No Chance – What We Don’t Yet Know (2015 WWE Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania 31)

The Royal Rumble is this Sunday. Which means that this Sunday begins the time of the year where everyone gets to point to a giant WrestleMania sign that hangs over the ring each week. And you know what? I’m pretty excited about that. And the reason that I’m so excited, is that I really have no idea what’s going to happen.

See it hasn’t really been like that these past few years. Last year at this time we it seemed like Batista was all but guaranteed the Royal Rumble victory. And thanks to rumors, we all knew that Brock would be challenging the Streak, Cena was going to face Bray Wyatt, and CM Punk would be fighting Triple H. Obviously we didn’t know how that Streak match was going to end (even though we thought we did) and we didn’t know the CM Punk thing was going to happen, but at this time last year it felt a lot like we were going through the motions to come to a conclusion that we all already knew but was still three months away. And the year before that was even worse. By around October of 2012, we could all pretty much guess that Punk would hold the title till the Rumble, lose it to The Rock, who would then lose to Cena in their rematch of the previous year finally finishing their three year long story that should have only taken a year. And that is exactly what happened. Its also worth noting that the main event of the WrestleMania before that was announced an entire year in advance so that means the for the past three years, we’ve gone into the Royal Rumble match already knowing what the Main Event of WrestleMania was going to be that year. This year however, the Rumble is just a few days away and I could see a whole slew of things happening.

For one thing, I couldn’t even tell you for certain what match is going to go on last. Usually it’s the Rumble without question, but a few matches have gotten the main event slot on the show before, and a Brock Lesnar title match, could be something that qualifies. Especially if WWE wants to have some Seth Rollins MiTB shenanigans happen this Sunday. And while we assume that Brock is going to retain and carry the title to Mania, A Cena or Rollins victory is not out of the realm of possibility. At least not like Punk winning in 2013 was. And while that determines one contestant in the title scene of WrestleMania, the other one will be decided by the rumble, and again, it still feels like the Rumble could result in several possible outcomes. The most conventional answer is of course that Roman Reigns will win the Rumble, and face Brock Lesnar for the title. And that may very well be what happens, but I am very curious to see if WWE will risk a crowd reaction to Daniel Bryan not winning, especially after last year. And while these two clearly lead the pack when it comes to likelihood of winning, A whole slew of wrestlers aren’t that far behind including the likes of Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler both of whom could end up the victor without it seeming too farfetched.

And what may be most exciting of all is that all of this is centered around one match at WrestleMania. Mania 31 has a wide open card and there are plenty of questions left to be answered. Usually by this point we know which superstar is going to be fed to the Undertaker as his undefeated streak continues. This year however, we have no idea what might happen with Taker. Will he even be there? If so, who will he face? And now that the undefeated streak has been broken, the idea of another superstar defeating The Undertaker feels much more like a real possibility.

We also have no idea what WWE might be doing with Sting now that they’ve finally gotten him to appear on WWE programing. I mean, yes, looking at context clues it seems likely that Sting is going to face Triple H in some capacity at WrestleMania this year, but really beyond that we know nothing. Sting has only appeared twice so far and in both cases, he is opposing not just Triple H, but the authority. So it Sting getting involved in a Authority storyline, or will he be facing Triple H one on one when the big day comes?

One of the biggest problems with watching Raw (although this applies to any Soap Opera really) is the slow monotonous pacing that is usually involved in trying to tell a story. A slow burn can be great and all, but when we all know what the ending of the story is going to be, it’s kind of hard to enjoy the ride, especially when said ride is the same people facing each other again and again, on a weekly basis every Monday, while cutting promos that don’t vary any more than the matches do. So whether the buildup to WrestleMania over the next couple of months is going to be good, bad, or somewhere in between, right now, I’m kind of just excited I don’t already know what it is.

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