With Takeover being surprisingly middle of the road, Royal Rumble has a fighting chance this year! Does it cash in on it’s opportunity?
Well now, this review is slightly delayed because for Big Four PPVs I get together with a few buddies and we make an event out of it. So between, hanging out, going til midnight, driving back and other things to get done…I had to sleep.
Big thank you to @Griever2112 for another fun get together! I didn’t win the Rumble picks this year, but he won our Botchamania award for worst picks. So that’s something right?
So now it’s time to see how the Rumble broke down.
- Scott Dawson & Rezar vs Bobby Roode & Chad Gable: Gable wins via Outtatime @6:55 – **
- United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev (c): Nakamura wins via Kinshasa @10:15 – ** 3/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Cruiserweight Championship 4-Way: Hideo Itami vs Buddy Murphy vs Kalisto vs Akira Tozawa: Murphy retains via Murphy’s Law @12:05 – *** 1/4
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs Becky Lynch: Asuka retains via Bridging Inverted Guillotine @17:10 – ****
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bar (c) vs Shane McMahon & The Miz: Shane wins via Shooting Star Press @13:20 – *** 1/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks vs Ronda Rousey (c): Rousey retains via Piper’s Pit @13;45 – *** 1/2
- Women’s Royal Rumble: Becky Lynch wins @1:11:25 – ****
- WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan (c): Bryan retains by pinfall after Eric Rowan Clawhold Slam @24:35 – ***
- WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Finn Balor: Brock retains via Kimura Lock @8:35 – *** 3/4
- Men’s Royal Rumble: Seth Rollins wins @58:00 – ***
- So on the Pre-show we get Drake Maverick coming out of Vince’s office talking about an awful idea. This whole hodgepodge team of Scott Dawson and Rezar is just stupid. The match was forgettable but not offensive, the set up was stupid, we really didn’t need this.
- The worst part of the Rusev/Nakamura match is that the ref was literally right in line of sight for Shinsuke removing a turnbuckle pad, and decided to just look at Lana (can’t blame him) and not what she was pointing out. So the finishing sequence was a bit dumb, the Kinshasa to the back of the head looked lethal though. So all in all it was a decent match, but the storyline wrinkle was a little dumb, but more forgivable since it paid off later in the night.
- Cruiserweight’s got to main event the Kickoff Show, so that’s something. Too bad this match was just a basic 4 Way match with smaller guys and nothing of real note. Finishing sequence was a signature/finisher attempt spam and it looked like Hideo had a chance to steal it, but Murphy slips out of the Go to Sleep, and hits Murphy’s Law. I also really hate Lucha House Party, so seeing any bit of that automatically makes me wish for a Jinder Mahal vs Baron Corbin staring contest.
- Well now, this was a great match to kick off the main event. Asuka and Becky tore it up, plus the position allows for the loser to enter the rumble that will be a couple hours later. This match had great striking and technical moments. Asuka going for Fujiwara variations and Becky trying the Asuka Lock were nice elements to prove they just didn’t like each other. Plus I loved the innovative aspect to Asuka’s submission. It reminded me of Pierrothito’s submission Pierrothina, but the fact she bridged out of the necklock looks fantastic. Becky’s face looked to turn bright red, so it wasn’t a weak tap out, it was a fantastic match that never really got topped all night.
- Okay, the fact that Miz’s dad was in the crowd added to the story being told. The match was brutal. Miz held his own nicely, and it’s cool to see this different aspect. He’s not as much of a weasel since he’s trying to prove things to his father and his new best friend. Shane tried to stack up Sheamus and Cesaro in the corner for a Double Coast to Coast, but Cesaro caught him for a Big Swing that lasted a bit. Shane kicked out of the Tandem White Noise move The Bar does, which surprised me a little, and Miz sliding in to hit a Skull Crushing Finale to open up a chance for Shane to go to the top and pull off a gorgeous Shooting Star Press for the win was good stuff. Can’t be mad at this match. It wasn’t an all time classic, but it was good and fun at times.
- Unlike a match later in the night, most people knew how this was ending, and I don’t think Sasha ever won the crowd’s disbelief. Shayna Baszler needs to take pointers from Sasha since when she weakened a limb, she went after it. Sasha kept trying to tap out Ronda, and Ronda wasn’t having it. Hell Ronda got Sasha to tap on the outside, but that doesn’t count. The match was competitive, Ronda looked to be struggling since Sasha really worked over one arm, but the surprise was that Ronda won by pinfall after a Piper’s Pit, not submission. They had words, Sasha throws up the four fingers sowing more seeds of a Four Horsewomen face off, but nothing really happened regardless of really long awkward camera shots before the ad.
- So truncated version, Lacey Evans started things off, and the butterflies were evident. She had a few sloppy exchanges and couldn’t even do a Kip Up, to which Nattie teased her. Liv Morgan was in and out in a couple seconds, Ember had some cool moments, Kacy Catanzaro is gonna do athletic saves too, Billie Kay was stalling until her hetero-life mate Peyton showed up (get the damn reference people), Mandy Rose and Naomi’s story got a little more heat, Zelina Vega came out dressed as Vega from Street Fighter and had a funny under the ring thing which brought Hornswoggle out and confused Rhea Ripley, Lana limped along and couldn’t make because of an ankle injury caused by bumping off the apron in the US match…so Becky walked out and lobbied with Finlay for the #28 slot. Nia tries to screw Becky after Becky eliminates Nia, but gimpy and all The Man gets back in the ring and outlasts Charlotte for the win. Becky versus Ronda is all but confirmed now.
- Daniel Bryan and AJ were put in the death spot, coming off a very fun Rumble that had the crowd going, they started off slow, but the crowd never really got into things. Great wrestling happened in this match with working over limbs and setting up for finishers, on top of only pulling out bigger moves when necessary, but an unexpected re-appearance put the writing on the wall. Flannel clad Eric Rowan stalked the ring, ref gets bumped and AJ takes a Clawhold Slam as Bryan picks up the cheap pinfall. So Captain Planet has his first grunge rock Planteer, I guess this is a thing.
- Finn hit the John Woo Dropkick immediately, and really took it to Brock. Brock was on the back foot the entire match. Repeated Enzuigiris, Dropkicks, Tope con Hilos and even an assist from the corner of the commentary table. The crowd actually popped really hard during Finn’s multiple Topes, and the match, though not long, was a believable story. Finn even managed to land a Coup de Grace, where Brock kicked out and slapped on the Kimura Lock. He hasn’t pulled out the Kimura in what feels like years, so to me, that implied he was out of other options and needed this to work. Finn did tap, but the match was solid action the entire time and the story was perfect. One of Brock’s better matches in the last few years.
- Okay so the Men’s Rumble started off huge and just kinda went down/plateaued from there. Elias was number 1, he does his usual thing, before he starts his song, number 2 comes out, Jeff Jarrett. Jackie Fargo strut and all, I WANTED A DUET! Dammit Elias, I love you, but that could’ve been great. Granted, there’s some Irony with Jarrett getting hit with a guitar and eliminated…but COME ON! Andrade looked good and lasted til the final 6 I believe. Kofi had two saves, one on his own, which wasn’t great and then a tandem one when Xavier was coming to the ring. The best part of this is how McIntyre just clotheslined them both out immediately. So Xavier and No Way Jose might’ve tied Santino’s record. I guess we’ll find out next year when they do their stats rundown. The Men’s rumble was really mostly uneventful even though not bad, until the end. R-Truth got jumped by Nia Jax and she just inserted herself. The men were reluctant to hit her, until Dolph Ziggler Superkicks her, Rey Rey hits the 619 and Randy Orton RKOs her. Randy and Rey have a moment where it seemed like Randy was more surprised Rey hit her, but Rey looked at Randy like ‘Okay, but you have to help me hide the body’. So when Nia finally got eliminated the heel/face dynamic returned, but Randy and Rey having an understanding was cool and off putting all at the same time. So yes, Rollins wins because he was put through a table by Lashley, so he took a 20 minute nap and when Drew got eliminated earlier than expected, there was no way Braun wins that. So yeah…Rollins wins…ugh.
Overall Score: 7.75/10
Even though I’d prefer a root canal to anything involving Seth Rollins, a finish doesn’t change how good the show was. The only match that had to go away was the thrown together tag that started off the Pre-Show. That’s forgivable since people were still getting into the stadium and you don’t want to waste even a slightly important match on a mostly empty building. The women outperformed the men on nearly every level this event, but still, nothing was bad.
Little things about the show kept me interested during the monstrous 7 hours of insanity and the live crowd only really seemed to not care during AJ/Bryan, but also, they were the best ones to put there. If the crowd was dead, it wouldn’t rattle those two, and if anyone could reignite a crowd, it was those two. So, that was perfect placement.
Plus with assumptions of Rollins going after Brock and Becky going after Ronnie, you’d think SmackDown has to win the Elimination Chamber matches this year. Sure, they can extend Bryan/AJ, but that’s getting old. Asuka however, has no real challenger. But, it’s done, the week is in the books and Royal Rumble all things considered, was a better show than Takeover. It’s always nice to see when the main roster is allowed to step it up, even when they’re given a lower bar to exceed.
