Raw’s got a pay-per-view headlined by Goldberg this weekend, but don’t think that SmackDown is taking the week off. The blue brand has already announced three big matches for tonight’s show, plus one more segment that promises big WrestleMania implications.
The main event tonight will see AJ Styles take on Luke Harper to become #1 contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. If you’ve missed the last couple of weeks, Randy Orton gave up his Royal Rumble-earned opportunity to take on his mentor, Bray Wyatt for the title.
AJ and Luke were the last men standing in a battle royal to determine a new challenger, but that match ended in its fair share of confusion.
Much as I love AJ, the thought of a Wyatt Family triple threat at WrestleMania–made when Randy inevitably decides to turn on Bray–has me very excited. It’s also the most logical end point for this whole story.
Becky Lynch looks to finally settle things with Mickie James in a two-out-of-three falls match, and Dolph Ziggler is somehow still feuding with Apollo Crews–they’ll look for similar finality in a chair match.
Meanwhile, tensions are brewing between WWE’s biggest power couples. The Miz eliminated John Cena from the battle royal last week, and Maryse decided to attack Nikki Bella with a pipe. Now Cena will be making an appearance on Miz TV tonight.
We’d heard rumors that a mixed-tag match pitting the four against each other would be on the card at WrestleMania, and as unlikely as that seemed at the time it appears it’s actually happening.
We’ll have live coverage of the show as always, so stick around for the news! What are you looking forward to most tonight? Let us know in the comments, here or on Facebook!
Former WWE Diva’s Champion, Celeste Bonin, who went by the name Kaitlyn while in WWE, announced on her Instagram account that she is splitting up with her husband, PJ Braun. They got married in June of 2014.
Bonin stated in an Instagram post that she was hoping that the split would be amicable but stated that Braun took ownership of the domain name of her fitness clothing company, CelestialBodiez.com and then shut the website down. She noted that she has created a temporary domain for the website, CelestialBodiezz.com, and that she hopes to have the old domain name back in the next day or two. She also confirmed that Celestial Bodiez and Braun’s company, Blackstone Labs, will be divided.
You can check out the video here:
In July 2010, Braun signed a developmental contract with WWE. Later that year, she competed in and won the all-female third season of NXT, thus earning a spot on the main roster. Kaitlyn is most remembered for her time on SmackDown, where she aligned with her “bestie” AJ. As “The Chickbusters,” the two gal pals sought to run through the SmackDown Divas division. Kaitlyn won the WWE Divas Championship in January 2013 and held the title for five months.
On January 8, 2014, Kaitlyn lost to friend turned foe turned friend, AJ Lee and then decided to leave WWE.
You might have heard this one before. With “Wrestlemania XXXIII” coming up in just over a month, it’s high time that Brock Lesnar get back in the ring a little more often. That’s been the case at a few recent house shows and most of the time he’s been facing Big Show with the match ending in just a few seconds. It turns out that Lesnar was in town for “Monday Night Raw” this week.
According to 411mania.com, after the show went off the air, Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out and issued an open challenge for a fight. This led to Big Show answering the challenge and taking a quick F5 to leave him laying. This same scene took place last week and is basically the standard for a Lesnar appearance.
Opinion: Eh it’s the same thing as having Hulk Hogan come out for a five minute squash at the end of a marathon taping session. No one really expects Lesnar to do the main event of Wrestlemania out there but it’s cool to say you got to see him live. Sure we’ve covered Lesnar vs. Big Show many times but at least the fans are getting to see something special for their money.
The matches just keep on coming. Samoa Joe debuted a few weeks back and has taken “Monday Night Raw” by storm. He’s certainly a monster and when you need someone to stand up to a monster on the red show, there’s one name you can call. As luck would have it, that name has been called for a match at “Fastlane 2017”.
This week on “Monday Night Raw”, Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn was officially announced for “Fastlane 2017”. Samoa Joe attacked Zayn a few weeks back and defeated Cesaro tonight, followed by a promo talking about how no one could stand up to him. This brought Zayn out for a brawl which was quickly broken up by referees. You can read the full “Monday Night Raw” results here.
Opinion: If you want someone to look like they’ve been run over by a train and yet you still believe they have a chance to win the match, you bring in Zayn. Samoa Joe is going to destroy him and move on to something big at “Wrestlemania XXXIII” because he’s looking that awesome so far. Sometimes you just need a monster and that’s exactly what Samoa Joe has done while wearing a suit.
WWE rumors suggest that the company is planning something big for the RAW brand, and possibly Triple H would be responsible for the same by creating a new faction, something along the lines of Evolution.
The original Evolution comprised of Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista, and a young Randy Orton. Since the rumors of Triple H forming a new faction broke out, there has been wide speculation on the possible members.
