Asuka confirmed to be going to RAW when she returns from injury; Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte being set up

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…Boy, WWE sure didn’t keep us waiting on this bit of news: It was announced during tonight’s episode of RAW that the former Undefeated NXT Champion will debut on Raw “soon”. They left this off live programming but Asuka is recovering from wear and tear currently but will likely make her debut in a few weeks.

My guess is they will wait until after No Mercy and Hell in a Cell. Assuming she debuts as a Face, Nia Jaxx will lilely walk out of the RAW-exclusive No Mercy with the Women’s Championship.

Why?

Because of this matchup being built by WWE.com:

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…I think we can assume the match WILL happen and likely soon. WWE wouldn’t “tease” this themselves unless they know 100% they can or already got Rousey to commit to an actual match.

A few sources reported last week Rousey has been working out with The Brian Kendrick in recent weeks in preperation for her eventual WWE debut. Let us not also forget Ric Flair revealed in a recent interview (before he was hospitalized) he would like to see Rousey fight his daughter. Looks like it’s gonna happen. My guess is the match will likely happen at Survivor Series. That makes the most sense. It could happen at the Smackdown-exclusive Hell in a Cell PPV but they’ll likely want to use a few weeks to build the match.

The obvious question then becomes how do they use Ronda until her match? She would be a HUGE draw on Smackdown even just building her match with Charlotte. It would easily be a main event match as well because of Rousey being involved. Charlotte would obviously Heel turn for the match (she’s currently a Face) opposite Babyface Rousey.

Both the MMA and Wrestling worlds are anxiously awaiting the day we get to see Rousey step into the Squared Circle and dominate once again. Her MMA career is prettymuch done but a WWE run would make her relevant again. That’s what happened to Brock Lesnar when he went to UFC. When he returned to WWE 8 years later, he only had to say jump and Vince would ask “How high?” Rousey can easly have that same kind of pull in WWE.

Plus we all know it’s very likely we’ll see Rousey vs. Stephanie at Wrestlemania 34 next year.

 

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Asuka confirmed to be going to RAW when she returns from injury; Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte being set up

10 Years Ago, Floyd Mayweather vs. The Big Show headlined Wrestlemania XXIV

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As everyone knows, Floyd “Money” Mayweather will step in the ring for the 50th time with UFC’s Connor “The Beast” McGreggor. 10 years ago, Boxing’s only undefeated fighter steppd into the WWE Ring:

 

…In case you’re wondering, yes Mayweather broke his nose. In fact, it was his idea. A few years later, The Big Show, who was a Heel at the time revealed in an interview he spoke to Mayweather and flat-out told him to break his nose on purpose. If you watch his lips, you can see him literally say “break my nose”. Then you see Mayweather break his nose with the first punch.

You can watch the full match here:

 

…Mayweather got $20 Million for this match. Mayweather also had the benefit of having WWE handle all the marketing and promotions. All he had to do was show up. He would later say if The Big Show went full-power, the match would have been over in 3 minutes. As you can see, the match goes on for about 10 minutes. Clearly they wanted to give the people the benefit of a full match at Wrestlemania. The finish was the main reason why it was a No Disqualification Match with Knockout as an additional way to end it.

It was also after this fight The Big Show added the Knockout Punch to his toolbox as an homage to his Wrestlemania 24 opponent.

 

So, yeah. It wouldn’t be that big of a stretch if Mayweather takes Dana White up on his offer to have a rematch with McGregor in The Octagon. Same when Ronda Rousey (finally) signs up with WWE.

 

10 Years Ago, Floyd Mayweather vs. The Big Show headlined Wrestlemania XXIV

The Undertaker retires at Wrestlemania 33

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…The rumors turned out to be true: Wrestlemania 33 would be Mark Calloway aka The Undertaker’s last match of his career. The 52 year old Superstar was clearly given full control for what would be his final match on the stage that made him a legend. When it was announced Thursday that Jim Ross would be coming back to call one match, we knew it would likely be for one of three matches. It turned out it was ‘Taker vs. Reigns, which itself turned out to be the main event on the card (The other two possabilities being Lesnar vs. Goldberg and Orton vs. Wyatt). The clincher was when the match was made the main event over the 3 title matches before them in which a new Champion was crowned. (Lesnar, Orton and Naomi).

Anyone who’s followed The Undertaker’s career knows the laundry list of accomplishments credited to him name, most of which involve Wrestlemania. I won’t go over all of them but of course. ‘Taker holds two records that will probably never be approached: Most Wrestlemania matches (25) and longest Wrestlemania streak (21). His only losses were at WM30 vs. Brock Lesnar, who ended The Streak and this year at WM33 vs. Roman Reigns, who comes from a family of Wrestling Legends (Rikishi, The Rock and so on).

