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The 2012 Road To WrestleMania Kicks Off With Uncertainty
The Royal Rumble is one of my favortie build ups and shows all year. Some years I enjoy it far more than WrestleMania. This year, however, I find myself trying to figure out where they are going with all this. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the show, but the outcomes and storylines seems weak and unexciting as the build up for WrestleMania begins. Let’s look at what’s going on now that the Rumble and this week’s shows are through:
1) Sheamus – I’m a fan of Sheamus. His intensity and high impact style is enjoyable. However, I’m not a fan of his good guy push. I feel he suffers the same thing John Morrison did: he has problems with promos unless he’s a heel. JoMo had some decent promos as a bad guy and even the hilarious ones while teaming with Miz. Sheamus’s heels promos were excellent and really captured his character and goals. The guy is a powerhouse and he wanted to push through everyone and anyone to get to the top. That shined greatly when he beat Cena for the title shortly after debuting. It’s a shame he’s now one of the poster boys for the Be A Star push. I say that because it is doubtful we’ll see Sheamus return to those days for quite some time. Sheamus would have benefited from the early 2000’s when you could be a rough and tough beast and still be a fan favorite (read: Cena’s Doctor of Thuganomics).
Having Sheamus win the Rumble is cool and I alright with it. Normally, I get up-in-arms about my top 4 not winning (this year I was pulling Jericho, Barrett, Kane, or Cody), but when I saw Sheamus win I didn’t mind. The guy has a lot of potential and isn’t easily forgettable thanks to his looks and history so far on the main rosters. I wasn’t happy with his first promo on Raw and feel that’s all we’ll be getting from the Great White until after Elimination Chamber. Look for Sheamus to steamroll some jobber on that PPV and every show he appears on until then. I, for one, hope he goes after Daniel Bryan (or whoever wins the Chamber) and leave Jericho to Punk. Which brings me onto the Raw situation.
2) Raw – The main event. What is going on? You have Orton come back and take out the guy who just fought for the WWE title with near ease. Jericho interrupts an amazing match and inserts himself into the big picture. Triple H and Taker are at it again. Where do I start? Jericho, of course. Y2J was my favortie to win the Rumble. I want to see him and Punk at WrestleMania. I feel that match has 5-star classic written all over it. Jericho can work with just about anyone and whenever my circle of friends brings up Punk and his position as best worker in the past decade he normally occupies slot #2 or #3. Who does he tussle with for that slot? Jericho. Jericho, to me, is the most electrifying sports entertainer in history. Sorry, Rock. Jericho does it all: wrestling, radio, movies, tv, and music. Jericho is a big deal in wrestling and has been for some time. Having Punk face him at ‘Mania will really help Punk’s career moving forward. Win or lose, a huge match like that could help him moreso than his controversial promos last year did.
Secondly, what are you going to do with Ziggler now? He was in the main event picture but the only thing I see for him right now is run-ins to remind people he’s in the chamber match for Raw. I really like Dolph. He’s got a great chance at being top dog some time soon (this year?) and he had a great showing at the Rumble. It just seems that whenever he gets to that spotlight, he’s bogged down by returning superstar or back writing. I hope he doesn’t become the next Morrison. If he isn’t going to win the Chamber or be apart of the main event at ‘Mania this year then start working on a big fued for the US title between him and Swagger with Vickie in the middle. Build it up nicely and make the US title mean something at WrestleMania this year.
3) The Undertaker – Like a well-oiled machine, the Deadman makes his return during the Road to Wrestlemania. From all the rumors and inside reports, it sounds like Taker had a really bad year with injuries and healing. I was actually hoping he’d miss WrestleMania and get better. I love the streak match every year, it gets me on the edge of my seat every time, but I don’t want him to go out because of an injury in his yearly spotlight. Also, I don’t want to see Taker vs. Triple H III. Last year was good. Why do it again? There are a ton of young guys that could benefit greatly from either a great match with Taker or actually beating him at his last ‘Mania (which I think it is). Save Wade Barrett from getting beat by Orton and put him against the Deadman. If Barrett beats Taker at WrestleMania that will cement his career overnight. Wade is doing an excellent job and has been since NXT Season 1. Not only that but if you’ve watched any of the recent WWE.com videos with him and his live show antics, the guy just has it. He’s like is Regal and Jericho had a baby. … Sorry for that thought.
4) Money in the Bank – Lots of chatter about it returning this year at WrestleMania. I hope its true but I also hope Cody and Swagger (or whoever holds the mid titles at that time) aren’t in it. Those titles need some prominence on the biggest match card of the year. Anywho, I hope the latest rumor that all the participants will be previous champions is false. Money in the Bank, to me, is a great way of giving new guys or vets who haven’t held a title in some time or ever a ticket to greatness. I’d like to see guys like Ziggler, Kofi, Alex Riley, Mason Ryan, Justin Gabriel, Regal, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler, Tyson Kidd, and Jinder Mahal in it. Regal and Lawler will put the crowd into it with their participation while the young guys get to mix it up and have a great chance at getting a title shot. I’d mark out like crazy if Regal won it, though. Dude deserves a world title.
5) The World Heavyweight Championship – Daniel Bryan will not have the title come WrestleMania. I can almost guarantee it. Why? Sure, the guys backstage have a lot of faith in Bryan to carry great matches and make anything work in the ring but they can’t already believe that he’d be able to step up and carry a WrestleMania main event. Not this year. His title reign has been lackluster and his quasi-heel gimmick is weak. Bryan is a good babyface. The crowd likes him and his promos about proving himself and being the underdog are better than Big Show is a bad man. That being said, who will take it? Big Show? Eh, I feel we’ve all seen what Big Show can do and he’s past his prime. The Great Khali? I’m not even going to explain why this is a big no-no. Randy Orton? Yawn. Get a better gimmick and then we’ll talk. That leaves Barrett or Cody Rhodes. Unfortunately, they both will be sitting in the same boat as Bryan. They aren’t ready to main event WrestleMania. They haven’t had the exposure or reign that the Miz had leading up to “Mania. The Miz showed that he could carry the title and keep the viewers watching. As much as I like Barrett, Rhodes, and Bryan I can’t see them walking out of the chamber holding the big strap. I, unfortunately, see Orton grabbing it. If that leads to him and Wade fighting at ‘Mania, I’m all for it. If not… sigh…
So that’s the Road to WrestleMania for me so far. Lots of questions and lots of iffy situations. Fortunately, for those who think like me, this makes the Chamber PPV much more interesting as I want to see where the WWE is going to go. Normally, after the Rumble fallouts it is easy to see but this year is different. I don’t think that is a good thing, though. This isn’t being creative and unpredictable. This is shoddy writing and poor build up in a crucial time.