The WWE Royal Rumble is an event perfect for Bold Predictions, and Greg DeMarco has yours ready to go!
The WWE Royal Rumble kicks off WrestleMania season, as things will begin to take shape tonight (and we’ll see if some things have already taken shape, like Miz vs. Shane McMahon). That all lends itself to a set of BOLD Predictions, which we all know no one does better than me!
As a reminder, BOLD predictions are:
That means they’re not supposed to pan out! But when it happens, you’re gonna head about it from me.
5. Becky Lynch opens up the show
I expect The Man to have a hell of a show, and that starts when she’s the first one out. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka opens the show, and the crowd will be at a fever pitch for it (much like the opener at Takeover last night). Becky Lynch, as a character, needs to be protected, so while I see Asuka retaining her Smackdown Women’s Championship, it comes thanks to interference from Nia Jax. Because THAT. ISN’T. OVER.
4. R-Truth enters the wrong Royal Rumble
R-Truth is a fantastic character, one who brings great joy with his antics. Thanks to him, Carmella didn’t get a trip to a tropical island, rather a fun time in sunny Stamford! We know that R-Truth is the 30th entrant in the Men’s Royal Rumble, but I fully expect to see him enter the women’s at #30! Whether he enters and is eliminated, costing Carmella her opportunity, remains to be seen. It’s more likely he doesn’t make it to the ring until his actual spot in the Men’s Royal Rumble match.
3. The Demon Appears…in the Royal Rumble
Finn Balor told Sports Illustrated that he needs to do this one on his own, and if so, I can see him losing to Brock Lesnar in the middle of the show, giving him enough time for a paint job and a late entry into the Men’s Royal Rumble match at the end of the night. What does that mean? It means The Demon wins the Rumble match and goes on to slay The Beast at WrestleMania.
2. The Man fights with The Men
A lot of people think Becky Lynch and Charlotte could tie the Women’s Royal Rumble, leading to a triple threat at WrestleMania. I don’t see that happening. In fact, Becky’s lone appearance in the Women’s Royal Rumble will simply be to eliminate Nia Jax, keeping their story going. She’ll do that via interference, not as an entrant.
But Becky still won’t be done, as she makes her third appearance as a late entrant into the Men’s Royal Rumble matcb! As the fourth ever woman to compete in a men’s Royal Rumble, she’s not winning (although Becky Lynch vs. Daniel Bryan could be a hell of a WrestleMania story). But she will make her impact. Nia Jax will ultimately pull her out, solidifying their WrestleMania showdown, but not until The Man has her Royal Rumble moment.
1. Number 31
Okay. We’ve had a 20-Man Royal Rumble, many 20-Man Royal rumbles, a 40-Man Royal Rumble, and even a 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble. But Sunday I BOLDly predict we will see the first 31-Man Royal Rumble.
WWE needs to do something big. #30 is set as R-Truth, and I think a backstage attack is too easy. What’s more fun? #30 (R-Truth comes out), and 80 seconds later the countdown starts again! When it hits zero, Vince McMahon makes his way to the entry (or appears on the giant screen), and informs everyone that he arranged for #31 to enter the match.
Who is it? It could be The Rock, it could be Roman Reigns (that would be hard), it could be Velveteen Dream, it could be Finn Balor as The Demon, it could even be Kenny Omega. Either way, it’s gonna get an enormous reaction, and lead to something for WrestleMania. #31 likely doesn’t win (unless it’s Finn), but it’s a huge moment.
There aren’t a lot of surprise entrants that could really move the needle on the Women’s side, but I do expect to see some NXT talent like Toni Storm and Shayna Baszler.
But the Men’s? Lots of opportunity there:
- Pete Dunne
- Ricochet, Aleister Black, and Ricochet (after their post-Takeover curtain call)
- The Rock
- Roman Reigns (again, not likely)
- Kenny Omega (more likely than most want to believe)
What do you think will happen?
