Roses are orange
Sometimes a haiku is tough
Puddle of Mudd sucks
WWE Monday Night RAW from San Jose, CA || TV Review
- It's weird seeing the MLK Jr tribute followed by a cold open of Paul Heyman and Vickie Guerrero walking to the ring arm-in-arm. Very, seriously weird. Then Heyman goes one step further and calls Vickie the "sexiest General Manager" ever. So are they giving up on her being Managing Supervisor and just going with GM? Then he goes after Rock for picking on Vickie Guerrero, a "poor, defenseless widow". Heyman is the absolute best. Vickie says she won't let The Rock in tonight, and lo and behold, with the most perfect timing, he just showed up. If he tries to force his way in, says indy wrestler #4, they will have to put him under arrest. Rock gives the cops reasons to arrest everybody else but him, and I think they're going to let him in! Not yet, and Vickie says that if Rock tries to get into the arena the only song he'll be singing is Jailhouse Rock. The crowd isn't amused. Heyman: "Oh, come on, that was very clever!"
- Up next, the first of 3 Beat The Clock matches! Winner gets to choose his entry number for the Rumble. I'm glad to have it, but this is the kind of thing to do in the weeks leading up to the show to build excitement, not the Monday before.
Beat The Clock: Randy Orton v. Antonio Cesaro
Cesaro goes for a quick rollup and Orton does the same. This match is weird... the whole thing so far has been headlocks and rollups, possibly the two moves that are most opposite, especially in a match like this one. Orton finally gains an advantage and Cesaro rolls outside only to take a big clothesline. That gets two inside and we go to a break at 3 minutes. Back at about 7 minutes and Orton fights off a superplex, so Cesaro just shoves him off the top and to the floor. Cesaro keeps control and gets a pretty cool scoop slam and the standing double stomp. Orton comes back with the usual but Cesaro blocks the Hangman's DDT with a jacknife cover for two. He tosses Orton up for a huge European Uppercut but can't get the pin. He stupidly throws Orton shoulder-first into the ringpost and momentum carried Orton to the outside. Cesaro follows him out, tosses him back in and barely makes it up to his feet before being taken right out with an RKO. Rookie mistake, dude! Orton def. Cesaro, RKO - 11:36, **1/2
- The Hall of Fame announcement tribute for Foley had my wife tearing up, and she doesn't even especially like the dude. She knows the Micker is pretty much my biggest hero, or at least the closest I have to one, though.
The Big Show v. Zack Ryder
Big Show demanded that his rematch on Sunday would be another Last Man Standing match, and Booker said okay. Well that was easy. Ryder lasts about 30 seconds longer than Kofi did last week. Big Show def. Ryder, WMD Punch - 1 min, NR
- Brad Maddox was on commentary, by the way. Apparently he was kicked out of WWE on Main Event last week, but now here he is backstage with Heyman, who shakes his hand and doesn't politely ask him to put any phalluses into any holes. Or something. Chances are this doesn't end well for 'ol Brad.
Ryback v. Heath Slater
Slater dropkicks the knee and does some shuck 'n jive punches. Then he takes a spinebuster, meathook and gets Shellshocked. After the match he says he's going to win the Rumble. Ryback def. Slater, Shellshocked - 1 min, NR
- Hey, they didn't let The Rock in yet! My wife: "It's MLK, Jr Day! Just call the cops racist and they have to let you in." Rock makes some headway by appealing to the one cop whose wife and kid are in the arena, but Vickie comes to the rescue and threatens to suspend the officers. And they react with fear. WHAT? What fucking sense does that make?
- CM Punk is here. He is very low key this week. In short, The Rock is a singy-songy fake People's Champion. Punk is here to hurt people and is a REAL Champion. In the end, Punk says that he will still be the champ after Sunday. With RAW in Las Vegas next week, I have a feeling we will be getting another attempted pipe bomb moment. Will it happen with or without the belt?
