WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 1/30): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

By Zach Graham, PWTorch Contributor


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

  • As first reported by PWTorch.com and Wade Keller, Dean Ambrose is expected to leave WWE shortly after Wrestlemania. Ambrose had been offered a new contract by WWE, but let officials know last weekend that he is not interested in continuing negotiations. Tuesday afternoon, WWE confirmed this report by issuing a statement saying that “Dean Ambrose (Jonathan Good) will not be renewing his contract with WWE when it expires in April.” For more information on this story you can read Wade Keller’s initial story HERE.
  • Hideo Itami also asked for his release from WWE this week. Late Tuesday, Itami changed his name on Twitter back to Kenta and sent out a tweet that just said “Thank You.” Other wrestlers tweeted at Itami thanking him. According to Fightful.com, Itami will most likely be granted his release pending a 90-day no compete clause in his contract. SOURCE
  • Ember Moon suffered an elbow injury during the Royal Rumble that will require immediate surgery and keep her out of action for a long (and unknown) period of time. Here is the video of Ember announcing she will be out of action posted on WWE.com: LINK
  • WWE promoted a special “Halftime Heat” match that will take place this Sunday at halftime of the Super Bowl. It will be Tomasso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, & Adam Cole vs. Aliester Black, Velveteen Dream, & Ricochet in a six-man NXT tag team match. The match will be available on WWE Network, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • WWE also announced that the Worlds Collide special that was taped during Royal Rumble Axxess will air on Saturday 2/2/19 on the WWE Network. This show is scheduled from 8:00 PM EST – 10:00 PM EST.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura won the United States Championship at the Royal Rumble. The Miz & Shane McMahon also won the Smackdown Tag Team Championships at the Royal Rumble.
  • R-Truth won the United States Championship on Smackdown this week and immediately after winning the championship, defended and retained it in an impromptu matchup with Rusev.

•WWE Weekly Event Results

Royal Rumble Axxess – Worlds Collide Tournament (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Wrestlers Involved:

NXT: Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Dominik Dijakovic, Keith Lee, Shane Thorne

NXT UK: Jordan Devlin, Mark Andrews, Travis Banks, Tyler Bate, Zack Gibson

205 Live: Humberto Carillo, Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese, TJP, Drew Gulak

Saturday 1/26/19 Day Session

(1) Jordan Devlin won the 15-man Battle Royal to earn the first round bye in the tournament

(2) Drew Gulak beat Mark Andrews

(3) Dominik Dijakovic defeated TJP

(4) Keith Lee beat Travis Banks

(5) Humberto Carillo defeated Zack Gibson

(6) Velveteen Dream beat Tony Nese

(7) Adam Cole defeated Shane Thorne

(8) Tyler Bate beat Cedric Alexander

Saturday 1/26/19 Evening Session

(1) Jordan Devlin beat Drew Gulak

(2) Tyler Bate defeated Dominik Dijakovic

(3) Velveteen Dream beat Humberto Carillo

(4) Adam Cole beat Keith Lee

Sunday 1/27/19 Session

(1) Tyler Bate beat Adam Cole

(2) Velveteen Dream defeated Jordan Devlin

(3) Velveteen Dream beat Tyler Bate to win the Worlds Collide Tournament to earn a championship match

SOURCE

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


•WWE TV Match Results

WWE Royal Rumble (Aired on WWE Network) 1/27/19

Kickoff Show

(1) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable beat Rezar & Scott Dawson (w/ Drake Maverick) when Gable pinned Dawson

(2) Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev (w/ Lana) to win the United States Championship

(3) Buddy Murphy (c) beat Hideo Itami, Kalisto, & Akira Tozawa when Murphy pinned Itami

Main Card

(1) Asuka (c) beat Becky Lynch to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship when she forced Becky to tap out to a choke submission

(2) The Miz & Shane McMahon beat The Bar to win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships when Shane pinned Cesaro after a Shooting Star Press

(3) Ronda Rousey (c) pinned Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women’s Championship after hitting Banks with a Piper’s Pit

(4) Women’s Royal Rumble Match – Winner Becky Lynch

Entrants & Eliminations:

