We are a few days away from the Royal Rumble. Monday Night Raw is in the books. How did the flagship show for the WWE do this week to prepare the fans for one of their biggest shows of the year?
I really enjoyed the sit down interviews between Bayley and Charlotte Flair, hyping their match for the Raw Women’s Championship at the Royal Rumble. Thinking back ten years ago, women were not given an opportunity to give promos like this. Granted, most of the women the WWE had on the roster ten years ago were more concerned about getting a television show credit on their resume than on performing well in the ring but that’s another story all together. The interview with Bayley did a lot to expand on her character for the casual audience. NXT fans are well aware of how good she is on the microphone and in the ring but I think her experience on the main roster has been lacking to say the least. Her interview with Corey Graves did a lot to showcase what makes her great as a performer. She’s relatable. What wrestling fan hasn’t sat back and daydreamed of main eventing a show and winning the championship? She gets to live wrestling fans dreams.
The Charlotte Flair interview was hands down my favorite part of the show. She always gives a nuanced performance when given the chance to speak. While I love how cocky she gets when talking about being the Queen of the Ring, there’s also a bit of sadness in her interviews as well, especially when they bring up her father, the Nature Boy Ric Flair. Charlotte is a one of a kind athlete. Seeing her perform at such a high level on the big stage like this is a pleasure to see.
What I love most of all, and what I wish the WWE would do with the rest of their roster, is the amount of attention they pay to the Women’s Division. While no one feels the Women’s Championship is better than the Universal Championship, based on the consistent storylines the WWE has created for the women on the roster of both Raw and Smackdown, you care about what happens in the ring. I really wish they would take the dedication they’re showing to the women’s division and showcase the rest of the roster in similar fashion.
The match between Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins was a great setup for the future. The match was made early in the show by Stephanie McMahon. The winner would get a spot in the Royal Rumble. The loser would lose their spot. Just as it seemed Seth Rollins would win the match, Triple H’s music hit, causing Seth to become distracted long enough to give Sami Zayn the win.
What a simple, yet effective, way to set up a future match between Seth Rollins and Triple H. Presumably, it will happen at Wrestlemania. What I hope the feud will accomplish is making Seth Rollins a full fledged baby face. The only reason Seth is on the side of the angels right now is that Triple H screwed him out of winning the Universal Championship with his match against Kevin Owens in September. That’s not a legitimate reason for fans to cheer and I think the mixed reaction you see now explains it. They need to do more to give fans reason to like the guy. He can definitely pull it off. They just need to give him the right material to do it.
The show ended with a stare down between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. What appeared to be a preview of the ending of the Royal Rumble match was tossed to the wind when a gong hit and The Undertaker appeared in the ring!
That segment did more to cloud who will win the Rumble this Sunday than anything else. It was brilliant. In year’s past, the WWE had pretty much telegraphed who would win the big match which led to some good and some bad results. This year however, it’s anyone’s game, and that is nothing but good for the WWE. People are questioning who will win. Which means they will pay their $9.99 to watch the Royal Rumble this Sunday on the WWE Network.