Chris Deez is back! And he’s brought his own personal Royal Rumble predictions with him!
How about this for a surprise entrant? It has been nearly 2 years but the medical team have cleared me after a few too many bumps to the head and I’m back to active competition! What better way to mark my return than by sharing my predictions for my favourite WWE pay per view of the year – The Royal Rumble. What surprises will we see, if any? Can Daniel Bryan finally overcome The Fiend? How will WWE start to build towards The Showcase of the Immortals during this, the first stop, on the Road to WrestleMania? 3… 2… 1… *buzzer*
Sheamus vs. Shorty G
I’m not going to give this one too much attention, just like WWE Creative clearly haven’t either. In what I’m sure will be a run of the mill squash match, Sheamus will go over pretty quickly to remind us all what he is capable of. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Sheamus fan, but I’m sick to death of this whole “You are short and I am tall, so we must fight!” crap. We saw it with Corbin vs Finn, Corbin vs Gable and now this. It’s boring and it screams of not knowing what to do with the talented guys involved. It’s not big and it’s not clever… pun very much intended. I could work for Creative!
Winner – Sheamus
Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Lord give me strength. What is the point of Bayley holding this belt still if all they’re going to do is keep building for what happens when she loses it already? Sure, her heel turn late in 2019 was a revelation but boy did it fall short quickly. I’m a big fan of Lacey and I can see exactly why Vince wants her as the face of the Smackdown women’s division (Wait am I allowed to say that anymore Becky?) but I’ve not been a fan of this rivalry at all. Not because of the talent involved, not at all, but because of just how unimportant this feud feels. It’s painfully obvious that this is heading toward Lacey as champion taking on Sasha Banks, hence why WWE keep protecting Banks while having Lacey go over Bayley clean. Lacey should win this one clean, though I’m sure we will see Sasha at some point, and set up Lacey’s first defense at WrestleMania.
Winner – Lacey Evans
Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carillo
United States Championship Match
If Andrade loses the title here, I’ll strongly consider cancelling my WWE Network sub, until I inevitably don’t and just go back to watch WrestleMania 17 instead. WWE have slept on Andrade for such a long time and while Humberto may be extremely talented, there is nothing marketable about him. Nothing outstanding. Nothing to get people tuning in. Andrade, with Zelina Vega by his side, is one of the top attractions in all of WWE right now. Look no further than his incredible programm with Rey Mysterio over the last few months, putting on MOTY contenders every single week. 2020 is a big year for Andrade, let’s start it off right with a lengthy and entertaining US Championship reign.
Winner – Andrade
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka
RAW Women’s Championship Match
This is a tough one as I like both women involved. Becky has had a fantastic 2019 and fully deserves to continue for the foreseeable future as champion, but if she beats Asuka here who is there left to challenge her? The logical choice would be the winner of the women’s Royal Rumble match, especially with Lacey v Sasha lined up on the blue brand, but surely then we need somebody new? Shayna Baszler would make the most sense or a returning Ronda Rousey. Please god, not Charlotte Flair again. My prediction here is a bold one but I can see Asuka taking the belt from The Man so that we get some new and fresh matches. It would certainly make a nice change as the product seems to be full of rematches at the moment. How about Asuka vs Ronda? Yes please!
Winner – Asuka
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
Falls Count Anywhere
Also known as Roman & The Uso’s vs Corbin, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode in a 3 v 3 tornado tag team match. That’s exactly where this is heading and I’m quite fine with that. Though the feud has been going on for way too long, I for one have found it thoroughly entertaining but that may be because I absolutely adore King Corbin. This match should be a blast and follow much the same formula as the majority of these matches do. My prediction though is another bold one as I’m going to plump for Corbin to come out victorious. The win would set him up nicely with WrestleMania around the corner and frankly he deserves it a damn sight more than most of the roster. Cast your mind back to a couple years ago… Baron Corbin, or the Lone Wolf if you INSIST, was a hot pile of stinking garbage. Sloppy and slow in the ring. Horrendous with a microphone in his hand. The guy couldn’t catch a break. Fast forward to today and he is cutting funny promos, showing greatly improved in ring work and has become the stand out heel in the business as a whole. Long may the King rule over us! Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with Roman Reigns, but he simply doesn’t need this one. Corbin losing here would crush all of his momentum, whereas Roman would recover quite easily due to favourable booking.
