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Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show Set for Royal Rumble
After returning to WWE by dismantling Mark Henry, Brock Lesnar once again made his presence felt on the Jan. 6 edition of Raw.
The World's Strongest Man decided to step up to the plate after Lesnar embarrassed him one week earlier; however, The Beast proceeded to break Henry's arm with a Kimura lock.
Lesnar's revelry didn't last long, though, as Big Show prevented him from heading to the locker room and ultimately tossed Lesnar like a rag doll.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Why Is This Happening?
Lesnar's involvement in the WWE product is always a good thing, but some fans seem to be disillusioned by the fact that he's being "wasted" on Big Show. Lesnar and Big Show have feuded in the past, and since Lesnar only has a limited number of dates, fans would prefer to see him do something different.
It's difficult to argue that point, but facing Big Show gets Lesnar on the Royal Rumble card at the very least, which should be beneficial in terms of pay-per-view buys.
Royal Rumble always draws well due to the Rumble match itself, but it helps to have a few additional matches that generate buzz. Last year, the Rumble match was supplemented by CM Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship, which was one of the biggest matches in recent memory.
Lesnar vs. Big Show can't touch that, but it is always special when Lesnar competes. Add that to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton and John Cena, and it seems as though WWE has a card that is stacked with star power for Royal Rumble.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Based on the way that Big Show has been utilized, it's tough to take him seriously. He went from being a crying giant to main eventing Survivor Series before being moved into a tag team with Rey Mysterio.
That team is apparently no longer an item, as Big Show was then forced to dress up like Baby New Year. Now he's suddenly challenging the baddest man in WWE. Keeping up with Big Show's ridiculous career arc is tiring, and it's no wonder that most fans don't seem to care about him anymore.
With that said, Big Show can help WWE accomplish what it needs to with regard to Lesnar. Upon his return, Lesnar declared himself No. 1 contender for the world title with help from Paul Heyman. That distinction obviously belongs to Cena right now, but Lesnar clearly has the title in his sights.
Having Lesnar decimate Big Show and fit him with an F-5 will create an impressive visual, and it will cement his status as one of the top dogs. It may not be a great match by any means, but as long as Lesnar comes away looking like a million bucks, Big Show will have done his job.
Lesnar vs. Henry Not in the Cards (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
Roman Reigns Defeats CM Punk
It has become quite apparent over the past few months that Roman Reigns is well on his way to becoming a breakout star. His meteoric rise continued on Raw when he was put in a singles match against CM Punk. While Shield cohorts Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins failed in their attempts to beat The Best in the World, Reigns was able to come out on top thanks to a little help from his friends.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Does This Mean for The Shield?
Any perceptive wrestling fan can tell that the process of breaking up The Shield started long ago. It has had peaks and valleys as of late, but it is only a matter of time before things come to a head, and it's likely that it will happen some time between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania XXX.
The fact that Reigns beat Punk after Ambrose and Rollins couldn't gives him bragging rights in terms of being the "best" member of The Shield, which will clearly create more tension.
With that said, Reigns' win over Punk was booked to perfection.
Ambrose's distraction played a big role in the victory, so while Reigns technically won, Ambrose has his own personal involvement in his back pocket, and he will undoubtedly bring it up at some point.
Reigns is bound to get too big for his breeches, and Ambrose will try to knock him down a peg or two by devaluing the win. Everything that happened on Raw was simply a prelude for what's to come.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As great as The Shield is as a unit, breaking the group up won't be the worst thing in the world. The members can surely accomplish plenty more together, but each of them can be fantastic individually too. Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins all have the potential to be world champions down the line, so allowing them to go off on their own one year into their respective WWE careers makes sense.
The main concern relates to whether or not the creative team will break them up correctly. Up to this point, The Shield has been handled well in that its dissension has been slow-played rather than rushed. The obvious expectation is that Reigns will steal the show in the Rumble match and either purposely or accidentally eliminate Ambrose and Rollins. That will truly get the ball rolling on the breakup.
WWE has a golden opportunity in terms of creating a potentially legendary WrestleMania match, and it can't let that chance go by the wayside. Ambrose hasn't done much with the United States Championship, but defending it against Reigns and Rollins in a triple threat at WrestleMania XXX would take it to new heights. Hopefully that is the direction that WWE decides to pursue.
Rumored Roman Reigns Shield Replacement (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
Magnus vs. AJ Styles to Determine True TNA World Champion
After winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory, AJ Styles "left" TNA with the title belt, which resulted in Dixie Carter setting up a tournament to determine a new champion. Magnus ultimately prevailed thanks to help from Dixie and others in the tournament final against Jeff Hardy, but Styles returned on the Jan. 2 edition of Impact and requested a unification match, which Magnus accepted.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Is Styles' Status With TNA?
Styles' return got plenty of TNA fans excited, but it remains to be seen how he'll be involved moving forward. Styles has been wrestling in various promotions, including some in Japan and Mexico.
Most initially figured that it was all part of an angle, but the fact that Styles has now returned to ROH throws up some red flags. TNA and ROH don't exactly have a great working relationship, so it's unlikely that TNA would allow Styles to work ROH dates while under contract.
With that said, it doesn't mean that Styles is done in TNA for good. It's likely that contract talks are continuing between the two parties while Styles books his own dates elsewhere. Ultimately, unless WWE makes a surprise move by getting involved in the situation, there isn't a more stable opportunity out there for Styles than TNA.
There is no question that TNA has its issues, but at least it has a television deal and a decent fanbase if nothing else. Because of that, it seems likely that Styles will be back at some point.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Styles hasn't actually appeared for TNA in several weeks, but the fact that his appearances were taped and aired later has made it seem like he has. TNA has done a decent job in that regard, but it will be interesting to see how the Styles situation is handled following the match against Magnus.
If TNA continues to mention Styles on a regular basis, then that may signal that negotiations are going well. If he is largely ignored, though, there may not be an imminent agreement on the horizon.
Because of Styles' history of success in TNA, he is more valuable to Carter than anyone else. That doesn't mean that she should break the bank to bring him back, though. Styles is excellent in the ring; however, he is somewhat overrated universally.
He struggles on the mic and has never really developed a good character, which are obviously important aspects of professional wrestling. Being unable or unwilling to re-sign Styles may make TNA look bad, but perhaps that money would be better spent on new talent like Chris Hero, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards and any number of other independent stars.
Styles Still Negotiating with TNA (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
RRR Season 4 Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 102.5
2. Brandon Galvin: 60
3. Donald Wood: 25
4. Michael Cahill: -90
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