This is going to be the best Wrestlemania in years

Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

I hated how SMACKDOWN ended last night, but I loved everything up to that point. And the bright side, this is proof positive that Luke Harper is getting a push.

Let me back track a bit for anyone who hasn’t seen it. (And beware spoilers if you care about spoilers for WWE SMACKDOWN).

Because Randy Orton, who won the Royal Rumble, refused to fight Bray Wyatt, SMACKDOWN held a mini rumble with 10 wrestlers to decide who would headline Wrestlemania. These included Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, AJ Styles, The Miz, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, Kalisto, Apollo Crews and Mojo Rawley.

It’s worth mentioning that The Miz impressed me a little. He was doing his thing, imitating Daniel Bryan, but for a moment he looked like he could actually be as intense as Daniel Bryan was.

I was also surprised that John Cena got eliminated. By The Miz, who was already eliminated, so it wasn’t a clean elimination, but Cena never really took over SMACKDOWN and turned it into The John Cena Show like I expected him to. There’s talk that it was Cena himself who insisted on being pinned clean by Bray Wyatt at the previous SMACKDOWN to get Wyatt over. This inside info was put out there by X-Pac, a retired wrestler who keeps in contact with his old buddies.

So it came down to Luke Harper and AJ Styles. In a lot of battle royals I’ve seen, the last elimination is decided as quickly and as unceremoniously as the first. But apparently, WWE’s creative team wanted to show these two fighting it out for a while before the match ended. This shows you how much faith they have in Luke Harper, because AJ Styles is very good. And whoever won would be the guy facing Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania for the World Heavyweight Title.

If Luke Harper won, I considered it a win-win situation at Wrestlemania. I lean toward Wyatt, my favorite guy. But Harper’s been looking so good lately that I’d almost be just as happy with him holding the World Title. The only reason I even qualify that is because Bray Wyatt hasn’t held it for very long and I want him to have a good title reign.

AJ Styles is also an excellent champion. The only thing here is that he’s already had a decent title reign, so he doesn’t necessarily need to win it back so fast. A guy like him, he’s going to get it again either way, and this feels like a good time to let Wyatt have his turn.

Now here’s the part of SMACKDOWN I hated. Harper and Styles both went over the top rope and hit the floor, which counted as being eliminated. Fans could clearly see that Styles hit the floor first, but apparently they were supposed to hit the floor at exactly the same time because it was declared a draw.

And the fans went insane. I hated it too, but I realized the bright side. There’s going to be a match next week between Luke Harper and AJ Styles. Luke Harper has already proven that he’s a guy who can put on great matches, and AJ Styles is absolutely incredible. Styles is even better in the ring than Randy Orton, who Harper feuded with last (and looked great doing it.)

How ever this turns out, Luke Harper is on top of the world right now. He’s looking great to the fans and he’s looking great to WWE creative. Even if he doesn’t main event Wrestlemania for a title shot, he’s going to be in a great feud, probably against Randy Orton. And this is going to be the best Wrestlemania in years.

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