Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: WWE Royal Rumble Preview
POST IT NOTES
**Tonight, Wai Ting and I will be LIVE immediately after the Royal Rumble for our Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. We’ll review the Royal Rumble and look at the major outcomes from the show, the key programs, and will be taking phone calls. The podcast version of the show will be released free early Monday morning.
**We will have coverage throughout the night of the Royal Rumble beginning at 6 pm ET. You can also watch the Rumble and interact with other POST listeners throughout the show on the POST Discord chat.
**The deadline to enter POST’s Royal Rumble Pool is today at 3 pm ET. It is free to enter, and we will announce the winner this week.
**Wai Ting and I also have a 35-minute review of the New Beginning in Nagoya card including a phenomenal main event between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shingo Takagi. This show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.
**The latest edition of Rewand-A-Vision has been released with Wai Ting and WH Park reviewing the fourth episode of WandaVision on Disney+. This show is available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. This podcast is an incredibly in-depth companion for the series.
**The Royal Rumble takes place tonight and should plant the seeds for several of the major matches for WrestleMania. This isn’t a year where you have many hints that have been thrown out where the viewer sees one clear direction. The negative is the lack of anticipation for any one match, but it allows for lots of surprises and hoping the pairings are compelling ones with the real work taking place over the next two months to peak for April. Here is a preview of the show, which begins at 6 pm ET with the kickoff and 7 pm for the main show:
30-Man Royal Rumble:
(Announced: Randy Orton is #1, Edge is #2, Daniel Bryan, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, John Morrison, Mustafa Ali, Sheamus, Otis, The Miz, Cesaro, Jey Uso, Jeff Hardy, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E., Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Braun Strowman)
The favorites among the announced talent would be Daniel Bryan and Edge with Big E. and Shinsuke Nakamura likely having strong showings. Orton is going be #1 and Edge is going to be #2 and it would seem guaranteed that The Fiend gets involved in a major way to continue the story with Orton. I can see Edge running the table and being among the final four and then his ‘Mania opponent eliminates him. There is no shortage of interesting matches for Edge from AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, or even Edge winning and building off his promo of going for the championship he never lost. There are ten slots open that could be reserved for a legend or two, some from NXT (I think everyone is banking on Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley to appear tonight), and possibly 1-2 of the Indian stars since they were just featured. It would make sense for Seth Rollins to return providing there is a major angle to shoot (otherwise, I’d save him until you’re ready to shoot his ‘Mania angle), and Aleister Black has been off TV for a long time and could return for a restart. Two names that are interesting ones are John Cena and Brock Lesnar with the Observer reporting that as of a few days back, Lesnar had not signed anything. I think most assume Cena will be part of WrestleMania so he has to be considered as a possibility.
30-Woman Royal Rumble:
(Announced: Natalya is #30, Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair, Bayley, Tamina, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Shayna Baszler)
With 13 names announced, this is wide open. Your favorites would have to be Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Rhea Ripley. No one else stands out as possibilities unless they decided to skyrocket someone out of nowhere with a win. Belair is the only one that’s been promoted on television with a strong desire to win the match and it would set up a match with Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. They have something very special in Banks. Flair winning is less enticing but would give the natural story of Flair challenging her tag team partner Asuka for a rematch – and for that reason, could see them retaining the titles. If Ripley debuts tonight and wins, it’s a major overhaul after a rough go in 2020 and would position her strong out of the gate. I would say Alexa Bliss has to be in the mix as well given that they had her dominate Asuka on television two weeks in a row and is the most pushed female on RAW currently. There is plenty of room for surprises, returns, legends, and call-ups in this one.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing Match for the Universal title:
It’s been promoted effectively especially over the past few weeks with Owens doing some of the best promo work of his career. This one should go 25-30 minutes and serve as the ultimate climax. Reigns has been so dominant in this role and it’s not the time for him to drop the title and quickly regain it, so I think he needs to win in the end. Owens has greatly increased his stock as an upper echelon on babyface that’s proven he’s been greatly underutilized for a long time. Given the nature of the promos with Owens fighting for his grandfather and never staying down, they need a really great idea for a finish, if he is losing. This is a big match for both.
Drew McIntyre vs. Bill Goldberg for the WWE title:
I can’t see this one eclipsing the 7-8-minute mark. It’s the wrong time for McIntyre to lose and I wouldn’t mess with a star that was legitimately created in 2020. Goldberg can easily have a spot at WrestleMania and it doesn’t require the title being involved but the same thing could have been said last year when they decided to take the title off The Fiend. The story is that Goldberg has never lost when challenging for the championship during his comebacks since 2016 beating Kevin Owens and The Fiend. It hasn’t been a remarkable build, limited to two segments, although this past week’s face-off was effective. Perhaps you allow Goldberg to kick out of one Claymore before being beaten to protect his aura, which he does have, and you don’t want to extinguish.
Sasha Banks vs. Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Championship:
Their match at TLC exceeded expectations and they’ll want to build upon that. I would expect Reginald to have a significant role for display his Cirque du Soleil routine after being so heavily part of this promotion. Banks should definitely retain the title.
**Bloomberg has a piece on the WWE Network deal with Peacock and spoke with WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan:
The challenge was growing it from where we are. It’s tough to get people who aren’t fans to sample a product when you have to subscribe to see it. In a world where all the media behemoths have pivoted to streaming, I think history will show it was a brilliant move to partner with them.
