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PW Staff Present 2021 WWE Royal Rumble Predictions: Who’s Going To WrestleMania??

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1 WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match

Mike Killam: 

I’ve got nothing against Carmella but I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of her and Sasha Banks working together. It’s largely the fault of whoever writes their promos, but there’s a lack of chemistry between them. I was okay with their TLC battle being a one-and-done, but that’s rarely how WWE does things these days — so here we are.


Banks should win. She’s on a different level as a champion, as a character, and as a star right now. I could very easily see WWE throwing the belt to Carmella because that’s one of the few ways they know how to get heat. It’s the wrong move. Carmella is good. Banks is the reason you order WrestleMania.

dougEwrestling:

There is no way that Sasha doesn’t win this match. For the first time she’s had an interesting and convincing title run, and nothing that she has done with Carmella has been interesting. They tried, but it’s time to move on. Now the question is who is next for the Boss at Mania?

Matthew Wilkinson:

Out of all the matches on the WWE Royal Rumble card, this feels like the easiest one to predict. While Carmella’s latest character is entertaining, taking the title away from Sasha Banks at any point before WWE WrestleMania 37 would be ridiculous. The Legit Boss will take this one, in what will likely be a very entertaining match.

Colby Applegate:

There’s no doubt Sasha Banks should retain here. I’m curious to see if they’ll be able to top their fun match from TLC. The extension of this feud has been lacking, but Banks competing against Reginald was a fun stepping stone. I’d hate to see Carmella get lost in the shuffle going into WrestleMania, so here’s hoping she stays relevant after another loss to The Boss.

2 WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

Mike Killam: 

Is there an option where neither team wins and the belts go to NXT where they actually have a chance at maybe sustaining a women’s tag team division? Probably not. Baszler and Jax were better with the belts because, despite being thrown together, at least they established themselves as a team and are presented as villains that fans actually enjoy booing. I’m also okay with them being split up, but knowing WWE they’ll both be in worse tag teams within a month anyways (remind me, why did we split up the IIconics again?). I’ll take the challengers to win.

dougEwrestling:

Can we have neither win and have a tournament for new champs? Having the titles on Charlotte and Asuka has made Asuka’s title reign even more irrelevant and I just do not want to see Nia and Shayna as champs. Shayna needs to be a dominant singles star and Asuka needs to actually be Raw Women’s champ. For the sake of the swerve and what seems to be their inevitable match though, I’m picking for Asuka and Charlotte to break up, lose their titles, and set up their match at Mania.

 

Matthew Wilkinson:

The women’s tag team division has been a mess for a while now, and WWE would be smart to transition these titles over to NXT with whoever wins the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. But before that point we have this rematch, between two teams of singles stars with the Raw Women’s Championship stuck in the midst of it. Heading into ‘Mania, it would be better to have the Women’s Title free of tag team storylines, so Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler should win here.

Colby Applegate:

Remember when automatic rematches were a thing of the past? All jokes aside, the Raw women’s division needs some serious sorting out. At first it was, “they need more star power,” but Charlotte is back. We have a new set of Tag Team Champions, however they’ve been involved in their own storylines that haven’t involved Baszler and Jax. I’m still not sure what the end game is, but I say let’s give up the act already. Jax and Baszler will regain the titles, setting up another eventual feud between Charlotte and Asuka.

3 WWE Championship Match

Mike Killam: 

McIntyre. That’s all your getting. WWE didn’t put any effort into this match, why should I?

dougEwrestling:

I have a sick feeling in my stomach about this. I can’t bring myself to pick Goldberg because I refuse to believe WWE is so stupid to put the title on him. Please let Drew win.

Matthew Wilkinson:

Expect a very short match full of Claymore’s and Spears. This isn’t going to be a classic by any stretch, and the lack of build-up to this hasn’t really built much excitement. WWE loves throwing a title on Goldberg at this time of year, but not this time. Drew slays another WWE legend to keep cementing his legacy.

