Are there faces and heels anymore? Not really. Perfect example is Daniel Bryan. He went over to the Wyatt Family, yet for the following three weeks he was cheered over and over, even in the midst of some unfriendly behavior. Go ask Richard Sherman, is he the heel or the face in his feud with Michael Crabtree? Does it matter? It is who the fans cheer for. My latest example are both The Authority and Randy Orton, I believe WWE was at one point testing the waters as each week on RAW showed inconsistent interactions between the WWE Champion and The Authority. One week they are on the same page, the next at each other’s throats.
Characters like The Miz, of whom I have spoken before floating around in character limbo. He never really changed his behavior too much, but at some point fans cheered, and then a year later fans booed. Look at past superstars like Edge, and current like Dolph Ziggler. WWE never did anything different, the fans did.
I love how the end of Raw was supposed to be a match between Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton. Everyone had to know this was never going play out. John Cena comes charging in and brawls with Orton, who is being cornered by Kingston. So, instead of trying to win the match, they book Kingston to instead assist Cena in getting revenge. By the way, it counts as a disqualification. Which means, Kofi went and allowed Orton to win the match by DQ. Wonder WWE will have Cena apologize for that. Instead, in some sort of pathetic attempt to force HOW IMPORTANT it is to see John Cena and Randy Orton have their rematch at the 2014 Royal Rumble, they need to take the fight through the crowd. Then outside, where, by some sort of coincidence, hundreds of fans who were likely rushing to beat traffic are held back as Orton attempts to steal a car to escape, but instead jumps into the PASSENGER SIDE of the car. Thank goodness for Michael Cole to explain Orton might have coerced a fan to assist in the getaway. Thank YOU Michael Cole. Because everyone in your WWE Appiverse was totally brain-numbed confused as to what was going on. No, NO ONE FREAKING CARED.
I gave up looking for a Transformers Generation One Takara Japan Grand Maximus. For the price tag, my wife my kill me. Instead, how about a loose and complete Sky Garry? He’s somewhat cool. Maybe a Dai Atlas or Metalhawk? This is what I was surfing eBay for while Orton and Cena played tag. In case you didn’t know, Cena went back to the ring, where Damien Sandow came out to make fun of him. Cena beat up Sandow. No match, just a beatdown. Just because.
During the Diva tag match on Monday night, NXT Diva Emma was spotted in the audience with a sign, sporting her own hashtag of #EMMAtaining. It took me a minute to figure out what in the hell was going on. Then I realized, oh, she must be entertaining because she’s doing the ol’ social media trick to get noticed. Just because it once worked for Zack Ryder, once, it does not mean it will always work again. Or at all. Or ever.
In any case, this Sunday is the Royal Rumble. This is it. All the hype is… the hype… is for… uhm…
I don’t even know what the hype is for anymore. In the past three weeks they have crammed the following storylines in.
Shield not breaking up.
Rhodes Brothers breaking up.
Daniel Bryan going for Royal Rumble.
Daniel Bryan going after Bray Wyatt.
CM Punk resuming feud with Authority.
Big Show and Brock Lesnar.
Divas. Doing Diva things.
Batista vs. Alberto del Rio
Batista vs. Randy Orton
Batista winning the Royal Rumble
Batista vs. Batista
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Mr. Cena vs. Randy Orton
Randy Orton vs. The Authority
I’ll give you this. Batista vs. Del Rio was the one-off just for someone to take the brunt of the big comeback, and while The Authority seem to dislike Orton, I am doubting it will lead to anything we need to think about for the time being. CM Punk vs. Everyone will lead to CM Punk vs. Triple H at WrestleMania. If Batista wins the Royal Rumble, I will feel disappointed.
Disappointed because they are playing Pong with Daniel Bryan. First they push him, then the stop. Then he gets another huge push, then he joins the Wyatts. Then WWE realizes what a bumbling mistake that was, and abruptly had Bryan turn on the Wyatts. Fans hope to hear Bryan entering the Royal Rumble. Bryan enters into a singles match against Bray Wyatt and while the live-crowd chanted YES, inside they were chanting NO. If anyone should win the 2014 Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania, it is Daniel Bryan. Let’s face the truth, and I said this in a previous column. Last year’s John Cena vs. The Rock match was a disaster. If you ask any sane person what the real main event at WrestleMania 29, the answer was CM Punk vs. The Undertaker. No one wanted to see Cena vs. The Rock, because everyone knew Rock was going to drop the title to Cena. Remember, people LEFT. Fans got up, stood on their two legs, and walked out of the arena, DURING the match.
When I think of WrestleMania, I think big. When I think of the WrestleMania 30, I think huge. When I think of the main event championship bout at WrestleMania 30, I think EPIC.
