The Rhodes to WrestleMania Begins
It's easy to see that Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns have a scorching program right now, but that's not the main event for WrestleMania. That's the main event for Elimination Chamber. As we learned last week, the main event for the biggest wrestling show of the year will be Roman defending his championship against Cody Rhodes.
Last night, Rhodes and Paul Heyman, the special counsel to the tribal chief, Roman Reigns, made us care about the story behind the match. Cody was very complimentary towards Heyman, sharing an anecdote from 2000, when his father was broke and Heyman booked Dusty in a memorable ECW angle that Cody said helped his father gain his confidence back. Cody said for this reason he will always be grateful for Heyman.
Heyman retorted that he had the upmost respect for Dusty. Dusty was one of Heyman's mentors, with Heyman sneaking into booking meetings in the Carolinas and watching Dusty work. Heyman also helped Cody get into WWE on this recent run. After Heyman finished complimenting Dusty, he noted that in his last conversation with Dusty, Heyman claims that Dusty said that Cody may have been his favorite son, but Roman Reigns was the son he wished he had. Heyman essentially said that Dusty acknowledged Roman Reigns before passing away.
Cody is obviously very offended by this notion and tells Heyman he just made it personal and at WrestleMania, Cody will personally take away the undisputed WWE universal championship. And, wow. I am just totally sold on the match now! They did a great job of giving it as much importance as the Sami Zayn angle.
Let's see if they can keep this up for another month.
The other big segment on the show was Edge and Beth Pheonix challenging Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley to a match at Elimination Chamber. Beth ended up giving Dominick the glam slam.
The affiliation between Baron Corbin and JBL has officially ended.
Brock Lesnar had a great confrontation with Bobby Lashley, as the two seem to be headed towards an Elimination Chamber match.
We saw the return of another WWE Hall of Famer.
Jerry Lawler Suffers A Stroke
Multiple news outlets report that Jerry Lawler suffered a medical emergency, believed to be a stroke at his condo last night. PWInsider reports he was out to lunch with friends, wasn't feeling well and was rushed to the hospital.
Memphis' WMC-TV reports Lawler suffered a stroke that required surgery today.
Lawler's impact on wrestling is absolutely immeasurable from a wrestler to manager to a commentator to a booker. We wish him a speedy recovery.
What's On TV This Week?
WWE NXT is live tonight at 8pm on USA Network:
- Carmello Hayes will speak after his big win
- Bayley and Damage CTRL will appear for a special edition of "Ding Dong, Hello" with Toxic Attraction
- Zoey Stark vs. Sol Ruca
- Lyra Valkyria vs. Valentina Feroz
MLW Underground premieres tonight at 10pm on REELZ:
- MLW World Championship: Alex Hammerstone vs. EJ Nduka in a Last Man Standing match
- Jacob Fatu to call his shot for the world title
- Appearances from Real1 (fka Enzo Amore), The British Bulldogs, and Alex Kane
AEW Dynamite next Wednesday at 8pm has a big show announced:
- AEW World title eliminator match: MJF vs. Konosuke Takeshita
- AEW Women’s World title eliminator match: Jamie Hayter vs. The Bunny
- AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed (c) vs. The Gunns
- Bryan Danielson vs. Rush
- Garcia/Guevara gauntlet match: Ricky Starks vs. Angelo Parker, Ricky Starks vs. Matt Menard, Ricky Starks vs. Daniel Garcia or Sammy Guevara
Impact Wrestling airs Thursday nights at 8pm on AXS:
- Impact Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry vs. Matt Cardona
- The Good Hands vs. Tommy Dreamer & Mickie James
- Brian Myers vs. Dirty Dango in a no. 1 contender's four-way qualifier
- PCO vs. Shera in a no. 1 contender's four-way qualifier
- Jordynne Grace vs. Steph De Lander
- Killer Kelly & Taylor Wilde vs. Knockouts Tag Team Champions Death Dollz in a non-title match
Smackdown on Friday at 8pm on Fox looks big:
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Braun Strowman & Ricochet
- Intercontinental Championship number one contender's match: Rey Mysterio vs. Madcap Moss vs. Karrion Kross vs. Santos Escobar
NWA Nuff Said is happening this Saturday night in Tampa, Flordia streaming on FITE and PPV:
- NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tyrus defends against Matt Cardona
- NWA World Women's Champion Kamille defends against Angelina Love
- NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Kerry Morton defends against Alex Taylor
- NWA National Champion Cyon defends against Homicide
- Chris Adonis vs. Trevor Murdoch
- EC3 vs. Kevin Kiley
- Singapore Cane match: Thom Latimer vs. Fodder
More Wrestling News
Check out a cool feature we wrote up on indie promotion Circle6's death match show, Seven.
WWE SummerSlam 2023 will be held at Detroit's Ford Field this year.
Sonya Deville got seven stitches from a cut at a house show this weekend facing Charlotte and Live Morgan.
Maximum Male Models (Maxxine Dupri, Mace, and Mansoor) and Los Lotharios (Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo) have been moved to Raw.
Did you catch The Rock at the Grammys?
Both Elimination Chamber matches have been locked in! On the men's side, for the US championship, the competitors are Austin Theory (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest vs. Montez Ford. On the women's side, for a shot at the Raw Women's Championship, the competitors are Asuka vs. Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nikki Cross vs. Natalya vs. Carmella.
The Ring of Honor TV tapings are expected for the final weekend of February and more proof of that is that AEW-contracted talent have been pulled from shows that weekend. "Wheeler YUTA, Tracy Williams, and Trish Adora will no longer be appearing or competing at 'Perfection Or Vanity' on Sunday, 2/26 at White Eagle in Worcester," Beyond Wrestling tweeted. "Email email@example.com if you'd like a refund."
Dragon Lee has yet to make his WWE NXT debut because he is facing visa issues.
Kota Ibushi is on the verge of opening a wrestling school in Japan. Tuition would be 800,000 yen (roughly $6,072.80) and would include room and board for six months, according to an interview with BBM Japan. Ibushi said he would like to stream the training sessions to Youtube.
Finally, here's Eddie Kingston singing Lionel Richie's "Hello" at a karaoke event on the Jericho Cruise:
Do you enjoy pro wrestling? Knotfest Wrestling has a bi-weekly column filled with wrestling news. Read previous editions of this column here. You can always follow me @robinjection on Instagram and Twitter and @Squaredcirclpit.