1 – Lacey Evans
2 – Natalya
3 – Mandy Rose
4 – Liv Morgan
Liv Morgan eliminated by Natalya
5 – Mickie James
6 – Ember Moon
7 – Billie Kay
8 – Nikki Cross
9 – Peyton Royce
10 – Tamina
Mickie James eliminated by Tamina
11 – Xia Li
12 – Sarah Logan
Nikki Cross eliminated by Peyton Royce & Billie Kay
13 – Charlotte
Peyton Royce eliminated by Lacey Evans
Billie Kay eliminated by Lacey Evans
Xia Li eliminated by Charlotte
14 – Kairi Sane
Tamina eliminated by Charlotte
Sarah Logan eliminated by Natalya and Kairi Sane
15 – Maria Kanellis
16 – Naomi
Mandy Rose eliminated by Naomi
Naomi eliminated by Mandy Rose
Lacey Evans eliminated by Charlotte
17 – Candace LeRae
18 – Alicia Fox
Maria Kanellis eliminated by Alicia Fox
19 – Kaci Catanzaro
20 – Zelina Vega
21 – Ruby Riott
Alicia Fox eliminated by Ruby Riott
Candace LeRae eliminated by Ruby Riott
22 – Dana Brooke
Kairi Sane eliminated by Ruby Riott
23 – Io Shirai
24 – Rhea Ripley
Kaci Catanzaro eliminated by Rhea Ripley
25 – Sonya Deville
Dana Brooke eliminated by Rhea Ripley
Zelina Vega eliminated by Rhea Ripley after Hornswaggle chases her out from under the ring
26 – Alexa Bliss
27 – Bayley
Ruby Riott eliminated by Bayley
Rhea Ripley eliminated by Bayley
28 – Lana (injured during Rusev’s Title match) limps out on the entrance ramp, Nia attacks her as well
29 – Nia Jax
Io Shirai eliminated by Nia Jax
Natalya eliminated by Nia Jax
30 – Carmella
28b – Becky Lynch convinces Finlay to let her take Lana’s spot in the Rumble since she’s too injured to enter
Ember Moon eliminated Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss eliminated by Carmella and Bayley
Carmella eliminated by Charlotte
Bayley eliminated by Nia Jax
Nia Jax eliminated by Becky Lynch
Charlotte eliminated by Becky Lynch

(5) Daniel Bryan (c) beat A.J. Styles to retain the WWE Championship after Erick Rowan helped Bryan by chokeslamming Styles after the referee went down

(6) Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) defeated Finn Balor to retain the Universal Championship

(7) Men’s Royal Rumble Match – Winner Seth Rollins

Entrants and Eliminations:

1- Elias
2- Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett eliminated by Elias
3- Shinsuke Nakamura
4- Kurt Angle
5- Big E
Kurt Angle eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura
6- Johnny Gargano
7- Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal eliminated by Johnny Gargano
8- Samoa Joe
Big E eliminated by Samoa Joe
9- Curt Hawkins
10- Seth Rollins
Elias eliminated by Seth Rollins
11- Titus O’Neil
Titus eliminated by Curt Hawkins
Curt Hawkins eliminated by Samoa Joe
12- Kofi Kingston
13- Mustafa Ali
Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated by Mustafa Ali
14- Dean Ambrose
Johnny Gargano eliminated by Dean Ambrose
15- No Way Jose
No Way Jose eliminated by Samoa Joe
16- Drew McIntyre
17- Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods eliminated by Drew McIntyre
Kofi Kingston eliminated by Drew McIntyre
18- Pete Dunne
19- Andrade Cien Almas
20- Apollo Crews
21- Aliester Black
Dean Ambrose eliminated by Aliester Black
22- Shelton Benjamin
Samoa Joe eliminated by Mustafa Ali
23- Baron Corbin
Apollo Crews eliminated by Baron Corbin
24- Jeff Hardy
Aliester Black eliminated by Baron Corbin
Pete Dunne eliminated by Drew McIntyre
25- Rey Mysterio
26- Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley eliminated by Seth Rollins
27- Braun Strowman
Baron Corbin eliminated by Braun Strowman
Shelton Benjamin eliminated by Braun Strowman
Jeff Hardy eliminated by Drew McIntyre
28- Dolph Ziggler
Drew McIntyre eliminated by Dolph Ziggler
29- Randy Orton
30- R-Truth (attacked by Nia Jax)
30B – Nia Jax
Mustafa Ali eliminated by Nia Jax
Nia Jax eliminated by Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio eliminated by Randy Orton
Randy Orton eliminated by Andrade Cien Almas
Andrade Cien Almas eliminated by Braun Strowman
Dolph Ziggler eliminated by Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman eliminated by Seth Rollins

