Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 2/3: The Bloodline Implodes At WWE Royal Rumble, Rhodes and Ripley Win Big, More
Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to convince The Rock to go to Texas, and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday looking for a new family to join and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
Before I begin the Top Ten list this week, I would like to take a moment to remember Lanny Poffo. Poffo, who was perhaps best known as “The Genius” in the WWF, passed away this week at the age of 68. Poffo was the son of wrestler Angelo Poffo and also the brother of WWE Hall of Famer “Macho Man” Randy Savage. I would like to extend my condolences to Poffo’s friends and family, his contributions to the wrestling world will be remembered forever.
With a very, very heavy heart, I've been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius.
RIP Lanny pic.twitter.com/4ve4J2HSHT
— Hacksaw Jim Duggan (@RealHacksawJim) February 2, 2023
10. Pat McAfee Returns at the Royal Rumble
Michael Cole and Corey Graves had some unexpected company this past Saturday at the WWE Royal Rumble. For the first time since September 2022, Pat McAfee returned to the commentary table. McAfee had taken a job on ESPN College Game Day causing him to have to relinquish his Smackdown commentary spot to Wade Barrett. Interestingly, Cole or Graves reportedly had no clue that McAfee was joining them at the Rumble for commentary. Although Cole and Graves were proven clueless and powerless about what was going on, they are not expected to now join the WWE Board of Directors. (TJRWrestling)
IT IS GREAT TO BE BACK..
🗣🗣LET'S GOOOOO #RoyalRumblepic.twitter.com/SOjd3Xs3Xp
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 29, 2023
9. Rick Boogs and Carmella Return on Raw
It ended up being a night for returns this past Monday on Raw. First Rick Boogs made his return to WWE television for the first time since WrestleMania 38. Boogs, now wearing a singlet and sporting a short haircut, defeated The Miz in a very quick fashion. The returns did not stop there, however, as later in the evening Carmella was shown in a backstage interview. Carmella was welcomed back by interviewer Cathy Kelly, before being interrupted by Asuka. Carmella, who has been off of television since July, will compete next week in a Fatal-Four Way match for a spot in the Women’s Elimination Chamber Match. Even with all the returning superstars and the 500 written mailed-in requests from John Canton, Mandy Rose is still not expected to return to the company anytime soon. (TJRWrestling)
8. AEW Announces First Touring House Show
AEW will soon have more places for its oversized roster to work. This week it was announced that AEW will have its first touring house show titled “The House Rules” Tour. The tour of untelevised live events is set to kick off in Troy, Ohio on March 18th. Many believe that AEW will struggle to turn a profit with this tour, with Tony Khan already having to ask for an advance on his allowance to finance it. (TJRWrestling)
🚨AEW HOUSE RULES ON SALE NOW!🚨#AEW presents the #AEWHouseRules Tour debut show on Saturday, March 18 in Troy, OH at @HobartArena!
🎟 Tickets starting at $20 (plus fees) are ON SALE NOW; don’t miss out!https://t.co/rFcIFUQaVS | https://t.co/IeoTQ3zdUTpic.twitter.com/sk6N0xY0xh
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) February 3, 2023
7. NXT Vengeance Day to Take Place This Saturday
NXT’s next PLE titled Vengeance Day is scheduled for Saturday, February 4th at 8PM ET. So far six matches have been announced including Katana Chance and Kayden Carter defending the NXT Women’s Championships against Fallon Henley and Kiana James. Apollo Crews and Carmelo Hayes will face each other in a two-out-of-three falls match. The New Day will defend the NXT Tag Team Championships in a Fatal four-way match against Gallus, Pretty Deadly and Chase University. Dijak will try to capture the NXT North American Championship from Wes Lee. Roxanne Perez will defend the NXT Women’s Championship in a Triple threat match against Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne. Finally, Bron Breakker will defend the NXT Championship against Grayson Waller inside a Steel Cage. NXT Vengeance Day should be an excellent show and is completely different than the Vengeance Day Vince McMahon had against the Board of Directors. (TJRWrestling)
6. Men’s and Women’s Elimination Chamber Matches Announced
With the WWE Elimination Chamber PLE being less than three weeks away, WWE wasted no time announcing both the Men’s and Women’s Chamber matches. On the Men’s side, Austin Theory will defend his WWE United States Championship inside the Chamber. This past Monday on Raw, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Johnny Gargano and Bronson Reed all qualified for the match, with two more spots in the match still needing to be decided. On the Women’s side, the winner of the Women’s Chamber match will face Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 39. This past Monday on Raw, Asuka, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross and Raquel Rodriguez all qualified for the match, with two more spots needing to be determined. I will not specifically say who one of the four remaining competitors will be, but the Elimination Chamber is being held in John Canton’s home country of Canada. (TJRWrestling)
