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Why Brock Lesnar WILL Wrestle in a RAW tournament & Win WWE Universal Title

Could Brock Lesnar be wrestling in a Raw tournament to crown a No.1 contender for the WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania 33? I explain why.

As I laid out in my previous article, this year’s Royal Rumble may be the most open Royal Rumble ever, with six new betting favorites in four months. However, for me, the biggest hints regarding the direction the WWE could be going in, may have been dropped this week. The first hint seemingly came when Shane McMahon announced that the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match would be a WWE Title match. I had originally believed that Smackdown would use the Elimination Chamber to crown their No.1 contender, meaning the Royal Rumble winner would come from Raw. However, this announcement means that neither Raw or Smackdown have a clear way of crowning their own No.1 Contender after the Royal Rumble, should the winner come from the opposing brand. So why would the Chamber not be for No.1 Contender status? In addition to that, why has the advertised WWE Title match, a two out of three falls rematch between Cena vs AJ Styles, been changed to an Elimination Chamber match? Could it be because the Royal Rumble winner will be a Smackdown talent and the Elimination Chamber needed a reason to exist?

This brings me to my second hint, the Raw dates of Brock Lesnar. It was revealed this week that Brock Lesnar is now advertised for all RAW events going into the Fastlane pay-per-view on March 5th, except the February 13th RAW in Las Vegas because he’s currently serving a suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission over the failed drug tests related to UFC 200.

Lesnar’s updated schedule looks like this:

  • January 16th – RAW in Little Rock
  • January 20th – live event in Buffalo
  • January 23rd – RAW in Cleveland
  • January 29th – Royal Rumble in San Antonio
  • January 30th – RAW in Laredo
  • February 4th – live event in Salt Lake City
  • February 6th – RAW in Portland
  • February 17th – live event in Dallas
  • February 20th – RAW in Los Angeles
  • February 27th – RAW in Green Bay
  • March 6th – RAW in Chicago
  • March 12th – live event in New York City
  • March 13th – RAW in Detroit
  • March 20th – RAW in Brooklyn
  • April 2nd – WrestleMania 33 in Orlando

This an extremely busy schedule for Brock Lesnar. I can’t imagine that Brock is making all these appearances to simply show up with Paul Heyman and speak about Bill Goldberg, especially when Goldberg is wrestling at WWE Fastlane against a different opponent. My theory is, that Brock Lesnar will be wrestling in a No.1 contender tournament to see who faces the WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania 33. I believe that Raw will announce this tournament after a Smackdown talent wins the Royal Rumble. This will leave the door open for Goldberg to defeat the WWE Universal Champion at Fastlane and for Brock Lesnar to win the Raw tournament and challenge Goldberg at WrestleMania 33. This would be a great way to rebuild Brock after his 86 second loss and It would be a chance to get the Universal Title onto Goldberg, which is something I believe the fans would like to see. It would also raise the stakes for the final match between Goldberg vs Lesnar, making light of Lesnar’s two losses, as he would win the final and most significant match of their trilogy. Winning a WrestleMania main event for the WWE Universal Title would certainly be the most significant win in the Goldberg vs Lesnar trilogy.

With Shane’s announcement and the information about Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania dates, I believe we may have been given our biggest clues to date regarding the winner of the Royal Rumble, what the direction is for Brock Lesnar and WrestleMania 33 in general. If I am wrong, it will be very interesting to see how WWE use Brock Lesnar for all these additional dates, the highest amount of consecutive dates he’s ever had since his 2012 return to the WWE. I do not believe Brock Lesnar’s contract incurs additional costs, should he wrestle on TV, as he has wrestled on several major WWE house shows in the last twelve months. Those matches have all be very quick five-minute matches, and I believe the opening two tournament matches will be the same, until we get to the final match, which will most likely take place on March 6th in Chicago, the night after WWE Fastlane. If this theory is correct, the WWE will once again face the issue it faced last time Lesnar was Champion, in that the Universal Title will be off TV for several weeks and not defended on house shows. However, I feel it will be beneficial long-term, as the person who defeats Brock Lesnar for the gold, probably at SummerSlam, will be looked at as a truly massive star. Stay tuned to my podcast, the Dirty Sheets, as we will continue to cover and discuss the interesting road to WrestleMania 33.

