We are firmly on the road to Orlando and this year’s WrestleMania. Usually we have an idea of what to expect when the biggest spectacle in Sports Entertainment arrives, most matches have taken shape and the Champions and their Challengers are all but decided. However with only Raw’s Fastlane PPV remaining before Mania arrives, there are still more questions regarding WrestleMania than there are answers. This year’s winner of the Royal Rumble match, Randy Orton appears to have relinquished his opportunity to face fellow Wyatt Family brethren and new WWE Champion Bray Wyatt, resulting in a Battle Royal for Orton’s WrestleMania spot being up for grabs which ended in controversy, more on that later in this blog. Current WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens has had a very busy time recently since retaining his title against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, his friendship with Chris Jericho coming to an end last week on Raw and now having to defend his title against the returning Goldberg, who we already know will face his nemesis Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, which is increasingly looking like Owens will drop the title to Goldberg at Fastlane and result in Owens and Jericho facing off at WrestleMania and Goldberg defending the Universal Championship against Lesnar. And Roman Reigns now focusing on Braun Strowman away from the title picture for the time being.




So let’s get up to date with the impact of this week in WWE, starting with Raw, where we saw WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens kick the show off whilst seated in the middle of the ring after a recap of the breakdown in friendship between him and Chris Jericho, where Owens turned on Y2J which for me and many fans was heartbreaking because in my opinion, Owens and Jericho have been very entertaining and a great pairing for most of the past year. Both worked great together, they seemed to bring out the best in each other and it had also given Chris Jericho his best WWE run in years. Owens spoke about his Fastlane opponent Goldberg, stating how he was never impressed by him regardless of his recent dominance over Brock Lesnar and claiming he knows what to expect of Goldberg and what to do and guarenteed to retain his title. Sorry KO but as much as I’d like to see you defend the title against Jericho at WrestleMania, it’s written in the stars that Goldberg takes your title for his match against Lesnar. Regardless of the Goldberg Chants from the Raw crowd inside the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, he cut a very good promo, still currently one of the best around at being very convincing when on the mic. I can’t wait to see how Jericho reacts when he next comes face to face with his former best friend Kevin Owens.


The first match of the night saw the team of Enzo Amore and Big Cass take on former Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro for a chance to face current Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson at the Fastlane PPV. Normally I’d have expected a loss for Enzo and Cass if I’m honest but I’m glad they picked up the win here. Some fans aren’t sold on Big Cass as a performer but I like him, he works well in the ring and although I’m a huge Enzo fan for entertainment, I do worry about the time when these guys eventually go their separate ways. I don’t see the same kind of impact as a singles wrestler for Enzo as I do Cass. After the victory, Enzo mocked Cesaro by telling him they’ve got his Kryptonite which resulted in Sheamus flooring Enzo with a Brogue Kick which led to sections of the crowd chanting “Thank you Sheamus”, which to be fair I found unusual as Enzo and Cass are over with the majority of fans. This also looks like we are starting to see Sheamus and Cesaro heading towards a run and a Heel tag team too, so we’ll keep an eye on those too over the coming weeks.



Backstage we saw Kevin Owens walking around when Mick Foley stopped him and asked him where he was going, to which KOTOR replied that he was leaving. Foley informed the Champ that he had a match with Sami Zayn………..again! Seriously they have had some classic matches over the past couple of years but I do get frustrated with seeing the same matches over and over and over again. Anyone would think that WWE forgot that they have other talent on the Raw roster. Owens told Foley that he thought he liked Sami and that he needs to be careful because he may end up with more guys on the injured list than in the Locker Room This does appear that now the fun and games with Jericho are over, Owens really does mean business and looks way more serious than he has in months and this is where he is at his best.



Next up we saw Mick Foley on the phone when all of a sudden in walks Roman Reigns, cue the loud boo’s from the crowd in attendance. I don’t mind Roman Reigns, yeah he isn’t all that good on the mic but I don’t mind him. The frustration I believe is that WWE feel that he needs to be constantly shoved in our faces, sound familiar? Cough….cough….John…..cough…..Cena…..cough. Foley informed Reigns that Strowman has a match against Big Show and that if he wants Strowman then he needs to wait until Fastlane. All of a sudden Gallows and Anderson appear and Anderson tells Reigns that the 3 of them have unfinished business from last week and suggests they finish that business in the ring. This leads to a 2 on 1 Handicap match being made by Foley after Reigns rejects the offer of finding a tag team partner and tells Foley he can take them both on his own.


