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By Dave Scherer on 2014-02-23 20:54:03

There wasn't all that much to talk about on the pre-game show. They talked about tonight's show and pushed the Network, exactly as they should have.

Oh, and there were CM Punk chants too. Oh yeah.

The pre-show match saw the Rhodes brothers take on Rybaxel, who were led out to the ring by Curtis Axel's granddad Larry "The Axe" Hennig. A couple of minutes, they went to a commercial for the Chamber. I really hate that but what can you do. They came back and the heels were in control on Goldust. Dust tagged in his brother, who faced off with Axel. Cody got a two with a moonsault. The finish came with Dust fighting Ryback on the floor and Cody hitting Crossrhodes on Axel, in front of his day. It was fine for what it was.

Michael Cole made a point to say 14,101 fans made a point to come out in FRIGID Minneapolis. Yeah, I think he ain't fond of the WWE schedulemaker either.

The show is opening up with Big E defending the Intercontinental Title against Jack Swagger. The challenger came out, with Zeb Colter. Zeb cut a promo on Big E before the match. He blamed the Polar Vortex on Big E and illegal immigrants. Uh, OK.

Big E was in control early and Swagger hit the floor. That led to our first plug for The Network. Swagger came back and Big was still in control so he took another powder. Cole kept talking about The Network. Big E went to the floor after Swagger. Zeb got involved but Swagger couldn't make the distraction work. ... Swagger then took control for a while and there was a loud We The People chant. Big E came back and got some reactiopn himself until he rand into a spinebuster. Big E hit a great Spear on Swagger on the apron and both hit the floor. Very cool spot. Big E got a few two falls but then Swagger ran up the ropes and suplexed Big E down for a two. Swagger took out Big's leg and got the Patriot Lock. Big E got out but Swagger, who had a buster mouth, locked it on again. Somehow, Big E kicked him in the head and hit the big slam for the pin. It was a really good opener, easily the best I have every seen Big E look.

Bad News came out on a really, really high podium. His bad news was that Russia got more medals than us in the Olympics. The crowd hardly reacted. Who cares?

We got our first Hulk Hogan is hosting WrestleMania video.

We saw the "Kane screwed Daniel Bryan" stuff from last week. Bryan did a promo where he got the fans to chant Yes to all the answers. He is going to give it all to win and headline WrestleMania.

Next up is the Tag Title match with The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos.

It was mostly the champs in control with the NAO doing their act. They stayed in control which led to a LOUD CM Punk chant. ... The Usos made the comeback and Jey (I think) did a big splash on the floor on Dogg. Nice spot. Jimmy took Gunn in the ring and got a two. The NAO are working pretty hard. ... Then they went to the finish which was choppy. Road Dogg was on the apron and Jimmy superkicked him, leading Billy to roll him up to retain. It wasn't great but it was better than I expected.

Bad News is back. Yay. This gimmick sucks Vince. Kill it and let Barrett wrestle. He told the fans that Bryan would lose. Whatever.

They did a plug for the Network, showing it on different devices. It looks cool. If you are reading this and can buy it, I have no idea why you wouldn't if you can spare 10 bucks a month.

Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil is next.

At the start of the match, it sounded like the crowd was chanting "We want Lesnar". Maybe it was "We want a heater". ... Darren was in control the first few minutes until Titus took over with power. And he sure did use some power. ... The Darren came back and was beating on Titus. The crowd wasn't into it. Not enough has been done to build it up. ... Darren went to put Titus up but he got nailed in the back. Clash of the Titus. Titus wins. It was OK.

Barrett came back with more bad news. Hogan is back to host Mania he said, but it didn't get much reaction from the fans. Hogan's skills will be diminished by Barrett's. Some people popped and he seemed to get a bigger reaction than Hogan. That was kind of surprising.

They sent it back to the panel to recap the free show match.

Click to page two more thoughts from tonight's show.

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