Saturday, January 28, 2012

WrestlingNerd Presents: WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Rundown

What up wrestling fans, I'm the WreslingNerd bringing you another edition of the PPV Rundown. With the Royal Rumble set for this weekend, it's that time were we rundown the card. If you're new to the Rundown, here's how it works. I will talk about every match on the card and try to break it down as much as possible. I will then list in categories who should win, who creative will pick, then I toss in my very own predictions. Then again, my picks never mean anything and it's really for s***s and giggles. With that out of the way, let's a go. 

Daniel Bryan vs Big Show vs Mark Henry; Steel Cage match for the WHC
Lots of things to talk about here, but I think we need to hop on the DeLorean and go back to WWE TLC. At TLC, it was Mark Henry vs Big Show. Henry went into the match as the world champion, but ended up losing the match to the giant. Show was so happy (SO HAPPY!!!) that he finally got the world title back. The celebration didn't last long as Henry would DDT Show through a steel chair. Then MITB holder, Daniel Bryan, finally decided to cash in the briefcase. What looked like a difficult nine year journey literally went up in smoke as Bryan walked out with the WHC. I guess it isn't a celebration? Ever since winning the WHC, Daniel has had a character overhaul. He has gotten a lot more cocky and really thinks of himself highly. The strange thing is he's showing a lot of characteristics of a heel turn, but he's technically still a good guy….er, kinda. You can think of him as a tweener, but it seems that Bryan is on the verge of a full heel turn. During this time, Show has been angry about his abrupt title run and was determined to get the title back. It finally got to the point where Show might have been on the verge of getting the title back, but he accidentally tackled AJ in the process. It appeared to be Super Effective as AJ was written off the show with "major injuries". AJ is Daniel Bryan's kayfabe girlfriend. This has lead to Bryan becoming angry while Show seems to be ashamed of himself for the accident. As for Henry, he just seems to be that pissed off guy who wants to win and dominate, but probably won't. That' almost the definition of Bowser. There was a point where I thought that Bryan would actually manipulate Show in helping him retain the title. You're probably wondering how that would work. Well, my theory was Bryan would play the guilt trip card. He would say how Show should try to make it up to him for injuring his girlfriend. Then again, that theory might have been shot down on the most recent episode of SD. This is a cage match, so I would think that Bryan finds a way to outsmart his enemies. I am really leaning towards Bryan in this case. It really doesn't make much sense for Show to win the title and Henry has lost a lot of stock going into this match. Not sure how it will happen, but the weasel will find a way to keep his title. 

Who should win:
Bryan should get the win, but I am sure people are going to complain in how he will win. I see him winning in some type of heelish fashion. I know people will want him to get a submission or pinfall victory, but it really doesn't seem likely. It would be cool if it happened, but I don't see it happening. Maybe Bryan wins the match JBL style; He gets Chokeslammed through the ring, thus crawls out of the cage to win the match? It's an idea. 

Who creative will pick:
There is no reason to give this to Henry or Show at the moment. I think the WWE is actually willing to roll the dice and let Bryan go into WM as the world champion. They have Rock vs Cena, so they can roll the dice on a first timer to represent one of the two world title matches. 

My final pick:
I have to go with weasel Bryan to retain his title. 

John Cena vs Kane
The storyline here is an interesting one. When Kane made his return to WWE, he was donning the mask once more. Maybe people wondered who would be his first target. Well, it turned out to be the face of the company….but why? Kane would later reveal that the reason he chose Cena is because he wants Cena to embrace the hate. Ever since Survivor Series, there are been many on-screen characters like Rowdy Roddy Piper who have told Cena he will lose his match against the Rock unless he deals with the fans. The audience always gives Cena that mixed reaction that you're so used to hearing these days, so these people want Cena to really tell the audience how he feels and stop with this boy scout nonsense. Cena keeps saying he doesn't have a problem with the audience reaction, but maybe it's starting to tear away at him? Regardless, Kane has taken it upon himself to force Cena to embrace the hate. It's a little more complex than simply just pissing off Cena. Kane has used Cena's friend, Zack Ryder, to get what he wants. Ryder had been injured in a Kane attack and ended up losing the US title to Jack Swagger. It got even worse when Kane apparently "broke" Ryder's back. It looks like Cena was showing signs of embracing the hate. 
This is supposed to be my angry face, but I'm really just constipated.....HELP ME!!!

