The wait is almost over.
After weeks upon weeks of the WWE teasing us with these cryptic "It Begins" videos, we are now only five days away from finding out who is behind them.
We have seen all kinds of crazy theories about which wrestler(s) or WWE authority figure(s) the videos may be meant for, but I think most of us agree that the choices are rather limited.
Of course, there is the chance that the WWE shocks us all, but I think I have the possible "It Begins" candidates narrowed down to the likeliest of candidates.
So, I'm here today to set the odds on which wrestler or WWE performer the promos are referring to.
Weeks of hype for a guy who might flop badly? No way.
Brodus Clay has been scheduled to make his debut about 583 times already and is set to do so again on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw, but the WWE isn't going to spoil his return by announcing it beforehand (if he's behind the cryptic videos, that is).
Trust me, the "It Begins" videos are not meant for Clay.
As much as Skip Sheffield wants us to think that the "It Begins" videos are meant for him, that would be one of the biggest letdowns ever.
Sheffield may have a reasonably bright future in the WWE, but like with Brodus Clay, there's no way the WWE is going to take such a big risk by making him the man behind these videos.
The former NXT star worked a dark match at Monday's Raw tapings, and that obviously wouldn't have happened if he was set to return in a huge angle on next week's Raw.
Batista has been really outspoken about the WWE product in recent weeks.
He's ripped John Cena, Daniel Bryan and The Miz, among others, and he's basically expressed no interest in returning to the WWE as long as it's PG.
I tend to believe that Batista means what he says and doesn't want to come back to the WWE in its current state, but you never really know in pro wrestling.
The business relies so much on working the fans and blurring the line between storyline and reality, and that's exactly what Batista could be doing right now.
I've always felt like Batista would be back in the WWE at some point or another, and regardless of what he's saying on Twitter, he could be returning for a final run with the company.
Still, I'll consider him a long shot at best.
It would be a huge buzz kill to see Vince McMahon return on Jan. 2, but that will always be in the realm of possibility.
On the surface, it wouldn't make much sense for Vince to come back next week, because he could basically just return whenever he wanted to.
But, Vince is Vince, and this could certainly be his way of bringing the Mr. McMahon character back to TV in order to regain control of the company after losing it to Triple H earlier this year.
I would rather the WWE didn't go this route, but the creative team doesn't usually seem to care about what I want.
I know most people are picking The Undertaker as one of the two likeliest candidates for the "It Begins" videos, but I just don't see it that way.
Other than the aura of the video or the "feeling" you might get when watching it, there is almost nothing about it that screams "Undertaker!"
I wouldn't totally count out Taker, but I need more than just "Oh, that video reminds me of The Undertaker" to truly believe that he will be the one returning on Jan. 2.
I mean, it just doesn't seem to make sense at the moment.
Most WWE fans seem to be pretty convinced that The Undertaker will only work a match at WrestleMania, so there would be no point in bringing him back three months before the pay-per-view to build toward his WrestleMania feud.
The Undertaker's not going to win the Royal Rumble, and he's not going to win the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber.
Why bring him back so early if he won't truly be relevant until two months from now?
The "It Begins" videos consistently refer to a "he," but the presence of the little girl definitely throws a wrench into things.
Though the girl could be a physical representation of something intangible like many are speculating, she could also be representing arguably the biggest female figure in WWE history, Stephanie McMahon.
Stephanie made a couple of brief appearances on WWE programming over the summer and hinted that "people get what they deserve," but she's been completely forgotten about since then.
Obviously, there's a solid chance that Stephanie's random appearances meant absolutely nothing, and I still think that's likely the case. But, even if nothing will ever come out of her interactions with CM Punk, something may very well happen with Stephanie in regards to the "It Begins" videos.
She is the one and only female performer who would make sense to be the little girl in the video, perhaps returning to the WWE to regain control of the company.
Just like the "2 21 11" video early this year (when the video was meant for Undertaker, but Triple H returned as well) I could see Stephanie being one of two returning performers on Jan. 2.
Shane McMahon parted ways with the WWE in late 2010, and I''m one of those people who has always expected to see him back in the company at some point.
Regardless of whether he left to pursue other interests or not, wrestling is in Shane's blood, and it's probably hard for him to just walk away from the WWE for good.
He'll likely always have a place in the WWE, and the "It Begins" videos may be the perfect way to bring him back.
Since Shane has left the company, Vince McMahon has been fired, Triple H has replaced him and now Triple H has been replaced as well.
Shane could be coming back as a "familiar force" to "claim what is his," and "what is his" will, of course, be the WWE, which has basically fallen apart since he left roughly two years ago.
There are many WWE fans who think that Shane is the boy in the video, Stephanie is the girl and they will both be coming back to take over the WWE.
Makes sense to me.
Is Chris Jericho the most obvious and the easiest choice? You betcha.
But is he the one who makes the most sense? Absolutely.
I know a lot of conspiracy theorists out there think that both the WWE and Jericho are trying to throw us off, but working the Internet is classic Y2J, and I think we're giving the creative team a little too much credit here.
The maple leaf in the water, the globe, the "Do you understand?" line and all the other signs that point to Jericho aren't red herrings. They're just that: Signs.
It' no coincidence that all these clues in the video are linked to Jericho or that the final "It Begins" promo interrupted Punk while he was in the ring.
Sure, these all may point to the obvious (a Punk vs. Jericho feud), but if it's what we want and what makes the most sense, then why can't that be exactly what the videos are meant for?