5. Samoa Joe Recaptures the AEW TNT Championship
Samoa Joe is once again the king of television. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Joe defeated Darby Allin to recapture the AEW TNT Championship. Joe, who is also currently the ROH Television Champion, had just lost the TNT Title to Allin last month. After the match, Joe’s former partner Wardlow returned and attempted to attack Joe, who managed to get away. Joe and Wardlow will now likely feud over the TNT Championship while Allin will now go try to learn from his mentor Sting on how to never lose another match again. (TJRWrestling)
#AndNEW!!! The King of Television reigns again as @SamoaJoe reclaims the TNT Title, after a BRUTAL match here on #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/xtulq2FUlf
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) February 2, 2023
4. Both Nia Jax and Chelsea Green Return in the Women’s Royal Rumble Match
WWE’s women’s roster gained two big names this week. This past Saturday at the WWE Royal Rumble, both Nia Jax and Chelsea Green made their returns to the company. Jax and Green both entered the Women’s Royal Rumble Match, with Green entering at number 20 and Jax in the coveted 30th position. Unfortunately, neither woman lasted very long in the match, with Jax lasting less than two minutes and Green a record-breaking five seconds. Jax actually set a personal record in the match herself, as it was the longest she has ever gone without hurting someone. (TJRWrestling)
3. Rhea Ripley Wins the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble Match
It was a very long night for Rhea Ripley this past Saturday at the Royal Rumble. Ripley was the number one entrant into the Women’s Royal Rumble Match, starting the match with Liv Morgan who entered at number 2. Over a hour later both Ripley and Morgan were the last two participants in the match, with Ripley eliminating Morgan to get the win. This past Monday on Raw, Ripley announced that she would be challenging WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte at WrestleMania 39. Having the opportunity to have a main event matchup at the biggest event of the year is a huge accomplishment for Ripley, and will earn her the type of fame and fortune that you usually have to have an OnlyFans account for at least a week to get. (TJRWrestling)
BREAKING: 2023 #RoyalRumble Match winner @RheaRipley_WWE has chosen to challenge #SmackDown Women's Champion @MsCharlotteWWE at #WrestleMania!#WWERawpic.twitter.com/lcdInCK0Fk
— WWE (@WWE) January 31, 2023
2. Cody Rhodes Wins the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Cody Rhodes will have the opportunity to do what no one else in his famous family ever has. This past Saturday at the WWE Royal Rumble, Rhodes defeated 29 other men to win the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble Match. Luckily for Rhodes, he entered the match at number 30, only having to last a little over 15 minutes to get the win. Rhodes will now get to face WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39, and try to be the first in his family to capture the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Personally, I don’t feel it is right for Rhodes to get this spot, as WWE should be pushing homegrown talent instead of putting former AEW guys in the main event. (TJRWrestling)
Look back at The American Nightmare @CodyRhodes' explosive victory in the 2023 Men’s #RoyalRumble Match. #WWERawpic.twitter.com/1GoZoQZtFt
— WWE (@WWE) February 1, 2023
1. The Bloodline Splits As Sami Zayn Hits Roman Reigns With A Chair And Jey Uso Walks Away
The Bloodline imploded this past Saturday at the Royal Rumble. In the main event of the evening, Roman Reigns defeated Kevin Owens to retain the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. After the match, Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Jey and Jimmy Uso brutally attacked Owens while Sami Zayn looked on. The Usos then proceeded to handcuff both of Owens hands to the top rope, and Reigns ordered Zayn to hit an unprotected Owens with a steel chair. A conflicted Zayn refused to hit his longtime friend Owens however, instead hitting Reigns in the back with the chair. Reigns, Sikoa and Jimmy Uso then proceeded to beat down Reigns while Jey Uso looked on. Jey Uso then left ringside, while the rest of the Bloodline continued the beat down on Owens and Zayn. Later on Instagram, Jey Uso declared that he is out of the Bloodline. The Usos are currently the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, making them potentially splitting even more interesting. Their split will also be a financial hardship for both Jimmy and Jey, as they will now have to take separate Ubers everywhere they go. (TJRWrestling)
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) January 31, 2023
That concludes another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with NYCW and FCWA, 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 as bad as running out of healthy quarterbacks, then follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1.and listen to my Podcast The Smark and the Noob. Thank you to all of those who read this every week.