News by Cageside seats

Ricochet teams with Finn Balor in his first match on Raw 

Who knew Ricochet had a soft spot for Finn Balor?

Fresh off winning the Intercontinental title last night at Elimination Chamber, Balor looked to cut a promo about the prestige of winning his new belt. Less than a minute into Balor’s speech, Lio Rush was having none of it.

Before Balor could even debate Rush, former Intercontinental champion Bobby Lashley jumped him from behind. In the middle of a Rush and Lashley beat down recently announced NXT wrestler Ricochet ran down to make the save.

Why? Not sure, but all four men were quickly put into a tag team match on the spot.

The match itself, save for a few key Ricochet aerial highlights, felt very much like a Finn Balor versus Bobby Lashley match.

Ricochet waited patiently for the hot tag and did not disappoint once he got back into the fold.

A 630 senton from Ricochet onto a downed Rush got the job done and capped off the former NXT North American champion’s debut on Raw.

Is Ricochet on the Raw roster for the long haul or does he still have some unfinished business over in NXT?

Get complete Raw results and coverage here.

Triple H announces the surprise Raw debuts of four NXT wrestlers  

So are these official call-ups or just a special one time showcase?

This week’s episode of Raw kicked off with Triple H cutting a promo. We’ve been down this road before, but after Triple H recapped a few WWE news items he directed his speech towards NXT.

Specifically, Triple H announced that tonight (Feb. 18) on Raw four separate NXT mainstays would make their debuts on the main roster.

Triple H’s bit of breaking news piggybacks off a report from earlier in the day that tabbed Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, and Aleister Black as all being backstage at Raw tonight.

Was this correct way to debut some of the biggest stars currently in NXT? Would you have preferred WWE surprising fans a little more here?

Get complete Raw results and coverage here.

Cageside Community Star Ratings: Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott 

Welcome to Cageside Community Star Ratings for Elimination Chamber 2019!

For some wrestling fans, star ratings are a way of life. It’s one thing to say that a match is good or bad, but can you actually put a number on it?

The star rating system is a scale ranging from 0 to 5 with increments of 0.25. A 5-star match is as close to perfect as it gets while a 0-star match is a complete dud.

Determining the star rating for a given match is a highly subjective process. In general the goal is to wrap up all the important elements of a match into one simple number. Some factors to consider may include the story and booking of the match, the workrate of the performers, ring psychology, length of the match, audience reaction, and so forth.

There is no such thing as a wrong answer, because every wrestling fan consumes this art form in a different way.

The purpose of Cageside Community Star Ratings is for the readers to assign star ratings to every single match on a given WWE pay-per-view event. These results will be tabulated and summarized after every match on the pay-per-view has been voted on by the community.

The next match up for debate from Elimination Chamber is Ronda Rousey versus Ruby Riott.

Please select a star rating in the poll below and discuss your thoughts on this match in the comments section.

Lana & Rusev are making shows on YouTube now 

They announced as much in a video last night from a YouTube channel using their shoot names, CJ & Miro. Said channel will feature “a lot of new shows,” she says, which will include daily vlogging of their lives, Rusev apparently making a superhero series, and a whole lot of other things.

Like this:

This should be fun.

Why are we doing Baron Corbin’s evil league of evil again? 

While he was acting General Manager (don’t call it “Elect”) last year, it made sense for Baron Corbin to round up some heels to help keep himself in power. He’d have something to offer them in return. Favorable matches, better lockers, heads up on when the good snacks were being put out in catering... stuff like that.

Now, though? He’s just another guy on the roster. What’s the incentive for teaming up with the not-so-Lone Wolf at Elimination Chamber to pick a fight with Braun Strowman - a guy who’s run through everyone on the roster not named Brock Lesnar?

There’s history, so WWE can probably find a way to spin the months of tag matches we’ve seen. If they decide to do anything other than rely on the fact Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre are bad guys like Corbin - so of course they’d team up!

More worrisome is that this was obviously not the end of this story. We joked in the Cageside offices that it was a Raw segment on pay-per-view (PPV), but we weren’t laughing.

