Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk STACKED News & STACKED Reviews. I am Chopper Pete Quinnell, and coming up today, we’ve got the latest on several possible returns at the Royal Rumble in 2020, and we’ve got reviews of last night’s episodes of NXT & AEW Dynamite from Laurie & Luke respectively! Press the timestamps in the video description to be taken to any of those right now!
But before those reviews, let’s do some news, and now that TLC is out of the way, eyes are turning to 2020, and the first WWE event in January, the Royal Rumble. Traditionally, the Rumble is the event of the year for surprise returns, debuts and excitement, and also having the number 30 entrant getting beaten up and their spot taken if last year’s show is anything to go by.
An even greater spotlight may be placed upon the women’s Rumble match in 2020, given that there are so many opportunities for shocking returns, three of which seem a little more likely to happen given reports that have recently surfaced.
In an interview with GiveMeSport, Stephanie McMahon confirmed that Ronda Rousey will definitely return to WWE at some point. The Rumble would be a bloody good time to do it.
“Ronda [Rousey] will definitely be back, that is the plan – but, as of now, I’m not sure where and when.”
But that’s exactly what someone who knows exactly where and when they’re returning, and it’s at the Royal Rumble in 2020 on January 26th in Houston, Texas would say! Ronda returning at the Rumble, winning it, and then facing Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 36 as a grudge match from last year’s WrestleMania has been a wildly speculated theory by fans in recent times, and it would make sense story-wise, however it is just a theory at this point.
The emphasis placed upon the women’s division when Ronda Rousey was part of it was drastically increased, with WWE even going so far as to do their first, and to this point only, all-women’s PPV, Evolution. However she hasn’t been seen since WrestleMania 35, reportedly going away to attempt to start a family with husband Travis Browne. As of the time of recording, there have been no reports on whether she is currently pregnant or not, which might slightly scupper plans of a Rumble return if she is.
If she does indeed return at the Rumble however, then perhaps it might shine a light on a couple of other returns in the same match too, as the focus on the women’s division also increases. The Rumble is always a good time for injured stars to return and receive their big return pop, as it also adds to the stakes of the match itself, and there are two particular previously injured stars that could very well be making their return in the match too.
Nia Jax has been out of action in WWE since WrestleMania 35, tearing both ACLs, but having undergone successful surgery for both. Ruby Riott meanwhile, has been out with surgery being required for both her shoulders. Interestingly though, Fightful is reporting that both women on WWE’s internal injury list are down as being ready for return as of January, 2020.
“Nia Jax is back at the WWE Performance Center preparing and training for a return. WWE’s internal list has her as 1/2020. Ruby Riott internally was listed as the same date.”
Now it’s worth bearing in mind that all of these are just rumours, with Rousey’s return confirmed but with no set date, however it does seem likely that if a wrestler makes their return in January, it will most likely be in a Royal Rumble match. But also don’t be surprised if they all come back on a random episode of Raw to have a squash match against some local talent, because as we all know, that’s the real way to make a star in 2020. Am I right, Viking Raiders?
And now let’s head on over to Laurie for the NXT review!
We have a new NXT Women’s Champion! Johnny Gargano returns to NXT TV! And there is just so much wrestling.
If like a lot of wrestling on your TV watch NXT, because this was an episode that was all killer and no filler.
Speaking of that “globe-spanning” reference to the Club biscuits I used to take to school in my lunchbox, we started off hot with the inevitable clash between two former Club leaders: Finn Balor and Adam Cole.
Finn’s got the ‘c’ crossed out in Prince in his titantron, but it was the ‘s’ that got kicked out of him in this match, as after taking a superkick to the knee killing any chances of him being an adventurer Balor played up the injury throughout the match.
And commentary put over just how hard it would be for him to hit the coup de grace on a dodgy knee, especially if Cole keeps jumping out of the way, which he did at one point causing Balor to collapse and take a last shot. But that wasn’t the finish! Finn kicked out.
What I think this moment showed though was just how into the idea of heel Finn being champion the crowd were throughout. To be honest if either Finn, Keith Lee or Ciampa win the title people will lose their minds, there are so many good contenders right now.
Battling back from near defeat: Balor nails a wicked clothesline, hits the coup de grace and goes for the 1916, but who should be on the ramp but old Jonathan Wrestling.
This buys Cole enough time for a low blow, last shot and that’s all she wrote –
Gargano then grabs a chair, right from the spot where he picked up his injury and beats Balor around the arena with it, sending him to the back.
Next up Damian Priest and Killian Dain clashed in a rib-crunching affair, where Dain targeted the taped-up midriff of the former Punishment Martinez.
But a vaderbomb onto Priest’s knees turns the tide allowing him to hit The Reckoning and pick up a hard-earned win.
We’re told that the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will be returning in 2020 and the participants will be announced on New Years Day!
After that Cameron Grimes won his hat back from Kushida in a fun match where both guys got to show off what they could do.
I do feel thought that in a post-Walter world Kushida has gone from feeling special and wanting to take on the best every show had to offer before to just a guy who feuds over hats.
Maybe the feud continues and they have a hat vs hair match, and then hopefully the godawful thing gets shredded.
Io Shirai then took on jobber de jour Santana Garrett in a match designed to give Io some momentum back, which it mostly did so that’s fine.
After that we got a World’s Collide promotional match, which is taking place on Rumble weekend and sees NXT take on NXT UK – doesn’t look good for 205 Live does it.
