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Monday Night Raw

On paper, Monday's post-Elimination Chamber edition of Raw was tremendous. Four of NXT's top talents made their debuts and were victorious, and tag team wrestling was put under the spotlight throughout the night. Ronda Rousey and Ruby Riott had the type of Raw women's championship match many were expecting and hoping for on Sunday night, just one night later. Dean Ambrose fell further off the deep end, and Braun Strowman drove Baron Corbin through a table. In execution, it was a bit messier than that. The Lafayette crowd was ice cold throughout the night, and everything from Triple H trying to hype up the NXT debuts and DX's Hall of Fame induction, through some really good matches, did little to get them out of their seats. Commentary felt over-produced and pressured to hype up the new debuts, rather than letting the characters and their actions speak for themselves. Overall, there was a lot to be excited about, but it didn't quite live up to a WrestleMania season standard.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com1h ago

It's been almost two years since The Revival stepped into the ring with #DIY, but it didn't feel as though they missed a beat in that time. Those two teams produced some of the most memorable matches in NXT history together, and they were at it once again as Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano made their Raw debuts against the newly crowned Raw tag team champions. The NXT champion and North American champion shocked a lot of people by pulling off the victory Monday night, and though the short-term future is a bit hazy between their NXT and main roster statuses, this match tends to lean towards bigger plans on Monday nights. Ricochet made a similarly explosive debut, as he teamed up with Finn Balor and defeated the team of Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush. Aleister Black completed the clean sweep with a victory over Elias.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com1h ago

With only one set of women's tag team title, it's been unclear as to how they would be defended after the first champions were crowned. Bayley and Sasha Banks seemingly clarified that statement on Monday night, insisting they'd defend those titles on Raw, Smackdown, and "even NXT". Tamina and Nia Jax appear to be the first team that will step up to challenge them. Rounding out Raw, Dean Ambrose slapped Drew McIntyre upside the head, ate two claymore kicks and lost a match in just a few minutes. An awkward backstage moment with Seth Rollins was the cherry on top of the crazy sundae. That backstage appearance was Rollins' only moment on Raw, while Becky Lynch was not in attendance Monday. Closing out the action from Raw, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder failed to snap Hawkins' never-ending losing streak against the Lucha House Party.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com1h ago

SmackDown Recap

Kofi Kingston, who is a last-minute sub for Mustafa Ali (concussion) at Elimination Chamber, stepped up in a massive way and put on an unforgettable performance Tuesday in a gauntlet match to determine the last one to enter Sunday's WWE title match. In an ironman feat, Kingston lasted over an hour and defeated three opponents. First, he stunned Daniel Bryan, thanks to a Trouble in Paradise kick after well over 20 minutes against Bryan. Then Kingston defeated Jeff Hardy with an S.O.S., and then rolled up Samoa Joe to pick up his third pinfall. Even after a frustrated Joe caught Kingston in a Coquina Clutch outside the ring, the New Day member refused to go away and fought AJ Styles tooth and nail before Styles eventually locked in a calf crusher and forced Kingston to tap out. Ultimately, Randy Orton would emerge from out of nowhere, and within seconds nailed Styles with an RKO to win the match and the final slot. But this was Kingston’s night, and while he likely won’t walk away from Sunday’s PPV as champ, he reminded WWE fans what he is capable of in big spots.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com6d ago

As we found out Tuesday on SmackDown Live, the Becky Lynch suspension from Monday came with one major upside: That effect is elevating Charlotte Flair’s heel status to an all-time high ahead of her scheduled match against Raw champion Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. Flair was vociferously jeered as she made her way down to the ring and delivered a sarcastic, combative promo directed in Lynch's direction. “I am in the backbone of the division, the franchise player, and I am a winner,” Charlotte said. Flair then called Becky a "flash in a pan" before heading back to the locker room. This was a really smart way to garner more heat for what's likely to be a main-event match on the biggest day of the wrestling year.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com6d ago

