WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 1/22): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

By Zach Graham, PWTorch Contributor



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The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.


•Top Stories of the Week

  • WWE announced that John Cena suffered an ankle injury during the Fatal Four-way match on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. He then re-aggravated the injury this week before Raw while training according to WWE. It is unknown if he will be able to compete in the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.
  • Alexa Bliss announced that she will be entering the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. This will be her first match since the Hell in a Cell PPV which was on September 16, 2018.
  • Aiden English replacing Percy Watson on the 205 Live announce team with Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph through Wrestlemania season. WWE.com posted an article Tuesday afternoon including a quote from Michael Cole who said “we’ve been working with Aiden at the WWE Performance Center to see if he has the chops, and it turns out he’s pretty good.” SOURCE
  • WWE.com posted an article announcing the lineup for announcers for the Royal Rumble event on Tuesday. All brand specific matches will be called by the usual announce teams for that show, but the two Royal Rumble matches will have different announce teams. The Men’s Royal Rumble match will be called by Michael Cole, Corey Graves, J.B.L., and Jerry Lawler, while the Women’s Royal Rumble match will be called by Renee Young, Graves, Tom Phillips, and Beth Phoenix. SOURCE

•WWE Weekly Event Results

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (San Antonio, Texas) 1/18/19

(1) Finn Balor beat Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a Triple Threat match
(2) Natalya, Sasha Banks, Ember moon, & Bayley beat The Riott Squad & Mickie James
(3) Baron Corbin beat Kurt Angle
(4) Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Elias to retain the Intercontinental Championship
(5) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) defeated The Revival to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
(6) Ronda Rousey (c) defeated Nia Jax to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
(7) Seth Rollins beat Dean Ambrose in a Lumberjack match

SOURCE

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Sioux Falls, S.D.) 1/19/19

(1) The Bar (c) beat The New Day to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
(2) Naomi & Lana defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
(3) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe
(4) Andrade Cien Almas beat R-Truth
(5) Daniel Bryan (c) beat A.J. Styles to retain the WWE Championship
(6) Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Shelton Benjamin defeated Sanity & Aiden English
(7) Jey Uso beat Aiden English
(8) Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) beat Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the United States Championship
(9) Asuka (c) beat Charlotte & Becky in a Triple Threat match to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

SOURCE

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Abilene, Texas) 1/19/19

(1) Finn Balor beat Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a Triple Threat match when Balor pinned Ziggler
(2) Natalya, Ember Moon, Bayley, & Sasha Banks defeated The Riott Squadd & Mickie James
(3) Apollo Crews beat Baron Corbin
(4) Ronda Rousey beat Nia Jax (w/ Tamina) when Nia tapped out to the arm bar submission
(5) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated The Revival
(6) Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) beat Elias
(7) Seth Rollins beat Dean Ambrose in a Lumberjack match

SOURCE

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Omaha, Neb.) 1/20/19

(1) The Bar (c) beat The New Day & The Usos to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
(2) Naomi & Lana defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
(3) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe
(4) Andrade Cien Almas beat R-Truth
(5) Daniel Bryan (c) beat A.J. Styles to retain the WWE Championship
(6) Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Shelton Benjamin defeated Sanity & Aiden English
(7) Jey Uso beat Aiden English
(8) Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) beat Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the United States Championship
(9) Asuka (c) beat Charlotte & Becky in a Triple Threat match to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

SOURCE

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Wichita Falls, Texas) 1/20/19

(1) Finn Balor beat Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a Triple Threat match when Balor pinned Ziggler
(2) Natalya, Ember Moon, Bayley, & Sasha Banks defeated The Riott Squadd & Mickie James
(3) Apollo Crews beat Baron Corbin
(4) Ronda Rousey beat Nia Jax
(5) Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) beat Elias
(6) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated The Revival
(7) Seth Rollins beat Dean Ambrose in a Lumberjack match

SOURCE

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Topeka, Kan.) 1/21/19

(1) The Bar (c) beat The New Day & The Usos to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
(2) Naomi & Lana defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
(3) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe
(4) Andrade Cien Almas beat R-Truth
(5) Daniel Bryan (c) beat A.J. Styles to retain the WWE Championship
(6) Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Shelton Benjamin defeated Sanity & Aiden English
(7) Jey Uso beat Aiden English
(8) Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) beat Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the United States Championship
(9) Asuka (c) beat Charlotte & Becky in a Triple Threat match to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