Colby Applegate:

Goldberg says he has two contracted matches per year, and it seems one of those is being wasted on a “dream” match no one asked for. Goldberg doesn’t need the one World Title that has alluded him, and a loss to McIntyre would help solidify McIntyre’s year-long hot streak. Here’s hoping both men stay safe en route to a Claymore for the three-count.

4 Last Man Standing for the WWE Universal Title

Mike Killam:

I know I’ve been… shall we say, a bit negative so far in my analysis for this Sunday’s pay-per-view. This, however, is a match I’m greatly looking forward to. I’m taking Reigns to win because betting against him right now just feels like a sure-fire way to lose money.

Kevin Owens losing again does present a possible issue, but I’m also okay with Reigns finally pinning him clean in the middle of the ring. No more shenanigans — just let your champion win. KO likely isn’t the guy to take the belt off Roman. I don’t know who is. I think maybe it’s okay to not know. It’s okay for WWE to not know. Let it ride…

dougEwrestling:

This is actually a feud that I’m up to date and interested in on the main roster, and that speaks to the level of talent from both stars. I’m giving the nod to Roman though, as his level of work is the highest of anyone in the WWE and he is one of the best things going in wrestling today. When someone beats him, it has to mean a lot.

Matthew Wilkinson:

This is going to be a fantastic match, with both men firing on all cylinders right now. WWE’s in a tough spot here, because Kevin Owens has been back at his best lately, and he deserves a run with the title, yet Roman Reigns is operating on another level right now. I expect Roman to edge through this one, in what will be a very hard-fought match.

Colby Applegate:

I feel like I’m one of the few who actually would’ve preferred Adam Pearce getting a crack at the title rather than seeing Kevin Owens lose yet again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for seeing Owens in a title match. But Roman Reigns is all but certain to carry the Universal Title into WrestleMania. He’s having the best run of his career, which is unfortunate for someone like KO who could use another run at the top. If their Royal Rumble 2017 No DQ match was any indiction, this rematch will go down as a hard-hitting scrap. However, this time, I expect a different result. The Head of the Table will stand tall with or without help.

5 Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Mike Killam: 

This one is wide open. I’m backing Bianca Belair because I think it’s her time, but if not here than I really have no concrete options for you. Lacey Evans will likely eliminate Charlotte, or Charlotte will win and take down Lacey as a warmup for WrestleMania over the next two months. Rhea Ripley is a good option. Io Shirai is a good option. Bayley is always on the radar. This should be a good one, and as long as they avoid going to the well with someone I’m already sick of, there aren’t that many “wrong” answers.

dougEwrestling:

My initial pick is Bianca Belair, but it seems like that’s the popular pick here. So what the hell, I’ll go with the surprise pick and put a debuting Rhea Ripley at the top, cementing herself atop the women’s division where she belongs.

Matthew Wilkinson:

Bianca Belair feels like the clear favorite heading into this match, but I personally believe this is the time and the place to introduce Rhea Ripley as main roster star. Ripley has done everything there is to do in NXT, and bringing her in by winning the Rumble would certainly be a big way to do it.

Colby Applegate:

The Royal Rumble is a great way to put over a rising star destined for a WrestleMania spotlight. And who is worthy of that spot this year? Bianca Belair. The EST of WWE was a show-stealer in last year’s Rumble, and now she’s one of the few stars who actually has momentum to capitalize on. How fitting would it be if Belair tossed out Bayley to win the whole thing? And what’s not to love about Belair vs. Sasha Banks on the biggest stage? This is a move a majority of the fanbase will support.

6 Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Mike Killam:

Brock Lesnar and Keith Lee are my go-to picks. Lee has been groomed for the role and a possible match with Drew McIntyre at Wrestlemania, but with another two-night show they have a lot of main events to fill and betting against Brock Lesnar is really, really stupid.

Daniel Bryan is a good idea if there’s going to be fans in the building at WrestleMania, and that story is built-in and ready to go if they’re smart enough to pull the trigger. It’s literally Bryan’s fault Reigns took so long to get where he is right now, and the Rumble is the impetus for this whole thing.

