Taking a Different Direction: 10 Things to Expect in WWE in 2011
The WWE has already started 2011 with a bang. Most recently at the Royal Rumble, the returns of both Booker T and Diesel were utterly shocking in the first-ever 40-man Rumble. What roles those two play in the WWE are still unknown, but for now, they're on board. Perhaps equally as surprising was Alberto Del Rio's victory in the match.
Del Rio recently announced on last night's RAW that he will face World Heavyweight Champion Edge at WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta. This is just one of many major storylines that will take shape come early April.
The Corre/Nexus storyline looks to be picking up steam heading into WrestleMania as well.
CM Punk has formed the New Nexus on the basis of self-sacrifice and doing what's best for the team. This theory has worked as he has Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Husky Harris and David Otunga believing in him.
Wade Barrett is the leader of the Corre but claims that all members are equal. Barrett, along with Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater and Ezekiel Jackson appear to be stronger than ever before.
In 2011, the WWE looks to provide us with even more surprises than previously. Many questions still surround the WWE, but they remain undoubtedly the best wrestling organization anywhere in the world.
Questions for 2011 include: Will Sting sign? What new stars will make an impact? Who will The Undertaker's WrestleMania opponent be? Who else (besides Shawn Michaels) will be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
All of these questions (and more) will be answered in 2011.
Alberto Del Rio Gets a Lengthy Title Run
Alberto Del Rio deserved to win the Royal Rumble. For it truly was his "destiny" to be the winner and move on to WrestleMania to face the champion of his choosing. That "champion" turns out to be the Rated-R Superstar Edge.
Del Rio is clearly one of the best pure wrestlers that the WWE has right now and they need to use him appropriately. He's got the ultimate heel gimmick right now. From the aristocratic background to his own personal ring announcer, Del Rio has it all and is riding a hot streak.
Since his debut, Del Rio has made an immediate impact with great mat skills and caginess. Many expected him to win The King of the Ring a few months back, but it wasn't in the cards. It was his "destiny" to win the Royal Rumble as he'd said so many times before. Although in dramatic fashion, Del Rio was the last of 40 men standing.
Del Rio is one of the fastest-rising superstars that the WWE has had. It's quite reminiscent of Sheamus, who quickly won the WWE Title in 2009. Could Del Rio be headed down the same road? I definitely think so as his journey will be complete at WrestleMania.
After Del Rio wins the title at WrestleMania, I expect that he holds it for quite some time. Del Rio is more than deserving of a title and could definitely carry Smackdown in the ratings as champion. This would be a major changing of the guard as many veterans have held the title as of late. It's been a while since a newcomer has held the World Heavyweight Title.
Sting Makes His Debut in WWE
Yes, you read that right folks. Sting WILL come to the WWE in 2011. Whether or not that "2.21.11" promo is for "The Man They Call Sting" or not is immaterial at this point. You can almost bet the house that Sting will compete in the WWE in 2011 as far as I'm concerned.
Sting is the greatest superstar that never competed for Vince McMahon in the WWE. It's shocking that the 51-year-old Steve Borden has went his entire career without ever stepping foot in a WWE ring. More impressive, however, is the fact that he's become as big a name as he has without going to WWE. Sting was the only major WCW guy that never worked for McMahon. That will change pretty soon.
If Sting does come to the WWE it will likely be for a short period of time. Perhaps a program that leads him into a match at WrestleMania with another mysterious figure, The Undertaker. That's what the IWC, and quite frankly ALL wrestling fans want to see.
The Stinger has won the Heavyweight Title nine times (6 in WCW, 2 in TNA, 1 in NWA) throughout his illustrious career. His debut in the WWE is inevitable. It's something that has to happen at this point in his life.
The Corre Vs. The Nexus Continues For a While
The Corre and the Nexus mutually hate one another. Their rivalry continued at the Royal Rumble before being stopped abruptly by the Anonymous RAW GM. This is likely to spill over into an even longer feud that culminates in a big match at WrestleMania.
It's tough to say who the stronger of the two groups is. The Corre has speedsters Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater that make up a pretty solid tag team. Then, they also have the power with Ezekiel Jackson and their leader Wade Barrett, who will make a major splash in 2011.
The Nexus has been rebuilt by CM Punk and may even be stronger than before. CM Punk is still an elite contender in the WWE and the perfect leader for this group. Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris, both legacies in the WWE, have formed a tag team that could be on its way to gold. Their latest addition Mason Ryan supplies the power for the group and David Otunga as well is a rising star.
These are two of the most dominant factions in WWE history and their rivalry will likely continue even past WrestleMania.
The WWE (Attempts to) Repair the Tag-Team Division
What's more laughable nowadays the tag-team division or the divas' division? Yeah, it's become that bad in the WWE as of late. Long gone are the great tag-teams of past like The Legion of Doom, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation, Midnight Rockers, Hardy Boyz, E&C, Dudley Boyz, etc.
Today, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov (the "Allied Powers" I suppose) are your WWE Tag-Team Champions. This is utterly laughable to say the least. There's so much potential in this particular division, even now, they just need to know where to search.
Use some of the NXT rookies and pair them up with their pros. This is smart business and solves multiple issues at one time. This strengthens the tag-team division and the roster as a whole.
