27/02/2024

Picture: WWE

In the first week of the new year, all eyes were on Roman Reigns and his reaction to last week’s loss with Sami Zayn against John Cena and Kevin Owens. On Friday Night Smackdown, the Tribal Chief made his feelings clear before quickly backtracking in what is still currently the company’s best storyline.

Welcome to the WWE Weekly Round-up, where The Inner Sanctum will take you through this week’s most pivotal moments on WWE television and preview what shapes to be a huge period ahead.

As well as The Bloodline’s developing angle with Sami Zayn, there were four title retentions to kickstart 2023 and the build to the Royal Rumble continued to heat up.

Alexa Bliss disqualifies herself in title match after a bizarre turn of events

In the first match of Monday Night Raw, Bianca Belair defended her Raw Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss.

The two competitors shared a good relationship prior to this contest until December 13, where Bliss placed the E.S.T. in position for a Sister Abigail and never followed through. However, the following week saw the challenger smash a glass vase over Belair’s head and it added fuel to the fire.

The champion dominated the majority of the title match and towards the closing stages, Belair and Bliss were both on the outside when the latter became distracted by a figure in the crowd wearing an Uncle Howdy mask.

Shortly after when Bliss made her way to the top rope, she spotted a separate individual with the same mask before Bray Wyatt’s logo flashed on the titantron. This led to the challenger entering a possessed state, as she unleashed an assault on the referee to cause a disqualification.

Bliss then launched a brutal attack on Belair, delivering two fatal DDT’s on the steel steps. The E.S.T was attended to by medical professionals and her very concerned husband, Montez Ford.

The outcome of this Raw Women’s Championship match indicates that a second encounter seems likely to take place at the Royal Rumble, where Belair should be able to secure a clean victory. It still remains a mystery if Bliss reunites with Wyatt, but WWE have been heavily teasing it for weeks and it looks like it won’t stop anytime soon.

Seth Rollins potentially injured after United States Title defeat to Austin Theory

An indifferent episode of Monday Night Raw concluded with a United States Championship match, as Austin Theory put his gold on the line against Seth Rollins.

The Visionary earned the title opportunity after defeating Bobby Lashley on December 13 and the crowd in Nashville was firmly behind Rollins to win the United States Championship, but it looked dire for him late in the match.

Theory pushed Rollins into the referee and the challenger tweaked his knee after reversing a move. The champion attempted to take advantage, but the Visionary was able to connect with a pedigree and there was no official in sight.

However, a second referee entered the ring to make the count and Theory was able to kick out at two. The champion shortly after delivered a low blow to Rollins while the alternate official had his back turned, before targeting his opponent’s hurt knee and delivering an A-town down to retain.

While the attendance did not receive the outcome they were hoping for, the match was excellent and further proved that Austin Theory is a legitimate star in the company. In hindsight, losing the Money in the Bank briefcase was the right decision for him and has provided so much more freedom.

After Raw went off the air, Rollins seemed highly frustrated and actually injured. It’s still unknown whether the knee was legitimately hurt or if the Visionary was just selling it for the story of the match.

This incident comes after AJ Styles broke his ankle during a house show a few nights before, ruling him out of action for the foreseeable future. It would be catastrophic if Rollins fell under a similar fate, as he is always a vital cog of the build to the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.

More Wrestling News:

WWE End of Year Awards: What was the best moment of 2022?

“I feel like The Man more than I ever have”: Becky Lynch content with current status

London home to first Premium Live Event in over 20 years with Money in the Bank set for July

Roman Reigns blasts Sami Zayn for last week’s loss, Undisputed Universal Championship match set

Friday Night Smackdown commenced in hostile fashion, as The Bloodline caused havoc at ringside before Roman Reigns made his way to the ring and addressed last week’s tag team defeat.

While Sami Zayn declared that The Bloodline was going to dominate in 2023, the Undisputed Universal Champion was seething and verbally scolded the Honorary Uce. He yelled at Zayn for guaranteeing a victory last week and not delivering, as Reigns then asked him if he wanted his role as the Tribal Chief since he was calling the shots.

Before Reigns could release any more frustration, Kevin Owens interrupted the altercation and told the world champion that he should have a problem with him instead.

The Prizefighter proceeded to challenge the Tribal Chief at the Royal Rumble for the Undisputed Universal Title, before the match was later made official in a rivalry that will be revisited two years on from their last.

Right before the main event, Reigns apologised to Zayn backstage for not controlling his anger and gave the Honorary Uce a chance to redeem himself. Paul Heyman announced that Zayn will battle Kevin Owens next week on Smackdown, in what will be a must-win for the former.

Solo Sikoa costs Drew McIntyre championship gold once again

After having their initial title match cancelled, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus finally battled The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships in the main event of Friday Night Smackdown.

Solo Sikoa was at ringside while Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn were watching in the back, and the Street Champion proved to be a thorn in the Scottish Warrior’s side yet again.

Late in the contest, McIntyre was caught on the outside while the referee had turned his attention to Jey in the ring. Sikoa took advantage of the situation and launched an attack on the former WWE Champion, delivering a Samoan spike and driving him on top of the barricade with a spinning solo.

Sheamus was left to battle The Usos on his own, as Butch and Ridge Holland wasted no time in rushing down to the scene to brawl with the Street Champion. The odds were stacked against the Celtic Warrior and despite a valiant effort, he eventually succumbed to the reigning champions in a hotly-contested match.

This only increases the hostilities between McIntyre and Sikoa, as the latter infamously cost the Scottish Warrior the Undisputed Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle. Whether the former WWE Champion makes light of the assault next week remains to be seen.

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