This article was originally published at Sportskeeda.

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Podcast Episode 179.5: Dirtee Jesus vs The Kaveman

Derek vs Billi II

Derek vs Billi II

After getting into a heated discussion over the current push Kevin Owens is currently receiving on the main roster, our bearded brothers Derek and Billi had to keep it going for round 2. In this special edition, they debate the legitimacy of Owens and the impact of beating John Cena clean at a PPV. Whose side are you on?

Featuring: Derek (@cap_kaveman) & ‘Dirtee Jesus’ Billi Bhatti (@DirteeJesus)

Music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley.

This episode has been archived. We’ll be glad to provide it on demand – just send us an email and let us know which episode number you are looking for… OR for instant access to our full archives, become a Patreon supporter!

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The Steel Cage Standings – WWE & NXT – May 2015

Come one, come all to The Steel Cage Standings where each month I rank the Top 10 and Bottom 3 Main Roster Stars and the Top 3 NXT Stars! And, if it’s anything like last month, crazy coincidences happen. In our April 2015 instalment I said Zayn would be huge on the Main Roster and the next week he was on Raw. In our April 2015 instalment I said Ambrose didn’t have enough to do and the next week he was put in the title picture and now look at him. So before we go any further: this month someone who isn’t Paige or the Bella’s will get the Championship, The Ascension will actually stay on TV and keep destroying folk after their decent Chamber showing and, I dunno, Hurricane comes back?

THE GOOD:

10. Zack Ryder

Let’s get this one out of the way early. The joke of Ryder’s bi-annual Raw appearance is a pretty obvious one because it’s actually depressingly accurate but with a show in Long Island this month, specifically in a stadium with so much wrestling history closing it’s doors, it was a nice send-off to have him face John Cena for the US Title. The match wasn’t exactly all that special but he pulled off a hefty Broski boot and found himself on the random pre-show match for Elimination Chamber soon after so maybe things are looking up? Jobbing on Raw would at least be something, rather than moping on Twitter from the catering table.

09. Prime Time Players

ptp
OOHRAH OOHRAH OOHRAH. I was genuinely pretty surprised to find out that the Prime Time Players had been picked for the Elimination Chamber tag match and I was stoked for them too. I’d always been a fan and recently their occasional comedy pre-tape promos had been a highlight of Raw so when they ran down to clear the ring and came out on top, to the biggest pop too, I was seal-barking inside. It was not at all surprising, then, to find that they went until the end of that six-team Chamber match until the numbers game beat them. Titus looked monstrous and Darren’s in-ring work has definitely improved to be an entirely different compliment to it. This feud with The New Day isn’t over so it’ll be interesting to see where it goes because both teams have a great sense of humour.

08. Rusev

Unfortunately it looks like the current Rusev storyline may be screeching to a halt due to injury but that hasn’t meant that he hasn’t delivered up until this point and even after. The “I Quit” match at Payback, I felt, was fairly uninteresting but the connotations of him yelling “I quit” in Bulgarian and Lana giving up for him created a new path to go down to separate them from Cena. Insert Ziggler stealing away his woman. It was logical story-progression and it gave us character development. Rusev has had much more time to speak for himself and he’s shown that he’s incredibly capable. He became the obsessive but sexist pig of an ex-boyfriend who thinks violence will get back what he wants. His promo this week on Raw; defeated, on crutches, was yet another side of him we haven’t seen. And here we all were afraid they’d drop the ball. Who knows how long he’ll be out but it’ll be a welcome return when he is.

07. Ryback

ryb

I’ve always been a Big Guy mark in some respect and I couldn’t even tell you why it started but I can tell you that right now it’s because he’s made a crazy amount of progress in the time he’s been with WWE. Sure, he’s not the most dynamic worker in the company (or perhaps even the safest) but he’s come a long way in-ring and this goes doubly for the microphone. When he was inserted into the chamber match he completely stole the opening segment from The Authority which is not an easy feat and managed to get a good jab at Steph whilst doing it. Now, finally he’s holding his first title ever and it represents his progress.

