Welcome to The Mirror’s first WWE column, which will focus on all the biggest talking points within the last week.
Last Thursday we saw the superstars travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the pay-per-view event Crown Jewel, which featured some blockbuster matches.
Following the show in the Middle East, the WWE draft picks from earlier this month are now in operation.
Therefore, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, the respective champions of Raw and SmackDown, exchanged belts due to being drafted to opposite brands, and it did not seem to go according to plan.
The Pay-Per-View schedule for 2022 has also been released, with WrestleMania 38 in Dallas set to be a two-night event once again.
The Beast was unleashed on Friday Night SmackDown
Brock Lesnar made his in-ring return for the first time since April 2020 last week, and attempted to dethrone the unstoppable force that is Roman Reigns and take his Universal championship.
In a back and forth tussle, arguably the most evenly-fought contest they’ve had so far, a conflicted Paul Heyman threw the Universal title in the middle of the ring, allowing both his former and current clients to fight for it.
After a brief tussle, Lesnar gained possession of the belt, but once again Reigns’ cousins, the SmackDown tag team champions The Usos, got involved and simultaneously kicking him in the face, which allowed Reigns to grab the belt and smash Lesnar in the skull, before pinning him to escape with his title.
Lesnar promised to beat his arch rival “senseless” the following night on SmackDown, and while he did not get his hands on Reigns, he caused carnage at ringside.
The former champion tossed officials left and right and dispatched fellow superstars who came out to calm him down.
Adam Pearce came out and suspended Lesnar for his actions, but this only angered him further and he proceeded to deliver two devastating F5s to the official, splitting his trousers in the process.
While it’s almost certain Lesnar has unfinished business with Reigns, when will he make his explosive return?
A new era has begun for Raw and SmackDown
The new rosters for Raw and SmackDown superstars have now taken shape following WWE Crown Jewel.
SmackDown’s season premiere saw the likes of Drew McIntyre, one of the show’s newest acquisitions, defeat Sami Zayn in emphatic fashion.
The exciting new group Hit Row made their debut, cutting an impassioned promo before dispatching enhancement talent in their first match on the blue brand.
The season premiere of Monday Night Raw this week saw the likes Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and Rey Mysterio make an appearance as new members of the Raw roster.
The pair contested an epic ladder match in a bid to become the number one contender for the WWE championship, which Rollins won.
The first ever Queen’s Crown winner Zelina Vega addressed the crowd as the new 'Queen of WWE,' and we saw a fractious segment involving Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
During the title exchange segment, reportedly Flair went off-script. She was supposed to hand the Raw women's title to Lynch and The Man would recreate Becky Two Belts for a brief moment before giving Flair the SmackDown Women’s Title.
However, Flair went off-script and dropped the Raw Women’s Title, and Sonya Deville had to ask her to pick it up, before Lynch threw the SmackDown women's title at Flair in frustration.
There is a chance the pair could square off in a champion vs champion match at Survivor Series next month, when Raw and SmackDown square off for brand supremacy. Should that come to fruition, be sure to expect a spicy encounter.
WWE release PPV schedule for 2022
For the first time in history, WWE have announced the dates and locations for the following year’s pay-per-view schedule.
The 2022 slate, highlighted by a two-night WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, will also mark a new record for the most stadium events (a minimum of four) in a year for WWE.
With more of the events set to take place on Saturday rather than the traditional Sunday, Fightful Select reports that talent they spoke with were happy with the new schedule.
Saturday shows also mean the company does not have to compete for viewership with the NFL, who traditionally broadcast matches on a Sunday.
The schedule is as follows*:
Saturday, January 1 – Day 1 – at State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Saturday, January 29 – Royal Rumble at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis
Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 – WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Dallas
Sunday, May 8 – Pay-Per-View at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.
Sunday, June 5 – Pay-Per-View at Allstate Arena in Chicago
Saturday, July 2 – Money In The Bank at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
Saturday, July 30 – SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium in Nashville
Saturday, September 3 or Sunday, September 4 – Pay-Per-View at TBD location
Saturday, November 26 – Survivor Series at TD Garden in Boston
In addition to the events above, pay-per-views taking place in February and October will be announced in the near future.
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