Latest WWE rumors shed some light and nearly confirm the three members of the new faction. Triple H would take the role that Ric Flair held in the original Evolution, Kevin Owens who is the current Universal champion will be a lot like The Game, and Samoa Joe could have a role similar to that of Batista, beating down other superstars, as reported by ComicBook.
The fourth member of the Triple H’s new faction has not been revealed yet. Here is a look at five superstars who could possibly become the fourth member of the new faction.
Charlotte is one the top female wrestlers in the WWE at present and considering the fact that she is Ric Flair’s daughter, her chances of being the fourth member are quite high.
Charlotte’s inclusion will result in a Flair being back in the Evolution. Nothing will connect the new faction to the original Evolution better than Charlotte.
WWE rumors suggest that the company can include Charlotte as the fourth member to further revolutionize the women’s wrestling and to give more in-ring fights to her.
WWE rumors suggest that there is a possibility of Bobby Roode being a part of Triple H’s new Evolution. Roode is definitely one of the most glorious Superstars of NXT and in a way resembles Triple H during his prime.
A section of WWE fans want Roode to be a part of the main roster. For the company, it makes sense as he can help WWE in capitalizing on his NXT’s success.
At 40 years of age, Roode cannot be the top attraction at the main roster but can certainly help the company with the mid-card title scene.
Pete Dunne debuted last week at the NXT winning against Mark Andrews. Dunne is known for his work at the UK Championship Tournament held by WWE last month.
Dunne is known for winning matches at any cost and even jumping opponents before the match, a trait that could make him suitable as the fourth member of Triple H’ s new evolution.
Peter Dunne’s age also suggests a role similar to the one held by Randy Orton in the original Evolution. Orton was in his early twenties and was the youngest member of the group.
Finn Balor has been out of action since his injury at the SummerSlam last year, but WWE rumors of his return at the Wrestlemania33 have surfaced time and again.
Finn Balor has been Triple H’s biggest NXT signing to date and has received much credit for making NXT a brand that it is today.
In terms of in-ring abilities, Balor has a completely different style than both Owens and Joe. His inclusion will certainly help in creating a dynamic new faction.
Rusev has had a lot of ups and downs in the past few years. Since losing his title, there has been no clear direction for him, and WWE rumors suggest that he would be included in the new faction to give a new life to his character.
He has been considered as one of the top stars for WWE in past few years. Since his debut on the main roster in April 2014, Rusev has held The United States Champion title for a considerable amount of time before losing it to John Cena and later to Roman Reigns.
Triple H’s new faction can greatly benefit from the inclusion of a young wrestler like Rusev. It will also give WWE a new option of a superstar who can focus on the mid-card title on RAW.
That’s another one on the Non-Jericho list. With the women’s division on “Monday Night Raw” picking up as we head in to Wrestlemania season, it makes sense that we’ll be seeing more than one women’s match on a pay per view. Bayley vs. Charlotte for the Women’s Title is already set but this week on “Monday Night Raw”, Stephanie McMahon added another match to the “Fastlane 2017”.
On this week’s show, McMahon made Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax for the pay per view. This is fallout from earlier in the night as Banks and Jax were involved in a tag match along with Bayley and Charlotte as their respective partners. Banks had promised to be in Bayley’s corner when McMahon came up and announced the match.
Opinion: This isn’t much of a surprise as you can pretty easily see the rumored four way title match coming a mile away. The problem is this match has already been done a few times and it’s not like there’s much novelty to it. Banks is barely big enough to be a feasible threat to Jax but maybe they can pull it off.
They’re filling in the blanks. As we really start to crank up the new year, a lot of the pay per views are being announced. I’m sure you already know where the Big Four will be this year but there are a lot of other pay per views that need to be announced. As of tonight, we now know another pay per view’s details.
According to the Baltimore Sun, “Extreme Rules 2017” will take place at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland on June 4, 2017. This is the first WWE pay per view in Baltimore since “Payback 2015” and the second Extreme Rules ever in the city after “Extreme Rules 2010”. The announcement comes just a few weeks after the details for “Payback 2017” were announced. It was announced on “Monday Night Raw” that it will be a Raw show.
Opinion: Eh it’s always good to go back to an old wrestling town. I’m still waiting for a pay per view to come to my area but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. However, with all the new pay per views to fill in the calendar, there’s a chance that some smaller areas might get some pay per views.
That’s a good way to fire up a crowd. With WWE pay per views being limited to individual brands, some of the roster choices might seem a little odd at times. However, the cruiserweight division on “Monday Night Raw” has opened a few extra doors and allows for some extra matches. That’s the case this Sunday with the “Fastlane 2017” Kickoff Show.
This week on “Monday Night Raw” it was announced that Sunday’s Kickoff Show match will see Brian Kendrick team up with Noam Dar to face Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa. The match is half thrown together and half random as Kendrick and Tozawa have been having issues but Swann and Dar have only had a one off match a few weeks back.
