Some thoughts on the ground at the Royal Rumble as we head to the road WrestleMania 39…
WWE is ready to strap a rocket in the back of Cody Rhodes, and for good reason.
Cody Rhodes is the quintessential WWE Superstar. From an outside perspective, the 37-year-old appears to have everything clicking and is poised for the biggest streak of his career. Think of every element a company could want in a franchise player – Kodi fits the bill.
It starts with its marketability. The American Nightmare has been hotter than fireworks since his return to WWE. Even an 8-month absence due to injury can calm him down. They were moving so much of his merchandise into the Royal Rumble Superstore in San Antonio last week that it was nearly impossible to keep it on the shelves. sold out.
If you missed your chance to get some, don’t worry. During his post-show media post, Rhodes hinted at an abundance of new merchandise that will be available to the public soon. What was the main reason WWE was apparently willing to pass the torch (and the title) to Cody? He makes and will continue to make the company money.
Speaking of that post-show media meeting Saturday night… what did Cody do there first? Just hours after he wins the biggest match of his life, a match he’s dreamed of winning since he was a little kid, a match that puts him in the main event at WrestleMania, before he can say or do anything else? Cody took the time to introduce the show’s main sponsor, Mountain Dew Pitch Black.
Someone should try this stuff he said, before he takes a huge swing at Pitch Black and declares he’s awesome. The man just understood it. Entire. He knows the importance of every aspect of the business. His passion for professional wrestling oozes out of him with every appearance he makes, both in and out of the ring.
I can say this with absolutely no exaggeration, there is no better storyteller in the business than Cody Rhodes. In the ring, on the microphone or behind the stage – it doesn’t matter. The man has a wealth of knowledge and history that he can draw on to make his work memorable. I now look forward to his press conferences, almost as much as to his performances.
The way he works with the media is a true art form. He never responds to a question as if he is annoyed or put off. Instead, he carefully considers what was asked before giving his answer in exquisite detail and grace. You can tell he really enjoys being there.
On multiple occasions now, I’ve watched Cody ask a member of WWE’s PR team, It’s okay to answer more questions, when the others anxiously count the seconds until they can head out. It is an absolute pleasure to watch this gentleman work a room.
You could easily see him on the late-night talk show circuit with one Jimmy (Fallon or Kimmel), telling these amazing tales of his life on the road or choking while talking about his dad.
Many jokes have been made at Cody’s expense in recent years to tears welling up in his eyes during his promos, but I love it. I love feelings, I love passion. I love that he cares that So much about professional wrestling and building his own legacy rather than stomping on his family name.
His mastery of presenting Babyface is second to none, and there’s one more thing I haven’t come across yet. His matches are excellent. It is the best performance in the big arena.
Cody Rhodes is the perfect man to take down Roman Reigns which is why he won the Royal Rumble. This is despite the Chieftain being great in the middle of WWE’s best storyline since Stone Cold vs. Mr. McMahon.
The climax of that story, or at least this current chapter of it, seems to be set up Judicial Department. Sami Zayn will likely challenge Roman Reigns for the WWE Undisputed World Championship in his hometown of Montreal, although many believe this Bloodline arc should end with Sami being the one who defeated Reigns at WrestleMania.
Not to classify these two men in two categories, because they do not come close to this black and white. But you can make the case that the classic “People’s Choice” versus “Company’s Choice” situation is brewing here.
But is there any concern that Sami Zayn’s rise in popularity will have any negative impact on Cody upon his return? It was quickly squashed over the weekend.
There was no rebellion on Saturday. There was no denying Rhodes’ Royal Rumble win. Quite the opposite. His return was greeted with thunderous applause. And that’s because WWE played their cards right.
By opening the men’s Royal Rumble Match, the creative team eliminated any expectations of Sami Zayn winning. Had the Bloodline split happened before Cody won the match and then Sami didn’t show up (or even worse, they put Sami in the match and he got eliminated), they would have run the risk of getting another Daniel Bryan on their hands.
There was no scenario where Sami Zayn being at the Royal Rumble without winning made sense or good for business. This is not about Sami Zayn vs. Cody Rhodes. So keeping them apart was a smart decision.
He may not have punched a ticket to WrestleMania, but Sami Zayn was having a moment. You could have cut the tension with a knife inside the almodomy. Over 50,000 fans are on the edge of their seats, holding their breath, not making a sound, as they wait to see what Sammy will do with that steel chair.
And believe me, what came out over a peacock pales in comparison to the lively roar of the crowd when the crucifixion met the chief’s back.
The show ended at Sami Zain Restaurant Moment Dr. King Schultz It was exactly the right call. For those who do not know this file Django Unchained good reference. Arguably Tarantino’s best work, I highly recommend it if you can handle the subject matter of the movie. But I digress.
Rhodes vs Reigns are reportedly locked in WrestleMania 39But as we’ve seen before, plans can change. It will be great how Sami’s story develops over the next couple of weeks. Will the crowd be satisfied enough with Zayn shooting the chief of the tribe in his hometown? Or will the wave of support for the former Uce emeritus agency be enough to force a course correction?
