Please Don’t, WWE

There are tons of rumors surfacing right now but there is one I do not want to deal with. The rumor is that Kofi Kingston will not be facing Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania, instead WWE is planning on bringing someone back, such as John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Kurt Angle, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, or Batista. This is complete and utter bulls**t.

Kofi has been apart of WWE since 2008 and during his time with the company, he has had the WWE Universe behind him the entire way. It was shown during Sunday’s PPV when Daniel Bryan and him were the last two people in the Elimination Chamber and it ended with Bryan retaining. But, what was impressive about that match isn’t how well Kofi did in the ring (he is always a show stopper) but it is that Kofi lost. Kofi had everyone in that arena on their feet anticipating his first WWE Title, but the WWE had him fall shot, which is fine. But when that was the best match of the year so far, why would you not want to run it back?

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WWE has gotten into a routine of the same Championship matches, especially when it comes to AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. If you ask anyone if they want to see Bryan vs AJ or Bryan vs Joe, it’d be a resounding no. As we head towards Wrestlemania, there is no clear opponent for Bryan so why not include one of the most celebrated non-title winners in the history of the WWE.

Kofi has won the US Title (3 times), the Intercontinental Championship (4 times), and the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Titles with the New Day a record 7 times with Big E and Xavier Woods. Kofi is one of the most athletic wrestlers in the game and he’s put 12 hard years into the company, so why not give him the chance against Bryan? He just put on the greatest 10 minutes one on one match this year, give him a shot!

Have Kofi win at Wrestlemania then you can break up the New Day and then maybe give Big E a shot at the title. Regardless, if Kofi does not walk out of Wrestlemania as a Champion, my time with the WWE may come to an end.

Is Wrestlemania in Jeopardy? Plus, Weekly Rumors

Wrestlemania season is finally upon us but ever since the Royal Rumble, things have not gone too well. First off, the rumors of literally everyone going to AEW are just annoying at this point. AEW will never be what WWE is, but I’ll stay for the drama if it gives us what we want from Vince. Will the AEW be successful? Probably, but it will not even come close to the product that WWE puts out every week. AEW is not on network television, so as long as that is kept off air, I will not care. Lastly, they’re building a company based off a 48 year old Chris Jericho and (allegedly) a 35 year old Kenny Omega, so call this New Japan. It won’t do anything to WWE. Now onto the real stories.

There are a ton of injuries to top stars right now. Seth Rollins has injured his back and it may keep him out of Elimination Chamber. After fighting with Brock for awhile last Monday, Seth hasn’t been seen since. The reports are that Seth is resting his back, but with a back it could always be more serious. Being held out of Elimination Chamber probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for Seth. He needs the rest and honestly the longer he is out, the better product he will be able to produce against Brock. I hope to see him back soon, that way we know he’s okay, but I would also be perfectly content with Seth resting until the middle of March, just to prepare for Brock. I think he’ll be at Wrestlemania, unlike AJ.

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Aj Styles does not have a serious injury, it’s a hernia. AJ is probably one of, if not the best wrestlers on Smackdown. He has had 2 amazing title runs, including one of my favorite matches against Cena at the Rumble in 2017. He will not miss much time due to his hernia and he was on Smackdown last night but only a short segment. BUT….I do not think that AJ makes it to Wrestlemania unfortunately. I do not see him in the Title hunt, unless they already move him to Raw. Styles will be reduced until then and I think he will be the first to feud with Rollins after he bests Brock.

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Lastly for injuries, Becky Lynch. I do not know why they are building towards a Stone Cold vs Vince era between Becky and Stephanie, but I might like it. On Monday, Stephanie suspended Becky until she sees a specialist on her knee, which she injured during the Royal Rumble. Obviously we know Becky is okay and will fight at Mania. I feel like it is just a show and Stephanie will ultimately mess with Becky. She may even try and hold her out against Ronda (to protect Ronda) but Becky always finds a way. Plus, this is another storyline that just proves Becky is coming to Raw and will likely have a long title run there. I’m excited for this potential.

Some rumors I have heard…

AEW is in talks with a HUGE WWE star…it’s Randy Orton. He won’t go anywhere. If there is any truth in this, WWE will lock Orton up and he will remain on the roster, poised for another Title Run (hopefully with AJ).

