Next week is all set to be a huge week in WWE. From Raw's 25th anniversary to NXT Takeover on Saturday night and then the Royal Rumble to round things off. As busy as next week will be, the past few days have been pretty big for news in WWE also. First up is the biggest story coming out of last weekend, what is going on with Paige? Heading into Monday Night Raw many fans were expecting the bombshell announcement that the two time Divas' Champion would be announcing her premature retirement. Instead WWE merely declared that she will not be fit to compete in the first ever women's Royal Rumble. While that would have been hard to hear for Paige, it's a whole lot better than never being able to wrestle again.
While we thankfully didn't have to watch Paige retire, we did see Braun Strowman get 'fired'. Kurt Angle quite rightly wanted to punish The Monster Among Men for his actions the week before. In hindsight firing him might have been a mistake. The first hour of Raw then revolved around an enraged Strowman destroying anything and anyone he could get his hands on. Eventually Stephanie McMahon felt compelled to call the Raw General Manager and ordered him to reinstate the wild animal tearing about her show. The moral of this story? Violence will get you everywhere.
PREVIOUSLY: THE 5 BIGGEST MOMENTS FROM MONDAY NIGHT'S RAW
SmackDown Live the following night was not only a lot less chaotic, but there was barely any action at all compared to WWE's flagship the night before. It felt as if the blue brand was working with a skeleton crew as almost the entire two hours focused on the United States Title tournament. There were only four matches on the whole show and three of those were a part of the tournament. At least we got what we wanted at the end of it though, and that is a glorious United States Champion in Bobby Roode. Now enter a returning Dolph Ziggler to dispute the new champion's title reign.
PREVIOUSLY: 5 HUGE TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS WEEK'S SMACKDOWN LIVE
If anything what aired after SmackDown Live was actually more interesting than what was aired on television. First of all there was a WWE KFC Rumble to decide who the next Colonel Sanders will be in WWE (don't ask), but there was also the very first match of the Mixed Match Challenge. Sasha Banks and Finn Balor took on the unique pairing of Natalya and Shinsuke Nakamura. The Raw pair won but what we want to know is was the first episode a success? WWE and Facebook were aiming for a little less than a million viewers but the live feed maxed out at just 136,000. It does have over a million views now however so the jury is still out.
On to NXT now and if the Performance Center's newest recruits are anything to go by then the future is bright for the supposed developmental brand on all fronts. This week WWE unveiled their newest signings: Ricochet, Candice LeRae and War Machine. For those of you unfamiliar with one or all of these acts, let us give you a quick rundown. If you have seen a GIF of a crazy move from an independent promotion recently then chances are Ricochet was involved. He is one of the most talented wrestlers on the planet right now and the acquisition of him by NXT is a big deal. Next up we have Candice LeRae who is one of the most beloved wrestlers on the indie scene and was a standout in last summer's Mae Young Classic. Last but not least we have War Machine. A big, mean looking tag team that will put the whole NXT tag team division on notice, and that includes the heavy set guys such as Heavy Machinery and even Authors of Pain.
Last but not least is the not so small matter of Raw's 25th anniversary. The show may not be taking place until this coming Monday but the majority of the build to the event has taken place this week. While a lot of the names coming to the show had already been announced, WWE has still been adding others to the guest list throughout the course of this week. The likes of Christian and Trish Stratus will be joining so many others including a whole host of women that may very well stick around for the Royal Rumble later in the week. If you thought this week was big then just wait until Monday as that will mark the beginning of a huge seven days in WWE.
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