Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins Is Coming and More Hot Takes from WWE Royal Rumble 2023
0 of 4
A date with Logan Paul awaits Seth Rollins following Saturday's Royal Rumble match.Credit: WWE.com
Seth Rollins has found a WrestleMania opponent worthy of his star power in the form of...Logan Paul?
The mainstream megastar returned Saturday night in the Royal Rumble match and, after an unforgettable springboard spot with Ricochet that dominated social media, shockingly eliminated The Visionary in a moment that should set up a showdown between them.
And it is absolutely the right one.
That topic headlines these hot takes from Saturday night's extravaganza, which also saw a star-making performance from Gunther and the latest in The Bloodline drama, among others.
Gunther is Now a Top Guy After Epic Rumble Performance
1 of 4
Intercontinental champion Gunther entered Saturday's Royal Rumble at No. 1, and for 70 minutes, he established himself as a top star in WWE with one of the greatest iron man performances in the match's long and illustrious history.
He eclipsed the records held previously by Ric Flair, Rey Mysterio and Chris Benoit to become the longest-lasting competitor in Rumble history, as the Triple H regime does not acknowledge The Greatest Royal Rumble as event cannon.
What was so special about The Ring General's accomplishment was that he did so without fading into the background of the match. All too often, the stars who get those long runs eventually take up residence in a corner somewhere, punched and kicked at by fellow Superstars before re-emerging late in the match for their elimination.
Gunther remained at the forefront, taking part in several of the men's match's most memorable spots. On top of that, he engaged Cody Rhodes in a match-ending one-on-one encounter that took the form of a separate match before being eliminated by The American Nightmare.
It was clear early on he was going to get a substantial push from that pole position. Gunther instead took the opportunity presented to him and made himself a star, proving not only his endurance but, also, his ability to be the centerpiece of a staple match and keep the attention of the audience throughout.
It was a breakthrough performance for a guy we all knew had the skills and in-ring ability to be a star and just needed the stage to showcase himself. He got it Saturday night and is in a position to build on it from here.
WWE's Issues with the Women's Division on Full Display at the Royal Rumble
2 of 4
Rhea Ripley won the Women's Royal Rumble match, literally outlasting 29 other women as the first competitor to enter at No. 1 and emerge victorious.
Her performance, coupled with the return of Asuka, an underrated showing from former SmackDown champion Liv Morgan, and the continuation of Becky Lynch and Bayley's ongoing feud were highlights of the bout that otherwise reiterated the issues within the women's division that are facing Triple H and WWE Creative.
There was a plethora of talent who had little to do, with no ongoing storyline, or have been underwritten from a character standpoint. They were essentially deadweight, appearing in the match just to hit the 30-woman quota with no realistic shot at winning.
Other than Ripley, only the previously mentioned Morgan, Lynch, Bayley and Asuka were believable enough to have fans thinking they may present a challenge to Mami leaving San Antonio with the win.
The directionlessness of many of the competitors, from Tegan Nox to Shotzi, Dana Brooke to Natalya and Shayna Baszler, hurt what was an otherwise excellently executed match with a phenomenal finish to boot.
Even the Bianca Belair vs. Alexa Bliss match that preceded the Rumble struggled to connect with audiences, and in its wake, fans are left worrying more about Bliss and the supernatural stuff with Uncle Howdy than her next feud with one of her peers.
Triple H was the godfather of the Women's Revolution during his time in NXT, putting female competitors in a position to star. He needs to rediscover whatever part of him made that possible. There needs to be more in-ring action represented across Raw and SmackDown and programs beyond just the top one or two on each show.
We have seen repeatedly how over Sonya Deville is right now, and that can be attributed to the connection she made with audiences during her time as a WWE official. More of that, in which the women are given outside-the-box opportunities to remain prominent fixtures on television would help, too.