On the post-show edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed the match in Houston last night (Feb. 17) and speculated the reunion of this villainous trio (and the other not-great-seeming idea to split Lashley off from Lio Rush) could be to set-up a trios feud. Meltzer pointed to the heels triple powerbombing Strowman as a sign that Braun’s allies might include Dean Ambrose. And if that’s the case, then Seth Rollins might be in the mix as well considering that Dean recently offered Seth words of encouragement heading into his WrestleMania match with Brock Lesnar. An alliance between these superstars doesn’t make any sense given their history. Seth’s supposed to be resting up for WrestleMania, and do we really want the Monster Among Men joining the facepalm-inducing ranks of honorary Shield members with Kurt Angle & Triple H?

You’d think Angle might fit in here somewhere, seeing as he & Strowman have teamed several times recently, and McIntyre beat the Olympian in humiliating fashion to send him into hiding last fall. And... now I can see them putting Angle with Ambrose & Braun in a babyface group which makes even less sense than the evil alliance they’re facing.

There’s only one team which makes sense for Strowman and might give us a cool, ‘Mania-worthy program out of this ongoing mess. And it just so happens a couple of Braun’s old relatives are currently free and said to be healthy...

Give us a babyface Wyatt Family against Corbin’s evil league of evil. Or let’s just start over with new rivalries for all these guys, okay?

Oh, and Bobby? Take Lio back either way, alright?

We may see NXT stars on Raw tonight 

That’s the word from PW Insider, at least.

Indeed, that site is reporting that the “current plan” — though they add the disclaimer that plans change and while the script for the show is complete it could be altered all throughout the day — is for stars from NXT to appear on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Those stars include:

  • NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa
  • North American Champion Johnny Gargano
  • Ricochet
  • Aleister Black

No word on what exactly they’re doing there, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Follow along with Raw tonight right here.

Cageside Community Star Ratings: Women’s tag team championship Elimination Chamber 

Welcome to Cageside Community Star Ratings for Elimination Chamber 2019!

For some wrestling fans, star ratings are a way of life. It’s one thing to say that a match is good or bad, but can you actually put a number on it?

The star rating system is a scale ranging from 0 to 5 with increments of 0.25. A 5-star match is as close to perfect as it gets while a 0-star match is a complete dud.

Determining the star rating for a given match is a highly subjective process. In general the goal is to wrap up all the important elements of a match into one simple number. Some factors to consider may include the story and booking of the match, the workrate of the performers, ring psychology, length of the match, audience reaction, and so forth.

There is no such thing as a wrong answer, because every wrestling fan consumes this art form in a different way.

The purpose of Cageside Community Star Ratings is for the readers to assign star ratings to every single match on a given WWE pay-per-view event. These results will be tabulated and summarized after every match on the pay-per-view has been voted on by the community.

The next match up for debate from Elimination Chamber is the Women’s tag team championship Elimination Chamber match.

Please select a star rating in the poll below and discuss your thoughts on this match in the comments section.

Put the WWE title on Kofi Kingston at WrestleMania, you cowards 

Did you hear that reaction from the crowd in Houston’s Toyota Center last night (Feb. 17)? You probably heard it in your living room, too, because I don’t know any wrestling fans who weren’t gasping, shouting and groaning with every move and nearfall from the end of the Elimination Chamber main event as Kofi Kingston tried to seize his moment and beat Daniel Bryan for the WWE title.

If social media made a sound, well, it would probably be a fart noise. But that’s besides the point. Twitter is still a-twitter with people calling for last night to serve not as the end of a Kingston/Bryan feud, but the start of one.

Allow me to join in the chorus.

Why the 37 year old deserves it is well-covered ground, at this point. Kofi’s done a little bit of everything for WWE since vignettes heralding his arrival began airing on the SyFy version of ECW back in 2007. He’s a sure fire Hall of Famer whose only a run with Raw or SmackDown’s top prize away from being a Grand Slam champion. That’s without even getting into how nice it would be to see a black man with one of the main belts for the first time since Mark Henry had the World Heavyweight strap back in 2011.

