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    Shawn Michaels AND The Undertaker set for a RAW appearance tonight.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Shawn Michaels AND The Undertaker set for a RAW appearance tonight.
    RAW throwing caution to wind in terms of ratings. Appearances from both Undertaker & Michael's shall certainly boost ratings at some point for the show. Also, one has to consider that their is College Football being aired simultaneously.

    It was also reported that Charlotte shall face Bayley on the show. As WWE attempt to retain the viewers attention, rather than have them switch to the college football play-offs.

    Ratings are now everything since Smackdown beat RAW. Essentially they should use this as a catalyst to begin a brand ratings war. Just anything to make the product interesting overall.
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    It'll lead to a one night ratings boost because people will tune in to see what happens. If they want to sustain it for more than this week creative need to do something interesting with them tonight or people will tune back out
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    Well, what an odd episode of RAW. We saw plenty of good things - and things the WWE did well - but, likewise, there were plenty of missteps.

    The usual cluster**** of an opening segment was altered somewhat, having Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman tear through each other backstage, a brawl which spilled out onto the main arena, where Roman Reigns was taking on Jeri-Ko in a 2-on-1 Handicap match for the US Championship. The match was called off and re-arranged for later on in the night, where Jericho lifted the strap to relinquish Reigns of his championship. That's a really, really smart piece of booking from WWE, who can have Reigns take the Universal belt at the Rumble. And Jericho has finally won the one championship that eluded him throughout his career.

    WWE Creative has shown an unwavering support for Reigns, and losing a secondary championship ahead of the Royal Rumble leaves him free to take the top belt. Not only would Owens losing at the Royal Rumble give Reigns the Universal Championship, but it also builds to the inevitable Jericho vs. Owens matchup. As for Reigns, he's then free to battle the winner of the Rumble, Strowman, Goldberg, Lesnar, a returning Balor going forward. Perhaps the most interesting match-up would be Reigns vs Rollins, with the former embracing the dark side.

    Elsewhere, we saw Rollins and Strowman fight to a double count-out - and it was decent storytelling from Creative, who had Rollins act as the small man trying to topple Goliath with all the energy he could muster. The latter is looking like an A-star player these days, and he must be a dark horse for the Rumble on January 29. We then saw two returns - the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels - which had varying degrees of quality.

    The Undertaker's return was handled perfectly - simple, succinct and to the point - with the Deadman entering the Rumble, but the Michaels return was a waste of time. He delivered a Sweet Chin Music to Rusev, who came out to interrupt him. Rusev and Lana were ringside as Big Cass, with Enzo in a wheelchair, picking up the win against Jinder Mahal in a continuation of a feud benefiting from nobody. And, what's worse, is that Rusev was sacrificed to make a Hall of Famer look strong. Again.

    There were some good match-ups last night - notably Neville vs Lince Dorado, with the latter submitting after Neville deployed a submission manoeuvre. I was also a fan of Sheamus defeating Luke Gallows, with Karl Anderson on commentary. Cesaro and Anderson clashed, allowing Sheamus to pick up the W. We also saw Jack Gallagher beat Drew Gulak before calling out Ariya Daivari on 205 Live after the match.

    Less pleasing was the New Day segment, which saw them mock Titus O'Neil once more. Frustrated and angry, O'Neil lashed out, only to be challenged to a match by Kofi Kingston, who picked up a win within a minute.
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    Taker wins the Rumble and Cena wins the title and all roads lead to WrestleMania!