Beat The Clock: Dolph Ziggler v. The Miz
Miz throws a dropkick to start and almost shocks everybody enough to get the quick pin. Both men trade a number of different types of rollups before Ziggler gets a dropkick to end a really nice sequence. Crowd: "Let's Go Ziggler! Miz Is Awesome!" Miz chop blocks the knee and then goes to work on it. The Flair rub continues! I have no problem with it, but what an odd choice. He can't get the Figure Four and ends up on the outside where Big E throws him HARD into the ring apron. Back from commercial with 4 minutes left and Ziggler has Miz in the commercial break chinlock. Miz gets out with a sunset flip for 2 and a huge boot to the face for another near fall. Miz gets the running clothesline in the corner into the double axe handle off the top and the crowd bites BIG TIME on that being the finish. More back and forth leads to Ziggler's jumping DDT, but that only gets 2. Miz gets the ugliest Figure Four of all time on DZ but AJ distracts the ref. That allows Langston to pull Ziggler to the ropes. Moments later the Zig Zag puts Miz down. Ziggler sets the new pace. Very good match and they did a great job getting the crowd into it. Ziggler def. Miz, Zig Zig - 10:56, ***
- Kane and D-Bryan Graduate from Anger Management tonight! His first name is MARION! Hah! Look at Bryan's hair! Dapper Dan indeed! I hate that I like this. YOU'RE THE VALEDICTORIAN! NO YOU'RE THE VALEDICTORIAN! Holy shit a DOCTOR SHELBY CHANT! Shelby's idea: What if everyone everywhere hugged at the same time? King and Cole hug! The ringside doc and Justin Roberts hug! A Triple Fat Guy hug in the front row! Now the dude with the awesome mustache! 1, 2, 3 EVERYBODY HUG!
Hey! Let's share the suck!
Non-Title: Kaitlyn v. Alicia Fox
Tamina Snuka, who I think is somebody's daughter, is watching backstage. OH MY GOD MICHAEL COLE JUST CALLED ALICIA FOX A VETERAN. SOMEBODY PLEASE JUST KILL EVERYTHING. I suddenly feel the need to see the exact opposite of the last segment. Kaitlyn wins with a spear (kinda). What a shitty match. Your Divas Champion, folks! Kaitlyn def. Fox, Spear-ish - 2 min, NR
- Heyman is here to drop a Paul bomb. I love the title "The Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless". It's like "All-American American" but eloquent. He tells the people he's going to keep it simple, then throws in some Latin for fun. Heyman: "Just like the people, The Rock is stuuuupid." Here comes The Rock! And he's got the police officer's ticket! The officer is likely dead somewhere backstage. Rock: "Shut your mouth, Twinkie Tits!" Holy shit, The Rock just said it! "You have earned the right to be called Best in the World!" EVERYBODY ELSE'S OPINION DOESN'T MATTER. The Rock is a true man. Fuck everybody else who disputed it. It's really simple. Seriously, instead of bitching abou Punk not really being BitW, they should do like Rock did. Admit that he is the best and then man up and try to beat him. I am so sorry that I spent all last year hating on Rocky. Although to be fair his work this month has been so far ahead of the stuff from the Cena feud quality-wise it's like a different person.
- "Blood, sweat and respect. The first two I give the last one I've earned." Sweet line. Rock evokes Dr. King by saying we'll be free at last after Sunday. Punk's reaction is classic, just shaking his head from high above and mouthing "oh my God" in disgust. Lights out! THE SHIELD! FUCK YEAH! Rock tries to fight back! He can't do it! Three-man powerbomb! Rock's down! Punk tells Rock that the thing about dreams is that eventually you gotta wake up. Rock bit down on a blood packet! KEN SHAMROCK STYLE! Holy shit Rocky is going to have taped ribs for his match on Sunday. Now THAT is Vintage Rock, Michael Cole. Fucking fantastic segment.
Beat The Clock: Sheamus v. Wade Barrett
I'm calling it: Sheamus wins and chooses number one FELLA! General brawling until Sheamus runs to the ropes and Barrett follows directly behind and blindsides him with a clothesline over the top. Barrett wins! Oh, not 'til Sunday. Sorry. Back from commercial and King welcomes us back by saying "If they don't beat the clock, they might as well stop, right?" REALLY KING? Go away already. Sheamus goes for White Noise but Barrett counters. Sheamus counters the pump handle slam but missed the Brogue Kick. Barrett gets the mule kick to the gut and then a big superkick with Sheamus on his knees. I bought that finish. Barrett gets the elbow from the second rope and tries Wasteland, but Sheamus counters and hits White Noise. One minute left and he sets up the Brogue Kick but AJ jumps into the ring to distract! Sheamus runs into the Bossman Slam but it only gets two. Ziggler was shitting his pants on that one. Both men are down! Barrett wants the Bullhammer but he turns around into the Brogue Kick! Cover! Time runs out! Ziggler wins! Good match with a hot finish. Sheamus v. Barrett ends in a Time Limit Draw - 10:56, **3/4
- Ziggler barges in on Vickie in her office and gloats, only to find out that he wins the chance to choose between #1 and #2. 2013 Royal Rumble Iron Man, baby!
