We kick things off on Smackdown with the excellent pre-recorded Brock Lesnar promo from Raw. Roman Reigns joins things to cut a promo. He pulls a Mick Foley/John Cena and mentions the city name for a cheap pop. His stuff is wisely kept short, as Mark Henry comes out. He shows Roman destroying him last week before saying that now, he BELEES in Roman Reigns. So they brought Henry back and turned him face again purely so he can say nice things about Roman. Seth Rollins, Kane and J&J Security interrupt. They run down both men and go out of their way to state that Randy Orton has been barred from the arena tonight, meaning I'm almost 100% sure he will show up. To prepare for Mania, Seth wants a tune up, so we gonna have ourselves a tag team match playa.
For the second show this week, the Divas get to perform in the opening contest. On Monday, AJ Lee lost to Nikki Bella and tonight their WrestleMania partners would do battle. Paige and Brie were given much less time than Monday (they only went about three minutes) but I rather enjoyed it. Nikki and AJ were both solid on commentary. Brie shouted "BRIE MODE" but her voice is so terrible that it hurt. Paige used an inside cradle to beat Brie, which was fine since none of these girls have looked weak heading into WrestleMania. Hell, even AJ only lost on Raw due to a distraction. Also, part of me just loves seeing Paige and AJ team up.
Here is where the show gets stolen. The six challengers for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania competed in a Gauntlet Match. Much like Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns' Turmoil match last month, this took up a huge chunk of Smackdown and should have gone on last. We start with Dean Ambrose and Stardust. This was kept short, as Ambrose went SummerSlam 1992 British Bulldog with a sunset flip counter to win in just under two minutes. Stardust attacked post match, so the next participant, R-Truth appeared to stop this. It would cost him though as Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds and eliminated him. Luke Harper was next, in nearly identical attire to Dean. This was where the match went to the next level. These two did great together, and a nice powerbomb got Harper the win. The Kansas City crowd popped as Daniel Bryan joined the fray. Harper tossed him around and this was even better than the last. Bryan showed that he's phenomenal against bigger opponents. I wish we could get Brock/Bryan. Bryan worked the legs throughout and used an interesting submission to make Harper tap out. Dolph Ziggler is the last guy in, giving us the match that he actually wanted at WrestleMania. Dolph and Bryan was awesome as one would expect. They traded tons of near falls and counters, leading me to REALLY want to see an IC Title program between them this year. Mainly since I know there won't be a World Title program. Ziggler cleanly wins and they shake hands post match. Bad News Barrett appeared, actually gave some bad news and laid out both men with Bull Hammers. Things like this would have made Barrett actually look good coming into this Ladder match. This was the best thing about the show.
Once again, we are shown the video that says Sheamus is returning but we don't know when. We had too much wrestling in a row so it's time for a recap of the awful John Cena/Rusev segment from Raw and a pretty cool video package for the Divas tag at WrestleMania. It uses the WrestleMania theme and actually shows the AJ/Paige and Bella/Bella feud highlights. Now we go to a "Six Being Interspecies Match" as Tyson Kidd, Cesaro and Natalya took on Los Matadores and El Torito. This was rather short, at about four minutes. Natalya and Kidd still showed some issues, but it was Nattie who won by powerbombing Torito. It wasn't bad and was kind of fun, but strange.
After Roman Reigns arrives for the main event, we find out that Mark Henry was taken out backstage. I feel like a handicap match can make Roman look really strong. Even with some interference from J&J Security, Reigns is able to defeat both Kane and Seth Rollins in about five minutes. At least Kane took the pin. After Reigns leaves, Randy Orton's music hits! He comes out and beats up everyone, though Seth manages to escape a potential RKO. I hate how they've managed to botch such an easy feud to book. Also, it always irks me when a guy who "isn't supposed to be there" comes out in his ring gear. You mean to tell me Orton was driving around in his trunks and pads?
It's hard to give a show a bad score when the majority of it is focused on one match and the one match is good. The gauntlet was a lot of fun and you should go out of your way to at least give it a view. I enjoyed the Divas stuff and even the six being tag. The main event was nothing much, which was expected. A rather enjoyable show that flew by. 6.5/10