Well, this is going to be a little different than what I normally do, but I like doing things differently. If you have been watching WWE programming the past few weeks, there have been several cryptic videos that keep saying a familiar face will return on 1/2/12 and "the end of the world will happen". I heard some guy made this prediction back in May. How did that turn out? Anyway, if you have read my reviews, I have purposely avoided discussion on this topic since I wanted to talk about it in a separate article. Well, let's go ahead and dive into this topic.
On Nov. 21st, 2011, we saw the first video….
It was during Jack Swagger's entrance, but it was only mentioned in a link. The link was blurred out. This definitely added more mystery to this video. The main thing that was mentioned was a familiar force would return and claim what is his. This would mean the return of a wrestler/character back in the day. When I first saw this, I instantly thought Chris Jericho. It just seems to fit Jericho's style. Plus, it mentioned the "end of the world", and there was a time Jericho referred to himself as the best in the world at what I do. Then again, Wolverine said something very similar to this. I got it, it's Hugh Jackman making everyday appearances as Wolverine on WWE programming. Great, now the Adamantium punch will be a weekly occurrence. Okay, I'm just joking around about the Jackman/Wolverine stuff. The other person I was thinking of was Undertaker, since the video had a pretty dark atmosphere. At this stage of Taker's career, he's mainly there to do a WrestleMania match. Since WM isn't until April 1st, it might be a little premature for a Taker return. Plus, who would Taker end up going up against? Then again, that's another subject on it's own. The video also said a familiar force, meaning it can be more than one person, like a stable. So, would that mean a return of the NWO, DX, or the Kliq? Well, the NWO is kinda a long shot since Hulk Hogan works for TNA. Part of me would be disappointed if it turned out to be DX. Mainly because a DX revival has happened many times for the last decade, so I don't think we need another one. The Kliq seems to be a better option since the majority of those talents are still working or affiliated with WWE. Either way you look at it, it was smart marketing. The video was pretty broad and it could mean a number of possibilities. This got the IWC buzzing, but it would eventually get the casual fans drinking the Kool-Aid of what the WWE has brewing in the old creative pot.
With most of these hype-up videos, they would often give you clues into who or what is going to happen. Well, that's exactly what happened. The next week on Raw, this video was aired…
Unlike the first video, this one was broadcast on WWE television. It was aired during a divas match. Since the commentators didn't mention this video, it appears in the realms of kayfabe that the wrestlers or producers aren't aware of these messages. Almost as if someone is hacking into the WWE and airing subliminal messages on their program. Of course, that isn't the case since WWE is aware of what they put on TV, but this is for the sake of the storyline. In the beginning, they talk about a thief of the night. This only adds more to the theory that it's Taker since Taker is a dark character and he's all about the darkness. The real interesting thing about this video is now the presences of a little girl. It was at this point that I wondered if it's the team of Shane and Stephanie McMahon? Now, I'm aware that Shane has left WWE and is now working for another company, but he could secretly be coming back and teaming up with his sister. So far, this theory fits since we haven't seen the McMahon siblings for a while and they could be ready to raise some hell in the WWE. Since this bit was aired during the divas match and the inclusion of a little girl, I also thought Kharma. I had to kill this theory. Mainly because Kharma left WWE in May for pregnancy. I'm pretty sure she hasn't had her child yet, nor would be in physical condition to get back in a wrestling ring. A Kharma return would be interesting. The diva division has been on life support since Kharma left, so they really need her back asap. I think a Kharma return is more likely after WM, but it's a thought. Anyway you look at it, these videos only add more to the mystery.
The follow week on Raw, yet another video hit the air-waves…
Not a lot has changed with the videos. It's still saying the basic stuff, but I just realized something. They keep showing the little girl's face, but haven't really shown the little boy's face. He either has his head down jotting down notes or he's facing a wall. It's probably nothing, but it's an interesting note. Once again, it adds to the mystery. I realize I'm going overboard and over analyzing the hell out of it, but people have been wanting my thoughts on this matter and have been putting most of it on hold until now. The phrase at the end is "look within". Look within what? The video? The WWE? The death note? Very mysterious.
