It’s that time of year. The Royal Rumble is the official kick off for WrestleMania season.
It’s the time to put forth the best stories, get serious and (if you’re John Cena) make a skidmarks joke or two.
The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is often one of the highlights of the year. It's too bad that WWE seems to have forgotten that there's an actual Rumble match on the show.
Before we take a look forward to Mania, let's take a look back at this week.
This list takes a look back at the embarrassing, the bad business decisions and the terrible matches that made you want to flip the channel and donate your old wrestling shirts to the Goodwill.
Here is WWE's worst of the week for Jan. 20-26.
How many times?
How many times does WWE need to open SmackDown with four or six guys yelling at each other, only to have Booker T interrupt and announce that the heels will fight the faces in the main event?
This week it was Booker getting involved in the midst of Big Show, The Rhodes Scholars, Team Hell No and Alberto Del Rio.
To the shock of no one, he announced they'd all be competing later. Lucky for him, this keeps happening. You have to wonder what he originally had booked for the main event.
This opening segment nonsense is so completely overdone that it's mind-boggling. Whoever keeps booking this has no self awareness or has run out of ideas.
A few months ago, The Miz (back when he was a heel) even made a joke about it when Booker interrupted him. That should have been the end of it.
Instead, seemingly every week SmackDown starts with the mandatory Booker T opening segment that announces the main event.
If only there were some other way to start a wrestling show.
The No. 1 contenders for the tag titles had a pretty lackluster week.
Why did WWE feel this was the week that the graduation ceremony had to air? Wouldn't it have been a better business decision to promote the match instead?
Then on Main Event, it took The Rhodes Scholars 15 minutes to defeat The Usos.
Why would fans think they even stand a chance? Where is the threat to Team Hell No?
On the elimination match on SmackDown, Sandow was then pinned in two minutes. Sure, Rock is wrestling at the Rumble, but couldn't someone have put some thought into the tag title match as well?
In a strange promoting tactic, Dr. Shelby received more air time on Raw than the team actually challenging for the belts.
Dear WWE: Stop booking this match!
Since October 8, Sheamus and Wade Barrett have fought each other in singles matches six times.
Now, this may shock you, but Barrett didn't win a single one of those encounters.
WWE booking can be downright terrible.
Last week, Wade Barrett defeated Randy Orton cleanly on Raw. That almost never happens!
How did WWE follow up on this big moment? They had Barrett’s team lose to Orton’s in a throwaway six-man tag on SmackDown that was highlighted by Orton being hugged in a Team Hell No sandwich. Comedy won the day.
The following week they had Barrett lose to Sheamus.
WWE has such a lack of credible heels that they should avoid having guys like Barrett take the fall unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Not only was Barrett’s win over Orton diminished, but so was the Intercontinental title again.
Maybe they should just start over with the belt. At this point, they should just throw it in the trash for awhile. No one seems to actually want it. Sheamus isn't going to ask for a title shot now.
Besides, maybe in a couple years they could let Jim Duggan pull it out.
Wrestling legend Ric Flair bestowed the figure-four leg lock onto The Miz.
No one seemed to buy it though. It came out a bit out of nowhere and felt forced.
Anyway, much like Ryback’s push and The Great Khali relationship with Natalya and Hornswoggle, WWE is going to make us accept it whether we want to or not!
On the Jan. 18 SmackDown, Miz was able to execute the move on Primo just fine. On Raw, he seemed to forget what he was doing.
He tried to slap it on Ziggler but fumbled around a bit trying to apply it correctly. It was the first time on Raw he used the move and he blew it. Not only did he do it wrong, but his opponent didn’t tap.
He now has quite an uphill battle to get the move over again, and things aren’t looking promising.
On Raw, John Cena laid out one of the most baffling go-home promos in years.
The major final selling point for the much-loved Rumble match consisted of Cena making fun of random people in the crowd.
Earlier in the show, The Rock laid out a fantastic, no nonsense promo on CM Punk that revolved around the WWE title.
Cena laid out a terrible, nonsense-filled promo that revolved around blow-up dolls.
One of those promos made the promotion money. The other was self-indulgent and probably cost them a few pay-per-view buys.
The Royal Rumble match has such a deep history, and the winner gets the best prize in the industry. They get to main-event WrestleMania.
It should be easy to promote, but Cena went for the terrible jokes.
Even if the jokes were funny, it would have still been the wrong time for it. This was the final hype for the Rumble, and Cena made a Royal Stumble.
Dangit! I just Cena'd myself!
That's all for this week. Agree? Disagree? What was your worst moment of the week? Sound off below!