With the Royal Rumble pay-per-view this past Sunday, Samoa Joe debuting on Raw, and Wrestlemania on the horizon this April, WWE has been making major news headlines this week. Many fans were hoping that Samoa Joe would debut on the WWE main roster at the Rumble, but the good news is he’s finally there. Given that there were few (if any) surprise entrants and that the wrestlers favored to win (Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, or the Undertaker) the event didn’t, Rumble viewers seemingly are split as to whether or not the event was worthwhile. But like every year, most of the WWE universe is extremely excited for Wrestlemania.
At the Royal Rumble there was new WWE tag team champions crowned when Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows toppled Sheamus and Cesaro. Kevin Owens successfully defended his WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns (thanks to the assistance of Braun Strowman). John Cena became a 16-time champion, tying Ric Flair’s championship record) when he beat AJ Styles for WWE World Championship. And Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble match aligning him to face the World Champion at Wrestlemania.
Following the event on Sunday was a sensational WWE episode of Raw on Monday. But out of all of the exciting happenings, Samoa Joe finally making his debut on Raw was definitely a highlight. Triple H came down at the end of the show to accept a face-to-face confrontation with Seth Rollins. As Rollins made his way down to the ring Joe attacked him, and in true Samoa Joe fashion, he gave Rollins a series of stiff shots.
Perhaps no personality is better to opine on all of these goings-on than WWE Hall of Fame inductee Jim Ross. On this week’s episode of The Ross Report, he gave his thoughts on the Rumble, ‘Mania, and the WWE news of Samoa Joe debuting on the main roster. The legendary commentator regarded the Sunday pay-per-view as a success. He also understood how some of the viewers could be disappointed with the results of the show. He went on to state that, “you could see the thinking—strategically—on how it [Royal Rumble] was going to affect Wrestlemania.”
But there are two more pay-per-views before ‘Mania, and the legendary announcer expects there to be title changes and position changes before we get to April. Like most of the audience this past Sunday, Ross felt Styles and Cena stole the show. This is not news for those familiar with Styles; ever since he debuted in the WWE most fans feel he steals the show every time he wrestles on a card.
But in regards to the Tag Team Championship, Ross commented that the titles feel “cold.” He thinks that Anderson and Gallows need to reignite the fire to make the championship “hot” again. The duo has dominated in every federation they have wrestled for, primarily in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), but ever since arriving to the WWE many feel that they have been booked improperly. The team has been featured in comedy spots and they have not been booked strong; however, with them finally becoming champions perhaps that will change moving ahead.
Ross was a big fan of Samoa Joe moving up onto the main roster. He is also glad he didn’t debut at Sunday’s event, proclaiming that the only way that would make since is if he would win the Rumble. So with that line of logic, a Raw debut definitely was best for the “Samoan Submission Machine.”
In regards to Wrestlemania, Ross said that Goldberg could arrive at ‘Mania as WWE Champion. This way Brock could finally get his win on Goldberg and become champion during the process. This very well could happen as Goldberg mentioned several weeks ago that he was sticking around for another chance at the championship. And there is plenty of time for that to still occur.
Ross also speculated that Reigns and Undertaker would be facing one another come April, and how it could be a great heel opportunity for Reigns. Roman Reigns eliminated the Undertaker from the Rumble this past Sunday so that seems to be the path that they are on.
Jim Ross’s co-host for this episode of his podcast was Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net. The duo gave further insight on all of the WWE action this week. If you’re a fan of wrestling then you’re missing out by not tuning in. Catch The Ross Report every week to be informed on WWE news by one of the greatest minds in the business.
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