“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
The good Saint’s quotation has been used and twisted around over time to justify pretty much anything one might have a fondness for that has most folks shaking their collective heads. Whether it’s religion, vampire movies or in this case, pro wrestling, some get it. Others, not so much. There’s no use trying to convert someone to the other side. I personally like all the absurd reasons I shouldn’t be watching this stuff. I don’t care that it’s fake/predetermined, the dudes are cartoonishly large or that some of the gimmicks are corny. It’s the most basic form of escapist TV. Good vs Evil in the form of two dudes rolling around in spandex and baby oil. Ridiculous? Absolutely!
Here are my Royal Rumble “Predictions”:
WWE Tag Team Title Match
Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) (c) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
Past booking history tells me that Team Rhodes Scholars wins this match to become tag champs. This the start of the road to Wrestlemania. Vince McMahon likes his baby faces or good guys (Kane and Bryan) to chase the titles during this time to help boost those buy rates for Wrestlemania 29. Additionally, it gives Sandow and Rhodes plenty of time to cement themselves as despicable heels that people want to see get beat up. Booking-wise it make perfect sense.
WWE World Title Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show
It’s an unwritten rule that you don’t do a major title change on free TV unless you’re WCW and you don’t mind hemorrhaging money. That said, Del Rio surprised even the smartest of fans when he won the title a few weeks ago on Smackdown. Most people felt it was done in order for heel Dolph Ziggler to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on good guy Del Rio. The internet wrestling community, basement dwellers if there ever was such a group, was more than a little excited. The real story, not a storyline, is that Big Show’s contract had run out and they pulled the title off of him so he didn’t walk away from the company with it. Vince doesn’t want another Medusa situation where your champ shows up on a competitor’s show and dumps your title in a garbage can.
My feeling is ADR retains and Ziggles runs down post match to cash in his title shot, but I don’t think the match will actually happen. Dolph has been doing these false “cash ins” for a few months now and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. One big reason is that ADR is a huge star in Mexico and WWE sells a ton of merchandise there. With Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara on the shelf injured pulling the title off Del Rio this soon is unlikely.
WWE Championship Match
CM Punk (c) vs. The Rock
Punk has been champion for 400 some odd days now and his reign is probably over at the Rumble. That’s too bad, but the guy’s gotta lose at some point. He’s the longest reigning, defending champion of their modern era so when he drops the title it’s gotta be a big thing and what’s bigger than losing to The Rock? Probably nothing. Win or lose I think we get Punk vs Undertaker at WM29. I’d prefer a Taker WM unbeaten streak vs Punk’s title streak, but the tea leaves tell me we’re headed for a Cena vs Rock rematch at ‘Mania.
Royal Rumble Match
30 Man Battle Royal
Which brings us to the Royal Rumble match. Unlike last year, I think it’ll be a more serious affair. Less old guys returning. Fewer gimmicks. I don’t see any way super-Cena doesn’t come out the winner here. He spent most of last year getting beat and putting guys over. Now it’s retrenching time and that starts at the Rumble. He’ll pick up the win and get a title shot at WM vs The Rock or Punk. The only other guys I think have a shot to go over are Ryback or a returning Undertaker. I hope I’m wrong on all accounts and someone like Antonio Cesaro gets the shine. As with all other battle royal matches a feud or two will get the hotshot treatment in order to build the next PPV. The most likely candidates are Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett or maybe something with Randy Orton provided he doesn’t fail another drug test or hurt himself picking up a fork.
Next time I discuss the similarities between musicians, comedians and wrestlers of the indie variety. We’re a lot alike.
Regards from Parts Unknown,