#RAWisDVR: Greg DeMarco’s Accelerated Review of WWE Raw (2/11/19)
How much got the FAST FORWARD treatment this week?
Each week Greg DeMarco watches WWE Raw on DVR with a stopwatch and sense of urgency. How much time will he save?
Let’s see how we go home to Elimination Chamber!
FAST FORWARD the opening nope. They did that for us!
Stephanie McMahon & Triple H start WWE Raw
- Fake excitement Steph is so terrible
- Okay, FAST FORWARD the PPV talk
- It’s WrestleMania season when the Brand Split means nothing
- FAST FORWARD Becky walking
- Triple H should know better than telling women to calm down–he’s married!
- The McMahon family is still in charge of the WWE–and this is about reminding everyone.
- Enter Sasha & Bayley–super fast start to Raw!
FAST FORWARD the entrances and commercials
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs. Nia Jax & Tamina (losers enter the Chamber first)
- FAST FORWARD some of the boring match
- Watch some wrestling, FAST FORWARD the commercials
- More wrestling, FAST FORWARD Tamina
- Bayley stealing offense from Ronda!
- And that’s finally over.
- Nia Jax has become such a strong character
FAST FORWARD the replay, talking, and commercials
Hello I Am Elias
- The multiple interruptions were stupid
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- Elias is JUST NOW talking? This must suck live.
- Thas was one hell of a guitar shot
- Enter Lashley (and Lio).
FAST FORWARD so much stuff. Seriously, what is up with this episode?
Timestamps: 22:09 (real time 58:47)
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
- FAST FORWARD the entrance and video for Finn Balor, and McIntyre’s entrance
- The problem with this match–and it’s not a bad match–is that we are just waiting for Rush & Lashley to get involved
- And there’s the expected DQ!
- FAST FORWARD and now we have Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin Sucks. Braun NOVELTYman, anyone?
- Yep, 6-man tag time, HOLLA HOLLA PLAYA!
FAST FORWARD the commercial
Timestamp: 27:03 (real time: 1:11:39 )
Finn Balor, Braun NOVELTYman, & Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Baron Corbin Sucks (plus Lio Rush)
- SHIELD camera shaking only works for SHIELD
- Angle Slam and there’s no way that finishes it
- FAST FORWARD Baron Corbin Sucks
- FAST FORWARD more commercials (geez!)
- WWE’s attempts to keep us from going away during commercials are so transparent. I don’t blame them one bit.
- FAST FORWARD Baron Corbin Sucks
- I just hit 30 minutes on the clock.
- Finn takes out Lio to sell Sunday’s match
- And Finn eats the fall. So terrible, “blown call from the official.” That shit is dumb.
- And here’s DEAN AMBREF to restart the match. Because we can do that now?
- WWE just reminding us that things are never going to be consistent. To quote Batista, DEAL WITH IT.
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- I feel like the entire stretch of Balor/McIntyre to this has taken 90 minutes.
- Love the way Lio holds the Intercontinental Championship on the outside.
- You know, what if Finn Balor is The Demon this Sunday?
- BRAUN SMASH! NOVELTY ACT!
- At least he’s good at what he does.
- 8 hours later, this is over.
Kevin Owens promo from the bowling alley
- “One more month or so.” You can set your watch by it!
FAST FORWARD the entrances
Backstage Becky–this really is an Austin episode of Raw
FAST FORWARD more entrances and commercials
Timestamp: 1:44:00 (real time: 38:37)
Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riott
- Nikki crazy, y’all
- Nice touch for Ronda, wearing Reebok UFC gear backstage
- See, Ronda wants to see the match, too!
- I hate the mid-match interruption, this is a good match so far
- Michael Cole voice change signifies commercial? NOPE! But lots of fake Ruby hair on the floor.
