After weeks of speculation, AJ Styles made his WWE debut, entering the Royal Rumble match at number three. Michael Cole did a great job of detailing why Styles was important and the Orlando crowd popped for the former TNA and NJPW standout.
Notably, he is AJ Styles. WWE did not force a name change, which wouldn’t have made sense anyway given AJ’s long career and name recognition in the industry. The company also already has Styles t-shirts for sale on WWE Shop.
We’ll see what’s next for Styles, who lasted quite a while in the Rumble match. He was eliminated after a furious brawl with Kevin Owens and a program between the two men would be very welcome.
EA Sports today revealed that Mike Tyson will be the pre-order bonus playable character in the upcoming EA Sports UFC 2 videogame. While Tyson makes pretty much no sense in an MMA game, remember that the previous version of the game featured Bruce Lee as a playable fighter. Lee – an icon in the world of martial arts – made some sense and I guess at least Tyson has participated in combat sports but if you were upset about Arnold Schwarzenegger being in WWE 2K16, you’re probably pretty upset about this one.
Pre-ordering the Deluxe Edition will get you two versions of Tyson; the younger “Iron Mike” and the older, tattooed-faced “Legacy Mike.” Along with the two Tysons, all pre-orders get Bas Rutten and Kazushi Sakuraba as playable characters.
The game hits retail shelves March 15th in North America and is available for Xbox One and PS4.
During last night’s TNA World Championship Last Man Standing match, Tyrus turned on Ethan Carter III and aligned with Matt Hardy, who turned heel and won the TNA World Championship. Following the title win, Hardy embraced his heel persona to the fullest, going off on an excellent Twitter rant calling fans “insolent underlings” and demanding they address him as “YOUR GRACE” or “MY LORD,” and claiming he offered Tyrus twice what EC3 was paying him.
While it’s often been easy to criticize TNA, I very much like how this storyline has played out, especially with Reby Sky becoming more and more enraged as the weeks have gone on and coming off like the puppet controlling Matt. It will also be nice to see EC3, who has become one of the best parts of TNA each week, as a babyface.
With Matt Hardy challenging Ethan Carter III on tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling for the TNA Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match, the company has uploaded a few classic LMS matches to its YouTube channel. It might also have something to do with both matches featuring AJ Styles and his hype levels at an all-time high thanks to his rumored impending WWE debut, but whatever.
Either way, we’ll use this as a way to watch a really good match one more time. While dubbed a Last Man Standing match, the contest was actually wrestled under Texas Death Match rules, in which you have to pin or submit the opponent before a 10 count begins.
Monday night’s episode of Raw was noteworthy for several reasons. It was the company’s first show since Seth Rollins tore his entire knee up last week working a match with Kane on WWE’s live tour of England. It was also the first night of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, which will see 16 men whittled down to a new champion at Survivor Series. Alas, it was also noteworthy because we saw the reemergence of Kane and the Undertaker after Bray Wyatt and his minions had supposedly eaten their souls and stolen their cartoon powers.
The Manchester crowd certainly popped for the Brothers of Destruction, who proceeded to clean house of all four members of the Wyatt Family, leaving Bray laid out in the middle of the ring, and leaving to a thunderous ovation, arms raised in victory.
If I didn’t know better, I would think the feud was over.
Why do we need to see these two factions battle again? Clearly four men are no match for Undertaker and Kane, or at least that’s how WWE booked it Monday night. With only one Raw left until Survivor Series and heavy promotion of Undertaker’s 25th anniversary at the event taking place, he clearly has a place on the card and it obviously has to be pairing with his “brother” Kane to take on the Wyatt Family, but what are the stakes?
WWE could add two men to the mix and make it a four-on-four traditional Survivor Series elimination match but that doesn’t really make sense at this point. For one, the story has gone on for several weeks without anyone coming to the add of Taker and Kane. Also, why do they need help when they can easily dispatch of the Wyatt Family, as evidenced last night?
While the four-on-two will be fun, it could have been so much better, and how now become just a match as opposed to Taker and Kane seeking their ultimate revenge.
Bleacher Report released the above clip of several NFL rookies cutting pro wrestling-style promos. Included in the video are “The Jaboo” Jameis Winston, “The Wolverine” Devin Funchess, “Hulk” Melvin Gordon, “Brock” Ty Montgomery, Brett “The Hitman” Hundley, “Maverick” Bryce Petty, and “The Big Cat” Leonard Williams.
Another day, another return. This time it was Randy Orton coming to the aid of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose and helping them fend off the Wyatt Family. This segment uncharacteristically opened Raw instead of an Authority or Seth Rollins promo and it was a nice change of pace.
During the celebration for Charlotte’s Divas Championship win on last night episode of Raw, Paige had enough of the theatrics and seemingly turned heel on her PCB-mates. Whether or not you considered it a “pipebomb” promo, it certainly had shades of AJ Lee’s anti-diva rant in it.
My one nitpick with how this all went down was Charlotte’s overreactions while Paige was talking, distracting from the promo. I know in real life that’s how it would go down but in the land of kayfabe the rule is generally to take turns doing the talking.
Either way, it’s nice to see this side of Paige. She plays the brat character so well and hopefully – once Charlotte is done with Nikki Bella – we quickly move into a Paige v. Charlotte program and the excellent matches that will follow.
Miss Night of Champions? Here’s a speed run of highlights through the show which saw Kevin Owens walk out with the Intercontinental Title, John Cena recapture the US Championship, Charlotte win the Divas crown, and Kane and Chris Jericho return, from HighlightsMania. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel and subscribe for highlights from WWE and TNA.