Now, what I'm about to pitch might be a little insane, but I think Cena should lose this match cleanly. What I would like to see happen is Cena calm himself down and prepare to take down Kane, just like he has done in the past with any other opponent. He gives it his all. Super Cena is walking strong but…..he still loses. That's when it would force Cena to re-think his strategy. Why? Because his old tricks aren't working anymore. Just like Pokemon, Cena needs to find a way to evolve in order to become stronger. Thus, maybe he realizes that embracing the hate is the best course of action. Cena has to do something at Elimination Chamber, so have Kane beat him at RR, thus Cena can finally come full circle and uses his hate/new powers to finally defeat Kane at EC. That way it adds a new dimension to Cena as he prepares for the Rock. Now, I have a really hard time believing that WWE would actually do something like that. Mainly because Cena is the face of the company and Cena rarely loses cleanly (almost never), but I think they should so maybe it shows a little doubt in the Cena supporters and/or casual wrestling fans. I think if they planned this out right, it can really make for exciting television and can maybe get ratings up. I still feel this is the most invested I have ever been in the Cena character in a really long time. It just shows you don't need to turn him heel. Just do something different with Cena so he isn't so cliche. I think a good reason for people not liking Cena is because he always does the same thing, so how about a slight change? As I have said in many of my reviews, I don't feel Cena will turn heel with this current storyline. It has set itself up for it, but I don't think it will happen. I just feel they are trying something different with Cena's character and adding a new dimension to him. I think most people can agree that Cena can use a bit of a twist. As for Kane, I felt he was the best choice for this job. Kane is a intellectual monster. He can be sick and twisted, but is really smart and crafty with his routine. Kane can get inside your head since the guy knows how to talk. Then again, let's give Roddy Piper a ton of credit since he really got the ball rolling. Never forget that….NEVER!!!

Who should win:
Well, I kinda jumped the gun and talk about how I think the match should go. I guess I think Kane should win this match so it forces Cena to up his game for the rematch. Hey, Rocky Balboa lost the first match to Apollo Creed, but got stronger for the second fight. The same thing should happen with Cena. 

Who creative will pick:
I can see creative make this over and done with at the PPV. Then again, it isn't like Cena is going to compete for a title at the next PPV. I still like my idea a lot better. 

My final pick:
I can really see creative give this one to Cena, but I think they really should give this one to Kane. This is a tough pick, but I'm going with Kane to win round one. 

CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler; WWE Championship Match (John Laurinaitis is referee)
This storyline is a strange one. Mainly because this hardly has anything to do with Punk and Dolph. This has more to do with Punk and Laurinaitis. The deal between Punk and Laurinaitis is they simply don't like each other. Punk wants to see change in the WWE, but feels that Laurinaitis is the person who simply won't allow change and is just a boring character. Laurinaitis might not be able to show an emotion at times, but I like this guy as a character. I have been praising the guy since December. If you don't believe me, go look at my older reviews. Laurinaitis doesn't like Punk for a couple of different reasons. Mainly because Punk is anti-establishment. Maybe it's because Punk isn't a fitting champion, but it might have to do with the fact that Laurinaitis is jealous that Punk was able to achieve success. That was something Laurinaitis never got in his career, high status. Laurinaitis keeps saying he has nothing against Punk, but we all know that he really doesn't like this guy. I know it's all kayfabe, but we can still pretend. Now, there is an interesting person who can become involved in this match. The person I am referring to is Chris Jericho. Jericho talked about how it will be the end of the world as you know it, so he might be calling out Punk. It might be possible for Jericho to screw over Punk, thus Dolph steals the title. Then again, I have plenty of Jericho talk later in this rundown. This is a small possibility, but it's something that can actually happen. It's also possible for Laurinaitis to screw over Punk, but I really see Punk walking out as the WWE Champion. It just seems to make more sense to roll with Punk as the champion for the time being. I feel Dolph is really close to a world title reign (I don't like to count that 15 minute WHC reign he had last year) and it might be time to crown him at the RR, but I just don't see it happening. Kinda odd that Dolph has ended up in the same position as he was at this time last year. He was the #1 Contender to the WHC last year. It seemed like he was in a filler role for the time being. You can argue that nothing has changed, in regards to where Dolph was and to where he's at currently. I think it's a sad coincidence since Dolph has really improved on his character traits and is ready for something big this year. I think it's more likely for Dolph to do something big after WM. As for now, it's Punk's time to shine. 
This is my new Christmas Card photo