There would also be a fourth video the follow week on Raw…
The title of this video was "control", and it's very appropriate. The girl has a more important role in this one. It talks about how "she" holds the mystery of my arrival. This could mean a number of different things. This video really feeds the theory that it could be the McMahon siblings. Back in the day, Stephanie's character could be considered out of control in many ways. She craved power and wanted to be the one calling the shots. The other thing I noticed is there's a ball that keeps showing up in these videos. In many ways, I almost thought of the girl and the ball as a metaphor for the WWE's PG era. Maybe this person(s) is growing tired of the PG era and wants to shake things up? The video also says things will never be the same again when they return. The term "rebirth" has also been tossed around, thus feeding the theory that it could be Jericho. Maybe Jericho returns as his original self as opposed to the "suit and tie" kind of person? Kinda like they're saying it isn't Jericho that isn't returning, it's Y2J.
One more week has passed and we have another video…
The music and atmosphere is pretty dark this time around….or at least darker than before. This was also the first time the girl spoke as opposed to the boy. The theme of this one is "prophet-less". It's interesting, but I'm still thinking the three major possibilities from before.
There was one last video that aired near the beginning of Raw this past week…
At first, I noticed something was written on the chalk board, but quickly disappeared. If you pause the video, it says "He is coming". In many ways, this might kill the theory that it could be Shane and Stephanie since they are referring to one person as opposed to multiple people. This also takes Kharma out of the equation since they're referring to a male as opposed to a female. The boy finally shows his whole face. Seriously, the boy gave a smirk like Jericho. The video also came on when CM Punk was hoisting up his world title. Is this person basically calling out Punk and wants to get the world title for their own? It's a strong theory, but could be purely coincidental since these videos have come on different times. Still, I think this is the second time one of these videos popped up during a CM Punk bit. It really makes you think….or somewhat.
Now, I don't really go into over analyzing these types of things. With that said, you're probably asking yourself why did I break down every video and give brief notes on each one? The answer is I was building up the article. It was all for dramatic effect. Okay, now time for me to simplify it. I had five possibilities on who could be the person behind these videos. Consider these my Fave Five of the It Begins videos. These are in on particular order…
Stephanie and Shane McMahon
Let's first talk about the possibility of it being Batista. I know a lot of people didn't really like Batista. Mainly because of his in-ring ability and his charisma. He really didn't shine in this department, but I think he really hit his stride towards his last rivalry with John Cena. Batista was actually cutting some pretty good promos and seemed to have found his own persona. I would welcome a Batista return, just as long as he plays the heel character he was doing when he left the company. Batista has made some rants over the internet in his displeasure with the WWE and how it sucks. Could Batista already be in character and setting himself up with the IWC, or is he just that pissed off? Then again, Batista's autobiography and his recent outburst are very similar, so it can be just Batista being Batista. The drawback on it being Batista is that it doesn't really fit Batista's character. What was mentioned in the videos are things Batista would say, but the vibe of the videos doesn't really fit. I just think Batista is a long shot compared to other people at the moment, but his name has been tossed around.
Brock Lesnar has had a rough relationship with WWE, but it seems to be improving. He was one of the playable characters in WWE 12 and has talked about being open to the idea of going back to the company. The major flaw in this theory is that Brock still works for UFC and seems pretty content with staying in the octagon ring as opposed to the wrestling ring. I think Brock is still set on the MMA business, so that brings a hole in this possibility. Still, I think fans will think of the possibility of Brock coming back….just as long as we don't get a repeat of his final performance in the WWE. That was dreadful.
MAJOR UPDATE: I wrote this prior to having knowledge of Lesnar announcing his retirement from UFC. It really opens up the possibility that Lesnar COULD be coming back to WWE. Still, he might have his own set up videos as opposed to these videos. As of now, I would say Lesnar moves up to #3 of possible candidates for this return. In fact, I would like to add that if it's Lesnar, I can see him going up against Undertaker at WM. Taker usually goes up against big, well-known guys. Who bigger than Brock? It's smart marketing….if that's what ends up happening. It's possible there is a connection between Lesnar's retirement and these videos, but it might just be a strange coincidence.
Shane and Stephanie have been strong possibilities for a while, but there are some flaws with this theory. Mainly because Shane left WWE and is now doing his own thing. It's possible he's coming back to the WWE, but he seemed pretty sure of himself in leaving the company when he did. If there was a team set to show up, Triple H and Stephanie would be a better outcome. Then again, it would be very disappointing since we are lead to believe these videos are bringing back someone who hasn't been featured on WWE programming for a while. Trips just got done working a match with Kevin Nash at TLC, while Steph was last featured when CM Punk and Trips were fighting each other. Still, the Shane/Steph theory isn't a bad one, but there are holes in it.
