The Royal Rumble is behind us, and the road to Wrestlemania has begun.
The best part? Roman Reigns didn’t win the bloody thing. However, following Ronda Rousey’s introduction at the end of the show, has WWE completely undermined the entire concept of a women’s revolution?
Now, put down the pitchforks – nostalgia is terrific. It genuinely is, and nothing produces the big bucks like star power. So, in that regard, bringing in ten free agents/Hall of Famers to the Rumble and adding Ronda Rousey to the production works. It’s just that the latter is problematic.
Filling out to have thirty entrants is fine – especially when you can pay homage to the women who worked so hard to show that they deserve every bit as much airtime and respect as their male counterparts.
Wrestlers like Beth Phoenix, Trish Stratus, Molly Holly and Jacqueline were trailblazers for the current crop of superstars, but ending with Ronda Rousey pointing at a bloody sign three times just raises a lot of eyebrows.
Yes, the company now commands more media attention because of her presence, but there comes a time when you need to self-assess.
Rousey likely won’t compete until Wrestlemania now – and the build is probably for an intergender tag-team match against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Again – needless reversion to burnt-out ideas when thirty women just put on an amazing show of athleticism for the world to see.
It probably trumped the men’s Rumble, too. But hey, she pointed at the sign, so.
Elsewhere, the men’s Rumble contained all the usual gimmicks like Kofi Kingston’s bizarre attempt to avoid elimination, friends turning on each other and Heath Slater looking as helpless as Simon Mignolet facing a corner.
What was nice though, was seeing Nakamura, Balor, Cena and Reigns in the final four – because for once, it wasn’t overly predictable.
WWE set somewhat of a precedent by not using all three falls in their two-out-of-three falls match for the SmackDown tag-team titles. The Usos are the best tag-team the WWE has seen in the last decade and they continue to be booked strong, which is exactly what they need.
As expected, AJ Styles beating both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens was little more than a setup for an angle with Shane McMahon to further frustrate the pair.
Eventually, we’ll get the payoff for that, but it’ll likely be Shane throwing himself off ridiculous heights to once again try and prove to his father he’s worthy of all before him, so he won’t just hand the company to Triple H. In reality, it’s just one twenty-year episode of Jeremy Kyle.
The Revival, after being beaten up by aging legends last week somehow overcame Gallows and Anderson, Bobby Roode beat Mojo Rawley in a bit of an anti-climax and The Bar stuffed Jordan and Rollins after the former wanted some time to reflect on life, while sitting on the steel steps. Time and a place, Jason – time and a place.
So, where does that leave us? Well, Rousey’s presumably going to point at the Wrestlemania sign a few times. Rollins is going to confront Jason Jordan and Shane McMahon is going to do that dance Yer Da does when the DJ plays ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears.
But – we’re getting AJ Styles v Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania, so all is right with the world. Roll on RAW tonight!