With Royal Rumble growing larger on the horizon, WWE ramped up the action on both it’s live main-roster shows this week.
From Randy Orton’s opening monologue – he’s really gone off the deep end this time – to another top class technical match featuring Cesaro, this week’s shows had some real quality and a jaw-dropping moment or two.
While we wait for the buzzer to hit on that first Royal Rumble match, switch on the PPV’s official theme song and settle in for the biggest winners and the littlest losers from another week of WWE on TV.
WINNER – Alexa Bliss (Raw)
Raw was the Alexa Bliss show. She was the lead in two segments, including the main event, and also was the cause of Randy Orton’s opening monologue.
Even if she’d have lost in the main event to Asuka, she would have come out from the show stronger, but she didn’t. Bliss dominated the most dominating women’s wrestler in recent memory. She pinned the most dominating women’s wrestler in recent memory.
She has become the hottest thing on Monday Night Raw almost out of nowhere. Yowie wowie. The main event was unique and captivating and her specific storyline is the best thing going on the red brand. If a title match is not on the schedule next Sunday, she’ll be one of the Rumble favourites for sure.
WINNER – Elias (Raw)
On Elias’ WWE.com profile, his career highlights read as so: 24/7 champion. That’s it. That’s the whole list. As much as it seems like he was the Intercontinental champion not too long ago, the 24/7 is the only strap he’s held.
So, see this prediction nice and early: in 2021, Elias will become a Tag Team champion. Jaxson Ryker, somewhat surprisingly after he was pulled from a SmackDown push with The Forgotten Sons last year, is back in a big way and could be Elias’ ticket to a top-tier title. He’s certainly put in the work, and put over enough others to deserve his moment as champion.
WINNER – Kevin Owens (Smackdown)
In Smackdown’s main event, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman thought they’d got one over on Adam Pearce. The WWE official was expecting to compete against Paul Heyman, but got attacked by the Universal champion instead.
However, one switch turned into two as Kevin Owens appeared in a hoodie to save Pearce. Owens took the fight to the Tribal Chief, hit a stunner in the ring, another stunner on the outside and ended the show with a Pop-Up Powerbomb through the announce table.
This rivalry might not be the most intense in WWE today, but both competitors are doing their all to elevate it to one worthy of the main event.
WINNER – Cesaro (Smackdown)
In the space of a fortnight, the Swiss Cyborg has become one of the form superstars on Smackdown once more. Kicking on from his tag-team partner Shinsuke Nakamura’s gauntlet match performance a couple of weeks ago, Cesaro has returned to the blue brand and beaten two former World champs.
Last week it was Daniel Bryan, and this week a very game Dolph Ziggler. An energetic, technically-outstanding match ended with the former-US champ kicking out of Ziggler’s ZigZag, before hitting the current tag-team champion with the Neutralizer. Cesaro has been one of the best athletes in WWE for the best part of a decade, and though he won’t win the Royal Rumble, few may come out with a steeper upward trajectory.
LOSER – The Hurt Business (Raw)
On Monday night, The Hurt Business won – but at some cost. A six-man demolition of Riddle and the Lucha House Party is not career-defining, and looks an even smaller victory thanks to the dissension sown in camp.
The tag champs’ in-fighting is not scary because Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander could lose their tag titles, it’s scary because it’s far too early for a Hurt Business break-up. Fingers crossed this butting of heads is just a reason for them to come back stronger. Either way, Bobby Lashley looks like an absolute bulldozer and that’s so great to see.
LOSER – The Miz and John Morrison (Raw)
This one is painful. Painful to put one of the most entertaining tandems in the company in the loser column, but their segment was rather quite painful to watch, too.
Bringing Gillberg onto the Dirt Sheet was a surprise for about a half-second and unfortunately the talk show then descended into farce. A faux Drew McIntyre character was introduced and he really needed to pull up his kilt.
Miz and Morrison are great in such a light-hearted spot, but they deserve a little better than this. Especially if Mr MitB, The Miz, is ever going to be taken seriously as a threat to the WWE Champion.
LOSER – Apollo Crews (Smackdown)
Last week, Apollo was sitting under the learning tree of Universal Champion Roman Reigns, taking note of how the dominant Samoan holds himself as champion.
This week Crews had another chance to add the Intercontinental title to his resume, but Sami Zayn made sure that wasn’t going to happen. Here was Apollo’s solo chance at the strap, and it slipped away.
If he gets another shot at the belt, it might be in a triple-threat, where we can only hope that we see just as much of his talents, than we would’ve if this title match would have gone the distance.
LOSER – Bayley (Smackdown)
A week after Bianca Belair disrespected her during the debut of her new WWE talk show, Ding Dong Hello, Bayley set up the Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge to prove her athletic prowess against the EST of WWE. Despite stacking the odds against Belair, Bayley was made to look a fool as Bianca jumped, skipped and dunked her way to the W.
This wasn’t a good look or a good segment for the Role Model, but at least a post-challenge beatdown gave her the last laugh. Let’s hope the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion of all time is back in the ring soon, because then we’ll most certainly be the winners.
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