It’s another night in Phoenix, with the main roster shifting to Talking Stick Resort Arena for their last two shows in town.
The Royal Rumble matches were split between the brands. A SmackDown Superstar won the women’s match, defeating another team blue stalwart in the process. A Raw wrestler won the men’s, last eliminating another member of the Monday night roster.
There’s not much doubt that both Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins will be gunning for the Universal and Raw Women’s titles come WrestleMania 35, though, is there?
Maybe they’ll surprise us. Lynch actually has just as much of a reason to go after SmackDown Women’s champ Asuka as she does Ronda Rousey at this point. Rowdy cost Becky the ability to retain her belt at TLC, but she then got a chance to win it fair & square last night (Jan. 27) at Royal Rumble and couldn’t. All “Ronnie” has done to Becky besides that is get slapped in armbars during invasions. But unless they swerve us en route to a Charlotte Flair/Rousey match, all signs point to The Man coming for Ronda.
And hell, even if Sasha Banks throwing the ‘4s’ in Rousey’s face means the Horsewoman program is coming before/during/after ‘Mania, the build’ll probably happen on Raw, too.
Rollins vs. WWE champ Daniel Bryan would be a hell of a match. But Seth started cutting promos about Brock Lesnar being an absentee top guy weeks ago, and after the efforts to make the Beast look really, really heelish in Chase Field on Sunday night, it would be a big shock if WWE doesn’t remain locked in to the rumored plans for the Architect of The Shield to try to do what his absent brother did at SummerSlam and take the red strap from Brock.
Which doesn’t leave us with a lot of suspense on the Road to April 7 in MetLife Stadium, but there should be twists and turns along the way. We’ll start to find out tonight.
The title scene
It wasn’t on last night’s card, but Intercontinental champ Bobby Lashley was in the Rumble. He didn’t do much, or last long. But he did beat up the eventual winner real good! With Seth’s sights elsewhere Lio Rush will need to find some new challenges for his man. His celebration turned into a posedown with Apollo Crews last Monday, so that’s a possibility.
We keep hearing WWE is going to focus on tag wrestling, because they don’t want All Elite to corner the market on it (or something). So far, that hasn’t meant anything good for the Raw Men’s Tag Team titles. Sure, Chad Gable & Bobby Roode are probably happy to be holding “gold”. But all their potential challengers like The Revival keep getting clowned around. So... why should we care?
We’re only three or so weeks away from when someone will become the new Women’s Tag champions at Elimination Chamber. The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection are the front-runners, but Rousey & Natalya, the Riott Squad and probably a few other teams we’re forgetting (look, it was a looong weekend) definitely won’t let Sasha Banks & Bayley coast to the titles.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- He came up short at Royal Rumble, so what’s next for Finn Bálor? Assuming Rollins picks Lesnar, the Universal title will be tied up for the next few months. But there’s no shortage of talented guys looking for someone to dance with on the Grandest Stage of Them All... and two more PPVs until we even get there. Are Drew McIntyre, Braun Strowman and Dean Ambrose feuds you might be interested in for Finn?
- The other issue being teased by WWE.com’s sparse (at this point) official preview is the final landing spots of the NXT call-ups. Lacey Evans and Nikki Cross both made an impression at the Rumble, and Otis Dozovic has been popping people wherever he goes. And who knows, maybe this is the week EC3 does more than appear backstage!
It’s the Royal Rumble fallout show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?