Who should win:
CM Punk should win. It makes more sense to roll with Punk as the WWE Champion than it does having Dolph as the champion. Don't get me wrong. I like Dolph and he's quickly becoming one of my favorites, but Punk is a bigger and safer bet at the moment. 

Who creative will pick:
I think we will see instances where Laurinaitis tries to screw over Punk, but he will eventually make the decision to give this one to Punk. Mainly because he values his job more than anything else. I can see creative going with Dolph here, but I think it has been set up for Punk to overcome the odds. 

My final pick:
I'm going with CM Punk to retain the championship. One more match to rundown, but I don't think we are done talking about Punk. 

2012 Royal Rumble Match; winner gets world title match at WrestleMania 28
Time for the grand daddy of the evening. Many people have asked me about my thoughts regarding this match for the last few weeks, but held off on purpose so I can get everything out of the way in the same article. Now, I know there is 30 people competing in the match, but let's be real here. Despite this being billed as a match where anyone could win, there are only a good handful of competitors that are deserving of this honor. 

Let's talk about the main stars that have a chance of winning this match. That would be people like Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Miz, R-Truth, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler (if he competes in this match), and Chris Jericho. I even thought of the likelihood of Triple H competing in this match, but I will bring that up later in this rundown. The easy ones to get out of the way would be Truth and Miz. Both guys have not been built up to win this match and it would really make no sense for either guy to compete. It seems like both guys will be at a filler role come WM time…..or not used at all. I had high hopes for Dolph in this match, but his stock of winning this match went down when he was put in the WWE Championship match. Stranger things have happened, but I don't really think it will happen. 

Wade is a pretty strong choice to win the rumble. WWE has really taking a liking to the Barrett Barrage and they might be willing to give him a victory like this. The main problem with Wade winning the rumble means he would have to challenge a champion that is playing face. At the moment, the two world champion choices are Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. Things can always change, but it seems pretty likely that these two will be going into WM as the champions. Wade going up against Bryan doesn't make a whole lot of sense since Bryan has been gearing up for a heel turn. Yeah, I don't think they will roll with heel vs heel at WM. If Wade won the rumble, he would be more inclined to face off against Punk. Now, I'm sure both guys can make that rivalry work. In fact, I think it would be very interesting, but I don't think it's the time or place for it. Maybe later in the year or next year, but we can wait. Rhodes is a person I can't see winning this match. It just seems like they are setting something up between Cody and Goldust as opposed to a world title match. In that sense, Cody's chances are slim. Sheamus is kinda in the same boat as Wade. It seems WWE is prepping him for something big, but probably not in time for WM. Then again, I would say Sheamus' chances are greater since he is a face. Punk vs Sheamus is a match they can get away with since it's face vs face, which is pretty common for pro wrestling. Sheamus vs Bryan is also a possibility. Imagine if this actually happened? It would be like WWE is making it up to you since this match was suppose to happen at WM last year. The only difference would be that it would be a world title match. I think that would be kinda cool. I still consider Sheamus a high choice to win the rumble this year.