Ahead of Sunday's women's tag team Elimination Chamber match, Naomi (along with her partner Carmella) pinned Mandy Rose (and her partner Sonya Deville) in a triple threat match Tuesday night. By virtue of their loss, Rose and Deville will start Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match against Bayley and Sasha Banks -- a big disadvantage for all four women. In a subtle, yet creative move, The IIconics refused to tag into the match to avoid taking the loss and then attacked the winners after the bell. On the men’s side, Shane McMahon and The Miz invited their upcoming opponents, The Usos, to the ring on “McMiz TV.” After a string of fighting words, The Usos simultaneously superkicked both SmackDown tag team champions to make a statement heading into Sunday.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com6d ago

The Undertaker

NXT

This week’s episode of NXT TV featured a marquee main event that saw Ricochet defeat Adam Cole. After the match, Cole’s Undisputed Era comrades stormed the ring and ambushed Ricochet. Aleister Black tried to make the save, but the Undisputed Era got the better of him as well. Black will battle Roderick Strong next week. Also on the show, the Street Profits beat Stacey Ervin Jr. and Humberto Carrillo, Dominik Dijakovic picked up a win over Shane Thorne and Aliyah defeated Taynara Conti with an assist from Vanessa Borne. Aliyah, Borne and Conti were attacked by Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir post-match. Finally, Kassius Ohno announced that he would be leaving NXT before Keith Lee surprised him with a discus elbow. The North American championship will be on the line next week when Johnny Gargano defends against the Velveteen Dream.

Sean Coyle, ESPN5d ago

All Elite Wrestling

Monday Night Raw

The closing moments of Monday Night Raw brought a long-rumored change to one of the main events of WrestleMania 35. After Becky Lynch was forced to apologize for attacking Triple H and Stephanie McMahon to preserve her Raw women's championship match against Ronda Rousey, Vince McMahon overruled the process and suspended Lynch until after WrestleMania -- and inserted Charlotte Flair in her place to face Rousey. By all indications, this is a mechanism to ultimately make this a triple threat title match at WrestleMania, but many fans are already voicing their displeasure with this move. In reality, there's plenty of story between each of these three women, and this change should accomplish two key goals -- covering up for Rousey's occasional issues on a live microphone, and making Flair the unapologetic villain on the way to WrestleMania.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com7d ago

From the time The Revival had their Raw debut in April 2017, it took them over a year to get their first televised shot at the Raw tag team championships. In six subsequent shots at that title -- three of which came against Bobby Roode & Chad Gable -- Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder failed to cash in. Monday night changed all that, with The Revival finally capturing the Raw tag titles in a tremendously entertaining match against Roode and Gable on Raw. In other action, Ruby Riott defeated Nikki Cross and Dean Ambrose beat EC3 in a return match from last week via roll-up. Lastly, after an aborted one-on-one match between Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre, and a subsequent six-man tag team match that was restarted midway through, Balor, Kurt Angle and Braun Strowman defeated McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com7d ago

Tamina and Nia Jax won a triple threat women's tag team match by pinning Bayley, who lost her tag team partner Sasha Banks due to injury early in the match. Banks and Bayley will now be one of the two teams to start the women's tag team Elimination Chamber match on Sunday. Rounding out Raw, Seth Rollins and Paul Heyman engaged in a war of words, and we saw a video of Kevin Owens bowling -- though the point of the latter promo was to deliver a message that Owens is only about a month away from returning to in-ring action.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com7d ago

205 Live

205 Live closed with the contract signing for Sunday's match between Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa for the Cruiserweight Championship at Elimination Chamber. No punches were thrown, but there was a verbal shot. Murphy proclaimed that there was no stopping the unstoppable, but Tozawa retorted that the "King of the Cruiserweights" (referring to the since-departed Neville/Pac) also thought he was unstoppable, and Tozawa took the title off him. Also on Tuesday, Tony Nese picked up a much-needed win in a no-DQ match over Noam Dar after a running "knee-se" through the barricade. Gentleman Jack Gallagher also got a victory over Lince Dorado as Gallagher/Drew Gulak continued their recruitment of Humberto Carrillo. (Photo: @WWEUniverse)

