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Opinion

Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE RAW (7/5/21)

Bodeen brings you his Top 5 moments from the July 7 Raw, including another great Ricochet vs John Morrison showdown!

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WWE Raw

Bodeen brings you his Top 5 moments from the July 7 Raw, including another great Ricochet vs John Morrison showdown!

Monday Night RAW once again came to us from the Thunderdome this week as RAW had its second last show before Money In The Bank as well as the return of live crowds. Despite a slow opening segment that dragged on, RAW managed to improve some of its major problems as it delivered a somewhat solid showing this week with names such a Ricochet, John Morrison, AJ Styles and Riddle stealing the show this week as they delivered and put on some amazing matches leading up to Money In The Bank a week from Sunday.

So without further ado, I am Bodeen Green and I am back to look at the positives as I take a look at the top 5 moments from this week’s edition of Monday Night RAW.

5. Mustafa Ali teaches Mansoor a big lesson   

Mansoor and Mustafa Ali would once again confront each other this week on RAW as they went one on one. Before the match, Mansoor would ask Mustafa Ali about why he eliminated him in the Battle Royale last week on RAW, with Mustafa Ali explaining to Mansoor that he did not want Mansoor to end up like him. Ali would dominate the early part of the match, wearing down Mansoor with holds, yelling advice to Mansoor throughout the match.

Mansoor would later get some offence in against Ali, send Ali to the rope. When rolling to the ropes, Ali foot would get underneath the bottom rope. Rather than using this to his advantage, Mansoor would help his opponent free his foot from the ropes. Ali would then roll up an unaware Mansoor for a win out of nowhere.

While this was a short match, it told a great story with Mansoor’s inexperience costing him the match. Hopefully, WWE have a long term plan for this storyline has it has great potential.

4. Lucha House Party and Mace and T-BAR put on a solid performance  

While it was nothing special, Lucha House Party and Mace and T-BAR would put on a solid match in the short time they had with each other. Early in the match Lucha House Party would use their agility against the two big men, keeping their distance using kicks to try and wear their opponent only for T-BAR to catch Lince Dorado in mid-air hitting the Lucha House Party member with a backbreaker.

T-BAR and Mace would use their power throughout the match to dominate the Lucha House Party during the match with the Lucha House Party getting cut off throughout the match whenever they would try and make a big comeback as Mace and T-BAR showcased their power. Late in the match Mace and T-BAR would attempt High Justice on Lince Dorado with Gran Metalik making the save, sending Mace outside. Lince Dorado would capitalise on this and would pin T-BAR for an upset win.

Even though the match itself was nothing too special it was still a good showing for the two teams, especially as both teams a hugely underrated. Hopefully, both Lucha House Party and T-BAR can continue to have good showings such as this one and can gain momentum.

3. Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston  take on a returning MVP and Bobby Lashley in tag team action 

The main event of RAW, this week would see the in-ring return of MVP after MVP spent several weeks out with a knee injury as both teams would try and get the upper hand leading up to Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley at Money In The Bank. Xavier Woods and MVP would start things off for their teams with Woods getting the early advantage for The New Day. Kingston and Woods would keep MVP away from the WWE Champion, Bobby Lashley, however, it would only be a matter of time until MVP was able to tag in Lashley with Lashley taking out Kingston to swing back the momentum.

Both teams would fight back and forth throughout the match with neither team getting a major advantage for too long until Kingston hit a series of moves against MVP for multiple nearfalls. Kingston would then get ready to hit MVP with the Trouble in Paradise only for Lashley to interfere from the apron, allowing MVP to hit Kingston with a clothesline for a nearfall. MVP and Lashley would try and finish things with MVP tag in the WWE Champion, with Lashley hitting a chokeslam on Kingston, only for Xavier Woods to break up the pin, saving the match for his team.

Lashley and MVP would tag each other once more, only for Kingston to hit a Trouble in Paradise on Lashley, with Woods following it up with a dive from the steel steps onto Lashley. Kingston would then reverse a Playmaker attempt from MVP, hitting Trouble In Paradise for the win in a solid match event with Kofi Kingston getting the upper hand ahead of his WWE Championship match against Bobby Lashley at Money In The Bank.

