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AJ’s WWE WrestleMania 38 Night 1 Results & Review

The greatest spectacle known to professional wrestling has returned… AJ’s back to reviewing shows and what better show to write about than WrestleMania!!!

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The greatest spectacle known to professional wrestling has returned for two nights… AJ’s back to reviewing shows and what better show to write about than WrestleMania!!!

We have the first night with some surprises in Seth Rollins’ opponent tonight, some championship matches obviously going on and a whole lot more to kick off the first night of Mania so let’s get started to see everything that will go on for Saturday.

Results:

  • Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs The Usos (c) for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos win via 1D – ** ½  – TITLE DEFENSE!!
  • Drew McIntyre vs Happy Corbin (w/ Madcap Moss): Drew McIntyre wins via Claymore Kick – ** ¾
  • Los Mysterios vs The Miz and Logan Paul: Miz and Logan Paul win with Skull Crushing Finale – *** ¼
  • Bianca Belair vs Becky Lynch (c) for the RAW Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair wins via Kiss of Death – *** ¾ – TITLE CHANGE!!!!!!
  • Seth Rollins vs ???:  ??? wins with “The Queen’s Crossbow” – ****
  • Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair (c) for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair wins via Big Boot – ** – TITLE DEFENSE!!
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kevin Owens- Stone Cold wins via Stunner – *** 1/6

Review:

 Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs The Usos-

Shinsuke starts off hot with some Enziuris and some Good Vibrations but the Usos get the first tag and change the pace to take apart Shinsuke’s momentum after his quick burst. Nakamura gets put in a grounded sleeper and after breaking out of it, Boogs gets a hot tag and takes it to a newly tagged Jey Uso and Boogs shows his strength against Jey and almost gets a pinfall from a hesitation Suplex.

Rick has Jey in a Fireman’s Carry and Jimmy tries to stop Boogs from doing anything as Boog’s knee buckles and it’s a 2 on 1. Shinsuke gets another fire in him and looks to win with a Kinshasa but gets caught to a Superkick and Splash. Shinsuke gets a small attack again but the numbers are too much and the Usos win with a 1D and the retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships.

Drew McIntyre vs Happy Corbin:

McIntyre starts off hot but Corbin tries to go blow for blow with Drew but Drew gets the upperhand, getting him out of the ring even as he takes over. After some damage to the outside, Corbin comes back a little and takes him back into the ring to take Drew McIntyre down and has been taking over, taking it to McIntyre’s neck and knee.

Madcap accidentally gets in the way of Corbin’s assault as he goes for a third strike when Drew was down and McInytre gets the momentum back, taking it to Happy and hitting some hard hits until a Claymore attempt gets countered into a Deep Six and a nearfall. Corbin goes to chokeslam Drew but to no avail as the Scotsman gets back and readies another Claymore until Moss pulls Corbin out of the ring. We have to remember though, he’s a Scottish Psychopath and he does a Tope to take both Corbin and Moss down. As Corbin goes back into the ring, Drew goes for another move from the top and with a quick exchange and lands the End Of Days. Good night. One… Two… Thr—Drew kicked out of the End of Days… DREW KICKED OUT OF THE END OF DAYS?!

Corbin is beside himself and rages. This is the first person to EVER kick out of the End of Days… and the Lucky Streak of Corbin and hits a Claymore to get the win.”

Los Mysterios vs The Miz and Logan Paul:

As a Pokemon fan, I respect the necklace and the drip but… It’s still Logan Paul so mehhhhhh.

MIz and Paul actually taking it to the Mysterios very effectively, taking down Dominic often as the frequent tags to knock down Dominick and they look good. Hell, Logan actually hit one of my favorite flying moves in wrestling with a Blockbuster. After too much wasted time, Dom gets the tag into his dad after some separation and is a house of fire, taking out The Miz and hits everything in his bag of tricks and after a Splash and nearfall, Logan Paul comes in to break it up and even with the possible two on one, Dom comes back in to stop the duo and takes them down. Miz gets a separation and tags Logan Paul in.

