WWE Analysis: Top Moments Leading to the Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is drawing near and the story lines seem to be getting stronger as the weeks come to a close. The last few months have started a stream of well played story lines for the characters that were becoming stale and overrated. This past week, especially, was a great way to lead the audience to order the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View on January 29, 2012. With unexpected character developments, amusing dance numbers, suspensions, and multiple sudden injuries, the WWE is still doing a pretty amazing job at keeping the attention of the audience.
Here are some of the top moments that have happened during the week of January 16, 2012…
Also, check out the very last slide, Extra Content, to view moments this week that almost made the list this week.
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4. Randy Orton to Returns to Friday Night Smackdown
Randy Orton fell victim to the Barrett Barrage a few weeks ago in a Falls Count Anywhere match. After being thrown down a pair of backstage steps, he suffered from a herniated disc. The WWE Universe was not expected to see Orton for at least another week or maybe as a surprise entry into the Royal Rumble, but the WWE released a promo stating that Randy Orton will be back in action next week on Smackdown! Of course, he will be taking on current nemesis Wade Barrett, but is there another reason for the Viper’s speedy return?
Orton could be returning because that was the plan for his storyline all along, or he could be returning to make sure that he gets a solid entry into the Rumble and possibly move on with a role at WrestleMania! Nevertheless, Randy may definitely be returning before he’s ready to.
3. Chris Jericho’s 3 on 3 Tag Team Match-Up
Chris Jericho has yet to say an official word to the WWE Universe since his return to the WWE on January 2, 2012. Sure, he’s screamed “Yeah, yeah, yeah”, but nothing too exciting. This week on Monday Night Raw, John Laurinaitis announced a three on three tag team match. The teams included CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, and David Otunga. When it came time for Y2J to tag in, the crowd went wild… and then the crowd got trolled. Jericho soon after left the match-up turning it into a two on three handicap match. Even Daniel Bryan looked confused.
How long can Y2J troll the audience for cheers without boos overtaking the noise? Jericho’s storyline is still very confusing, and if anyone is looking back at the promos for his return, there are still a lot of unanswered questions inside them as well. What or who does the little girl symbolize and what is the whole prophetic angle about?
2. John Cena Beats Jack Swagger to a Pulp
All these weeks of “rising above the hate” seem to have finally worn Cena down without him realizing it. John Cena approached Interim Raw General Manager, John Laurinaitis, Monday night after Zack Ryder unfortunately lost his United States championship to Jack Swagger. Cena was furious about the mix up between Zacks clearance to wrestle and was ready to fight for his protégé. Being the “Fair and Just” GM that Laurinaitus is, he approved a match between Cena and Swagger. Unfortunately, the match never happened, because Cena attacked Swagger before the bell could ring. There was no time for the 5 moves of doom during this confrontation. Cena, in true brute form, used every piece of the ring set up to punish Swagger for taking advantage of an injured Zack Ryder. The beating lasted several minutes, Swagger laid over a step like a slab of tenderized meat when Kane interrupted, showing Cena that he was indeed embracing his hate.
There are a lot of reasons why Cena may not turn heel, but if his character development continues in this aggressive, conflicted direction, a lot of people will be able to reinvest in the Cena brand. Looking back to the Attitude Era, the cookie cutter imagine ( i.e the hero without any struggles with his own identity) was thrown out of the window. Maybe it is time for that change again, just with a modernized spin.
1. John Laurinaitis
John Laurinaitis is stealing the show in WWE programming. His bland persona of the “Fair and Just” leader, which was clearly a cover for his ulterior motive against all the WWE Superstars that he doesn’t think are worthy, has been annoying the WWE Universe since October 10, 2011. His character on Monday nights has become a deeply integrated part of all of the storylines seen on television. This past episode of Raw, John Laurinaitis managed to ruin Zack Ryder’s United States championship title run, deny a legend, Mick Foley, his last match wish and add to Cena’s difficulty with dealing with his hate. Not only did accomplish all of that in one night, he also managed to overshadow WWE Champion CM Punk!
On Monday night, Cm Punk gave one of his awesome, snarky tirades on how Laurinaitis is a jealous man. He is envious of anyone and anything that he exceeds what he has accomplished in his wrestling career. Usually that would have made the number one spot, but Laurinaitis took the cake when he became so flustered that he gave a rant of his own to the crowd and Mick Foley. Laurinaitis finally admitted to the WWE Universe that he is in fact going to “screw” CM Punk in his title match at the Royal Rumble. Why? It’s because he’s tired of being bullied. John explained, “I do my job and I do it well, and I am tired of being disrespected”! He even put his stamp of his statement by smashing Mick Foley in the head!
It appears that this feud between CM Punk and Laurinaitis is actually more than that. It seems to be a feud with the whole WWE Universe and the WWE Roster, excluding a few of his allies in the backstage area.
Extra Content: Almost Made the Top Moments
Brodus Clay is still sparking up the crowd and that theme music is so catchy, there is no choice but to get up and dance with the Funk-a-saurus. He’s appealing to the crowd to the point where, even though he only competed in a Dance-off competition on Friday Night Smackdown, he still managed to keep the crowd interested in his gimmick. It’s true “funk is on a roll… somebody call my momma”.
After Monday night Raw went off air Zack Ryder and Jack Swagger engaged in a little twitter feud. Jack Swagger mentioned that Zack should be able to heal correctly because he won’t have the U.S title hurting his back anymore. Interesting enough, Zack Ryder replied about Swagger’s lack of hard work to obtain the championship. Way to use the social network to perpetuate a match at the Royal Rumble, hopefully.
Evan Bourne has been news for the past week. After his suspension for violating the wellness policy for the second time, Bourne has cemented a sixty day hiatus from the WWE. Many people are curious about whether or not he will be able to return for at least a dark match at WrestleMania or if he will even be granted the chance to continue with the WWE. He is not expected to return until March, so Bourne’s fate is in his own hands.
Daniel Bryan dodges another fair decision in his World Heavy Weight Championship match with Mark Henry. On Friday Night Smackdown the two wrestled in a Lumber Jack Match. The lumber jacks became reckless after being antagonized by the Champ, leaving time for him to sneak away. But not to worry, Teddy Long booked a triple threat, steel cage match for the Royal Rumble with Mark Henry, Big Show and Daniel Bryan. Finally, the match that has continually been mentioned in previous articles, WWE Friday Night Smack Down: Daniel Bryan Cheats to Win Again and WWE Pay-Per-View: Predictions for the Royal Rumble, will come to fruition. The only thing is, Bryan is the most agile competitor of all three. Will he climb the cage to win the match legitimately?