**Bill Goldberg spoke with FOX Sports’ Ryan Satin about the match with Drew McIntyre and shared the following about his time to prepare for this match Drew McIntyre and getting ready for it:
Depends on when you get the call, my friend. So let’s just leave it at that.
Let’s just say that I haven’t had nearly the time that I normally would have. I haven’t had the time that makes me feel comfortable. I haven’t had the time to make me not lobotomize myself every day about putting on my BVDs in front of millions of people at my age — or any age.
I don’t have a high opinion of myself, but I have an extremely high standard for myself.
I’m one of the luckiest men in the world. I’m in a great position, and the last thing you’ll listen to me do is complain. So no matter how much time I’ve had, I will make the best use of it.
Especially this last four days. I’m gonna show the world that Goldberg is still walking around and walking with a very heavy footstep because I’m gonna put this foot right up Drew McIntyre’s ass.
Goldberg also shared his feelings on the match with Braun Strowman at last year’s WrestleMania, which was a late change after Strowman replaced Roman Reigns:
It was miserable. It was very – you know, that situation was extremely difficult.
Whether it was just dealing with the COVID, whether it was dealing with the last-minute change of the opponent, whether it was dealing with having to stay and change my itinerary literally on the fly when I hit the ground.
It was a very stressful 48 hours, and again, I’m a soldier. I’m not the general. I may have an opinion about it, but it’s not my place to voice it because my opinion makes no difference in that situation.
I always, when I’m brought back, would like to have had a very meaningful storyline and build up to every match or potential match that I’m involved in.
It’s only fair to the fans. It’s only fair to my opponent, and it’s only fair to me. But sometimes, that’s not the case.
**Game Changer Wrestling pulled off its 24-hour Fight Forever event, which concluded Saturday night. Their goal of raising $40,000 U.S. was exceeded and have raised over $53,000, which they stated will all go to the independent wrestlers. One of the matches being heavily discussed that the Jordan Oliver vs. Tony Deppen match on Saturday, which was a 60-minute Ironman Match for the Synergy title. After the hour, they were tied in falls and ended up going another hour with Oliver winning 7-6.
**New Japan Pro Wrestling begins three consecutive nights at Korakuen Hall on Monday with the Road to New Beginning tour. If you can believe it, this is the first of TEN shows that NJPW is running at Korakuen Hall in the month of February, which overkill doesn’t even begin to describe. Monday’s show will be broadcast in Japanese and English at 4 am ET with the following card:
*Elimination Match: Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo & Jado vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki
*Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo
*Kota Ibushi, SHO, Master Wato & Tomoaki Honma vs. SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI
*Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji
**Jon Moxley will be appearing on this Friday’s edition of NJPW Strong as they begin to promote the match with KENTA for the 2/26 edition of the show. Next week’s episode will also feature Rey Horus vs. TJP, The DKC vs. Kevin Knight, and an eight-man involving Bateman, Jordan Clearwater, Adrian Quest & Misterioso facing Brody King, Barrett Brown, and Logan & Sterling Riegel.
**The Fight Network has released an excellent feature on RJ City with his philosophies toward professional wrestling and deconstructing its form from the inside. The production level is high and that’s from the work of producer Jorge Barbosa, who is an exceptionally talented producer and editor, along with Albert Vartanian and James Garcia. It’s a 46-minute documentary that never feels like a sit-down interview due to the reliance on several locational changes, Fight Network’s in-house library of wrestling content, and drawing upon RJ City’s work in both pro wrestling and comedy.
**Kenny Herzog has a feature on MVP and his return to WWE one year ago that went from a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble to a substantial role on television with The Hurt Business.
**AEW Dark has released the following line-up for Tuesday night’s episode at 7 pm ET on its YouTube channel:
*The Waiting Room with guest Ricky Starks
*Tay Conti vs. Tesha Price
*Rey Fenix vs. KC Navarro
*Ivelisse & Diamante vs. Vertvixen & Jazmin Allure
*Leyla Hirsch vs. Katalina Perez
*Billy & Colten Gunn vs. John Skyler & Ray Jaz
*Red Velvet vs. Alex Gracia
*Santana & Ortiz vs. Fuego Del Sol & Vary Morales
*Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Luther & Serpentico
*The Acclaimed vs. Danny Limelight & Ryzin
*10 of the Dark Order vs. Jake St. Patrick
*Joey Janela, Sonny Kiss & Bear Country vs. Baron Black, Aaron Solow, Shawn Dean & Mike Verna
*Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall & Nick Comoroto vs. M’Badu, Terrence & Terrell Hughes
**The WWE Network has released the first episode of WWE Icons focusing on the late Rodney Anoa’i a.k.a. Yokozuna.
**For IMPACT viewers in the UK and Ireland, new episodes of the show will now premiere on Facebook and YouTube several hours after the U.S. broadcast on Tuesday nights. Previously, IMPACT had been airing on Freesports and they stated that for information would be coming when asked if they would still occupy a window on Freesports.
ON THIS DATE
PAY PER VIEW REWIND
WWE Royal Rumble 2020
Sunday, January 26th at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas
*Sheamus over Shorty G
*United States Championship: Andrade (champion) over Humberto Carrillo
*Falls Count Anywhere: Roman Reigns over King Corbin
*30-Woman Royal Rumble: Charlotte Flair wins after eliminating Shayna Baszler last
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (champion) over Lacey Evans
*Universal Championship: The Fiend Bray Wyatt (champion) over Daniel Bryan
*RAW Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (champion) over Asuka
*30-Man Royal Rumble: Drew McIntyre wins after eliminating Roman Reigns last
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