Raw’s weekly 205 match featured The Brian Kendrick taking on Akira Tozawa. The match didn’t even get underway after the referee demanded Kendrick leave after attacking Tozawa before the bell, causing a No Contest. Remember for all the latest on 205, my colleague Chris Twigger will cover that as well as NXT in his weekly blog beginning next Tuesday.


Roman Reigns ended up losing his Handicap match via disqualification after attacking the Tag Team Champions with a steel chair, I had zero interest in this match as I didn’t sEsee it necessary or all that important. Reigns being Reigns left looking strong despite his loss. This may as well have been seen as a filler match to let a small portion of the 3 hours of Raw pass. That being said, I am looking forward to seeing Reigns against Strowman at Fastlane.



Oh I nearly forgot to add that The New Day are hosting WrestleMania this year…………..WHY???!!! Don’t get me wrong, I like New Day to an extent. I have grown tired of them now and I think they are one of those examples of something great has run its course, I find them less entertaining and less funny which I think most fans agree as they aren’t as loud and as keen on New Day as much either. Oh well they featured next as they confronted Rusev and Jinder Mahal (why is he even back?) in a tag team match after they argued with them over plans about creating a new ice cream……yawn. Xavier Woods destroyed Lana’s iPod ringside and Kinder not surprisingly was on the end of the pinball. I really don’t know what Jinder is doing back because he offers nothing and all he does is lose. If WWE we ever going to bring back a member of 3MB that has anything to offer, except Heath Slater who is doing his thing on Smackdown Live with Rhyno, why not try and bring back Drew Galloway and actually use him correctly? Oh well.



There was a contract signing for the Cruiserweight Championship for Fastlane which was hosted by Austin Aries between Jack Gallagher and current Champion Neville. Jack offered Neville tea and biscuits, Neville accused him of being exactly what Americans believe the British are and that the streets of England are ugly (oi what it Neville mate, we aren’t all as ugly as you!) and rough around the edges (he has a point there). I have to say, I’m a huge Jack Gallagher fan as he is very entertaining but he can wrestle and I love his unique style of wrestling as well. As you’d expect, it was a typical WWE contract signing which ended in brief physicality between them both.



Nia Jax competed in another squash match against a woman half her size, seriously it’s getting boring now. Nia has had matches against true talent on the roster so why go back to these pointless squash matches? Anyway at least I get to look into Nia’s dark eyes again……what? Hey don’t judge me people, I think she has captivating eyes and although he mic work needs exactly that…, she’s one of a kind on the women’s roster right now. She gave a brief post match interview in the ring where she stated that she’s putting new Raw Women’s Champion Bayley on notice……then shell probably go back to her weekly squash matches again.