The women's divisions have been one glaring weakness of Triple H's since he took over control of the creative process. While he has been great elsewhere, he needs to shore things up before social media becomes more vocal, as was the case after the absence of legendary women's performers Monday night at Raw XXX.
Logan Paul is the WrestleMania Opponent Seth Rollins Deserves
3 of 4
When surveying the landscape in WWE, and looking at the potential matchups for WrestleMania prior to Saturday's Rumble, it became clear that Seth Rollins had no obvious path to the biggest event of the year.
It was unfathomable, especially considering last year's show and the fact that he had no guaranteed match until Cody Rhodes put pen to paper and officially joined the company. After all, Rollins is one of the few legitimate main-event guys WWE has and is as over as anyone else on the roster.
The idea of him not having anything of substance to do at the most prestigious event in the industry is absurd.
Enter, Logan Paul.
The social media megastar returned to WWE programming for the first time since his Match of the Year candidate against Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel and eliminated The Visionary from the Rumble, his actions igniting a program that will give Rollins a match for WrestleMania the magnitude of which he deserves.
We know Paul can go. He is uber-athletic and, in just three matches, has shown a knack for the showmanship fans demand out of in-ring competitors in WWE. He excelled in tag team action, battled The Miz in a gimmicky undercard bout and went to battle with The Tribal Chief in a main event that was just plain good.
Rollins is one of the best wrestlers on the planet, and working with him should produce another banger for Paul's resume. For the former Universal champion, it will provide a level of exposure he has not had in quite some time.
There will be eyes from outside the wrestling world on him, and his work as fans of Paul will tune in to see what he is up to. It is something Rollins has earned as one of the most selfless performers of his level and experience in recent memory.
Look for the build to be extraordinary, especially since Paul seemingly leaned into his heel status. Rollins as the representative for the fans against the cocky outsider should make for great television and another standout match for The Visionary on the WrestleMania stage.
Brilliant Bloodline Drama Has Overshadowed Cody Rhodes' Path to Gold
4 of 4
Cody Rhodes may have returned in the show-opening Men's Royal Rumble match, capping off months of rehabilitation for a torn pectoral muscle by winning and earning a main event match at WrestleMania, but it was the high drama featuring The Bloodline at the conclusion of the extravaganza that put his triumphant return on the back burner.
In The American Nightmare's absence, WWE has crafted one of the truly great stories in pro wrestling history. It is one that includes family ties, the desire of a consummate underdog to fit in, the manipulation of that competitor by a tyrannical and egotistical villain, and a reluctant follower who is seemingly no longer willing to be a part of it all.
What WWE produced featuring Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns and Jey Uso at the conclusion of the Rumble was just the latest chapter in an epic that has taken the company and its fans on an emotional roller coaster ride.
It is where WWE should be focusing its attention on the Road to WrestleMania, which is why the waters are so muddied with the return of Rhodes and his victory Saturday night.
The second-generation star was greeted with a thunderous ovation and got the moment he deserves Saturday. The way he could be seen mouthing the words, "I did it, dad" is impactful, and his story is one that fans can also get behind.
Unfortunately, it is not the enthralling melodrama that The Bloodline program has been.
In 2014, Batista returned to WWE amid big expectations and excitement, only to be rejected by an audience that wanted to see Daniel Bryan realize his childhood dream of main eventing WrestleMania and winning the world title. The Animal was booed out of arenas and forced to turn heel, ruining what should have been an emotional comeback.
WWE must advance carefully from here. Rhodes is a star and has earned his moment in the sun, but Triple H and WWE Creative must figure out how it goes about telling that story without putting Zayn, Owens and Uso in a situation that feels lesser than what their work and storytelling have earned.
It may not be possible. Fans may demand Zayn or Uso be the ones to dethrone Reigns given all that has occurred in the story. If so, what becomes of Rhodes, and how does the company avoid the Batista outcome almost a decade later?
It is something that bears watching, but what is undeniable is that, by the end of the night, people were talking about The Bloodline's latest developments rather than Rhodes' magical return.