The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week 1/29: WWE Network Moving to NBC’s Peacock, Royal Rumble, Edge Returns, More

Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday removing the MAGA sticker from your 1994 Ford Pickup, and missed Smackdown. Perhaps you spent all day Monday watching The Office on your new streaming service, and missed Raw. Worry not, for I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week to catch you up.

10. AEW Does First Yearly AEW Dynamite Awards

AEW held their first-ever edition of the “AEW Dynamite Awards” this week. The award show took place exclusively on the Bleacher Report App, and featured celebrity presenters like Chael Sonnen and Shaquille O’Neal. Multiple awards were given out such as Biggest Surprise going to Sting and Breakout Male Star to Darby Allin. An award was not given out to best Tag Team Match, most likely because they didn’t want to have to watch thousands of matches again. (TJRWrestling)

9. Dolph Ziggler’s brother debuts on Dynamite

From the Von Erich’s to the Harts to the Uso’s, there has been a long history of wrestling brothers. This week we can now add the Nemeths to that list. This week Ryan Nemeth debuted on AEW Dynamite, in a losing effort against Hangman Page. Nemeth is the real-life brother of WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler. It is unclear if Nemeth will continue wrestling for Dynamite, or if his appearance will just be a one-off. Before the match, Ziggler jokingly tweeted that people should not watch his brother wrestle, calling him the Paris to his Nikki Hilton. It is nice to see that Ziggler can make references to the time when he was actually relevant in the wrestling world. (TJRWrestling)

8. WWE Puts on Superstar Spectacle

WWE put on a network special specifically for the India market this week. The event featured Raw and Smackdown superstars facing or teaming up with ten different Indian superstars from WWE’s developmental system. The main event saw WWE Heavyweight Champion Drew McIntyre team up with The Indus Sher to defeat The Bollywood Boyz and a returning Jinder Mahal. The show also featured several superstars who were trained to wrestle by The Great Khali, which is sort of like being trained in political correctness from Donald Trump. (TJRWrestling)

7. Bad Bunny to Perform at The Royal Rumble

Multi-platinum recording artist Bad Bunny is set to perform at the Royal Rumble this Sunday. Bunny will be performing his hit single “Booker T” off his new album “El Último Tour Del Mundo” live for the first time. Bunny is a huge wrestling fan who, aside from Booker T, has had Stone Cold Steve Austin and Ric Flair in his music videos. Personally, I am not a fan of his music, but did enjoy some Bad Bunnies in my father’s magazine collection as a teenager. (TJRWrestling)

6. Walter Coming to NXT?

The NXT UK World Champion may once again be coming to the United States. During NXT this week a vignette was shown of Imperium. During the Vignette, NXT UK World Champion Walter was shown, with Imperium member Alexander Wolfe saying that his arrival is only the beginning. Walter did wrestle last year at NXT World’s Collide in Houston, Texas, but has been stuck in the UK ever since due to the pandemic. Walter has been dominant over in the UK, holding the NXT UK Championship for an incredible 665 days so far. Although I don’t know for sure what suddenly may have changed in the last few weeks that makes it feel safe for Walter to come to The United States, but I do have a guess. (TJRWrestling)

5. Randy Orton RKO’s Alexa Bliss

Randy Orton finally got payback on Alexa Bliss this week on Raw. In the main event of Raw this week, Bliss challenged Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title. During the match, Bliss made several costume changes, transforming into her “darker” persona. Right when Bliss was about to hit Sister Abigail and possibly win the match, a burned Randy Orton entered the ring. Orton then hit Bliss with an RKO, to end Raw. It is unclear what Orton’s involvement will be this Sunday at The Royal Rumble, but personally I hope he decides to RKO a certain 54-year old WWE Hall of Famer. (TJRWrestling)

4. Cody Rhodes and Shaq Likely to Wrestle in AEW

It looks like Cody Rhodes and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal will finally meet in the ring. Last month Shaq sat down with Cody’s wife Brandi Rhodes for an interview. During the interview, things got heated between Brandi and Shaq, when Shaq brought up his associate Jade Cargill. All of this appeared to be leading to a mixed-tag match between Cody and Brandi vs. Shaq and Cargill. That was, however, before Brandi announced that she was pregnant a few weeks later. The match then seemed to be forgotten, that is until Shaq challenged Cody this week at the AEW Awards to a match at AEW Revolution on March 7th. Cody responded to the challenge on Dynamite, by first saying he didn’t know what he was going to do at the PPV. Cody’s manager Arn Anderson then brought out Red Velvet to be Cody’s new partner. The challenge was then made for Cody and Velvet to challenge Cargill and Shaq at the PPV. This will be Shaq’s second official match, as he also competed in The Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. Similar to everybody who has ever won that match, however, that appearance has been forgotten by most people. (TJRWrestling)

3. Edge Declares for the Royal Rumble

Without question one of the biggest moments of 2020 was Edge’s surprise entrance into the Royal Rumble. Edge’s return was unfortunately cut short when he suffered a torn tricep a couple months later during The Greatest Match Ever against Randy Orton at Backlash. This week on Raw, Edge returned to WWE via video and declared himself for the Royal Rumble match this Sunday. It is unclear why WWE didn’t save Edge’s return as a surprise entrant, but maybe they have bigger names scheduled like The Great Khali. (TJRWrestling)

2. WWE Royal Rumble to Take place this Sunday

The road to Wrestlemania officially kicks off this Sunday night. WWE’s The Royal Rumble will take place on Sunday January 31st at 7PMET. Besides for the two traditional Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble Matches, Four Title matches have been announced. The team of Asuka and Charlotte Flair will defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles against former champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. Sasha Banks will defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Carmella. Also, Kevin Owens will try to defeat Roman Reigns for The Universal Championship in a Last Man Standing Match. Finally, Goldberg will try to defeat Drew McIntyre to become the new WWE Heavyweight Champion. WWE may have considered putting Goldberg in the Rumble match, but they would have had to either given him number 30 or cut the time between entrants to 10 seconds. (TJRWrestling)

1. The WWE Network Moving to NBCU’s Peacock Streaming Service in the United States

The WWE Network as we knew it is no more. WWE announced this week that they are moving The WWE Network to NBCU’s Peacock Service starting March 18, 2021. The move will only be in the United States, with the deal reportedly worth over a billion dollars for the next five years. Wrestling fans can get the Peacock Service starting at $4.99 a month with ads or $9.99 ad-free. For that price, fans will get all of the usual WWE Network content as well as every PPV. Fans will also get access to every show and movie that’s already on Peacock, such as The Office and the Saved By the Bell Reboot. Finally, fans are going to get to truly compare if either Vince McMahon or Zack Morris is more trash. (TJRWrestling)

That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. As always, if you like what I do, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter @BackseatBookers and listen to my podcast The BackseatBookers. (Please be aware that it is explicit, as I swore six times when Michael Scott left The Office.)