Now we're getting serious. Undertaker has been one of the more popular choices in relation to these videos. Taker is reserved for WM, but it might be a little soon for him to return. Then again, it's not too early to start his WM build up. Many people have speculated that Taker is returning, but as his American Bad Ass form as opposed to his deadman gimmick. Personally, my favorite version of Taker has always been the deadman. Plus, I think Taker will keep his deadman gimmick from now until the end of time. He came into the WWE as the deadman, so he should leave as the deadman. The videos are pretty dark, so they do fit Taker in that sense. Still, you almost expect something more darker from the deadman. I don't know? Maybe I just want to see cemeteries or bad weather with a Taker hype up video.
That leaves me with one more person… Chris Jericho. When I saw the first video, I was instantly thinking Jericho. It seems to fit his style the most and the messages being broadcast seem like something Jericho would say or do. One of the common phrases being mentioned is "it's the end of the world as you know it". I think I have an idea on what could be happening (or at least what I would like to see happen), but we need to side track for a bit. Currently in the WWE, we have CM Punk as the WWE Champion and John Laurinaitis as the interim Raw GM. Punk and Laurinaitis don't like each other since they both have different view points on what's entertaining and what's good for business. For the last few weeks, Laurinaitis has put Punk in some questionable predicaments. Based on kayfabe, Laurinaitis is making it seem like he's embracing the idea of Punk as champion, but Laurinaitis has also stated he doesn't like Punk and they have had issues in the past. So far, everyone one of Laurinaitis' ideas hasn't really worked. He tried Alberto Del Rio and Miz, but both failed. Of course, this possible storyline would be more powerful if Punk had been champion for at least 3-5 months. Punk has been champion for about 6-7 weeks. It does put up a dent in the possibility that Laurinaitis is running out of ideas of getting the title off of Punk, but you might have to go along with it in this case. To be fair, ever since Laurinaitis has been an on-screen character in July, he has showed displeasure towards Punk. So, this could be Laurinaitis' answer to simply get rid of Punk or make his life a living hell. Maybe it will be revealed that Laurinaitis brought in Jericho to take down Punk, as if Jericho is his ace in the hole. The videos refer to this being the end of the world. Well, Punk does refer to himself as the Best in the World. So, could these messages be saying it will be the end of Punk's world?
This upcoming episode of Raw, we have CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship. We also have the reveal of the "it begins" promos. Based on my early thoughts of Laurinaitis bringing in Jericho; I can see Jericho arrive either during the match to have it end in a no contest, or Jericho attacks Punk after Punk has defeated Dolph. I also thought about the possibility of Jericho costing Punk the WWE title, but I think it would be a mistake since Punk/Jericho should involve the world title. Then again, that's just my personal preference. Either way you look at it, Punk and Jericho would be at each other's throats and this would continue until their matchup at WM. Punk and Jericho are some of the better wrestlers out there, but both guys always have something interesting to say on the mic. It would be fun and interesting to see what these two have to say towards the other. Overall, it would be a lot of fun.
Now, people are probably asking me what if it doesn't turn out to be Jericho, would there be disappointment? Well, it really depends on who ends up being the person behind the "It begins" promos. There is tremendous upside with these videos, but there is the possibility of some disappointment. I really hope that isn't the case because these videos have been very interesting and it would really make for a TNA moment if the reveal turned out to be someone like Brodus Clay or Skip Sheffield. I personally hope it's Jericho. Chris Jericho has always been one of my favorite performers in a wrestling ring and I feel can add a lot to the table if he's working with the right person, and who better than CM Punk? We really didn't get a chance to see Punk and Jericho get into a rivalry together, and I think it would be awesome. In other words, don't be too surprised if you hear this on Raw….
Okay, it's time to wrap this up. I am a bit disappointed that I couldn't come up with a more interesting idea on who will return since I'm aware most people have been pulling for Jericho to be the person. I hope it's him because Jericho always makes wrestling fun and it would be great to see that Jericho/Punk rivalry we never got to see. Tell me what you thought of my rant here today and give me your thoughts. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.