Ok, seriously. I’m sure both of my readers weren’t THAT upset over it. But to be honest, other than a bright spot here and there (the whole Palumbo and Noble thing for one, Finlay losing it on Khali for another), this week’s show was rather uninspiring to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a decent show with some good matches – but I expect something bigger from a last show before a PPV.
But enough about that. I’m here to give you something a bit different in it’s place. You’re used to seeing ol’ Sean O’Mac give his takes on WWE shows and PPVs after the fact. For those of you who actually know a bit of Monty Python – “And now for something completely different.”
A Pre-Take, if you will, if Sunday’s Royal Rumble.
Going into this PPV, I’m cautiously optimistic. At this moment, I see this year’s Rumble being one of two things. It will either:
A) Be one of the most predictable PPVs in recent memory, or;
B) Be one of the more exciting shows we’ve seen in a while.
There are so many reasons why this year’s slate of matches should and probably will go a certain direction. But it’s my sincere hope that the creative gurus at WWE have a few curve balls to throw at us and give us some unexpected twists.
That being said, here’s a look at the card for Sunday night with two perspectives. First, the predictable outcome that would seem most likely to occur. Second, a nice twisted look at how the WWE could pull a proverbial rabbit out of a hat.
Edge vs. Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Championship
Logic suggests (no, I don’t have pointed ears) that since we haven’t really seen anything to suggest the storyline involving Edge and Vickie Guerrero is ready to end quite yet that the heels will find yet another way to screw someone over, this time Mr. 619. I really don’t think they’re ready to take the strap off of Edge yet, and one of the most underhanded and opportunistic characters in the WWE will find a way to retain the title. I’m certain this match will end in Edge’s favor, but not cleanly. Edge will either be disqualified or beat Rey with the help of his friends.
A possible twist to this one? This would be an opportunity to start the beginning of the end of the whole Edge-Vickie saga by having Chavo make a face turn against Edge, helping his one-time bitter rival Rey to win the match. Perhaps it wouldn’t even have to be a complete face turn, but rather have Chavo’s whole “familia” thing with Edge be a ploy – making it better from Chavo’s perspective to bring down the champ and bust up the whole relationship with Vickie. Just a thought, but one that really has no chance of happening.
Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy for the WWE Championship
Even with the feeling that this match will end with Orton retaining the belt, this match has all the potential to be far and away the best of the night. This rivalry has been hyped big time, and God knows the crowds love Hardy. But with hints that Hardy will himself be in the Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out, I’d say the odds of him taking the title from Orton are slim and none. I expect a great match with both competitors giving it their all, but again I’d be shocked to see a clean pin in this one. Orton seems to have developed a taste for getting himself intentionally disqualified – so look for a frustrated champion, after a well-fought bout, give in to temptation and give Hardy his second lesson in soprano singing.
The ultimate “Twist of Fate” in this match would be to in fact have Hardy win the title. It’s something that would take me completely by surprise as I feel they are setting Orton up for a big Wrestlemania match – but I think most fans are expecting Orton to win as well and imagine the eruption if someone as over as Hardy were to shock the world and pin the champ!
Ric Flair vs. MVP, Career-threatening match
Well, anyone who follows wrestling knows that Flair isn’t going anywhere this night. You can’t end a career as illustrious as his on a stage any smaller than Wrestlemania. But MVP sure has talked a big game lately and seems to be someone who may need taken down a notch for his own good. (Stricly speaking in character terms, here.) So, while Flair has survived most of his career matches by DQs, countouts or other means, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the dirtiest player in the game manages to sneak in some of his old tricks and eventually gets MVP to tap out to the Figure Four.
The only twist that could come out of this one would be for Flair to lose, and I’d bet real money that’s not going to happen.
JBL vs. Chris Jericho
Chris came back to the WWE with HUGE hype and was right away after Orton’s title. And, by all accounts, Y2J had it won if not for JBL’s interference. Now there’s a lot of bad blood between these two and I’m fully expecting this one to just erupt into a brawl that ends in a no contest. As close as they made it seem that Jericho was to winning the belt, they really need to get this one over with quickly and get him back in the title hunt. The same can be said for JBL.
Twist? Well, nothing huge comes to mind with this one, but I’d be surprised if either of these guys won a clean match. Or if there even was a clean match, to be quite honest.
30-man Royal Rumble Match
This will be the big draw, of course, and I expect to see some great things happen during the bout. Unfortunately, I’m seeing this one as both exciting and predictable. I mean, it’s entirely possible to love a great match even if you know the most likely outcome, right?
The overwhelming favorite in the polling to win this match is Triple H, who no doubt is ready to get back in the hunt for gold. The predictability comes from the line of thought that either he, Undertaker or Batista are the most likely to walk away victorious from this year’s Rumble.
But then again, there’s some element of surprise and unknown to this year’s match. First, we have six spots remaining open and really have no idea who those competitors will be. Second, Hornswoggle will be a factor in the match believe it or not.
When it comes to Hornswoggle, you must remember that a competitor must go over the top rope to the floor to be out. Hornie can maneuver in and out of the ring, under the ring, serve as a distraction that gets other competitors eliminated and will no doubt be looked after by Finlay and probably Mick Foley. It will be interesting to see how they work him in the match.
As for the six unknowns, I’d first look to some of the men who’ve already fought during the night. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see JBL, Jericho, MVP and even Flair take to the ring for this one.
That would leave two open spots remaining. Is Matt Hardy ready to get back in the ring? What about Gregory Helms? I have to admit that I’ve lost track of updates on his recovery. Or, for the ultimate boost to what has been played up as a nearly unstoppable force, throw Beth Phoenix into the mix! Have her hold her own for a while, perhaps even eliminate a few of the men, before she hits the floor herself.
Who knows what could happen?
I do know this much. Even with the air of predictability that’s lingering, I’m looking forward to this PPV. Here’s hoping that WWE throws a few twists and turns our way!
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to email@example.com. Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!