Logan Paul pulls off the Three Amigos onto Rey and even a Frog Splash to him for a nearfall as Dom breaks it up. Dom gets mad and wants to take it to Logan Paul but Miz tags himself to confuse the Mysterios and as Logan Paul gets the Double 619 and back to back Frog Splashes, Miz comes in to take out Dom and lands the Skull Crushing Finale on Rey to steal the win.

Aftermath: Sadly for Logan though, there is only one spotlight and it’s Miz’s Spotlight and Skull Crushing Finale to end the match.

Bianca Belair vs Becky Lynch-

And for the first different/special entrances, Bianca gets… a marching band? I mean… okay. There have been worse but, they played well. It kind of works. I don’t hate it persay, plus they are playing Bianca’s theme song so… 6/10.

Bianca tried to be cute and use the SummerSlam way Becky won before and landing the Manhandle Slam for a two count and snapping as Becky lands a bunch of strikes and pins to try to win fast and failing as Bianca comes into the match and starts some offence as Becky keeps going for early wins. Becky tries big move after big move, and Bianca has a response after that, even attempting her own Dis-Arm-Her, neither getting a massive advantage until they go outside and Becky gets it with a whip into the steps and proceeds to take it to the challenger in and out of the ring. Becky has the match all to herself until Bianca overpowers Becky in a Dis-Arm-Her and they go outside after and the match changes tides, Bianca showing the quickness and power of her and takes it to the champion. Getting a few nearfalls of her own with the Handspring Moonsault and more feats of strength but she tries to keep going with another big move to the top but Becky comes in, to stop her but Bianca gets a counter into stop her and goes back to the ropes to land a 450 from the Middle Rope for yet another nearfall.

Bianca tries too much in the ropes as Becky rolls away and hits a top rope Cannonball for a nearfall of her own but we are back to Square One as each women go back and forth between them. As Bianca gets the advantage, she hits a KOD, launching Becky out and after being roll back in, she rolls out and baits Bianca, using the hair as a weapon against Bianca and hitting a Manhandle Slam to the steps, getting a 9 count. Once Belair comes in, she baits Becky herself this time, back flipping out of the Manhandle Slam and landing the Kiss of Death to win the RAW Women’s Championship from the one that ruined her first Women’s Championship Reign.

Seth Rollins vs ???

Some pyro goes off. Lights darken and we are reminded… Wrestling has more than one Royal Family. CODY RHODES IS BACK!!!

They stare each other down in the middle of the ring and start it up with a traditional Collar and Elbow tie up and the ball gets rolling as they figure each other out and Cody just shows his ring IQ and proves he can still go and he’s not just a load of Dynamite.  Seth gets a cheap shot in as Cody then rushes him, gets caught together and they suplex each other. We go back into the ring after some form of balance, Cody shows his technical skills again but Seth gets the comeback for a bit, targeting the ribs of Cody but to no avail for a bit, taking over again and taking Rollins out to the ringside and hits the Suicide Dive.

Cody brings the match back into the ring, hitting a… very awkward Moonsault to take Rollins down but gets two after that as Seth powders out and catches Cody Rhodes with a Buckle Bomb into the Barricade and goes back in to take the control back to damage Cody, beating him down to ready the Stomp but dodges it twice and hits a Cross Rhodes to Rollins but for another nearfall as he ascends to the top again and gets caught by Rollins as Rhodes fights off Rollins at first but Rollins comes in to hit a Reverse Superplex and lifted inverted DDT but to a nearfall of his own. Rollins goes for a Phoenix Splash but misses as they go to play the counter game for a Pedigree and Cody gets the advantage in it for a Butterfly Bomb and lands a Springboard Corner Cutter for yet another near fall. Rollins kicks Rhodes in the stomach from the nearfall and lands a Pedigree, also a nearfall and we are back to zero.

