Last night was the kick starting of the road to WrestleMania XXVIII.
Sheamus is the 2012 winner of the Royal Rumble, and he is now set to headline the show of shows with a championship match of his choice. Who is the lucky guy to receive a brogue kick?
The greatest show on Earth will take place in Miami on April 1, and as you all know, The Rock is set to take on his rival, John Cena, in a match that should make headlines around the world. As it prepares to become the best one ever, one must start thinking now as to what else we will see on that night.
Judging from the results of last night's show, here are some predictions that should get us talking for at least two hours.
Oh, how I am excited about WrestleMania. Should be the greatest thing since sliced bread.
We knew about this a year ago, and it is finally upon us.
Don't bother with the possibility of the WWE title inserted here; it is a waste of time. This match sells itself.
As of right now, John Cena in involved in a program with the monster Kane, and it is going to be his greatest challenge yet. Facing one's inner darkness and saving those we care about from destruction is not an easy task. Regular men fail every day and succumb to their vices.
What kind of John Cena will we see in Miami? A noble paladin-like figure as always, or a vile, unstoppable menace ready to destroy The Rock and his legacy for all time.
This has suddenly become a more interesting match with many twists we haven't heard or seen yet. The next few months will prove crucial.
Current holder: CM Punk
The Straightedge Superstar and self-proclaimed "best in the world" is still the WWE Champion after a hard-fought battle with Dolph Ziggler. John Laurinaitis may have tried his best to rid him of the title, but his plan failed, and now, he will answer to Triple H on RAW this evening.
At this point in time, it seems like it is written on the wall that Chris Jericho will end up challenging CM Punk for the championship come April, but what about the Elimination Chamber match next month?
Will the champion defend that night inside or on his own while the No. 1 contender is determined within Satan's structure? There are a lot more big names on RAW, so it opens up the possibility of having someone unexpected winning the right to challenge for the top prize in pro-wrestling.
It is still early right now to be sure, but the WWE would get the most out of a battle of the best in the world at what they do.
Obvious prediction: Elimination Chamber 2012 sets up CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho.
Current holder: Daniel Bryan
In my opinion, this title is the one who may have a new owner come April 1. Daniel Bryan is shaping up to be a good champion caught between fan love and heel booking.
With the way Vince McMahon thinks, he may enter panic mode and have the American Dragon drop the belt at EC to someone like Randy Orton in order to play it safe. Unfortunately, that is not what the WWE universe wants, and we'd be stuck with a potential Randy Orton vs Sheamus match.
It is not that bad, but nothing new. I would hate to imagine a Triple Threat match also, as those never exceed expectations and lose that epic one-on-one magic.
There are great challengers on Smackdown. I hope to see them all in the Elimination Chamber next month. People like Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, etc., would deliver one hell of a match together, but in the end, there can be only one.
If nothing changes, the Celtic Warrior will challenge the American Dragon for the World Heavyweight championship at WrestleMania XXVIII. It is a great scenario with new, fresh blood going at it in front of millions.
I love Sheamus and I like Daniel Bryan, so for me, it's win-win.
Who will take it to The Undertaker and try to end the streak in 2012?
It doesn't matter; you will all be destroyed. In facing this phenom, there can be no victory. He is like the rocks of eternal shore; crash against him and be broken.
There are plenty of people I could see claiming they would be the one to bring the streak to 19-1:
Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Mick Foley, Kane, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. Big names with big egos who would all end up at the receiving end of a "Tombstone" piledriver.
I say no to Triple H attempt No. 3, but yes to Kane facing his brother one more time.
No to Brock Lesnar and Mick Foley. I have other plans for Foley in here, and the Lesnar rumors are just that—rumors.
Randy Orton and Chris Jericho? Very interesting. They are top names who should have the honor of facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania inscribed on their career sheet. As of right now, neither are facing World Champions, which means the possibility is there.
I'll go with Y2J attempting to destroy the world as we know it and end the legendary streak along with Undertaker's legacy.
This match found its home at WrestleMania, and it is about time they put it back where it belongs.
I hope it opens the show too because it is the best way to kick start the greatest show on Earth.
Very simple formula:
Top names climbing a ladder in order to retrieve a briefcase containing a contract which allows for the winner to cash in and do battle with a champion of his choice anytime, anywhere and up to one year.
The 2012 nominees are:
The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Christian, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, Mason Ryan, Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Evan Bourne, Justin Gabriel, R-Truth and Zack Ryder.
While I have other plans for some, everyone above seems fitting to be inserted in here and would make the most of it too. A new star could be born that night. Maybe a new champion could be crowned when all is said and done, so watch out for this to be awesome.
Look for it to be an eight-superstar affair. Too much of a good thing is bad, bad, bad.
Current holder: Cody Rhodes
This needs to be defended at WrestleMania XXVIII. It is long overdue. The last time we had an Intercontinental championship match was in 2009, when Rey Mysterio defeated JBL in under a minute. What a shame.