- Vince confronts Punk and Heyman backstage. If The Shield gets involved on Sunday, Punk's in deep shit. Heyman says Vince needs proof that Punk has anything to do with The Shield and Vince agrees, I think. Not quite sure how they plan to deal with that. Anyway, if proof is found and they do interfere on Sunday, Punk will be stripped of the title. Okay then.
Non-title: Alberto Del Rio v. Tensai
The crowd sings along with Rodriguez on the DELLLLL RRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOO part of the intro. That was awesome. Tensai gets a paid of Vader Bombs but all he gets for it is a flying headscissors and a jumping enzugiri, which the crowd aids by chanting "SI, SI, SI, SI" as he tunes up. Worst Moonsault Ever finishes. Del Rio leads the crowd in counting to ten in Spanish. Del Rio def. Tensai, second rope moonsault - 2 min, *
- The second addition to the Hall of Fame this year: Bob Backlund. Awesome.
- Main Event Promo: John Cena is here, and San Jose does not seem to have a lot of Cena supporters. Cena singles out a kid in the front row and blames him for ruining his cyber life. He picks out two other people and it's hokey but honestly kinda funny. He turns into shill-man and says that on Sunday he WILL win the Royal Rumble and his music hits before we can hear the crowd booing. Sheamus interrupts, though, but before he can say anything the Prime Time Players are here! Darren Young gets a moment to say "Ain't Nobody Got Time Fa That!" before Orton cuts them off. He thinks he's going to win the Rumble. So does Miz. They couldn't have spent time over the past 5 weeks doing this? Did everybody forget until John Cena brought it up? Kane and Daniel Bryan think they are going to win, but Cesaro says that he's going to win and dedicate the victory to his home away from home, the United States of America! 3MB thinks THEY are going to win. Here comes everybody else, because it seems they finally ran out of microphones, and it's BEDLAM IN SAN JOSE! Michael McGillicutty is there! JTG! I bet neither one of them is in the match. Crowd's kind of bored, but whatever. They got a good show.
Overall RAW Thoughts
I wonder if they have finally come up with a decent formula. RAW was, brace yourselves, good this week. The segment at the end was pretty lame and I wish they would have spent some time making us believe that people cared about the Rumble match before they were one week away, but whatever. The wrestling was pretty good. Nothing special, but it was a couple squashes, a shitty women's match and some decent Beat The Clock matches. The stuff with Rock and Punk was absolutely great and made me care even more about Sunday, especially after the complete misfire from last week. Good stuff.
Why The Rock v. John Cena II Should Be For The WWE Championship
We are five days away from the Royal Rumble as of the posting of this column and it is already known that The Rock, who has his title shot on Sunday, will be carrying the WWE Championship into WrestleMania. Speculation has abounded over the past few weeks that CM Punk will find a way to retain in his one-on-one defense on Sunday, leading to either a straight rematch in February or forcing The Rock to participate in an Elimination Chamber match to grab the gold. The way he wins the belt is unimportant; FACT is that the main event of WrestleMania XXIX will be WWE Champion The Rock defending against Challenger John Cena.
Going all the way back to when the rumors of this match began I have strongly felt that it should not take place, and I had a number of reasons. The first and most obvious being that WWE spent a year promoting (and later released a DVD set about) the match between Rock and Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII as "Once in a Lifetime". I took a moment, stepped back and thought about it and I ended up coming to this very quick realization. THIS IS PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING. "Once in a Lifetime" was not a promise. Hell, it wasn't even a stipulation. It was a marketing strategy. Therefore, bitching about WWE running a Rock/Cena rematch because they went out of their way to position it as a one-time only deal is pretty short sighted of us. It's something we don't think about very often. This is a business, and making people believe that they only had one chance to see it was a good business decision. So Vince already has our money -- if we were naive enough to believe that we HAD to buy the show because it would be our one and only opportunity to possibly see John Cena go one-on-one with The Great One, that was our mistake. It was never (ever) supposed to be a one-and-done situation. Vinny Mac was planning from the very beginning to give His Boy John his win back. Was it always planned to happen one year later at WrestleMania? Maybe, maybe not. I think we all can agree, however, that Vince McMahon wanted a rematch to happen between these two men before he even officially announced 2 years ago that they would be wrestling for the first time.