Cody gets the fight back into him and starts a comeback but Rollins catches him with kicks over and over but as Seth gets cocky, possibly going for a V Trigger knowing Rollins but, gets hit by two Cross Rhodes before he stands Rollins up, Flip, Flop and Fly and lands the Third Cross Rhodes to take down Rollins.

Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair-

Ronda uses her MMA background to get an advantage and the ref separates them the ropes and Ronda gets annoyed and sucker punches Ronda over and over but Rousey actually tries to hold her own with the grapples and targeting the arm constantly for the armbar but Charlotte gets the control back each time, taking down Rousey’s attempts to holds as the fight is continued outside of the ring and Flair picks apart her opponent in the ring again, holding her down and quells any attempt of a comeback the Ronda has. Ronda gets a quick burst of offense in, even getting a nearfall but the cunning of Charlotte is too much until we see Ronda hit a Tornado Flatliner and takes the control of the match back as she takes down to pull the arm out of Flair and after some trash talking, Charlotte spears Ronda to break that offense of Flair’s.

Charlotte sizes up for a Natural Selection, getting caught into more arm drags but Charlotte comes back to the offense and lights Rousey up, getting a moonsault out as Flair takes over for a bit but, Ronda showing that she has more wrestling knowledge and even starts taking Charlotte for a fight while in a tree of woe and does a super Arm Drag to Charlotte to maybe damage the arm more, hitting her Swinging Samoan Drop and a possible Armbar but Charlotte grab the ropes, boots Ronda away and we are even yet again.

As more fighting back and forth, each woman setting for an Ankle Lock, Ronda catches Charlotte into the bottom corner, catching a second wind now as she tries to get the Flying Armbar started but Flair is too strong and powerbombs her down to get another nearfall. Ronda catches Charlotte and goes for an armbar but Charlotte counters to a Figure Four, that gets countered into a Grapevined Ankle Lock and Charlotte breaks it up with her long legs. Charlotte gets the Figure 8 in after countering an Armbar and somehow breaks out of the Figure 8 into an Inverted Deathlock as Ronda goes to the outside and Charlotte follows, attempting a moonsault but Ronda catches her with an armdrag to the outside. Ronda gets her bearings and gets caught to get an Exploder into the barricade.

The fight gets back into the ring and Ronda catches Charlotte in another Piper’s Pit and gets a three count but the referee sees the foot on the ropes and calls it off. The match goes on and there is a struggle for power, Charlotte hits a Natural Selection and goes for another Figure 4 but Ronda kicks her off into the referee and Ronda lands the Flying Armbar and notices the ref is down once Charlotte taps out. She goes to wake up the referee and gets a massive cheap shot with a boot and Flair retains.

The KO Show kicks off with a “We Want Austin” and KO starts to trash talk Texas a little bit until he introduces Stone Cold to the ring, insulting him prior to it thinking he won’t show up and thinks Stone Cold will just take the beating as we hear the glass shatter. 3:16 shirt on, jorts and the knee pa—knee pads… short wrestling boots? He walks back to gorilla and… here comes the ATV! He makes his normal salute to the fans, kicking down to KO Show posters and easels out of the way his entrance before KO cuts him off, saying it’s his show before Stone Cold decides to walk over and Owens starts to tell him what to do which the world knows… Stone Cold doesn’t take orders. He does sit shortly and starts to say that he is not here for a conversation as he runs down that he isn’t here just for talks. Kevin Owens starts to shit talk Texas again saying that everything is stupid and they should just move. Austin tells him that the world will call him an asshole and Kevin again makes another thing about why Canada is better and Owens says he lied to Austin and said he only did this because he is looking for a fight and CHALLENGES AUSTIN FOR A MATCH AND NOT JUST ANY TYPE OF MATCH, A NO HOLD BARRED MATCH!

