Major talking points of the week: Hideo Itami and Finn Balor return to in – ring compeition

WrestleMania 33 is fast approaching, and with only a couple of weeks to go for the biggest event of the year, WWE has certainly stepped up. This past week on SmackDown Live, Randy Orton earned the right to face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 33 for the WWE Championship, while the seeds for a Shane McMahon – AJ Styles feud were sowed.

On the RAW side of things, the new Universal Champion, Goldberg will face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania with the Universal title on the line, while The Undertaker made his intentions clear, as he threw down a challenge to the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns.

A lot of other things have transpired in the past seven days, and today, we take a look at all the major talking points from this past week.

The Undertaker challenges Roman Reigns for a match at WrestleMania

This past week on RAW, Braun Strowman made his way out to confront Roman Reigns. Reigns had defeated Strowman at WWE Fastlane, but the behemoth wasn’t done with “The Big Dog”. However, it wasn’t Reigns that answered Strowman’s challenge, as “The Phenom” finally made his presence felt, with just a couple of weeks to go for WrestleMania 33.

Strowman however wanted nothing to do with The Undertaker, and immediately left the ring. This prompted Roman Reigns to make his way to the ring; Roman Reigns took it upon himself to address the return of The Undertaker. Reigns told ‘Taker that Braun had called him out, and told The Deadman that it was no longer his yard.

The Undertaker, in his usual stoic manner looked at the WrestleMania sign, before chokeslamming Roman Reigns. This sets up their rumoured bout at WrestleMania 33, as Reigns looks to become only the second Superstar in history to beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania!

Hideo Itami returns to action

The Japanese Superstar was injured in October last year at the hands of Riddick Moss, and has been on the sidelines for the past 6 months. Itami was forced to pull out of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic due to the injury, and has been waiting in the wings to once again wow the WWE Universe.

Hideo finally made his in – ring return this past weekend, as he came to the aid of Buddy Murphy in Orlando. Itami ended the segment by dropping Moss, who injured him in the first place, with his patented Go To Sleep. It will be interesting to see what WWE has in store for the Japanese sensation, and if Itami finds his way onto the WrestleMania card.

Finn Balor returns to in – ring competition during a live event in Buffalo, NY

Itami wasn’t the only Superstar who returned to in – ring competition this past weekend. The first ever Universal Champion, Finn Balor, who was forced to relinquish the title when he hurt his shoulder, during his match with Seth Rollins made a surprise return to in – ring competition. Finn underwent surgery immediately, and was expected to be back in time for WrestleMania 33.

As thing panned out, Finn made his return this past weekend during a live event in Buffalo, New York. Finn teamed up with Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho, as they faced the team of Samoa Joe, Triple H and Kevin Owens in a six man tag team match. Finn is expected to be involved in a high profile feud, as we get closer to WrestleMania.

Alexa Bliss to defend SmackDown Women’s Championship against all other women

With Naomi getting injured on SmackDown Live, Alexa Bliss once again got the opportunity to become the SmackDown Women’s Champion, and she grabbed it with both hands. Alexa has since been challenged by the likes of Natalya and Becky Lynch, and on last week’s episode of SmackDown Live, Alexa made her way out with Mickie James to put her opponents down.

With Becky and Natalya laying claim to a title shot, the General Manager of SmackDown Live, Daniel Bryan informed Alexa that she will defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. Bryan further announced that Bliss would take on all the women on the SmackDown Live roster – a mountain to climb for the current champion.

Chris Jericho set to defend the WWE United States title against Kevin Owens

On last week’s episode of Monday Night RAW, Kevin Owens was irate about Jericho interfering in his match with Goldberg, thus costing him his Universal title. Jericho then challenged Owens to a match at WrestleMania; Owens put an end to Jeri – KO when he attacked Jericho last month on RAW, and Jericho sought retribution at WrestleMania.

However, Kevin Owens told Jericho to put the United States Championship on the line, and Jericho immediately accepted Owens’ proposal. The two will face off at WrestleMania 33, with Jericho’s strap up for grabs – a match many have been wanting to see since late last year!

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