2. AJ Styles takes on an injured Riddle  

Despite having his injured foot attacked by AJ Styles and Omos in the opening segment and having his tag team partner, Randy Orton missing, Riddle would fight through his injuries to take on AJ Styles in a great match, with Riddle doing a great job in selling his injured foot throughout the match with Riddle feeling pain after he jumped over the ropes during his entrance. Riddle would start things slow against a cocky Styles, keeping his distance, not allowing Styles to go for his injured foot, but it would only be a matter of time until Styles would get a chance to attack Riddle’s injured foot, giving him the early advantage.

Styles would continue to inflict pain on Riddle’s injured foot, cutting off Riddle’s offence throughout the match. This would lead to Riddle thinking outside the box and performing a crane stance, with Styles mocking Riddle for it only for Riddle to nail a kick, followed up with a gutwench suplex to get back into the match. Riddle would continue to fight back against AJ, escaping a submission hold to hit a Bro-ton for a close nearfall. Riddle would then use the playbook of his tag team partner, Randy Orton and would hit the hanging DDT on Styles, however, Styles would quickly regain the advantage after he moved out of the way when Riddle attempted moonsault causing further damage to Riddle’s foot.

Styles would then attempt to hit the Styles Clash on Riddle but would then be distracted by The Viking Raiders, Ivar and Erik as they surrounded Omos outside the ring. Riddle would then use the distraction to his advantage, rolling up Styles from behind for the win, with Riddle gaining huge momentum heading into the Money In The Bank ladder match. Later in the night, it would also be confirmed that the Viking Raiders would take on Omos and AJ Styles for the RAW Tag Team Titles and Money In The Bank. While there has not been much of a build for this match, both teams have the potential to put on a great match for the titles.

1. Ricochet and John Morrison steal the show once again 

After Ricochet and John Morrison, stole the show last week with their amazing match and ended in a double countout, both men would do the same this week on RAW as they put on an amazing opening match that was arguably the best match on the card. Ricochet would get the early advantage on Morrison, trading his high-flying offence for strikes early in the match against Morrison. Morrison would then trade strikes with the one and only as both men held back on their high-flying innovative offence as they tried to get the early advantage against each other.

However, it was only a matter of time until both men showed off their innovative offence as Ricochet tried to use the Miz and his wheelchair to get the advantage on Morrison, only for Morrison to hit a powerbomb on Ricochet against the barricade. Morrison would keep piling on the offence against Ricochet, hitting Ricochet with a Spanish Fly for a near fall. Ricochet would later fight back against Morrison, hitting a clothesline only for The Miz to distract Ricochet with the drip stick allowing Morrison to roll up Ricochet for a tight near fall. Both men would continue to push each other to their limit with Ricochet hitting a flying crossbody whilst Morrison was on the ring apron to send both men outside the ring. Both men would struggle to get inside the ring, with Morrison getting in the ring first. This would allow The Miz to block Ricochet’s path to the ring leading to Morrison winning via countout in an amazing performance from both men.

This was a great match that did a good job in reviving RAW after a long and slow opening promo segment that seemed to drag on. Later in the night, it was announced that both men would have one final match against each other next week on RAW, before Money In The Bank with the match being Falls Count Anywhere. This is sure to be yet another amazing showing for two underrated and underused talents heading into Money In The Bank.

These were my top 5 moments from an improved edition of Monday Night RAW this week. What were your top 5 moments and what was your favourite match from RAW this week? Let us know in the comment section down below. 


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Opinion

King: Top 5 Championship Matches in WWE Royal Rumble History

Chris King looks at the best championship matches that have taken place at a WWE Royal Rumble event!

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2020 WWE Royal Rumble

Chris King looks at the best championship matches that have taken place at a WWE Royal Rumble event!

I have gone back in time to reflect over Royal Rumble’s over the last decade. From 2012 to 2022 the WWE Universe bared witness to some amazing matches including AJ Styles defending his WWE Championship against Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, The Rock defeating CM Punk and ending his historic championship reign, and even the ‘Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar successfully defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena & Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins in a classic triple-threat match.