SOURCE

If you attend a live event, please send results to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


•WWE TV Match Results

Monday Night Raw TV Results 1/21/19

(1) Finn Balor defeated Braun Strowman via Disqualification after Brock Lesnar attacked Balor
(2) Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) beat Apollo Crews
(3) Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre
(4) Lucha House Party beat Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers when Gran Metalik pinned Sunil Singh
(5) Baron Corbin defeated Elias
(6) Heavy Machinery defeated The Ascension when Tucker Knight pinned Viktor
(7) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) defeated The Revival to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships when Gable pinned Dawson. Curt Hawkins was the special guest referee for this match.
(8) Sasha Banks & Bayley beat Ronda Rousey & Natalya when Banks made Natalya tap out to the Bank Statement

Smackdown Live TV Results 1/22/19

(1) Mandy Rose (w/ Sonya Deville) beat Naomi
(2) Cesaro (w/ Sheamus) beat The Miz (w/ Shane McMahon)
(3) Samoa Joe defeated Mustafa Ali when he forced Ali to submit to the Coquina Clutch
(4) Rey Mysterio defeated Andrade Cien Almas in a Two out of Three Falls match after winning the second and third falls. Samoa Joe would attack Rey Mysterio causing the disqualification on the third fall to end the match.

Order of Falls:
1 – Andrade Cien Almas
2 – Rey Mysterio
3 – Rey Mysterio via DQ

205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) 1/22/19

(1) Humberto Carrillo beat Gran Metalik
(2) Hideo Itami defeated Akira Tozawa & Kalisto in a Triple Threat match

WWE Main Event (Aired on Hulu and WWE Network) 1/24/19

(1) Rezar beat Tyler Breeze
(2) Mojo Rawley defeated No Way Jose

Source: WKPWP Post-Raw on-site correspondent


•Upcoming Lineups for Stadium/PPV Events

WWE Royal Rumble on Jan. 27 from Phoenix, Ariz.

Kickoff Show

  • Buddy Murphy vs. Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami in a Fatal Four-way Match for the Cruiserweight Championship
  • Rusev (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship

Main Card

  • Men’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania
    • Known Entrants (19): John Cena, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Xavier Woods, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Elias, Jinder Mahal, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley, Andrade Cien Almas, Rey Mysterio, Mustafa Ali, R-Truth (will enter last)
  • Women’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania
    • Known Entrants (23): Natalya, Bayley, Ember Moon, Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Zelina Vega, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Tamina, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Dana Brooke, Lana, Nia Jax, Nikki Cross, Carmella (will enter last)
  • Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor for the Universal Championship
  • Daniel Bryan (c) vs. A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship
  • Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship
  • Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
  • The Bar (c) vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

WWE Elimination Chamber on Feb. 17 from Houston, Tex.

  • Women’s Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match – Winners will become the new Women’s Tag Team Champions
    • Three teams from Raw and three teams from Smackdown will compete

