10 WWE Rublemania Thoughts: Royal Rumble 2011 into Wrestlemania 27 (Jerry Lawler, Triple H, CM Punk, the Miz)

Ten Rumblemania Thoughts by Brad Curran

1. I ordered the Rumble, my first PPV purchase since Wrestlemania. My buyer’s remorse was kept to a minimum, although the extended Hornswoggle segment certainly tested that.

2. Speaking of which, do you think Tyson Kidd pissed someone off backstage to be the only person to have to sell for the leprechaun? Or did he just draw the same short straw I imagine Jamie Noble did when he got leprechaun jobbing duty?

3. I’m thinking Punk’s going to have to actually win the Rumble one of these years if he keeps being the star of the match the way he has the last two years. Of course, I was really hoping he’d win it this year, even after Cena single handedly took out the rest of Nexus. Apparently that was the blow off of their feud for the time being, which does at least leave the door open for them to go back to it at a later date without Cena having decisively beaten Punk in a one on one match.

4. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they’ll do a four way, mashing together the various plotlines they have going with Cena, Orton, Miz, and Punk. They could go either way there and have something good. If they do two singles matches, they’ll have two pretty fresh, solid matches, and a quality undercard match that could build some real heat in Punk and Orton. A four way for the title would give them a chance to play off all the various story threads and give either Orton or Cena a chance to unseat Miz (or Punk to steal the belt from all of them). Well, that and they’ll be able to indulge in that Orton vs. Cena showdown they desperately want to do without having a match the crowd’s completely burned out on. How hilarious was that apathetic crowd reaction to their two attempts at an epic showdown a la Hogan vs. Warrior or Rock vs Austin?

5. Has Triple H been gone long enough for everybody to miss him? I got that vibe off a lot of what was being written in the lead up to the show and the reactions after. And you know, I’m right there with everyone else who fully expected him to be one of the “surprise” entrants and eliminate Sheamus in a big moment and was even kind of disappointed when he didn’t. That said, I do wonder how long it will take for the IWC to get sick of him again once he does finally come back (ignoring how sick we are all likely to get of commercials for his new movie). I’m expecting maybe two weeks before a return to normalcy where everyone hates him on principle again. It will be nice to have that back, really.

6. I was actually kind of bummed by the lack of Beth Phoenix and Awesome Kong at the Rumble. I was sure when neither showed up in the Diva’s Championship match that at least one would wind up in the Rumble. If nothing else, it might have been fun to see them play off of Beth eliminating Khali last year. If nothing else, “throw Beth Phoenix at him” certainly popped in my head when the announcers were talking about how Nexus could possibly eliminate him.

7. People seem to be really excited about the possibility of Sting finally coming to WWE, based on those “2/21/11” promos (well, that and the fact that Vince blew up any chance of the Main Event Mafia reunion TNA seemed to be setting up). As big a moment as it would be to see him on WWE programming for the first time ever, there’s probably ten more thoughts I could do about how it wouldn’t work too well. It would be Bret’s run last year all over again, where a good chunk of their current audience has little to no idea who he is or why they should care, for one thing. For another, have you seen the guy in TNA? On a somewhat related note, can anybody explain why people consider Undertaker vs. Sting a dream match? Okay, sure, they were the standard bearers for WCW and the WWF and played similar roles during the Monday Night Wars. But does anyone actually think that would have been a great match? Ever? Maybe if you had a time machine and could bring in Sting from his peak of working with Vader against Undertaker from one of the two periods he had consistently good matches, I guess.

8. A big reason why I was surprised that Alberto Del Rio won the Rumble was that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop on his big push. Which may well happen at Wrestlemania. But it seems just as likely that they’re fully committed to the guy winning the big gold belt, which opens up more opportunities for feuds after ‘Mania than Edge holding on to the title through ‘Mania (or Rey Mysterio winning the belt at the Elimination Chamber and defending successfully against Del Rio, which seems unlikely solely because he has a feud with Cody Rhodes on his plate). As much as they seem to be behind Del Rio and legitimately pushing him to the moon, their recent history o of start and stop pushes has made it hard to fully believe that he’s not going to get derailed and wind up in mid-card purgatory at some point.

9. I wonder if Ziggler’s run against Edge is prepping him for a legit run at the title or if he’s hit the old glass ceiling? He could be a great candidate for Money in the Bank, especially if the rumors about Vince not believing in John Morrison as a main eventer are true (even if they are, maybe he’ll have an unpredictable change of heart). Of course, that doesn’t take in to account the fact that he’s probably going to fail to win the title three times in a row despite having the deck stacked in his favor, which would make the lack of build up for Swagger seem epic by comparison. That said, the guy’s been doing good work and I’d hate to see him just be forgotten after this temporary run ends. I’m not sure where a match with Drew McIntyre over Kelly Kelly’s firing fits in. If it happens, at least he’ll have a singles match on the biggest show of the year, but it won’t really be about him.

10. Despite the fact that I’m enjoying the build for this year’s ‘Mania and it looks like a solid card at the moment, it seems to be missing that one big match that makes me totally jazzed about ordering it. Of course, they have a couple of months to build what they have, but so far the card sounds more like a really good Pay Per View than Wrestlemania. Which probably says more about my over inflated expectations and how much I’ve bought in to the WWE’s marketing than anything else. Well, that and the prospect of paying $10 for a PPV than I just did the Rumble is not particularly appealing right now. We’ll see how I feel once Wrestlemania weekend hits. It will probably be my usual pattern of not deciding on whether I’m going to buy the show until like an hour before when I place the ordered in frenzied rush after getting predictably hyped up about the show after weeks of trying to remain apathetic. Which makes my PPV buying experience not unlike going to the grocery store hungry and buying nothing but cheese).

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