Here are the top five championship matches at the Royal Rumble over the last decade.

Honorable mentions:

  • Brock Lesnar VS. Finn Balor (Universal Championship): Royal Rumble 2019
  • Brock Lesnar VS. Kane VS. Braun Strowman (Universal Championship): Royal Rumble 2017
  • Randy Orton VS. John Cena WWE World Heavyweight Championship (Royal Rumble 2014)
  • Daniel Bryan VS. AJ Styles (WWE Championship): Royal Rumble 2019

Top 5 Royal Rumble Championship Matches 

5. Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship): Royal Rumble 2017

In August of 2016, the WWE Universe was shocked when Triple H turned on his former protege Seth Rollins and essentially handed the Universal Championship to Kevin Owens in a crazy fatal-four-way match. Over the next few months, Owens and Chris Jericho would become best friends and true enemies of Rollins and former Shield-mate Roman Reigns. After Reigns was screwed out of the title at Roadblock they would deliver a Shield bomb through the announce table to Owens.

Reigns and Owens would battle again at the Royal Rumble this time, Jericho would be locked inside of a shark cage to prevent interference. Both superstars delivered an impressive performance and threw out everything to defeat one another. Reigns was minutes away from winning the Universal Championship until Braun Strowman obliterated him, which allowed Owens the conniving champion to keep his title.

4. CM Punk vs. The Rock (WWE Championship): Royal Rumble 2013

The self-proclaimed ‘Best in the World’ CM Punk was on a complete tear going through the roster successfully holding the title for a historic 434 days. At Raw 1000, The Rock came back and challenged whoever was the champion at the time to a WWE Championship match at Royal Rumble. Later in the night, Punk would turn heel attacking ‘The People’s Champion’ and aligning himself with Paul Heyman shortly afterwards.

The Shield would work as mercenaries for Punk to retain his title since the 2012 Survivor Series where they debuted. Vince McMahon informed Punk that if The Shield got involved in the championship match he would be stripped of the title. After twenty minutes of back and forth action between champion and challenger, the lights went out and The Shield interfered yet again. McMahon came out to strip Punk of his championship but, The Rock had other plans and the match was restarted. The People’s Champion would deliver the People’s Elbow to end the historic reign of Punk.

3.  Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship): Royal Rumble 2022

‘The Head of the Table’ Roman Reigns had conquered all of his challengers on Friday Night SmackDown, so a handpicked wild card was chosen from Monday Night Raw to challenge for the Universal Championship. Enter Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins. The two former Shield-mates had faced each other in the past but, this time felt different. Reigns was the arrogant and cocky heel while Rollins portrayed more of a tweener character. Rollins mocked the champion’s historic title reign and infuriated Reigns the go-home episode of SmackDown.

The Universal Championship match was the first match to open the show to a white-hot crowd. Reigns made his long grand entrance waiting for his challenger until a familiar theme erupted throughout the WWE Universe. Rollins not only mocked The Shield’s old entrance through the crowd but, was also decked in full Shield attire which pissed off the champion.

I feel like it’s impossible for these two superstars to have a bad match. They have incredible chemistry whether as partners or rivals. Reigns locked in his challenger with the Guillotine Choke but Rollins made it to the ropes. The Tribal Chief was relentless and would not break the hold so Rollins won by disqualification.

2. AJ Styles vs. John Cena (WWE Championship): Royal Rumble 2017

Let me start of by saying this was a very difficult choice to make because I went back and forth on making this number one. ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles shocked the world in 2016 not only for turning heel on John Cena but, beating him at Money in the Bank via shenanigans and SummerSlam completely clean in the middle of the ring. Styles went on to have an incredible run as WWE Champion over on SmackDown Live.

Cena went off and did his own thing after a devastating loss to his rival but, came back returned in time to challenge for the title to not only become a sixteen-time champion but to tie the illustrious record held by Ric Flair. Both superstars used every maneuver in their arsenal to win the match, but it came down to the final sequence to understand where Cena’s passion lies. Mr. Never Give Up hit the Attitude Adjustment and deadlifted Styles to deliver another thunderous AA to become the sixteen-time WWE Champion. What a freaking match!

1. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (WWE World Heavyweight Championship): Royal Rumble 2015

Even though the match before was tieing the legendary Ric Flair’s championship record, I still can say with full confidence that this triple threat match is one of the best matches in Royal Rumble history. Brock Lesnar had an impressive 2014 starting off with ending The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, and then obliterating John Cena at SummerSlam to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

At Night of Champions Cena was minutes away from winning the title and defeating ‘The Beast Incarnate’ until the arrogant Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins caused a disqualification. Leading up to the Royal Rumble, Cena and Rollins would face off in a tables match at the TLC pay-per-view, while Lesnar vanished. A huge triple threat match was set for the 2015 Royal Rumble pitting all three superstars against each other. Rollins who was still holding the briefcase bragged about if he didn’t win the title with Plan A, he would just cash-in and become the champion with Plan B.

From the moment the bell rang, the action began between Cena and Lesnar. Rollins played the manipulative cocky heel picking his moments to strike. Rollins and Cena took out The Beast on the outside to make it one-on-one. Lesnar was stretchered out of the match but miraculously came back and displayed his freakish strength taking anyone who moved to Suplex City. Rollins hit the champion twice with his briefcase and set up for the Curb Stomp. Lesnar bounced up and delivered a thunderous F5 to retain in a fantastic match.

I love this match so much because it was the first time that I believed Lesnar can deliver a great match and good story when he wants to. We’ve experienced this in his matches against AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, and even Finn Balor. The Beast is a very smart performer and knows how to sell for his opponents to make them look like a megastar.

There you have it, those are my top five championship matches at Royal Rumble. Let me know what you think!


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Opinion

Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: WWE WrestleMania 39 Opponents For Roman Reigns Not Named The Rock

The Road to The Royal Rumble is here, which means we will soon have an opponent for The Tribal Chief! Greg DeMarco explores potential candidates…

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Roman Reigns Seth Rollins WWE WrestleMania 39

The Road to The Royal Rumble is here, which means we will soon have an opponent for The Tribal Chief! Greg DeMarco explores potential candidates…

Daddy’s back with something for you that is meant to be fun–and a distraction from the news surrounding Vince McMahon’s (likely terrible) return to WWE. Being a fan is meant to be fun, and one of the most fun things we get to do is look ahead to WrestleMania.

The main question, for this article at least, is who will be Roman Reigns’ opponent at The Granddaddy Of ‘Em All? Now everyone wants it to be The Rock, so we will explore the alternatives to that match.

In order to do that, I am making the following assumptions, even if some might not be true in the end:

  • Roman Reigns only wrestles one match, the final match on Night 2.
  • Roman Reigns is defending both the WWE and the Universal Championships in that match.
  • Roman Reigns–and this is just purely me–is not losing.

Honorable Mentions

I did have a few ideas who simply didn’t make the list. Check ’em out:

  • Drew McIntyre – Simply put: Why? Why would we put Drew McIntyre against Roman Reigns in a football stadium when we just saw him against Reigns in a football futbol stadium last fall?
  • Kevin Owens – Similarly, why would we do this right after we do it at the Royal Rumble?
  • Karrion Kross – Ok, now I’m just trolling you. He ain’t the guy, brother–not with this gimmick.
  • Ricochet – Personally, as an underdog babyface against Roman Reigns, I love Ricochet winning the Royal Rumble and challenging The Tribal Chief. But we have a better underdog on the list already.

With that all out of the way, it’s time to have some fun. I give you…

My Top 5 WWE WrestleMania 39 Opponents For Roman Reigns Not Named The Rock

5. Sami Zayn

The bloom is off the rose for Sami Zayn, at least in the eyes of The Tribal Chief. The eventual turn is one of the most telegraphed things in recent memory, and in this instance that is perfectly fine. Sami Zayn is insanely over, and him fighting the uphill battle with The Bloodline would get him Daniel-Bryan-Danielson-at-WrestleMania-30 levels of heat along the way.

People love Sami Zayn. His awkward charm and seemingly unlimited charisma won over the audience so well that his storyline with The Bloodline had to get extended multiple times over. However, it’s obviously coming to an end.

