John Cena vs. Triple H was the front-runner for Raw’s WrestleMania main event this year. Following the tearing of the quad of the Hs the promotion has been brainstorming new ideas for Cena. They are now hoping to do a slow-build to a big DX vs. Rated RKO rematch at SummerSlam.
The original planned finish to Cena/Umaga at New Year’s Revolution was for a DQ victory but after the end of the DX match they made a last-minute call to put Cena over via pinfall instead, feeling that two DQ finishes in the two main matches of the show would have been too much. Cena/Umaga will still have their rematch at the Royal Rumble, along with Batista vs. Kennedy and Lashley most likely vs. Test (although it may be a three-way with RVD, and some are pushing for Holly). MNM vs. The Hardyz will also happen at the show.
The full list of 29 Royal Rumble participants is as follows – Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Edge, Jeff Hardy, Carlito, Super Crazy, Khali, Randy Orton, Eugene, Viscera, Chris Masters, The Undertaker, Kane, Matt Hardy, Chris Benoit, King Booker, Finlay, Chavo Guerrero, Tatanka, MVP, Gregory Helms, Rob Van Dam, C.M. Punk, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Bob Holly, Kevin Thorn and Matt Striker. The 30th entrant was to have been Triple H. Also, Teddy Long might be used as referee for the Batista/Kennedy title match.
Stephanie McMahon apparently freaked out badly backstage after Triple H’s injury occurred. Nobody was allowed to even approach her and one office employee who did was chewed out for doing so. Her reaction was described as being better suited for somebody dying rather than tearing a muscle.
The Donald Trump angle is all set to go but the plan is now to build towards a blow-off at WrestleMania rather than rushing it through for the Royal Rumble. Vince McMahon was very angry at the reaction of the Raw crowd during the fake Rosie O’Donnell/Donald Trump match last week, more for the TNA chants than the ‘we want wrestling’ chants. As with the George Bush impersonator skit the whole thing was written by Brian Gerwitz, who knows that things like that get over with Vince even if the audience hates them. Even after the negative reaction Vince loved the segment and wants to do more.
Cyber Sunday did a preliminary buyrate of 233,000. Last year’s Taboo Tuesday wound up doing 248,000, built largely around promoting Steve Austin’s first match in years, which of course never actually happened. Both events did 150,000 domestic buys, indicating that moving the show from Tuesday to Sunday made little difference. The previous PPV, No Mercy, did 195,000 buys total and 125,000 domestic.
The Cena/Federline match on New Year’s Day Raw drew 5.06 million viewers, only a slight increase over normal.
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