WWE fans have been watching the most random collection of miscellaneous B-roll shots that have nothing to do with anything and yet could very well hold the key to the mysterious return of a WWE figure on Jan. 2, 2012.
The scenes themselves make no sense. In five promos of a minute each or shorter, the camera shows broken down playgrounds, an empty school hallway and a classroom with one desk occupied by a young boy in a suit.
Later installments introduce a young girl into the plot who joins the mysterious lad in the classroom.
What does it all mean? Are there any clues here that could help fans piece together the puzzle before it’s revealed in two weeks?
The videos do however provoke questions which could provide great insight as to who the mysterious returning icon could be.
Here are six clues to pick up on that just may open the doors to solving the 1/2/12 mystery:
The first promo mentioning a superstar’s return ran twice in the Nov. 21 episode of RAW, just one night after the Survivor Series pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden.
That alone should mean there’s a connection between the two.
WWE wouldn’t just start running teasers like this out of nowhere. There’s obviously a method to the madness.
The question is, what happened at Survivor Series that will still have dominance in the creative team’s storylines?
Could they be referring to a particular match? Maybe a championship change? Or is it something else?
The night before the teasers began running on RAW, there was only one title change from the Survivor Series PPV.
CM Punk had defeated Alberto Del Rio to capture the WWE Championship. In the SmackDown main event, Big Show DID technically defeat World Heavyweight champion Mark Henry, but because he did by via disqualification, Henry retained the title.
Because Punk’s belt was the only major championship to change hands, perhaps he has a role in the returning superstar’s storyline? Maybe an old enemy or someone who he has public feuds with?
One has to wonder whether Punk has a role in the videos.
At the end of all five videos that have run thus far, there is a short message that summarizes the main point emphasized in the clip. The five short phrases listed in the image are all five that we’ve seen to date.
Let’s break them down one-by-one in order of their airing and see what importance they could hold:
It begins – most likely referring to a new era or new reign in the WWE.
Second – could mean one of two things: either the calendar date Jan. 2 or “second” in the term of another reign or another era.
Look within – this one leads to believe that there might not be a return at all, but rather a heel turn of someone already active on the WWE roster.
Control – perhaps teasing the superstar’s main move is a submission move.
Prophetless – the returning individual’s ego would imply he is the highest authority or is out to silence the powers in charge.
We’re witnessing right now the building of momentum in favor of the three superstars in particular: the World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, who cashed in Money in the Bank on Big Show at TLC (above, left); United States Champion Zack Ryder, who is taking the social media world by storm; and the aforementioned CM Punk, who still holds the WWE title.
There’s obviously a reason all three are getting successful right now. The company has plans for these three wrestlers moving into the WrestleMania season.
Who, though, still needs that little push?
Entertain the thought that maybe this isn’t a return but rather a heel turn. What superstar is losing momentum right now that could do with a character change?
John Cena comes to mind, but would the WWE Universe see that as acceptable?
If you listen carefully to the promos, nowhere in any of the five videos does the little boy or little girl say that a wrestler is returning.
Rather, the messages are as follows:
Come my people and shut thy doors about thee.
A familiar force shall arise to claim what is his.
Destruction will come upon them.
It will be the end of the world as we know it.
The power will come with vengeance to render his anger with fury.
The prophet will emerge and destroy the weak.
It would seem as if it’s a wrestler talking about his dominance, but it never mentions “wrestler” or “superstar” verbatim.
This opens the door to the possible power return of WWE CEO Vince McMahon, whose character on television over the summer was “relieved” of his duties as company CEO.
Since then, he only appeared on television once, in mid-October, to play a role in firing his son-in-law Triple H from his job as the company’s new COO.
Perhaps this is the return to power for McMahon as the CEO on television. But just like the Cena theory, would that sit well with the fans?
In the fourth and fifth promos, the audience is introduced to a young red-haired girl who is out to torment and control the young boy.
When we meet her in the fourth “Control” video, she is revealed as the key to his return. “The answer is when she tells us,” he says. “She holds the mystery of my arrival and my rebirth… When I beckon her, I will return to claim what is mine.”
By the latest clip, she bullies the young boy, throwing his composition notebook on the floor while he stands facing the corner as if he is being punished.
There are but two lines in the entire video, both read by the young girl. “I cannot help you anymore,” she says. “Do you understand?”
If taken in literal context that the young girl is indeed a woman inside the company with power, there are only two logical choices – Linda McMahon or Stephanie McMahon.
Vince’s wife Linda hasn’t been on the television show in almost a decade and would be smart to refrain from doing so now, as she is amidst a political campaign.
The couple’s daughter, Stephanie, was seen on WWE as recently as only a few months ago. She was rumored to have played a hand in the CM Punk-Kevin Nash-Triple H storyline.
But would Stephanie really hold the key to a superstar’s return? And whose figurative key would she possess?
The little girl could also be seen as the “red-headed stepchild” of the WWE as well, who is out to ruin the life of the returning superstar while he is away in “timeout.” Candidates for the company’s current “red-headed stepchild?” Again, CM Punk would make sense here.
No matter who you insert to return on Jan. 2, how the little girl fits into the story is almost always the last hurdle to clear. Perhaps it could be the most difficult too, as there’s no obvious role of a woman in the chain of command right now.
Brett Lyons is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials.
Follow Brett Lyons on Twitter @BrettLyons670.