We’re just a couple of hours away from tonight’s SummerSlam go-home edition of WWE’s Monday Night RAW in Greensboro, North Carolina. While the previously announced Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss match will no longer be taking place (read about that here) after the passing of Nattie’s father this morning, there could be a big surprise in store for the show.
Last week, it was reported that injured WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose was nearing a return within the next month (check that out here), possibly getting involved in storylines around SummerSlam time. Of course, ‘The Lunatic Fringe’ has been on the shelf after undergoing surgery for a torn triceps last December and has recently been down at the WWE Performance Center preparing for his comeback.
According to The Wrap, Ambrose will be returning tonight on RAW with the speculation being he will be involved in the Seth Rollins/Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre angle in some capacity. At this time, it’s not known if he is finally cleared for action and his return has not been confirmed. It should also be noted that other sources with a history of being correct have reported that Ambrose will be back this week, but that it would take place Sunday at SummerSlam.
EA’s Take: Ehh…I’m not sure about this, it’s a coin flip for me. I can’t say it’s false because it does line up somewhat with last week’s report, but I’m always a little leery if I see a report from a site that’s not exactly known to me as a credible source for wrestling news. Plus, most of the time this sort of stuff is picked up on by a fan outside of the arena with a picture or something of the sort. I’m still taking the wait-and-see approach here. If it happens, it happens.
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WWE News: Royal Rumble Kickoff Matches Revealed, Updated Card
A look at the updated lineup for Sunday’s Royal Rumble!
Now that WWE’s Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live are in the books, the WWE Universe’s attention turns to this weekend’s big events, more specifically Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Since WWE revealed a number of participants this for the Women’s Royal Rumble Match this past Sunday on Twitter, there haven’t been nearly as many updates to the card as we saw the previous couple of weeks. That’s not to say there weren’t any however, as it looks like WWE may be removing John Cena from the Men’s Royal Rumble (see the latest here), while Titus O’Neil declared his entry this past Monday on top of Alexa Bliss announcing her return for the women’s side, as well as Lacey Evans revealing she too will enter.
Tonight during SmackDown Live, WWE officially moved two matches over to the Kickoff which will now see Rusev defend the US Title against Shinsuke Nakamura, plus a Fatal 4-Way for the Cruiserweight Championship when Buddy Murphy faces Hideo Itami, Kalisto and Akira Tozawa.
Here’s a look at the updated card for Royal Rumble this Sunday, airing live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network at 7PM EST with the Kickoff beginning at 5PM and also available on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter:
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
R-Truth (#30), Drew McIntyre, Xavier Woods, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose, Jinder Mahal, Seth Rollins, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, Samoa Joe, Baron Corbin,
Elias, Apollo Crews, Mustafa Ali, John Cena, Titus O’Neil
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Carmella (#30), Natalya, Bayley, Ember Moon, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan,
Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, Alicia Fox, Mickie James, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Lana,
Charlotte Flair, Dana Brooke, Zelina Vega, Nia Jax, Tamina, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Naomi, Nikki Cross
(C) Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor
(C) Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
RAW Women’s Championship
(C) Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks
SmackDown Women’s Championship
(C) Asuka vs. Becky Lynch
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
(C) The Bar vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon
Kickoff – United States Championship
(C) Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Kickoff – Fatal 4-Way for the Cruiserweight Championship
(C) Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami
WWE News: Update On JoJo’s Recent Absence From WWE
Where has JoJo Offerman been lately?
Over the past couple of weeks, some members of the WWE Universe have taken notice that the usual Monday Night RAW ring announcer, JoJo Offerman, has been absent from the program and instead Mike Rome has stepped in to fill the duties.
There have been some rumors that perhaps JoJo had left the company or perhaps was in some hot water, however that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to PWInsider, JoJo has merely been off the road recently to deal with what’s being called a “personal situation”, but it’s not known when she will be back.
Of course we learned today that she will not be at Sunday’s Royal Rumble in Phoenix, Arizona, as WWE announced that Mike Rome and regular SmackDown Live ring announcer Greg Hamilton would be emceeing the event.
After first joining the company in 2013 and being a cast member on the inaugural season of E! Network’s Total Divas, JoJo’s in-ring career was short-lived and she quickly was moved into the ring announcer’s role. She would start in NXT before being moved to the main roster in 2015.