Speaking of the new Raw Women’s Champion, Bayley made her first appearance as Champion in the ring to address former Champion Charlotte’s demands that she relinquish the title back to her. Bayley gave the familiar speech of how she dreamed of being in the WWE etc and being Women’s Champion and that dream has come true. She spoke of her Dad and calling him on the phone telling him he did it, which followed with the crowd chanting “you deserve it.” Stephanie McMahon made her way to the ring (never a good sign)and shook Bailey’s hand (definitely not a good sign). She asked Bayley if she ever imagined walking out at WrestleMania as Women’s Champion and so on followed by a knock down comment of asking her if she ever imagined almost losing and tapping out to only have someone come out and cheap shot her opponent behind the referee’s back and called it a tainted victory. Stephanie told her that she’s good enough to just be a hugger that young girls including her 3 daughters look up to and said about Bayley being honest and that the Bayley she knows would do the right thing and relinquish the title. Steph told her that she doesn’t want to win the title that way and no matter what the fans say, she’s better than that. This prompted Bayley to remove the title belt from her waist as Steph kept coaxing her by telling her she should do it for the right reasons and after a brief pause, Sasha Banks entered the picture much to Stephanie’s dislike telling her that she’s always around and that it’s convenient that once again she’s out there in Bayley’s business. Sasha went on to tell Bayley not to listen to this garbage and that she’s like a sister she won’t let her give up everything she’s worked for. Stephanie once again stirs the pot by asking Sasha if she was out there because she loves Bayley or because she can’t beat Charlotte for the Championship. Sorry what Steph? Did you not see Sasha beat Charlotte for the title not that long ago? Steph asks Sasha if inside she knows she can beat Bayley, which lead to Sasha stepping up to Steph and asking who the hell she thinks she is, causing Bayley to tell her to stop. Bayley says Steph was right and says the title is bigger than them all and that the title should represent happiness and competition, not controversy. Bayley asks if she should give up the Raw Women’s Championship which led to a pause and then Bayley threw her arm and title  in the air and shouted “Hell no I’m not giving up this Championship!” to a huge cheer from the crowd as Sasha looked on smiling. Bayley said she pinned Charlotte for the third time and it had nothing to do with Sasha, it was because of the WWE Universe and will fight and defend for them and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Charlotte made her way out and apologised to Stephanie on behalf of the entire women’s Locker room for Sasha and Bayley bring disrespectful. She told Bayley she’s going to take back the title at Fastlane as she’s invoking her rematch clause (oh God please not another title win yet). Sasha told Charlotte she is no Queen and that Bayley will prove that. She then offers Charlotte a match which Steph makes official to take place right away.



The match took place with Bayley on commentary, I always enjoy Sasha Banks vs Charlotte matches, that’s real women’s wrestling right there, so talented. My only issue is the regular title changes between the two before now. This was another very good match between the two. The match came to an ended when Dana Brooke ran out to interfere but Bayley ran up behind her and took her out. Charlotte noticed Bayley beating on Dana outside the ring which distracted her for a moment, which allowed Sasha to hit the Backstabber into the Bank statement for the win. I have to admit I cannot wait to see Sasha vs Bayley for the Raw Women’s Championship if they put on matches like they did on the NXT Takeover shows.
Diamond Dallas Page is going into the WWE Hall of Fame! I’m very happy about this. I have so much respect for the man, not just as a wrestler but as a human being and the way he is helping people change their lives and in my opinion he has saved the lives of Scott Hall and Jakeman Roberts. I have had the pleasure of meeting DDP, he’s a very inspiring person. Congratulations DDP.


Sami Zayn spoke in a backstage interview about how he had told people a long time ago what Kevin Owens was like and he also said that he said the same about Samoa Joe. He said that it’s ok that Samoa Joe attacked him because it’s all in the name of Triple H as he’s the only one who ever believed in them but inevitably people like them, time catches up to them all no that this little story between him and Samoa Joe is far from over.


During Kevin Owens’ entrance we saw a recap of the breakdown in friendship between him and Chris Jericho……please WWE stop it, my heart can’t take anymore, it’s too upsetting! Sorry about that, where was I? Ah yes Sami Zayn made his way out but was jumped by Samoa Joe which beat him down at ringside as KO looked on and then finally threw Zayn into the ring as the referee checked on him. Zayn told the referee he still wanted the match to go ahead as Owens proceeded to aggressively beat Zayn down and quickly hit the Pop up Powerbomb for a quick victory. Well I’m glad I didn’t have to sit through another long winded match between the two.



Stephanie and Mick Foley had yet another disagreement backstage after Mick told Steph he was thinking of going to the ring earlier to show his support to Bayley and that Steph put herself in the situation earlier to be disrespected by Sasha and Bayley. Steph warned Mick not to test her like one of her daughters and that his conduct during the Samoa Joe contract signing 2 weeks ago and his behaviour toward her was out of order and that his week of last week clearly offered no perspective into the reality of his situation. Foley responded by reminding her that he asked her not to treat him like he was stupid and that he’s not asking her anymore , he’s telling her not to. He said he listened to her and he trusted her and he believed in her and because of that, Seth Rollins is on the shelf for another WrestleMania at the hands of Samoa Joe doing Triple Has bidding. He stated he has always supported Samoa Joe and he personally told her and Triple H about how great he was a long time ago but not this way, not in a way that goes against every fibre of his being. He said he maybe committing career suicide for taking a strong stance but he refuses to be belittled by Steph and her husband and refuses to let her greed get in the way of what he knows is right. As Foley goes to walk away, Steph warns him to be careful, there was a cord on the floor and she wouldn’t what him to have an accident as she stared at him . I’m a fan of their interaction because I believe that both Stephanie and Mick have always had great on screen chemistry together and this was a great moment. I love seeing Mick Foley lose his temper, especially when trying to put Steph in her place. Unfortunately it would appear the seeds are being planted for Mick Foley’s inevitable departure from his position.