Monday Night Raw TV Results 1/28/19

(1) Seth Rollins beat Dean Ambrose

(2) Nia Jax & Tamina defeated Alexa Bliss & Mickie James to qualify for the Elimination Chamber Women’s Tag Team Championship match when Jax pinned Mickie James

(3) Baron Corbin beat Kurt Angle

(4) The Revival defeated Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins when Scott Dawson pinned Curt Hawkins

(5) The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan w/ Ruby Riott) beat Natalya & Dana Brooke to qualify for the Elimination Chamber Tag Team Championship match when Liv Morgan pinned Natalya

(6) Ronda Rousey (c) defeated Bayley to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

(7) Braun Strowman defeated Drew McIntyre via DQ after Baron Corbin attacked Strowman

Smackdown Live TV Results 1/29/19

(1) R-Truth (w/ Carmella) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to win the United States Championship after a roll-up by R-Truth

(2) R-Truth (w/ Carmella) beat Rusev (w/ Lana) to retain the United States Championship

(3) Four Team Tag Team Elimination Match – Winner to face The Miz & Shane McMahon at Elimination Chamber

Order of Eliminations:

– New Day eliminated by Heavy Machinery when Tucker Knight pinned Kofi Kingston
– Heavy Machinery eliminated by The Bar when Sheamus pinned Knight
– The Bar eliminated by The Usos when Jey Uso pinned Sheamus
– Winner: The Usos

205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) 1/29/19

(1) Kalisto beat Mike Kanellis (w/ Maria Kanellis)

(2) Akira Tozawa defeated Hideo Itami

WWE Main Event (Aired on Hulu and WWE Network) 1/31/19

(1) Lucha House Party beat Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers

(2) The B-Team beat The Ascension

Source: WKPWP Post-Raw on-site correspondent


•Upcoming Lineups for Stadium/PPV Events

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
    • Nia Jax & Tamina vs. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) vs. (Alicia Fox & Nikki Cross or Sasha Banks & Bayley) vs. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs. TBD (from Smackdown) vs. TBD (from Smackdown)
  • Shane McMahon & The Miz (c) vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
  • Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Samoa Joe vs. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy vs. A.J. Styles vs. Mustafa Ali in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship

WWE WrestleMania on April 7 from New York City, N.Y.

  • Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship
  • Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship

•Upcoming Events

  • 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.
  • Fri. 3/22/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Cure Insurance Arena, Trenton, N.J.
  • Sat. 3/23/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, First Arena, Elimra, N.Y.
  • Sat. 3/23/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, N.Y.
  • Sun. 3/24/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Keybank Center, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Sun. 3/24/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass.
  • Mon. 3/25/19 WWE Raw, TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
  • Mon. 3/25/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, PPL Center, Allentown, Pa.
  • Tue. 3/26/19 WWE Smackdown, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.

