Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by our site. I'm talking with the Wrestling Observer's Bryan Alvarez today and we will be reviewing the Royal Rumble and more wrestling news for this week's Ross Report podcast that will drop Tuesday night at 9 ET on podcastone.com, iTunes and here on the homepage of the site. Bryan is a great guest and we've got plenty to discuss. Our current Ross Report features a fascinating conversation with Lex Luger that is getting critical acclaim.
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Spent a fair share of my weekend preparing for my first voice session in February in Los Angles for AXS-TV's New Japan Pro Wrestling. I'm extremely motivated to commence this chapter of my broadcasting career.
ROYAL RUMBLE FEEDBACK:
Overall I enjoyed the Royal Rumble show from start to finish. I embraced the work ethic and the lack of count out and disqualification finishes. Creative is always subjective and perhaps even more in today's marketplace than at any other time in the business thanks to social media. That being said, have no issue with WWE setting up a potential HHH vs. Roman Reigns WWE Title Bout at Wrestlemania Texas where I'd expect Reigns to get the 'ultimate moment' at the 32nd edition of the biggest event in the genre.
The fact that HHH did not 'cheat' to eliminate either Reigns or Dean Ambrose has some fans perplexed but I'd encourage all to wait and see how this plays out and to remember that it's not overly healthy to get too upset at pro wrestling creative. Just saying.
Really enjoyed the Ambrose-Owens fight that started the show and set the bar HIGH for all to follow especially when it comes to the use of 'props' and other familiar 'gimmicks.' The two worked their ass off and I have great respect fo hard work and passion. Unfortunately many fans had rather bitch and moan about creative direction and not acknowledge the talent's intense, in ring work. I might have considered switching the US Title bout with the Last Man Standing match in the lineup but that's hindsight.
The WWE Tag Title bout was solid and may have been hampered somewhat by the fact that the villains, New Day, aren't perceived as heels to many in the live audience. This makes it tough for all involved int he match. Loved the finish with Big E catching one of the Usos in mid air. It wa also evident that all five men in this match came to pay and that always earns my respect.
Kalisto was my pre Rumble pick to win the US Title match and I got lucky on this one. I made the pick on what I thought was the right way to go with the US Title as it seems as if it will help make Kalisto a potential star while ADR did not really need the title now that he's in the League of Nations IMO. Plus, it gives WWE a legit shot at building a new, Hispanic star that they have been missing on the fan favorite side. Another good, solid bout.
Got a kick out of the new, Edge and Christian Show promo and it made me want to watch this new program coming to WWE Network. These two former signees of mine have amazing natural chemistry.
The video package told the story of Becky Lynch and Charlotte was terrific. Sweet job of editing.
The two women had a superb bout. Even though Becky did not win she made an impactful impression and seemed to leave the bout better than when she entered the ring at the Sunday night. Charlotte cheating to win worked for me as her subtle, eye poke and then the spear was a nice sequence.
The Sasha Banks inclusion into this presentation was stellar and it resonated with the fans in attendance as much as virtually anything on the show. Wrestlemania...here they come!
The under card at the Royal Rumble was a resounding success in my eyes.
The Rumble match was well done strategically as several, potential rivalries and 'marriages' were apparently started.
With HHH winning, it setup a potential, memorable moment at Wrestlemania Texas with Reigns challenging HHH in a WWE Title match. This might be a great place to have @TheRock in Roman's corner and Mr. McMahon in his son in law's corner. That equates to lots of star power and facilitates an iconic moment for Roman Reigns.
AJ Styles had a terrific debut and made an memorable debut into the world of WWE. Styles is a money ball player and his future in WWE should be bright based on what WWE mgmt saw and heard Sunday night.
Looks like it will likely be Brock Lesnar vs Bray Wyatt at WM32 in Texas. I'm fine with that because I am still of the mindset that a talent participating in an epic, slobber knocker of a match can get 'over' even if they don't get their hand raised. No, I don't expect Lesnar to lose to Wyatt in Texas but that shouldn't be something with which fans obsess.
If WWE can 'protect' Braun Strowman there might well be big money in him down the read. He needs lots of single match, ring time to help prepare him for bigger things the future. This is where WWE misses the territories as it would be so easy to send Strowman to a territory for a year to help him become more polished. Is now potentially the time to think of a Lesnar vs. Strowman match for the 2017 Wrestlemania?
The only thing that I wasn't too wild about was the over use of the no disqualification stipulation in the Rumble Match as it relates to eliminated wrestlers returning to eliminate those that were still in the match.
Bottom line is that it was a good TV show that I enjoyed on the WWE Network via my Apple TV.
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