The 2018 Royal Rumble was an exciting event with a number of Hall of Famers and Legends making their presence felt. While Lita, Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson and Mickie James were part of the first-ever 30 Women Royal Rumble, it was Rey Mysterio, who created an impact when he returned to in-ring entrant as a surprise number 27 entrant in the 30 Men Royal Rumble Match. However, Roman Reigns’ showdown with Shinsuke Nakamura during the final moments of his match was filled with boos for Roman and cheers for Nakamura. Eventually, Nakamura eliminated Reigns to win his first Royal Rumble match and winning the right to face the WWE Champion. During the Women’s Royal Rumble, Asuka became the first-ever female Superstar to win the Royal Rumble. While she was celebrating her victory in the ring with both Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women’s Champion) and Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s Champion), MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey, made her shocking appearance at the pay-per-view when she stood tall in the ring signaling at the WrestleMania sign.
Royal Rumble also saw The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) become new RAW Tag Team Champions when Jason Jordon was out with an injury and Seth Rollins could not defend his team’s titles. Perhaps Seth and Jordon will not engage in a rivalry where Jordon could turn heel. How will RAW General Manager, Kurt Angle, react to this is still to be seen.
A match of intense physical dominance was for the WWE Universal Championship. A triple threat bout between Brock Lesnar (Champion), Braun Strowman and Kane, each superstar dominated the other during one point of the match or the other. However, after slamming Strowman through two announce tables and giving Strowman and Kane F-5s, Lesnar emerged victoriously and still the WWE Universal Champion. Perhaps now Lesnar would focus on other opponents since he has silenced Strowman and Kane for the time being. AJ Styles, WWE Champion on Smackdown, successfully defended his titles in a 1-on-2 handicap match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. It seems both Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles will have much bigger matches come WrestleMania 34.
Now that Shinsuke Nakamura is the Royal Rumble winner, the King of Strong style may evolve into a deeper character for he envisions becoming the next WWE Champion. Who he will face is still to be decided but one thing remains sure, WrestleMania 34’s WWE Championship main event will be a must watch bout.
Dwayne Johnson received the 2,624th star on the Los Angeles pavement, the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the only person to receive this honor from the WWE after Vince McMahon and the first full-time professional wrestler ever.
He was a WWE Intercontinental Champion, a Tag Team Champion and a World Heavyweight Champion. However, it is his status as the ‘People’s Champion’ in theWWE that still remains synonymous to his name. He has a charismatic smile and a personality that transcends all borders. People call him Dwayne, others call him Johnson. But his fans, his aficionados simply call him, The Rock.
What began as an ordinary WWE journey with Dwayne Johnson entering the WWE ring in 1996 with his ring name of Rocky Maivia, soon had his persona transformed to The Rock, who would lay the Smack Down or ‘Layeth the Smacketh Down’ on anyone in the ring or outside of it. Honoring his father and grandfather’s name, the third generation Superstar, The Rock, soon emerged as the top Superstars during the iconic Attitude Era in the WWE. He was born to be a WWE Superstar and was destined to touch greatness. The Rock is a 2 time WCW/World Champion, an 8 time WWF/WWE Champion, 2 time WWF/E Intercontinental Champion, 5 time WWF/E Tag Team Champion and winner of the 2000 Royal Rumble.
He have had a number of historic rivalries against Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Vince McMahon, D-Generation X and upon his return in 2015 entered into a rivalry against CM Punk and John Cena. After giving his all inside the squared circle in the WWE, The Rock became a superstar in Hollywood when he debuted as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns (2001). Some of his other movies include G. I Joe: Retaliation (2013), Hercules (2014), San Andreas (2015) and he has been a major character in the Fast and the Furious franchise. With every other movie of The Rock a box office success, The Rock, on December 13, 2017, earned another milestone in his life when he was featured at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors in the world of showbiz.
Twitter has been abuzz since The Rock achieved his star.