06. The New Day

Kofi, Big E and Xavier continue to be on fire with this new gimmick and have delivered basically every week from the ridiculous antics such as spending an entire show celebrating in every backstage segment to their incredible 2-out-of-3-falls match. Sure, the Xavier/Kofi Ref mix-up thing was a totally backwards moment but it’s easy enough to just pretend it didn’t happen and move on. Them continuing to complain about having to defend two weeks later against five teams when they have greater numbers than any team was fun and Kofi being put in the Money in the Bank ladder match makes for a very new dynamic. Scarcely have we seen a tag-team involved with any other kind of storyline like this and it makes you wonder just how far the writers will let them go.

05. John Cena

cena

You can tell how Cena feels about certain talent by the level of hard-work he puts into his matches with them. In May 2015 we were witness to two United States Open Challenge matches with former or current NXT talent who Cena helped to elevate excellently, each match totally different in style but each hard-fought: Neville and Zayn, the latter of which shook the Earth. The following week who should arrive and tear the roof off the place but Owens. After one hell of a war of words and a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Cena and Owens faced off against each other in an insane struggle of a debut match. Everyone is so excited about Owens right now; rightfully and myself included, but we shouldn’t forget that Cena putting him over, and how well he did so, is what made that moment so great.

04. Lana

I’m sure it’s out there but I want to point out something I didn’t see enough praise for. A few weeks ago, following Payback where Lana quit Rusev’s match for him, we saw an intense moment between the two where they almost reunited if not for the fact the Bulgarian Brute demanded Lana admit she was wrong. After being explosively angry at her and screaming at her he suddenly decided to apologise and make her feel welcome, then immediately put her down like an abusive spouse. The best part? Lana stood up for herself. I was so expecting WWE to book Ziggler making the save but he watched from a distance as Lana verbally dismantled her ex and walked away like a boss. It was the first positive pro-woman thing I have seen on Raw in some time. Will her and Ziggler work as characters? We’ll see. But for this month, Lana has come out on top.

03. Seth Rollins

rollins

Kane creating the Fatal Four-Way for the Payback main event was a stroke of genius for Rollins’ character. In the last month he has gone through a wealth of situations that have let him showcase emotions: he got to throw his weight around again about it being unfair before realising in the closing moments (although admittedly on Smackdown when it should have been Raw) that he could turn all three of his opponents against each other and steal the win; demonstrating his twisted, opportunist ideals. Of course he got away with it and his evil smirk was more prominent than ever as The Authority was set to celebrate “The Architect of a Dream” before Ambrose weaselled his way into another title match. Eventually, Rollins told his back-up to stand down and that he was going to show everyone he could do it by himself. He could have done too, if not for a disqualification which caused Ambrose to run away from the event with the belt and for Rollins writhing and screaming in terror.

02. Kevin Owens

It’s hard to think of a debut this strong that everyone actually liked: usually it’s an unnecessary push for someone not ready or something that totally changes the aspects of the character that everybody enjoys. Owens has been nothing if not true to himself upon arriving at the Main Roster by answering Cena’s Open Challenge and then telling him he doesn’t want to fight that night before surprising everyone with a huge Pop-Up Powerbomb and breaking the internet. If you didn’t know who he was before you knew now, especially because he followed it up with arranging his first ever Main Roster match being at a “special event” against the biggest guy of the last ten years.

He would then go on to destroy this guy. Rightly so, it wasn’t a squash: it was a hard-fought battle between the two of them that was essentially twenty minutes of massive manoeuvres and close-call pins. At one stage, despite the Owens fan I quickly became, I had to question everything when all I saw everywhere was fans losing their minds and praising him as though he was the one true God of wrestling. But then he goes out there and does what he does and you remember that he is the absolute tip of the mountain. Every time he opens his mouth, you listen. It’s no wonder he’s made it to Raw already and it’s also no wonder they trust him with both shows.

01. Dean Ambrose

ambrose

It was a tough pick but when it comes right down to it, Owens beating Cena was something people were clamouring for that seemed a possibility. Ambrose beating Rollins for the title? Unthinkable. I don’t think I saw that prediction at all. It seemed pretty strongly like they were building to Reigns screwing Dean especially when during the show it was announced any interference of any kind would get him disqualified. As such, it was all down to Ambrose and he and Rollins yet again put on a mesmerising, exciting match complete with a confusing dusty finish and Dean running away with the belt. I wasn’t sure at first how okay with that I’d be until I saw it.

