JP’s WWE Experience 24th-28th January

With the Royal Rumble being in a matter of hours, JP is here to run you through the events of the go-home week of WWE programming.

JP’s WWE Experience 24th-28th January

Hello ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages! It’s JP here to run you through what happened this week in WWE programming. It’s the go home week for the Royal Rumble, so I’ve managed to whack this review out as early as possible so you can catch up before the Premium Live Event tonight. So without further ado, let’s go! 

WWE Raw 24th January

Cowboy shit!!! 

To kick off this week’s episode we had a weigh in between WWE champion Brock Lesnar and his opponent at the rumble big bad booty Bobby Lashley. Lesnar showed up wearing heavy clothing and a big belt buckle. Lashley came in at around 273lbs while Lesnar weighed 286lbs, with the belt buckle and all. Lashley was annoyed at Brock’s antics, and said the only reason he isn’t taking it seriously is because deep down he knows Bobhead will beat him. 

Lashley proceeded to mock his challenger, by announcing the newwwwww champ as ‘Bobby-Who’ before walking out with a smirk on his face that screamed he has murder on his mind. This was an extremely pointless segment that added nothing to their feud, and for a go-home show, I expected a much bigger build to get me even more hyped. Despite this, I still can’t wait for this dream match, and it’s sure to steal the show!

The Priest is being very naughty tonight! 

Damien Priest was defending his United States Championship against Kevin Owens, which I was excited for as it seemed an exciting match. I wondered why they had no advertising beforehand… then the finish happened and it all made sense. 

The match began with Priest unloading on Owens, the amount of kink I’d expect from a priest in all fairness! Owens dodged a chokeslam before being hurled to the outside and thrown into the barricade. KO tried for a senton on the apron, but Priest got his knees up before he hit Owens with a huge chokeslam onto the apron, which I’ve recently discovered is the hardest part of the goddamn ring!!!!! 

The match was fairly back and forth from this moment on, before Priest got angry and started raining down strikes in the corner, I guess Owens forgot the lord’s prayer!!! I made it sound aggressive, but these were more like pathetic slaps that you’d expect to see in a pub scrap between two women who were fighting over the last pink gin. The referee tried to separate them but failed miserably, leading to Priest losing the match via DQ. Another seemingly pointless segment on Raw, which seemed to be the theme this week. I’m glad we’ve reverted our attention back to the Priest character change though, as the progress in that department seemed to be halted. 

The highlight of Raw… a spelling bee!

You know you’re clutching at straws when the best segment on the entire show is totally unrelated to wrestling and is a comedic skit. Alpha Academy and RK-Bro were out for the ‘Academic Challenge’, and eventually after a lot of crap flying out of Chad the rad lad Gable’s mouth, the spelling bee commenced. 

Otis was first to pass his challenge, briefly followed by Riddle. Speaking of… welcome back to:

This week’s thought: if you were to smoke weed on the beach, does that make it seaweed? Thought provoking and relevant, smashed it if you ask me!

Chad was next up, and I was happy at his clear dumbness as he mistook disillusion for dissolution and completely messed up his go. Nice one!!! Randy was given a tough one, but still managed to pass before Gable flipped and attacked the viper. Well, that wasn’t very good sportsmanship was it! 

That was about it from Raw this week, and as you can see by my three main highlights, it was pretty shocking! There were no feuds that really developed before the rumble, and if we missed this week’s episode out then it’d probably have done more good than harm. Find a full list of results below: 

  • Bianca Belair DEF Zelina Vega 
  • Kevin Owens DEF Damien Priest via DQ 
  • Rhea Ripley, Liv Morgan & Dana Brooke DEF Carmella, Nikki A.S.H & Tamina
  • Randy Orton DEF Chad Gable
  • AJ Styles DEF Austin Theory
  • The Mysterios DEF The Street Profits

Main Event January 27th 

  • LA Knight DEF Cedric Alexander
  • T-Bar DEF Roderick Strong

NXT UK January 27th

Devil-in disguise! 

Tried to play on the name Devlin, if you see what I did there, I appreciate it! The main event seems worthy to talk in a lot of depth about as we had Ilja Dragunov defending his NXT UK title against Jordan Devlin. This match took place inside an empty arena, meaning you could hear every shot connect; it was brutal! 

In the entrances, Devlin wasted no time and headbutted the champion before the bell. Dragunov came back instantly with two beautifully executed german suplexes. Devlin trapped Ilja’s arms in the ropes before grabbing a chair, this was kicked away from him by the champion, but he opted for his fists to rain down strikes instead, before heading for a… screwdriver??? This also wasn’t used as Ilja managed to free himself. 

Dragunov was mostly in control as the two men brawled on the outside, but Devlin came back by throwing him into the steel steps, but Dragunov threw him into a pile of chairs and loaded the ring with some more, as well as a few in a pile on the outside. Dragunov suplexed his opponents into these for a near fall. He proceeded to continue dominating Jordan, sending him into a table set up in the corner with computer equipment on it. Devlin raked the eyes of the champion and put Ilja through the table giving him the opportunity he needed to get control. 