It would probably be accurate to say Vince McMahon allowed The Undertaker to choose his final opponent and where. He did pick Lesnar to be the one to end The Streak, after all. The Deadman had expressed a strong interest in working with Daniel Bryan a few years ago but due to a career-ending neck injury after Wrestlemania 31, D-Bry was off the table. Choosing The Big Dog was very symbolic.

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As was the promo for their match, ‘Taker chose Roman Reigns to be the new cornerstone of Wrestlemania. While I don’t see Reigns donnning ‘Taker’s gear and coming out to his music, he will become the new standard of greatness at Wrestlemania.

Simply having competed against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania would raise his profile but actually winning the match? The Roman Empire will now rule Wrestlemania for years to come barring the unforseeable. While it’s doubtful Reigns will compete in 20 more Wrestlemania matches, he will have alot of big ones. Last year’s match vs. Triple Hfelt stale compared to his singles debut at Wrestlemania 31 vs. Brock Lesnar.

Speaking of: Alot of folks were apparently expecting Roman Reigns to Heel turn during this match just like last year vs. The Game. I don’t see him becoming another John Cena but I think he will Heel turn before the year is over.

Undertaker Retires WrestleMania

The Undertaker had his last match  but I doubt we’ve seen the last of him. I would not be surprised at all if he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year. It would be fitting. The WWE allowed him to go out in style and to retire with dignity. Who can forget how The Deadman had to be carted out of the ring after Wrestlemania 28? That was perhaps when The Deadman truly realized he was running out of time.

There were rumors his match with Shane was supposed to be his final match but due to post-show rumors about him, it’s likely WWE Officials wanted things to be more definite this time. Man, what a send off. The picture above says it all. The Undertaker is now free to disappear into the sunset.

…I will talk about other Wrestlemania news and results in two separate posts throughout today and tomorrow by brand. Later today, I will do one for RAW. Tomorrow, I will do one for Smackdown.

 

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The Undertaker retires at Wrestlemania 33

This time, RAW and Smackdown are taking their time filling the card for Wrestlemania

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The Show of Shows is less than four weeks away and there’s been some pretty great buildups for the most part.

Here are the confirmed matches so far:

  • Brock Lesnar vs. Universal Champion Goldberg (Title Match): I doubt even WWE could have imagined 6 months ago this would be happening. A title being on the line just made this more interesting. Goldberg going in as the Universal Champion was likely set two weeks before Fastlane. That said, the title changing hands was long overdue. That said, this is going to be one hell of a match and the pressure is on to make it last more than a few minutes. The winner doesn’t matter as long as the match lasts longer than Goldberg’s last two matches did.
  • Kevin Owens vs. U.S. Champion Chris Jericho (Title Match): I’m glad KO finally dropped the belt and Jericho as not much was being done with him. He never defended the title cleanly (expected since he’s a Heel) but when Triple H stepped in last month, you knew change was (finally) coming. This match makes no sense but given the Universal Championship is now out of KO’s reach, he’ll have to wait for his opportunity to get it again.
  • Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. RAW Women’s Champion Bayley (Title Match): I get the feeling this will becoming a fatal four-way including Nia Jaxx before long. It would only make sense.
  • The Big Show vs. ????: The original plan was for the The Big Show to fight Shaquille O’Neal at Wrestlemania but according to Shaq, the match might not happen after all and it’s “out of his hands”. That usually means the problem is on WWE’s end. My guess is WWE probably wants The Big Show to put someone over at Wrestlemania. Either that or The Big Show might not be able to carry a full match at Wrestlemania.
  • Seth Rollins vs. Triple H: This is one of those feuds in which the line between Kayfabe and Reality is blurred. This match has been built since Triple H handed KO the Universal Championship 8 months ago. We won’t even known if Rollins will be healthy enough to compete at Wrestlemania until then. That’s how touch and go it is with him right now. It’s good to see they’re using the same strategy they used when Wade Barrett was recovering from a shoulder injury a few years ago and keeping Rollins visible.
  • Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker (23-1): We knew it was a done deal a few weeks ago. The match is now being built as of this week’s episode of RAW. This is a good opportunity for Reigns to Heel turn for the first time since The Shield break up, which I think this match is being built for.
  • Andre the Giant Battle Royale: We know it’s happening. That’s basically it so far. Smackdown’s Baron Corbin won the match last year.
  • Randy Orton vs. WWE Champion Bray Wyatt (Title Match): One of the three confirmed matches so far from Smackdown. Orton suddenly allying with Bray Wyatt after feuding with him was definitely strange. As everyone thought, it was all part of a bigger plan to book the two in a match for Wrestlemania only this time, it’s for the WWE Championship. Should Orton win the title, he will pass Triple H (also 12 title reigns) and be 3 wins behind Ric Flair and John Cena (tied at 16).
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexia Bliss vs. All (Title Match): Shane and D-Bry announced on the latest episode of Smackdown The Wicked Witch will face “All available Female Superstars from Smackdown”. The only person who won’t be there is Naomi, who was forced to give up the title due to injury two weeks ago.
  • Baron Corbin vs. Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose (Title Match): What happens when The Unstoppable Force meets The Unmovable Object? You get one hell of a match that’s what.

