Shawn Michaels won the 1995 and 1996 Royal Rumble, and ten years later, I believe he can do it again. Rarely lately have I enjoyed watching RAW, but this Monday Michaels did it again and made me believe in his passion, drive and need to be the Showstopper and the Main Event again. I don’t know how many more years Shawn can continue pushing himself, with some high spots and some street fight style matches, because fans will wake back up to the WWE if McMahon is smart enough to let Shawn carry the ball for a while.
The question is, who will be champion come April. Umaga? I’d be less than thrilled to see Umaga versus Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, even though there would be no doubt to who the face and heel are. Umaga’s minding his own with John Cena right now and the tall giant who I don’t even want to speak of who shouldn’t be on WWE payroll. I am hoping to see Cena versus Michaels at WrestleMania in a passionate, who is the better man, face versus face battle. This would give Cena a chance to turn heel if the opportunity presents itself, and I’m intrigued at the idea of who would get the bigger fan pull, D-X or the Chain Gang.
WWE could decide to take a chance and have Randy Orton or Edge as champion again come April to face Michaels, to continue the D-X versus Rated RKO feud but I’m more interested in seeing Orton v. Edge as a mid-card main event because they are starting the tease of friction between the two egos. The WWE is playing that storyline correctly despite the makeup.
Shawn Michaels is consistently and constantly the WWE go-to guy, however, it’s silly how they inserted Triple H Power-Up! graphic when Shawn grabbed the sledgehammer last week. I instantly thought of the Mario Brothers, Hammer Brothers when I saw that. I understand we shouldn’t be put in a position to forget Triple H while he rehabs but there are more less-absurd ways to bring it up.
The Royal Rumble this weekend is dependent on two things for buy rates, the Rumble match itself and Umaga versus John Cena in a last man standing match. The rest of the card, with the exception of Kennedy and Batista, is nothing more than filler. Did RAW do enough to intrigue the viewer to put the $39.95 in for the weekend? I thought they made a strong effort, there wasn’t that many booking mishaps on the show (enough with Trump, Vince) but it just blows my mind how WWE really struggles to make a complete show with a strong midcard and strong main eventers and how John Cena continues to have no face friends to save him, but Ric Flair can save his buddy Shawn Michaels. This opens the door for a eventual heel turn for the faces never backing Cena up.
On another note, fellow Pulse columnist Rob Blatt wrote a great column on the current state of ECW, in “That Looks So Fake: The New Direction of ECW.” My thoughts on ECW are stagnant at best, considering the recent roster cuts, I don’t know if ECW will make it past WrestleMania. Kurt Angle could have led the shoot-style, real style of ECW into the new year but that didn’t happen for all the backstage reasons. It’s been difficult for me to back ECW since Heyman is no longer a real part of it anymore and the hardcore ECW fans never bothered to tune into the show, so I doubt they are even watching the product. Everyone knows it’s not the ECW of old, and I’m thrilled the old ECW guys can still draw paycheck. If they can indeed get behind a real push of a shoot style, I think fans could adapt to it more but until then, I’m luke-warm on the product currently. Tons of potential, not enough purpose or direction.
Always remember, for things to change, you have to make movement. Thanks for reading and for all the feedback, feel free to contact me anytime at Bam@4sternstaging.com.