The current champion has restored the title to its former self and now seems to be embroiled in a rivalry with real-life brother, Dustin, a.k.a Goldust, himself a three-time former champion.
An idea was pitched a few months ago where the Golden One offered his career in exchange for a title shot. It is very early to determine whether company officials will go down that route, but to me, a brother vs. brother match seems like a good idea on paper. Much better than Justin Gabriel.
Goldust could go out in a blaze of glory while young Cody continues his ascent to the top, further restoring honor to the great championship. On the plus side, maybe even daddy Dusty Rhodes will get involved in this feud. He might even screw over one son in favor of another, but I really doubt that.
I say Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust for the Intercontinental championship and Dustin's career on the line.
Current holder: Beth Phoenix
First of all, let me say this: Kharma's return last night was a total and welcomed surprised for the Divas fan. Everything has changed now. Things WILL start getting better for my favorite ladies.
Beth Phoenix was booked poorly ever since she turned heel over the summer. Being pinned by Barbie dolls via roll-ups is a disgrace, and having her face bashed by an incompetent upstart is the last straw.
Last night, the Glamazon cleaned house and showed the world she means business. Get out of the ring, you Bella twit!
Now, I had Natalya penciled in as the challenger for the Divas title because seeds may have been planted for a great feud. Her constant losses would surely have been addressed by the champion upon her return, but with Kharma making a return, it changes all my plans.
Just today I came across a tweet sent by Trish Stratus to Beth Phoenix herself:
"Btw, @TheBethPhoenix should choose her words wisely when it comes to being the most dominant champion..."
Could this be the start of a feud between the legendary Diva and the Glamazon?
Let's hope not. Last year, Trish had her Mania moment, and they blew it by having her pair up with that Sn00ki chick. Sigh!
Moving on to bigger and better things.
Kharma is awesome, Beth Phoenix is phenomenal; any genius can figure out that this has "match of the night" capacity written all over it. These two have what it takes to make us all go WOW!
Don't make me angry, WWE...book this match now, or else!
WrestleMania is the time to shine. It is the perfect opportunity to strap a rocket on your back and reach for the stars.
Even if you are not in a championship match, you can still be high up on the card to be treated as high profile.
Examples of this are simple. In the past two years, we had Randy Orton take on CM Punk and Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes, great superstars delivering superb matches with unexpected finishes.
Other high-profile matches were Chris Jericho vs. the legends of the ring (Rick Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper) or the fiasco that was Morrison-Stratus-Sn00ki vs Ziggler and LayCool.
For this year, I hope to see Mick Foley lace up his boots and attempt to silence (via Socko) one of my favorites, The Miz, in an Anything Goes, Falls Count Anywhere match. It would be a great match serving to elevate the Awesome One much further and give us fans the pleasure of seeing Cactus Jack in action one more time.
A Miz face turn could result from this, and it could be the best thing for him right now. No more nonsense with his character; it is getting ridiculous.
Another great show would have to be Randy Orton taking on Dolph Ziggler, two of the finest talents offered by WWE as we speak. The Viper doesn't need titles anymore. A program with the blond Superstar would prove to everyone he can put people over if needed, and it gives Ziggler more credibility to be used later as he enter one of the most important years of his career.
What else is there? I read somewhere about Shaquille O'neal vs. Big Show. Please VETO that immediately! Enough said.
Big Show vs. Kevin Nas. Now there is an idea.
Ever since Big Sexy returned last year and had that stare down with Show, I have asked myself when would it happen? They are both on their last leg; give them their Mania moment. I know they will not disappoint us.
The high-profile matches are where pro-wrestling connects with entertainment. They are usually worth our attention just as long as they don't involve ridiculousness like Nicki Minaj wanting a crack at the Divas title.
Last but not least (kind of) are the fillers of the night.
Here, you will find the bathroom breaks, the six-man tag matches, the mixed tag matches and all sorts of things that didn't make headlines during the year.
It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, but even as a filler, you have made it on the card of the most extravagant show in WWE, so that is cause for celebration.
I say put The Usos and Tamina vs. Tag Team Champions Primo and Epico with Rosa Mendes as a six-person affair or Santino Marella taking on Ronald McDonald for the golden hamburger card. There is always something like this at every WrestleMania, and it usually lasts under five minutes.
Evan Bourne might end up on this list if he is lucky to even still have a job after his recent suspensions. It's better than staying at home taking a tockie, hey Evan? If he does return, he better not blow it this time...pun intended!
Look for all sorts of silliness here. I will let you come up with some in the comment box.
Tonight's RAW will feature the after-effects of last night's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
We will hopefully see Chris Jericho address his shortcomings and Sheamus decide who he wants to fight. This last one is a stretch, but you never know.
There are a few months left before it all comes together to blow our minds away. Nothing is certain yet, except our desire for WrestleMania XXVIII to exceed our expectations.
Ronald McDonald asked us once: "Do you believe in magic?"
Yes, we do, WWE, so please, no clowning around and get serious. We mean business.