Edit: Christian 2002 WWE Titantron has now been added.
The date that is on everyone's mind in the wrestling world is 2-21-11.
Ever since the release of a 47-second promo involving a mysterious person wearing what appears to be a trench coat and boots, walking towards a house on this week's edition of Monday Night RAW. The Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) and casual wrestling fans alike have been debating back and forth on who the person in clip is and what the date signals as far as WrestleMania plans go.
Many theories and suggestion have sprouted up and about who and what is coming to the WWE. The most popular choices seems to be the Undertaker and Sting arriving setting up a date at WrestleMania between the two, with Awesome Kong and Tyler Black being distant third and fourth choices.
However, it should be noted that the WWE is known for its swerves. The most recent one being WWE creative choosing to replace Christian with Matt Hardy as Jeff Hardy's attacker at the 2009 Royal Rumble, when everyone in the IWC thought Christian would make his WWE return that night.
Saying that, it is time we open The Phantom Files and take a complete look of possible suspects, faces and storylines behind what may become WWE's most talked about promos in recent history.
EDIT: In addition to this I just got done searching around on youtube and found a very interesting titantron from Christian in 2002. This was right after Christian's first betrayal on Edge. See if you see any familiarities to his titantron and 2-21-11 promo. Also play close attention to the lyrics.
The main logic fans get trapped into when watching the promo, is thinking that whoever is in the promo must be a RAW superstar since the event is schedule to happen on Monday Night RAW.
When you look at recent actions in the WWE, brand distinction has taken less of a role in separating wrestlers. Just recently Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater and Wade Barrett left RAW and joined SmackDown with no real reason given as to why. Also Dolph Ziggler has made several appearances on RAW as of late along with LayCool.
With that knowledge, a superstar like Christian could very well jump the SmackDown brand and go to RAW, with this promo paving the way for a feud that could see him get in the middle of the title picture in time for WrestleMania.
Edge and Del Rio will most likely be on the 2-21-11 editon of RAW due to it being the night after Elimination Chamber. As we all know, there is plenty of history between Edge and Christian, and enough animosity between Christian and Del Rio for Christian to include himself into a feud and it not be made to look forced.
It should also be noted that Christian debuted in the WWE with a dark goth like gimmick as a member of The Brood.
Reason why it might not be this suspect: Christian's injury may leave him out until after WrestleMania. Another reason is a feud between Edge and Christian seems to setup better next year since WrestleMania seems to be heading for Canada in 2012, the duo's home country.
If ever there was a man who has a knack for having a hidden trick up his sleeve, CM Punk would most certainly fit the bill. What better way to ensure a victory at WrestleMania than by bringing in an extra insurance policy.
Many would argue, "Why would Nexus need a new member, they just added Mason Ryan?" The answer for this is rather simple. CM Punk and crew were over matched at the Royal Rumble against John Cena, and Husky Harris was also on the receiving end of a punt by Randy Orton the following night.
Orton's punts are usually used as a way to sideline wrestlers for storyline purposes. If Husky Harris is injured, and Nexus continues to get pushed back on RAW, CM Punk and company may look to the day of 2-21-11 as a day of reckoning for Nexus with a member who could give CM Punk enough time to hold off Orton, Cena and the Miz; and capture the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.
I wonder how Tyler Black would look with a Nexus armband?
Reason why it might not be these suspects: Nexus has seen a massive overhaul in its members, CM Punk adding another new member may only lead to confusion in storyline purposes.
Chris Jericho should be added to this suspect list simply because he is perhaps the biggest success to cash in on this type of promo style.
In 2007, Chris Jericho released a series of vignettes requiring the viewers to solve a code in order to see who was the man behind the message. It turned out to be one of the biggest WWE returns in history, when he made his return and interrupted a Randy Orton's 'Passing of the Torch' ceremony promo.
Four years later, and Jericho is no longer in the WWE, similar to how he was absent in 2007. Not to mention when Jericho return, his gimmick was all about shining a light on truth and justice, however, when Jericho debut and interrupted The Rock, he came out from darkness.
Could this vignette mark the return of a darker, meaner and face Y2J?
Reason why it might not be this suspect: Chris Jericho's interest seems to be moving away from the ring and more into music side of entertainment. Plus he's more likely to make a return next year when WrestleMania is scheduled to come to Canada.
Triple H may be the wild card in all of this. He could easily come back as a face and call out Sheamus who does not seem to have a sufficient storyline for WrestleMania as of yet, or 'The Game' could become a heel and deliver the swerve no one is accounting for.