Austin looks out, mean mugging the camera as Owens starts more shit talking saying Austin knows he is scared to fight KO and tells him to get out of the ring and go back to his ranch but Austin stares Owens down, the crowd on his back as Stone Cold speaks saying his first match was in Dallas and his possible last match could be in Dallas so he shouts, “If you want Stone Cold in a match give him a hell yeah!”

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kevin Owens-

They eye each other up and shit talk each other before they tee off and trade punches into the corner for Kevin Owens and getting a Mudhole Stomping down and flipping him off after, whipping him into the ropes, even asking for a beer to pour on KO and stomps yet another Mudhole in the sum-a-bitch and goes to the outside of the ring, getting another beer and lighting Owens up again with a Lariat and off the barricade. Stone Cold thinks things are coming up but he reverse a whip attempt into the post and starts to get the momentum and beating down Stone Cold with punches, the easel from the show and bringing out a table on the outside as Kevin tries to whip him into it and Austin goes through table but Austin reverses, putting Owens through the table and then over the barricade.

Watch close if you see @TheRealCPlatt because they are in the crowd and Kevin Owens reverses a Suplex on concrete to get something going for him in this pit of snakes with the crowd but Austin still fights back, shot after shot though, KO gets the better of him until Austin catches Owens on the barricade and tosses him on the table and grabs two more beers, chugs them down and begins a nice ground and pound beat down on the announce table. Grabs another beer, drinks yet another beer, spits some in KO’s face and gets him back into the ring. Owens tried to powder out and bait Austin into an attack on the ropes and gets it, trying to escape on the ATV. Austin gets out and starts beating up KO, driving the ATV to the top of the stage and suplexes KO on the stage, bounces his head off the ATV, goes to the other side for yet another Suplex.

Stone Cold tosses KO down the stage ramp, beating him down and taking him back to the ring, grabs two more beers, drinks both down as KO sees the amount of time taken and hits a Stunner on SCSA and only getting a two count. KO gets frustrated and grabs a steel chair, swings it and it bounces off the ropes, hits him in the head and Stone Cold goes up and flips him off and stuns him for one more Mania victory.

Aftermath: What do you think the aftermath is from a Stone Codl Steve Austin moment? Chug down them Steveweisers, Stone Cold IPAs, get that sum-a-bitch out of Stone Cold’s ring and that’s the Bottom Line cause Stone Cold said so. Oh and Bryon Saxton gets a stunner too.

Final Thoughts:

Okay… I was thoroughly impressed with Night One.

I noticed that something might have gone on too long and we lost New Day, Sheamus and Ridge but eh… its fine. Bianca gets her title off of Becky, Seth got his moment turned into a Nightmare, Charlotte proved why she is the Queen of all WWE and I never thought I would ever review a Stone Cold match but here I am. Day One of WrestleMania, WrestleMania Saturday, whatever they want to call it was damn good with some duds here and there but we have another day folks. I can’t just over shadow the next day. With that being said, you WILL see a Day Two out of the Trickster of Chairshot and I can guarantee that.


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Opinion

Greg DeMarco’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Reaction

It’s the Royal Rumble! A favorite of many fans, the Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. Greg DeMarco is here with his live reactions to the event!

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WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Results

It’s the Royal Rumble! A favorite of many fans, the Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. Greg DeMarco is here with his live reactions to the event!

The WWE Royal Rumble is upon us, and while the Men’s Royal Rumble Match isn’t for the World Heavyweight Championship like I suggested, it’s still the most anticipated event of the year.

Why? The Unknown.

That’s right–in this age of the internet (usually incorrectly) telling us everything it possibly can about what is going to happen in the world of wrestling, the Royal Rumble stands out because despite what we’re told (or, more importantly, what we choose to listen to), the event is always full of fun and surprises.


Check out Steven Mitchell’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Results & Review!


