WWE Royal Rumble 2012: The 3 Things You Need to Know

Chris Petlak@chrispetlakContributor IIIJanuary 18, 2012

WWE Royal Rumble 2012: The 3 Things You Need to Know

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    We are two weeks away from one of the best pay-per-views of the year.

    The Royal Rumble marks the official beginning of the Road to Wrestlemania!

    Whether you're a dedicated WWE fan or just someone who comes around every year for the Rumble, there are only three things that you need to know as we head into the 25th anniversary of The Royal Rumble.

    Kane. Jericho. Punk.

Masked Kane Has Returned

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    John Cena has been demonized by Kane ever since he returned to the WWE with his mask in tow.

    Cena has always been a baby face and has never turned heel and gone against the grain or his fans.

    On Monday's episode of RAW, Cena was taken to another level. He took his frustrations with Kane out on current jobber Jack Swagger.

    In a sanctioned match with Swagger, Cena ran to the ring and unloaded on Jack. He eventually tossed Swagger out of the ring and into the steel steps. Then, he lifted the steel steps high above Swagger's head.

    As he was about to drop them down "ending Swagger's career!" BOOM! Red flames, organ pipes.

    Kane took to the Jumbotron, telling Cena it was good to see him "embracing the hate".

    John has been playing right into the hands of Kane leading into their match at the Rumble and it's been a nice distraction from the yearlong build-up to Cena vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania.

Chris Jericho Is Back, but He Isn't Talking

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    This gag is getting old.

    It's been three weeks. Jericho walks out all excited, then says nothing.

    On Monday's RAW, he was finally set to wrestle in a six-man tag match paired with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan against Mark Henry, David Otunga and Dolph Ziggler.

    After taking a beating, Punk reached out and tagged in Jericho. The man who is "The Best in the World at What He Does" jumped around the ring for about 30 seconds, not doing a single wrestling move, and then walked out.

    Jericho abandoned Punk. (Daniel Bryan was distracted in his own feud with Mark Henry.)

    This is a fantastic setup to CM Punk vs. Jericho.

    Is it interesting to anyone else that CM Punk is the "Voice of the Voiceless" and currently Jericho has no voice at all?

John Laurinaitis Wants to Screw CM Punk out of the WWE Championship

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    CM Punk is set to battle Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Chamiponship at the Royal Rumble with John Laurinaitis as the special guest referee.

    It does not seem that Dolph is ready to be the face of the WWE, but for whatever reason that's the position he is in.

    Laurinitus claimed on Monday Night RAW that he'll do anything to screw CM Punk out of the championship at the Rumble.

    As it stands, Punk isn't electrifying the WWE as he did after Money in the Bank.

    It makes sense that Jericho would get involved in some way to help screw Punk out of the title.

    In a perfect world, Punk will beat Ziggler, even with the inevitable interferences that he'll face from Laurinaitis, and Jericho will win the Royal Rumble.

    Then we can see the two "best in the world" wrestlers go toe to toe at Wrestlemania.

Notable Mentions...

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    Randy Orton is out due to a back injury, but is scheduled to return to action the week before the Royal Rumble.

    The WWE should hold The Viper until the Royal Rumble and have him return during the match. 

    Daniel Bryan is the Heavyweight Champion (Smackdown) and he'll face Mark Henry at the Rumble for the title that no one cares about. (Unless Randy Orton or The Undertater is holding it.)

    Mick Foley made a wrestling appearance on Monday Night RAW, and his involvement in the Rumble wouldn't be a shock.

    Triple H is always active, and The Undertaker hasn't been seen since Wrestlemania. Will they enter the squared circle and toss a few jobbers over the top rope?

    The Rock wrestled at Survivor Series, and Stone Cold has recently said that he'd be willing to do a few more matches. Perhaps we'll hear The Great One and shattering glass on January 29th.
    Finally, Batista and Brock Lesner have both been rumored to be making returns to the WWE.

    The Royal Rumble always proves to be one of the most entertaining and exciting pay-per-views of the year, and 2012 will be no different.