Alas, not every feud and program at this month's Royal Rumble will live up to the hype it's receiving from WWE's marketing machine.
Yes, Cena and Orton. Two men who have faced each other on pay-per-view and television too many times to count over the past five years are clashing again.
Oh, WWE. Why are you doing this to us?
Man, this feud has grown so old and tired that Orton has even acknowledged it on Raw a couple of times over the past few weeks. Not only will it be unlikely to garner interest in the pay-per-view, one can even see it actively turning people off.
Even involving John Cena’s long-suffering dad and scripting him to take a beating from Orton—as the company did on Monday’s Raw—hasn’t caused a stir. Indeed, it’s just a repeat of what’s gone before, as one fan noted on Twitter.
The bout itself should be fine, if nothing special. Cena has lost a step or two as a wrestler since returning early from his triceps injury in October last year and is clearly being overly cautious in the ring these days.
This is smart behaviour on the 36-year-old's part, of course, but it also means his recent bouts have tended to be a little on the mundane side.
It's hard to see The Big Show and Brock Lesnar match—officially announced on Miz TV at Friday's SmackDown—delivering either.
The program seems like it was thrown together at the last minute by WWE's booking crew—perhaps because it was. One wonders if the shell-shocked company didn't make the move to rush Lesnar back to television after the UFC story hit. UFC President Dana White recently told MMAJunkie.com that Lesnar returning to the promotion is "definitely a possibility."
Big Show doesn't seem at all prepared for a major feud like this. Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that the giant was dancing around on Raw dressed in a giant diaper? Now he's apparently the only guy on the roster who can stop the force of nature that is Brock Lesnar.
His mediocre main event with Orton at last year’s Survivor Series also indicates that the aging giant may not be up to delivering high-quality matches these days. Okay, he’s not terrible in the ring, but he’s not great either.
Will he and Lesnar be able to churn out anything remotely decent at the pay-per-view?
Presumably, Lesnar will challenge for The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania XXX soon. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com), it's been the plan for a while, but why exactly does he need to bother feuding with The Big Show first?
The whole thing feels like a waste, especially considering Lesnar doesn’t work terribly many dates in the first place.
The Royal Rumble will, of course, be worth watching. The—almost always—great Battle Royal match as well as the high-profile return of Dave Batista virtually guarantee it. Just don’t go into the show expecting too much from the undercard.
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