•Upcoming Events

Sun. 1/27/19 WWE Royal Rumble, Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz.
Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Raw, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Tucson Convention Center, Tuscon, Ariz.
Tue.1/29/19 WWE Smackdown, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
Fri. 2/1/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Sasktel Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Brandt Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sun. 2/3/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canalta Centre, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Raw, Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Yakima Sundome, Yakima, Wash.
Tue. 2/5/19 WWE Smackdown, Angel of the Winds Arena, Everrett, Wash.
Fri. 2/8/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sat. 2/9/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Tribute Communities Centre, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Sat. 2/9/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, NIU Convocation Center, Dekalb, Ill.
Sun. 2/10/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, The DOW Event Center, Saginaw, Mich.
Sun. 2/10/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Mon. 2/11/19 WWE Raw, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Mon. 2/11/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Canton Civic Center, Canton, Ohio
Tue. 2/12/19 WWE Smackdown, Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Fri. 2/15/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Bert Ogden Arena, Edinburg, Tex.
Sat. 2/16/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Sames Auto Arena, Laredo, Tex.
Sat. 2/16/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rapides Coliseum, Alexandria, La.
Mon. 2/18/19 WWE Raw, Cajundome, Lafayette, La.
Mon. 2/18/19 WWE Live Event, Lake Charles Civic Center, Lake Charles, La.
Tue. 2/19/19 WWE Smackdown, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La.
Fri. 2/22/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, First National Bank Arena, Jonesboro, Ark.
Sat. 2/23/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, S.C.
Sat. 2/23/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Bancorpsouth Arena, Tupelo, Miss.
Sun. 2/24/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery, Ala.
Sun. 2/24/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C.
Mon. 2/25/19 WWE Raw, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Ga.
Mon. 2/25/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Ga.
Tue. 2/26/19 WWE Smackdown, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, N.C.
Fri. 3/1/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, WYCC, Salisbury. Md.
Sat. 3/2/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Mark Etess Arena, Atlantic City, N.J.
Sat. 3/2/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
Sun. 3/3/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Eaglebank Arena, Fairfax, Va.
Sun. 3/3/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, War Memorial Arena, Syracuse, N.Y.
Mon. 3/4/19 WWE Raw, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mon. 3/4/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Westchester County Center, White Plains, N.Y.
Tue. 3/5/19 WWE Smackdown, Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Sat. 3/9/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Little Cesars Arena, Detroit, Mich.
Sat. 3/9/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, N.Y.
Sun. 3/10/19 WWE Fastlane, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Mon. 3/11/19 WWE Raw, PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
Mon. 3/11/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Covelli Centre, Youngstown, Ohio
Tue. 3/12/19 WWE Smackdown, Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Fri. 3/15/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sat. 3/16/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Five Flags Center, Dubuque, Iowa
Sat. 3/16/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wis.
Sun. 3/17/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, Ill.
Sun. 3/17/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Resch Center, Green Bay, Wis.
Mon. 3/18/19 WWE Raw, Allstate Arena, Chicago, Ill.
Mon. 3/18/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, Ill.
Tue. 3/19/19 WWE Smackdown, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.


•Latest TV Highlights

Monday Night Raw

  • Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar faced off on Raw ahead of their match at the Royal Rumble. Brock and Paul Heyman opened the show (following a long tribute video package for Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and Heyman started by praising Balor for beating “the second greatest of all time” John Cena. Heyman then switched tones saying that even miracles end and Finn Balor would be sacrificed to Lesnar. Vince McMahon came to the ring and said he doesn’t think Balor stands a chance because fairy tales aren’t real. Vince then told the story of David and Goliath, but an alternative version where David is delusional from eating too many mushrooms and Goliath beats the hell out of David. After Braun and Balor both come down to the ring, Balor acknowledges that he knows Vince doesn’t believe in him and tells the correct version of David vs. Goliath. Vince then decided to have the “WWE version of David vs. Goliath” and Finn and Braun had a match while Brock Lesnar stayed at ringside to watch. Finn was close to victory when Brock entered the ring and hit Balor with an F5 for the disqualification.
  • Sasha Banks built some momentum heading into her title match vs. Ronda Rousey on Sunday. Sasha & Bayley teamed against Natalya & Ronda Rousey in a match where Sasha would get the win, forcing Natalya to submit to the Bank Statement. Before the match, Ronda was interviewed backstage where she said she’s been trying to think of a reason she owed Sasha an apology for what she said last week, but can’t find one. She promised to win on Sunday and headed to the ring for the match. While Bayley and Sasha walked down to the ring, Ronda was acting like a caged animal being held back by Natalya and the official as she tried to get her hands on Sasha. After Sasha and Bayley’s entrances, Sasha grabbed a microphone and told Rousey that she didn’t need her compliments because she is a four time champion and she’s earned her opportunities. Sasha and Natalya started the match and Sasha immediately took a cheap shot knocking Ronda off the apron. This interaction seemed to lean Sasha towards the heel in this matchup by pushing Ronda’s buttons to get her worked up, then taking the cheap shot to start the match.

