Since so far I’ve covered only the PPVs and the special episodes, and only in form of reviews, I decided to have a weekly column commenting the week in WWE and, if noticeable, the other companies.
Here’s are the notable news from this week in WWE.
Ronda Wasn’t on TV
Despite her shocking debut at the Rumble, Ronda Rousey wasn’t on either Raw or SmackDown Live.
Just to be clear: it’s not because she signed a part-time contract. She indeed signed a full-time contract for several years (so we can assume is at least 2 years), but she has to finish a movie before fully commit to her new life.
In fact, she wasn’t lying to TMZ when she said she was going to Colombia. She is shooting Mile 22, starring alongside Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich, and directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Patriots Day). According to Triple H, she’ll be done in mid-February.
It’s 100% safe to say the film is the reason why she wasn’t able to compete in the Rumble match, as the insurance companies of the films strongly advise against any physical activity that might hurt the talent, which could cause not only insurance problems but also logistic ones as the shooting days have to be re-arranged.
That’s the reason why The Rock’s involvement at WrestleMania 34 is up in the air. Ronda is in fact scheduled to tag with The Great One against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – the problem is that Dwayne will be shooting Disney’s Jungle Cruise in May. Disney has to give the green light the gig, but so far there’s no hope at the horizon.
Setting up the Elimination Chambers
This week’s Raw started setting up the Elimination Chambers at the next brand’s PPV, Elimination Chamber (duh). One will be valid for the right to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at WrestleMania, whereas the other will be valid for the Raw Women’s Championship.
While the Women’s Chamber was simply announced – which led up to a good match where Asuka defeated Sasha Banks because Sasha isn’t ready for Asuka (duh) – there was three qualifying match for the Men’s one.
Here are the result of those matches:
- The Last Man Standing Match between Braun Strowman and Kane ended in no contest as Braun buried the Big Red Machine under a piece of stage (literally). Braun qualified anyways. Because, you know, how can you tell that guy he didn’t win a match?
- Elias (!!!!) qualified for the Chamber when he defeated Woken Matt Hardy after Bray Wyatt distracted him, continuing the feud between the two.
- John Cena surprisingly defeated Finn Bàlor. Clean. I don’t understand why, but oh well. Good thing is that John acted as a heel like he did in the Rumble. Maybe… Nah. They will never turn him heel. But, he is rumored to go against Taker. And he needs to be the heel. So… Nah. They will never do it.
The other participants are rumored to be Roman Reigns (duh), Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (more on his injury below).
Setting up Fastlane… I guess?
Meanwhile, over at SmackDown Live, not a lot happened.
They started to set up the feud between AJ Styles and Nakamura, but it’s not full on yet. Why? Because what can be called the NJPW duo faced the two BFF (?) Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
But here’s the thing: next week, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will go one on one to determine the #1 contender for the WWE championship at Fastlane. 99.99% chance will end in a draw and we’ll have a Triple Threat Match.
Question is: who will face Nakamura for the #1 Contendership? My money is on Orton or Dolph Ziggler.
205 Live has a new GM
While I don’t really follow much 205 Live, the WWE Network exclusive show has a new GM: Drake Maverick, previously known as TNA’s Rockstar Spud.
Below you can see his debut, where he announces a 16-man tournament for the Cruiserweight Title culminating at WrestleMania.
Alicia Fox suffered a broken tailbone and will be out for months. As you noticed, she didn’t participate at the Royal Rumble and she won’t be part of the Mixed Match Challenge. Mandy Rose will take her place on the Facebook show.
Jason Jordan reportedly has a neck injury, so his participation at both Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania are up in the air.
Rumored WrestleMania Card
Here’s the currently rumored WrestleMania card:
- WWE Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns
- WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
- Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Nia Jax
- SD Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Asuka
- Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz (c) vs Braun Strowman
- Undertaker vs John Cena
- Ronda Rousey and TBD (either The Rock or Strowman) vs Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
- Seth Rollins vs Jason Jordan
- The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
- A Women’s Battle Royal
I don’t like the idea of Miz vs Strowman since it would need to be a squash and Miz does not deserve that. Also, Miz, depending on when Maryse will have to give birth, might miss the event.
I assume there will be at least one Tag Team Titles Match (a Ladder Match?) and hopefully a US Title Match.
Here’s all folks! See you next Friday!