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Abe: Top 5 Things I Want to See In The Men’s Royal Rumble



Royal Rumble Velveteen Dream John Cena

Abe Odeh brings you his Top 5 choices for what he wants to see in the Men’x WWE Royal rumble!

Everyone’s favorite night of the year is Sunday and the Rumble entrants may be as unpredictable as ever. With the ongoing rise of NXT and their talent, the WWE is relying less on legends to make surprise appearances and instead are using those free slots to invest in their future. As I was listing the names of 30 potential men’s entrants, I realized this year may be the most fresh faces we’ve seen in a single Royal Rumble.

Also check out my Writing The Book, focused on the Women’s Royal Rumble match!

5. A Member of Sanity

The heads of WWE promised us that they would start listening to us more. We saw that when Gallows & Anderson and Sanity made an impact soon after the declaration. Since then, it’s been more of the same. They’ve been absent from our television screens.

If they’re struggling with using them as a tag team, then try building one of them up as a singles star. Eric Young is a totally underutilized asset that could be contending for the United States Championship. He’s done it all in the industry, including winning gold everywhere he’s been.

Killian Dain is as athletic of a big man as Keith Lee. The difference is that he didn’t get the same spotlight due to being in a faction since his debut. Even with his limited opportunities, he’s created the highlights of a 5-star ladder match, a War Games match, and had a great showing in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

4. A Champion from Every Network Show

This means Pete Dunne, Buddy Murphy (or whoever wins in the kick-off show), and the winner of Aleister Black vs Tomasso Ciampa. If you’re the main champion of an entire brand, you deserve an automatic bid in the Rumble. Mustafa Ali earned a jump to the main roster by being a 205 Live standout and he never even won the Cruiserweight Championship.

The respective champions should be able to compete for a chance to make that same jump. Andrade got a Rumble slot as NXT Champion last year but the other champions were nowhere to be found. Pete Dunne is currently in the middle of one of the longest title reigns in WWE history. In May, he’ll have held the United Kingdom Championship for two years. The only time he’s ever appeared on the main roster is when he was pinned by Enzo Amore. The Rumble is a chance for a fresh start. Also, if they make an impact, you’ve now marketed each brand as well as the upcoming Worlds Collide event.

3. Face-offs: Velveteen – Cena / Rollins – Ricochet

Every time I get on Twitter, another person is entertaining the idea of a dream match between Seth Rollins and Ricochet. That possibility is drawing closer, especially if Ricochet is unsuccessful in his title defense the night before. Ricochet has one of the highest ceilings of any NXT superstar and is the closest thing we have to a superhero. He can be the Spiderman to John Cena’s Superman in the eyes of younger fans. Let’s see that first-time interaction with Seth Rollins.

Many of us are familiar with John Cena’s high praise of Velveteen Dream. Last year, John Cena stated that Dream could be “the one”. Cena is currently in the Royal Rumble match but has been tagged as questionable with an ankle injury. If he’s unable to compete for a lengthy duration, The Velveteen Dream is the perfect person to serve him with a quick elimination. Velveteen doesn’t even have a match at Takeover. I hope this means they’re saving him to take over the company the next night.

2. Kofi Almost Does It

Kofi Kingston’s near eliminations have become synonymous with the Rumble. Every Rumble season we relive his saves and wonder what he’s going to do this year. However, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about Kofi making it all the way til the end. Not winning, but as close as the final four or even three.

Kofi is one of those stars that fans have been rooting for to finally get his world title opportunity. He’s done literally everything except compete in a main event feud. He even cut a brief promo on Smackdown recently voicing his displeasure of never getting that big shot. That means either the writers are listening, or Kofi knows he has the support in order to start lobbying for that opportunity. WWE allowing Kingston to last until the final stretch would be a great way to tell the fans they are listening. Now that Daniel Bryan is a detestable WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston would be the ideal man to take the title off him later this year.

1. The Winner Dethrones Brock

Two of the most popular names I’ve heard as predictions to win on Sunday are Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre. Those are actually the guys I want to be the last two standing. Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar is the biggest money match you can book. The only time they ever met in a singles match was interrupted by The Undertaker and a winner was never decided. This is the first big chance to make Seth the future of the company. Rather than being champion, I’d like to see Brock transition to more of a Triple H or Undertaker role where he saves his appearances for new marquee match-ups.

Drew McIntyre is one of the lone men on the roster that could realistically match up with Lesnar from a kayfabe standpoint. If McIntyre wins, he’d be best served with an immediate babyface turn. Just imagine the impassioned promos from Drew headed into Mania if he gives the audience a reason to support him. That all sounds incredible, but Brock needs to get past Finn Balor first.

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King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!



Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.

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DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!



WWE Smackdown Riddle Reigns

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.

RK-Bro Is Effectively Done

The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.

Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.

Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over

“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”

WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.

Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star

The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.

We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam

It’s the perfect set-up:

  • Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
  • Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.

And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.

Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel

If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.

That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.

Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man

Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.

With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.

It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.

Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.

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