The Usos may leave the WWE. This is more likely than Orton. Tag Teams are dragged down under Vince and the Usos, New Day, and the Bar are the top 3. AEW is said to put emphasis on Tag Teams, so maybe Usos go there. I think it’s about 75/25 that they stay.

Becky Lynch is not injured at all and it’s a work. Of course it is.

Lastly, Triple H will not be fighting at Wrestlemania. I think I’m a bit premature in reporting this, but logistically and for health reasons, there is no way he fights at Mania.

BREAKING: Moon Out Indefinitely, Ambrose to Leave WWE?

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BREAKING: Ember Moon has revealed that she injured her elbow and is out “for awhile.” She revealed that it was injured pre-Royal Rumble and she really does not know how long she’ll be out.

This is a damn shame. Ember is one the best talents in the Women’s Division and her shot is just around the corner, especially with Ronda focusing on family after Wrestlemania. I hope she stays strong and her surgery goes to perfection, because she is a major role in the future of women in the WWE.

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Dean Ambrose to Leave the WWE

Well, this is a shock to be honest. After his shocking return last year, it has been announced that Dean is leaving the WWE in order to pursue other options, I assume. Dean has been a key figure in WWE ever since his arrival with the Shield. He is a one time WWE Championship holder as well as a 3 time Intercontinental, 2 time Raw Tag Team, one time US Champion and the 27th Triple Crown Champion and well as the 8th grand slam winner. Dean is an amazing talent. He won breakout star of the year, money in the bank, and was apart of the faction of the year in 2013 and 2014, the Shield.

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Seeing Dean go is just a shame, but I do not necessarily blame him. Look, let’s say it how it is. Dean deserves better. He deserves to be the one facing Brock, the one winning the Universal Championship, not Seth. Dean is one of the most talented acts that the WWE has and he has turned down every raise, contract extension they have tried to give him. He is sick of his storyline, the Lunatic fighting Rollins and he should be. It’s an old gimmick and it was used for the sole purpose to push Rollins over and he was used to push Reigns over, back when they brought back the Shield. I’m not saying he won’t stay, we all know he probably will, but how he is written should be changed. Dean should not be in the same position as Cena is, pushing over talent. Dean should be the talent, the Main Eventer. This will be something to keep an eye on as we head towards Wrestlemania.

The Royal Rumble was Beautiful

Last night was the most excited I have been for a WWE PPV in a very long time, and I think it delivered. Sure there were a few dumb things (Nia Jax and Brock) but we’ll get to that later. Let’s start at the beginning. On the main card, I went 6-1 with my predictions, including both Rumble winners and I only lost Finn and Brock, because I went with my heart, not my brain.

I didn’t care about these pre-show bouts but I went 1-1. Buddy Murphy retained and Shinsuke won the title back from Rusev after he kicked in Lana…dumb but oh well, keeps that storyline alive. Let’s do the real matches.

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Asuka Retains her Title

Asuka and Becky put on one hell of match, that everyone kind of expected. It’s a match got that repetitive at the beginning, but Becky and Asuka was probably one of my favorite matches and it has to do with one sequence in particular. Towards the middle of the match, I look at my girlfriend (who gives her review of the women’s rumble further down the page) and told her this is repetitive and they are ruining this match…that was until Becky and Asuka started flying all over the place and doing one another’s signature moves on each other. It lasted over 18 minutes, which seemed a little long considering everyone knew Becky would be entering the Rumble, but the fact that Becky lost clean just shows how hard WWE is trying to push Asuka and I love it. Asuka beating Becky clean, adds to her legacy and it gets the feel as if Asuka will have a lengthy title run, which she deserves. My Grade: A

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Ronda Rousey Retains against Sasha Banks

What an absolute dream match. Ever since Ronda came into the WWE, I have been dying for this match. Sasha is one of the best in the business and like I said, she’s been in a stupid storyline with Bailey and she finally got her title match after being hand picked by Ronda, then defeating Nia. I mean the in ring chemistry was off the charts. My issue with Ronda was her not being able to perform and it had gotten to a point where it was bearable, but this match was her best yet and she just keeps improving. I absolutely loved it with tons of counters and reversals. Sasha almost snapped her arm off AND she broke out of the arm bar. But ultimately, Ronda hit a Piper’s Pit Slam which ended things. Incredible match by these two. My Grade: A-