Winner – King Corbin
The Fiend (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Universal Championship Strap Match
Am I the only one who has cooled off on The Fiend? I love the character and most of the execution, but it is starting to feel like we have a part time champion again. This storyline has been nothing short of fantastic, with a more focused and driven Bryan back to his babyface best while Bray continues to be absolute fire in his promos and vignettes. I expect this match to go much the way of all The Fiends previous bouts, with him being overpowered by the challenger, no selling most of the offence before a final flurry of offence secures him the victory. Why am I so confident? Because Roman will 100% win the Rumble and finally be the one to take down the Fiend. It’s painfully obvious and just not what we want or need right now. The Fiend should defend more often and keep the belt for as long as possible, until it becomes stale and uninteresting. The character has been such a breath of fresh air and a much deserved push for the immensely talented Bray Wyatt that stopping the reign anytime soon would once again kill all momentum he has built and further reduce his stock in the company.
Winner – The Fiend
Women’s Royal Rumble
Two days to go until the Royal Rumble and we literally know 4 of the women who will be entering the match, which makes it quite hard to makes an informed prediction, though i do find it quite refreshing. We watch the Royal Rumble for the surprises, for the drama, for the unexpected moments and by only announcing four competitors we have the potential for a match full of surprises. Compare this to the men’s Rumble where we have had 22 competitors announced, plus the obvious inclusion of NXT superstars and it logically only leaves us with a couple of surprises at most.
I sincerely hope that Shayna Baszler steps up from NXT permanently, enters the Rumble and wins the whole thing from fairly early on, maybe around the number 10 spot. It would also be nice to see a couple of feuds start off or reignite here as there is so little storytelling in the women’s divisions currently. Unless you count Lana, Lashley, Liv and Rusev, which I don’t. Main roster women’s wrestling has never felt so unimportant. We need to see more than just the four horsewomen featured heavily. The the most logical outcome that I can think of is Shayna winning to reignite the feud with Becky that was started at Survivor Series when Shayna went over both The Man and Bayley. Some things that I think will happen along the way:
- Nia Jax returns
- A few legends spots for the likes of Lita & Trish Stratus.
- Lots of NXT entrants such as Candice, Io Shirai, Shotzi Blackheart, Scarlett Bordeaux.
- Losers of championship matches to enter.
- One of The Kabuki Warriors to eliminate the other.
- Paige does NOT return.
- Probably some more BS with Lana and Liv.
Final Four – Shayna, Charlotte, Sasha, Shirai
Winner – Shayna Baszler
Men’s Royal Rumble
Here we go. The big one, and one of the most intriguing for a long time. From Brock Lesnar declaring himself as the first entrant, to heavy involvement from NXT, there are a lot of questions around this year’s Rumble and a lot of potentially awesome moments. Most people have Roman Reigns down as the winner here and it’s easy to see why. He has remained out of ay title scene since returning from Leukaemia and has certainly paid his dues over the last year with some quite awful booking, which is why he remains my choice to win. There are a few other names worth mentioning such as Drew McIntyre who is another strong favourite to win and in my eyes the most deserving potential winner. Drew has really turned a corner in his WWE career, involving the crowd in his matches, spitting absolute gold on the mic and maintaining his high level of in ring talent which once had Vince McMahon dubbing him as The Chosen one. Let’s get one thing straight though… Brock is not winning this match. Whoever eliminates him will likely end up being his WrestleMania opponent, so him winning makes zero sense at all.
Keith Lee winning the NXT North American Championship this week pretty much confirms he won’t be winning, but aside from the question of who will win we also have some mouth-watering potential match ups to come. How about Brock squaring off with long-time critic Matt Riddle? Keith Lee and Samoa Joe slugging it out? This might be the most excited I’ve ever been for the Rumble!
Things I’m expecting to see:
- Cain Velasquez eliminating Brock
- Mysterio to eliminate Andrade
- I’m still 50/50 on Edge returning or not
- More hi-jinks from Kofi
- Ricochet to equal those hi-jinks
- Titus to pretend he’s going to slide under the ring… again
- No comedy spots or entrants. The pool is too crowded with legitimate talent this year
Final Four – Roman, Drew, Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa
Winner – Roman Reigns
AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21
AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?
As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.
Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!
#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time
There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…
THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!
I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.
#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic
Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.
People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.
I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.
#3- Overuse of Certain Moves
This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…
Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.
If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.
How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.
That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
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