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Bobby Roode Wins WWE United States Championship

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Bobby Roode captured the WWE United States championship during the Jan. 16 episode of Smackdown Live – possibly ushering a new era for the title – a glorious era.

Roode defeated former WWE champion Jinder Mahal in the finals of the United States title tournament. During the match, Roode hit a spinebuster and countering Mahal’s Khallas with a Glorious DDT.

Prior to facing Mahal, Roode won his semifinal match against Mojo Rawley. After the match, he was attacked by was later attacked by Samir and Sunil Singh. After the attack, Mahal taunted him, resulting in Roode requesting their U.S. title match taking place the same evening. Mahal refused, but Smackdown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan ordered the finals to take place in the main event.

He began the tournament with a victory against former United State champion Baron Corbin. After the match, Roode posted a tweet of his reaction to winning the championship.

This is the first singles title for Roode since he made his main roster debut back in August.

The Glorious One was widely known for his run in NXT, which included a 203-day reign with the NXT Championship that ended at NXT Takeover Brooklyn III. Anyone who has followed Roode’s professional wrestling career knows the WWE United States title is another piece of hardware for his large trophy case.

Fans were excited when Roode made his Smackdown Live debut, but there have been concerns from fans about his lackluster feud with Dolph Ziggler in the beginning weeks of his run.

Roode’s first championship feud saw him challenging Corbin for the U.S. title in what would be a triple threat match with Ziggler, who went on to win the title. Ziggler would later relinquish the championship, resulting in the tournament.

Now that Roode has the title, he’ll have a big target on his back. Potential feuds for his first few months for his title reign include Mahal and Corbin. Xavier Woods, who lost to Mahal in their semifinal match, may throw his name in the hat. There is also a chance Ziggler could return to Smackdown Live and challenge Roode for the title.

2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Roode. Not only has he captured his first taste of WWE gold, he is also set to tag with Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair in WWE’s Mixed Match Challenge. The two will have title belts to along with their robes.

Flair was one of many superstars who congratulated Roode on his title win. 

In all seriousness, the United States title is akin to the WWE Intercontinental Championship on Raw in that it is the midcard championship, but it can be used in high profile storylines. It also carries a long history with many WWE Hall of Famers holding onto it at some point during their careers.

A who’s who of wrestlers have also held the U.S. title on their way to winning a WWE world title.

Will Roode be one of the superstars who captures a world title after holding on to the U.S. championship? Only time will tell, but the fact that he has the United States championship is a good first step.

 

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.

For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.

The Bad

For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel. 

For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up. 

The Final Verdict

Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.

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Nikki Cross Posts Farewell to NXT

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WWE superstar Nikki Cross is on her way to the main roster, looking likely to land on the SmackDown roster.

Cross posted the following farewell to NXT, where he has spent the past few years, on her social media page:

See you down the road @WWENXT
This isn’t goodbye…we caused far too much mischief and had too much fun doing it for this to be it… pic.twitter.com/0Fk8wEEUzX— Nikki Cross (@NikkiCrossWWE) January 10, 2019

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Matt Hardy Hinting at In-Ring Return

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Matt Hardy may not be done wrestling after all.

The WWE superstar, and future WWE Hall of Famer, had been rumored to been winding down his career and transitioning to a backstage role in 2018 as he was dealing with a number of nagging injuries.

Hardy also posted a couple of videos, and posts on social media, that echoed those intentions, at least they appeared to.

Now, Hardy seems to be hinting at an in-ring return in WWE.

Excited to check out the 1st #RAW of 2019 tonight, especially with all the interesting things that are advertised. Most importantly, I need to see where all the pieces are positioned & moving to on the @WWE chess board.

ALMOST TIME TO GET BACK INTO THE GREAT GAME…. AGEEN! pic.twitter.com/WFXeCiHb1h— #WOKEN, yet #BROKEN, Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) January 8, 2019

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