Smackdown Live

  • Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade Cien Almas ends in a disqualification. After the match these two had last week, WWE announced Mysterio and Almas would have a two out of three falls match on Smackdown. Almas won the first fall, Mysterio quickly won the second fall and after a lengthy battle, Mysterio had Almas in position for the 619 when Samoa Joe attacked Mysterio. After attacked both competitors in the match, Joe took the microphone and issued a warning to everyone else in the Royal Rumble match and as he was doing this, Randy Orton hit Joe with an RKO to end the show and the announcers plugged that Orton was now in the Royal Rumble match as well.
  • Becky, Asuka, and Charlotte all interacted again this week. Becky started the show addressing the crowd in the ring saying that Asuka never beat her for the title and that she will regain the Smackdown Women’s Championship on Sunday. Asuka came down and the two went face-to-face yelling at one another. Charlotte interrupted them both saying she’s enjoying them arguing and she vowed to win the Royal Rumble match. Asuka then attacked Becky while she was focused on Charlotte. As Becky and Asuka fought, Charlotte walked away smiling. After a commercial break, the camera cut to a scene backstage where Asuka and Becky were still brawling while multiple officials attempted to keep them apart.
  • A.J. Styles and Daniel Bryan met face to face with Vince McMahon as the moderator. Bryan refused to enter the ring with Styles and instead grabbed a microphone and spoke with him from the floor. Bryan said he was disgusted by Styles telling fans to eat unhealthy food last week and it’s no surprise fans like him because he doesn’t make them think and, unlike A.J., Bryan is using his power to promote good. A.J. then retorted saying Bryan flew to the arena just like everyone else, which makes Daniel Bryan fickle. Vince became angry Bryan refused to enter the ring and Bryan reacted by criticizing Vince’s generation for destroying the environment and economy and hoarding wealth and power from everyone else. The segment ended when A.J. Styles told Vince the face-to-face didn’t have to happen in the ring and the two brawled. Daniel Bryan would gain the upper hand after hiding behind Vince which caused A.J. to stop his attack and Bryan hit him with a running knee.

•WWE in the Media

– Finn Balor spoke to ESPN’s Tim Fiorvanti who posted a quick update on Monday regarding Balor’s answer when asked about being The Demon at the Royal Rumble. Balor said “I feel like maybe I leaned on the demon too much there in the past as a crutch, and I can assure you that the man who faces Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble will be Finn Balor, the man.” Balor said people were surprised he wasn’t The Demon last year at Wrestlemania, but he said he had a more important message to send that day, a message of equality. Balor seemed to close the door completely with that first quote, but Fiorvanti added an additional quote from Balor at the end of his update which was “I don’t have any new gear, I don’t have any new looks, I don’t have any new ideas right now, but you know, we’re still six days away, so I’m sure I’ll come up with something.” SOURCE

– Buddy Murphy on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia this week. They start the interview talking about Buddy Murphy’s time growing up in Melbourne, Australia. He talked about his struggles staying away from home as a kid and how he had to overcome the struggle of no sleeping at home once he became a wrestler. He then told the story of going to a local wrestling school at 13-14 years old and after about a year of doing that, he stopped wrestling because he realized they were just using him as someone small to beat up on in training. After he quit the wrestling school, he joined a group of classmates who were wrestling in their back yard. After doing that for some time, he and his friends went to an independent show that was actually put on by the old wrestling school Murphy started out at and he and his friends started being booked on local shows.

Murphy then talked about the day he moved to America at 24 years old after signing with WWE and how he had nothing in his apartment. He said he had to go back to the leasing office of the apartment complex to have them call a cab for him so he could then start searching for furniture and everything else for his apartment because he came to the United States with nothing but a single suitcase of clothes. He talked about the tryout with WWE saying it cost him $3,500 just to get into the try out and there were 84 other people in the tryout with him. Out of 85 people, Murphy was the only one rewarded a contract at the end of the tryout. Other people were awarded contracts, but not on that day. He said Simon Gotch was another one of the people in that tryout that were given a contract. Murphy said he was told the reason he got a contract was his ability to take a bump and that it really caught the attention of the trainers and it’s what ultimately got him the contract.

Buddy Murphy credited The Revival for the rise of Blake and Murphy as a tag team in NXT. He said they taught them both so much about tag team wrestling and thanks to them and working with other tag teams like Enzo and Cass in NXT, they were noticed and in one set of tapings they got their first win as a team and also won the Tag Team Championships. He does admit, they had the championships entirely too early into their run, but it helped them grow as a team and individuals. He said he and Murphy pitched the idea of having Alexa be a part of their group and initially they said no, but eventually they included her into their act.

They then turn to talking about Alexa and Lilian mentions that Alexa feels bad and blames herself for Blake and Murphy splitting up after she was sent to Smackdown and they were both in NXT, but Murphy dismisses that saying that it was her time to move up to the main roster. Buddy Murphy also said he’s glad Alexa moved on because, in a way, he felt that her being the mouth piece for Blake and Murphy was almost holding her down. They then talk about Murphy and Alexa’s relationship noting that she is doing the Raw schedule and he is on the Smackdown schedule as a member of 205 Live. He says Alexa is the person he turns to for help with promos and he’s the person she talks to about in-ring wrestling.