The second reason I felt like this match should not take place has nothing to do with the combination of wrestlers. John Cena versus The Rock is a huge marquee match and the buyrate of last year's WrestleMania is the proof. The problem? Why does it have to involve the WWE Title? Rock v. Cena is a super-duper-mega match on its own! That is true, yes, but let's look at this from a strictly storyline perspective. Upholding kayfabe, if you weeeeeel. Last year, John Cena (the character) said that winning his match against The Rock meant EVERYTHING. After he failed to win the match, his entire reaction was making a sad puppy dog face moments after being pinned and then congratulating The Rock for being the better man the next night. If he was putting his career in question, which is what he alluded to in the weeks prior to the match, he never let the audience in on his feelings. Granted he did get taken out by Brock Lesnar that night after WrestleMania, but he spent ample time in the ring being the same old John Cena before Brock finally ambled down to F-5 him.
Seriously, Cena spent forever stalling before dude came out.
We move forward through 2012 and Cena's year went along as usual. General concensus states that Cena had a shitty 2012, so let's analyze it a bit. Looking at him accomplishments from last year, you see that John began the year Rising Above Hate as he made the newly re-masked returning Kane look like he never had a match in his life. He hit a snag when he lost to The Rock but that was quickly followed up by making short work of Brock Lesnar. When Big Johnny took center stage with People Power our hero did indeed take a loss to the EVPoTRaGMoR in the main event of a PPV, but it was thanks only to interference from The Big Show. Cena was abke to rectify that injustice the following month inside a steel cage, getting revenge on The Big Show and ending the tyranny of People Power in the process. To recap what we have so far, in the first 6 months of the year Cena was faced with a number of obstacles and was able to overcome every last one of them; and he came out smelling like smiles and sunshine.
He did encounter some rough circumstances at the end of the summer. Cena won the Money in the Bank contract and went on to be unsuccessful in his cash-in attempt. He was then unable to defeat CM Punk and Big Show in a triple threat in his second chance at the title and then he came up short in a third shot at the Night of Champions PPV. Yeah, it sucks for him that he had no luck in winning back his bling, but the sheer amount of opportunities alone makes that an amazing year for anybody else on the roster.
Cena began the last quarter of the year by getting hurt, but he came back very quickly. Before he got hurt, Vince McMahon himself was ready to reward Cena with ANOTHER shot at Punk, which was wholly not earned. He was indeed afforded that chance as soon as he was healed but again could not translate an oportunity into a championship reign. One would assume that after all those chances a guy would be sent to the back of the line. Not John Cena! Vince himself (again) bulling Vickie Guerrero into giving Cena a match with Dolph Ziggler's briefcase on the line, a match that Cena did nothing to earn outside of simply being John Cena. He was not successful in that endeavor, of course, and now it's 2013 and it appears that since he has made the conscious decision to refocus himself, now is the time that Cena is going to have to start earning his chances.
Trying really hard to make a serious face.
If we take a step back, earlier I said that just the "sheer amount of opportunities" Cena was granted in 2012 would make for an amazing year for pretty much anybody else. Even in defeat, that many shots for the title and main event matches would easily be the best year in the careers of a lot of men. Well John Cena (the character, remember) isn't like anybody else. In the past seven years he has held the WWE Championship 10 times and the World Heavyweight Championship twice. The last year and some months has been, by far, Cena's longest championship drought since he grabbed his first US Title back in March 2004. He won the Wrestler of the Year Slammy award and very righteously refused to accept it (something that should have been made into a much bigger deal) and went on to state that he will rededicate himself in 2013 to focus on winning the WWE Title. My singular problem with the way they have handled the story moving forward lies with inconsistencies. A couple of wrestlers, most notably CM Punk (obviously), called bullshit on Cena being named the WotY. We have established that Cena himself was against receiving the award, but for some reason Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler refuse to properly play along and have continued to assert that John was fully deserving of the trophy and that anybody who says differently is simply wrong. The entire basis of this story arc is that Cena is beyond disappointed with the way 2012 transpired for him and he plans to erase the memories of that by working toward having a career year in 2013. It weakens the story to have the commentators completely contradict the way Cena feels, since the way he feels is the entire base of the story.
