I recently participated in a wrestling roundtable. The questions are in bold and the answers are in normal text.
1. With the Royal Rumble taking place at the end of the month, who do you feel as though is most likely to win this year’s Royal Rumble match up and why? What do you feel will be the most likely scenario for the Rumble this year in St. Louis and your expectations of the match itself, compared to previous years?
I’m rooting for Sheamus to win the Royal Rumble. The Great White should win the Rumble not because he has nothing to do, but rather as he could really have a great main event match with the world champion at that time, who could probably be Bryan/Orton.
To be honest, the Royal Rumble of 2011 was not so great, as we wanted it to be. A few memorable returns and a shocker was all there is to be remembered about this Rumble. So, I definitely hope the notion changes this time. Rumble is all about fun, so I hope it is a fun-filled match with awe-inspiring moments. I’d like it if RVD/Samoa Joe return, but that’s beyond possible. But, Brock Lesnar does seem possible and if he would return, he will be the Rumble winner. Add Jericho and Clay to the mix and you’ve got your returns.
The scenario I’d like would be if Sheamus comes in at 27, and eliminates Ezekiel, Drew and Mahal in the ring. Out comes Barrett at 28, and faces Sheamus one-on-one. Both go back-and-forth until Jericho comes out at 29 and eliminates Barrett! Sheamus still survives, and then at no 30, Lesnar comes out, who eliminates Jericho, but Sheamus eliminates him. Thus, Sheamus wins.
2. As 2011 has officially come to a close and we are in the first month of 2012, we saw the emergence of the likes of Mark Henry and CM Punk. This year, besides the three deemed next future world champions of Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, and Cody Rhodes, who do you expect to have a breakout year in 2012? Who do you feel will be the surprise story, like we saw in Mark Henry and how far will they go in 2012?
I have no idea why, but my gut tells me that 2012 is the year of Kofi Kingston. Kofi works harder than most of us, and getting punished just because his tag team partner was at fault, is injustice. He has the look, has above average mic skills, and can certainly go in the ring. He just needs a perfect gimmick though, like Rhodes. Rhodes was faltering at the mid-card level, before he got the “Dashing” gimmick. The same needs to be done with Kofi. Give him a gimmick fans can relate to, give him material due to which he could get over, and bingo, you got your next star.I can’t guarantee you that he will become champion, but I can certainly say that he could be a major player in 212, and could focus on the World title in ’13.
The surprise story, in my opinion, be Dustin Rhodes. It pains me to say that, but I feel that Dustin could do something, other than block people. Jokes aside, Dustin is already shaping up for a feud with his brother Cody, and he might as well be the next “Mark Henry” of 2012. He could lose to Cody, and then say that the Intercontinental title is not worth his caliber, and he is on the World title scene. Cody could then drop the title and could be world champ around July, and Dustin could feud with him again for the WHC, and Dustin’s your next “feel-good” push.
3. One of the other major stories in the wrestling industry today is Brock Lesnar’s retirement from UFC that took place after his loss to Overeem via TKO in the first round at UFC 140. Since then, rumors have swirled constantly in regards to Lesnar’s return to WWE, and Dana White has even admitted he would permit Lesnar to seek out a return. With it being obvious that Lesnar will not be back for the foreseeable future, presumably in 2013, who do you feel would be Lesnar’s ideal opponent in a possible WrestleMania match? What would be a scenario you see as possible and probable for the return of one of the biggest names in the wrestling industry in the early 2000s?
This is going to be short and sweet, it has to be none other than Stone Cold. Now, I get that he can’t compete, he has a neck injury, and if he could compete, CM Punk would be his likely opponent, but the fact that Brock and Cold actually have bad blood, unlike Punk and Cold. This could be a perfect set-up, with Lesnar returning at the Rumble, losing it, then says that he wants to fight Stone Cold, and he wants it bad.
Steve, being the man that he is, accepts the challenge. There you go. Promos between them would be solid, and I hope the action is too. This is how I’d predict Brock’s return.
4. Another hot topic I’d like to discuss is the returns of the likes of Triple H, Chris Jericho, Undertaker, and others for WrestleMania time, I’d like to ask of your opinions on WWE’s idea of bringing back all these big names as they seem to do each year. Do you feel as though it is a good idea to bring these names back, or does it seem to be a testament to the lack of confidence WWE has in their talent that wrestle for the rest of the calendar year? Is it right to bring all these names back and give them the limelight or should the Jerichos and Undertakers of the wrestling industry allow the young guns to be given the spotlight on the big stage?
Wrestlemania is supposed to be the biggest show of the year. Thus, Vince wants to sell most, if not all, the tickets he can sell to generate mass interest and ratings. That is exactly why I don’t find bringing back stars futile. I don’t exactly consider it a “stealing the limelight” move, but rather than “increasing star-power” move.
Let’s rewind to last year’s Wrestlemania, stars like Undertaker, HHH and The Rock were involved. This didn’t exactly steal the limelight, it just generated mass ratings. Besides, stars like Cody Rhodes got their matches which defined their careers.We, as IWC, would love the idea of Daniel Bryan competing against Seth Rollins for the World title at Wrestlemania, but look at the casual fan. Would he be interested in a wrestling match of this prestige? A casual fan wants entertainment, and certainly star-power. I hate to break this to you, but Randy Orton vs John Cena would garner more interest than Bryan vs Rollins.
Thus, I don’t see the returning stars as a bane, but rather as a brilliant idea by Vince McMahon.