Edge was at the top of my list, but neither McIntyre nor Reigns make a lot of sense as targets. Orton could win, but The Fiend isn’t done with him. I could see Reigns destroying Owens earlier in the night and KO hobbling out on one good leg to win, potentially. There’s also Goldberg, if they want to make everyone really mad. Gun to my head, I guess I’ll take Lesnar.

dougEwrestling:

The logical pick with no surprises is Daniel Bryan, who has the story behind him. But my fantasy pick is Brock Lesnar, as that will be the most exciting program bar none in WWE if they could put him in a program with Roman Reigns.

Matthew Wilkinson:

There are quite a few options of possible winners heading into this match. Daniel Bryan, Edge, a returning Fiend are obviously options, with darkhorse picks such as Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus, and Keith Lee all being credible enough to win it as well.

But with my prediction of Roman Reigns retaining, I believe he needs a major babyface name for WrestleMania, and Daniel Bryan would fill that spot perfectly. He’s someone that fans would love to see in the main event as audiences return to the stands for WrestleMania.

Colby Applegate:

The men’s Rumble feels a little bit less predictable. We have two strong world champions who will both be seeking a WrestleMania-worthy challenger in the coming weeks. We’ve seen the likes of AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro pick up steam to kick off the new year. Daniel Bryan is another favorite. However, I’m going with a dark horse pick this time. How about John Morrison? With a storyline already in place from the end of 2020, having The Miz as Mr. Money in the Bank, Morrison as the Rumble winner, and McIntyre as WWE Champion could be very intriguing if they drop some of the comedy and get serious going into April. It’s time WWE let John Morrison be the main event star we know he can be.

What are your predictions for the WWE Royal Rumble? Sound off in the comment section below, or share your predictions with us on social media @prowrestlingcom

AEW

Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #9)

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Break It Down

It’s been another brilliant week of wrestling on the road to AEW Revolution, while WWE continues to build towards WWE WrestleMania 37. The week brought big title matches, celebrities competing in the ring, and some really strong build-up to the major events around the corner.

But which shows stood out, which had the best matches, and which was ultimately the most entertaining of the week? Let’s Break It Down and find out!


6. WWE Raw

WWE Raw had a few highlights, with the first hour of the show being really enjoyable as it flew by. The match between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus was PPV worthy and saw them bring the best out of each other, while The Hurt Business being so direct was excellent to see.

However, the decision to push back the WWE Championship match several times actually hurt the show overall. The flow and excitement really was taken out of the night. The show had so many lackluster segments, from squashing Naomi to the pointless Tag Team Championship match featuring Adam Pearce.

Charlotte and Nia Jax’s match failed to build any excitement either, with the show being full of smaller, forgettable matches. Of course, this episode did end with a bang though as Bobby Lashley became WWE Champion in dominant fashion, which was absolutely the right call.

5. IMPACT Wrestling

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/IMPACT

It was another good episode of IMPACT Wrestling that featured a lot of nice matches, but nothing overly standout to make the show pop. The opening triple threat was a solid match for the X-Division, while the build of Tenille Dashwood was also effectively booked.

Sami Callihan’s segment, turning up at Trey Miguel’s training area was interesting and felt unique due to how it was filmed, which allowed that to thrive. It was also great to see FinnJuice, and the tension between them and The Good Brothers could lead to something special.

However, the best work of the night came between Matt Cardona and Brian Myers. With Cardona being the special guest referee for Myers’ match with Eddie Edwards, he tried to cheat only for Cardona to stop it, which adds tension to their friendship that was really well booked.

4. WWE NXT UK

WWE NXT UK

WWE NXT UK featured the best match of the week, as Kay Lee Ray defended her NXT UK Women’s Championship against Meiko Satamoru in what was an amazing match. They went back and forth in a hard-hitting bout that really felt like a big deal, with the women delivering on the hype.

However, the whole show was entertaining for the majority of it. Seeing Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan back was a nice boost for the tag team division, which created a good match. However, having Williams sneakily cheat to help Jordan win was nice booking, and teases issues between them down the line.

The Supernova Sessions segment failed to deliver once again here, with this talk show really feeling very awkward. The whole focus being on Tyler Bate and him being a vegan, which wasn’t entertaining. But what was entertaining was the opening match between Ilja Dragunov and Sam Gradwell. It was physical, but the character work was excellent as Dragunov’s anger issues overcame him once again.