Opinion: I’ve heard far worse ideas. These guys have stories and it’s a good way to get the crowd going to start a show. If they do this with about fifteen minutes to go before the pay per view stars, everything should be fine. They can all wrestle a more than entertaining match so let them go do their thing.
John Cena is very aware of all the rumor and innuendo that is associated with professional wrestling and/or sports entertainment, and he has incorporated it ever so subtlety into his storyline in any given year. Either by literally turning his heel on the canvas or addressing “Under-taker” chants from the live crowd, Cena is not naive to the profession of backstage reporting.
John has also certainly gotten to the point in his career where he doesn’t have to listen or succumb to any of it. As noted, upon his return to WWE programming after a nearly three-month hiatus in December, Cena was met with Undertaker chants from the audience. John acknowledged the chant and quickly changed the tune of his promo, saying that he wasn’t going to let speculation run his career or reports of him being damaged goods hurt his reputation.
It’s true that a WrestleMania match between John Cena and the Undertaker was on the table at one point — it was on the table for several years, as a matter of fact. However, once again, Vince McMahon scrapped those plans at some point in December, although it’s not clear whether that happened before or after Cena’s return and fiery address.
At that point, Cena was on his way to becoming a record-tying 16-time world champion. The John Cena-AJ Styles match at the Royal Rumble remains an early candidate for Match of the Year and still had fans and reporters believing that something big was on the horizon for his WrestleMania program. However, his reign lasted all of two weeks, as it became evident that WWE officials had plans for Bray Wyatt to ascend up the ladder and carry the title into Orlando on April 2.
It only took a day after the Royal Rumble for news to leak that Cena’s championship reign would only last a fortnight, and two days to uncover that his new proposed feud for WrestleMania was a bit of a head-scratcher. It would soon be revealed that the WWE was planning on having John team with his real-life girlfriend, Nikki Bella, to take on The Miz and his wife, Maryse, in a mixed tag team match.
That program started to come into focus at the Elimination Chamber. Maryse found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time during Nikki’s match with Natalya, both at the pay-per-view and on last week’s SmackDown. John Cena eliminated The Miz, both from the Chamber main event and the number one contender’s Battle Royal last week, to wit The Miz responded by sneaking back in the ring and returning the favor to Cena.
Cena is set to appear on MizTV this week, which should cement the program as they move toward WrestleMania. John was interviewed by Sports Illustrated recently and was asked about the rumors that have swirled around the idea of the mixed tag match that seems inevitable at this point, as reported by Daily Wrestling News.
“I know people have a perception of who I am. There is nothing I can say in this interview that changes that perception, but I’ll say this: I don’t pitch ideas, I don’t go and say, ‘This is what I would like to do.’ I’ve had tremendous success in being a versatile poker player, if that’s a good analogy. I get my hand told to me, and I play it the best I possibly can.”
John Cena, who has been on top of the WWE perhaps longer than any other superstar in the history of the company, is refuting what fans have thought to be true for over a decade. Creative control has been a widely-discussed topic among internet wrestling fans, with Cena’s most infamous example coming in 2010 when he refused to put The Nexus over at SummerSlam. However, Cena insists that the booking is not up to him, as he would continue.
“As far as WrestleMania is concerned, whatever I’m supposed to do I’m going to do to the best of my ability. I can reference last year as a great example. I was ready, healthy, and one-hundred percent activated by early March, and I was told that I would be assisting The Rock in WrestleMania. Quite honestly, if it weren’t for The Rock’s involvement in WrestleMania, I would have been told that I would have been sitting out WrestleMania. [People ask] why don’t I just go in there and say, ‘I want to do this’? Last year, I should have said, ‘I want to do this,’ but that’s just not what I do. This is why I love what I do. You sometimes get an off-the-beaten path request, and it’s your job, as a professional, to make it interesting and make it the best you can. To be quite honest, way, way, way back, AJ Styles was an off-the-beaten path request, and I loved that. It brought out the best in AJ Styles and it brought out the best in me. I’ll always try to do the best with what I’ve got.”
That the week will be “intriguing” is true regardless of where the Hardys go. TNA tapes Impact this Thursday, and it seems we’ll know the state of their contracts by whether or not they’re present at the tapings. If they’re not there, they’re almost certainly on the way to WWE.
Matt restructured some of his personal business last week, as well, shutting down his ShopMattHardy store.
We regret to post that after nearly 5yrs & 1000s of happy customers, https://t.co/8OFhB9oGRo is closing up shop. Stay tuned for BLOWOUT SALE
It seems that Reby Hardy was in charge of the business, and she characterizes the end of the shop as a result of caring for two children. But we can’t help but speculate that it’s because WWE might be handling the Broken brand from here.
She also added this to Twitter earlier today.
I’ve said it many times:
TNA was the perfect situation for our family & how grateful I was for professionalism/open communication/respect…