Buddy Murphy then talked about how he got on 205 Live saying that he wanted to be on that show for about a year before they put him on the show. He said he asked multiple people about it and they all shrugged him off saying he’s too big for that before Adam Pierce finally listened and talked to Triple H to get him on 205 Live. He then said he was called to come film multiple hours of vignettes leading up to his debut on 205 Live.

The interview starts at 17:30 and you can listen to it HERE.


•Listen to the latest Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – Smackdown Post-Show

PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by PWTorch East Coast Cast host Travis Bryant as they discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first, then an on-site correspondent from Wichita, and then later answering Mailbag questions. Topics covered: Final Royal Rumble hype, Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali, Randy Orton’s return, Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade, Becky Lynch-Asuka-Charlotte Flair, Vince McMahon, A.J. Styles and Daniel Bryan, and more.

-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice


•WWE Social Media Highlights

WWE posted the clip from Smackdown last week of A.J. Styles looking at Asuka as he walked past her. The two then exchanged tweets back and forth in a funny little moment.

Bayley responded to Shayna Baszler last week about the Four Horsewomen name.

Ronda and Sasha also went back and forth about the Four Horsewomen name. Surely this 4 on 4 match is coming in 2019, right?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsqX88_H142/?utm_source=ig_twitter_share&igshid=16nd4xs9tb8fu

View this post on Instagram

Wrong. @sashabankswwe Everything you just said was about YOU and what YOU do. As an individual… you haven’t even begun to grasp what the 4 Horsewomen truly represent. The REAL 4 Horsewomen @qosbaszler @jessamynduke @marinashafir and myself are about camaraderie, we’re about loyalty, we’re sweat sisters bonded in blood we’ve shed together in the pursuit of a common goal. When any of us succeed, we rise together. If any of us fall, we dive to catch each other. When at our highest highs we hoist each other even higher into the air. When at our lowest lows we dust each other off and empower the sisters at our side to take another defiant step forward. You’re a bickering quarreling thrown together corporate copy of the lighting we’ve captured in a bottle. We’re real friends, we’re real sisters in arms, we’re the dose of reality to has come to dispel the fantasy that is your FAUX horsewomen. #RondaVsSasha #rawwomenschampionship #RoyalRumble #Jan27 #4horsewomenvsfauxhorsewomen

A post shared by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

Mickie James becomes Becky’s latest Twitter target.

https://twitter.com/MickieJames/status/1087209666071941122

Matt Hardy reassures fans he is not retired from in ring action.

Ariya Daivari posted this short video of Daniel Bryan talking about how dangerous Hideo Itami is saying that he can’t hear out of his left ear thanks to a previous match the two had during their time at Ring of Honor. Bryan finishes the video by saying if Itami ever comes to Smackdown, “he will get what’s coming to him.”

Finn Balor posted this picture of “Finnce McMahon” and it’s very weird.

Naomi and Mandy Rose aren’t done with this feud yet. Naomi posted a picture of an outfit her husband bought her and Mandy just can’t help but respond.

https://twitter.com/NaomiWWE/status/1087815480608460800

https://twitter.com/WWE_MandyRose/status/1087854814183211009

Becky posted a picture of her jacket from Smackdown and sending a clear message to Asuka.


•Closing Commentary

That’s right, everybody – it’s that time of year again! It’s sign pointing season! As always, the Royal Rumble kicks off Wrestlemania season (or sign pointing season if you’re me) and I thought it would be fun to give some predictions. I’m giving predictions based off what seems to make logical booking sense given the build, as well as what my selfish hopes would be if they don’t align with the logical choices. Unlike Paul Heyman, though, these are predictions and not necessarily spoilers. Here are the matches announced and my predictions:

(1) Men’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania

We currently know 19 out of 30 entrants in this match. I think the WWE have created a few realistic options on the Raw side in Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre, but on the Smackdown side I’m not sure anyone really stands out. They’ve quickly tried to make Samoa Joe look strong, so maybe he’s supposed to be thought of as a real threat.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

My Hope: a returning Kevin Owens

(2) Women’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania

Thanks to WWE unveiling nine more names on Twitter Sunday afternoon, we now know 23 out of 30 entrants in this match. This one is a little more up in the air in my mind because the focus of the women’s division has been on the two championship matches and Mandy Rose and Naomi’s feud. My hope is that this match happens later in the show so my hopeful scenario can come true. In order for that to happen, I need the Smackdown Women’s Championship match to occur before this match.