3. WWE SmackDown

Phot Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

The blue brand always does a great job of focusing its entire show on the upcoming PPV, and that’s exactly what happened with this episode. From the start, everything was about WWE Fastlane, with Daniel Bryan kicking off the show with a tremendous promo that was full of fire, really building his storyline with Roman Reigns.

The segment between The Street Profits/King Corbin and Sami Zayn fell flat, with all four feeling a little lost right now. However, the work between the Mysterio’s and Gable/Otis was far better, while the storyline work with Reginald throughout the night was excellently done, potentially leading him to work with Nia Jax.

Apollo Crews’ character change was fantastic and is exactly what he needed as a character. He feels far more interesting than he ever has done, setting up a big match with Big E, plus the main event steel cage match certainly delivered.

2. WWE NXT

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

Right from the opening tag team match, which was hard-hitting and full of great near falls, this show was enjoyable. Teasing Timothy Thatcher joining Imperium is an interesting idea that could lead to a fun storyline, plus the work with Cameron Grimes during the night was also very enjoyable.

Aliyah and Ember Moon had a nice match together, but the Women’s Tag Team Championship match just didn’t live up to the hype, with the poor finish being very disappointing. Seeing LA Knight appear was good, and while his promo was fairly generic, it was well put together.

It was good to see Lega Del Fantasma being booked stronger, making them feel like a threat again. But the main event was the treat of the night, with Finn Balor and Roderick Strong having a really solid main event to close the show.

1. AEW Dynamite

AEW Dynamite was an incredible show this week that really had something for everyone, creating one of the best shows the company has ever had. While the main event tag team bout and brawl as a slightly flat ending, everything else was brilliant.

The mixed tag team match featuring Shaq was better than it had any right to be, with everyone involved clearly giving their very best. The press conference segment was quite unique and put together well, with MJF and Chris Jericho having some great promos against The Young Bucks to build that match.

The six-man tag team match that saw Tully return to the rind was very fun, while the Women’s Tournament final was an excellent match, proving once again why the division needs more focus. Everything on the show built towards the PPV and it really did an amazing job of hyping up the show, showcasing how good a go-home show can be.

Sixth place= 1 point
Fifth place= 2 points
Fourth place= 3 points
Third place= 4 points
Second place=5 points
First place= 6 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 17
IMPACT Wrestling- 31
WWE NXT- 39
AEW Dynamite- 45
WWE NXT UK- 25
WWE SmackDown- 27

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Editorials

Match Of The Month: The Top 10 WWE Matches (February, 2021)

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Last month I kicked off a new feature, where I run down the 10 best WWE matches of the month from across all shows and PPV events. January saw some very good matches take place (which you can check HERE), but the month of February actually saw that stepped up a notch.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at what my top 10 matches for February were in the world of WWE.


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AEW

Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #7)

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Break It Down

It’s Sunday, you know what that means. As ever, it is time to Break It Down, as we take a detailed look back on the last week of wrestling, taking a look at what has worked, and what has fallen short, in what’s been another action-packed set of shows.

As ever, there have been some highlights and lowlights, but there have been some brilliant matches throughout the week which have kept fans entertained. But which of the shows was the true standout?


WWE RAW

WWE Raw continued in its recent tradition of being a very long three-hour show, and while certain moments worked, and were enjoyable, there are too many moments that simply don’t work. The Miz TV opening segment wasn’t exciting, but it does make sense on his behalf to pull out of the Elimination Chamber.

The six-man tag team match featuring The Hurt Business against Riddle and Lucha House Party was a very average match, and the Lacey Evans announcement renders that recent storyline fairly pointless. It’s not been a great story anyway, and the fact a tag team match had Asuka as a bit-part player just showcases where the women’s division is at right now.

Kofi Kingston and The Miz did have a nice match against each other, which was great to see, but the overwhelming positive of this show was the gauntlet match. It’s a stipulation WWE typically does very good at, and this was no different.

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