    I don't want to see Roman win the title but they need to get it off Owens. They can't go into Mania season with the least effective world champion in the WWE history as champion.
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    Kenny Omega on WWE: "I'm leaving to consider my options. Returning so quickly after a huge loss would be unwise. I'm finding my next plan of attack in wrestling rather than blindly rushing forward just to be in a ring. I fear that everyone has taken my words too literally. Yes, I'm out of the country and off of shows, but I haven't signed any new contracts yet. I didn't want to hang around and take part in meaningless matches. I'm only interested in changing the business, so I'm thinking about what's next."
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    Well the Kenny Omega rumors are very divisive right now. Personally I am very torn and hope he does debut at the Royal Rumble, it just won't happen. It seems far too early for him to depart NJPW. He claims he wants to change the business, thus going to WWE in retrospect won't justify that statement.
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    According to Dave Meltzer Kyle O'reilly is heading to WWE. Also Adam Cole is reportedly LIKELY to follow suit, however he cannot open contract discussions until May 31st. Furthermore the exodus of ROH talent continues as the company has been handed a lot of notices.

    Adam Cole would be perfect in NXT. He suits American wrestling far more, watching Wrestle Kingdom I don't think New Japan fans were too invested in him. One could argue "He only just regained the ROH World Title" but he can lose it to anyone. Cole would be popular down in NXT, giving the NXT Title would be great.
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    (Original post by Greedoshotfirst)
    Well the Kenny Omega rumors are very divisive right now. Personally I am very torn and hope he does debut at the Royal Rumble, it just won't happen. It seems far too early for him to depart NJPW. He claims he wants to change the business, thus going to WWE in retrospect won't justify that statement.
    He's under contract with New Japan until January 31st so there's no chance he can legally appear at the Rumble.

    The earliest he could show up on WWE television would be the 2/6 Raw in Portland OR. But I very much doubt that will happen. If he signs at all I think there will be a gap and then probably an NXT run.
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    Kenny Omega in NXT would be great. On a more realistic note, I really hope Adam Cole signs with WWE. He has such a potential to really get over down in NXT.
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    United Kingdom Championship first-round matches are:

    Tyler Bate vs. Tucker
    Jordan Devlin vs. Danny Burch
    Trent Seven vs. HC Dyer
    Wolfgang vs. Tyson T-Bone
    Mark Andrews vs. Dan Moloney
    James Drake vs. Joseph Conners
    Pete Dunne vs. Roy Johnson
    Saxon Hudley vs. Sam Gradwell
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    Yet again, SmackDown Live puts RAW to the sword. The blue brand is providing us with less time, less filler, more meaningful segments and more meaningful matches.

    We saw Dolph Ziggler continue his descent into pure, out-and-out heel. His heel turn is actually very reminiscent of Neville's over on RAW/205 Live. It's simple, but incredibly effective right now. And it proves that, even with the smallest character change, a character/wrestler can be revitalised. Ziggler lost to Kalisto on Tuesday night, causing him to snap, before he attacked both the masked cruiserweight and Apollo Crews - who came out to save Kalisto - with chairs. On Talking Smack post-SmackDown Live, Ziggler confirmed he was entering the Rumble.

    Elsewhere, American Alpha defeated The Wyatt Family Tuesday night on SmackDown to retain the titles. After the match, an angry Luke Harper looked to take out his rage by superkicking Randy Orton, only to misfire and hit Bray Wyatt. The dissension continues to be teased - like Jeri-Ko over on the red brand - and it was followed up by a solid main event, John Cena overcoming Baron Corbin in a well-paced bout which was let down by a lack of time (only 10 minutes) and a predictable finish.

    To kick off the show, Dean Ambrose announced he would be entering the Royal Rumble match, before the Miz interrupted and confirmed the same. Both characters laid out their love for the Intercontinental Championship during the Ambrose Asylum opening segment. Ambrose is clearly having a blast, and his reign will hopefully revitalise him going forward. The Miz, meanwhile, has added credibility to the secondary title - and deserves a run in the main event going forward, in my view. He's a heck of a performer, in a real moment and enjoying some of his best work to date. Let's get him as high up the card as possible, allowing Ambrose to freshen up the secondary title scene.

    On 205 Live, meanwhile, Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander looked to settle their feud over Alicia Fox this week with a singles match. Before they got started, Dar gave a quick promo trying to woo Foxy again. It was a bizarre end, with Fox dragging Dar out of Alexander's way when he tried to hit a top-rope manoeuvre, which culminated in Dar winning. After the match, we saw Fox slap Dar - and Alexander break up with her - so it's fair to say the storyline is going to drag on.