Whether they do it right or not (fingers crossed that it works out), it's actually a very interesting idea to try with a guy like Cena. His behviour and demeanor never really changed, but it is clear that his loss to The Rock back in April did have a negative effect on him. It's eating him up somewhere on the inside and it has subconsiously aided in preventing him from "winning the big one" at any point subsequent to that defeat he suffered at WrestleMania. And THAT is why The Rock versus John Cena II at WrestleMania XXIX should be contested with the WWE Championship on the line. Cena can avenge his loss to The Rock and in one fell swoop win the top prize in the wrestling business to once again validate himself, at least in his own mind. And that is the most important thing of all.
- Rey Mysterio made his return to action last week in Los Angeles and teamed with Bo Dallas. With all of the focus on NXT guys recently both on WWE dot com and having the guys all over the house show circuit, I wonder how many, if any of these guys, will be turning up on TV before WrestleMania. Maybe we'll get one new guy in the Rumble match? Probably not. That wouldn't be the best place to debut without any hype unless the plan was to either put him over or have him be the last man eliminated. Shit, that would actually be pretty cool.
- Tyson Kidd posted an update about his condition after surgery. He's excited because he received his shipment of Japanese compilations from IVP Videos. You really need to check this site out, by the way. They do a lot of free downloads, and the pay stuff is also very cheap. If you want to check out some Japanese stuff or just some of your favourite American wrestlers in Japan, this is the place to go. #PLUG
- Like mother, like son. Linda Hogan has officially been charged with a DUI after being arrested for speeding and driving under the influence back in October. She is facing potential jail time, but it won't happen. I hope she immediately apologized to Nick for any shit she gave him for almost killing his friend. Nick wasn't drunk, right? Just a really cocky and stupid kid?
- Random thought: Did they actually listen to the lyrics before choosing the theme song for the 2001 Survivor Series PPV?
- Finally Dean Ambrose gets to finish his feud with Mick Foley! Such a shame that Reigns is a complete black hole of charisma. People may give Rollins shit, but at least he isn't robotic and stiff as a board. The yelly part from Reigns at the very end was okay. He showed some passion at last.
- The newest addition to the WWE developmental roster is heavyweight amateur wrestling champion Clayton Jack, who just graduated from THE Oregon State University and starts training on Thursday. He seems very excited andhumble. I'm kind of surprised OSU coaches didn't make the kid get a haircut. That curly mop ain't beneficial on the mat. They should team him up with Swagger and call the team JACK. Justice of American Collegiate Krew. Or something good. Whichever works.
- WWE recently sent out a survey regarding dot com posting spoilers and asking about the websites that people visit for their wrestling news. Interesting, but I'm not quite sure why. Joey Styles recently said that WWE.com posts spoilers, such as Alberto Del Rio's title win, on the website so that other sites don't get the scoop. I think it's really quite backwards logic. People who will see it on sites like PW.net, Wrestlezone, The Observer, 411 and the like are going to, more than likely, see it on one of our little dirt sheets before they see it on WWE's official website. People like us don't go to WWE's site for breaking news. The only people WWE is "scooping" by posting spoilers on the website are the fans who, if it wasn't put up there, would never know it happened unless they saw it on TV. I get the idea of trying to do it to position viewers to watch it and thus grab some ratings, but the best way to do that is to put out a product that people actually believe that while it's on, anything can happen. Instead, nothing happens, and the fans are going to be conditioned to know that if something does happen, WWE will put it online three days before airing it on TV. So yeah, it's possible that spoiling a bit title change could help the ratings for a night (although in this case it wouldn't matter because the fucking Rock was on the show), but some people will learn to only watch when WWE says something happens before the fact. It's completely counterintuitive and that kind of thinking is one of the reasons why SmackDown pulled in an abysmal average rating of 1.89 in 2012.
Brock Lesnar's Opponent at WrestleMania: If Not Triple H, Then Who?
