Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday mourning the loss of a true Golden icon and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday breaking your New Year’s Resolutions and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. Johnny Knoxville Enters the Royal Rumble
The first entrant into the Royal Rumble on January 29th is a Jackass. This past Saturday, WWE posted a video on social media of Jackass star Johnny Knoxville entering the Royal Rumble. Knoxville’s appearance in the match will be done to help promote Jackass Forever that comes out on February 4th. Knoxville and the Jackass crew have appeared in WWE several times, with the latest being just last month on an episode of Smackdown. WWE is hoping that Knoxville’s involvement will lead to other celebrities wanting to get into the ring, like that guy who played the Tooth Fairy once.
9. Beth Phoenix Returns
The Glamazon has returned to the WWE. This past Saturday at WWE Day 1, The Miz faced off against Edge. When the Miz’s wife Maryse decided to hit Edge with a purse, Beth Phoenix made her surprise return to help her husband Edge get the win. This past Monday on Raw, Miz and Maryse along with Edge and Beth Phoenix all entered the ring for a promo segment. Edge and Phoenix then proceeded to challenge Miz and Maryse to a match at the Royal Rumble, with Miz accepting the match. Phoenix recently left her position as a color commentator on NXT, perhaps because she didn’t want to have to learn 60 new superstars’ names. (TJRWrestling)
8. Drew McIntyre Out With a Neck Injury
This past Saturday at WWE Day 1, Drew McIntyre defeated Madcap Moss. Later in the evening, Moss and Happy Corbin attacked McIntyre with a chair. This attack was unfortunately reportedly done to write off McIntyre from television due to having neck issues. It is unknown at this time how severe the issues are and also how much time McIntyre may miss due to the injury. Hopefully McIntyre will be back swinging his giant sword in the WWE soon, because a WrestleMania without McIntyre just won’t cut it.
7. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page Defeats Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson is no longer undefeated in AEW. This past Wednesday on the debut episode of AEW Dynamite on TBS, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page defeated Danielson to retain the AEW World Championship. This was another incredible match between the two, with Hangman finally hitting the Buckshot Lariat for the win. Now that Danielson has lost to Page he will have to either find someone else on the AEW roster, or ask his father-in-law to fire someone that he can feud with.
6. More WWE Releases
WWE is starting off 2022 right where they left off in 2021; releasing more employees. This time it was backstage officials, coaches and writers who were released. Multiple employees were let go including such notable names as ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James, Samoa Joe and William Regal. This is the second time that WWE has released Joe in the last year, with him being released also in April of 2021 before being re-signed two months later. Regal had been employed by WWE for almost 22 years, and was most recently the General Manager of NXT on screen. After seeing everyone he had hired be let go by the WWE, Triple H immediately tried to secure his employment by asking Stephanie McMahon to renew their vows. (TJRWrestling)
I truly can’t overstate this:
There is no chance I would be where I am today without William Regal.
I’m so grateful for his advice and guidance throughout the years.
An absolute example of what I aspire to be when my time as an active performer in the ring is done. https://t.co/HmbltoOwYT
— Kevin (@FightOwensFight) January 6, 2022
5. NJPW Holds Wrestle Kingdom 16
NJPW held its biggest event of the year this week. Night one and night two of Wrestle Kingdom 16 were held on January 4th and 5th respectively, with both nights being successful ones for Kazuchika Okada. During night one, Okada was able to defeat Shingo Takagi to capture the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Okada then continued his dominance during night two, by defeating Will Ospreay. Wrestle Kingdom will actually continue with a third night of wrestling tomorrow night, featuring both the stars of NJPW and Pro Wrestling Noah doing battle. As for Okada, he stated this week that he would like to wrestle both Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, assuming of course that Tony Khan can once again steal his father’s checkbook. (TJRWrestling)
Kazuchika Okada victorious after a war with Will Ospreay to retain world gold; Tetsuya Naito emerges to challenge after Wrestle Kingdomhttps://t.co/bwhsf8Mfww#njpw#njwk16day2pic.twitter.com/Mqbqu2CkhH
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 6, 2022
4. Roman Reigns Contracts Covid-19
Things unfortunately did not go as planned for Roman Reigns this past weekend. Reigns was scheduled to defend his Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar on January 1st, but was forced to drop out of the match due to contracting Covid-19. Thankfully Reigns has been medically cleared and will be on tonight’s Smackdown, along with Lesnar. Hopefully the rest of 2022 will go better then Day 1 did, because I am more sick of writing “Covid-19” than John Canton is writing ROLLUP OF DEATH~! (TJRWrestling)
— WWE (@WWE) January 6, 2022
3. New Champions Crowned on AEW Dynamite
This past Wednesday’s debut episode of AEW Dynamite proved to be an eventful one. During the two hour show, not one but two new champions were crowned. First Jade Cargill was able to defeat Ruby Soho in the finals of the TBS Women’s Championship Tournament, to become the inaugural holder of the title. Also the team of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, known as Jurassic Express, defeated the Lucha Bros to become the new AEW World Tag Team Champions. Although this match was very good, it also unfortunately saw Lucha Bros member Rey Fenix injure his arm during a table spot. Fenix tweeted that he’s going to be okay with no broken bones and more tests needed to be done, so he could be back in a few weeks. Injuries like Fenix’s are a strong reminder of how much these wrestlers put their bodies on the line to entertain us, and why I decided to be a referee after one week of wrestling training. (TJRWrestling)
Not for the feint of heart. 🤢
Probably the worst wrestling injury I’ve ever seen. Get well soon Rey Fenix 🙏
— JB (@SUPERZOMGBBQ) January 6, 2022
2. Multiple Title Changes in NXT 2.0
This past Tuesday at NXT 2.0 New Years Evil, not one but two titles changed hands. First, Carmelo Hayes defeated Roderick Strong to officially unify the NXT North American Championship and NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Although nothing has been announced, this is reportedly going to lead to the Cruiserweight Championship being retired once again. Also at New Years Evil, the Bron Breakker Era officially began. Breakker was able to defeat Tommaso Ciampa in the main event to capture the NXT Championship.
Breakker used his famous uncle Scott’s finishing move, the Steiner Recliner, to force Ciampa to tap out for the win. After the match, Breakker’s father Rick Steiner entered the ring and celebrated with his son, while his uncle Scott tried to figure out the percentage chance of the Steiner Brothers ever getting into the Hall of Fame after all the negative comments he has made. (TJRWrestling)
1. Brock Lesnar Captures the WWE Championship
Brock Lesnar started the weekend scheduled to challenge for one World Championship and ended the weekend with another one. When Roman Reigns had to pull out of his scheduled match against Brock Lesnar at WWE Day 1, Lesnar was placed into the WWE Championship match against Big E, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley and Kevin Owens. The finish of the match saw Lesnar hit Big E with the F-5 to pick up the win and the title. The following night on Raw, Paul Heyman once again rejoined Lesnar as his advocate.
Also on Raw, Bobby Lashley won a match against Owens, Rollins and Big E to earn the right to face Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Clearly, the WWE writing team had to write a lot of extra pages this weekend that Vince McMahon could tear up five minutes before the show starts. (TJRWrestling)
— WWE (@WWE) January 6, 2022
That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Thank you for taking the time to read this each week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with NYCW and respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. I wrote an article all about it all right here. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being almost bad as an Antonio Brown outburst, then feel free to listen to my brand new podcast The Smark and the Noob and follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1 as well.