…Those are the confirmed matches so far. We could see Cena and Nikki team up to face The Miz and Maryse at Wrestlemania. I think that could be a real good match if it happens. I also think we will see AJ Styles make it to Wrestlemania. We’ll know in the next two weeks who his opponent will be.Save

This time, RAW and Smackdown are taking their time filling the card for Wrestlemania

Possible Wrestlemania matchups are starting to come into focus

According to a few sources within WWE, The Phenom vs. The Roman Empire at WM33 is “prettymuch set”. Vince McMahon has reportedly wanted to book them in a match for some time now. This seems to match rumors I heard last year ‘Taker was originally going to be Reigns’ opponent last year.

It ended up not happening as we know for two reasons:

  1. The Reigns/Triple H feud was going unexectedly well even though everyone knew Trips was just putting Reigns over.
  2. The creative team had to scramble to write Shane McMahon’s sudden return to WWE after a nearly 10 year hiatus. Since Vince was personally involved, they had no choice but to book Shane with The Undertaker. The buildup fell flat but the match itself was unexpectedly good.

…This will be a match for the ages. The foundation for their match at Wrestlemania was laid when Reigns eliminated The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble (See above picture). It’s just a matter of when in regards to when the buildup begins.

What would make this matchup real interesting: According to an interview by Roman Reigns himself, he might Heel turn real soon. That would make the buildup believable and his character has been teasing a Heel turn for some time now.

I think it’s a safe bet the match is a done deal. Even though it won’t be a title match, this time we can expect to see a full match between the two titans of destruction =O

…This was obviously being set up to happen but due to Seth Rollins re-injuring his surgically repaired knee (The same one that cost him 9 months from fall 2015 to Spring 2016), he may be out for up to 8 weeks (!) which means he’s definitely missing Wrestlemania. Ouch! He has not been medically cleared to compete in any live events since the injury on RAW.

WWE has promised to provide an update in the upcoming RAW episode. Should Rollins be shelved, WWE’s creative team apparently has a replacement match set to go…

…The match alot of insiders thought was actually going to happen at last year’s Summer Slam believe it or not. For those who don’t know, there is legit…”tension” is the word I’ll use between Triple H and Shane. Triple H and Stephanie feel threatened by Shane’s return to the company after being away for 7 years. While Shane was away,

Triple H and Stephanie worked their way up the corporate ladder both on and off-screen (By the way, Triple H is the Director of Talent Relations and the Principal Owner of NXT). Triple H’s brain child NXT moved WWE out of the PG Era and helped kick off the rebranding of the Women’s Division. The story goes, it was Stephanie who convinced Vince to trust Triple H and cut back on his on-screen appearances, allowing the company to move into The New Era.

Their concern–more specifically The Game’s–is the possability Vince might hand the company over to Shane. Shane wasn’t lying when he said he “never lost his place in line” this time last year on RAW. As far as I know, Shane does not hold any executive positions within the company aside from being the Smackdown GM since his return.

Should Rollins be shelved–and I don’t think WWE will rush him back for the match–then they will start building this instead.

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…We could see what WWE had planned for Seth Rollins and Finn Balor last year: NXT’s best brawler vs. The Face of WWE. Could be crazy but it could also be real interesting. That said, as of right now we still don’t know which roster Samoa Joe will be on yet. I don’t think that’s been set in stone.

That said, I do think it could be an interesting match. They both have crazy stamina and both have impressive mat skills to boot =O

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I only just heard about this possible matchup this morning: Bray Wyatt is apparently the favorite to win the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV later this month. He would then go on to face Randy Orton at Wrestlemania for the title.

Orton has been part od the Wyatt Family for the last three months. The Apex Predator is one of a handful of superstars who can be Over with the crowd weather he’s a Face or a Heel. We probably won’t see the buildup until after the Elimination Chamber match though.