According to Wrestlinginc.com, “Johnson also created The Rock Foundation in 2006, with a mission to educate, empower and motivate children worldwide through health and physical fitness. A dedicated philanthropist, Johnson is the current National spokesperson for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Diabetes Aware Campaign. He is also a committed Celebrity Cabinet Member for The American Red Cross, and serves as a National Celebrity Wish Ambassador for The Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2008, United States Congress and the United States Joint Leadership Commission recognized Johnson with the prestigious Horizon Award, the U.S. Congressional Award given to an individual in the private sector who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and provided opportunities for youth nationwide.”
We wish The Rock all the best in all of his future endeavors.
Unpredictable! One word that defines the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Leading Team RAW into Survivor Series 2017, Kurt Angle was hopeful to lead his team to a win in the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series interbrand elimination match between RAW versus SmackDown match. However, Kurt Angle did not get the last laugh. With Shane McMahon, team Captain of SmackDown, the only survivor of his team facing three RAW superstars, Braun Strowman, Triple H and Kurt Angle, all odds were stacked against Shane. However, after Kurt Angle locked Shane in the Angle Lock, Triple H did the unthinkable. He gave a Pedigree to Kurt Angle and let Shane eliminate Shane. However, when Strowman was the legal man in the ring to face Shane, Triple H tagged himself in the ring to pin Shane for the win and let RAW win this match. While Triple H was celebrating, Braun Strowman attacked Triple H for not letting him take the win with two running power slams. Now that Triple H seem to be back in in-ring competition, and with WrestleMania 33 around the corner, I wonder if Triple H can go one-one-one against Kurt Angle at the Grandest Stage of them all, WrestleMania.
Kurt Angle did verbally confront Triple H at the night following Survivor Series, on Monday, November 20, 2017, when he told Triple H never to attack him from the back or “he (Triple H) can take his job and shove it because I am coming for you!”
Kurt Angle and Triple H were key competitors during WWE’s Attitude Era days and have had a number of matches during the 1999 to 2002. It had been a privilege to watch these two in-ring competitors give their everything in the ring. However, now that Kurt Angle is back and with Angle and HHH both entering the part of their careers where the next move is to hang their wrestling gear for good, the fans would want to see Angle vs. HHH. However, also in the equation is Braun Strowman, who, many WWE fans, including me, want to see become the WWE Universal Champion. Why? Because Brock Lesnar is overrated. Now that HHH and Kurt Angle’s rivalry is heating up, one can expect them to face each other in over a decade in a pay-per-view. However, with superstars as huge as HHH and Angle, their rivalry’s exclamation point must come at WrestleMania 33. Will it happen? Only time will tell!
At WWE’s Backlash (May 21, 2017) when Jinder Mahal defeated RandyOrton to win his first WWE Championship, the reign of The Maharaj began in the WWE. However, with Mahal touching new heights as the Champion, he had many competitors seeking a chance to go on a one-on-one match against him for the WWE Championship. One such competitor was AJ Styles. He faced Mahal for the WWE Championship on SmackDown LIVE when the show emanated from Manchester, England.
AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal have varying fighting styles. They displayed their in-ring abilities when both squared off inside the squared-circle on SmackDown LIVE. Mahal has been a Champion since May 2017 and has defended his Championship many times. However, AJ Styles proved to be too much for Mahal, the first WWE Champion of an Indian descent. AJ Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Jinder Mahal to pin him for the three count to win his second WWE Championship. Now that AJ Styles is on top of the SmackDown LIVE locker room and roaster, he is set to face Brock Lesnar, the WWE Universal Champion on RAW. Both Champions will be part of a non-title Champion vs. Champion interbrand singles match at Survivor Series to take place on Sunday, November 19, 2017, in Houston, Texas. Where Lesnar has proved his sheer dominance in the ring many times in the past, Styles, too, has exhibited his prowess and in-ring intelligence many times. This match, however, also has the possibility to become the best match of 2017. Lesnar vs. Styles will be a dream match in recent memory with both WWE Superstars entering the Survivor Series with a resume that speaks volume of their experience and achievements. Lesnar could send Styles to Suplex City however, Styles also has the potential to give Lesnar a taste of his Styles Clash and defeat the Beast Incarnate to give SmackDown LIVE an upper hand over RAW. This match will be must see!