Matt Willis, ESPN Staff Writer6d ago

WWE

WWE announced 12 new signings on Monday who have reported to their Performance Center in Orlando -- and this particular group leans heavily on independent wrestling experience. Karen Q and Rachael Ellering, who both previously participated in the Mae Young Classic, are joined by other recognizable names like ACH, Trevor Lee, Jonah Rock, Samuel Shaw, the Montreal-based tag team "3.0", Elliot Sexton and Nick Comoroto -- a.k.a "The Freak Beast". The class is rounded out by a pair of collegiate football standouts -- Omari Palmer, a former offensive lineman from Syracuse, and Ricardo Miller, a tight end/wide receiver who played for Michigan and UMass.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com7d ago

All Elite Wrestling

Kenny Omega officially announced Thursday night that he has signed with All Elite Wrestling and will also serve in an executive role. In the closing moments of AEW's ticket announcement party at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, there was a pull-apart between Omega and Chris Jericho, teasing a rematch of their well-regarded co-main event at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 12. There were a number of other announcements from AEW on Thursday, including a partnership with Mexican promotion AAA, as well as talent additions including women's wrestlers Aja Kong, Nyla Rose, Kylie Rae and Yuka Sakazaki, and a number of others including Sonny Kiss, Sammy Guevara and Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and former WWE superstar Trent Beretta). Tickets for the May 25 show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena go on sale to the general public on Feb. 13. (Photo courtesy of AEW)

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com11d ago

MMA

Adesanya busts out WWE moves at UFC 234 workout

0:56

WWE

1:03

Bayley on the value of having established women's tag teams in the WWE and the prospect of winning the new women's tag team championships.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com14d ago

Monday Night Raw

With less than two weeks to go until the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Monday Night Raw started off with an explosive confrontation between Stephanie McMahon and Becky Lynch. The segment was built entirely around Lynch's fear that her chance at Ronda Rousey and the WrestleMania main event would be snatched away by executive power and doctors refusing to clear her. Playing up Lynch's knee injury, which she has been nursing since Royal Rumble and had her sporting a knee brace, McMahon told Lynch she would be suspended if she refused to visit WWE doctors. That eventually pushed Lynch to attack McMahon, though the conflict was short-circuited when McMahon targeted Lynch's knee in order to get away. Whether this is a mechanism to include Charlotte Flair in the equation, or instead a way to stretch things out between now and WrestleMania, Lynch is indefinitely suspended. As she left, she crossed paths with Rousey backstage, with the Raw women's champion recommending ice and Advil.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com14d ago

The rest of Monday Night Raw was a bit inconsistent, though it had its peaks. The Revival earned what will be their fourth Raw tag team championship opportunity against Bobby Roode & Chad Gable in a Fatal 4-Way match that showed just how much Heavy Machinery is connecting with crowds. In other action, Ronda Rousey defeated both Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan in matches, setting up what could be a future Raw women's championship match against Ruby Riott. Bayley & Sasha Banks were attacked by Nikki Cross & Alicia Fox pre-match, but the Boss & Hug Connection ultimately prevailed and qualified for the women's tag team Elimination Chamber match. Elias defeated Jeff Jarrett, but the WWE Hall of Famer finally got the last laugh with a guitar shot. In a very solid match, made even more compelling by a pre-match attack, Finn Balor defeated Lio Rush.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com14d ago

Rounding out the night, EC3 appeared on "A Moment of Bliss", during which a potential pairing with Alexa Bliss was teased. Nia Jax, Tamina and Dean Ambrose eventually got involved to varying degrees of confusion but Ambrose, who we found out last week will not be renewing his WWE contract in April, was as loose and comfortable as we've seen him in a long time. He ultimately faced off against EC3 in the latter's main roster in-ring debut, and EC3 went on to pick up a roll-up win over the former WWE champion. Finally, Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre attempted to bumrush Kurt Angle during what was teased to be his retirement announcement, which led to a tag team main event also involving Braun Strowman. Corbin and McIntyre got the win via DQ, but Strowman and Angle got the last laugh.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com14d ago

Recaps

On NXT Wednesday, The Velveteen Dream announced he'd be using his title shot on Johnny Gargano, Drew Gulak faced two NXT stars in new fan-favorite Eric Bugenhagen (won) and Matt Riddle (lost), and Io Shirai, Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair defeated Baszler, Shafir and Duke.

