1/29 PW Morning Report: The Road to WrestleMania Has Begun, Rumble Recap, Rousey, Mysterio, EC3 & More

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Oh my, what a ridiculous weekend in wrestling news. Below are all the latest headlines you may have missed this weekend, especially since we were cranking them out like a machine for the past 48 hours to get you ready for both NXT Takeover and WWE Royal Rumble.

And that’s just the latest WWE news – we’ll be back tomorrow morning to cover WWE Raw, the latest on Ronda Rousey and to get caught up on all the non-WWE and indie news from this past weekend as well. The PW Morning Show will be delayed this morning as I’ve had roughly two hours of sleep since Saturday morning… Look for me live on Facebook this afternoon before WWE RAW!

This Week’s TV Schedule

WWE RAW on USA NETWORK
January 29, 2018

WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE on USA NETWORK
January 30, 2018

WWE 205 LIVE on WWE NETWORK
January 30, 2018

WWE MIXED MATCH CHALLENGE on FACEBOOK
January 30, 2018

WWE NXT on WWE NETWORK
January 31, 2018

IMPACT WRESTLING on POP TV
February 1, 2018

NXT Takeover: Philadelphia

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this over the past three years, but the NXT brand may have outshined the main roster this past Saturday night with yet another excellent NXT Takeover special on the WWE Network. A brutal Extreme Rules match between Adam Cole and Aleister Black and another brilliant performance from Velveteen Dream were only upstaged by NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano in one of the single greatest WWE matches of the past decade. Full NXT Takeover: Philadelphia results. 

You could argue that the spectacle of Royal Rumble outweighed the Takeover show overall, especially with Ronda Rousey making her highly anticipated debut with the company, but NXT had its fair share of surprises with new signees all siting ringside and the shocker of EC3 signing a new deal to return to WWE.

WWE Royal Rumble 2018

As noted, the annual second biggest pay-per-view of the year ended with UFC icon Ronda Rousey crashing the party and establishing herself as a key threat to this year’s WrestleMania card. It was then almost immediately announced by ESPN that Rousey had signed a full-time deal with WWE to become a professional wrestler, which quoted her as saying, “this is my life now”.

Shinsuke Nakamura won the men’s Rumble match and will be facing AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania unless plans change in the next few weeks (DETAILS). Asuka continued to rack up accolades by winning the first ever women’s Rumble match (DETAILS), but did not reveal which title she’ll be going after. It was announced before the PPV that the winner of the Rumble matches would get to choose which brand’s champions they went after, returning to the old brand split philosophy. Full WWE Royal Rumble 2018 results. 

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Creative Director & Senior Editor of ProWrestling.com