It was a night on Monday Night RAW when one of the most memorable reunions took place. The WWE Universe do remember when Triple H and Shawn Michaels joined forces to reform D-Generataion X in June 2006. However, later down the road when The Shield with its members Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose made their presence felt in the WWE, they emerged as the Hounds of Justice. Later, Triple H implemented his Plan B to compel Seth Rollins to turn against his team and join The Authority, comprising Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Kane. Over the next few years all three Shield Members would enjoy a singles run with all three becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion at one time or another. Of late, rumors were spreading that The Shield may reunite with Seth Rollins ending all differences with Reigns and Ambrose. On the October 9, 2017 episode of RAW as the WWE Intercontinental Champion, The MIZ was addressing the WWE Universe along with his The Miztourage, Roman Reigns came out followed by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The three former Shield members destroyed the The Miztourage along with Sheamus and Cesaro. After Ambrose planted The Miz with the Dirty Deeds, Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins delivered the Triple Powerbomb to The Miz before joining their fists that The Shield has certainly reunited.
Later during the night, The Shield emerged again wearing similar gear and attacked Braun Strowman. Reigns hit a devastating Spear to the Monster Among Men before The Shield delivered the Triple Powerbomb to Braun Strowman crashing him through the announcers table. It was an epic moment, perhaps the best to witness in recent memory. After the reuniting of DX in 2006 and the return of The Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania 33 in June 2017, the reuniting of The Shield is perhaps the moment that will reshape the landscape of the WWE. One wonders if, akin to Evolution back in 2003-04, The Shield members too will hold a title belt each and become one of the dominating force in the WWE today. I would personally like to watch The Shield raise havoc, win matches and titles and bring some attitude back in the WWE. Now that The Architect, Seth Rollins; The Big Dog, Roman Reigns and The Lunatic Fringe, Dean Ambrose are on the same page, the WWE Tag Team Division may not be the same again!
Since the breakup of The Shield in June 2014, Seth Rollins became a heel character when he joined The Authority. The Hounds of Justice, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Rollins, were not seen together again. All three members of The Shield went on to become the WWE Champions. However, with Roman Reigns busy with his scuffle with Braun Strowman, it seems Ambrose and Rollins are trying to come on the same page. Recently, Rollins rejected Ambrose’s invitation to join his hands to make a team. On RAW’s episode of August 14, 2017, Ambrose again asked Rollins to team up. The verbal confrontation became physical when both Superstars attacked each other. They were interrupted by the WWE RAW Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Sheamus. The Champions overpowered Ambrose and Rollins however, the former Shield members regrouped to take over the Champions and throw them out of the ring. Moments later as the WWE Universe began its “Yes Chants”, Ambrose and Rollins bumped their fists, signaling the reunion of Ambrose and Rollins. The moment was somewhat akin to when Triple H and Shawm Michaels rejoined to bring D-GenerationX back into the WWE in 2007.Now that Ambrose and Rollins are back again, the WWE Universe will see more high flying, robust, aggressive action in and outside of the ring. Definitely, these two will take the WWE tag team division into another era, hopefully. We will have to see at what time Roman Reigns decides to join Ambrose and Rollins. However, it is too early to say if The Shield will be reborn.
It is reported and confirmed that at SummerSlam 2017, on August 20, 2017, Cesaro and Sheamus wil be defending their RAW Tag Team Championship title against Ambrose and Rollins. Will the team of The Lunatic Fringe and The Architect work in unison to beat the Champs or will the WWE Universe have to wait until they see Ambrose and Rollins wearing the Tag Team belts around their waists? In any case, their SummerSlam encounter will be a must watch!
Now that news is surfacing regarding The Undertaker’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018, questions are rising as to who will induct the greatest WWE Superstar ever?
