If I Were In Charge – Episode 11 (Rumble Fallout and The Road To Mania)

I have to say that since Royal Rumble, WWE has been firing on all cylinders. The Royal Rumble itself was a fantastic PLE and RAW has actually been quite watchable ever since (shocking, I know). The landscape looks a little different heading into WrestleMania, with rumors being killed and other matches coming together before our eyes. In fact, so many potential fantastic matches came out of Royal Rumble, I’m more excited to see how they’ll get the feuds molded into existence. Lots of great things happening or potentially happening, so why not chat about them?

Logan Paul vs Seth Rollins: The safer way to go instead of Logan Paul vs John Cena, which was rumored at some point. At Royal Rumble, Rollins gave Paul a huge rub by being eliminated by him in a shocking moment. I don’t think anyone expected Logan to eliminate Seth, but it worked. Seth is red hot right now, and although he’s full of himself and plays that character oh so well, Logan Paul is just as full of himself, if not more. Seth has the time to sit and create a really good match with Logan, where Cena doesn’t. With his crazy filming schedule, Cena needs someone he can really trust and call things on the fly with. That brings us to…

John Cena vs Austin Theory: The champ is here! Or is he? The seeds have been planted for this face off for a long time now. Austin has always made it clear that John Cena is the reason he got into wrestling. Being bullied at a young age in school because he liked wrestling, and specifically, John Cena, Theory put in the hustle to get himself in shape, and get himself more than able to protect himself. Being bullied for being a wrestling fan only made Theory want it more. He lived for wrestling, and that was obvious from the moment he got his start in the business. Theory first called out Cena years ago when Austin was in EVOLVE, telling Cena it was time to pass the torch. Clearly it caught Cena’s eye, because he posted the ever so cryptic (and Cena famous) Instagram photo of Austin. Fast forward to now, The Now, Austin Theory is currently the US Champion. Stealing, maybe borrowing? John Cena’s catchphrase, “the champ is here” is sure to bring out John Cena on one of these Monday Night RAW episodes to let Austin know he’s going to have to prove he IS the champ. The promo work will be great – Austin has improved so much in so little time. Good for him.

Brock Lesnar & Bobby Lashley – what in the hell is going on with these two meat heads? Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining as hell. It just seems like the third match could easily be pushed to WrestleMania, but it feels like it’s going to happen at Elimination Chamber. I’m OK with that, but where does it leave the two of them come WrestleMania? What’s fun to me is the fact that both get quite a good face reaction. This last Monday on RAW, Lesnar came out and cut a hilarious promo, which is always a little surprising due to him sometimes
being a little wacky on the mic. The crowd was loving it, but as soon as Lashley came out, there was quite a good pop for him as well. Both super entertaining individuals. The only rumored WrestleMania plan for Lesnar is a potential showdown with GUNTHER. They had themselves a nice little stare down in the ring during Royal Rumble which got fans salivating for that match. Speaking of meat…

The Royal Rumble Meat Fest: GUNTHER, Sheamus & Drew McIntyre. Man, these guys truly were the backbone of the Royal Rumble IMO. Especially GUNTHER – what a spectacular talent. From saying he’d never move out of Europe, to divorcing his wife, getting in fantastic shape and taking on the main roster, even after a horrible Vince character sabotage, he’s come a long, long way. Sheamus, at age 45, is just killing it every second he’s on TV. You can tell he’s not only having fun, but that he’s also putting every bit of effort he has into everything in case it is his potential last run. It’s quite obvious Sheamus loves others who can hit back just as hard as he gives it. Himself and Drew have tagged up recently, but a three way dance at WrestleMania with two faces and a heel would be a great way to get the Intercontinental Title off GUNTHER and move him up to the next level. After all, rumors are that the main titles will be split again.

Since he’s returned to WWE, it seems all of Cody Rhodes’ wishes and words have magically come true, minus the setback due to injury. Some words he’s recently spoke caught my attention the most. With rumors Triple H wants to de-unify the World and Universal Titles, it seems Cody might be speaking something else into existence. In an interview, Cody mentioning wanting to bring back the “winged eagle” World Title if he becomes champion. As he pointed out, why not? He was able to bring back the old Intercontinental Title design during his last run. But what if this is a way to finally change up the giant W design? Sure, it’s fantastic for marketing. You send out those WWE Titles to sports teams and it’s quite obvious whose giant logo is in the middle. Not the best design, though. Triple H loves his history, but also knows the future is where it’s at. He seems to like a mix. I could see this as a way to meld the WWE and Universal into one, calling it whatever the hell they want – WWE World Universal Champion, who cares, but figuratively melting the two belts down and revealing to us a beautiful new winged eagle World Title. This would allow for another new main title to be made for the other show. WrestleMania Backlash is probably still the PPV after WrestleMania, so why not have top talent like GUNTHER, Drew, Seth, etc go for the new title. As long as it’s not called the Galaxian Title, I’m good. Let’s not forget, Triple H does love himself a big gold belt. I could easily see him paying homage to the winged eagle AND the big gold belt, the two top titles for RAW and SmackDown.