Women’s Royal Rumble Match

  • They really are driving home the “main event WrestleMania” point this year–strengthens my thought that women will main event Night 1. Triple H would catch a ton of heat if he keeps women out for the third straight year.
  • NAOMI! Good to see her back, and the emotional response she had.
  • Love Michael Cole calling out Naomi’s time in TNA, and recognizing her as a former Knockouts Champion.
  • Entering #3 doesn’t bode well for Bayley. I honestly don’t think she is gonna win.
  • JORDYNNE GRACE! I saw the reports earlier today. This is a much bigger deal than Mickie James, because Mickie was a returning legend.
  • “TNA HAS A WEAPON!” So glad to have Pat McAfee on the call.
  • Honestly, Jordynne Grace belongs in WWE.

  • Asuka comes in, and they sell the surprise of Bayley. STORYTELLING, people!
  • Something tells me when we get Kairi Sane in there, The Kabuki Warriors will eliminate Bayley.
  • Ivy Nile enters, and I immediately want to see her go toe-to-toe with Jordynne Grace.
  • What if they pulled some crazy sh*t and had Jordynne Grace win???
  • Just step through the ropes next time, Bianca.
  • When I first saw the C4 clock, I thought I would get tired of it But I am already used to it.
  • Here’s Kairi Sane, time to set the plan into motion!
  • This crowd does not appear to like Tegan Nox.
  • Welp, there goes my idea o Asuka and Kairi eliminating Bayley.
  • That was a hell of a way for Jordynne Grace to go out.

  • I think Michael Cole secretly loves to call a Meteora.
  • There’s a reason Maxxine Dupri doesn’t wrestle much.
  • That tandem Code Red was very Young Buckish. And that’s not a compliment.
  • Hair,…gear…this might be the messiest Royal Rumble yet.
  • Ah, here comes the winner, Becky Lynch (I am calling Becky eliminates Bayley to win her second Royal Rumble).
  • LOVE the scoreboard of time in the Rumble for selected wrestlers.

  • R-TRUTH?!?! (Funny story, it was Truth’s spot that Nia Jax took in 2019.)
  • If you push Mia Yim, she’ll take it further than you could imagine.
  • “How is everybody the most athletic person on Earth?” – Pat McAfee
  • Surprising that Roxanne Perez, at #27, is the first NXT entrant. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Tiffany Stratton of Blair Davenport since we only have 3 more to come.
  • Amazing reaction for Jade Cargill. Give her time, she’s definitely going to be a huge star.
  • JUST GIVE HER TIME.
  • Seriously, Nia Jax had to help Jade eliminate her–A LOT.

  • Greg Was Wrong: It is indeed Tiffy Time in the Royal Rumble.
  • Back to Jade–she is insanely over.
  • I know it won’t be, but this should be Tiffany Stratton’s official main roster call-up.
  • Liv Morgan returns at #30, and good for Liv. She nearly went wire-to-wire last year.
  • Liv Morgan: “Thank you!” Pat McAfee: “No problem.”
  • Tiffany Stratton eliminating Roxanne Perez is, to me, an invitation for a match with them on Raw this Monday.
  • Still love the scoreboard as Naomi passes an hour.
  • The camera is catching a lot of in-ring communications right now.
  • And Jade Cargill eliminates my pick to win. Bye Becky.
  • Jade Cargill in the final three of the Royal Rumble (with Liv Morgan and Bayley) is huge for her.
  • Hell of a debut for Jade Cargill.
  • And a huge win for Bayley.

Winner of the 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble Match: Bayley (eliminating Liv Morgan to win)

Fatal 4-Way Match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Randy Orton vs AJ Styles vs. LA Knight vs. Roman Reigns (champion, with Paul Heyman)

  • Glad to see AJ Styles got his tights back. Pants AJ Styles (but still with the football gloves) was not working. Not just bring the beard back to your face Allen–the think beard also ain’t working.

