Sports and Sports Entertainment

WWE Royal Rumble: Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka to main event WrestleMania 34

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.

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Sports and Sports Entertainment

Who should induct The Undertaker into the WWE Hall of Fame?

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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.

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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!