Andrew Feldman, ESPN.com12d ago

A new number one contender to Buddy Murphy's Cruiserweight championship was determined tonight by way of a fatal 4-way elimination match. Former champion Akira Tozawa defeated Cedric Alexander, Lio Rush and Humberto Carrillo and will challenge Murphy at Elimination Chamber on Feb. 17. In other action, The Brian Kendrick defeated Mike Kanellis. On next week's show, Noam Dar will meet Tony Nese in a no disqualification match.

Sean Coyle, ESPN13d ago

WWE

Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE. In a statement provided by WWE to ESPN: "Dean Ambrose (Jonathan Good) will not be renewing his contract with WWE when it expires in April. We are grateful and appreciative of all that Dean has given to WWE and our fans. We wish him well and hope that one day Dean will return to WWE."

Andrew Feldman, ESPN.com20d ago

SmackDown

Daniel Bryan was already pushing his eco-friendly villain persona to its boundaries before Tuesday night, but alongside his new hippie heavy Rowan, Bryan doubled down. He threw the leather-bound WWE championship into the trash and revealed a new, hemp-bound, wood-and-stone adorned championship. The ensuing chaos brought five people to the ring -- AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Mustafa Ali -- and Triple H closed the show by revealing each of those five will challenge Bryan for the WWE championship inside of the Elimination Chamber in a few weeks time.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com20d ago

The fallout from Sunday's Royal Rumble was palpable on SmackDown as the WWE wrapped up their four-day run in Phoenix. Becky Lynch, fresh off of declaring her intention of facing Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35, opened the show and soaked in the adulation from the crowd. As Charlotte Flair attempted to take credit for Lynch's ascent, Lynch punched her friend in the face -- but Flair got the last laugh on her hobbled former friend. The Miz and Shane McMahon celebrated their SmackDown tag team title win at the Royal Rumble, with Miz's dad getting a full entrance before congratulating his son.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com20d ago

The rest of SmackDown was a rollercoaster that alternated between confusing moments (and creative gaps) and entertaining in-ring action. R-Truth picked up a lucky roll-up to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura to become United States champion, and then did the same to Rusev in a second impromptu title match. Rusev then ostensibly turned heel and both men attacked Truth. The Usos became the first contenders for the new SmackDown tag team champs by winning a four-way elimination match against The Bar, The New Day and Heavy Machinery. Despite two teams earning their way into the women's tag team title Elimination Chamber match on Raw, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose were able to just "declare" their way in. We also got some context that showed Rose's animosity towards Naomi dates all the way back to her time on Tough Enough. Finally, Andrade jumped Rey Mysterio and then added insult to injury by mocking Mysterio with several of Eddie Guerrero's signature moves.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com20d ago

Royal Rumble

WWE Royal Rumble: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch win Royal Rumbles

Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch are heading to WrestleMania as victors in the 2019 Royal Rumbles. Plus, Shane McMahon and The Miz earned the SmackDown Live tag team titles while Ronda Rousey, Asuka, Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan all retained.

Lynch: I'll be the first woman to main event WrestleMania

Becky Lynch explains what winning the Royal Rumble means and her aspirations to main event WrestleMania.

2:09

Rollins calls Royal Rumble win 'surreal'

Seth Rollins shares his reaction to winning the Royal Rumble and what it took to overcome injuries to make it back to the top.

0:58

Monday Night Raw

Becky Lynch will challenge Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com21d ago

While Seth Rollins didn't officially say it, he ran out and interrupted Paul Heyman's speech and all but declared his intention of challenging Brock Lesnar for the Universal championship, rather than Daniel Bryan and his WWE title. Rollns, who defeated Dean Ambrose earlier in the night, paid the price for the interruption by eating six F-5s, including one in which he landed ribs-first on the title belt.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com21d ago

Outside of Becky Lynch's declaration and Seth Rollins' all-but-certain declaration, a fair bit of time was spent focused on the upcoming women's tag team title match at Elimination Chamber. In a pair of qualifiers, The Riott Squad beat Natalya and Dana Brook, while Nia Jax and Tamina defeated Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. Rounding out the night, Baron Corbin beat Kurt Angle, The Revival defeated Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, Braun Strowman got a DQ win after Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre teamed up on him and Bayley lost her challenge for Ronda Rousey's Raw women's championship. Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush also got some licks in on Finn Balor, who was hobbled after his title match against Brock Lesnar Sunday night.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com21d ago

Royal Rumble

One year later: Ronda Rousey reflects on her WWE journey

Ronda Rousey still loves what she's doing after one year with WWE and for now her escapist fantasy of a non-public life will have to wait.

