As WrestleMania grows nearer and hype for the event takes precedence over the television product, this week saw a great number of matches that didn't even go for five minutes. Fortunately, among the matches that did get a fair amount of time, there were a couple that are well worth a watch if you didn't catch them as they aired.
A notable exception to the rash of shorter matches this week was the Diva's title match between AJ Lee and Natalya that aired on Main Event. In fact, at 14:19, the match was the longest Diva's title match in history and the longest women's match since 1987. However, this wasn't just a match set up to break the record, as both competitors did their utmost to use that time to sell the audience on the much-maligned Divas division.
With the Divas of NXT regularly garnering attention for their work, this match comes as a reminder that given enough time to get into a match and the right competitors, the women of the big leagues can also put on a great match.
Match of the Week for the Week of Mar. 7: Christian vs. Sheamus on Monday Night Raw
From the beginning, the growing rivalry between Sheamus and Christian has seemed like something for Sheamus to do after coming back purely for the purpose of being a surprise entrant into the Royal Rumble. However, their no-frills feud has been simple enough to work, and their Memphis Street Fight on Raw this week would make a powerful argument for the blowoff to their feud to be at WrestleMania.
Street Fights that take place on Raw seem to either veer into slapstick territory too often or simply avoid the violence that makes a Street Fight unique altogether. However, this particular match featured several memorable spots without seeming like it was a pay-per-view match "wasted" on a weekly broadcast.
Of particular note was Sheamus performing his Irish Curse backbreaker by using the steel ring steps to provide extra elevation. In the past, Sheamus has performed the same move "onto" steel steps—for what purpose I can't really imagine since his opponent is being brought down on his knee regardless. The spot in this match was indicative of the match itself; it made logical sense and wasn't too distracted by the regular tropes of a Street Fight to stand on its own two feet.
While the stipulation was worked with very well, it's almost a shame that the voters (the stipulation was decided on via a poll on the WWE app, of course) didn't decide that it should have been a 2-out-of-3 Falls match. Although, perhaps that's best saved on the off chance the pair do meet again at WrestleMania?
What do you think was the best match on WWE programming this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.