Prediction: Assuming the winner is coming from the announced names, my bet is Charlotte, but if Becky loses the Smackdown Women’s Championship match before this match occurs, she makes the most sense.

My Hope: Becky Lynch wins after Ronda costs her the Smackdown Women’s Championship match

(3) Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor for the Universal Championship

Interesting to see this last minute switch. Multiple rumors as to why the match was changed, but regardless, I’m much more excited to see this match than another Braun-Brock match. This should be good if they want it to go for more than a few minutes. Monday night shook my confidence slightly, but in a good way. I think Balor puts up a good fight, especially after two weeks of Vince saying he doesn’t stand a chance.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar retains

My Hope: Either winning this match would lead to interesting scenarios. Brock winning would allow Seth (hopefully) to have the crowning moment, but Finn winning would be great because we’d have a champion on television every week and he’s a fan favorite.

(4) Buddy Murphy vs. Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami in a Fatal Four-way Match for the Cruiserweight Championship

This could be an absolutely incredible match that has been relegated to pre-show duty again. The good thing about being on the pre-show is it’ll be given more time, but fewer people will see it.

Prediction: Buddy Murphy retains

My Hope: Buddy Murphy retains. He’s been really good lately, and they shouldn’t take away the championship this soon after winning it.

(5) Daniel Bryan (c) vs. A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship

A.J. Styles earns another shot at Daniel Bryan, and the build to this match has been a little strange, but I’ve really enjoyed it. This should be an excellent match, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t a clean finish.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan retains via DQ or cheats to win

My Hope: Daniel Bryan wins clean and can move on from A.J. for now

(6) Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship

This match with Sasha could be Ronda’s best so far in her WWE run. The match with Charlotte was good, but on such short notice and Ronda not having a ton of experience, as well as very little time to plan the match with Charlotte, it’s easy to see why they went with the attack angle back at Survivor Series. This should be a great match, but it’s hard to see Sasha winning back the title at this time.

Prediction: Ronda Rousey retains

My Hope: Ronda Rousey retains

(7) Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

I was really hoping Becky didn’t win that triple threat with Charlotte and Carmella on Smackdown a few weeks ago to get into this match. I don’t think Becky should be getting beat right now, and putting her in a triple threat would have been a very easy way to get her out of the title picture for the Royal Rumble and not be pinned in the process. This match should be a good one, but I do expect outside interference from Ronda or maybe Charlotte. If this match happens early on the show before the women’s Royal Rumble match occurs, I fully expect Becky to be a late entrant into the R.R. match.

Prediction: Asuka retains after someone comes down to distract Becky or force the DQ

My Hope: Asuka retains after Ronda Rousey causes a distraction or hits Becky for a DQ finish

(8) The Bar (c) vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

The Miz and Shane have had a very interesting story getting to this match. After weeks of The Miz attempting to win over Shane, he finally does, and Shane is now acting like he’s fully bought in to them as a team. If The Bar lose this match, it’ll be the second time in under a year they’ve lost to a recently formed tag team (they lost to Braun Strowman and Nicholas at Wrestlemania 34 last year) and on a show with so many underutilized and good tag teams, I think putting the titles on Miz and Shane this quickly will really define down the whole division.

Prediction: The Miz and Shane McMahon win. After everything I said above, Vince doesn’t care about tag teams, so it wouldn’t shock me if they switch the championships to the baby faces given the story leading up to this match has been all about them.

My Hope: The Bar retain and, at the very least, delay the inevitable title change.

(9) Rusev (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship

This match was added fairly unceremoniously, unless I just missed the announcement on television this week. Double-checking the card on WWE.com, I just happened to see this match is now listed as a kickoff show match. Nakamura’s character is just dead in the water right now in my opinion. I think the best thing for the character may be being off television for a few weeks because it just isn’t working right now.

Prediction: Rusev retains

My Hope: Rusev retains

I think this Royal Rumble card is absolutely incredible. In my opinion, the worst match on this card is probably the United States Championship match, simply because we’ve seen it a number of times and I don’t know if I trust WWE to let Rusev and Nakamura go out there and put on a 20+ minute spectacle of a match. It’s possible given that it’s on the kickoff show, so I’m not willing to say it’s impossible, but I’m doubtful. Even if that match disappoints, there are so many good matches on the card, I think fans would be pretty excited to see the same championship matches on a Wrestlemania card.


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