Greetings. This weekend’s big event in the WWE is the annual Royal Rumble pay per view and because it sets the table for the showcase event of the year – Wrestlemania, it remains one of the most anticipated and important shows of the year.
As per usual, there’s been all kinds of speculative conjecture as to what might happen this weekend and though I have no real idea as to what the enlightened despots in Titan Tower might be planning to do, I’ll weight in – just for the fun of it, with a few predictions and perspectives on what might transpire.
In the past, the winner of the Royal Rumble would earn the right to face the reigning world champion in the main event at Wrestlemania. If such were the case this year, the Rumble winner would ostensibly face the winner of this weekend’s world title match, at the Rumble, between reigning champ, A. J. Styles and John Cena.
It should be noted though that, in recent times, the WWE has been giving just as much push to the Universal Title (which will also be contested at the Rumble, with Kevin Owen defending his strap against Roman Reigns). Having said that, I’d like to propose that, as a means of determining the WWE’s equivalent of the Super Bowl champion, as the main event for Wrestlemania, why don’t they have the winner of the Styles/Cena world title clash and the winner of the Owens/Reigns universal title bout and the winner of the Rumble fight in a penultimate world title showdown – perhaps in a cage, or with some other compelling stipulation, as the main event at Wrestlemania.
There are a few compelling candidates that I can think of, off the top of my head, who might be interesting prospects to go over at the Rumble, among them: Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, as well as Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg – all of whom have been intermittently pushed during the past year. As for what might make for the most entertaining triple threat match, I’d reckon that Styles, Owens and Rollins might be a good trio – although I doubt that will be happening.
As far as the Royal Rumble itself goes, the last time I checked there were 23 announced entrants, including: the Undertaker, Goldberg, Lesnar, Big Show, Ambrose, Miz, Zayn, Ziggler, Big E, Xavier, Kofi, Bray, Orton, Harper, Strowman, Jericho, Corbin, Mojo Rawley, Cesaro, Sheamus, Rusev and Big Cass, among others.
That leaves six or seven slots for last minute entrants. In the past, the WWE includes blasts from the past and guest entrants – such as Shaquille O’Neal – who made a cameo appearance in the Rumble last year. To my way of thinking, a few potential candidates to add some spice to the roster this year might be San Antonio’s own Shawn Michaels – the Heart Break Kid, himself; recently retired, iconic San Antonio Spurs’ legend Tim Duncan (who could reprise Shaq’s appearance); NXT headliners – Nakamura and Samoa Joe; recently crowned WWE United Kingdom champion – Tyler Bate.
A few other inclusions who might be worth considering might be: the Rock – who seems to invariably show his face this time of the year; Hulk Hogan – just for the hell of it; Ric Flair – who’s been around the scene, albeit as a whipping boy for his daughter, lately, and might add a touch of class to the event; Terry Funk – an authentic Texas legend, who, I’m told, continues to make appearances in Japan; unemployed former Texas football legend – Johnny Manzell, who might need a pay cheque; and, perhaps, WWE Hall of Famer, Donald Trump – although he might have other things on his plate with his new White House gig.
Anyway, those are some of my perspectives on this weekend’s Rumble. Hopefully the WWE braintrust will come up with some even more compelling and captivating scenarios, themselves. In any case, I’ll look forward to catching up with you all next week for post mortems and whatnot. In the meantime and in between time, take care.