He wrestled on the very first episode of WWE Monday Night RAW on January 11, 1993. He wrestled at WrestleMania VII in 1991 and he wrestled at WrestleMania 33 in 2017. His legendary stature in the WWE has been no less than an inspiring one for the rookies and an entertaining one for the WWE Universe. He is an institution in himself – a league of his own – a legend by all means! He is The Undertaker.
Be it Monday Night RAW or SmackDown, The Undertaker has always delivered his best in the ring. Whether it’s Summer Slam, Survivor Series, WrestleMania or any other pay-per-view extravaganza, he has fought with his soul and poured out his blood and sweat inside the ring.
After being defeated by Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker took off his coat, gloves, and hat and placed them in the middle of the ring, signaling that this match might have been his last.
Throughout his career in the WWE that began in 1990, The Undertaker has had countless matches of all types. His gimmicks have also changed over the years that included Western Mortician, The Deadman, Lord of Darkness, leader of the Ministry of Darkness, The American Bad Ass, Big Evil, The Phenom and The Last Outlaw. Where his gimmick of The Deadman led him to create his Lord of Darkness and The Phenom persona, it was his American Bad Ass gimmick that earned him much admiration. Cladded in jeans and jacket, wearing sunglasses and bandana, The Undertaker would enter the arena riding his motorbike. Those were the good days.
The Undertaker was one tough competitor. He knew the WWE inside out. However, his winning streak at WrestleMania, the grandest stage of them all, gave him the legendary status he holds today. He enjoyed 21 consecutive wins at WrestleMania from WrestleMania VII on March 24, 1991, to WrestleMania 29 on April 7, 2013. Perhaps the most shocking moment in WWE and WrestleMania history came forth on April 6, 2014, at WrestleMania XXX when Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker, ending his streak. Michel Cole’s words still echo as if it were yesterday, “The Streak, is over!”
Now that news is surfacing regarding The Undertaker’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018, questions are rising as to who will induct the greatest WWE Superstar ever?
In all honesty, I believe there are only three WWE Superstars who are worthy enough to induct The Undertaker. First, it is Kane, with whom The Undertaker reigned supreme as The Brothers of Destruction and won WWE Tag Team titles twice. However, it was the energy and electricity Kane and The Undertaker brought to the ring with them when fighting together. Their strength, agility, speed and height advantage over their opponents made them a force to reckon with.
Then there is Shawn Michaels. Michael became obsessed with The Undertaker and vowed to beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania and end his streak. He fought two amazing matches against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 (April 5, 2009) and WrestleMania 26 (March 28, 2010). However, he could not get the job done. Later, Shawn Michaels’ partner in DX, Triple H, stood up against The Undertaker and fought him at two consecutive WrestleManias to end his streak. He first tried his luck at WrestleMania 27 (April 3, 2011) and later at WrestleMania 28 (April 1, 2012).
The Undertaker vs Triple H at WrestleMania 28, also known as ‘End of an Era’ match contested inside Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee was one defining moment in WWE history. At one point even Michaels tried to influence the decision by hitting The Undertaker with a Sweet Chin Music followed by a Pedigree by Triple H. However, The Undertaker kicked out. Following the end of the match, the sight we saw was beyond comprehension as it is still etched in memory. Triple H was unable to walk up the ramp on his own strength. The WWE Universe and the world saw Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker help Triple H walk out of the ring. The three competitors hugged each other before exiting the arena, leaving millions of memories behind.
I personally believe both Shawn Michaels and Triple H should induct The Undertaker. They were part of the End of an Era match, and they should induct The Undertaker into the WWE Hall of Fame for he has led and defined an Era in the WWE more than once.
However, I also believe that The Undertaker should continue making appearances on Monday Night RAW or SmackDown even if his in-ring career has come to an end. The best decision by the WWE could be to bring back the American Bad Ass gimmick and make The Undertaker the General Manager of SmackDown. Now that will be the beginning of a new Era in the WWE!