The match was between Pete Dunne and Travis Banks, which is confusing because Pete Dunne is still NXT UK in my head, but promotional confusion
aside it was great match with a crazy finish as Dunne hits a super xplex, a vicious kick and bitter end ftw.
Dakota Kai tells Cathy Kelley that going through tables is painful and she’s got some staples, but ultimately she beat Mia Yim and wants the Women’s Title.
To cap things off Rhea Ripley challenged Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship in yet another top quality women’s match.
This match pulled every single shenanigan to whip the crowd into an absolute frenzy for the finish.
Duke and Shafir interfered, inevitably, they got sent to the back, the ref got bumped, Rhea took a ddt to a chair, the kirafuda clutch was locked in and she battled out twice, before refusing to go down. Even then that wasn’t the finale.
That came as a woozy Ripley sat on the top turnbuckle with Baszler climbing up and getting in her face, but a headbutt lead to an avalanche Riptide and the win!
New NXT Women’s Champion as a mosh pit of ‘fans’ and backstage peeps rush the ring to celebrate with Ripley – this was an amazing moment that was built to brilliant through the past few months of NXT and throughout this stellar match.
I can’t wait to see what they do with Ripley now! So with that said and taking the other awesome wrestling matches into account this was a very high four star episode, Undisputedly Good. Just lacking a killer storyline angle or mind-blowing promo to tip it into 5 star territory. Because unlike Meltzer I ain’t just handing these out.
But let me know in the comments down below that you thought of the episode, and AEW too while you’re there because Luke is about to review that right now.
Thanks Laurie, but it’s now time to get Elite, as I review the 18th of December 2019 edition of AEW Dynamite, the last live show of the decade! Also shoutout to Mike Montero for bringing this sign with him. Heart emoji.
The show kicked off with action, as The Lucha Bros. took on Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, “IDK make it say something like happyee holidays”. I love this new gimmick. This was a great match that told a great story between Page and Omega, stemming from last week’s blind tag by the Cowboy. They actually got on the same page this week, but an errant Buckshot took out Omega, allowing the Lucha Bros to pick up the win. After the match the pair argued, and The Bastard Pac was on the screen to threaten Omega; doing so by sneaking into the locker room of Michael Nakazawa. Omega tried to find him during the break, but was ambushed by the Lucha Bros, with Page making the save. I’m really digging this storyline, and it’s nice to see Kenny Omega be Kenny Omega and not do this storyline where he’s not the best wrestler in the world.
After losing last week, Cody teamed with Darby Allin to take on The Butcher & The Blade, with Allin saying that he’s doing the match because if they win he gets a Fyter Fest rematch against Cody. This was another great match, which really put over The Butcher – who at one point got in a Cloverleaf on Allin that could not be broken up by Cody boots. In the end, Cody hit the Disaster Kick on The Butcher for a Allin Coffin Drop, and Rhodes hit the double springboard cutter on The Blade for the win. I really enjoyed this.
We got a great video package for Jungle Boy, and Awesome Kong quickly squashed Miranda Alice. The Nightmare Collective continues to get deathly silent reactions.
After a quick interview with Jim Ross, Jungle Boy took on Chris Jericho in a 10-minute challenge. This was fabulously worked, telling the story that Jungle Boy wouldn’t give up and would even get a couple of nearfalls on Jericho. As the seconds ticked down, Jungle Boy survived the Walls of Jericho, and a confident Champion demanded five more minutes be added – but after a series of amazing nearfalls from Jungle Boy he decided against it. He then sent a message to Jon Moxley, promising him a nice surprise on the New Year’s Day episode of Dynamite. This really put Jungle Boy over hard, even if Jim Ross struggles to get his name right.
SCU cut a promo on The Young Bucks, and The Lucha Bros made fun of Christopher Daniels for his botch in the Pentagon Jr. match. An upset Daniels walked away.
Kris Statlander then beat Britt Baker in an okay match to become the new #1 contender to Riho, which will take place on the New Year’s Day episode. Kris was really over, but the mood was sucked out the arena when she was attacked by Brandi Rhodes and the Nightmare Collective.
Tully Blanchard promised Shawn Spears that they will find him is Arn Anderson, and we got a tag team championship main event between The Young Bucks and SCU, which was predictably very good. There were lots of nearfalls, and SCU picked up the win.
After the match, The Creepers surrounded the ring, and The Dark Order came out on the stage. They said tonight wasn’t a recruitment, it was an initiation – and The Creepers attacked The Bucks and SCU with their newest members Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Kenny Omega, Cody and Dustin Rhodes ran down for the save – with no Hangman Page – but The Dark Order stood tall over The Bucks and shouted in unison We Are One. It would have been more effective if Brandi hadn’t done this same deal twice on the same show.
On paper this should have been a fantastic episode of Dynamite, and many ways it was. The action was really good throughout – sometimes fantastic – but it wasn’t a blow away edition. And not every show needs to be. This week’s AEW Dynamite was Middle of the Rhodes.
What was the Raw ratings disaster? Click the video on screen to find out more, and watch Oli Davis and Housemate Simon’s review of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker over on ScreenStalker. Thank you for watching, and a special thank you to our Patreon Pledge Hammers, some of which you can see scrolling their way into my stomach. I’ve been Luke Owen and that was wrestling.