Michael Cole sat down with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to speak about Goldberg. Heyman was not happy and interrupted Cole. Lesnar stood up and took a step toward Michael Cole which led to Cole shooting up out his chair in fear and take a step to the side. Lesnar took Cole’s chair, placed it in front of the camera and sat down staring into the camera as Paul Heyman spoke. Heyman stated that he thinks Kevin Owens has a chance of defeating Goldberg and Ealing into WrestleMania but he says his client Brock Lesnar disagrees because if Goldberg hits a Spear and a Jackhammer on KO then he will go to WrestleMania as the WWE Universal Champion and that’s just one more thing along with Goldberg’s health, wellbeing, reputation, legacy and career that Lesnar will conquer at WrestleMania. He he said on that, Brock Lesnar agrees. Ok Lesnar looked a little silly staring into the camera as Heyman spoke, although I wouldn’t tell him that myself as he scares the hell out of me. Lesnar is a big guy for all the right reasons, I’m a big guy for all the wrong reasons…….what? Stop laughing you lot!



Big Show vs Braun Strowman is not a main event I would really have pictured as a main event but that’s what we got this week. I like Strowman, seriously I think he’s very good for a big athlete. Not may big guys can move like him in the ring, I was very disappointed when his title shot against Kevin Owens recently ended with Roman Reigns attacking him, damn you Roman! Oh Goldberg and Seth Rollins will be on Raw next week. Yeah WWE decided to wait to tell us that. Big Show made his way out last and I still am amazed at how great Show looks with his new physique. It’s a shame it’s taken him this long to look this good, fair play to the man.


Early on the match was a typical giant vs giant match……actually no it wasn’t. Strowman showed his athleticism rolling and launching himself to his feet to get out of a wristlock, very impressive. One thing I noticed is with Show’s new condition, he moves much better in the ring, taking more bumps and he has become a little quicker on his feet. Strowman looks so impressive also, I didn’t think we would get to see much beyond his time in the Wyatt Family but he’s starting to stand out in a good way, much like Luke Harper is on Smackdown Live recently. Show managed to hit a chokeslammed but Strowman kicked out, I have to admit I’ve not enjoyed a Big Show match in many years. Strowman went for the running powerslam but Big Show slipped out of it and placed Strowman on the top turnbuckle, he went for a superplex but Strowman fought out of it much to the crowds dislike Strowman proceeded to launch himself off the middle turnbuckle but was met face first into Big Show’s fist but he kicked out once again to my amazement. Strowman managed to hit the running powerslam but Show also kicked out. This match was actually very good, not what I expected at all! Big Show went for another chokeslam but Strowman broke out and nailed another running powerslam for the win.


Roman Reigns came out immediately and he hit Strowman with a Superman Punch twice sending him down. He then charged at him for a Spear but Strowman countered with a dropkick and then hit the running powerslam on Reigns as Raw went off air. Not a bad episode of Raw this week. Apart from the Sasha Banks vs Charlotte match and the main event, I was more entertained by the moments that weren’t matches. WrestleMania from a Raw perspective is more or less set with only a few angles to finish up but that’ll be sorted at Fastlane no doubt.



So what about Smackdown Live, where things regarding WrestleMania are a little less unclear than Raw? Well we already knew there would be fall out after Bray Wyatt retained the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match last week by defeating both John Cena and AJ Styles. We saw Royal Rumble Winner Randy Orton tell Bray that as long as he’s the Master and he’s the servant, he refuses to face him at WrestleMania and that he pledges his undying allegiance to Bray Wyatt much to Wyatt’s delight. Daniel Bryan had announce prior to this week’s show that there would be a Battle Royal to determine who would take Randy Orton’s spot at WrestleMania and face Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship.


