A couple quick thoughts on the Royal Rumble...
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I wrote a blog looking at some potential surprise returns. It's gotten a lot of comments over on Facebook. So, go over there to follow that discussion if you'd like.
With the pay-per-view being tomorrow, a little bit more information has leaked out about potential surprise entrants. Two names are heavily rumored: 2 Cold Scorpio and Jimmy Yang. Not really big names, per se, but both can still go.
What I've read is that 2 Cold Scorpio (also known as Flash Funk briefly in WWE) would be brought in as sort of a history lesson to educate the audience on ECW, with the impending launch of the WWE Network.
Jimmy Yang has had a good relationship with WWE for years, is good friends with the returning Batista, and was photographed backstage at Raw last week.
According to one of the most reputable wrestling sites around, PWInsider dot com, apparently Kevin Nash has been spotted at the hotel the other WWE superstars are staying in. So, he's either in town visiting or he might be making a surprise appearance.
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Another guy in town visiting is Chris Jericho. He had an autograph signing session earlier today in Pittsburgh. So, he's in town. It's been known for about a month that Jericho was doing the appearance. And Jericho knows that people know. He tweeted the following earlier today:
Headed to Pittsburgh to rock the World Of Wheels at Lawrence Convention Center TODAY from 12-3pm! Let's get ready to rumble Jerichoholics!
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) January 25, 2014
He's been known to use social media to try and stir up a frenzy, especially when it relates to his relationship with WWE. He is constantly denying that he will ever return, even though nobody believes him.
I actually don't want Chris Jericho to return in the Royal Rumble. There's only one reason for that - he did it last year. The 2013 Royal Rumble saw Chris Jericho enter at number 2, stay in the match for over 40 minutes, then go on to have one of the best 6-month runs of his career.
Jericho isn't one to repeat himself. He's a master of reinventing himself. His 1999 debut and 2007 re-debut had amazing long monologues. So, when he was ready for his 3rd entrance in 2012, he came out and mugged for the cameras then left without saying a word.
If Jericho's ready to come back to WWE for a full-time run like he's done the last couple years, I think he will do something creative. I'd personally like to see him run in and disrupt the John Cena vs Randy Orton match. But, if Jericho's schedule is busy and he won't be coming back to WWE, I guess we could see a one-off Rumble appearance.
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This year's Royal Rumble looks to be a pretty predictable match, much like John Cena winning last year. It appears as though Batista will win (again, as his first victory was in 2005) and headline WrestleMania XXX against Randy Orton.
There are two scenarios that I'd like to see. Both are very logical and could be good. In the weeks leading up to his return, Batista was embroiled in a little mini feud with Alberto Del Rio. He was saying he would eliminate Batista from the Rumble and win it. Batista made his return last Monday and quickly put the beatdown on Del Rio, effectively ending their feud.
With Batista getting the upper hand on Monday, the only logical thing now is for Batista to get his Royal Rumble return spoiled by Del Rio. Batista doesn't need the World Title. He's Batista - people will watch him just because of who he is.
Build Batista vs Del Rio for two months - Boom! High-profile WrestleMania match. We used Batista's big name status to give Del Rio the bump.
Daniel Bryan needs to win the Royal Rumble. The problem with that is that it looks like he won't be entered into the match.
Let's take a look at his path to the Royal Rumble:
Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship from John Cena. Randy Orton cheated Bryan out of the belt. For three pay-per-view events, Daniel Bryan was cheated out of the championship by Orton. The only reason he stopped chasing Orton was to deal with Bray Wyatt. That feud is coming to an end at the Royal Rumble.
Bryan needs to defeat Wyatt in their match at the pay-per-view, then enter the Rumble match and win, setting up the blow-off match against Randy Orton at WM XXX.
The fans are ready for Daniel Bryan to be the biggest superstar in wrestling. It's up to WWE to make him credible. He has the support. Just look below for proof.
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Quick links to plug:
Awesome Daniel Bryan radio appearance talking about his popularity
CM Punk interview talking lots of "inside" stuff, including wanting to induct The Ultimate Warrior into the WWE HOF, whether he will sign a new contract in 6 months, and the "Michelle Beadle incident"
Is The Ultimate Warrior Deserving Of The WWE Hall of Fame ... piece I wrote for the Camel Clutch blog
Episode 11 of my podcast ... I talk about the 30 year anniversary of Hulk Hogan's WWE Championship victory & potential WM XXX plans
My book ... Why not? There's one wrestling-related story in there, so it's relevant