Out of all the suspects on the list, HHH is the most unpredictable and would definitely enhance the WrestleMania card in many ways that other wrestlers can not. Saying he has history with a number of wrestlers, is without a doubt understating the magnitude of the damage and pain Triple H has inflicted on RAW.
As many articles on Bleacher Report have noted, it is not a stretch that HHH could come back on 2-21-11 to be revealed as the GM of RAW.
Another thing to note is Triple H had a style when he went by Paul Levesque similar to the one seen in the promo. If he comes back in that classic mode (ring attire wise), it could fit right into Vince McMahon plans to give WrestleMania a WCW-like theme.
Reason why it might not be this suspect: HHH has taken an active role in running the business side of the WWE, rather than wrestling. Another reason why it may not be HHH is because the company seems to be heading towards a youth movement. The Game being in the mix would go against the company's current direction.
Most people are quick to discount Awesome Kong making her WWE debut, simply because the WWE does not spend the effort on promos for women than they do for men.
That line of thinking in some cases are completely off. Maryse in 2006-2007 had to have the most promo time and setup for an in-ring debut than I have seen from any WWE employee this side of Alberto Del Rio and Undertaker.
Not to mention Gail Kim when she first started in the company back in 2003 had three weeks worth of vignettes appearing on RAW showing off a matrix-like gimmick. She also appeared wearing a trench coat like the person in the 2-21-11 video is wearing. When Gail Kim debuted, she went on to win the Women's Championship her first night on a live WWE event in a Diva Rumble.
The main thing Kong has working for her is the fact that unlike Gail Kim in 2003 who was coming into perhaps the best women's division in wrestling at that point, Kong would be entering a weaker division overall.
The boots shown in the promo clip, have some similarities to what Awesome Kong would wear. This vignette could be Kong's.
Reason why it might not be this suspect: The trench coat shown in the RAW promo does not match Kong's body size, even though the boots do. It also does not help that rumors are surfacing that Awesome Kong has put on some weight and was sent to FCW to get back in shape.
Michael Tarver has been seen at various times in backstage moments on both RAW and SmackDown. Why is Tarver continually showing up when he is not involved in any storyline? As of yet, that has not been fully to the fans. Tarver was one of the three people to find GM Teddy Long injured in his office on the 1-21-11 edition of SmackDown.
Also Tarver's ring gear colors, represent the same colors found at the end of the promo when the numbers flash in red, white and black.
To add to this, many have said that they have seen a strange mask or face paint when they paused the RAW promo video at certain intervals. Many have chalk this up to be a sign that Sting is returning, however, that imagery may not be face paint, but perhaps Michael Tarver wearing his famous bandanna covering his mouth.
Michael Tarver recently went back down to train in FCW for a injury return match before returning back to the main roster. He came down to the ring wearing the black and white bandanna covering his mouth.
1.9 is a decimal number fans should keep their mind on from here until 2-21-11.
Reason why it might not be this suspect: Simply put fans would be disappointed and may riot if it turns out to be Michael Tarver when similar signs point to Sting.
This is something that could very well happen when RAW goes live on 2-21-11. Vickie Guerrero has been on a war path as of late and she certainly has let WWE World Heavyweight Champion Edge feel that wrath.
The Anonymous GM of RAW also shares a deep hatred for Edge as well as Santino Marella, and that can be by no means a coincidence. In fact, one could argue that the GM of RAW's hatred for Edge at times seem to border on obsession similar to Vickie Guerrero's feelings.
In 2009, Vickie Guerrero was the GM of RAW, until she was embarrassed by Santino at Extreme Rules in a hog pin match. The next night, she resigned as general manager and was then unceremoniously divorced by Edge who no longer needed to be married to Vickie since she did not have any executive power in the WWE.
If Vickie Guerrero reveals herself as the true GM of RAW, she will without a doubt become the most powerful entity in the WWE, controlling the WWE's two most powerful shows.
This would also explain why Michael Cole speaks so highly of Vickie Guerrero and has since joined the SmackDown brand as an announcer while being the voice of the RAW GM at the same time. He wants to stay in the good graces with his new boss.
Here is another thing to think about. Have you ever seen Vickie Guerrero have an interaction with RAW's GM computer when she is live in a RAW ring with John Cena or Jerry the King Lawler? It is hard to send an email to Cole secretly when you are live on air. Better yet why send an email when you can create an impromptu match on the spot?
The situation to help aid this is Teddy Long being knocked unconscious a few weeks ago on SmackDown. With that Vickie Guerrero is now back in charge of SmackDown for the time being.
How did Vickie Guerrero knock out Teddy Long? Well that can be written quite simply. The first choice is that Dolph Ziggler did the dirty work and took Long out. However, there is a second option: Michael Tarver.
