5 Most Insane Things Happening In Wrestling Right Now (Feb 2)

Wrestling: Excellent.

NXT TakeOver Philadelphia Johnny Gargano Andrade Cien Almas

Is WWE finally acknowledging that the best way to monetise its key demographic - the old hardcores willing to put up with their inane awfulness - is by pleasing the very demographic to which it "super serves" content? For a supposed business genius, Vince McMahon has done well to ignore the first principle of capitalism in recent years. But in 2018, he is en route, on the Road to WrestleMania, to giving the fans what they want.

So many WWE stars actually warrant that designation, having emerged from Sunday's Royal Rumble in rude health. It's strange how improving the overall mood of the audience with a killer, progressive show allowed that audience, in turn, to perceive the those stars with more goodwill than they had previously. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm.

Well, except Dolph Ziggler. The man was depicted as a complete joke, having returned, entered in the #30 slot, only to be swiftly eliminated by Finn Bálor in just two minutes. He could not have looked more like a geek if he sucked up to Zack Morris and smeared his sh*t on the lip of somebody unfortunate enough to sleep with him. His career has ground to a Screeching halt.

You can't win 'em all - but WWE won back the hearts of the bitters this week...

5. Rumble Restored


On Sunday, WWE delivered massively in restoring the glory of the Royal Rumble in a shocking but no less welcome development.

The winner, Shinsuke Nakamura, was selected not by office but by the public. Well, obviously the office selected him - John Cena loudly called spots, not an audible - but you get the meaning. Finn Bálor emerged as the star he once was in a great restoration of the Iron Man trope; unlike in previous years, Bálor made an impression from the arc, as opposed to lurking by the turnbuckle in wrestling's version of a bang average Premier League footballer duking their pass completion stats. Rusev got even more over. Rey Mysterio teleported in time, from his prime, in a sequence both redemptive and spectacular. Kofi Kingston perfected his jaw-dropping trademark near-elimination gimmick. WWE even did comedy well with Heath Slater's bullied boy running gag.

It was, in your writer's opinion, the greatest Rumble match ever.

The Women's equivalent was less successful - on initial viewing. Once the memories of Lita nearly killing herself, Sasha Banks kicking air, and Michelle McCool dominating because her fella is The Undertaker subsided, the complexion of the match changed. Trish Stratus was blinding in body language, Asuka even more so - and the Empress validated an atypically superb NXT-to-main-roster transition in an electric all-round performance.

Bravo WWE for a bravura night.


Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71