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Shane and Miz defeat The Bar

I’m not going to spend much time on this. It was a cool match and it was everything I anticipated it to be, but it is just a silly storyline. The match was great, Shane attempted a Coast to Coast but Cesaro caught him and they went swinging, which was just insane to see. This will eventually lead to a Wrestlemania match between Shane and Miz but it was cool while it lasted. My Grade: B-

Becky Wins the Women’s Rumble

First off, here are my girlfriend’s thought….”Becky is a bad ass. Her hair is on point. Billy, I’m sorry Bailey (such a stupid name) is the vain of the WWE women’s division. And it was all about the women tonight. Charlotte will forever be my queen but even I had to root against her tonight. Becky was going to end the night a champion no matter what and for once I was extremely satisfied with the ending of a WWE women’s match. I really could recap all of the amazing moments and highlight all the women but I really just want to talk about Becky. We all wanted to see her fight in that match. We wanted a face off between her and Nia we wanted it to come down to Becky and Charlotte and we got all of it. Thank you WWE for giving me a practically crippled but triumphant Becky. The man really did beat the man tonight (sorry Charlotte). Special shout out to Alexa Bliss and Carmella. Alexa is such a good character and I love watching them together. Also, Bailey lose the side poney. You’re not doing your face any favors.”

Everything she wrote was a perfect description. I will add that Lana not being able to compete allowed Becky to enter the match, which will definitely cause some chaos on Smackdown or Raw, whenever they talk about it. Loved the outcome, needed that Becky win but the overall match was just okay. I needed more surprises, or even some older women like Trish or Nikki. Just was an okay match but was a fantastic result if you ask me. My Grade: B

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Daniel Bryan Retains against AJ Styles

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, there is only one word to describe this match: repetitive. My least favorite of the entire card. The only thing that bugged me more than this match was Rowan showing up for the match and causing Styles the victory, oh well. What a fascinating storyline we now have (not). Grade: C-

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Brock Retains vs Finn

What a fucking match. Sorry, Wic, but wow. This match just proves again that whenever Brock wants to put on an amazing fight, he does. Finn’s athleticism and Brock’s strength perfectly meshed together causing a beautiful display of wrestling. What I especially enjoyed was Brock showing a new angle, his fight with diverticulitis and Finn going after that. It was a perfect back and forth match, which I thought would end with Finn finally going over, but nah. Brock won and became a meme, which was worth it. My Grade: A-

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SETH ROLLINS WINS MEN’S RUMBLE

Thank you Vince, it’s about time. We finally got what we, as a WWE universe, wanted for years…Seth Rollins is the Royal Rumble Champion. This match was lowkey boring as hell, until the last 15 entrances probably, but let’s chat about it. Braun being in the last two was annoying as hell. Braun is not getting a push, never has been, so he was just a waste of space at the end. Nia Jax coming in at #30? So incredibly dumb, but hey good for her. Everyone was timid to hurt her, but then she attacked and Randy hit her with an RKO and Rey did a 619 and bam she’s gone. The only thing this match really did not have that I wanted it to, was Roman. All day I thought Roman would come back and be #30 but oh well, he’ll be back soon enough. But, in the meantime, looks like we are getting Brock vs Seth at Wrestlemania… last time that happened? Roman was there. Can Roman come back and be ready for Wrestlemaina..? Apparently so. Reports say that Roman filming a movie right now proves his situation has steadied and he should be able to return soon. So who knows, here’s to hoping. Also, I need Cena to get #17, this is getting annoying right now. My Grade: B-

Overall, it lived up to the hype. My overall grade is an A- which is the best rated PPV I have ever given. Let’s hope this creates an amazing Wrestlemania season.

THE Royal Rumble Preview

After a long hiatus, the WWE returns with arguably their 2nd best PPV behind Wrestlemania. This Sunday, starting at 7pm on the WWE Network, the Royal Rumble takes place inside Chase Field in Arizona. After the WWE put out 5 PPV’s in October-December, this break has seemed like an eternity. There are so many possibilities that could shape Mania season, so let’s look at the matches.

