It has been a pretty massive week for WWE, and the best part of it for fans is that it's not over yet. We are only just about recovering from Raw's bumper 25th anniversary show and we've still got NXT Takeover: Philadelphia and the Royal Rumble before Raw rolls around once more. Since the 25th birthday of WWE's flagship was the biggest thing to happen in all of wrestling not just this week but so far this year, we guess it makes sense to start there.
For the most part Raw 25 was an unmitigated success. The show pulled in more viewers (4.3 million) than it has for almost three years and the action packed into it was exactly why. The show opened with an epic confrontation between Stone Cold and Vince McMahon that took us all back to 20 years prior when the clashes between the two of them were the best thing on television. D-Generation X's in ring meeting with the Balor Club was also a special moment in time, plus we got to see Braun Strowman throw Brock Lesnar around like a rag doll again.
Like we said though, Raw 25 was a success for the most part. With a show as packed as that one there were always going to be some slip ups. First up has anyone figured out what message The Undertaker was trying to get across yet? The Deadman came to the ring with all the lights on, which was weird in itself, and then cut a promo that made little to no sense. What makes it even worse is that was one of the segments that took place in the Manhattan Center. WWE split the anniversary show across two venues and didn't plan everything out so well. Fans in Manhattan were left watching the majority of the show on big TV screens and with a lot of them paying upwards of $400 for their tickets, needless to say they weren't too happy.
It has been a pretty turbulent week for 205 Live. Just hours before Raw's 25th anniversary went on the air the now former Cruiserweight Champio Enzo Amore was accused of sexual assault against a woman back in October. As is the case with these matters WWE suspended Amore pending the investigation but then released him from his contract the day after. That has left 205 Live somewhat up in the air. There were plans to have a Cruiserweight Title match at the Royal Rumble this Sunday but those have now been scrapped. Instead 205 Live will get its own General Manager next week and they will be the one to decide the fate of the brand's vacant championship.
There was one bright spot in an otherwise gloomy week for the cruiserweight division. Rich Swann, who has been suspended since mid-December pending an investigation into alleged domestic battery and kidnapping, has had all charges against him dropped. Those charges were all dropped this week which presumably means that Swann will be back on 205 Live some time in the near future.
While Vince McMahon is trying to make us believe that it will have nothing to do with WWE, as of right now the news that the XFL will be returning in 2020 is still wrestling news. For the past month or so we have been wondering what exactly it is the WWE chairman has been up to and on Thursday afternoon he finally revealed the news. Despite its epic failure in 2001, Mr. McMahon is giving the XFL another go. It will launch in 2020 and run while the NFL is in its off-season. McMahon has said that he has learned from the mistakes he made first time around, time will tell if that's the case.
Last but most certainly not least we have the build to this Sunday's Royal Rumble. For the first time ever the pay per view, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will feature two 30 person matches, one for the men and one for the women. Some fans may have expected a few of the returning legends this past Monday night to declare their entry into the respective Rumbles, but that didn't happen. That's fine by us as it simply means more surprises on the night itself. Who will be winning the matches though? Well rather excitingly that is still anyone's guess. Yes there are front runners but no real out and out winner for either match. Throw in two World Title matches and two matches for both brands' Tag Team Championships and you are staring down the barrel of a pretty stacked card. Enjoy it folks! You never know, those Ronda Rousey and Daniel Bryan rumors may have some truth to them.
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