WADE KELLER PODCAST - Royal Rumble preview with Sam Roberts
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WINNER TAKE ALL…
Recap: The show opened with Stephanie McMahon at the top of the ramp. She stated that she had improved the WrestleMania main event by adding herself and making it a Fatal Four Way before revealing it to be an April Fool’s Joke. She then proceeded to the real announcement, that all both women’s titles would be on the line in the main event, “winner take all.”
At the bottom of the second hour, Ronda, Charlotte, and Becky were in a tag match against Riott Squad. The stipulation was that if any of the three competitors turned on each other during the match, the traitorous party would be removed from the Triple Threat on Sunday.
The match ended with Liv Morgan submitting to a Ronda Rousey armbar. Immediately after the bell, all three title contenders attacked each other free of the stipulation. Eventually the police came to the ring and cuffed all three while they continued to attack each other.
Backstage, the three were dragged by police as they continued to attack each other with kicks. When Becky and Ronda were placed into the back of a police car, they kicked each other senseless until Ronda’s foot went through the side window. The police then removed Becky from the back of the car. In the meantime Ronda somehow got up front and hit the accelerator, smashing the cars together. Ronda was then put by police into the back of the car with the broken window. As she stuck her head out to scream, Charlotte kneed her in the head. Eventually the police got Ronda and Becky into the back of separate squad cars that drove off, as other officers remained behind with Charlotte.
Evaluation: Stephanie’s segment was short and to the point. Her joke made me laugh, as it showed self-awareness of both the criticism over the addition of Charlotte to the match as well as criticism of Stephanie’s tendency to make segments about herself.
The fighting while handcuffed was a bit over the top, but this is professional wrestling after all and I like it. The three competitors came off as having an intense personal hatred of one another, which adds to the match.
Forecast: The announcers were careful not to say that the belts would be unified, but they did refer to it as “winner take all.” Any reasonable person would interpret that to mean that the winner of the match takes both belts, however there have been media reports this week that “winner take all” actually means that only the title of the party being pinned changes hands. The latter makes no sense as an interpretation of “winner take all,” however sometimes WWE uses language in bizarre ways. My guess based on the lack of addressing the issue tonight is that the decision hasn’t been made yet. Nonetheless I’ll predict that Becky does unify the titles on Sunday, and the title will become a floating title just like the Women’s Tag Team titles.
FINAL HYPE FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE…
Recap: After the opening segment, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar came to the ring. Heyman said that Brock would take everything from Seth, violate him, desecrate WrestleMania, and then he and Brock would go out to dinner to discuss what is next. He emphasized that Seth is an afterthought.
Seth then interrupted, telling Brock that no one wants him here. Lesnar laughed as fans chanted “burn it down!” As Lensar attempted to walk away, Seth kicked him in the crotch and attacked. Lesnar got the upper hand, but Seth quickly regained it with another low blow followed by a Curb Stomp. Seth then grabbed the title and threw it down on Lesnar.
Evaluation: Solid, straightforward stuff. Brock’s body language was great. Seth was very believable in his intensity.
Forecast: Seth takes the title at WrestleMania.
ONE LAST REIGNS-MCINTYRE CONFRONTATION…
Recap: Roman Reigns was interviewed backstage. He said he wanted to put any rumors aside by stating he was 100% recovered for his match. McIntyre then attacked Reigns while shouting, “you should’ve said no, Roman!” Reigns laid on the floor as McIntyre was dragged away.
Evaluation: This was a short segment, but Drew was good. He came off as a maniac obsessed with Reigns.
Forecast: Reigns gets the feel-good win on Sunday, especially considering the way he was clobbered tonight.