As the video shows, Michael Tarver was present and with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero when SmackDown's GM Teddy Long was found injured and knocked unconscious. The date it happened on was 1-21-11.
Could Vickie look to gain control of RAW one month later?
This is important to note, because this SmackDown storyline has not reached a conclusion. The trio of Vickie, Dolph, and Tarver have been spotted on the same episodes of RAW and SmackDown. 2-21-11 could be the birth of not only Vickie Guerrero revealing herself as GM of RAW but also a birth of a new WWE faction especially if Dolph Ziggler captures a World title in the next few weeks.
Why it might not be this suspect: Nothing about Vickie Guerrero fits into the actual 2-21-11 promo. The only way Vickie Guerrero fits into the plans is if the mysterious person is joining a Dolph Ziggler-led stable.
Undertaker is known for his promos and epic returns. Saying that the 2-21-11 RAW promo is something that is right up Taker's alley.
The promo itself is telling us a story, however, we as fans are unaware of who is in the story and what the final outcome will be. When you think about it, the person walking seems to not know either. The shots and flashes that may or may not contain a hidden message are not shown or known to the person that is walking towards the house.
These shots are only revealed once the mysterious person in the video has progressed forward and enter the house. 2-21-11 may be the day that Undertaker's WrestleMania opponent is revealed, in effect making the house a trap to draw in Undertaker himself.
Reason why it might not be this suspect: The WWE is promoting a new date for the return of Undertaker 2-26-11. This is the date that Friday Night SmackDown will be on television, however, live recordings will be on 2-22-11 on Tuesday. This may all be a ploy to direct attention else where but until the Elimination Chamber comes and go we will have to wait in limbo.
IWC's leading man in this promo madness, Sting is perhaps the greatest name to never officially compete in a WWE ring.
Sting is a popular choice for the mysterious figure in the clip due to similarities the promo has to his WCW Starcade one in 1997. Not to mention the various signs that viewers claim to see all point to Sting making his WWE debut with his WCW crow gimmick.
Undertaker vs. Sting at WrestleMania is a dream match among fans, and since Sting's contract with TNA is up, the chances of a match between the two appears to be closer now than ever. Rumors and actual news reports are also circulating that Sting signed a one-year deal with the WWE, although nothing has been verified and marked as official.
A Sting debut is not out of the question, considering that WrestleMania is taking place in WCW's old home operations in Atlanta. Vince McMahon wants this year WrestleMania to have a WCW theme and signing Sting to compete at 'Mania would earn the WWE a ton of money in the process.
It will also draw in a lot of fans that left wrestling once WCW was bought out by the WWE.
Reason why it might not be this suspect: Sting has openly admitted that he is hesitant to join the WWE because he does not know how the WWE will treat his character.
The Corre which now appears to be short for Correlation are my personal front runners as the true men behind the promo shown on RAW and SmackDown.
Well as of yet they have no true leader and a very mysterious sense of direction. Not much is known as to why they were formed and what they hope to accomplish. As we are starting to see more and more of the Corre, Wade Barrett is not forcing himself as a leader like he did in Nexus, he seems to be sharing the load with Jackson, Gabriel and Slater.
Speaking of The Corre, it is quite odd that all four of their members jumped to SmackDown from RAW without giving a clear reason as to why. Barrett, Slater, Jackson and Gabriel first came together on 1-14-11 edition of SmackDown, however, their first promo and official name "The Corre" came a week later on the following SmackDown on the date of 1-21-11.
Many things in the 2-21-11 promo video point to The Corre as well. The most notable is the fact that the ending colors share a similar color scheme pattern that The Corre logo does. The date 2-21-11 could mark the day that the great Correlation is finally announced to the world.
The day may mark the rise of The Corre's true leader.
The bigger picture Wade Barrett talked about in Nexus may have found its way into The Corre. With all this talk of Sting vs. Undertaker or Wade vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania, has any one thought that maybe the bigger picture goal of the orginal Nexus and now The Corre is to snap Undertaker's WrestleMania streak by any means necessary. What better way to gain fame and leave a mark in the company?
"I BE YOUR END OF DAYS"
Reason why it might not be these suspects: Up and until now, The Corre has been attacking and assaulting Big Show as well as CM Punk and new Nexus. In order for a match to take place involving The Corre and Undertaker at WrestleMania, The Corre would have to take Big Show out of the picture and end their hostility with Nexus.
Well those were my ideas on how the WWE could make the most out of the promo and the big date. Now it is time to hear some of yours. What possible storylines do you think 2-21-11 will bring?