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The weeks that were in pro wrestling: some catching up to do

By JP Abcede

Did you miss me? Or no? Anyway, this section is back. At least for now.

This was supposed to be a regular once-a-week thing. However, "real-life commitments" took most of my attention the past few weeks which made me miss my self-imposed deadlines. The news about Ronda Rousey's appearance in this year's Royal Rumble could have counted as the biggest news for that week.

[Related Story: Former UFC champ Rousey jumps ships, joins WWE through late "Rumble"]

Still,  I have no excuse in not posting a report the following week. And this one is somewhat late as well, although it can still pass off since the wrestling week does not traditionally begin until Monday, US time.

Anyway, let us jump right in and do some catching up.

Asuka, Nakamura win Royal Rumble matches

Rousey was not the only newsworthy personality at the Rumble, as Japanese imports Asuka and Nakamura Shinsuke won their respective Royal Rumble matches, assuring their appearance at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans in April.

"The Empress of Tomorrow" entered at number 25, sending Nikki Bella out of the ring with a kick to the leg while the two were straddling on the apron. Meanwhile, Nakamura came in at number 14 in the men's rumble and lasted for more than 44 minutes before eliminating Roman Reigns, who was gunning for his second Rumble win.

In other matches in the stacked card, Bobby Roode, The Usos, and Brock Lesnar retained their respective belts, while The Bar of Cesaro and Sheamus regained the Raw tag team championship after defeating Seth Rollins and a disengaged Jason Jordan.

Raw preps for two Elimination Chamber matches

Just like the Rumble, this year's Elimination Chamber event would feature not just one, but two Elimination Chamber matches.

Braun Strowman, Elias, John Cena, The Miz, and Roman Reigns won their respective qualifying matches, while Finn Bálor and last-minute addition Seth Rollins simultaneously pinned Bray Wyatt in the second chance qualification bout for the final slot.

Meanwhile, the first ever women's Elimination Chamber fight will have Alexa Bliss defending the Raw women's championship against Bayley, Mickie James, Sasha Banks, and Aboslution members Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. With Nia Jax left out, she gets a chance to become part of the WrestleMania card for the red brand's women's diadem if she wins against Asuka in the Raw brand PPV event a week from now.

Styles, Roode have targets on their back

WWE heavyweight champion AJ Styles is not just in the lookout for Nakamura as he finds himself entangled in a fatal five-way for his belt come Fastlane. Not only does he go up against perpetual rivals Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, but Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler have joined the fray after the latter two beat the Yep Movement in separate matches.

Over at the WWE US championship scene, after putting away number one contender Rusev, Bobby Roode finds himself being hunted by Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton.

205 Live turns new leaf

205 Live got the shot on the arm that it needed as new GM Drake Maverick, formerly known as Rockstar Spud, instituted a 16-man tournament for the WWE cruiserweight title. Here are the results so far:

Cedric Alexander def Gran Metalik
TJP def Tyler Bate
Roderick Strong def Hideo Itami
Kalisto def Lince Dorado
Mark Andrews def Akira Tozawa
Drew Gulak def Tony Nese

Wrapping up the first round next week are: Mustafa Ali vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher and Buddy Murphy vs Ariya Daivari.

SmackDown Live pairs win at Mixed Match Challenge

After Raw mixed tag teams won the first three MMC bouts, the last one being Bruan Strowman and Alexa Bliss, team SmackDown finally took successive victories with married couples Jimmy Uso and Naomi as well as Rusev and Lana defeated Goldust and Mandy Rose as well as Elias and Bayley respectively.

Capping the first round is Apollo Crews and Nia Jax of Raw going up against Roode and Charlotte of SD Live.