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Men’s Royal Rumble

First, the Men’s Royal Rumble. This has the potential to be quite boring, mainly because I feel like we all know who will win: Seth Rollins. It has been expected for a while that Seth would win it, but they could change it last minute. The confirmed entrants are: John Cena (maybe), Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Xavier Woods, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Elias, Jinder Mahal, Bobby Lashley, Jeff Hardy, Andrade “Cien” Almas, and R-Truth (No. 30). Now, Truth will most likely lose is #30 spot, which he won with Carmella during the Mixed Tag Team Challenge, in order for a surprise entrance. My hope: Kenny Omega. I know Kenny won’t show up, I know that but a man can dream, right? A few things to expect: Lars Sullivan finally shows up, Batista makes a surprise entrance, John Cena injury angle, and I pray to God, Roman Reigns makes his return. I know Roman won’t but I think it would give WWE the boost it needs to remain relevant with the AEW creepin up. OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Seth Rollins wins the Royal Rumble.

Women’s Royal Rumble

Next, we have the Women’s Rumble. I do not think this is a bold prediction, but this will be better than the Men’s Rumble. Throughout the last year, you’ve heard me say that the Women’s Division is more entertaining right now and I think this won’t change during the Rumble. The confirmed entrants are:  Carmella (No. 30), Ember Moon, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Alicia Fox, Zelina Vega, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Tamina, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Dana Brooke, Lana, Nia Jax, and Nikki Cross.The only issue with this is the Women’s division does not have as many people to “fill in” as the men do, which means hello Nikki and Bri again. Look, I love the Bellas but they need to go, like go far away and never come back. Personally, I do not think there will be any big shock in this at all. I think Necky comes to play, but I mean who else? I think we all know who wins this. The final three will be Charlotte, Becky, and Carmella probably. Again, this should be more entertaining than the Men’s but we’ll see. OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Becky and Flair fall out at the same time, setting up a Triple Threat at Wrestlemania against Ronda.

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Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Finn Balor

My match of the night, I’ll say it right now. This will be the best match of the PPV. Brock has a history of having his best matches against smaller opponents, which was proven again with Daniel Bryan. The thing about Roman and Braun is they are both so big and of course so is Brock, so it becomes just a strongman challenge, but with smaller opponents Brock is able to show some agility as well as how well he can take bumps. Now, I think it’s close to impossible that Finn wins BUT I do think someone will intervene in this match. My guess, Braun helps Finn win by causing a distraction or that Braun causes the entire match to be DQ’ed. But, if it does come to a result, my OFFICIAL PREDICTION is Finn Balor wins..

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WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs AJ Styles

I think this match will be kinda dull. WWE tends to overdo matches and to me this is one of them. Look, I love Daniel Bryan and his whole comeback story and I love AJ and I know this match will be absolutely wild but to me, Daniel Bryan wins and we all know that, so it makes this less interesting for me. I will still watch it, every single second of it and I know I’ll be entertained, but it will be repetitive. OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Bryan Retains

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Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs Sasha Banks

One word to describe this match: FINALLY. Sasha Banks might be one of my favorite women wrestlers of all time. Sasha time and time again puts on some of the best matches in the company and now she is finally getting her opportunity. She has been stuck in the Bailey storyline, which will hopefully lead to those two winning the first ever Women’s Tag Team Titles, but she finally gets the break from it that she deserves. Ronda has also gotten much better. Like Brock, she is able to take bumps and actually looks like a seasoned veteran at some points. Ronda will not lose this, mainly because there are rumors Wrestlemania 35 is her last battle so she can start a family, but Vince is setting up a Becky vs Ronda match and we will get to see two of the best in the game (maybe 3 please add Flair) Main Event Wrestlemania. OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Ronda Retains

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Smackdown Women’s Title: Asuka (c) vs Becky Lynch

Not even gonna give this the time, Asuka wins. It will be a great match and I want Becky to win, but in order to go with the storyline it will be Asuka.

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Smackdown Tag Team Titles: The Bar (c) vs Shane and Miz

This match has a chance to be a shock. Maybe the Miz and Shane win, but we can guarantee one thing: Shane and Miz will start their feud after this. If they win, they will hold the title for a little but have a huge fallout setting up the inevitable Wrestlemania match for Shane. I really don’t know how this will go but OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Shane and Miz win.

