Calling the Shots: Royal Rumble 2015
And once again we are into the road to Wrestlemania! The WWE playoff season, where the best matches and best storylines and put front and center! And the Divas are around too (I kid because I love). With most of the storylines from last year closed off to get the big-sellers all lined up, calling the shots for this PPV becomes even more important, as the Royal Rumble typically sets up the Showcase of the Immortals. So let’s check out the rundown:
Pre-show: The New Day vs. Cesaro, Tyson Kidd and Adam Rose
Pre-show matches rarely amount to much these days, but at the very least The New Day are energetic enough to get the crowd into the show. While I don’t really get their gimmick besides the obvious allusions to the king of funk (and I don’t mean Terry), they are at least smart enough to acknowledge and interact with the crowd. Putting them up against Cesaro, Kidd and Rose makes for a really interesting match too, especially when Cesaro gets to show his stuff and throw Big E around the ring. Creative might want to set up a precedence for heel-wins in this PPV, looking at the main event, so having Cesaro and company go over isn’t entirely out of the question, but my gut says the New Day gets the nod on this one.
What I think will happen: The New Day will keep on keeping on.
What I hope will happen: Cesaro and Kidd get some recognition and respect. They are probably the most skilled and innovative ring tacticians in the organization and it’s a real shame they aren’t getting the pushes that they deserve.
Tag-team championship match: The Usos vs. The Miz and Mizdow
It’ll come to no surprise to long-time readers that I want the belts back on Miz and Mizdow. The Usos aren’t terribly appealing to my jaded, mid-twenties eyes. While they are undounbtedly skilled and entertaining enough, there really isn’t enough of a hook for me here. But a crazy stunt-double with impeccable comedic skills and timing? Yup, I’m hooked. I can see the Usos keeping the belts because, quite frankly, they need them to stay relevant and Mizdow is over beyond the strap nowadays. Couple that with an inevitable breakup between Miz and Mizdow (I’m thinking it might happen mid-Rumble), and it’s starting to look like another Uso-retain on this one.
What I think will happen: Despite the incredible popularity of Mizdow, the Usos will keep the tag-team straps on Sunday.
What I hope happens: Mizdow provides an impeccable comedic showing, and maybe even wrestles a little bit this time.
Diva tag-match: Paige and Natalya vs. The Bellas
I’d just like to take a moment to point out that Nikki Bella has had the Divas belt for a few months now, and it’s done absolutely nothing to bring up either her or Brie’s clout in the company. Anyway, I’m torn on this one because I actually like Paige (despite how creative has absolutely demolished her character over the last year) and she and Natalya are the only Divas capable of actually putting on a real match these days (with the addition of Alicia Fox on a good day), but Nikki has the belt and really needs some kind of push to justify her spot as champ. I have a feeling that the Bellas will get the nod on this one, whether they deserve it or not.
What I think will happen: The Bellas will get the push by going over on Paige and Natalya.
What I hope will happen: The match is given more than a 5-minute timeslot so the Divas have the opportunity to prove themselves.
Tag-team match: The Ascension vs. The New Age Outlaws
Time for some rookie blues! NXT delivered The Ascension right to the main roster ready to go, practically wrapped with a bow and creative took that box and kicked it around the office. I’ve heard that Vincent K McMahon has a real gripe with the NXT crew for being better than the main roster, and if true I can totally see him taking it out on The Ascension. It boggles the mind that somehow could have a rivalry with his own product, but who am I to talk. So, since the Ascension ship has sprung a tremendous leak they’ve been given the Uso push from last year to work with the New Age Outlaws to learn a thing or two. I will say that the Usos improved a great deal from their time working with Billy Gunn and the D.O. double G, so here’s hoping it pans out. If this feud follow the Usos treatment, then the Outlaws will take this one so that the Ascension gets a push closer to Mania.
What I think will happen: The New Age Outlaws will get the win and teach the new blood a thing or two.
What I hope will happen: The Ascension gets the chance to show that they can actually wrestle with real wrestlers, not just the 100-pound jobbers that have been thrown at them.
The Royal Rumble:
I don’t care what anyone says, this is the real main-event for the PPV. The Royal Rumble is, by far, my favorite single match of the year. Always has been, always will be. There’s nothing else like it. We get crazy matchups, storylines that start and end within the match, backstabs, surprise guests, everything you could ask for. And everyone gets involved, so it’s always a treat to see how wrestlers who might never get near each other work together. It’s just a perfect storm of wrestling goodness. Plus, there’s the finish which, aside from the main event of Wrestlemania, is possibly the single biggest event of the year.
Allegedly, the outcome of the Rumble is still very much in the air. While the smart money is on Roman Reigns, rumor has it that his spaceship might’ve finally run out of rocket-fuel. Daniel Bryant is also a pretty safe bet, since he’s over beyond believe despite being sidelined for the better part of the year. This has really been Dolph Ziggler’s year, especially following Survivor Series, so I could see him getting the nod as well. Finally, while I don’t see it happening I’d love to see Bray Wyatt get the push to the big time, especially if they needed a heel for the Wrestlemania main event. Some people still think he’s being tapped for a match with the Undertaker, however, which I really don’t see happening (but that’s a whole different article on its own).
What I think will happen: If I had to choose just one guy, I’d still bank on Roman Reigns getting the win.
What I hope will happen: The surprise guests will include Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Batista. Also, Kofi Kingston will continue his trend of pulling off an innovative way to avoid elimination.
WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar
Now this one can go a number of ways. If the WWE haven’t burned through all of Lesnar’s appearances yet, I can see him retaining the title to go up against Reigns or Bryant at Wrestlemania to conclude his year-long story. If not, Rollins getting the push makes sense too, as we’ll need a heel champ going into Wrestlemania. Above all else, I really just don’t see the point in John Cena getting the belt again. If I’m worried about anything, it’s creative burning Rollin’s MITB title match by having him squashed after cashing in. It would make so much more sense for him to cash in after the Wrestlemania main event to squash the new champ’s high. But that’s just me.
What I think will happen: Lesnar will retain after the match.
What I hope will happen: Rollins saves his MITB cash-in for Wrestlemania.
So there we have it. Needless to say I am very, very excited for Sunday and really hope that we get a big home-run swing to start off Wrestlemania season on the right foot. Come back next week to get the Rumble Aftermath.