The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week 12/18: Historically Low WWE Raw Ratings, TLC PPV This Sunday, Rhodes Pregnant, More

Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday shaving Z’s in the side of your head and missed Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday trying to figure out how the Electoral College system works, 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. Ric Flair Claims WWE is Building a Hall of Fame

Mickey Mouse may soon have some new competition. According to two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, WWE was in the process of building a physical Hall of Fame in Orlando, Florida. According to Flair, the project was put on hold due to the current health crisis. He made the statement while appearing on ESPN’s The Jump to promote the new Dame 7 shoe that is based on his golden wrestling robe. During the interview, Flair stated that WWE is actually “in the process of building a Hall of Fame, a physical structure in Orlando.” So before you buy those Disney or Orlando tickets for a family vacation, consider doing something even more fun and take everyone to see a robe! (Wrestling Observer)

9. Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt to Compete in a Firefly Inferno Match

Things are about to heat up between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. This week on Raw, Orton trapped Wyatt inside a box, then set it on fire. Wyatt emerged from the box unscathed however, and proceeded to attack Orton with the Mandible Claw. This series of events has led to WWE making the match this Sunday at TLC between Orton and Wyatt a Firefly Inferno Match. This will only be the fifth Inferno Match in WWE history, and also the first since 2006. WWE did have a Ring of Fire match in 2013 as well as several Dumpster Fire matches since then. (TJRWrestling)

8. Cody and Brandi Rhodes Announce Pregnancy

With everyone stuck at home due to the current pandemic, it was inevitable that pregnancies would go up. This has been very evident in the wrestling with Becky Lynch, Sarah Logan, Renee Young and now Brandi Rhodes announcing pregnancies this year. Rhodes and her husband Cody announced the news in a pre-taped segment at their home during AEW Dynamite. During the segment, a present was delivered to Cody’s and Brandi’s door. When the couple opened the gift it revealed a Christmas ornament that revealed the big news. This announcement will have to delay a potential mixed tag match between Brandi and Cody facing off against Shaq and Jade, or at least turn it into a 2-on-3 handicapped match. (TJRWrestling)

7. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler Take Out Lana

It was a night of both highs and lows for Lana this past Monday on Raw. In what will surely be remembered as an all-time classic, Lana was able to pull off a shocking victory over Nia Jax. Lana’s night went downhill fast after that, however, as both Jax and Shayna Baszler attacked Lana after the match. Baszler and Jax focused their attack on Lana’s arm and leg before Lana’s tag team partner Asuka was finally able to make the save. The attack caused “devastating injuries to Lana’s elbow and leg” causing her to have to be removed from the Women’s Tag Team Championship match at TLC. Asuka now has to find a replacement partner to challenge Jax and Baszler at the PPV. Obviously, it will be next to impossible to replace someone with the in-ring prowess of Lana, unless of course, those rumors of an Eva Marie return are true. (TJRWrestling)

6. Bullet Club Reunites on Impact Wrestling

Kenny Omega once again appeared with his manager Don Callis on Impact Wrestling this week. Omega spent most of the show sitting on his tour bus making discouraging comments about Impact Heavyweight Champion Rich Swann. After Karl Anderson defeated Chris Sabin in the main event, Swann came out to talk to Anderson. A brawl then broke out between Anderson, Swann, Sabin and Sabin’s tag team partner Alex Shelley. Anderson’s partner Doc Gallows and then Omega came out to help Anderson, with Omega hitting Swann with a sign. This attack leads to an announcement that Omega, Anderson and Gallows will re-form the Bullet Club to face Swann, Shelley and Sabin at Impact’s next PPV Hard to Kill. With this huge match, thousands of wrestling fans are now poised to join the three people already on the Impact Wrestling bandwagon. (TJRWrestling)

5. Kyle O’Reilly to Face Finn Bálor at NXT: New Year’s Evil

Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne faced off this week to decide who would go against NXT Heavyweight Champion Finn Bálor at NXT: New Year’s Evil on January 6th. In what was an incredible match, O’Reilly was able to defeat Dunne. O’Reilly and Bálor will now face off in a rematch from their match at NXT: Takeover 31. Bálor won that first match but suffered a broken jaw in the process. Bálor will now once again try to defeat O’Reilly in what will surely be a great match, but hopefully not jaw-dropping. (TJRWrestling)

4. Tommy “Zeus” Lister Passes Away

Actor and former WWE Star Tommy “Zeus” Lister passed away from Covid-19 at the age of 62 this week. Lister is best known to wrestling fans as Zeus, the antagonist to Hulk Hogan in the 1989 classic movie “No Holds Barred.” To help promote the movie, Lister wrestled several matches for WWE, including teaming up with Randy Savage to face Hogan and Brutus Beefcake in the main event of Summerslam 1989. Personally, Zeus had a big effect on my childhood as I made the decision to shave Z’s in the side of my head after watching the movie. Surprisingly, this decision did neither rocket me in popularity nor attract the opposite sex, as the kids’ teasing of me was “No Holds Barred.” (WWE)

3. Kenny Omega Appears on Two Different Wrestling PPVs in the Same Night

Kenny Omega did his best Rick Rude Impression this past Saturday night when he appeared on two different wrestling promotions PPVs. Omega first appeared in a pre-taped segment on Impact Wrestling’s Final Resolution event. During the segment, Omega was on his tour bus with Don Callis and his former Bullet Club partner Karl Anderson. Omega and Anderson reminisced about their days in Japan, before Omega told Anderson to show “his Machine Gun side” in his match against Ethan Page. Omega wasn’t done for the night however, as a few minutes later Omega was successfully defending his AAA Mega Championship live at TripleMania XXVIII in Mexico against Laredo Kid. Omega actually ended up appearing for three different promotions this week, as he also defended the AEW Heavyweight Championship against Joey Janela on Dynamite. Omega has stated that his new goal is to win championships from all around the world, which may prove difficult as he still has 20 years before he can main event in Saudi Arabia. (TJRWrestling)

2. Monday Night Raw Has Lowest Viewership Ever

It is safe to say that Vince McMahon is not in a good mood this week. Monday Night Raw had its lowest first hour viewership, second-hour viewership, third-hour viewership and average viewership of all time this week. Raw only managed an average of 1.53 million viewers, which is down 12% from the previous week and 500,000 less people than were watching just one year ago. To add insult to injury, Raw only did a 0.41 rating in the key 18-49 year old demographic, which is lower than AEW Dynamite did last week. Lots of excuses will be used to explain these low ratings, including football, more streaming services and the current pandemic. Although all of those things surely play a factor, I personally blame John Canton. John has gotten so good at writing about Raw every week that there is no longer a reason to actually stay up and watch Raw. So on behalf of everybody at TJRWrestling, I would like to apologize to the WWE and USA Network for giving you both The Raw Deal. (TJRWrestling)

1. WWE: TLC to Take Place This Sunday

WWE’s next PPV, WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, is scheduled to take place this Sunday night at 7PMET. The show will be headlined by two big TLC Matches; Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles will meet for the first time in a one-on-one match for McIntyre’s WWE Heavyweight Championship. On the Smackdown side, Roman Reigns will try to climb a ladder and retrieve his Universal Championship against Kevin Owens. Both of these matches should be outstanding and reason enough to check out TLC, even if you’re disappointed that Lana will no longer be competing. (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 my foul mouth never needs a stimulus package.)