Not only was WWE’s biggest babyface Roman Reigns roundly booed for coming out at number 30 in last Sunday’s Royal Rumble match, he received even more heel heat when he eliminated The Undertaker. Partly because people actually like The Undertaker, and partly because it strongly implied what we’d be getting for Wrestlemania 33: The Deadman vs Roman Reigns.
As has been reported for the last few weeks, ever since news came out that The Undertaker and John Cena’s long-proposed Wrestlemania match was off, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter still has Reigns vs Taker down in WWE’s currently planned lineup, noting that “Vince McMahon had been wanting to make this match for some time…” and that “…with Undertaker’s condition the way it is, this could have been the last chance to do it. There is the idea of a generational passing of the torch.”
The Newsletter continues that Undertaker is hurting badly right now and needs hip replacement surgery, but he’s “putting it off until he ends his career.” If he’s in that much pain now, you’d think he’d want the surgery relatively soon, which would possibly make this year’s Wrestlemania his last. But, just as a disclaimer, people saying ‘this’ll be Taker’s last Mania’ has been proven wrong even more times than people saying ‘TNA only has one year left’.
The currently reported plan for Raw’s women division match at Wrestlemania is just to put them all in one big fight, with a four-way between Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Bayley. If the storyline idea is for Bayley to finally win the Women’s title at Wrestlemania, this is a way to do it without Charlotte having take the fall – protecting her unbeaten pay-per-view streak. Unfortunately, that massively negates the underdog babyface Bayley overcoming the dominating heel Charlotte payoff.
Interestingly, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter also notes that WWE “has been calling a lot of the women from the past and told them they wanted them for WrestleMania.” There’s no word yet on who those women are, or what their role would be.
Here’s an idea: just make it Charlotte vs Bayley for the title at Wrestlemania, and have Charlotte run down the women’s division’s history leading up to the match, saying Trish, Lita, Alundra Blayze have nothing on her. Then, for Bayley’s entrance, as well as wacky, waving, inflatable arm, flailing tube men, those same icons from WWE’s female wrestling past line the ramp, clapping her as she runs down to the ring.
CageSideSeats’ rumor section is reporting even longer term plans for the Hugger, noting Bayley is expected to win the title at Wrestlemania, to then build to a Summerslam title match in Brooklyn against a heel Sasha Banks. This would be two years since their critically praised NXT TakeOver title match in the same city.
PWInsider are reporting that Ring of Honor’s longtime play-by-play commentator Kevin Kelly has handed in his notice, making him the third announcer to leave the company in just as many months, with Nigel McGuiness and Steve Corino previously both signing with WWE. It’s not yet known what his plans are, or who Ring of Honor will get to replace him, but he’ll still be doing the English announcing for this Sunday’s New Japan Pro Wrestling show The New Beginning in Sapporo. If you really got into New Japan with January’s WrestleKingdom 11 show (like me) this is their next big show. So watch it.
Especially because New Japan need your help! WWE are reportedly reaching out to talent in Asia for yet another tournament show to go on the WWE Network. The global war continues! And New Japan’s response is…a new version of their English website. Baby steps.
While it looks pretty, their streaming service New Japan World is still in Japanese. So that’s my weekend gone clicking various links until I find The New Beginning show.
What do you want to see from Raw’s women’s division at Wrestlemania 33? Tell me how we’ve come a long way since Snoop Dogg and the Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjill match in the comments down below.