  • Pat McAfee campaigning for Roman Reigns to be given at least a 26% chance is amazing.
  • Say what you want about LA Knight, he’s a damn star and totally belongs in this match.
  • Roman completely sandbagged Randy on the table drop. I don’t think it was on purpose, but he definitely didn’t jump.
  • Roman Reigns is very much like Gunther in that he does the simple things SO WELL, like a jumping clothesline. That’s how you do it.
  • Yes, I compared Roman Reigns to Gunther. Don’t @ me, I’m right.

  • RKO City, Bitch.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here’s Solo! (At some point, Solo will get tired of saving Roman’s ass.)
  • Solo ’bout to go through that barricade.
  • Solo indeed went through that barricade.

  • Yes, we had the Solo interference mid-match, but honestly in the end Roman won that clean.

Winner, #ANDSTILL your Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns

WWE United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Logan Paul (champion)

  • Kevin Owens wearing Zubaz shorts in the Performance Center fight makes me very happy.
  • Logan Paul talking about a full time run, and now he’s putting on size.
  • Logan’s headband didn’t list very long.
  • I honestly hate it when modern-day wrestlers bust out a crotch chop.
  • If you were watching the Royal Rumble and didn’t know who Logan Paul was, you’d just assume he was a pro wrestler. That says everything you need to know about how good he is at this.
  • ANOTHER crotch chop. Now we’re at 2 too many.

  • Cue the “Better Buckshot Than Hangman” tweets. But they might be right.
  • I love the idea of a Logan Paul, Austin Theory, and Grayson Waller stable.
  • C’mon, there’s NO WAY Ryan Tran could see the knucks on Kevin Owens’ hand given his placement. It’s the little things.
  • Finish here tells me we’ll see KO vs. Logan Paul again. I’d guess on TV, if not in Australia.

Winner by disqualification, #ANDSTILL WWE United States Champion: Logan Paul

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

  • Jey Uso coming at #1 was expected thanks to the internet reports. But I still think Jimmy should be #1 and Jey #2, for the reaction shots on Jimmy.
  • Grayson Waller talking himself to the ring is perfect.
  • “No Yeet!” Grayson is a brilliant performer. I’d make a Roddy Piper comparison here, but y’all would get at mad at me.
  • Good to have Andrade back in WWE. Great reaction for him when the mask came off.

  • SmackDown superstar Carmelo Hayes! I really really really hope Trick is also in this match, just for the chants.
  • Melo pointed to the sign, C’mon, man.
  • Do you send Andrade to Smackdown, or do you send him to Raw and let him do his own thing?
  • Oh goody, Karrion Kross is here. Yay.
  • (Yes, that’s sarcasm you read.)
  • Dominik Mysterio is so good. Give him time, he’s going to be a huge star.

  • The Royal Rumble was a great place for the Apple Spot.
  • Here comes Bob Lashley–please just eliminate Karrion Kross.
  • Lashley wearing the WrestleMania white gear more than 2 months early.
  • Austin Theory still gets his concussion effect entrance, despite it being the Rumble.
  • What if–hear me out now–Finn Balor wins the Royal Rumble to get the shot at Seth Rollins, and Priest uses his briefcase to make that match a triple threat at ‘Mania?
  • I know he didn’t, but it sure looked like Jimmy was swerving while he drives in that interaction with Gunther.
  • Kofi did tell us the Rumble Magic wasn’t happening anymore.
  • Give me Ivar vs Gunther!
  • Bron Breakker is a star. It’s inevitable.
  • Of course Omos would be in the Rumble. Good to see MVP on my TV as well.
  • “I didn’t know humans came that big!” – Pat McAfee
  • I half think Pat McAfee didn’t know he was entering the Rumble.
  • Nice moment for Bron Breakker eliminating Omos. WrestleMania match?
  • R-Truth trying to get Dominik (Tom or Nick?) Mysterio to tag him in is brilliant.
  • DOM MADE THE TAG!!!
  • “And now R-Truth is the legal man.” – thank you Michael Cole.
  • Michael Cole delivers multiple TNA references tonight, along with a Dolph Ziggler reference. God Bless Michael Cole.
  • Imagine for a second that this was CM Punk’s actual WWE return.
  • The reaction to Drew McIntyre’s entrance is a reminder that they don’t actually need him.
  • Sami Zayn enters at #30, also known as “Not The Rock.”