Prior to Orton's return, I had a sneaky feeling that Orton would win the rumble this year. Remember back in 2008. It came as a total surprise that John Cena showed up to compete. Not only did he show up, but he ended up winning the match. It was a great moment because it was a move you really didn't see coming. I thought the same thing could've happened with Orton this year, but they brought him back on TV already. That totally takes away the element of surprise if Orton ends up competing (which he probably will). At first, I thought WWE ruined Orton's return, but I think I understand why they did it. It was almost their way of saying Orton won't be winning the match. I still have Orton has a high choice, but his stock of winning the match did drop a bit. 

That leaves on person left, Chris Jericho. I didn't mention this in my cryptic video article, but I was already thinking of Jericho having a high probability of winning this match. He has never won this match before, and WWE likes to have new people win these type of matches. Just to mix it up, I suppose. Jericho hasn't said much since returning to WWE, and I have to think that Jericho winning the rumble is the best choice. Jericho talked about how it will be the end of the world as you know it. I still think what Jericho is saying that it's the end of Punk's world. 

Then again, Jericho winning the rumble seems to be the favorite in the IWC world. Based on Jericho's current return and Brodus Clay's funky gimmick, I wonder if WWE will toss another curve ball on the smarks? That's why I thought of another alternative if Jericho isn't the winner. This is where Triple H comes in. The Punk and Triple H rivalry was something fun and exciting, but it ended too abruptly. I felt they really could've put something really special together. Maybe this is their second chance, thus Trips shows up as a surprise entrant, wins the rumble, and challenges Punk to the world title. That way we can see the Punk/Trips rivalry, but more planned out this go around. You're probably asking me "what about Jericho?". Well, Undertaker still needs an opponent. Jericho has never faced Taker at Mania, and maybe Jericho is talking about being the guy to end the streak. It would be a swerve, but I would welcome it since it's something different. I thought of this a while back since Taker is at the stage where he will most likely go up against well established talents. I know nobody will believe me, but I thought of the likelihood of Taker vs Jericho at Mania in the fall of 2011. This is the negative of holding stuff back, which I do often since I think about this stuff way too much. I'm a wresting fan first, then a crazy internet reviewer. Trips and Jericho are two prime choices. There's the off chance Taker goes up against someone like Wade or Dolph, but I think Trips or Jericho is a safer bet. I would actually like the change up, just to mix it up. The only problem with this theory is that Triple H going against Punk wouldn't make much sense. What would need to happen is some type of plot device (or a Trips heel turn) in order to fuel this rematch. Then again, I really want to see Punk and Jericho duke it out. Hey, I'm allowed to think outside the box, right? I just think Punk and Jericho can really put something special together. Both are still great in the ring. I know Jericho has lost several steps, but he can still put on a good match. Not only would Jericho and Punk put on a great match, but I can already picture the creative stuff these two would say towards each other. Both are some of the better promo cutters in the business today, so I'm sure Jericho and Punk can make it work. Especially if they are given free range to say what they want. Without going too far over the edge over since WWE won't literally let them say anything, but I think you get what I'm trying to say here. Lot's of possibilities, but only one person can win this match. It's like a Pokemon game. I chose you, blankety blank. I don't know why I'm making so many Pokemon references today. 

Who should win:
Well, you heard my previous thoughts, so no need to repeat myself. I would say that Jericho should win this one. Still, it would be kinda cool to see someone like Sheamus, Wade, or Dolph win this match. 

Who creative will pick:
Creative is leaning towards someone that's ready for the main event…or already in the main event. 

My final pick:
Just as I did last year, I'm going to make three picks. Hey, it's my own show and I can do whatever the hell I want with it. In no particular order, I pick Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, or Sheamus to win the Royal Rumble.

That's going to do it for the Rundown. I hope you enjoyed it. Overall, I think the PPV is very interesting. Hopefully, we get a great evening of wrestling action with lots of foreshadowing for WM. Actually, foreshadowing for WM always seems to happen at the RR, so what the hell am I talking about. Tell me what you thought of this rundown or what you think will happen at the PPV. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time. 

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