- Riott Kick CONNECTS! (with nothing)
- Do not fast forward Paul Heyman
FAST FORWARD the commercials
Timestamp: 44:49 (Real time: 1:55:24)
Seth Rollins promo
- Seth here to remind us that he exists
- Accomplishment, accomplishment, attach by Brock, good news
- BROCK not here–crowd went nuts, too
- Babyface Seth is the worst Seth. HE BROKE UP THE SHIELD!
- FAST FORWARD the commentary
- And here’s DEAN AMBROSE, who supports Rollins?
FAST FORWARD stuff
Timestamp: 50:09 (Real time: 2:11:22)
Dean Ambrose vs. EC3
- Who else is in the Top 1%?
- This whole show has become a chore as we wait for Becky’s decision.
- Dean wins. YAY.
- Don’t know if you know, but Becky must apologize tonight.
- One does not FAST FORWARD Alexa Bliss.
FAST FORWARD the entrances
Timestamp: 55:50 (Real time: 2:25:07)
WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) vs. The Revival
- Gable & Roode are no makeshift team
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- Computer and timer issues hit, but THE REVIVAL WON!
- Don’t give me that “it should have been on PPV,” THE REVIVAL WON!
Becky Lynch Promo (with Ronda Rousey, Vince McMahon, and Charlotte Flair)
- Masterfully done yet again, Charlotte Flair is in the match (like I told you), Becky Lynch now has to fight her way back in (like I told you), and this story continues its twists and turns all the way to (and at) WrestleMania.
- Note that this was the central focus of Raw, as it’s the most important program in the company. This will main event the show.
Estimated Timestamp: 1:25:00 (real time 3:00:00)
Time Saved: 1 hour an 35 minutes!
Overall this edition of Raw was just…weird. The show was cued up different than normal, and it showed. Let’s not yearn for the Attitude Era ever again. Onto the Smackdown!
Levin: The Continued Hypocrisy Of WWE’s Hall Of Fame
Since there is no written criteria, is the Hall of Fame inherently an issue?
Since there is no written criteria, is the Hall of Fame inherently an issue? David let’s us know what bothers him!
As the road to WrestleMania 35 ramps up and WWE begins to introduce its Hall of Fame class of 2019, I cannot help but think which former company superstar is going to get screwed out of their rightful place in professional wrestling immortality.
It happens every year once the Royal Rumble comes to a close and the Big, Bad Wolf, better known as WWE, plays politics with the selection process – much like the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Year after year, I write an opinion piece around this time, allowing my fingers to voice my displeasure for those deserving performers who have not heard their names called, the ones who have since passed and have been forgotten.
With the leaked news by several outlets that the Hart Foundation will be the first inductees for 2019, my crusade now begins in earnest. I have no issue with the decision to induct one of the greatest tag teams of the Hulk Hogan generation. It is what happens after the news of Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart’s selection that gets me going.
A few years back, Mike Mooneyham wrote how WWE dropped the ball by not selecting the late Ray Stevens to the hallowed Hall while WrestleMania invaded Levi’s Stadium in California. It continues to be a slap in the face of the pre-Vincent K. McMahon business that is shut out from consideration. At some point, someone will have to explain to me why Ivan Koloff is not a member after doing the unthinkable and beating Bruno Sammartino in 1971. And for that matter, why are we so quick to bring Edge into the fraternity upon his retirement, but have failed to induct Owen Hart?
Like its new message to fans about better sports entertainment in the coming year, WWE must get this class right. The selection of the Hart Foundation means Demolition is still on the outside looking in.
If I’m picking the class this year, and no one asked my opinion, I’d keep the Hart Foundation and build around it. I’d add the late Brian Pillman, keeping Chris Benoit off the list for one more year. I’d add Koloff as Uncle Ivan is important to WWWF history. Chyna deserves her spot on the roster, with Sable being inducted next year. Batista could be a surprise inductee and the headliner of the star-studded group being The Undertaker.
While I have tried to hit a home run with this group of former wrestling greats, there are still performers who are deserving of a place in WWE immortality. I’ll leave that up for debate for another blog.