  • In the ring, Drew McIntyre is amazing. Just keep the microphone away from him. (And stop the damn counting!)
  • And there goes my choice for the Men’s Rumble!
  • Love having both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in the press boxes watching to see who wins.
  • Punk kinda looks like Chris Jericho in there. Seriously.
  • Between Punk and Cody, Cody is the right choice. I really don’t want to watch Punk right now–he needs to hit the cardio, and hard. Given Seth Rollins’ injury and Punk’s conditioning, WWE would be smart to make the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 40 a multi-man match.

Winner of the 2024 Men’s Royal Rumble: Cody Rhodes


Overall thoughts on the 2024 WWE Royal Rumble

For at least the second straight year, the Men’s Royal Rumble Match was kinda disappointing. Not the result–that’s fine. But the match itself. It just wasn’t nearly as exciting as the Women’s. Of the four matches, I would place it 4th in terms of enjoyment.

Great moments for both Bayley and Cody Rhodes. Logan Paul continually shows that he deserves to be considered a pro wrestler, not a celebrity who is wrestling. Pat McAfee is a joy on commentary. Jordynne Grace is a WWE Superstar, regardless of what company she is signed to. Bron Breakker is a star.CM Punk is very out of shape. Cody Rhodes is about to become THE guy, and he deserves it.

Overall I give the event a thumbs up, but they have to do something about the Men’s Royal Rumble Match moving forward.


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Opinion

WWE Raw Heads To Netflix: What Does It Mean?

Monumental news drops as WWE RAW is moving to Netflix. Is it truly a game changing move? Greg DeMarco analyzes this shift for the TV wrestling business.

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WWE Logo Metalic

Monumental news drops as WWE RAW is moving to Netflix. Is it truly a game changing move? Greg DeMarco analyzes this shift for the TV wrestling business.

Being a wee little kid in the 80s, I am “lucky enough” to remember having 3 TV channels, and my dad explaining what an 8-track is, how shocked I was when I say a laser disc for the first time, when I bought a 6 CD changer, installed my own car stereo, and all the way up to the fact that I have now been watching WWE pay-per-view/premium live events on the WWE Network and Peacock for 10 years. Hell, in the same month (February 2014) I signed up for the WWE Network, cut the cord to drop cable and got Sling TV. I have since moved onto YouTube TV which is highly recommended.

Over the last two years the NFL has put Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, simulcast to various streaming services, and less than 2 weeks ago put a playoff game exclusively on streaming when a Wildcard Weekend showdown between the Chiefs and Dolphins was only shown on Peacock.

And now it’s fully permeated into pro wrestling.

WWE and AEW are both in the midst of a very important time on the business side, with all of their TV rights up for grabs. The first domino fell when SmackDown On FOX became SmackDown on USA Network, and soon after we learned that WWE NXT was moving to broadcast television and joining The CW (which is also rebranding, but just to CW).

The AEW suite of programming that includes Collision, Rampage, and their most successful show Dynamite is up for renewal with Warner Bros/Discovery, and Tony Khan has been optimistic about the relationship and potentially an increase in rights fees.

That brings us to Tuesday morning, and the likely groundbreaking WWE announcement that Raw is moving to Netflix, starting in January 2025. Triple H tweeted that they’re changing the game, and TKO President and COO Mark Shapiro (who knows a thing or two about shifts in media consumption) used the word “transformative” in his statement, and I really think he couldn’t be more right.

But what does it all mean?