It has happened before: Daniel Bryan, Becky Lynch, and Kofi Kingston. Will Sami Zayn Be The Next Superstar To Rock The Creative App Bandwagon? To steal a company streak, never say never.
My guess is we’ll see Sami and Kevin Owens dethrone the Usos for the tag team titles to close out the first night in LA, then Cody fulfill his lifelong dream in the main event the second night.
No matter how you feel about the situation, WWE is in a great place right now. They have two very hot little faces on their hands. It’s a shame they only have one world championship.
Rhea Ripley made the right choice by challenging Charlotte Flair
Rhea Ripley made history last Saturday when she became the first woman to win the Royal Rumble from number one. The already impressive performance was even more surprising when Raya revealed on the press post-show that she wrestled most of the match after dislocating her knee.
Like I said this week Bleav on the Pro Wrestling Podcastthe closing sequence of the match was, for my money, the best ending of any Rumble in recent memory.
With the three finalists on the ring apron, Rhea Ripley shook off the fog from Asuka who inadvertently blinded Liv Morgan. Then The Nightmare pulled a really slick leg through the middle rope to eliminate the Empress. Morgan successfully hit a Codebreaker on Ripley, who slipped and was left dangling from the ropes. But when the former SmackDown Women’s Champion felt her way along the top rope to catch Rhea’s hand, Ripley pulled off yet another sporting feat. She wrapped her ankles around Morgan’s head and tossed her to the ground with a tornado.
It was a really nice sequence executed to perfection. I’m glad I was there to feel the crowd energy for this finale.
Rhea Ripley was the bookmaker’s favorite to win the women’s Royal Rumble title heading into Saturday night, and WWE made the right choice by sending her to WrestleMania. Mami was long overdue for another opportunity to run the women’s division after her reign as the Raw Women’s Championship ended abruptly over 18 months ago.
Who was the woman who ended that sentence? Charlotte Flair.
Who was the woman who defeated Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship? WrestleMania 36? Charlotte Flair.
Which woman should have challenged ria to a match at WrestleMania 39? Charlotte Flair.
Yes, the right people got it. My only complaint is that WWE Creative only made her wait two days to make her decision. I specifically asked Raya about this during the post-show press program, because at the time, she thought it would be a difficult decision for the officials to make. But the more I think about it, the more obvious the answer becomes.
I know it came as a shock to some and a disappointment to many when Rhea chose Charlotte this past Monday rawbut the most compelling storyline is with the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
We all want to see Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley launch a major A-list rivalry that could drag on for years. In the end, they will get there. These two are not going anywhere. Ripley and Blair will be the cornerstones of the women’s division for the foreseeable future and will feature many epic confrontations. I bet a lot of money.
But before this chapter can begin, another chapter must be closed. Rhea Ripley is coming for redemption at WrestleMania. Every time a nightmare seems ready to soar to new heights, Charlotte Flair is there to send it down yet again. This is a match in the making for three years.
Ripley needs this win over Charlotte and it needs to happen on the biggest stage ever. She needs to slay the dragon, get the monkey off her back, kill her white whale — use whatever metaphor you want.
Now… if the queen rules in mania once again… Well, I’ll take it for now, but I trust Mami is out of Los Angeles with the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Some other quick ideas:
- If Raya is challenging Charlotte, who is Bianca Belair facing at WrestleMania? We’ll find out in Judicial Department In a couple of weeks, but I have to suspect Asuka and her new Dark Persona are in line for a major push and will likely be the next Empress in line for EST.
- I’m really curious what Becky Lynch and Bayley will be doing in LA in April. With two of the company’s top superstars seemingly out of the world title picture, could their feud stretch for another couple of months? Or is something else in the works?
- While we still don’t know if Nia Jax is back in WWE full time (editor’s note: reports indicate she isn’t), I’ll apparently cut it off with everyone else and say I hope she re-signs. It’s exactly what SmackDown needs – a heat magnet to help get some of those baby faces. Put it up against all those talented women who are still in the “getting to know you” phase with the audience (Emma, Raquel Rodriguez, Tegan Knox, etc.) and see if they start cheering for them at the same time they boo Nia off the building. Say what you will, but the crowd is invested in Nia Jax. that they love to hate it.
Reports indicate that GUNTHER will defend his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania in a triple threat match against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. yes! Sign me up all the way to it. Sign me up to win Sheamus too.
- Looks like he won’t be wrestling Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock at WrestleMania this year and you know what? That’s totally fine. Reports indicate that John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Logan Paul will be on the card and that’s the perfect amount of part-timers to get a spot light. The biggest WrestleMania ever? I say showcase as much of the key talent on the roster as possible.
What have you all done about the Royal Rumble fallout? Tell us in the comments section below. You can follow Rick Ochino on Twitter Twitter and subscribe to Bleav on the Pro Wrestling Podcast for his further work.