The following is a recap of the new ‘WWE The Day Of’ special that dropped on the WWE Network (LINK) today, taking us behind the scenes of the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
The show opened with classic clips of Pat Patterson talking about how much everyone loves the Royal Rumble and the process behind how he came up with the match. “We’re always trying to be creative and do something that’s never been done.” He had to convince Vince McMahon that it was going to work as he didn’t initially believe it was viable. Patterson also told a story about “Nature Boy” Ric Flair coming through the curtain in ’92 after winning the world title “crying like a baby” and hugging him.
Edge and Christian were shown arriving at the ThunderDome for the 2021 Royal Rumble. They actually shared a dressing room for the show, I imagine for the first time since Edge retired.
Edge talked about the Rumble being based in fan interaction and the challenges of adapting to the pandemic. Now there’s a lot of going out and trying something, then going back and looking on social media to see the reactions and if it worked.
Christian said he’s been asked for years literally everywhere he goes if he’ll ever wrestle another match. Until six months ago he genuinely thought the answer was no, and didn’t like the idea that the last time fans ever saw him would be that segment where Randy Orton punted him.
Damian Priest said the Royal Rumble was his favorite WWE event of the entire year going back to watching as a little kid. “It’s the dream, man. I think part of the process of achieving your dreams is just making it to the company. … In NXT I was one in the back thinking I don’t know if I belong here sometimes, because there’s so much talent, and I don’t know if I can hang. But I figured out a way to belong, and a way to excel. That’s my goal here.”
Shane Helms was asked if he was nervous coming back, but said he was never a person to get a lot of nerves before a big moment. He talked about being a backstage guy now and enjoying every opportunity he has to help someone achieve their goals, but when he sees that ring or walks into the arena there’s a little voice in the back of his head going “you can do it one more time!” Helms said he was okay if his in-ring career ends in the Royal Rumble because it’s his favorite event of all time.
Bad Bunny was shown rehearsing his song with Booker T, which they apparently did in one take. He met various Superstars backstage including Charlotte Flair, who talked about being able to understand Spanish but getting super nervous trying to speak it in front of people. Bunny admitted he was the same with English.
Torrie Wilson said the best part about coming back is seeing all her old friends and the people she watches on TV now. She was really excited to get in the ring with Bianca Belair, calling her a “badass”.
Carlito didn’t know what to expect as obviously this year’s Rumble was very different than any before it, but he was excited to make his walk down a WWE ramp for the first time in ten years. They showed footage of him winning the Intercontinental Championship. “I’m excited to mix it up with the young ones, the old-timers, everybody. It’s what I came for, to compete with everybody. I’m proud to be one of the surprise entrants. Hopefully some people will be happy about it, and some will remember who I was.”
Victoria opened up about her doubts and the pressure she put on herself to be perfect and have an amazing match. She said she was very nervous to meet all the new girls in the locker room, but they were very warm and nice to her and she seemed to be having a great time visiting.
Seth Rollins reiterated that the Rumble is the most fan-interactive WWE event of the year, so he hoped they were able to connect with the fans and bring them something exciting, as well as keep up the energy for the performers in the ring who don’t have live fans to feed off.
Ember Moon said a lot of the same things we’ve already heard but you can tell she’s such a huge fan and is serious when she talks about wanting to headline WrestleMania since she was a kid, watching her favorites point at the sign after winning the Royal Rumble year after year.
An awesome video package recapped the Women’s Royal Rumble match with all the important moments, surprise entrants and eliminations until it came down to the final three.
An emotional Montez Ford was shown backstage watching Bianca Belair win the match. When she came back through the curtain all the producers and women in the match gave her a standing ovation and chanted “EST! EST!” but she went straight to Montez and as she said, “sat in that moment together”.
Bianca also had a moment with Triple H where he hugged her and told her that he believed in her, and that “this is only the first step.” She also spoke to Ric Flair who congratulated her with a big smile on his face and when she admitted she didn’t know what to do next, he said, “This is the real deal. It’s like winning the Super Bowl. You enjoy it.”
Big E paid tribute to Brodie Lee as they showed off the special New Day gear they were all wearing in his memory. Xavier Woods showed the different Brodie poses they had and explained them to Ruby Riott. Big E had to walk off camera, and Woods broke down nearly crying and said “I just miss my friend….”
Much like the women’s match, they ran a video package recapping the highlights from the Men’s Royal Rumble match, interspersed with comments from the performers throughout.
An emotional Edge talked about winning the match and how important it was for him to do it on the same night that his best friend Christian returned, just like him, after being told he would never wrestle again.
“It means a lot. I assumed this was all done. If you had told me four years ago that I would be in the Royal Rumble, going in first and winning it to go to WrestleMania… I still feel like I need to pinch myself. Next to my family, that means the most to me.” … “If you wrote this as a script for Hollywood they’d say it was impossible, that it could never happen. Yet here we are. I don’t get it, and I think I’m going to stop trying to get it, and just enjoy it. It’s happening, and it’s awesome.”
