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Podcast Episode 265: Royal Rumble 2017 Results

Remember the Alamo! And also, the Royal Rumble!

The whirlwind that is the WWE has passed through San Antonio, and a lot of big stuff happened. New champions were crowned in NXT, Charlotte’s PPV streak continued, Cena and Styles had a match of the year candidate, and though questions remain about the direction with Orton winning – the Rumble itself was a lot of fun.

Featuring: Joshua Schlag (@thesteelcage / @schlizzag), ‘The Beast from the Middle East’ Darrell Johnson (@zazzumplop), and ‘The Mayor of Reseda’ Derek (@cap_kaveman).

Music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley.

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The Undertaker is Over. Not in the Way You’re Thinking, Though.

Spoiler alert: This is NOT what The Undertaker looks like in 2017.

Spoiler alert: This is NOT what The Undertaker looks like in 2017.

When you say someone is “over” in pro wrestling, that’s usually a good thing. “He’s so over with the fans” means that he’s getting a big reaction and they’re clamoring to see more.

Let’s be clear – that’s not what I mean when I say that The Undertaker is over. I’m saying he’s over like shell art is over.

In 2010, I sat ringside at WrestleMania XXVI with my brother. It was a dream come true – our first Mania – and we were watching two of the greatest ever battle as HBK faced The Undertaker for the second year in a row. One career came to an end that night as the door closed on Shawn Michaels. Another career came ever closer to its finish, as well – but little did we know that 7 years later, The Undertaker would still be doing his thing. Should he still be doing it, though?

Don’t get me wrong, The Undertaker has put on some solid matches in the time since The Heartbreak Kid called it quits. From battles with Triple H, CM Punk, and even some of what he did with Brock Lesnar – Taker has still created memorable moments for us as fans. But for me, the moment when I began to lose hope occurred in New Orleans at WrestleMania XXX.

Again attending with my brother, I remember looking at each other and realizing about 10 minutes into Taker’s match that we were both thinking of making a run to the restroom. Yes, folks – The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar became a ‘piss break’ match for us. We came back, didn’t miss a thing, and The Streak came to an end before our eyes. We figured it may happen one day, but in such a lackluster fashion as that? Yikes.

To be fair, it’s been said that Taker suffered a concussion early in that match, and powered through it all – carried by Brock Lesnar, who was arguably not ready to take on that role, but had no choice that fateful day. But still, a boring match and the end of the biggest thing The Undertaker had going for him? It must be time for him to call it quits soon, right?

The Undertaker doesn't do New Year's resolutions.

The Undertaker doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions.

Three years later, multiple surgeries, and plenty of holiday meals later… he’s still at it. But why?

Yes, it’s an amazing thing to witness The Undertaker’s entrance. The lights going out. The music. The lightning and pyrotechnics. The aura of The Dead Man. But then he gets in the ring, and we reminisce in the wonderful things he did in the past. And we get just a taste of it.

When he showed up at the 2017 Royal Rumble, it was exciting to see him just ‘appear’ in the ring across from Goldberg. But then he started to move, and you quickly remembered that this is The Old Man, not The Dead Man. He seemed lost at times – forgetting who he was supposed to move onto in his sequence of eliminations. His offense looked lazy and uninspired. He appeared out of shape, and I almost wondered if it would have been better if he wore a loose t-shirt over his singlet. I expect certain old wrestlers to be out of shape as they age – hell, they’ve earned it if they want to let themselves go – but Taker carries a certain mythos that makes us not want to think of him as just a regular old man.

I hate to speak ill of the legends, but I’m over The Undertaker. I think his career is in danger of becoming tarnished if he keeps trying to drag things out. Maybe it’s not all his choice. Maybe he’s leaving the door open to Vince to call upon him – in which case, I’d hope Mr. McMahon sees what I’ve been seeing and stops making that phone call.

I don’t want to remember The Undertaker for looking terrible and being the ‘piss break’ match. (There’s a danger of that happening again this year, as he’s rumored to be booked against Roman Reigns… No thanks times two!) I don’t want to see Taker do what so many other legends did in the twilight of their career at WCW and even TNA. I want to remember him finishing off Shawn Michaels, going to war with Triple H, and being the big scary bad ass he always was.

We used to chant ‘please retire’ at Big Show, but that was more in jest towards his poor booking. I could never chant that to Taker’s face (he’ll always be scary even if he’s started to look a bit like Frasier), but I’ll sit behind my keyboard and make the plea. Don’t kill your legacy, Dead Man.

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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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