As of right now, it has been reported to be set in stone that Brock Lesnar will finish his remaining contracted dates building up the rematch with Triple H. I don't like that idea. It's not just a personal preference, either. It is certainly true that I have zero personal interest in seeing Brock Lesnar wrestle Triple H again -- in fact the last time I had any interest in seeing that match was around 2003 -- but it also makes no sense from a business nor a storyline standpoint. If Triple H intends to sign Brock up for another set of dates (he does), what sense does it make to hand him another loss? Wins and losses don't matter as a general rule, sure, but there are circumstances that can circumvent that. This is one of those times. Continuing at this rate, Brock will wrestle two matches per year. It he takes a loss to Triple H at WrestleMania, when it comes time to make his return to beat up on some new poor, unsuspecting soul the last memory people will have of Brock is staring up at the lights. If this match (and the likely outcome) occurs, that puts Brock on the losing end of 2 out of the 3 matches he has wrestled since his return last April. Sure, they would be losses to John Cena and Triple H, but anybody can lose to those guys. If he wrestles the big name stars and loses, it makes him, in wrestling slang, more of a JTTS (jobber to the stars) than a monster who needs to be stopped, which we can safely assume is what they want Lesnar to be. He beat Triple H back at SummerSlam; the next logical step, if you're booking him as a monster who can't be stopped, is to have him pick (or have Heyman pick for him) a brand new target for destruction.
Here's an important question: how do they even set up a rematch? Both guys are part time (at best) and outside of Triple H making a cameo at the Slammys neither man has been seen since August. Brock has no reason to initiate a sequence that would lead to a rematch with Triple H. He won the bout at SummerSlam and decided that he had had his fill of professional wrestling following that accomplishment. Hell, it took months of Triple H begging Brock for the original match to happen in the first place! Brock calling out Triple H won't happen, so obviously the onus is on The Game to create a series of events that would lead us to seeing Brock v. Triple H part deux. How can that possibly be done without it being incredibly contrived and/or making Triple H look like a crybaby who took his ball and ran away for six months until he could stop sobbing long enough to man up? Honestly, somebody please come up with a way to logically (key word!) and feasibly get to a Triple H versus Brock Lesnar rematch for WrestleMania. The only idea I can come up with is having them cross paths in the Royal Rumble match, but neither guy will be showing up for that.
If we assume that one of the other big matches set for WrestleMania this year is CM Punk v. The Undertaker, then both of those guys, who are rumored to be future opponents for Lesnar, are out of the mix to be his tango partner in April. There are three guys I would absolutely love to see in a match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXIX. In no specific order: Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback. I know that there is very little chance that they will ever treat us to a Daniel Bryan v. Brock Lesnar singles match (at WM or otherwise) and Team Hell No will either be defending or challenging for the tag belts at 'Mania (or imploding and wrestling each other), so D-Bryan will be busy anyway. There has been some talk about turning Dolph Ziggler face. If that is indeed set to happen, putting him in a feud opposite Paul Heyman (thus by extension CM Punk and Brock Lesnar) could push him over the top. I have tons of scenarios running through my head, but simply enough Ziggler could do something to raise the ire of Paul E that would in turn draw him to get Brock back in to deal with DZ -OR- Ziggler could challenge Heyman to bring Lesnar back so he can prove that he is the better wrestler/athlete/collegiate standout/whathaveyou. That would be so sick that I could get too damn sick of that match being too damn sick.
More rare than the Iberian Lynx.
Ryback is an absolute no-brainer and my personal choice. If they intend to book Lesnar to lose, why not have him lay down for a guy who would stand to benefit greatly? The match could be pretty badass and the setup is completely built in. Not only is it obvious to put the current huge new guy in a high profile match against a former huge new guy (who himself received many comparisons to Bill Goldberg in the beginning of his career), but Ryback has been a major thorn in the side of Brock Lesnar's number one guy, Paul Heyman, for months. That fact leads me to implementing the use of one of my favourite words: Logic.