•Latest TV Highlights

Monday Night Raw

  • Seth Rollins chooses his champion for WrestleMania. Seth comes to the ring to open the show to recap his victory from Sunday night. He said he promised he wouldn’t point at the sign, he couldn’t help himself. Triple H came out to congratulate him and tell Seth how proud he is of him. He also told Seth he needed to make his decision by the end of the night. Dean Ambrose interrupted and talked about himself and Seth driving around Florida in beat up cars while Triple H never believed in them, but Dean always believed in Seth. Dean then brought up Triple H’s past discretions and Triple H retorted by bringing up Dean turning on Seth the night of Roman’s announcement. This lead to a match between Seth and Dean and Seth would win decisively with the Stomp. In the final segment of the night, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar came to the ring first. Paul Heyman tried convincing Seth he should choose Daniel Bryan. Seth’s music would play and he would come to the ring and got in Brock’s face. Seth would then attack Lesnar, but Lesnar would quickly take control hitting Seth with a total of five F5s. Seth managed to pull himself up with the ropes when he asked Lesnar if that’s all he’s got. Brock would respond by giving Seth one more F5 to end the night.
  • Becky Lynch chooses Ronda Rousey for WrestleMania. Ronda came out to the ring to deliver a promo before her open challenge. She attempted to talk about dreaming, but the crowd quickly turned against her. Bayley would come out to accept the open challenge. After a hard fought match, Ronda would win with an armbar submission. After the match, Bayley and Ronda shook hands and Becky’s music hit. Becky limped to the ring (still selling the knee injury from the Royal Rumble) and she delivered a promo about finding a way back to Ronda. She then announced she’s picking Ronda for WrestleMania. Ronda would fire back talking about how she’s been a household name for a decade and she owns the ground she stands on. While Ronda yells in Becky’s face, Becky stands there with a smirk like it didn’t even faze her. The crowd was exclusively behind Becky, booing Ronda every time she spoke.

Smackdown Live

  • R-Truth won the United States Championship and successfully defended it in back to back matches. In the first match of the night, R-Truth said he was given a shot at Shinsuke Nakamura and the United States Championship because of what Nia Jax did to him at the Royal Rumble. After a few moments, R-Truth went for a roll-up pin and the referee called for the bell, but both competitors seemed confused and even continued as if that wasn’t the end of the match. After R-Truth was declared the winner, Rusev walked out and demanded to face him for the United States Championship. R-Truth would then defeat Rusev to retain his newly won United States Championship. Both Shinsuke and Rusev would then attack R-Truth in frustration.
  • Becky Lynch started the night in the ring recapping her confrontation with Ronda the night before. Charlotte interrupted her and took credit for Becky’s win at the Royal Rumble because Becky learned that from her. Becky responded by punching Charlotte which lead to a brawl. Officials had trouble keeping the two apart, but eventually did as Becky continued to sell the knee injury from Sunday night and Charlotte mocked her. In a backstage segment later in the show, Becky is seen limping to her rental car, Kayla Braxton asked Becky why she refused medical attention and Becky responded by saying she didn’t want to spend any more time on the shelf before she drove away.
  • Daniel Bryan introduces a new WWE Championship belt. Daniel Bryan introduced Rowan who came to the ring carrying a bag over his shoulder. Bryan scolded the fans for not seeing past Rowan’s appearance to realize that he is a truly enlightened man. Bryan said that Rowan is his intellectual peer. Bryan then acknowledged that even someone like A.J. Styles can be right sometimes, and A.J. was right when he called Bryan a hypocrite last week for carrying around the WWE Championship belt made from leather. Bryan then talked about the belt being made from a cow he called “Daisy.” After talking about Daisy for a moment, he threw the WWE Championship into a trash can that Rowan had brought into the ring. They then unveiled a new WWE Championship made from hemp, wood, and colorful stones. A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, Mustafa Ali, and Samoa Joe would all take turns coming to ringside with Joe being the last person to come down. Joe took turns insulting everyone before he mentioned Wendy to A.J. which sparked an attack. While the five men brawled, Daniel Bryan stood on the announcer’s desk declaring that none of them would get a title shot and he would be champion forever. Triple H then appeared on the jumbo-tron and announced that all six men would be competing in the Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship

•WWE in the Media

– Ronda Rousey was interviewed by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN last week ahead of her one year anniversary of her debut at the 2018 Royal Rumble. Ramona starts the article talking about Ronda’s life at home on her ranch taking care of the animals noting that Ronda dreams of living in isolation like this away from all of the media someday. Ronda then reflects on her first year with WWE saying “I didn’t think I’d be any good as an actual wrestler. I thought I would be pretty much a gimmick that got old after a couple of months.”

Ramona transitions this yearly reflection into the hot topic of the week, that being the rumors surrounding Ronda leaving WWE temporarily to go start a family. Ronda’s response to these reports is “I honestly don’t know why [anyone] feels like [they’re] an authority to speak on the plans for my uterus… It’s my vagina, my life, keep the speculations to yourself…” Ramona does note that, if she were to leave in-ring competition to start a family, Ronda has been told that there are “plenty of ways for her to stay involved.”

