The Game and WWE made a statement over the pay per view weekend.
NXT Takeover – San Antonio
The story between Eric Young and Tye Dillinger seemed pointless to me but Tye Dillinger put on a great show despite the loss. It is also important to note that his “Mr. Sinister” jacket received an upgrade. Eric Young and Sanity are undefeated and one has to wonder who their next target is likely to be.
The Authors of Pain vs. DIY ended as expected. The NXT Tag-Team Championship changed hands despite DIY giving their best effort. I found it weird that The Authors of Pain wore lace over their helmets. Anyway, I imagine this feud will continue however; we could see The Revival test their in-ring expertise against Paul Ellering’s monster duo.
Seth Rollins surprised many of us with his unannounced appearance mid-way through the show. His disruption and call out to Tripe H, for The Game to appear. It was a good strategic attempt however; you cannot out think The Cerebral Assassin. Triple H was very calm and did not engage Rollins; instead, he called out security to escort Rollins out of the building. This does not bode well for The Architect.
Asuka defended the NXT Women’s Championship in a fatal four-way match against Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross. Kay and Royce took Cross out by power-bombing her through a table next to the announcers table. This actually made things easier for Asuka because Cross was a formidable aggressor in the match early on. Asuka got the win via pinfall. If Asuka is going to drop the belt soon then I hope it’s to Nikki Cross, which should set up a goo rivalry between her and Ember Moon.
Bobby Roode faced Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship. Samoa Joe watched the match at ringside. It was a great match with Nakamura delivering some vicious attacks against Roode. During the match, Nakamura hurt his knee allowing Roode to go on the offensive. It took a delivery of two finishers by Roode to win the match and become the new NXT Champion. It was glorious indeed.
The 2017 Royal Rumble
After watching the 2017 Royal Rumble, I was not sure what to make of things. Some of the matches were good and the other matches were not so good (from a storyline perspective). Memorable moments for me were
- John Cena vs. AJ Styles – the entire match was great.
- Neville winning the Cruiserweight Championship.
- Kevin Owens superman-punching Roman Reigns with brass knuckles.
- From the Royal Rumble itself
- Braun Strowman taking out Roman Reigns, during Reigns’ match against Kevin Owens.
- Braun Strowman eliminating Mark Henry and The Big Show from the Royal Rumble.
- Tye Dillinger as the 10th entrant; it was perfect.
- Jack Gallagher’s creative use of an umbrella.
- Baron Corbin eliminating Braun Strowman after Strowman received a barrage of attacks from Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger, and .
- Chris Jericho finding every opportunity to lie still then roll himself out of the ring.
- Enzo as the lucky 27th entrant and quickly eliminated by Brock Lesnar.
- Bill Goldberg eliminating Brock Lesnar in a matter of seconds.
- The Undertaker eliminating Bill Goldberg.
I hoped for an appearance by either Samoa Joe or Finn Balor (both appearances actually) only to have neither superstar show up. Roman Reigns as the 30th entrant to the Royal Rumble made very little sense to me. The WWE front office clearly wants to have Roman Reigns be the face of the organization however, most of the fans do not want this superstar forced on them. Most characters in a story develop a connection with their respective audience. The actions of the character must have a certain level of believability.
Anyway, I digress, I imagined the Royal Rumble creating an addictive feud between key superstars leading up to WrestleMania 33 on April 2, 2017. These are some matches based (likely and potential) on the outcome of pay per view:
- Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – Goldberg’s destructive nature against Lesnar makes their match at WrestleMania a high stakes situation. Goldberg is 2-0 since returning and all expectations are on him winning. Lesnar must win in order to regain his status as Beast Incarnate.
- Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt – If Bray Wyatt wins the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber then the feud most wrestling fans are predicting will occur at WrestleMania with the championship at stake.
- The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns – Reigns eliminated The Dead Man during the Royal Rumble. The cold stare by The Undertaker clearly marked Reigns as his target. Reigns needs either an incredible push or become a “Heel” in order to win over the WWE Universe. This match could very well produce either one of those outcomes.
Monday Night Raw – Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Seth Rollins actions over the weekend resulted in disciplinary action from Stephanie McMahon. First, Stephanie banned Rollins from the arena during the Royal Rumble. Second, he had to meet with Stephanie face-to-face on Monday Night Raw. Rollins did not take the impending meeting seriously, as he wasted no time insulting Stephanie her arrival and during her appearance.
Rollins did his best trash talking to provoke a Triple H appearance. Stephanie advised him that she asked Triple H not to show up. Rollins continue his barrage of heat to the point of threatening to show up at Stephanie’s house and the thought of one of her kids answering the door. Those were not a wise choice of words from Rollins.
The look in Stephanie’s eyes said it all. Rollins was going to get what he deserved. Stephanie warned Seth that Triple H was coming for him. The Cerebral Assassin, the King of Kings, the Creator, and the Destroyer. “By my side, I gave you everything and you spit in my face.” Triple H was brilliant. His monologue regarding Seth Freakin’ Rollins was almost Shakespeare in nature. “You don’t have to come to my house to find me, I’m right here,” that moment had me hyped. Rollins made his way towards ringside, looking for a fight. Triple H was one step ahead of him; Samoa Joe took out Rollins as Triple H walked backstage.