WWE Raw: 'It Begins 2012' Could Be 3 People, and Definitely Isn't 3 Others
Let's at least hope more compelling Raw episodes begin in 2012
It was the subtlest of vignettes. Actually, it wasn't even a vignette—it was the Web address of a YouTube video mysteriously inserted into the WWE's on-screen Twitter logo as Jack Swagger walked to the ring for his obligatory opening-match loss to Sheamus on last night's Raw.
The YouTube Channel is very plain, as if it were established yesterday (which, according to the page, it was), and features a lone, very dark video.
The kid in the video—or a kid; we don't know if the one depicted writing in a notebook is the same one talking—says the following:
“Come, my people, and shut thy doors about thee. For a power should come to punish the meek for their inequity. For on the second day of 2012, a familiar force shall arrive to claim what is his. And it will be the end of the world as you know it.”
Conventional wisdom says the "familiar force" is The Undertaker, returning to begin his annual run-up to the extension of his WrestleMania winning streak.
That's a possibility, but I believe it is too early for an Undertaker return. Here are three people to whom "a familiar force" could refer, and three others who have been mentioned in Internet speculation, but whom I don't believe are returning to WWE anytime soon.
The video was awfully dark for the Gold one, but it would serve to throw fans off Dustin's trail
Don't laugh. Stranger things have happened!
The only connection between the dark quality of the "It Begins" video and the flamboyant former Intercontinental Champion is the term "familiar force." That said, Dustin Runnels has recently used his Twitter feed to lobby for a match with his brother, current IC Champ Cody Rhodes.
Since he has be so open with his requests for a match, and its far from clear those requests would be granted since it appears Cody is about to start a feud with Booker T, Goldust's return under the "It Begins" banner is unlikely, but cannot be ruled out.
2. Brock Lesnar
Will Brock make an in ring return to coincide with his WWE video game return?
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
After it was announced that Lesnar would be a character on the new WWE '12 video game, the man who bolted WWE for a failed NFL tryout and, later, the Octagon told ESPN's Joe Robinson he thinks he has one wrestling match left in him:
I think if Vince McMahon and I were able to sit down at the same dinner table and break some bread that we could come up with some kind of game plan. At the end of the day, I'm an ultimate fighter. That's who I am and that's who I'll always be. I was an entertainer but at the end of the day, I'm still as real as it gets. I think a lot of things have to fall in the right places for something like that to happen.
If Lesnar were coming back for only one match, that would make a video vignette like "It Begins" unusual, as the video seems to herald someone who is in for the longer haul. Also, the timing would seem to not jibe for a Lesnar return given that he has a UFC fight scheduled for December 30, just three days before the return of the "familiar force." Still, as they say, anything can happen in the WWE, which brings me to the most likely candidate to end "life as we know it"....
3. Mr. McMahon
He may be 60-something, but Mr. McMahon can still be one of the most compelling characters on TV
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He has been off of regular television for almost half-a-year, and if past performance is indicative of future results, it's time for Mr. McMahon's return. He is definitely a "familiar force" and he could be returning to "claim what is his", meaning control of Monday Night Raw.
Does this mean we'll have a Mr. McMahon/John Laurinaitis match at Wrestlemania? Good Gawd Almighty (JR (TM)) I hope not!
There is also a school of thought that Shane McMahon could return to TV. While anything is possible, I'd be surprised to see Shane step back into his father's shadow after trying for the last two years to escape it.
As for the wrestlers/personalities whom I don't believe will come back as the subject of "It Begins"....
1. Chris Jericho
Don't castigate Chris Jericho if he wants to remain retired
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Sorry to disappoint The Jericoholics (of which I am one), but I don't see Lionheart coming back to the ring. This is not because of his recent Tweet...
Let me get something straight...I will never wrestle for the WWE again. But there is some big news coming up in the world of dance....
In general, no one means "never" when they say "never" in the same sentence with "WWE." But I believe Chris Jericho when he says "never."
Unlike some, I won't pretend I know the guy - if the Lord is good enough to me, I will get to meet him some day. But take some time to read his tweets as well as his most recent book, Undisputed (the best book of any genre I have read this year - simultaneously the truth and a shameless suck-up). He sounds content being a family man, a rock star, an actor, and someone who doesn't have to live in pain 24 hours a day.
We miss Chris's in ring work and, especially in this era of bad talkers, his work on the mic. But if he wants to stay retired, can't wrestling fans leave the man alone?
There just doesn't seem to be a clamoring for Batista's return
While you (shockingly!) can't believe everything you read on the internet, it appears there is too much bad blood between Batista, the WWE and some in the WWE locker room for The Animal to make a return right now.
Perhaps Dave could use the work, as his career hasn't exactly been gangbusters since leaving the McMahon fold. But since WWE now has a virtual Batista clone in Mason Ryan, I can't see any hurry in bringing back the original.
3. The NWO
This would be even worse than another D/X comeback
Honestly, Kevin Nash comes back, and some on the web automatically think the rest of The Kliq will follow? Nash is the only classic NWO alum who seems to be in ring condition, and that's a big "seems to be" since he has only done run-ins the last few months.
We loved the 1990's. We sometimes are nostalgic for the '90s wrestling scene - D/X, ECW, NWO - as we get older and contract 'grandpa syndrome' ("Back in my day...."). But this is 2011, and I just can't see, as the "It Begins" video suggests, a 90's relic ending "life as we know it" in 2012.
Other unlikely "It Begins" references:
- Anyone under contract to TNA - As much as some of us would love to see Rob Van Dam or the Dudleys come back home, it isn't happening. Also, that video wasn't nearly, um, laid back enough to reference RVD.
- Kane - We learned this thanks to an actual vignette that aired during Raw, the last scene of which was Kane's old mask set ablaze.
- The Attitude Era - As long as Linda McMahon is running for office, there will be no bra and panties matches.
- Joey Styles - In a perfect world, he would have replaced JR as the voice of Raw. But he seems content as one of the rulers of WWE's online kingdom.
- Bill Goldberg. Please stop. Please!