WWE Falls Count Anywhere

Falls Count Anywhere is back. We had a busy week, and then it turned ugly. But we’re back in business now.

Before we go anywhere, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Goodbye and good riddance

TKO ousted Vince McMahon from the Board of Directors late Friday night. McMahon, the former chairman and owner of WWE, had a near-40-year run as the visible owner of the company. That run is over.

The McMahon family founded WWE. Since the beginning, McMahon has been in power. McMahons have been all over the company and on television for over 30 years. That era is over.

There are no more McMahons in WWE.

And we’re better off for it.

McMahon became the subject of absolutely horrifying and insidious allegations of sexual assault and sex trafficking this past week. His deviance and treatment of women have always been vile. This, however, was far beyond the pale. The lawsuit is stomach-turning. If you decide to read it, be aware that it’s disgusting, and that adjective might be underselling it.

There’s nothing much left to say. McMahon is a despicable person who’s disgraced himself far beyond anyone’s wildest guess over the last 20 months. You can’t escape his name when talking about pro wrestling because he’s left far too much of an impression, but you can’t mention him now. Hopefully, justice will be served in his accuser Janel Grant’s favor.

Amid a boom for the company, it was apparent they no longer needed McMahon. The company runs itself at this point. These current proceedings may hold that up for a while. But they don’t need Vince McMahon. It’s entirely possible they haven’t needed him for a long time. The snappy move to boot him should have been done a while ago, and the fact that he has paraded around this year, even amid the first round of terrorizing allegations, shouldn’t be forgotten. Let’s not forget that point amid a need for accountability in this situation.

Triple H’s response to the situation appeared dismissive this week. Any criticism sent his way was due and justified. The problem was fluid, and they had moved quickly. However, more tact is required for a situation like this. Spending time beforehand may have benefitted things. And this is not to throw bail on him, but as Triple H is associated with the creative on TV and has ties to the McMahon family anyway with his wife, why wasn’t Nick Khan, the visible President of WWE, there to answer questions at the press conference? Theoretically, since he was at the event, Khan could have been there to make a statement, at least. That might have been even better since Khan has no ties or affiliations to WWE beyond his position. He came there with no previous relationships. Levesque married McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, so Vince is their children’s grandfather.

If you wanted to argue that he was too close to the situation, they should have sent someone with no biases to answer questions on a delicate situation. Nick Khan would have been that himself.

The company missed the mark. Corporate America often moves this way. It’s just a shame it had to happen under these circumstances.

The cultural rot in WWE also needs to be addressed immediately. Most from the McMahon era have moved on through layoffs or other moves. But if there’s anybody still around from that era, and if they were involved in the company’s insidious culture, then they also need to be shown the door. No matter who that might be, either. Continuing that culture only leads to more corruption and potentially harmful and violent situations towards women, such as the harrowing one that’s emerged here.

No more.

If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault or sexual violence, help is always available. Please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Please refer to her as Baylegend

Bayley won the 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble Match last Saturday. She entered the Rumble as the prohibitive favorite, and a video package that played on Smackdown Friday night might have tipped it off.

Bayley won the Rumble from the No. 3 entry spot. She became the second woman to win from that spot, as rival Bianca Belair achieved that in 2021. Fittingly, that also occurred at Tropicana Field.

When she won, the Tampa crowd lost their minds. They chanted for her and behind her from the time she got into the ring. Despite playing a villainess, the crowd knew who they wanted to win the match, and they got what they wanted.

Much will be said about this, but this is clear: Bayley achieved legendary status on Saturday. She has now won every women’s championship, Money in the Bank, and the Royal Rumble Match. She also earned the Ironwoman status in the Rumble, breaking Rhea Ripley’s record for the longest time spent in the Rumble.

Bayley’s decision still has to be made. It’s pretty clear what that will be, and there’s much to say about what that means. But she’s done it all… except for one thing she could now do.

Just call her Baylegend.

Cody is finishing that story… probably

Cody Rhodes made history on Saturday night as well. Rhodes won the 2024 Royal Rumble Match a year ago after winning the 2023 Rumble match. He became the first man since Stone Cold Steve Austin to win back-to-back Rumble matches. And it seems very clear where this is going.

Although Seth Rollins stepped into the thick of things this week… we know how this is ending. Cody pointed right at Roman Reigns following his Rumble victory. They’re laying it on thick. There’s much time until WrestleMania, so diversionary tactics aren’t surprising.

But it’s coming, folks. There’s almost no question about it.

Welcome back, Naomi, and welcome, Jade Cargill

Two of the biggest moments in the Women’s Royal Rumble surrounded two different wrestlers.

Naomi made her return to WWE on Saturday. In May 2022, Naomi and Sasha Banks walked out of WWE. After Naomi, otherwise known as Trinity Fatu, completed a run in TNA, she made her way back to the company. Tampa greeted her very warmly upon her return to the company and moved her to tears. Fans at home may have also felt their eyes getting watery. It was delightful to see her back in full capacity. It’s likely she winds up on Smackdown, which could be a fascinating place for her.

Meanwhile, there was Jade Cargill. The former All Elite Wrestling star finally arrived on WWE TV on Saturday. Even the most hopeful optimist couldn’t have predicted the monster reaction that Cargill received at Tropicana Field. Cargill then got into the ring and eliminated the powerful Nia Jax to create an incredible moment. That is to say nothing of her staredown with the incomparable Bianca Belair.

Cargill is a future Superstar, emphasis mine and everyone else’s. If you don’t know, now you do.

Until next time, CM Punk

CM Punk made his shocking return to WWE in November. Two months later, Punk unfortunately is back on the shelf. He tore his triceps during the Royal Rumble Match on Saturday, a match many projected him to win before Rhodes wound up taking it.

Punk delivered one of his best promos on Monday night while explaining his looming absence. WrestleMania 40 is out of the question, but as Punk said, he’s not looking for sympathy. Once Drew McIntyre got involved, things got tense, with Drew expressing a level of hate in wrestling that we haven’t seen in quite sometime. Yet, despite Punk being legit injured, it went off well, and they did an angle where Drew stomped on Punk’s injured arm. That will potentially set something up when Punk eventually returns.

He might not be headlining this year’s WrestleMania. It seems clear though that Punk will be back and will be a man on a mission yet again. May he have a speedy recovery.

That’s all this week, we’ll get back on schedule next time around.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022