Daniel Bryan healthy and thriving as WWE's eco-friendly super-villain

Daniel Bryan has enjoyed a clean bill of health through rigorous testing in the year since he returned to WWE action, and the dramatic shift in his on-screen persona has him locked in and peaking heading into the most important window of the WWE calendar.

WWE

Bellator

Hager wins professional debut by 1st-round submission

1:07

WWE

1:03

Zelina Vega's thoughts on taking part in the women's Royal Rumble match tonight, as well as the last few weeks between Rey Mysterio and Andrade.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com22d ago

NXT TakeOver: Phoenix

Ciampa retains while War Raiders and Johnny Gargano earn gold at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix

Tommaso Ciampa and Shayna Baszler kept their titles, but others could not, as the tag team and North American championships changed hands.

2:10

New NXT North American champion Johnny Gargano on continuing his run of incredible TakeOver matches, and his long, winding relationship with Ricochet that dates back well before they ever met in NXT.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com23d ago
1:40

War Raiders reflect on their five-year journey as a tag team, a special anniversary and defying expectations at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com23d ago

WWE

How to work out like a WWE star

How to work out like a WWE superstar

WWE Superstars use a variety of training methods to stay in peak physical condition, and Farbod Esnaashari discovered how hard they work as Sheamus walked him through the workouts of Becky Lynch, Daniel Bryan, Sasha Banks, Carmella and Elias.

2:48

Farbod Esnaashari ran the gauntlet of WWE superstar workouts with Sheamus.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com32d ago

All Elite Wrestling

Cody Rhodes on the origins and future of AEW

All Elite Wrestling has the professional wrestling business buzzing, and Cody Rhodes -- one of the key players in the new Khan family-backed promotion -- has a lot to say about AEW's origins and future plans.

1:31

Cody Rhodes on wrestler pay and insurance in All Elite Wrestling.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com33d ago

WWE UK Performance Centre

UK Performance Centre pushes WWE's global expansion forward

With the launch of its second major training facility, the WWE UK Performance Centre in London, the WWE's plans of global expansion took a major step forward.

Triple H: WWE's U.K. trainees are future Wrestlemania headliners

WWE's Triple H says the wrestling talent on display in the U.K. has the potential to main-event Wrestlemania in the future.

1:41

Mean Gene

Rosenberg: Let me tell you something (about) Mean Gene

Peter Rosenberg reflects on the impact "Mean" Gene Okerlund had on his career and the world of professional wrestling.

WWE announced Friday that Hulk Hogan will appear on Monday Night Raw to pay tribute to the late "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Hogan recently returned to WWE airwaves for the first time in over three years to open up the WWE's Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia. Hogan last appeared on Monday Night Raw in March 2015.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com45d ago

WWE interviewer 'Mean' Gene Okerlund, 76, dies

"Mean" Gene Okerlund, one of the voices synonymous with professional wrestling as a host, in-ring announcer and interviewer since the mid-1980s, has died at the age of 76.

John Cena

John Cena reflects on prospect of WWE retirement

As John Cena's WWE career appears to be starting its wind-down, he reflects on the prospect of retirement and the difficulty of balancing multiple careers.

John Cena talks post-WWE life and Patriots football

John Cena sits down to open up on his transition to acting, his interest in the Patriots and Rob Gronkowski as a wrestler.

3:06

Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels continuing to live his dream at WWE Performance Center

WWE icon Shawn Michaels is giving back to the world of professional wrestling in his role with NXT and the WWE Performance Center. Now training the next generation of stars, he loves having a hand in shaping the future of the business.

Michaels 'unbelievably attached' to coaching his guys

Shawn Michaels shares what he enjoys most about coaching at the WWE Performance Center.

1:58

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