The main event this week was a six man tag, with Daniel Bryan and the Usos facing Kane and the New Age Outlaws. Unfortunately, the heel team couldn't live up to the expectations set by the Shield, the Real Americans and the Wyatts, leaving the match acceptable rather than great. Bryan kicked out of the Fameasser, then landed TKTBC on Billy for the win.
The show opened with the promised "Batista Unchained" promo, where he brought back his spotlight entrance. He said that he didn't come back to get cheered or to make friends, he came back to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He also expressed disbelief at who the fans chose as their heroes, 195 pound weaklings who lacked the attitude that he remembers from the old days. As such, he pledged to go through all of the fans heroes on his way to Wrestlemania. Dolph Ziggler interrupted his posing at the end of the interview to challenge him to a match, and gave him a dropkick after it was accepted.
On to the actual matches. The Real Americans beat Big E and Mark Henry, when Cesaro hit the Neutralizer on Henry. Swagger stole a tag on Cesaro after he hit his apron superplex on Big E, so Cesaro returned the favour by tagging himself in while Swagger had the Patriot Lock on Henry, to get himself the win. Zeb Colter was ready to play peacekeeper after the match, but Cesaro and Swagger didn't seem too upset with each other. Victory brings people close together, after all!
Sheamus beat Alberto Del Rio by DQ, after Christian interfered to break up the Irish Cloverleaf. The two on one beatdown stalled a bit as Sheamus hit Del Rio with the Brogue Kick, but Christian quickly hit the Unprettier to leave Sheamus laying. Batista got off to a slow start, but eventually beat Dolph Ziggler with three spinebusters and the Batista Bomb. And despite Tamina being ejected from ringside, AJ retained the Divas Championship by beating Cameron with the Black Widow.
As for other talky bits, Alexander Rusev and Lana had a brief in-arena big where they talked Bulgarian (that's a language, right?) and Rusev stood on a podium. Bray Wyatt cut a promo saying that Cena was the prime example of society forcing people to be things they aren't. The Shield interrupted this, but Triple H stopped them before a brawl could start, saying that they wouldn't fight again without promotion. The rematch would be next week on Raw. Rollins and Ambrose tried to get in the Wyatts' heads anyway with stereo suicide dives on Harper and Rowan, but Bray just laughed it off and departed.
So, Shield vs. Wyatts II in Chicago on Monday. The crowd will accept that peace offering, right?
Finally. That Batista promo is what they should have done after the Royal Rumble (what they should have done before the Royal Rumble is another matter entirely). Now that they've conceded and turned Batista, they have to add someone to the title match at Mania, right?
Batista was pretty great. The reverse No! Movement has accidentally created their hottest heel in a long time. Orton/Batista is now like those couple weeks when Triple H vs. Big Show was the Wrestlemania 16 main event and you were waiting for Rock to force his way back in. Which ironically came to a head in ... red hot Chicago.
Dolph was the obvious first choice, but who are the other fan heroes Batista can crush on the way to Wrestlemania? Many spinebusters are definitely in Zack Ryder's immediate future. But beyond that, the internet's biggest favorites are Antonio Cesaro and Dean Ambrose, and it's obviously not gonna be them. Christian turned just in time to escape pain. Rey's probably getting throttled like it's 2009. Kofi will do, Tyson Kidd's probably not worth the time, Fandango would be good for the metanarrative if they ignore the fact that he's a heel.
Now that Daniel Bryan has important business on the horizon, it's amazing to see him presented by the booking and the announcers as serious, successful, and basically exactly the way he should've been starting in July.
When I watched Mania 6 as a kid, I thought Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown were legitimately going at it after Piper came out painted half-black. Sometimes people look like they're working stiff with Van Dam too, especially after he bludgeons them.