Other matches: Rusev will retain against Shinsuke and I want Itami to win, but I think Murphey retains. Here’s to a great Rumble…

Cena is OUT at Royal Rumble

I’ll have a better breakdown of the Rumble tomorrow, but the latest news is John Cena is out of the Royal Rumble, probably. He “injured” his ankle during last weeks Raw fighting Finn Balor for the chance to face Brock Lesnar. Now, many people say this is a work, which it very well could be, but I see it as a “we don’t have any plans for you right now” move from Vince.

Originally, the plan was to have Lars face Cena at Wrestlemania, but with the rumors of Lars getting anxiety before his debut, there is no option for Cena right now.

I wrote a piece earlier on why John Cena needs to win his 17th title (https://soft7sports.com/2019/01/08/john-cena-needs-to-win-17-soon/) and I think that still holds true. Cena has been the hardest worker in the WWE since I can remember. Not recently, AJ, Seth, and Roman overtook that now. But still, after all that Cena has done for this company, why won’t Vince let him win the Rumble then win the title? Cena is also filming his next movie in Vancouver starting on Sunday, but Vince needs to let Rick Flair go off in the sunset and let the true hero of the WWE win his 17th.

Cena could win this Rumble, then win the title at Wrestlemania and just retire there. In a perfect scenario, he lays the title in the ring and walks out. Cena deserves this, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen this year. Shame on Vince. Yet again, Cena has shown up to the Rumble when he wasn’t supposed to and won it in 2008. So here’s to hoping that happens again..

WWE Takes a Step Back

The Women’s Division is WWE has been on their highest of highs recently, with the announcement of another milestone; the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

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On Christmas, it was announced by Vince McMahon that the women will be competing for the titles, but we never knew if there were Titles for each brand. WWE has been rumored to be doing away with brand names which these titles basically confirm. There is going to a match between 5 teams at the Elimination Chamber PPV in February which kind of seems rushed but either way, we’ll know then. They probably should have done a tournament ending at Wrestlemania, but this way, the Women can deservingly Main Event 2 PPV’s this year.

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This past year has been unreal for the Women’s Division. We had the introduction of Ronda, the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble, the first ever Women’s Elimination Chamber, the first ever Women’s PPV, the first ever Last Woman Standing Match and quite possibly the top two, three matches of the year. The Asuka vs Charlotte match at last year’s Wrestlemania was the best match I saw all last year and the second was Flair vs Ronda. I also think they had the third, but this one isn’t the one you think, it’s Carmella vs Asuka. Carmella has been maybe the most improved wrestler in the division and pairing her against Asuka and Flair have made her such a better wrestler. So much so that she even got to fight in a triple threat against Flair and Becky to determine the number one contender. Having Carmella do what she has this year, beating Flair and Asuka, has allowed the WWE Smackdown division to be extremely top heavy, but every match has been must watch television. But then Monday happened….

The WWE Women’s Division used to just be beautiful women in tight clothing or no clothing at all. They were kind of just there for show, early on. Then the Bella Twins came and yes it was still focused on looks, but they allowed them to wrestle and made it scandalous but yet it was better than just using them for eye candy. After this past year, watching Monday was just sad. WWE included a segment in which a producer entered Alexa Bliss’ dressing room and her top was off, which (according to Dave Meltzer) WWE included to see “what they could get away with.” Another script WWE is running on is Mandy Rose and Jimmy Uso, the husband of WWE Star Naomi. The script is essentially just Mandy Rose flirting and trying to entice Jimmy to sleep with her, but then Naomi constantly beats the shit out of Mandy for hitting on her husband.

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The WWE has come so far, especially in the Women’s Division. Right now, they’re hurting it. We live in a time that women can do everything men do which is the way it should be. The WWE, by doing this, is showing just how ignorant they are. People watch that division because they put on amazing matches, not because there are boobs. I’m not saying it hurts, but people watch for the talent now, unlike the early days. There are some suggestions that WWE is doing it to bump their ratings, because they have been down recently. If that is the truth, then it may be time to stop watching or to call for new leadership. I watched WWE for the best matches possible, which ends up just being the women mostly. The WWE is resorting to something that worked so long ago, but the answer is right in front of them. More women’s matches and have them be the Main Event.