Video: AJ Styles Makes WWE Debut at Royal Rumble


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.

Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match Added to Royal Rumble Kickoff with Winners Entering Rumble

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WWE just announced that a Fatal 4-Way tag team match will take place on the Royal Rumble kickoff show, with the winning tag team earning entry into the Rumble match. The 4-Way features The Ascension vs. The Dudleys vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow. Apparently Darren Young and Titus O’Neil very quietly broke up, but I missed that one.

The odd thing here is this match implies that six of these men will not enter the Rumble. WWE’s roster is already razor thin thanks to a multitude of injuries, so we’re either getting some NXT call-ups, a Bullet Club appearance, a bunch of nostalgia returns, or a combination of the those.

With the announcement of this match, here is your updated Rumble card:

Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

United States Championship Match
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Day

Divas Championship Match
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

Kickoff Show Fatal 4-Way, Winning Team Gets Entry into Rumble
The Ascension vs. The Dudleys vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow

Here is Your Updated Royal Rumble Card

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With less than a week to go, WWE finally got around to adding some matches to the Royal Rumble card during last night’s episode of Raw. We already knew that Roman Reigns would defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the 30-man Rumble match and we now also know that he will be entrant number one in the contest. Every championship will now be defended on the show, which airs live on the WWE Network (and pay-per-view, if you’re a big dumb idiot who can’t do math) at 8pm ET.

Here is the complete Royal Rumble card, as of Tuesday, the 19th.

Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

United States Championship Match
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Day

Divas Championship Match
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

[Image via wrestlingnews.co]

WWE Hires Mauro Ranallo to be Voice of Smackdown

Mauro Ranallo
According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, WWE will announce on Monday that it has hired Mauro Ranallo to be the play-by-play voice of Smackdown once the show moves to USA Network in January.

Ranallo currently is the lead broadcaster for Showtime’s boxing coverage as well as handling play-by-play for the US broadcasts of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. He has also called Pride, Elite XC and Strikeforce MMA action.

Ranallo told SI in an interview that Michael Cole reached out to him by email only a month ago to gauge his interest in an announcing role with WWE. Ranallo will maintain his role as Showtime’s boxing voice as well as doing some work with GLORY kickboxing, and will also be available for Raw and pay-per-views for WWE.

This is a pretty significant grab for WWE and a good sign that the company is at least looking to shake some things up when Smackdown moves to the USA Network.

(Image via MauroRanallo.com)

Why Should We Care About the Wyatt Family vs. Brothers of Destruction Feud Anymore?


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.

WWE Confirms Seth Rollins Is Out 6-9 Months with Injury, New Champion Will Be Crowned at Survivor Series

Video emerged last night of Seth Rollins injuring his knee during a match with Kane in Dublin, Ireland. After some speculation, Jonathan Coachman of ESPN broke the news and WWE confirmed that Rollins tore his right ACL, MCL and medial meniscus. The company has also announced that a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be determined via a tournament at Survivor Series.

Obviously this is a huge blow to the WWE, losing its champion ahead of one of its four marquee pay-per-view events and during a time when the roster is light on main event-caliber stars. It was recently confirmed that Randy Orton would be out for a long period of time with another shoulder injury and John Cena is currently taking time off to film a reality show. Roman Reigns was the clear eventual champion and I would be shocked if he doesn’t walk out of Survivor Series with the belt, but if there is a silver lining to Rollins’ injury, it’s that we could see some new stars created and/or elevated through this tournament.

SummerSlam Will Return to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2016 and 2017


WWE has announced that SummerSlam will return to Barclays Center for 2016 and 2017. There will also be an NXT show on Saturday and a Raw episode on Monday from Barclays Center in ’16 and ’17, just like this year.

This year’s SummerSlam weekend was a huge success for WWE and rolling NXT and Raw into the package and holding them in the same arena gave it more of a “WrestleMania” feel, which is befitting to the company’s second-biggest show of the year. This announcement also lends some more credibility to the rumors that NXT special events will be paired with WWE’s big pay-per-view moving forward.

John Cena v. Seth Rollins at WWE MSG House Show is Now a Steel Cage Match


WWE has updated the card for its October 3rd Madison Square Garden house show that will be broadcast on the WWE Network. The originally scheduled John Cena v. Seth Rollins WWE World Heavyweight Championship match will now take place inside a steel cage.

Here is the whole card, as it currently stands:

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match
John Cena v. Seth Rollins

Brock Lesnar v. Big Show

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Dudley Boyz v. New Day

Kevin Owens v. Chris Jericho

Randy Orton v. Sheamus

Dolph Ziggler v. Rusev

Video: WWE Night of Champions 2015 Highlights


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.