There are a thousand possible scenarios that could lead to Heyman bringing back Lesnar to get rid of Ryback. Without delving too deeply into fantasy booking territory, I think a great (and very logical!) way to get to a Ryback/Lesnar match is to have Ryback get a measure of revenge on The Shield at the Elimination Chamber PPV and then point his focus back on CM Punk. The probability of Punk no longer being WWE Champion by then is pretty much 100%, but Ryback still has not had the chance to fully sink his teeth into Punk, so champion or not the hunger, as it were, is still panging. Punk, however, is busy. Rock v. Cena is booked for the WWE Title, therefore he says that to be in the spotlight at WrestleMania there's only one other thing he can do: challenge the Undertaker, break the streak and prove once-and-for-all that he is the Best in the World. That doesn't throw Ryback off Punk's scent, though, and he tries to press the issue so he can finally get his hands on the former champion. Heyman ain't about to let that happen, especially not while Punk is preparing to wrestle The Undertaker, so he throws a ton of money at Brock Lesnar to come out of hiding/retirement/whatever in order to take down Ryback and put him out for good. BOOM. That's your WrestleMania storyline for Brock Lesnar.
From TJ Hawke:"El Generico's character is flexible enough that he can easily fit into many different environments. This was my first time seeing him in ISDub, and it's safe to say that this environment was very well suited for Generico. While the match had a few sloppy moments, I found this match to be quite fun. You should absolutely check it out. Ole."
All the way back in October I wrote a lengthy piece discussing the many possibilities that lay ahead in the 2013 Royal Rumble match. Three months later and here we are, 5 days away from the annual tradition. I won't spend time complaining about it, but it's disappointing to me how little build the actual match itself has been receiving over the past few years, with this year being the absolute least. A couple guys have entered their names into the hat over the past few weeks, but there are no storylines (outside of Cena's redemption) going into the match, there have been no qualifiers, nobody fighting to get #30 or fighting to prevent themselves from being thrown in at #1 -- nothing. I love the Rumble match and I'm still excited for it, but I used to be out of my mind hyped with all of the possibilities that WWE tossed at us every year. Now it's more of a guessing game than anything else.
To summarize the piece I wrote back in October, I said that Orton had a slight shot at winning and with a heel turn I would be behind it, Brock Lesnar would be a good choice and it would be awesome to see him challenge for Sheamus' belt and Undertaker could win leading to winning the belt at 'Mania and Ziggler cashing in MITB the following night on RAW. I also said it would be cool to see Daniel Bryan win it and challenge The Rock for the WWE Title at 'Mania, Kofi Kingston winning and challenging Punk at 'Mania (was I drunk?) and Ryback winning and challenging Punk to finally beat him for the title at WrestleMania and to get revenge on the only guy who has ever pinned him. That's not too bad, actually.
The above guys (Bryan, Kofi and Ryback) would challenge for the WWE Title. I also speculated that Barrett could win and challenge for Sheamus' belt (I seemingly had legitimate feelings that he would still be the champion) and that Cody Rhodes could be given a big push. Heh. Right. Of course I also said to just let Ziggler win the damn thing and push him all the way up the card already.
Here's the October 2012 version of me regarding who I felt was the most realistic choice:
"I would love to see something new and different. If we do indeed get a winner of the Rumble match that isn't John Cena, it will be somebody challenging for the World Title in the middle of the WM card. That's a shame, but I have a feeling that won't be changing until it comes time for the 2015 Royal Rumble leading into WrestleMania XXXI. I would love to believe that they will give WrestleMania 30 to a pair of young stars who will be leading the business into the future, but if they keep the current mentality, a show as big as the 30th annual "grandest stage of them all" will have guys with zero future in WWE as the centerpieces. I'm going to make my pick right now for the 2013 Royal Rumble winner. My choice can (and likely will) change between now and January (probably multiple times) but the current climate makes me believe that John Cena will win the 2013 Royal Rumble match. Hey, at least that means the winner will finally win the title to close the show, which hasn't happened since The Undertaker defeated Edge in 2007."
Damn. October 2012 me really gets me. I'm sticking with that pick. As for the rest of the show: Rock beats Punk, Del Rio beats Show, Kaitlyn keeps her belt and the Rhodes Scholars bring new ones home.
That's going to be it for me. My great and glorious idea for the theme songs that I mentioned last week was pretty much done by a lot of you idea stealers in the comments. I was going to come up with somewhat amusing characters/scenarios based on the songs you chose. A bunch of y'all did it for me, though, and likely better than I would have. Maybe I'll come back to it eventually.
Posting this version simply for the top comment.
This is the end of the 20th edition of the Tuesday Communique. As far as I'm told by mister Larry Csonka himself, you're going to be stuck with me for at least 20 more! See you with a rundown of the Rumble next week!