Devlin rolled an equipment case into Dragunov, crushing him between the crate and  another box. Devlin ended up on top of the box, stuck his thumb into Dragunov's eye and hit a perfect moonsault off the box. Devlin retrieved a table, but Ilja attacked him and set it up in the ring himself. Devlin came back and hit him with a chair before propping it up in the corner. Devlin went for Devlin-Side through the table but the champion countered. 

Devlin hit Ilja with a chair to the knee then hit a twisting samoan drop for a 2.9. Dragunov came back with a death valley driver through the table in the corner. Devlin had a long period of control next, before going to get some cable ties from ringside, to which he used to tie Ilja’s hands behind his back. He rained down blows and hit a defenceless Ilja with a few chair shots. He proceeded to set him up on the steps, preparing to hit his head with a chair, but the champion dodged. 

This gave him the opening he needed to hit a pump kick, followed by the Torpedo Moscow, springing off the steps in the process, all while his hands were tied behind his back. This allowed him to get the three and retain the UK title, following a truly brutal main event. What a match!!!!! Find a full list of results below: 

  • Die Familie DEF Gallus
  • Jinny DEF Amale
  • Ilja Dragunov DEF Jordan Devlin to retain the UK Championship

WWE Smackdown 28th January 

Royal Rumble Randomness! 

Smackdown women’s champion Charlotte Flair kicked off this week's episode saying she’s going to win the rumble and choose her own opponent for Wrestlemania. She was briefly interrupted by Shayna Baszler who was making her return to the blue brand. She stated if it came down between them two, Flair might be too injured to compete at Wrestlemania. 

Aliyah was the next out, and you can see a pattern starting to develop. She was optimistic about her chances at the PPV, and I don’t see how she can be. Natalya was next to follow, calling Aliyah lucky because her record was a ‘fluke’. Shotzi was next briefly followed by a returning Sasha Banks, who slapped Flair in the face before walking out just as a brawl ensued. Banks declared herself for the rumble. 

Quick sidenote, later in the show Sonya Deville also declared for the rumble match, taking the number of participants up to 23 in the women’s. The participants are shown below:

It’s a new day once again!!! 

Kofi Kingston was backstage joined by Big E, who announced that he was now officially back on the blue brand. This was fairly out of nowhere, and the only reasonable explanation I can find right now is that he might be the one to win the rumble and face Roman reigns at Wrestlemania to have the rematch from Survivor Series, and perhaps allow Big E to get his revenge on the tribal chief and be the one to end his 500+ day reign. 

This led to the two being in tag team action with one another once again. The match itself was fairly mediocre, so I’m not going to run through it, however, I must admit it’s amazing to see the new day once again reformed. Hopefully going forward we could see the New Day as tag champions, that being Kofi Kingston and King Woods, and Big E as Universal champion, almost like the complete opposite of the bloodline to show the story progression. 

Rollins on a roll! 

To finish the go-home edition of Smackdown, we had Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins facing off. Rollins bragged about the Usos being banned from ringside before Reigns exclaimed he didn’t need them to beat Seth. Reigns stated he was now in ‘God mode’ following Rollins reminding him of all the times he has lost to Seth. Reigns brushed this off as ‘water under the bridge’ before Reigns referenced the betrayal of the Shield. 

Seth exclaimed he did the Universal champion a favour by hitting him in the back with the chair. He stated this made Roman the man he was today, the man who had done it all, except beat him. Rollins said he will win the Universal title, before Roman stated he could never forgive Rollins for the betrayal and he hated him for it. Rollins stated he will make a mockery out of reigns and the bloodline before dodging a superman punch and walking off. The two faced down from a distance as Smackdown went off air. 

This segment was storyline done right, with the long term Shield narrative playing a pivotal role. This segment hyped the feud even further and I think it’s the match I'm most looking forward to at the event.

That was all she wrote, or the WWE creative team wrote, for the final episode of Smackdown before the Royal Rumble. The build was much better in this episode than it was in Raw, with a few more names announced for the Royal Rumble matches. For the men’s, Ricochet declared himself as did Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura who had just been cleared for action. The men’s lineup looks as follows:

 Find a full list of results below: 

  • Sheamus & Ridge Holland DEF Ricochet & Cesaro
  • Naomi DEF Sonya Deville
  • Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs DEF Jinder Mahal & Shanky
  • The New Day DEF Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss

205 Live! January 28th 

  • Josh Briggs DEF Damon Kemp 
  • Yulisa Leon & Valentina Feroz DEF Amari Miller & Lash Legend
  • Joe Gacy DEF Draco Anthony

That brought us to the end of this week in WWE programming and the last week before one of the most anticipated events of the calendar year, the Royal Rumble. The build was fairly poor across the board, especially on Raw, but nothing can derail my hype for the stacked card. That’s all from me, thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on next week’s review!