Good job WWE, now let’s hope Raw and SmackDown continue this and don’t fall back on old habits and make me cry tears of blood.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)
Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…
Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!
At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!
WWE Universal Championship
The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.
The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.
After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.
I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.
Naomi vs Billie Kay
I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
Bray Wyatt’s Promos
Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.
With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.
Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro
Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.
The Usos and The Revival
Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party
What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.
Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox
So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.
Robert Roode vs Ricochet
With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.
The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.
I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.
Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!
WWE Week in Review April 15-April 21, 2019, Non-Shake Up Edition
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Gran Metalik vs Ariya Daivari vs Mike Kanellis vs Akira Tozawa: I have no idea why this match happened since it wasn’t an official #1 Contender’s match, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great match and Daivari winning it was a HUGE surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see if he can back up his mouth.
The fact that Mike Kanellis had the match won and it was stolen by Daivari revives my hope that Mike Kanellis will be turning babyface, especially since Cedric Alexander has been drafted to RAW. I think Kanellis has what it takes to be a great underdog babyface, he just needs the right opportunity to do it and 205 being without its other TOP babyface is the perfect opening.
Oney Lorcan vs Cedric Alexander: One thing I hated about this match is that the feud leading up to it wasn’t given more time. This could’ve been a blockbuster non-title feud if WWE had left Cedric on 205 Live, where he belongs.
All that said, it was a fantastic match and it gave Cedric the send off from the fans that he deserved, I just wish it hadn’t happened because I think the cruiserweight guys are going to get lost on RAW and SmackDown, which is what 205 was supposed to keep from happening.
Gallus vs Humberto Carrillo and Raul Mendoza: This week’s shows were done at WrestleMania AXXESS, which is why 205 Live’s own Humberto Carrillo got to team up with his sometime partner, Raul Mendoza, to take on Gallus in a fantastic match that actually went better than expected, in my opinion. Matches with wildly different styles can be a slow going trainwreck, but this was a wonderful match to watch and drives home that Gallus aren’t just big blowhards, they’re also great athletes. I was a little disappointed that Carrillo and Mendoza lost, but it’s clear that NXT UK has big plans for Gallus, which I’m thrilled to see unfold.
Kassius Ohno: As someone who HATES it when people mispronounce things, I applaud Ohno for his pronunciation correction. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed by the promo. Ohno’s playing the role of arrogant heel very well, especially discounting Ligero because someone who has a crazy schedule can’t possibly put on a quality match every night, is just silly for an indie guy to say. Guess we’ll see what the Leeds Luchador has to say.
Dunne vs Walter: I think I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I’m a big Jordan Devlin fan, so I was thrilled with his promo on Dunne vs WALTER. I’m still hopeful that he’ll get another title shot, whoever has the title.
Dave Mastiff vs Kona Reeves: This was an odd one because Kona Reeves hasn’t exactly been a NXT mainstay since his debut and his job this week seemed to be becoming Dave Mastiff’s dinner. To give the Keanu Reeves wannabe his due, he did try to compete, but the Black Country Bomber was a little too big for him. Mastiff winning wasn’t a shock, but it needs to lead to something bigger sooner or later.
That said, I’m intrigued by the possible Mastiff/Wolfgang feud being teased. A brawl between two huge men, who can move like cruiserweights sounds like a lot of fun.
Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster: So, the challenge has been accepted and we’ll get The Flying Welshmen vs Moustache Mountain next week!
Rhea Ripley vs Kacy Cantanzaro: This should’ve been a great rematch from the Mae Young Classic, instead Kacy got squashed like a bug by Ripley, who seems to have a bigger chip on her shoulder than normal. At least Kacy has a…friend, of sorts, in Piper Niven, who scared Ripley off.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams: Did that just happen?! Did I just watch Jordan and Williams, the most unlikely to succeed tag team get a win, even on a technicality, over the NXT UK Tag Champs? Did that just happen?! It did and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve become a big fan of Jordan and Williams, and while they didn’t get a pinfall victory over the champs, the fact that GYV took the loss rather than be pinned is enough for me! Go Lucky Bad Boys!
Velveteen Dream vs Buddy Murphy: I think I’ve said before that I’m not a Velveteen Dream fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s talented and he definitely showed it against Buddy Murphy. I was a little puzzled by Murphy going back to NXT and I still am, but it was a great match by both guys and that’s really all that matters.
