Holidays are relative. For most, it means surrounding yourself with family and friends, enjoying eachother’s company. For others, it means piling into moderately full second story pub to watch the Royal Rumble. I did both, and however you viewed the Royal Rumble, it was a phenomenal way to cap off a stellar, wrestling centric Janurary.
Both NXT Takeover: Philidelphia and the Royal Rumble were phenomenally presented and intelligently put-together, and both have potential impacts on the main roster in the coming months. With that in mind, let’s take a look at tonight’s episode of RAW!
A Quick (Royal Rumble) Recap
- Bobby Roode def. Mojo Rawley to retain U.S Championship
- The Revival def. The Club
- AJ Styles (C) def. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens to retain WWE Championship
- The Usos (C.) def. Benjamin and Gable to retain SD! Tag Team Championships
- Shinsuke Nakamura wins Men’s Royal Rumble
- The Bar def. Rollins and Jordan (C.) to win Raw Tag Team Championships
- Brock Lesnar def. Kane and Braun Strowman to retain Universal Championship
- Asuka wins Women’s Royal Rumble Match
This Week’s Predictions
To nobody’s real surprise, Asuka took home the win in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble.
What was surprising was an unexpected debut - Ronda Rousey’s. Many speculated that she’d make her entrance at number 30, but a returning Trish Stratus took that spot. Rousey’s big name appeal and UFC background guarantee that she will have a prominent Wrestlemania match - but against whom? 3 options exist. Asuka, though she’s the strongest contender to face Alexa Bliss. Charlotte works; even if the previously planned “4 Horsewomen vs 4 Horsewomen” match has been scrapped, there’s a strong appeal behind it. Or will Ronda and a partner (the Rock…?) take on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H? This was apparently the plan 3 or 4 years ago, but with Rock’s filming commitments and Rousey still at the top of UFC, it was a long shot, but it seems like it could easily come together now. If the Rock doesn’t work out…
On the opposite side of the gender spectrum (or on the same side, or midway, who knows), the men’s Royal Rumble winner was Shinsuke Nakamura. Not my pick to win (you can probably guess who was) but hey, congratulations. The appeal only grew after he announced his choice of an opponent immediately after winning, setting up the first official Wrestlemania 34 match - AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura.
On the loser’s side of things, Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan were defeated by the Bar and lost their RAW Tag Team Titles, though it was more or less a handicap match. An apparently injured JJ never stepped foot in the ring, leaving Rollins alone to take on both Cesaro and Sheamus. Rollins and Jordan’s partnership has been tenuous at best, with their tag title victory being more or less a lucky win. When will they use their guaranteed rematch, if ever? Who knows? I don’t. Another loser, the Roman Reigns was the last man eliminated from the Royal Rumble, and lost the Intercontinental Title to The Miz on last week’s episode of RAW. The Big Dog has yet to use his guaranteed title match, and has nothing else happening for him, so the possibility exists that he’ll face The Miz tonight.
Braun Strowman and the goddamn demon from Hell KANE lost their respective match last night, but they are not losers.
You wonder where the Demon Kane will go. He’s got a lot going on right now. But Braun Strowman wasn’t pinned last night. He still has a claim to the Universal Title. And he got rocked in the jaw by Brock Lesnar - not something to be happy about. Braun’s time on RAW is always used well - we can only imagine what he’ll do with it tonight.
What are you hoping to see tonight? Air your thoughts in the comments section below. See you next week!