But just looking at it from a storytelling perspective, who else is there for a WrestleMania feud with DB? Of the men in the Chamber match last night, you can rule out Randy Orton & Samoa Joe since I doubt they’ll book a heel vs. heel ‘Mania program. We’ve just seen a lot of AJ Styles vs. Bryan, and god love Jeff Hardy, but what’s the angle?

Rey Mysterio could be fun, I suppose, but he’s supposed to be working with Andrade in a feud which will either last until April 7, or feature Rey coming off a loss. Mustafa Ali could be plugged back in, but what does that give you that Kingston doesn’t? The old head fighting for what he believes is probably his final shot is more compelling than the new kid trying to make his mark.

Kofi brings The New Day with him into the story, too. WWE loves to feature the trio - even if they have to invent a job for them, as their WrestleMania hosting gig in Orlando demonstrated. Promo segments between Xavier Woods, Big E & Kingston and Bryan would be much more entertaining than the obvious alternatives. And the video gaming, cosplaying, sneaker collecting, Pancheros-eating, breakfast food slinging group makes perfect foils for Captain Planet and his anti-stuff message. Bryan’s intellectual peer Rowan also gives E & Woods someone to deal with over the weeks leading to Fastlane and the Showcase of the Immortals.

You obviously don’t want to have the New Daniel Bryan drop his re-designed belt so soon, but in April, it might be time for a change, even just a quick one. ‘Mania is about moments, and as last night proved, the WWE Universe is ready to celebrate one with Kofi. If that was the reaction from a loss, imagine what we’ll hear after a win. Especially at the end of a longer feud, and a straight singles match between a couple of greats.

It’s not like you have to worry about carrying the show, either. The WWE title got a rare main event spot at Elimination Chamber, but it’ll be at best the third most promoted match for MetLife Stadium, behind the Raw Women’s and Universal championship bouts.

Truly, I can’t come up with a compelling reason not to do this.

Strike while the iron is hot, WWE. Make Kofi Kingston the WWE champ at WrestleMania 35.

Ruby Riott couldn’t even last two minutes with Ronda Rousey 

WWE featured six total matches on the main card of Elimination Chamber 2019 (Sun., Feb. 17) from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 3 hours, 16 minutes, and 24 seconds (3h 16m 24s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the six matches that took place during this event:

  • 36m 36s: WWE championship Elimination Chamber
  • 32m 56s: Women’s tag team championship Elimination Chamber
  • 13m 56s: The Miz & Shane McMahon vs. The Usos
  • 10m 48s: Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
  • 9m 28s: Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor
  • 1m 42s: Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott

These times add up to 1h 45m 26s, which is roughly 53.7% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.3%.

Charlotte Flair was interviewed in the ring prior to Ruby Riott’s entrance. Flair’s interview lasted roughly 2m 17s, which means it was actually longer than Riott’s match time.

Are you surprised by any of these results, Cagesiders? Which of these matches received less (or more) time than you hoped for?

Don’t forget to keep it here at Cageside Seats for a full breakdown of the timing for the entire Elimination Chamber 2019 PPV later this week!

PAC wrestled WALTER and... DEAR GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS FINGER!!! 

When it was announced in December of last year, we didn’t know the match OTT was putting on at their Feb. 17 Homecoming II show between WALTER and PAC was going to be between WWE NXT UK’s WALTER and All Elite Wrestling’s PAC. But things move fast in the the pro graps game, and that’s where those gents have signed.

Their match from the Dublin suburb of Tallaght has come and gone as well. We won’t spoil the outcome for you, in case you plan to watch on OTT’s subscription service when Homecoming II is uploaded next week. But we will tell you that during that match, this happened to the former King of the Cruiserweights...

AHHHH!

He apparently popped that bad boy back into place and finished the match, too. Impressive, since I can barely finish typing this sentence I’m so woozy just from looking at that picture.

Let’s see nZo do that.