Street Profits vs War Raiders (or whatever they’re called): This is another ‘What’s going on here’ moments because the Street Profits haven’t been on NXT all that much, but they’re getting a title shot next week. I guess the Undisputed Era is going to have to wait for another go.
Johnny Gargano vs Undisupted Era: At least Gargano got the hero’s welcome he deserved as NXT Champion. I do like Cole’s whining that Gargano got lucky, completely ignoring the fact that he and Gargano knew that they would have to beat the other man twice to win, it was funny, as was Gargano’s pointing out that Cole was being an idiot for the same reason. It’s nice to have a smart face that can rile up the heel once in a while.
I also liked that we got more signs of unrest in UE with Gargano and Regal stirring the pot. I’m stoked for Gargano vs Strong, especially to watch Cole seethe.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Aaron Frye: There’s not much to say about this since Dijakovic hit one move and it was done. The promo was much more interesting given that Dijakovic has Velveteen Dream in his sights.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: I love these two because they’re so obnoxious, but not in the annoying way the IIconics are and I loved their excuses for Aliyah’s loss last week. I can’t wait for next week’s tag team match since it seems like Candice LeRae seems to finally be being treated as more than Gargano’s perpetually worried wife.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This was such a good match and allows Sane to be written out of NXT to got to SmackDown, while maintaining Baszler as a heel. It also paves the way for Baszler vs Shirai by having Shirai by having Shirai save her friend, even if it meant Sane lost any more chances at the title. It was the perfect way to end the Baszler/Sane feud while creating a new feud, so no complaints.
Shield’s Last Ride
After six and a half years, two reunions, two betrayal, and twenty-three cumulative championship reigns, the Shield has come to the end of the road…at least for now. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are heading to different shows, while Dean Ambrose has chosen to walk away from WWE and find a new path. In honor of the moment, WWE chose to air Ambrose’s last WWE match and let the WWE Universe say goodbye to one of the greatest factions in the history of Professional Wrestling.
Advanced Warning: If you haven’t figured out that I’m a huge Shield and Dean Ambrose fan, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I will be a blubbering mess and this might not be very coherent, but I will not apologize for that.
Elias: Gotta love Elias’ never say die attitude towards performing. He managed to throw PLENTY of shade at the Shield and everyone else. Him being a primadonna to Balor about the interruption was fun and we found out Balor can wrestle in a leather jacket, but he still needs a more supportive jock strap. Balor getting the win wasn’t a surprise but it was a really great, if odd match due to some spots.
Riott Squad vs Bayley and Ember Moon: God, I’m going to miss the Riott Squad together! Why did WWE have to split them up?! Them ‘singing’ with Elias was hilarious! The match against Ember and Bayley was great, but I missed what Liv did to get expelled from the match, and costing her team the win. Still, great match and we get to see a great potential team in Bayley and Ember.
Shield Promo: For old time’s sake, we got a vintage Shield promo. It doesn’t matter what they said, because it was just nice to get that promo.
The Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin: Well, it’s come down to this. After six and a half years, the Shield rode into battle together one more time.
To be honest, this match was too hard to watch. The Shield renewed my active interest in WWE, rather than just half-heartedly watching it when I remembered or not at all. Dean Ambrose has been my hero since I laid eyes on him because he wasn’t what I expected a WWE Superstar to look or sound like. I was intrigued and then I fell in love, in a platonic, non-creepy, sense, with him. My online friends will attest to my cheering, ranting, raving, and screaming for Dean when it looked like he was getting gypped by WWE. That renewed interest lead me to becoming a writer about wrestling, something I never thought anyone would ask me to do. The idea that the man that reactivated my interest and love in wrestling is leaving, even if it’s just for now, has been hard to take and accept.
That said, it was a great match, with everyone hitting their best moves. The fact that it was about the Shield as team, rather than Ambrose, which lead him to letting Seth get the pin and making the final speech about Roman, Seth, and the Shield, rather than himself, makes me respect Jonathan Good all that much more.
I wish Dean all the best, he’s come a long way from his days of nearly bleeding to death for $20 and it looks like he’ll have a great future ahead of himself, whatever happens, but I fervently hope that I will see him again in a WWE ring. Thanks for the memories, Dean, and ALWAYS believe in the Shield!
News19 hours ago
Matches Advertised Locally for WWE Extreme Rules In Philly
News1 day ago
Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle: CM Punk Returns? Chris Jericho, Wolfe To NXT UK and More!
Opinion2 days ago
NXT Minus 6: Moving Forward
News15 hours ago
Andrade, Zelina Vega, and Aleister Black Moved to WWE Smackdown