Match Of The Month: The Top 10 WWE Matches (February, 2021)
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.
Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #7)
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 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.
Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #6)
As ever, it’s been an exciting week in the world of professional wrestling with plenty of fantastic matches, promos, and segments all taking place across the board. It’s arguably been the strongest week in terms of content throughout with every show putting on a decent show.
Of course, there wasn’t anything that was perfect throughout the week, but every show did a great job of pushing towards the upcoming events that each company has right now. But, which was the pick of the bunch? Let’s Break It Down and find out!
6.WWE NXT UK
The NXT UK brand has the benefit and the negatives of only being a one hour show. It means that a lot has to be crammed into a short space of time, but overall this week the brand did a good of it. Meiko Satomura’s debut was excellent to see, and starting to tease her facing Kay Lee Ray is a wise move for the division.
However, between that and the main event, a lot of the show felt like filler. There were a few good video packages, with the build of Trent Seven’s character being good. However, the Supernova Sessions interview segment this week simply didn’t click, with this one falling quite flat and took up way too much time to set a match for next week.
Piper Niven’s match was fine, and continuing her feud with Jinny through Joseph Conners’ appearance could lead to something interesting. However, the main event of this show was incredible, with the tag team street fight being incredibly hard-hitting as all four men brought their best, which ended the show with a bang.
5. WWE Raw
WWE Raw kick-started in an awkward manner this week with Shane McMahon’s return. Seeing him sweating buckets to make the Elimination Chamber announcement was very strange, and hopefully is not leading to a storyline with Adam Pearce.
The work between Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans continues to be very average, with the story just not being that interesting. On the flip side, RETRIBUTION’s feud with New Day is the most interesting they’ve been, and it was certainly great to see Kofi Kingston back.
Riddle and Keith Lee had a fun match and Drew McIntyre’s main event with Randy Orton was solid, but this is a match we’ve seen far too much in recent months. Ultimately, this show will be best remembered for Nia Jax screaming “MY HOLE!” and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.
4. WWE SmackDown
The blue brand also started with an Elimination Chamber announcement, but it did the job far better. Continuing the tension between Adam Pearce and Roman Reigns was perfectly done, with that story being very enjoyable to watch each week.
The show then had a real hit and miss feel about it, with some matches being entertaining and others being forgettable. Sami Zayn and King Corbin beating the Mysterio’s was enjoyable, while Bayley and Liv Morgan also had a nice match as Billie Kay continues to be a problem for the Riott Squad.
However, Seth Rollins’ return was fairly flat and felt far too similar to what he’s done before. Him feuding with Cesaro and Daniel Byran should be a lot of fun though. Speaking of, both men had a really good main event match with the Dirty Dogs, in what was certainly the bout of the night which rounded out the show nicely.
3. IMPACT Wrestling
IMPACT Wrestling was great once again this week, with the show continuing to be consistently fun. Kicking off with an eight-man tag was a fun way to start, and while it was as chaotic as you would expect for that many people, it was certainly enjoyable.
ODB and Kimber Lee had a decent match, but it wasn’t anything special. The segment with Cousin Jake was strong though, continuing his storyline nicely, which has been a great mid-card angle as of late. This episode also saw the surprise debut of AAA’s Black Taurus.
The main event of the show was also a lot of fun, with The Good Brothers defending their Tag Team Titles against James Storm and Chris Sabin, ending the show with a bang, which is something IMPACT does well.
2. WWE NXT
WWE NXT put together a really good show this week, which isn’t a big surprise given that it was the go-home for tonight’s Takeover event. The show kicked off in a great way with MSK facing Legado Del Fantasma in what was a very fast-paced and frantic match.
The show then maintained that level of excitement, although it was varied in content. We had the very serious and mysterious Xia Li story, and then some hilarious comedy work with The Way and William Regal, which broke the show up nicely.
The Way’s tag team match with Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon was entertaining, although a little sloppy at points. While Cameron Grimes’ return was welcomed and entertaining. Plus, the main event was a great match between Timothy Thatcher/Tommaso Ciampa and the Grizzled Young Veterans, which was really exciting to see.
1. AEW Dynamite
AEW Dynamite put together a great show this week, with the company having a real unpredictable buzz about it right now with the Forbidden Door being opened. The show started well with the TNT Championship match showcasing exactly what Joey Janela can do, and hopefully, he is now booked more consistently.
Lee Johson getting his big moment was great to see, although Cody currently does feel a little lost in the shuffle, with his Shaq storyline doing more damage than good. Similarly, the use of Sting is something that needs to be addressed, and changed up, as it has become rather stale. However, PAC’s match was fun, and the work with the Inner Circle was really enjoyable.
AEW has the chance to make a big babyface star out of Sammy Guevara now if booked right. The main event was an excellent one to wrap up the show as well, with the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation being used to full effect in what was a chaotic and entertaining match.
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- 12
IMPACT Wrestling- 24
WWE NXT- 25
AEW Dynamite- 27
WWE NXT UK- 17
WWE SmackDown- 21
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