    In a much better match (in terms of length, quality and everything) was The Brian Kendrick's win over Sean Maluta, with the former champion hitting the ring to discuss Tajiri's return and green mist antics from last week to kick off the segment. Later in the night, Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari came out for the parlay they agreed to Monday night, but it quickly descended into "fisticuffs", setting up an "I Forfeit" match going forward (basically the same as "I Quit" but more British, I guess).

    The main event saw Rich Swann overcome Tony Nese in a warm-up before he faces Neville, and post-match, he gave a promo addressing Neville, which brought him out to respond. Swann clearly isn't the best on the mic, and he's best being kept away from it right now. He needs to name his finisher, too.
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    Anyone else listen to Alex Riley on JR's podcast? Obviously he did not shed any light on the rumors of heat between himself and John Cena. But we did learn that something went on, I guess it was more than obvious. This is the inner mark of me coming out, I sure as hell cannot wait to see what Riley has to say about Cena........ it has the potential to be the best shoot ever.
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    (Original post by Greedoshotfirst)
    Anyone else listen to Alex Riley on JR's podcast? Obviously he did not shed any light on the rumors of heat between himself and John Cena. But we did learn that something went on, I guess it was more than obvious. This is the inner mark of me coming out, I sure as hell cannot wait to see what Riley has to say about Cena........ it has the potential to be the best shoot ever.
    I doubt it'll be anything juicy, Cena is notoriously insecure and petty. His idea of, I quote, "punishment" will be the interesting part as to how childish it got, so far we know he went through Riley's bags and pretended he found supplements and mocked him for it. All things grown adults of sound mind would do to a co-worker...

    He also stopped JTG merch because he used the words 'respect' and 'loyalty' in a magazine interview once.
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    I KNOW YALL HATE ME FOR SAYING THIS. BUT WWE ENDED IN 2013. MOST OF THE GOOD WRESTLERS ARE GONE. WHERES MY GIRL MICKEY JAMES, MICHELLE MCOOL, KELLY KELLY, MELINA AND ALL THOSE DIVAS and THE MEN- BETH PHOENIX, EDGE, KANE, THE BOOGEY MAN. ITS ALL


    GOOOOOONE
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    Yeah wasn't it Cena who tried to get Punk from stop wearing t-shirts back-stage? Guy is petty as ****, but that's likely why he's got to where he is.
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    I have a ridiculous crush on Becky Lynch, I don't even know why. Not even as in I wanna bang her and perv over her Instagram. This must be what being a teen girl who watches Twilight feels like. *sigh*

    But her entire WWE/NXT career seems to be built on losing every match.
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    WWE are taking WM back to New Orleans.

    Dave Meltzer noted on an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio earlier this week that it's all thinks to a big push from city officials.

    New Orleans officials reportedly wanted WrestleMania back in their city as part of the city's tricentennial. The city will celebrate its 300th birthday in 2018, and this cross-promotional opportunity was enough to convince WWE to bring the Showcase of the Immortals back to Louisiana.

    Meltzer noted that as many as 15 other cities were in the running (including Philadelphia and St. Louis), but none could offer what New Orleans could.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    WWE are taking WM back to New Orleans.

    Dave Meltzer noted on an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio earlier this week that it's all thinks to a big push from city officials.

    New Orleans officials reportedly wanted WrestleMania back in their city as part of the city's tricentennial. The city will celebrate its 300th birthday in 2018, and this cross-promotional opportunity was enough to convince WWE to bring the Showcase of the Immortals back to Louisiana.

    Meltzer noted that as many as 15 other cities were in the running (including Philadelphia and St. Louis), but none could offer what New Orleans could.
    I do wonder when MSG will host Wrestlemania again?
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    I wonder when Wembley will.
 
 
 
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