 

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Possible Wrestlemania matchups are starting to come into focus

Former 1996 Olympic Athlete Kurt Angle to be inducted into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame

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This is easily the biggest surprise entrant in the history of the WWE Hall of Fame so far. Not because of who it is but why he left and where he went after he left WWE.

Kurt Angle.

Before Brock Lensar, John Cena and Randy Orton, there was The Gold Medalist. Kurt Angle, who wrestled for the Team USA at the 1996 Olympics and won Gold (“Where are YOUR Gold Medals?”) came to WWE in 1998. Angle came at just the right time: Shortly after his arrival, WCW’s Finger Poke of Doom happened (Their commentators announced in advance Mick Foley was going to win the WWE Championship, which ultimately cost them The Monday Night Wars). With their biggest competition beginning to tank and WWE asserting itself as the winner of The Monday Night Wars, Kurt Angle led the charge.

He did everything: Put over new talent, had title runs and took on all challengers. Folks need to be reminded of John Cena’s first match in WWE:

…if not for this match, John Cena would not have become a 15-time Champion. It can easily be argued John Cena owes alot to Kurt Angle on a professional level. You can easily see glimpses of the superstar Cena would go on to become not long after being put over by Angle this match and after it.

Angle spent most of his WWE career as a Babyface Heel. Unlike most of the other Heels who came before and after him, Angle was an athlete and he was so damn good both in the ring and selling a promo almost all of his wins as a Heel were clean wins.

By 2006 John Cena, Randy Orton, Dave Bautista and Brock Lesnar (before the latter two left) were major draws for the company and WWE was finding it harder to work The Olympic Athele in new storylines. After being sidelined with many injuries during the latter part of his career, he was quietly released from WWE in 2006.

His arrival on TNA later that year would prove to be the second wind he needed as a wrestler. Angle would go on to become the biggest superstar in TNA and would later be joined by other former WWE Superstars in Matt Hardy, Bubba Ray Dudley and more recently Cody Rhodes, Stu Bennett (Wade Barrett in WWE), Ryback and Aron Rex (Damien Sandow in WWE). The story goes AJ Styles and Samoa Joe both left TNA for WWE after talking to Angle.

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…It is worth noting, however Kurt Angle didn’t leave WWE on bad terms. In fact, he never spoke negatively about the company during his time with TNA. He still has alot of respect and class to say the least. Angle left TNA in 2015, announcing he was taking a year off from Wrestling but was prettymuch done with TNA. It goes without saying he’s trying to position himself for a possible return to the WWE. Angle was inducted into TNA’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

In an interview he gave last year, Angle said “it’s not a question of if he will return to WWE but when”. His induction into the WWE Hall of Fame being an olive branch aside, Angle did say he was very interested in having a match with Daniel Bryan. He also said he would like to have his final match with fellow TNA Alumn AJ Styles. I think it’s fair to say he will likely compete on Smackdown in that case (which he did during the first brand split).

Now that the way has been paved to make it happen, it’s a question now of when Angle himself will make his first WWE appearance in 10 years. I suspect it won’t be until after the Royal Rumble given he’s clearly looking to come back and perform. Me personally, he needs to be booked for a match John Cena. it would truly be an epic match to watch. Hell, book it for Summer Slam if not Wrestlemania =O

Former 1996 Olympic Athlete Kurt Angle to be inducted into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame

More Op-Eds urge Ronda Rousey to pursue a WWE Career

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…At this point, I think it’s only a matter of time.

After losing in her redebut match in 48 seconds at UFC 207, it’s become painfully clear to everyone–most importantly Rousey herself–her MMA days are over. Her best bet is to take her talents to WWE, which she is already on very good terms with. She has said in the past she’d like to compete in the WWE several times before. It’s not a matter of IF but WHEN at this point. She is a huge WWE fan after all.

Rousey famously appeared alongside The Rock, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a promo at Wrestlemania 31. If WWE isn’t on the phone with Rousey right now, they should be. Getting Rousey would probably kill TNA and bring in more UFC fans at the same time just to watch her.

Maybe even have her introduced as a Free Agent at Wrestlemania.  Steph and Shane come out and introduce her. Rousey comes out, crowd goes nuts. Rousey says she came for one purpose and that was to win the Women’s Championship. The current RAW and Smackdown Women’s Champions come out to size her up. Shane speaks up saying Rousey may have signed a WWE contract but she hasn’t signed with either brand yet.

The months leading up to Summer Slam, Rousey appears on both shows. Then she’s booked in a match against both Women’s Champions. She will join the show of whichever Champion she beats. However, she will go to opposite show of whichever Champion beats her.  THAT would be good booking.

Make it happen, WWE!

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More Op-Eds urge Ronda Rousey to pursue a WWE Career