Smackdown started with Daniel Bryan introducing the current Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi to the ring. Naomi entered with a knee brace on her left leg as she walked, you could tell she wasnt 100% but the crowd chanted “you deserve it”. Bryan spoke about how hard she’s worked and that they’re so proud of her as Women’s Champion which made what he was going to do next very difficult as he’s been in her situation before where he had relinquish championships and he and Shane McMahon had gone over her medical records with the medical staff and unfortunately they know conclusively that due to the injury she suffered at Elimination Chamber, she would be unable to defend her Women’s Championship within the required 30 days. Ok is this 30 day rule still a thing? Remember when Dean Ambrose was still in The Shield and was United States Champion and defended almost never but he still held the title? Oh well, this news sucks as I do believe Naomi deserves the title. Bryan asked her to relinquish the title which of course the crowd hated. An emotional Naomi thanked Bryan for his kind words and spoke about how quickly life can change, last week she was celebrating and a week later she’s having to relinquish the title and that she knows that the moment she hands Bryan the title, that WrestleMania is probably gone too. She handed the belt over as the crowd applauded her, she told the crowd and whoever “borrows” her title that when she comes back, everyone will “feel the freakin’ glow!” I hate that catchphrase, how does one feel a glow? Oh it doesn’t matter.


Just as Naomi began to leave, Alexander Bliss made her way out with a huge smile on her pretty face…….Yes I said pretty, I very much like Alexander Bliss! Anyway she walks past Naomi and into the ring and boasts how amazing this is, telling Daniel Bryan that she has been owed a rematch but Naomi hasn’t been able grant her that. The crowd chanted to Bliss that they can’t hear her but she responded by telling them that she knows they can hear her so they should shut up and listen. Alexa is brilliant, she’s come a long way since her early NXT days, I think she’s top drawer. She proceeds to explain to Bryan that they need a champion for WrestleMania and that her idea is that she thinks that Bryan should return the title to her and she asks for it back. Bryan says that as difficult as it was to take the title away from Naomi, what he’s about to do next may be more difficult. Alexa during this keeps saying, it’s not that difficult and wants it back. Bryan says as she’s the former Champ, it would make sense for him to just give it back to her which Alexa nods approvingly. Bryan says he’s not going to do that but he would give her the chance to earn it back by facing Becky Lynch immediately with the Smackdown Women’s Championship up for grabs. Oh Alexa vs Becky again….I can hardly contain my excitement……


This wasn’t a bad match but not on the level of Charlotte and Sasha Banks on Raw but still a good match. Alexis won the title against after grabbing the ring apron as Becky tried pulling her by the legs, the referee turned away to put the apron back in place which allowed Alexa to hit Becky in the throat and roll her up for the win as Mickie James came to the ramp to congratulate Alexa before running to the ring to try and attack Becky but failed.


A few short backstage comments from various participants in the battle royal was shown. Sorry Kalisto, you ain’t winning no battle royal my friend……


Natalya spoke to Renee Young about her Falls County Anywhere match later in the show against Nikki Bella, she spoke about the usual recycled stuff she’s been saying for ages about Nikki……boring!


Breezango (worst name in history) took on American Alpha In a pointless tag team match which American Alpha won. As they celebrated, The Uso’s appeared in the crowd with microphones taunting them before retreating. I love the heel Uso’s! They were so boring for a long time but their new attitude is great!