The article ends with Ronda acknowledging that she hasn’t kept it a secret that she does want to start a family, but says that she’s enjoying wrestling even more than she thought she would and that her family has a lot of decisions to make moving forward. SOURCE

– Daniel Bryan also had an interview with ESPN last week, this time with Michael Wonsover. Michael talks about Daniel Bryan’s new post-match routine which includes getting his eyes checked, a series of balance tests, and finally a semi-complicated math equation that’s just difficult enough to ensure he has proper brain function. Since returning in March 2018, Bryan says WWE officials have not lightened up on this routine and he said he goes through it after every single match he’s involved in. Bryan says one reason he hasn’t suffered any setbacks might be his new lightened match schedule, which is about 10 matches per month. Bryan says he thinks this is the schedule he’ll stick to, possibly lightening it more the older he gets. Bryan also says that he absolutely loves wrestling, but it’s no longer the love of his life now that he’s married to Brie and has a daughter.

Wonsover then focuses on Bryan’s heel turn, noting that it was in-fact Bryan who asked for the change of character. Bryan said the reason he wanted the character switch is due to the fact that his character and style were still stuck in 2014, which is five years ago at this point and he was sick of trying to meet those expectations because mentally he’s moved on from that character. Bryan noted this new character draws on his genuine beliefs and that really helps him to speak in front of the audience, because it’s based on what he really believes. Daniel Bryan ends the article reflecting on the time off saying that it was a blessing in some ways because he was able to rethink how he thought about wrestling, so now that he’s back he has a new appreciation for it. SOURCE

– Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report posted an article on Nia Jax last week. In the article Botter discusses Nia’s childhood and how she got in to wrestling. They tell the story of her signing with NXT and being in the same class as Finn Balor and Dash Wilder and she mentions that new signees are not allowed to step foot in the ring for the first month they are at the WWE Performance Center. About the time she was going to be allowed to start working out in the ring, she was involved in a car crash with The Rock’s mother, which sidelined her for months.

They then turn the focus to the accidental Becky Lynch punch thrown before Survivor Series. Nia sent out a tweet shortly after that happened wondering why nobody was concerned with how her fist was doing. Nia stated that this was paying tribute to the movie “The Campaign” in which Will Ferrell accidentally punches a baby and questions why nobody is concerned with how his fist feels. Nia says she was sent so many hateful and mean that colleagues began to check in on her to make sure she was doing okay. After talking to The Rock and Charlotte, she realized that this could be turned into a positive for everyone involved, which was hard to do in the moment because she was receiving death threats online.

The article concludes pointing out that Nia the person is almost the polar opposite of Nia the on-screen character. She talks about using the platform of WWE to help work on projects she’s passionate about including WWE’s Be a STAR campaign which is an anti-bullying initiative. You can read the full article HERE.


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

PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by Jason Solomon from the Solomonster Sounds Off podcast as they discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first, then an on-site correspondent from Phoenix, and then later answering Mailbag questions followed by a second on-site correspondent segment. They discuss Becky Lynch-Charlotte, Daniel Bryan’s new Sustainable Hemp WWE Title belt, Shane McMahon and Miz celebrating their WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title victory, big Elimination Chamber news, 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

Roman Reigns posted an update on Instagram revealing that he is going to be in the latest installment of the “Fast and the Furious” movie Franchise called “Hobbs & Shaw” which features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hobbs.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtEnwiIFr0J/?utm_source=ig_embed

The Rock commented on Roman’s recovery as well.

Daniel Bryan got into a heated exchange with Chase Field after they promoted a new food item that would be available at the Royal Rumble. Chase Field later responded with a video and noted they would be making a donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital at the request of Bryan. Sami Zayn snuck in to show support for Daniel Bryan as well, while Seth Rollins seems more excited about eating one of these burgers.

https://twitter.com/ChaseField/status/1088536039713431552

Forget Ronda Rousey; Becky wants The Rock at Wrestlemania.

https://twitter.com/BeckyLynchWWE/status/1089601337661317120

Dash Wilder sent out another cryptic tweet during the Royal Rumble Kickoff show.

https://twitter.com/DashWilderWWE/status/1089662739876700160

Daniel Bryan got in another weird Twitter fight with Henry Cejudo, current UFC Flyweight Champion, after Cejudo said he’d like to go on a date with Nikki Bella.

https://twitter.com/abc15sports/status/1088807460922523649

https://twitter.com/HenryCejudo/status/1089045339703660544

https://twitter.com/HenryCejudo/status/1089349142944538625

Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch are back at it on Twitter. Xavier Woods seemed to like Becky’s comeback too.

