They had a long match, back-and-forth match.
After a break, McIntyre hit a Northern Lights suplex for two but Corbin took control after ramming him into the post. Corbin followed later with a chokeslam for two and McIntyre came back with a spinebuster for two. Corbin hit a side slam for two and McIntyre followed with a Future Shock DDT for two. Corbin hit a superplex for two and a Deep Six for two.
MVP, who was on commentary, got up to encourage Corbin. He said it wasn’t about beating McIntyre, it was about taking him out. MVP handed Corbin his cane.
McIntyre ducked a cane shot and hit a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win.
Lashley entered on the stage so he and McIntyre could stare at each other as the show ended. That was that.
Perhaps another unpopular opinion but.....Thumbs Up