Welcome back to another round of Quick Takes—a post that indulges in the topics that aren’t worth dedicating a full article to, but are still on my mind.
Each week, I try to cram in as many smaller talking points as I can via a speedier process, and I invite you to chime in with your own thoughts about these topics and anything else by keeping the discussion going in the comments below! Drop some more talking points in there for everyone to chat it up about, too!
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s topics.
WWE’s Mr. Royal Rumble Tournament
WWE has a tournament going on social media to crown “Mr. Royal Rumble” with some strong contenders in the mix. However, in one quick look at this bracket, I decided I’m pretty sure I know who should win, at least in my opinion.
I’ll make this quick (it’s the quick takes, after all). Big Show never won, officially, so he’s out. Same goes for Kane, although he had the most eliminations for a good number of years. That record was broken. We’ll get back to that.
Rey Mysterio won once, has the second-longest cumulative time ever and has done well for his size, but he’s not winning. I could see the argument why he should beat Braun Strowman, but The Monster Among Men is tied with Brock Lesnar for the most eliminations and won The Greatest Royal Rumble. 50/50 split to me and neither beats Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar on that side. Both beat Undertaker and Edge. Sorry guys.
Austin beats McIntyre for winning it multiple times. John Cena beats Batista in my mind and loses to Austin. Hulk Hogan and Triple H are basically tied and I’d pick Shawn Michaels over both of them and Randy Orton, but Austin wins the left side of the bracket.
To me, it’s down to Austin on the left and Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar on the right.
Brock has the most eliminations (13) and one win. Reigns previously broke Kane’s record with 12 eliminations and won once. However, here’s what gives Reigns the edge to not only beat The Beast Incarnate, but arguably Stone Cold, too: Reigns has been the winner or runner-up for every single Royal Rumble he’s participated in save for 1.
In 2014, he was the last eliminated by Batista. He won 2015. 2016 was won by Triple H and Reigns was supposed to be the last person eliminated, but in an audible, they went with Dean Ambrose instead, so he was still #3. 2017, he’s the final one tossed out by Randy Orton. 2018, final one tossed out by Shinsuke Nakamura. 2019 he was out with leukemia recovery. 2020, final one eliminated by McIntyre.
The guy’s damn near unstoppable and had the most eliminations of the night four out of six times.
Between Austin and Reigns is tough. Austin’s also had four “most eliminations” distinctions and he has the record of three wins. He arguably won a fourth since he was the runner-up in 1999 and ended up beating Vince McMahon for the title shot at WrestleMania anyway. Final four in 2002. However, he accidentally eliminated himself in 1996. Points docked for that, but it shouldn’t really matter.
My vote goes to Austin. What do you say?
NXT Recruits Gigi Dolan, Cora Jade and Zoey Stark
WWE has signed three new stars to NXT’s women’s division.
Zoey Stark, formerly Lacey Ryan, is someone I honestly know nothing about. She was apparently at least partially trained by Kizarny. That’s not saying much, based on his WWE career, but he obviously was more than just 2 or 3 appearances and wrestled before/after that nonsense.
Cora Jade has wrestled on AEW Dark as Elayna Black. I’ve only seen her a few times and haven’t formulated enough of an opinion about her. I do hope she doesn’t continue the gimmick of holding up the little coffin, though. That worked in theory better than in execution and felt awkward to me. With a few tweaks, she could be someone to watch out for.
Gigi Dolan is better known as Priscilla Kelly. She’s made a name for herself on the indies (for better or worse, if you look up some of her more infamous moments) and wrestled in the Mae Young Classic. She’s also in the midst of a split from Darby Allin, which is just an interesting tidbit of trivia. I haven’t seen much from her, but I’m glad she’s signed and I’m also looking forward to seeing how she progresses.
NXT always needs more talent to come in and freshen things up while the men and women who have been there a long time move to Raw and SmackDown. I think we’re getting ready for a big influx of talent going to the main roster in 2021 over the coming months and this group will help replenish part of the women’s division, at least.
Dusty Cup = Surprising as Hell
Every aspect of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournaments this year has been shocking to me and I love it.
First, I didn’t expect the announcement of the women’s tournament. Then, I didn’t expect there would be that many men’s teams, as I figured 8 were the maximum. The pairings were quite interesting, too, across the board.
And then the matches started happening and my bracket was busted multiple times over.
Team Ninja (Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter) stood no chance in my book, but they bested Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez. VERY happy to see that. Catanzaro, in particular, has been slept on. I don’t at all agree with this rumored decision that this will start them down a heel turn, though. That seems like a major mistake.
Lucha House Party beats Imperium?? What?! Alexander Wolfe shows up then, afterward, meaning 3/4 of the primary group in NXT UK is on American soil. What does that mean for WALTER?
The Way loses? Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory weren’t my top picks to win, but I thought they could go to the finals. I never anticipated they’d lose to Leon Ruff and Kushida. Crazy.
Ashante “Thee” Adonis gets taken out by Karrion Kross and his replacement team ends up being Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa? Fantastic! That sucks for Adonis, who was making headway in the cruiserweight division before he was promptly put back in a jobber spot in NXT. It also sucks for Desmond Troy for not getting a chance to do something at all. But given their spots on the card versus their replacements, you can’t argue against the idea that this is an upgrade.