Colin Young-Wolff/Associated Press
Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Jax Claps Back at Detractors
Nia Jax took to Twitter on Tuesday to respond to suggestions she put Dana Brooke in danger during a tag team match on Monday’s episode of Raw.
Jax began by taunting those who criticized her in the replies to a clip of her slamming Brooke down hard and then hitting Dana with a legdrop on Raw:
Nia followed that up by shrugging off a Twitter user’s accusation that she was responsible for “another dangerous spot.”
Whether fair or not, Jax has gained a reputation among part of the WWE Universe as a dangerous worker who has contributed to multiple injuries in the past.
Most notably, Jax busted open and concussed Becky Lynch with a punch just days prior to Survivor Series 2018, which resulted in Becky getting pulled from her scheduled match against Ronda Rousey.
She also executed a couple of scary spots in matches against Kairi Sane last year, including one that saw Sane hit her head hard on the steel steps.
By nature, wrestling is a dangerous sport where injuries happen, so perhaps it is unfair that Jax has been pigeonholed as an “unsafe worker” in some circles.
At the same time, Jax does seem to find herself in situations where injuries or near-injuries are happening more frequently than most, although it’s difficult for non-wrestlers to truly measure whether someone is at fault or if something is merely an unfortunate accident.
Ultimately, Jax is one of the top female wrestlers on Raw and in the midst of a significant storyline, as she and Shayna Baszler are set to challenge Asuka and Charlotte Flair for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships at the Royal Rumble.
Because of that, Jax doesn’t figure to see her television time or role diminished any time soon.
Ryback Reportedly Not Going to AEW
Former WWE Superstar Ryback is reportedly not set to sign with AEW despite recent speculation to the contrary.
Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News) reported that there is no deal forthcoming between the two sides.
Speculation regarding a Ryback-AEW working relationship began last week when Ryback said: “I am coming back and I am going to the competition and we’re going to kick their ass in the ratings.”
Since being granted his release from WWE in 2016, Ryback has been highly critical of the company. He has spoken out against the way talent are treated and paid, as well as how the backstage workings are handled in WWE.
He has also been in a recent war of words with Mark Henry, during which he has essentially accused Henry of being an extension of WWE and a shill for the company.
Given Ryback’s issues with WWE, it comes as no surprise that he desires to go to a competing company, although his popularity doesn’t appear to be particularly high right now, meaning he may not be a huge asset to a promotion like AEW.
If anything, signing Ryback might further the narrative that AEW will take any former WWE wrestler it can get its hands on, especially since Ryback hasn’t wrestled much in recent years and is nowhere near the peak of his value.
While Ryback’s in-ring ability has always been in question, he was a huge star for a period of time in WWE, particularly in 2012. He was in the midst of an impressive undefeated streak and eventually got himself in WWE Championship contention against the likes of CM Punk and later John Cena.
He ultimately didn’t win a world title, but Ryback did hold the Intercontinental Championship, and he enjoyed a fairly successful run overall given his limitations.
Ryback could still bring some value to the table, but he might be a better fit in Impact Wrestling or Ring of Honor until he builds himself back up enough to get on AEW’s radar.
Rousey Comments on Her Royal Rumble Odds
Former UFC and WWE star Ronda Rousey commenting Tuesday on the likelihood of entering and winning the 2021 women’s Royal Rumble.
Rousey tweeted the odds, which list her at +750 (15-2), behind Rhea Ripley at +700 (7-1):
Bovada (h/t OddsShark) has Rousey as the No. 2 choice to win the Rumble ahead of seemingly more likely choices such as Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Bayley.
Rousey enjoyed a dominant run with WWE in 2018 and early 2019, as she won the Raw Women’s Championship in one of her first bouts and went undefeated in singles matches until WrestleMania 35.
Ronda headlined WrestleMania 35 along with Lynch and Charlotte, and she dropped the Raw Women’s title to Lynch in that match.
Rousey hasn’t been back on WWE programming since then, and while it has always been assumed that she would return eventually, no indication has been given that her comeback is imminent.
It is certainly possible since WWE is set to stage WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, with a limited number of fans in attendance. If WWE wants to sell as many tickets as possible, bringing in a big name like Rousey could go a long way toward making it happen.
If Rousey does enter the Royal Rumble, it is essentially a lock that she will win, but installing her as the No. 2 betting choice seems optimistic.
The fact that Rousey is having fun with it could be a sign that a Royal Rumble appearance isn’t on the table since one would assume that she wouldn’t want to draw attention to the surprise.
Rousey is missed in WWE, and if she does make her return at the Rumble, it will likely go down as one of the biggest moments in the history of women’s wrestling.
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