Renee Young spoke to Nikki Bella about Natalya and said after their match Natalya will be known as the “Broken Hart.” (Oh dear lord). I am so ready for this rivalry to end! Early in the match Nikki went to pull a table from under the ring but Nattie stopped her. Nikki did however beat her with a kendo stick and then they took the fight into the crowd area as Nattie tool control and taunted Nikki. At one stage Nattie tried to Powerbomb Nikki through the announce table but Nikki fought out. Nikki earned a near fall when she hit an Alabama Slam on Nattie onto the announcement table but Nattie kicked out. The fight eventually spilled backstage where Nikki through Nattie head first into a mirror, smashing it to pieces but still Nattie kicked out. The match was brilliant! Both women impressed me with hoe aggressive and physical they were. Nattie went to lock on the Sharpshooter but Nikki reversed it into an STF but just as Nattie looked like she was going to tap out, Maryse ran down and hit Nikki with a pipe and proceeded to beat her with it which made her husband The Miz run down to pull her away as Nattie claimed the victory by pinfall. I don’t know where this leaves the Nattie vs Nikki rivalry but it does make the prospect of Nikki Bella and John Cena vs The Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania seem more likely which to be fair sucks. We shall see where this goes over the next few weeks.


The 10 Man Battle Royal was next and it felt like this episode of Smackdown Live flew by. The prize is the Number 1 Contenders spot for Bray Wyatt’s WWE Championship at WrestleMania. John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Luke Harper, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rowley and erm…….Kalisto were the participants. Mojowas first out, eliminated by Baron Corbin. Kalisto was next eliminated by Dolph Ziggler who super kicked him off the apron. Ziggler was shortly eliminated by Crews which led to Ziggler getting a chair at ringside and started beating Kalisto with it. Crews noticed this and stood on the bottom rope shouting at Dolph and Corbin took advantage and tipped Crews over the top rope eliminate him. Crews kicked the chair out of Ziggler’s hand and chased him off with it.


Miz was taunting Daniel Bryan by imitating his “Yes!” pointing and then imitated him further by doing his running knees in the corner and his kicks but Cena then eliminated him. Ambrose eliminated Corbin as Corbin raged outside. He pulled Ambrose out under the bottom rope and hit him with End of Days on the floor. Whilst the referees attended to Ambrose, Miz slid back in and threw Cena out over the top rope causing his elimination. He ran into the crowd as he taunted Cena with his “You can’t see me.” hand gesture as Cena looked on in disbelief as the officials ordered him to leave. Harper eliminated Ambrose which left it between him and AJ Styles. The match ended in controversy as Harper was on the ring apron and he pulled AJ down from the corner with them both hitting the floor. It looked to me that AJ hit the floor first, that’s not a preference of mine, that is the way it genuinely looked But it ended the same way as the 1994 Royal Rumble when both Bret Hart and Lex Luger went over the top rope together and both hit the floor together resulting in the first and to this date only Royal Rumble to end with 2 winners. Daniel Bryan came out as the officials couldn’t decide and argued over who won. He spoke to the officials and came to the conclusion the match ended in the draw with no winner, however they will determine a winner next week which the crowd and myself were very unhappy about. Harper took out his frustrations by hitting AJ with a clothesline as the crowd burst into a “Luke” chant. As he took to the turnbuckle and and raised his arms, the crowd popped for him. Then Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton and peppered on the screen as Bray laughed continuously as the show went off air.


Ok I stated that at the Elimination Chamber PPV, I felt Luke Harper really came into his own against Randy Orton in a great match. I always felt Harper had more to give and just need to step away from Bray Wyatt once and for all. His face turn is so far going down well with fans and I’m liking it. Very frustrating that we have to wait another week to have a definitive Challenger for Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. Smackdown was ok this week, it felt like the show went by quick in my opinion but I’m looking forward to next week.


Well that’s it for my first blog for TWS. I hope you enjoyed reading it. I appreciate your time reading it as well, so thank you. I shall try in future to make my blogs a little less long winded but it is my first week so bare with me.


I’d like to hear your thoughts on WWE this past week, so if you would like to get in touch with me and have the chance to have your questions or thoughts and opinions shared in my blog next week then email me at:


Don’t forget to tune into TWS Radio every Sunday from 7pm UK time and if you can, join in the interactive chatroom where you shall find me from time to time, so get involved. If you can’t tune in live then all shows are available on Podcast.


Chris Twigger will be here with his first blog next Tuesday where he will be bringing you up to speed on NXT, 205 and some of the latest from the Indy circuit so please show him some love and check out his blog.


That’s it from me this week, I’ll be back next Friday.


Take care


Stefan Bennett