It means that the Greek God of Wrestling will have to do his best to avoid running into all of you Philthadelphians who want a photo with your favorite wrestling columnist. I have a few basic rules: don’t touch me; don’t shout at me; and don’t talk to me.
Try to concentrate on the action in the ring in what will be the final RAW before Roadblock, which will take place on Dec. 18 in Pittsburgh. Only three matches have been announced for Roadblock, so there should be some new matches set up or confirmed Monday at Wells Fargo Center.
There is an important match Monday that – at least at this point – has nothing to do with Roadblock. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defend the RAW Tag Team champions, defend the titles against the team of Sheamus and Cesaro and the team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a triple threat match. If New Day retains the titles, they will tie Demolition’s record for the longest tag team title reign in WWE history at midnight Monday.
One of two things is going to happen. Either New Day will lose the titles, being deprived of the record, and then win them back at Roadblock, or they will set the record and then lose the titles at Roadblock.
There should be a heavy dose of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho on RAW. There is trouble in paradise between the best friends as they prepare for their Roadblock matches. Owens will defend the WWE Universal Championship against United States champion Roman Reigns at Roadblock; Jericho will battle Seth Rollins at Roadblock.
There should also be further development of the feud between Sasha Banks and Charlotte as Banks’ prepares to defend the WWE Women’s Championship against the Charlotte, the former champ, at Roadblock. Emmalina’s makeover should also be revealed on Raw.
There should be lots of action and plot developments to capture your attention. So keep your attention on the ring instead of searching for Achilles Heel. Just be grateful you’re even in the same building as me.
PHILLY TOURNAMENT: There were some interesting developments at Ring of Honor’s Decade of Excellence tournament taped at 2300 Arena last Sunday, but the Greek God of Wrestling detests spoilers, so the results won’t be revealed here.
ROCK ON COVER: Dwayne Johnson, a.ka. The Rock, was on the cover of Sports Illustrated last week in an issue focusing on sports media. Johnson is a one-man media empire. In addition to his acting, including his starring role in Ballers on HBO, Johnson’s production company is making a significant impact.
Johnson’s company produces a number shows, including a variety show, airing Tuesday, that Johnson hosted at Pearl Harbor for members of the military. The multi-talented Johnson is an incredible success in the entertainment industry, which shouldn’t be more than a mild surprise to anyone who followed his WWE career.
TRIBUTE TO TROOPS: WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops show will air Wednesday on USA Network. As opposed to past shows, which have been filmed on U.S. military bases, both here and overseas, Wednesday’s show will be taped this week in Washington, D.C.
SATURDAY NIGHT CENA: In keeping with WWE’s domination of the media, John Cena hosts Saturday Night Live this week (Dec. 10). Cena doesn’t quite have Dwayne Johnson’s comedic timing or his voice, but Cena has come off positively in practically every acting role and media appearance in recent years.
McMAHON JOINS CABINET: President-elect Donald Trump selected Linda McMahon, former CEO of WWE, to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration. McMahon is a former Senate candidate from Connecticut. Trump hosted WrestleMania IV and V at his casino in Atlantic City and put his hair on the line as part of a match at WrestleMania 22. (Trump and Vince McMahon were assisting wrestlers rather than taking part in the action, although Trump got the better of McMahon in a confrontation outside the ring.) Congratulations to Linda McMahon.
INNOVATIVE EPISODE: The entire episode of Impact Wrestling on Thursday will take place in and around Matt Hardy’s home. That should certainly be interesting.
TLC REVIEW: In case you didn’t take the Greek God of Wrestling’s advice and missed TLC, A.J. Styles retained the WWE World Championship in a TLC (tables, ladders and chairs) match with Dean Ambrose. James Ellsworth turned on Ambrose at the end, costing him the title so he could get a title shot against Styles. It was an eventful match for Styles, who sustained a rip in the posterior of his trunks and injured his ankle. As is usually the case with a Styles main event match, this match was excellent.
The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship in a terrific ladders match against Dolph Ziggler. These two have clicked well in their matches this year.
Two titles changed hands at TLC. Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch in a tables match to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt captured the Smackdown Tag Team Championship from Heath Slater and Rhino. In an interesting finish, Luke Harper pushed Orton out of the way of a Rhyno “gore” attempt outside the ring, sacrificing his body as Orton had done for Wyatt on a Roman Reigns spear at Survivor Series. Orton then hit an RKO in the ring, enabling Wyatt to get the pin and the win.
In other TLC matches, Baron Corbin beat Kalisto in a chairs match, and Nikki Bella defeated Carmella in a no disqualification match.
TRIPLE THREAT: The Wyatt Family has announced that it will defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship using Freebird rules, which means that, even though Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt won the titles, Luke Harper may also defend the titles with either Wyatt or Orton.
The New Day already does this on RAW, although Xavier Woods doesn’t see action too often. This removes the novelty factor from the Wyatt Family’s plans.