The Usos aren't a bad team by any means, but they need that push still. They should have kept The Hart Dynasty together instead of aimlessly breaking them up with no future plan but jobbing on Superstars. The Nexus has McGillicutty and Harris as a solid tag-team for now. Even The Corre has Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, they're pretty dynamic together and have built up a chemistry.
That being said, there are some issues within the current tag-team division that need to be resolved. This isn't a complex fix at all. There are some simple, minor things that can be tinkered to start reforming the tag-team division in the WWE. I hate to say it this way but look how strong TNA's tag-team division is.
Kevin Nash and Triple H Induct Shawn Michaels Into the Hall Of Fame
Diesel is back in the WWE and likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. This is a bit ironic considering that his longtime friend Shawn Michaels will take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame in April. It seems only fitting that Kliq members Kevin Nash and Triple H induct Michaels into the Hall.
However, this clearly isn't Diesel's only purpose in the WWE. Judging from the other night, he still looks pretty decent for his age and may get a WrestleMania program himself. That stare-down between himself and Big Show the other night was quite telling. From the looks of it, a future feud may be in the works between these two behemoths.
One thing is for sure though, Nash belongs in the WWE and shouldn't have left in the first place, but that's a whole different story.
Nash may have screwed over TNA, where he "verbally" agreed to sign but seemingly walked out to the surprise of President Dixie Carter. Remember too that he sort of screwed over Vince McMahon back in the day when he jumped ship to WCW.
Welcome back Kevin Nash.
John Morrison Still Doesn't Claim a Major Title
It pains me to write this slide but I believe that another year (2011) will pass and John Morrison will still not win a major title. I sure hope I'm wrong as Morrison is one of the most gifted athletes the WWE has seen in a while, but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for him.
Morrison again proved at the Royal Rumble why he's such an exciting athlete. You all saw that "Spiderman-like" move across the barricade and leap back into the ring. If not, well here it is folks (sorry for the Spanish version.)
Morrison may challenge and fight for the WWE Championship but likely won't win. His match with The Miz on the first RAW of 2011 was so good that it should've led to a deeper feud. Why didn't it though, you ask? Apparently, it doesn't seem that the WWE thinks too highly of this great specimen that is John Morrison.
They've already missed the boat on Morrison in the past by not letting him win the King of The Ring among other things. They can't continue to do so and let his opportunities pass up for too much longer. Hopefully, the WWE learns their lesson in 2011.
A Major RAW Star Goes to SmackDown!
I have a hunch that a major RAW superstar will end up on SmackDown this year. Whether that superstar is Randy Orton or someone else is still vague but it will likely happen regardless. I speculate right now, though, that Orton will be the one on the move heading to the Blue Brand.
Orton would benefit from a move to Friday nights. Oftentimes, the RAW roster seems to get overcrowded with elite superstars, so there must be a casualty. I believe that it will be Randy Orton at the 2011 WWE Draft.
On SmackDown, Orton could feud with Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio and possibly put them over. Even another feud with Edge and also Rey Mysterio would be interesting. Edge and Orton were exciting as Rated RKO and are two of the best wrestlers to compete in WWE over the last decade or so.
The Anonymous RAW GM is Finally Announced
Who it will be is anyone's guess at this point, but the Anonymous RAW GM will finally be announced in 2011. It could possibly be Kevin Nash or Triple H, or maybe even Michael Cole. But at this point in time, does it really matter anymore?
In the beginning the concept was interesting, but needed to be cut off at the right time and wasn't. The appropriate time to end the suspense was back in July not long after it first happened. The fact that they made this carry on for this long is just perplexing and foolish of the WWE. The storyline just lost steam and people don't care anymore.
It's still a pretty wide-open race but one that many have lost interest in. The GM is often confusing too. Sometimes you'd think he's a face, other times a heel. I guess he has to be neutral though, right?
His e-mails seem to be written in pretty solid prose and he seldom leaves hints to reveal his identity. Maybe the WWE doesn't even know who it is, that thought has crossed my mind too.
Michael Cole has furthered ruined the character with his annoying introductions to the announcements. Although the message beep and lights fading isn't all that bad of a concept.
Jim Ross Returns to the WWE Broadcast Booth
Jim Ross is the greatest announcer in wrestling history, bar none. He's greatly missed in the announce booth on Monday Nights on RAW. Monday nights just aren't the same without good ol' JR behind the booth.
Michael Cole is very biased towards The Miz among others and has created an interesting rivalry with announce partner Jerry "The King" Lawler. Even so, he belongs on the B-show on Fridays as JR belongs on the flagship.
No one in the world can describe a wrestling match like JR. We really do miss him calling matches as he's always made things seem even more interesting than they really are.
Tough Enough Is a Success Again
Just in case you haven't heard, Stone Cold Steve Austin will host the new Tough Enough series, which commences on April 4th, the night after WrestleMania. It should be a whole lot better than NXT and is even in a better time-slot to boot.
Austin will look to bring fire to the show and raise hell as usual. Along with him, there will be other veterans that will be the coaches on the show. Likely William Regal will be one of the coaches, taking on a similar role as Al Snow originally had.
The concept of NXT was similar in hopes of creating new talent, but Tough Enough separates the men from the boys.
In its return, Tough Enough will surely be a success once again on WWE programming. It will be enrolled in the 11:00 PM time-slot on USA immediately after RAW.