The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week: Edge and Belair Win WWE Royal Rumbles, AEW and NJPW Partnership, Christian Returns, More

Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday shopping for gym shorts and miss Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday reminiscing about a lovable nerd from the 1990’s 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. Lars Sullivan Released from WWE

Tony Khan may be borrowing his father’s checkbook real soon. This week it was reported that Lars Sullivan was officially released from the WWE at some point over the last month. Lars has not been seen on WWE TV since last fall, and has done a large number of things during his career to merit his firing. Sullivan’s checkered past will make him a very high risk to any potential company who wants to sign him, meaning that Tony Khan will probably only offer him a high six-figure salary. (TJRWrestling)

9. Damian Priest Debuts on the Main Roster

Former NXT North American Champion Damian Priest debuted on Raw this week. Priest appeared in the Men’s Royal Rumble, having an impressive showing before getting eliminated by Bobby Lashley. Priest continued his impressiveness on Raw the following night, defeating The Miz with the assistance of rapper Bad Bunny. Bad Bunny also gave an impressive performance at the Rumble, as he caused more physical pain than any other performer on the show. (TJRWrestling)

8. Shaquille O’Neal to Wrestle on the March 3rd Episode of Dynamite

The anticipated mixed tag match between Shaquille O’Neal and Jade Cargill Vs. Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet is finally scheduled to happen. The match will be taking place during the March 3rd episode of AEW Dynamite. The match was originally expected to take place during AEW Revolution on March 7th, but Shaq will be scheduled to work the NBA All-Star game that night. Removing such a big match from the PPV must be disappointing for AEW, as they will now have to choose between the other 800 wrestlers on their roster to fill the spot. (TJRWrestling)

7. NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day to Take Place on Sunday, February 14th

NXT’s next Takeover event titled Vengeance Day is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 14th at 7PM ET. So far five matches have been announced for the show. Both the finals of the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic Tournament will be held on the show. Also, Toni Storm, Mercedes Martinez and Io Shari will battle in a triple threat for Shari’s NXT Women’s Championship. Kushida will try to defeat Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship. Finally, Finn Bálor will try to defend the NXT Heavyweight Championship against Pete Dunne. This will be the first Vengeance Day on February 14th for NXT and the 107,000,000,001 for women all around the world. (TJRWrestling)

6. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler Win WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler challenged Charlotte and Asuka for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship during the kickoff show for The Royal Rumble. During the match, Ric Flair and Lacey Evans came down to ringside to distract Charlotte. Eventually, this led to Evans hitting Charlotte with a loaded fist, allowing Jax to hit a leg drop and get the win. It is still not clear what the nature of Flair and Evans’s relationship is, as Facebook doesn’t have a “gross” status. (TJRWrestling)

5. Sheamus Attacks Drew McIntyre on Raw

Drew McIntyre’s and Sheamus’s nearly 20-year friendship seemingly came to an end on Raw this week. Raw opened this week with McIntyre coming to the ring before he was quickly interrupted by Edge. McIntyre praised Edge before Edge informed McIntyre that he would let everyone know soon who he will be facing at WrestleMania 37. Sheamus then made his way down to ringside, and proceeded to talk down to Edge. Sheamus stated that he’s not happy, and while Drew has been his friend for many years and wants to take the high road with Edge, Sheamus doesn’t. Edge then proceeded to leave the ring, stating that he plans on leaving WrestleMania with a title. McIntyre then raised the WWE Championship in the air, before turning around to a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. After a commercial break, Sheamus appeared in a backstage segment and stated that he is tired of being known as McIntyre’s friend. Sheamus then formally challenged McIntyre for the WWE Championship. Later in the show, McIntyre responded to Sheamus, stating if he wants the match, he’s got it. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to 29 other superstars, that if you want a WWE Title match all you have to do is kick Drew McIntyre in the face. (TJRWrestling)

4. Christian Returns in The Royal Rumble

Throughout history, the Royal Rumble has been filled with surprises and shocking moments, and this year was no exception. During the Rumble Matches, such legends as Victoria and Jillian Hall on the women’s side and Hurricane and Carlito on the Men’s side made surprise appearances. Without question, though, the biggest surprise happened during the Men’s Rumble when Christian made his return. Christian joined his former tag team partner Edge in the match, competing in his first match since having to retire due to concussions in 2014. We will have to wait and see if Christian truly is returning to WWE, or if after watching Goldberg and Nia Jax wrestle, he doesn’t want to risk another concussion. (TJRWrestling)

3. NJPW and AEW Begin Working Relationship

AEW continued to show that they are willing to work with any other wrestling company that wants to collaborate with them. After already having a working relationship with AAA, NWA, and Impact, NJPW’s Kenta appeared on AEW Dynamite this week. After AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Impact World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers defeated Jon Moxley, PAC, and Rey Fenix in the main event of Dynamite, the two teams continued to brawl. Moxley and Omega ended up being alone in the ring when suddenly a masked man attacked Moxley from behind. The man then lowered his mask to show it was Kenta, who is the number one contender for Moxley’s IWGP US Championship. Moxley and Kenta will now face off at NJPW New Beginnings 2021 on February 26th. In related news, now that AEW and NJPW are working together, Dave Meltzer has begun working on a whole new 10+ star match grading system. (TJRWrestling)

2. Bianca Belair Wins Women’s Royal Rumble

Bianca Belair is going to WrestleMania. Belair won the Women’s Rumble Match after entering the match at number three. Belair lasted a record-breaking 57 minutes in the match from the #3 spot, before finally eliminating Rhea Ripley to get the victory. It is still unknown if Belair will challenge Raw Women’s Champion Asuka or Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. It is possible that Belair is just waiting to make sure Nia Jax doesn’t win either title before making her decision. (TJRWrestling)

1. Edge Wins the Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Edge’s triumphant return to the WWE continued this week. After entering The Royal Rumble at number 1, Edge was able to outlast 29 other superstars to win the match. The 47-year old Edge lasted over an hour in the match before finally eliminating Randy Orton for the victory. Edge continued his dominance on Raw the following night, defeating Orton with the help of Alexa Bliss. Edge didn’t stop there as he also appeared on NXT this week, and will be on Smackdown tonight. It is heavily rumored that Edge will be facing Roman Reigns at The Grandest Stage of Them All. If this match happens on the second night of Mania, it will be exactly ten years from the date when Edge was forced to retire due to a neck injury. It is amazing, heartwarming stories like these that make the internet wrestling community say: “Well, that is stupid.” (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 swear more times than Screech got bullied.)