Wrestling Remains A Strong Media Product

I have been claiming this for over a year now. As many online will cite a decline in TV viewership for both WWE and AEW, the TV product has been a strong value to networks. Even in dropping SmackDown, FOX themselves said they didn’t pump enough resources into the show, and that the advertising return wasn’t what they wanted. That doesn’t mean the product (TV value, we’re not talking about creative here) isn’t strong. It’s so strong that USA Network picked up SmackDown for $280 million per year, giving WWE an increase over the FOX deal. CW is paying $20-$25 million annually for NXT, and now Netflix is paying $500 million for RAW.

Why? Because wrestling isn’t just a strong media product, it’s consistent. And that is key.

Look at this quote from Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria:

“Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”

Now cross reference that with a comment from CW President Dennis Miller from back when the CW/NXT deal was announced:

“We are thrilled to welcome the WWE brand into the CW Sports portfolio as they play an integral role in our mission to bring live sporting events to the network year-round.”

What do those statements have in common? The year-round, 52-week nature of wrestling programming. It’s an unbeatable value for networks. It’s cheaper than a deal with a major sports league, and it’s not finite. Wrestling joins news, talk, and sports talk as the only year-round programming available to networks. And WWE and AEW have shows that essentially always land in the Top 5 after you factor out live sports. You can’t beat it.

What Does This Mean for Netflix?

Don’t get it twisted, this is also a huge leap for Netflix. Prior to the WWE Raw deal, Netflix has only experimented with live events, streaming the live Chris Rock “Selective Outrage” special, and showing The Netflix Cup live (a golf event featuring athletes from their F1 series “Drive To Survive” and their golf series “Full Swing).

WWE is the perfect partner for Netflix as it gets into live programming. It’s sports entertainment: sports like programming (which Netflix has done) that focuses on storytelling (which Netflix has obviously done). And no one does it better than WWE. It’s essentially plug-and-play for Netflix, the perfect solution for their live programming aspirations.

The perfect solution that they were willing to pay $5 billion for.

What Does This Mean for AEW?

The biggest risk to an AEW renewal with Warner Bros Discovery was WBD picking up WWE Raw–and that risk has been eliminated by Netflix. Don’t discount that fact–Netflix did Tony Khan a huge favor by throwing $500 million per at WWE. The path is clear for AEW to remain on the Turner networks.

But at what price?

I know I usually write as if I have all the answers, but I have zero idea either way on this one. WBD no longer has any other options if it wants to keep wrestling (except for TNA, who recently expressed a desire to be on a bigger network), and AEW (at least, Dynamite) is a weekly Top 5 program for them on Wednesdays, on cable.

On the other hand, AEW doesn’t exactly have another network begging for their services. The reason WWE could get a yearly increase for Raw, SmackDown, and NXT is because it was truly a bidding war. Unless Tony Khan gets another network involved, any threat of walking away from a deal doesn’t really hold water.

So if I were a betting man (and who would ever bet on this) I would expect an announcement of a renewal for AEW and WBD relatively soon. We may not know the terms of the deal, I will take a shot in the dark and say that AEW gets a small increase (not the “nearly double” that had been reported last year).

Regardless of the increase (or not), given AEW’s recent attendance challenges, this likely renewal would have to be viewed as a win for the company.


Personally, this is simply an amazing time to be a fan. We’ve seen WWE go from one live TV show per week with Monday Night Raw, through the Monday Night Wars, the addition of SmackDown and later NXT, to being this global juggernaut that is commanding half-a-billion dollars per year for Raw. I also think this makes Raw the flagship once again. All of this comes after Vince McMahon is largely out of power, Triple H has taken over creative (and holds a pretty good success rate so far), and the company was sold to Endeavor, and merged with the UFC as a business entity under the TKO banner.

If you know me, you know I am a huge follower of the business side of the wrestling business. I often care less about WHAT wrestling companies do, but HOW they do it. I have always gravitated towards that, since middle school. And for the past near 24 months, I have been like a kid in a candy store.

The Peacock deal for the WWE Network runs out in 2026, right? The fun never stops!


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