I also can’t say enough good about the women’s division lately. I was so happy to see Asuka with her creepy clown makeup, which is her darker, scarier ass kicking personality. Triple H needs to get as much out of her as possible, because she is a fantastic talent. I couldn’t care less about the language barrier. That’s a ridiculous Vince McMahon way to judge someone’s abilities. I love it when she screams random Japanese at opponents, it’s more entertaining than her trying to do an english promo. Also, shout out to Piper Niven, who not only got her name back, but returned looking better than ever. I’m guessing most don’t know just how good she is. Wrestling in Japan is not easy for many reasons, but one of them is the expected work rate. Piper spent enough time in Japan to show she has what it takes to work a strong style, long matches and do whatever it takes to get by. She did make the best out of Doudrop – that was probably like starting in Japan all over again. Now she has a boss in Triple H who knows exactly what she can do, and I think by SummerSlam she will have gold around her waist.

We have to deal with the fact Charlotte is back, and became SmackDown Women’s Champion out of nowhere. There’s actually a couple of good things that can come from that. The first, and obvious – Rhea Ripley challenged her for the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania. I was a little shocked that Rhea didn’t pick Bianca Belair, but I get it. Honestly, Bianca is great in the ring, but to build a WrestleMania feud with someone like Rhea, I just don’t think she has what it takes. I personally think Rhea is on another level compared to most of the other women, so Charlotte, who’s also top tier, was a great choice given their history. Not to worry, Bianca will have her hands full with someone else. At Elimination Chamber, her number one contender will be decided in a Chamber match between Raquel Rodriguez, Nikki Cross, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Natalya & Carmella. As much as I think Raquel has a huge future, I’m pretty certain it’ll be one of the heels. I’d have to pick angry clown Asuka just due to her fantastic work lately, but I’m also digging Nikki Cross and this new version of her Sanity gimmick. Very entertaining, especially with her stuff spying on Candace LaRae during RAW.

The other good things to come from Charlotte making a surprise comeback and winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship? Both involve Ronda Rousey. First off, Ronda Rousey is no longer Women’s Champion…great! That was getting stale as old chips with the only entertaining stuff being when she was hanging with real life buddy, Shayna Baszler. Ronda seems much more comfortable when she has Shayna by her side, which can be and should be used to their advantage. Ronda has already mentioned on her stream that she has an interest in winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles, so as Hawk would say, WELLLLLLLLL!!! The road to WrestleMania is the perfect time to set up a match. Legendary Lita made the save for Becky Lynch on RAW, taking out Women’s Tag Team Champions IYO SKY and Dakota Kai. Rumors are swirling that Trish Stratus will be giving us some Stratus-Faction next week on RAW to even the odds against Damage CTRL. Elimination Chamber will give us Becky, Lita, Trish vs Bayley, IYO, Dakota, so why not keep the storylines going all the way to WrestleMania and give Lita & Trish a spot and put them in a multi tag team match? I wouldn’t mind seeing Lita & Trish vs Ronda & Shayna vs Dakota Kai & IYO SKY (c) at WrestleMania. No need for a fourth team, but go ahead to give out more paydays. Ronda and Shayna walking away as the new Women’s Tag Team Champs would be a hell of a heel run for them, and really help Ronda out. Being in a tag team might just be the secret ingredient for an entertaining Ronda. Small doses!

And one last shout out to Paul Heyman and Cody Rhodes who delivered a crazy good promo segment on RAW. Cody is really working hard at being real and not so forced like he was in AEW. He knows the crowd could turn at any second, so acknowledging (haaah) the fact Sami Zayn has a Undisputed World Title Match against Roman Reigns in his hometown, Montreal (close enough) at Elimination Chamber was smart. Shenanigans need to happen during that match in order to set up Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs The Uso’s at WrestleMania. Not just for the pop and the excitement for the fans, but the feeling for Sami & Kevin winning tag gold together at the top of their game at WrestleMania would be so special.

A lot more in the business to talk about, but that’ll be it for now. Shout out to Jerry Lawler, who is currently in the hospital as I’m writing this dealing with a serious stroke. Get well, King!

Also, I wanted to pull a Cody Rhodes and put something out there to the universe in hopes that it will happen. I remember the old days when Mr. Tito & writers would do a “Who Will Win, Who Should Win” type article involving most of the staff. Well…Aaron, Mr. Tito & T5W, this is my “throwing it out there to the universe hoping it will happen” moment. How about a “Who Will Win, Who Should Win” for WrestleMania when the card is set?

Take care, everyone. Love yourself.

James Bones