Royal Rumble season has led to an overall increase in excitement among WWE fans, as well as unpredictability on both Raw and SmackDown. In the past few weeks, several Superstars have staked their claims at winning the Royal Rumble, while others have been overshadowed by the returning star power.
From Drew McIntyre's recent rise to superstardom to Big Show becoming a regular on Raw again, there's a ton to talk about coming out of the past few episodes of the flagship show. WWE seems to have finally found its rhythm with Raw, but whether the company can continue to book strong shows with compelling storylines is the question.
Ahead of the anticipated pay-per-view on Jan. 26, these are the hottest trending topics on Raw that will be worth keeping an eye on in weeks ahead.
Drew McIntyre Must Rule the Rumble
Since being brought back to WWE's main roster in 2018, McIntyre has been on the brink of superstardom on multiple occasions. Just when it looked like he was being groomed for a main event run coming out of WrestleMania 35, he lost to Roman Reigns at the event and never fully recovered.
However, the roll he's been on in recent weeks is undeniable. Beating the likes of Zack Ryder and No Way Jose may not mean much on paper, but those victories were crucial in establishing him as a dominant force.
Simply put, no one makes more sense to win the Rumble than him.
The Scottish Psychopath could pose a legitimate threat to both Bray Wyatt and Brock Lesnar and is long overdue for a run with either the Universal Championship or the WWE Championship. If WWE wants to swerve fans with a surprise Rumble winner this year, McIntyre is the guy to go with.
The company clearly has big plans for McIntyre, but it has waited to pull the trigger on him for too long. There's no better time for him to cement his status as a world championship contender than at the Rumble.
Furthermore, a face turn would be the best thing for him heading into WrestleMania. Raw already has a solid core of heels between Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and Andrade, not to mention that McIntyre has always been better in the fan favorite role.
It would be criminal of WWE to sleep on his massive upside and ignore his momentum. The 2020 men's Royal Rumble is his to win.
Less is More with Big Show on WWE Raw
After more than a year away from WWE TV, Big Show finally resurfaced on Raw on Jan. 6 to aid Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe in their ongoing war with Seth Rollins and AOP. He was likely the last person fans expected to be revealed as their mystery partner that night, but at least his return was well-received.
The sole reason he stood tall to end the episode was so it would mean more when he lost to Rollins and AOP the following week. Sure enough, Rollins and AOP (along with Buddy Murphy) took turns dismantling The World's Largest Athlete, with Rollins pinning him to score the victory.
Big Show has been a staple on WWE programming for more than two decades. He's hardly a fresh face, but he can offer a lot to the product in small doses if utilized in the right role.
We're only two weeks into his latest Raw run, but he has been booked to perfection.
Big Show took the losing fall for his team on Monday's Raw. Furthermore, Dave Metlzer of Wrestling Observer Radio recently reported that he came back as a "favor" to WWE to elevate the heels and move along their story while Rey Mysterio settles his score with Andrade (h/t Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co).
In other words, don't expect to see Show around much past the Road to WrestleMania. Granted, he's been overexposed in the past and will be turning 48 in February, but nothing he's done since his latest return is worth complaining about.
Be sure to appreciate his presence before he takes another extended absence.
Ricochet Remains Directionless Following Feud with AJ Styles
Drew McIntyre's stock has never been higher on Raw, and Big Show has managed to stay relevant, but WWE's questionable booking of Ricochet for the past few months is another story entirely.
Ricochet got off to a spectacular start on the main roster by winning the United States Championship within a few months of his arrival. His rivalry with AJ Styles over the star-spangled strap should have been what took him to the next level, but he was never able to avenge his losses to The Phenomenal One and instead settled for midcard mediocrity.
The One and Only has been the definition of directionless since their storyline wrapped up at the end of the summer. He's amassed victories over the likes of Mojo Rawley and Tony Nese but has lost whenever it has mattered most against Andrade and Drew McIntyre.
Perhaps WWE is keeping him in a holding pattern until after the Royal Rumble and will find something significant for him to do en route to WrestleMania, but it's still a shame to see how devalued he's been in such a short span of time.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.