Ambrose is the most over guy on the roster right now bar none and I’m not entirely sure where that came from. Everybody always loved the guy but when he was randomly inserted into the Payback main event he became the shining star of it and it was smart to continue down the road with him. Now he’s made away with the champ’s belt, he’s given the fans a little victory over mega-heel Rollins and given himself a chance to stay on top for a long time. Let’s drag this out until Summerslam, please?

THE BAD:

03. King Barrett

Last month Barrett was my #2 pick and look how far he’s fallen. They’ve really done nothing with him since giving him King of the Ring and we really shouldn’t be surprised but it’s hard not to be aggravated about it. His Payback match ended in a walk-out and then he was immediately thrown into the two-week build for Elimination Chamber. Sure, he had a great showing: mouthing off to everyone in their pods and racing in to catch R-Truth before he could even leave his. But then he got beaten by him: R-Truth, the guy who was just in the match for racial equality and who, earlier that month, was running away from plastic spiders. Yikes.

02. The Diva’s Division

It’s like beating a dead horse but the Diva’s Division really is a state right now. We were lucky to even have five on TV at one point recently but Tamina seems to have vanished and now that the Triple Threat is over chances are Naomi is going back to purgatory with her like so many girls they try using for a month at a time (hi, Summer Rae and Alicia Fox). Nope, that means we have yet more Paige VS The Bellas and that means more flimsy alignment changes because people still like Paige so The Bellas are going heel again which, knowing their track record, won’t be explained. What would it be like to see any other Divas? We’ll never know. These are the only girls they bother to push. I’m not even saying you need to bring the NXT women up (and potentially ruin them), just use more of what you have.

01. Bray Wyatt

wyatt

Do I really need to explain why Bray Wyatt is in the Bottom 3 again? He lost to a part-timer, never referenced it and seemed to act like he won, feuded with Ryback and now he’s… basically inconsequential. He could have been a great choice for the Chamber or even Money in the Bank. He didn’t even have to win either, it just could have been a great set-up for finding his next opponent. I vaguely remember some entertaining match between him and Ambrose on Raw but I also remember being annoyed that it was not only something we had seen before but had served no purpose for Wyatt who’s goals have vanished just like any believability in him as a character.

THE NXT:

03. Samoa Joe

If nothing else, WWE has been good with surprises recently and this goes for NXT also. The latest Takeover event ended with Owens beating down Zayn and throwing everyone who tried to stop him off of him so he could continue until his former friend never came back but a new challenge approached the ring to put an end to the barbaric display. Samoa Joe’s arrival was a speedy one in terms of rumour-to-TV but his slow-walk to the ring was exciting, even for someone who has very little experience with him. So far, Owens has refused him twice but it’s only a matter of time. For now, Joe definitely has contendership for the best NXT arrival (no pun intended) ever.

02. Rhyno

You guys have been saying this to me for weeks and it’s taken me a little while to really get into it but… Rhyno is awesome. I was hesitant at first to see how they were going to use him but he’s definitely broken up the show’s pacing and brought both a sense of a nostalgia and a freshness to the ring when he goes toe-to-toe with someone. Baron Corbin, for whatever reason, isn’t the most popular guy so it was nice to see Rhyno solidly put him over at Takeover after a series of weeks building himself up as the jobber-killer he should be.

01. Kevin Owens

owens

I think it’s fair to put Owens on both lists. His accomplishments on Main Roster may be vast and almost eclipse the smaller stage of NXT but let’s not forget what he’s achieved in the last month with a terrific build against Zayn whilst still being chased by Riley, having his #1 Contendership be announced as Finn Bálor, potentially being responsible for Itami’s injury, taking out Regal and now facing off against Joe… NXT are putting all the balls in his corner and really working hard to make him public enemy number one. At the end of the day, the more enemies he has the more of a payday it is for him. It’s a role he plays so well, from the subtle to the less-so such as walking out to Zayn’s music after basically killing him wearing a Cena shirt. If Owens is taking over Raw it’s fair to say NXT has been his since the moment he walked in.


You can find Psyniac on Twitter at Raw is Psyniac where he tweets about Raw 18 hours after it’s aired, how much he loves Dolph Ziggler and, occasionally, candy.

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