WWE Royal Rumble Preview, AEW Jay Briscoe Tribute Recap & More Wrestling News Headed into the Weekend

WWE Royal Rumble Preview, AEW Jay Briscoe Tribute Recap & More Wrestling News Headed into the Weekend

- By Rob Pasbani

It's Royal Rumble weekend and columnist Rob Pasbani has a full preview, plus a look at AEW's Jay Briscoe tribute and all the big wrestling news heading into the weekend.

Royal Rumble is tomorrow!

No matter where WWE storylines are, good or bad, I always get excited around Royal Rumble time. The match is just a lot of fun. This year, we have the added bonus of a lot of intriguing storylines going into the show, with the most intriguing being the Bloodline angle with Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, the Usos, and Kevin Owens. Plus who is actually going to win the Rumble this year?

The most interesting aspect of the Rumble is that as of now, for the men, only 15 wrestlers have been announced, and even less for the women. That leaves room for fun surprises and returns, something the Rumble is known for. With Triple H taking the reigns, he is a man who loves surprises. We've seen plenty in the last six months on WWE TV already, so I can see some more fun this weekend.

Here are the competitors announced for the male Rumble as of this writing: Baron Corbin, Gunther, Rey Mysterio, Omos, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Karrion Kross, Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, Dominik Mysterio. As of right now my prediction is either Cody Rhodes or a surprise like Stone Cold Steve Austin or Sami Zayn.

Announced for the Women's Rumble are Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler, Zelina Vega and Emma. They really better pull out some surprises here, but I have to assume it will most likely be Rhea Ripley winning, with an outside chance for Liv Morgan. But I fully expect Rhea to win and challege Bianca at Mania.

And of course, the other big match is Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens. One thing that WWE has done really well is make every Reigns match seems like a really big deal. This match is all about what happens with Sami Zayn? Does Sami interfere to help Roman win? To help Owens win? Does Sami mess up? Is this where the Bloodline finally turns on Sami? Or perhaps where Sami turns on the Bloodline?? I honestly have no idea what will happen but I can't wait to see. I do think Reigns is leaving San Antonio as champion.

The wildcard match is this Mountain Dew Pitch Black match with Bray Wyatt vs. L.A. Knight. I have no idea what this match will be but I hope it's short. I wonder if it will play into the other match on the card - Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair. Alexa has been seeing visions and Mr. Howdy as well, maybe that match will play into the Bray match. Either way, Bianca is winning!

WrestleMania season is offically here, and there is no better indicator than the sign going back up:


AEW Honors Jay Briscoe

Last week, after the tragic death of Jay Briscoe, the legendary ROH wrestler only got a brief tribute on AEW television. It turned out that the Briscoes were still banned from the networks. AEW owner Tony Khan put his foot down and pushed to get a proper tribute, which happened on this past Wednesday's show.


We also saw Mark Briscoe make his first appearance since his brother's death and it was an emotional match against Jay Lethal.


When Mark spoke to the camera, that really got to me. AEW was all class with this tribute. Mark briefly spoke to ROH commentator Caprice Coleman the next day and offered these words of wisdom.

“Hey, y’all already know family is beyond important to me, my life. 23 years, me and my brother been riding the roads, making towns, hitting different countries. Ain’t no way that I been wanting to do this for this long if I ain’t have my boy with me the whole time. But now, it’s time to carry on for him.”

“My brother ain’t here with me as he normally has been, normally would be, but he’s still with me right here. He ain’t gone. If I thought he was gone, then I wouldn’t be no good. I know he ain’t gone. I know he just moved on to the next higher level of existence. You know what I mean? So that’s what keeps me pushing forward.”

AEW has also posted a special memorial show for free on the Ring of Honor Youtube page:


What's on TV this weekend?

WWE Smackdown is the final show before the Rumble, tonight at 8pm on Fox:

  • Rey Mysterio vs. Karrion Kross
  • SmackDown Tag title contender’s tournament semifinals: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. Hit Row (Top Dolla & Ashante Adonis)
  • SmackDown Tag title contender’s tournament semifinals: Legado Del Fantasma (Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde) vs. Imperium (Giovanni Vinci & Ludwig Kaiser)

AEW Rampage is on at 10pm on TNT. They have a stacked card:

  • Hangman Page vs. Wheeler Yuta
  • Powerhouse Hobbs in action
  • AEW Women's Champion Jamie Hayter vs. Emi Sakura in a title eliminator match

The WWE Royal Rumble is of course this Saturday at 8pm, streaming on Peacock.

More Wrestling News from the Internet

Bray Wyatt offered a rare interview to Ryan Satin on Out of Character and when asked about what Undertaker told him, Wyatt said “Okay, so I think everybody kind of can see it for what it was, right? When something like that happens, that’s something that no one can take away from me. That moment belongs to me. No one else in the world in the history of time ever gets to have that moment. No one but me. What he said was something that only I would have understood. Something that only I would be able to appreciate, for when and where it happened. It was something I never thought would come but what he said exactly is between me, him, God the devil. I could never . I’ll never, never tell so. I’ll go to my grave with it. But it was powerful, and it was unexpected. Very very cool. Something I will cherish for the rest of my life. That’s a segment I can watch back. That’s a special one.”

Wyatt also opened up about the passing of his friend Brodie Lee, “Well, I despise the way my mind works. That’s the truth of it all. I’m the first person ever to tell you all my flaws. I refuse to watch myself back. I’ve never seen pretty much anything that I’ve ever done. I can’t watch. I just that kind of headcase man, but it’s also kind of my superpower. It’s what makes me, me. is the obsession. When I’m geared on something, I’m so deep into it that there is no separating life from anything else. It just is. When I dive deep like that, it’s what makes me connect and it’s the reason that I have fans that are so into what I do. It feels like it’s part of their life too. If I didn’t have such passionate fans, man, I wouldn’t be here. I really wouldn’t. It’s them that led me back here.”

Japan has lifted restrictions on indoor arena sizes, so it looks like all wrestling shows going forward will allow full cheering and booing.

Wardlow is out with an injury. He is not expected to be gone long.

Kenny Omega hasn't been on AEW Dynamite because he is experincing issues with renewing his work visa. He wanted to be a part of the Jay Briscoe show badly, but wasn't being let into the country.

AEW and Luchasauras are being sued for copyright infrigement by mask maker CFX. The mask maker claims the design is far too similar to a mask for sale on CFX's website. CFX claimed that Lucha approached another mask maker to create a replica design of CFX's "iconic" design and the mask maker refused citing copyright issues.

The Wrestling Observer notes that even though Vince McMahon has been in the office every day, sometimes well into the early mornings, he has yet to attend any creative meetings.

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.

Back to blog
1 of 3