The obvious match is Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn against The Usos, but you could also slot Kevin against Solo Sikoa if Sami were to indeed get the nod.

4. Bron Breakker

You probably think I’m crazy, and I totally get it. Bron Breakker comes from NXT and goes right to the WrestleMania main event?

If you want to create a new star in Bron Breakker, this is how you do it. (At least, it’s one way you can do it.) Look at Roman Reigns himself–part of the story of his WrestleMania 31 challenge of Brock Lesnar was that he was growing into the role. JBL told the story on commentary, and the match was all about Roman ascending to the level of Brock.

Of course it was all the perfect set-up for Seth Rollins to give us the greatest Money In The Bank cash-in in WWE history, but in the process Roman proved that he belongs.

So make this year’s Royal Rumble the ultimate opportunity–the most shocking winner since Rey Mysterio, the NXT Champion Bron Breakker.

3. Seth (Freakin’) Rollins

Seth Rollins seems to be in a never ending program with Austin Theory, and it’s time to move on. Seth is an automatic main eventer in WWE at this point. He’s a made man, probably the next biggest star (on the men’s side) in WWE after Roman Reigns.

And he also has a very specific distinction that no one else has: a singles victory over Roman Reigns since he made his huge return in 2020. Yes, it was by disqualification, but he has proven his abilities to get inside the head of the Tribal Chief.

And Seth Rollins is going to have a match at WrestleMania, and 50,000+ in Sofi Stadium are going to be singing his song. Might as well be in the match that closes WrestleMania Night 2.

2. Sheamus

This is purely a match on my playlist–but this is MY list. And to me, Sheamus makes perfect sense.

In fact, I thought the feud between The Bloodline and The Brawling Brutes would lead to Sheamus challenging Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. And had Sami Zayn’s involvement in The Bloodline not taken off the way it did, we still may have.

Sheamus is more popular now than ever, and at 44 years of age he is doing some of his best work. Sheamus winning his second Royal Rumble and challenging Roman Reigns would be the Lifetime Achievement Award he deserves.

But it’s more than that! The match? It would deliver in a big way. History? There’s plenty between Sheamus and Roman, going back to when Sheamus cashed in Money In The Bank on Reigns, and when Reigns eventually beat The Celtic Warrior to win one of his world championships. The fans? They would be solidly behind Sheamus, and would go nuts for every near fall. Don’t sleep on Sheamus as your WrestleMania 39 main event opponent for Roman Reigns.

1. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Full credit for this idea belongs to PC Tunney and Dave Ungar, as shared in the Chairshot Radio Twitter DM thread. And it’s steal-worthy indeed.

Three major legendary names are rumored for WrestleMania 39: The Rock, John Cena, and Steve Austin. All three make sense for a multitude of reasons. But The Rock will be launching a football league (which might be a reason to do this–the publicity), and is still in insane demand in Hollywood. Cena seems to be free at the present time, and we’ve seen the videos of Austin working out.

Remember, I am assuming Roman Reigns is going to win. If that’s the case, then this WrestleMania is but another moment in Reigns’ legacy. Why not add Steve Austin to his list of victories?

It would sell. ✅
The fans would buy it. ✅
Austin proved he can go. ✅

This type of match is what WrestleMania is all about. If it’s not The Rock, it should be “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

And there you have it, my list of–

Wait a minute Greg, what about Cody Rhodes?!?!

Man, I thought I could slip this one past the goalie!

Cody Rhodes is a great question. But you have to look at my assumptions above. I am assuming Roman only wrestles one match, defends both championships, and–most importantly–doesn’t lose. Given those assumptions, you want Cody Rhodes as far away from this match as possible.

If we do split the titles, then Cody needs to be the guy to walk away with the WWE Championship. He does that either over Seth Rollins, or in a triple threat on Night 1 against Reigns and Rollins–but Rollins still eats the fall.

But under my conditions, losing at WrestleMania doesn’t do anything for Cody.


What do you think? Let me know on social media!

Hit me up:

Until next time, remember: enjoying wrestling is a choice…make the right choice!


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