JC’s Top Rope Report: Are We In A Royal Rumble Time Warp?

Columns, Top Story

No, don’t adjust your TV sets. Don’t look at your calendars. And yes, the time and date on your cell phone are right. It is indeed January 2014. We are on the way to the 2014 edition of the Royal Rumble and the Road to Wrestlemania 30. But I understand your confusion. If you were to look at the match card for this year’s edition of the Royal Rumble, you would think that we traveled back in time.

Once again, this Wrestlemania season is going to be filled with stars from the past. I’ve come to live with that. When you have your biggest event of the year, you want as many big names possible to make it seem like a big PPV. I get it. But there are much better ways to use those stars than the way the WWE uses them. Last year was a prime example. We got two rematches (Rock/Cena and HHH/Lesnar) that pretty much no one wanted to see. Returning stars are good to use if A. They are put in matches that haven’t taken place before or B. They are used in a match against your current talent that could use the push.

The Royal Rumble this year is exactly what you don’t want to do with your top stars. The WWE banks on the Rumble match itself drawing every year. That is why I’ve always thought the WWE Title match at the Rumble should be used to give a new star a shot at the Title. In 2011, I thought that John Morrison should have been given the WWE Title shot he won at the Royal Rumble instead of the first RAW of the year. There was enough backstory between him and Miz to make it possible, and Miz and Morrison but on a good match on RAW that was PPV worthy. Instead, Orton got the Title shot and Morrison was an afterthought in the Rumble.

This year we get John Cena vs Randy Orton, version #482372890, for the WWE Championship. According to Stephanie McMahon, it is the rematch that everybody wants to see. I would love to know who she is talking to and where she got that information from. Not only is the match as worn out and done as you could imagine, it goes in the reverse logic of booking a feud. We just saw Orton/Cena in a TLC match at the last PPV. And now I am suppose to get excited for a regular one on one match? That is the problem with gimmick PPVs. Normally a gimmick match is saved for the blowoff of a feud.

But why do we have to get Cena/Orton again? Why not give the WWE Title shot to someone different? There are definitely options on the roster. They could’ve given Daniel Bryan another match. They could have given a young guy like Big E Langston a shot. How about causing more dissension in The Shield and giving one of those guys a shot? There are just so many different ways to go about the Rumble WWE Title match than the same old junk.

Then we get to the Brock Lesnar match. Two weeks ago Brock Lesnar attacks Mark Henry. If it were me, I would have let Henry either A-Stay off TV for a week then come back or B-Comeback, take out Lesnar, then get HIS OWN revenge at the Royal Rumble. But no, for some reason the WWE has this giant infatuation with the Big Show. And he has to fight Brock Lesnar at the Rumble. Don’t let Mark Henry get his own revenge. Or don’t let the guy he was teaming with for a few weeks, Big E Langston, get revenge for his partner. For some reason the WWE thinks people still want to see Big Show in important matches. Memo to the WWE: They don’t, and I’m sure the Survivor Series PPV buyrate will prove it.

Why not just let Henry fight Lesnar? Or give a young guy like Big E a shot to go up against Lesnar and put up a strong performance in defeat. Both of those matches would be on par with what Show/Lesnar will be. Everyone is going to expect the ring to implode again like what happened with Lesnar/Show the last time. That’s not happening. Instead we get to watch Big Show/Brock Lesnar again and it won’t live up to anyone’s expectations.

And last but not least we have Batista. Let me start off by saying I’m glad Batista is coming back. I’ve always liked him, when he was healthy. Which is always the biggest concern when it comes to him. But my biggest fear with Batista’s return is that he won’t be used properly. Instead of having matches against guys from The Shield, Daniel Bryan, The Wyatt Family or CM Punk, we will get the same rehashed stuff with him, John Cena, Randy Orton and Triple H. If the rumored Batista vs Randy Orton match happens at Wrestlemania, it could backfire on the WWE. Those two never out on good matches to start. Do you want a 60,000+ seat arena chanting “YES” during the match? I’d much rather see Batista take on Brock Lesnar: A match that has never happened before.

I will say that at least this year’s Wrestlemania is still a bit more open than last year’s was. At this point last year everyone was already dreading Rock/Cena and HHH/Lesnar rematches. But once again, if you believe the things you read, the WWE has found a way to screw up this year’s Wrestlemania. Instead of building to a Daniel Bryan/HHH match, they’ve stuck him with the Wyatt Family and ruined the potential his character had. Anyway Bryan gets out of that probably won’t help him. And if he were to team with Hulk Hogan and John Cena at Wrestlemania, I doubt it would do anything more for him.

Once again the WWE fails to realize that Wrestlemania is just as important to the long term success of their product as it is the short term. But the WWE doesn’t put as much effort into building new stars during the summer and fall as they do booking former stars during Wrestlemania season. It’s the reason they have to continually rely on former stars to make them any money. And this year it is starting at the Royal Rumble. Instead of taking a chance in the WWE Title and Brock Lesnar match, the WWE is going with the same old veterans and matches that we’ve come to see at almost a regular basis. Until the WWE is willing to give their young roster guys a real shot, business will continue to go in the same revolving circle every year.

My goal is to get #RoyalRumbleTimeWarp trending by the Rumble in two weeks. Lets make it happen.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka