Every year around this time, I realize that while WrestleMania may be the biggest deal of the WWE year, the thing I’m always going to look forward to the most is the Royal Rumble. Not only does it set off what should theoretically kick off the best three months of Wrestling, but the Rumble is my favorite type of match and the fact that we only get one every year makes it an even bigger deal. So it’s because that anticipation for the event is usually so high, that makes this year even more depressing, because for the first time, in quite a while, I’m not actually looking forward to the rumble as much. Now the PPV, yes, that is going to be exciting … not because of the once a year rumble match, but instead because of Punk and Rock. (And really, because of Punk) This year, the match that is usually the one I most look forward too, is one that I feel mildly interested in at best. And I blame John Cena.
Now those who have read my articles in the past know that I am often slower on the Cena hating than others. I thing the guy has done genuinely great things in the ring and on mic, several times throughout his career, but right now he is ruining the Rumble for me and so that means it’s time to hate on Cena. The fact is that internet rumors almost universally have a Twice in a Lifetime event for Cena and Rock scheduled at WrestleMania, and that means that most people have Cena winning the rumble so that he can challenge the Rock at Mania because we all know that Rock is going to take the title away from Punk to carry it till Mania where’ he’ll have to drop it by then because Fast and the Furious 7 isn’t going to make itself.
Already this past year, letting John Cena win a title shot opportunity, has already put a damper on one PPV (Money in the Bank) and now it looks like it could be happening again. Rather than wait excited for each new 90 second entrant, we are more than likely going to be sitting around, waiting for Cena to win the whole thing (most likely in classic super Cena fashion) and follow the storyline that seems clearly laid out before us. I think that very few people trying to predict the outcome of the Rumble matches will risk predicting anything other than A Rock victory in the championship match and a Cena victory in the Rumble.
But what really ruins this is that the way booking has been, there aren’t really any other possibilities than Cena when it comes to possible winners. Really Rock, Cena, and Punk are the only possibilities when it comes to contenders for the WWE championship over the next few months. And while the eventual Rumble winner could go for the World Championship, with Ziggler holding the MiTB briefcase still, it seems that the field of people next in line to be World Champion is pretty full as it is. There are a few guys such as Daniel Bryan or possibly Wade Barrett who could possibly be a dark horse winner, but really, I don’t see WWE putting that level of faith in Barrett anytime soon and as much as I would love to see Bryan as a main event champion again, I can see the reasoning in holding onto this Team Friendship run for as long as it’s working.
So what, if anything could save us for Cena (and thus from another Rock and Cena main event at Maina?) Well one option would be to have the Punk and Rock match take place before the Rumble and have the loser of that match come in and win the Rumble for a rematch at Maina. I haven’t seen Rock and Punk go at it yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was ready for another round after Sunday’s match. Or have a surprise return win the match. I know that rumors of Lesnar have him involved with Triple H at Mania, but I don’t really care to see that one again either, and a Lesnar victory at the Rumble could fix that little problem as well. Really I don’t have a “dream” outcome for the Royal Rumble, but what I am hoping is that if there is enough talk about Cena’s victory being a forgone conclusion, that WWE will change the outcome just in a feeble attempt to be unexpected and shocking. Whatever works.
Also, this past week Chris of The Rager, and myself invited fellow Inside Pulse Writer Blair Douglas as a guest on our podcast Classy Ring Attire. You can listen to the full episode here, and if I may say so, enjoy, one of our best episodes to date.
Tags: cm punk, john cena, Raw, royal rumble, The Rock, wrestlemania, WWE