When I think of Batista vs. Orton, I can see a big match. But not the match I want to close out the massive event of WrestleMania 30. I want to see something iconic. Incredible. Awesome. I don’t want to see a match which kills the show. I think of John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan. I think of Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton. I think of CM Punk vs. John Cena. I think of Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk vs. John Cena or Randy Orton in a triple threat match. WWE has backed themselves into an uncomfortable corner. They know Daniel Bryan is who fans want as WWE Champion. If Batista wins, everyone will say “told ya so” but if Orton retains people will say “this was a letdown.” Again, this is speculation. Maybe Batista won’t win the Rumble. Maybe Daniel Bryan will be a special guest entrant and win it. Maybe Edge will come back. Or the Ultimate Warrior? T.L. Hopper could come running down, plunger in hand, and end up in the final four. We just do not know. Elements change constantly. Wade Barrett could win the Royal Rumble and shock us all.
I fondly recall the days where the Royal Rumble was 100% unpredictable, even though in the grand scheme, not too many. They began to become predictable around 1996, when Shawn Michaels won his second Rumble match, but the storyline was for him to accomplish his boyhood dream of being WWE Champion. Ironically, he won the year before and challenged Kevin Nash (as Diesel) for the title, but yet no mention of said “boyhood dream” ever surfaced. Let’s face it, will Jimmy or Jey Uso actually win the Royal Rumble? Please, they have as good a chance as did Headbanger Mosh or Hardcore Holly. 2006 was a shocker when Rey Mysterio won it, and I will say 2011 and 2012 were also well done as Alberto del Rio and Sheamus claimed victory.
For a moment, Santino had a chance to win the 2011 Rumble. He was the last one eliminated. Then you look at 2003, 2004, 2008, and last year, and you KNEW who was going to win. Hell, in 1999 when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Vince McMahon were embroiled in their feud everyone knew it was going to come down to those two in the match, and more people facepalmed than ever when McMahon pulled a Russo and scripted himself to win the match.
Maybe I’m overanalyzing here. Maybe I’m just nuts. Point is, I was really hoping to go into this year’s Royal Rumble not having a clue who would win. There are not a lot of big names in the match. Sure, Barrett, Sandow, Miz, Kingston, Big E. Langston, and Alberto del Rio are some high profile names, but none of them are even thought of as potential winners simply because the storyline leads us to think otherwise. I mean, maybe WWE will have Seth Rollins win. Or Fandango! There’s a choice. Sure, the Rumble needs fillers, but this year seems like all filler to me.
One of those times I hope to be wrong.
Royal Rumble Predictions:
Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar – Winner: Brock Lesnar, watching him F5 the Big Show is insane
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt – Winner: Daniel Bryan
New Age Outlaws vs. Rhodes Bros., WWE Tag Team Title match – Rhodes Brothers retain
John Cena vs. Randy Orton, WWE Championship match – Orton retains
• Batista – Good Chance of winning
• CM Punk – Decent Chance of winning
• Alberto Del Rio – Potential final four, but a win doesn’t seem likely
• Big E Langston – This would be the shocker if he won
• The Miz – Maybe last year but since he’s been jobbing on Main Event, highly unlikely
• Damien Sandow – I see him as a final four guy, but a Rumble win? No chance.
• R-Truth – Nope
• Xavier Woods – Nope
• Kofi Kingston – Nope
• Cody Rhodes – Nope
• Goldust – Nope
• Rey Mysterio – Nope
• Fandango – Yeah, HE has as much of a chance as I do. Or Doink the Clown.
• Roman Reigns – Same as Langston. Been getting the push, but I don’t see a Rumble win here.
• Seth Rollins – Nope
• Dean Ambrose – Nope
• Erick Rowan – Right, because someone in a tag team always has a chance
• Luke Harper – Then again, there was 1995, where Headshrinker Fatu made it into the final four
• Jimmy Uso – I know, right? A random tag team guy made it to the end
• Jey Uso – Sure, let’s see Jey Uso in there with Punk, Batista, and Del Rio at the end. It’ll end well.
• Darren Young – Because they need even more filler
• Titus O’Neal – Well hang on. He won’t win at all, but this could be the opportunity for O’Neal to show off how good he can really be and maybe have some surprise eliminations.
• Ryback – He will be the “big man” of the Rumble. He will have a few eliminations, last a while, commentators put over with “how can anyone eliminate him?” and then Langston will chuck his loser-ass out.
• Jack Swagger – Nope.
• Antonio Cesaro – See Titus O’Neal
Five surprise spots? Could be a legend? Could be a returning Sheamus? Maybe some unannounced like Curtis Axel or Dolph Ziggler? Or maybe one is for Daniel Bryan.