JC’s Top Rope Report: Questions Abound Heading Into The Royal Rumble

Congratulations wrestling fans. We did it. We made it through the dreaded fall months of WWE programming and our on the way to the Royal Rumble. Which means we are very close to the Road to Wrestlemania. Typically, this is the best time of year to be a wrestling fan. It’s when the WWE tries their hardest to put together the best show of the year.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean the show ends up being good. Or the TV to build to the show for that matter. But every year the WWE gets the casual fan to come back and they have to keep their attention somehow. And with pretty much every big star back this time of year, the WWE tries their best to keep those fans attention.

One thing to like about Wrestlemania this year is that the main card is still open to interpretation. I would say, outside of Sting/Triple H, no match is really set in stone yet. And the return of Daniel Bryan to the Royal Rumble just added a whole new money wrench to the situation. It opened up A LOT of possibilities for the entire Wrestlemania card. There’s multiple routes the WWE can now take to get to Wrestlemania.

The general consensus among most was that Roman Reigns was going to win the Royal Rumble, take down Brock Lesnar, and become the new face of the WWE. But Daniel Bryan being back now gives you a second option. And lets not forget, there are strong rumors that Brock Lesnar will be going back to UFC once his WWE contract is up around Wrestlemania. Now obviously Brock is signed until at least Wrestlemania, but does Vince want Lesnar going into Wrestlemania as Champ knowing that he isn’t coming back, at all, the next day?

Then of course there is Seth Rollins and his Money in the Bank contract looming over everything. I think you could argue that Seth Rollins has been the best act in the WWE for the last two months. It took some time but Rollins has become great in his role as the top heel in the WWE. He’s the right mix of cocky, confident, and slimy/cowardly that you want in a heel. I thought his work at the end of RAW this past Monday was great. But does the WWE trust Seth Rollins enough to go into Wrestlemania as WWE Champion?

Back in August, I thought it was 100% guaranteed that Brock Lesnar would be walking into Wrestlemania as WWE Champion. The story arc just made sense. Brock ends The Streak, Brock wins the WWE Title, Brock terrorizes the WWE, Brock is defeated at Wrestlemania, and a new star is born. But a couple things happened along the way to question that. First, Brock’s reign as Champion has been booked like absolute shit. With someone like him on a limited date schedule, his entire reign needed to be mapped out better. He should’ve wrestled on at least one if not two more PPVs. The man that was suppose to end the reign of Lesnar, Roman Reigns, was also out of action for about three months. That has hindered the development of Reigns and hasn’t put him in the spot he should be going into Wrestlemania.

That is why Daniel Bryan’s return has to be a blessing to the WWE. As much as I want to see Roman Reigns succeed and become a big time player in the WWE, I just think right now is not the time for it. You’d be throwing him to the top of the card when I don’t think he’s ready for it. And with Bryan now back and already announced for the Royal Rumble, I think it becomes more likely that Bryan wins. The crowd knows that Bryan is now in the Rumble, and I think they will turn on anyone else who wins the Rumble. Last year, the crowd forced Daniel Bryan into the main event of Wrestlemania. This year, Bryan earning the right to main event Wrestlemania at the Royal Rumble and not having to go a complicated route is a story that writes itself.

But who does Daniel Bryan face at Wrestlemania for the Title? I think both Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins are very good options. With Lesnar, you have the typical David vs Goliath story. The Authority could laugh off Bryan thinking he has no shot against Lesnar. I think the two would have a good match together. And who knows, maybe Vince would want Brock to lose to someone like Bryan on his way out. The Beast Incarnate loses to the normal looking guy. In Vince’s mind, I’m sure he thinks that would effect Lesnar’s drawing power in the UFC.

Then there’s Seth Rollins. He’s been on fire in recent weeks. With this story, instead of going with the David vs Goliath story that Bryan/Lesnar offers, you get the story of the Authority’s hand-picked future of the WWE against the man the Authority has been trying to hold down for quite some time. And in this scenario, you could still do Reigns vs Lesnar but have it not be for the Title. Reigns could go over and the crowd, I believe, would be more likely to give the match a chance and cheer Reigns on. And who wouldn’t want to see Rollins and Bryan go for about 30 minutes in the main event of Wrestlemania?

And you know what the best part of this is? I talked about the potential top matches for Wrestlemania and didn’t once bring up John Cena (who I still think is facing Rusev) or Randy Orton (who I have penciled in to fight Bray Wyatt).

So what do you want to see at Wrestlemania? Do you want to see Daniel Bryan get another Title run? Or do you want to see Roman Reigns anointed as the next top star of the WWE? And who should go into Wrestlemania as Champion?

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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