WWE posted a picture of Daniel Bryan’s new Championship Belt design. The title is made from hemp, wood from a tree that fell naturally, and some colored stone accents. For a gimmick championship belt, this thing is gorgeous. I think this is way better than Naomi’s light up Women’s Championship!


•Closing Commentary

– Wade Keller broke the news this week that Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE, and this was later confirmed when WWE posted their own message acknowledging that he had decided to not sign a new contract and will be leaving WWE when his deal expires in April after WrestleMania. In my mind, this news both hurts WWE in some ways and doesn’t hurt them at all at the same time, if that’s either possible, or makes sense. It hurts in the sense that he’s a member of The Shield, he’s been WWE Champion, United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and a Money in the Bank briefcase holder. Dean has been a main roster staple for years since he debuted with The Shield and had been used heavily before his injury last year.

His departure can also hurt the WWE more if he signs with another United States based promotion like AEW. Getting someone who’s been around the top of the WWE roster for some time would be a big get for AEW and can really help them grab some casual WWE fans to at least check out their product whenever they get television. Chris Jericho can and will also help with that, but he’s been away from WWE for some time now, so getting Dean Ambrose may spark some casual fan interest. If you don’t think WWE is worried about him leaving, all you have to do is read the statement they put out in response to this story. It’s the nicest version of “we wish him luck in his future endeavors” I think I’ve seen from them. This may be due to the fact that Dean’s wife, Renee Young, still works with WWE, or it could be they know how talented he is and they hope to get him back in the coming years. Only time will tell in this regard.

Losing Dean’s on-screen character does not hurt WWE at all. They’ve done so little with him since he turned heel, I can’t blame him for being creatively frustrated, which appears to be the reason he’s leaving WWE. This guy turned on Seth Rollins the night Roman Reigns announced he had to step away from wrestling to battle leukemia. He could’ve been the most hated heel in years and instead, he starts ripping on cities, wearing gas masks to the ring, and getting rabies shots. Since they’ve done so little with his current character incarnation, he won’t be missed in that regard. Honestly, what’s the difference between Dean’s character complaining about how the city smells while wearing a gas mask and Elias singing about how terrible the town is? It’s unfortunate, but I can’t wait to see where he lands and what he does outside of WWE.

– I just want to praise Samoa Joe for his mic work this week, and his work in general. This week, Samoa Joe came down to the ring on Smackdown, after four others also did so, to challenge Daniel Bryan. Joe spent less than two minutes just quickly glancing over all of the competitors and giving them a verbal beat down, and I just smiled from ear to ear. First, Joe challenged Randy Orton, vowing payback for the cheap shot RKO last week before the Royal Rumble. Joe then asked Jeff Hardy why he was even out there, and after Jeff attempted to speak, Joe told him to act like this is an A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting and be quiet while he shares with the group. This in reference to his storyline with Jeff where he focused on Jeff’s past substance abuse issues. Joe then mocked Mustafa Ali after he forced him to pass out on last week’s episode of Smackdown. Joe finished off his promo by asking A.J. how his wife was doing. This, of course, sparked a brawl, but I just sat and marveled at his abilities on the microphone. I’m just not sure how many people could make two ridiculous storylines, like stalking another person’s wife and mocking someone’s past consumption issues, and make them work so well. Joe was outside of A.J. Styles’ house one episode and it wasn’t hokey or cheesy; he made people believe that he was crazy enough to do something terrible. I know that Wade Keller has said it before, and I couldn’t agree with him more – not everyone deserves a run with a title, but I would absolutely love to see Samoa Joe get a good run with the WWE Championship.

Here is a clip from the segment I’m referring to. WWE edited out Joe’s comments regarding Mustafa Ali: LINK


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