|IMAGE CREDIT: WWE.com|
This year's Rumble just doesn't have a buzz to it. Frankly, it seems as though it's designed for another John Cena success story.
Fans seem to have taken it as a fait accompli that The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29 is where WWE are headed. Therefore, it'd make sense that both Rock and Cena win their respective matches on Sunday. Yes it's based on internet rumours and speculation, but the odds are pretty good if you know WWE.
If that is the case it's fine, but here's the problem: Cena doesn't need the Rumble to get to WrestleMania. He could just say he's facing The Rock and get away with it. There are a million ways to get Cena there which don't have to involve winning the Royal Rumble, if that is on the cards as it seems to be. And, let's be honest, Cena winning another Royal Rumble hardly creates a buzz, does it?
There is another huge match which has been rumoured for WrestleMania, and WWE could use the Royal Rumble to get the ball rolling on that, and in turn end the pay-per-view with buzz.
So here's my idea:
Let's say WWE want to use our expectation against us. So Rock wins the WWE Championship from CM Punk before the Rumble match. Now there's 200,000 people at home, arms folded (mostly in frustration), going “I may as well go to bed because I know how this ends.”
Dolph Ziggler is guaranteed number one or two, and let's say he picks number one. Your second entrant is... John Cena. And the third? Big E. Langston. So now Cena has THE ODDS against him, which is the only way he's allowed to lose, and THE ODDS get him eliminated. Not immediately, but early. Nobody would be expecting that.
The match continues, and eventually all three Shield guys enter. They gang up and are eventually eliminating people as they come out... including number 29. So now, The Shield are waiting on number 30. The countdown hits 1 and nothing happens. Back in the ring, Shield ELIMINATE THEMSELVES from the match and leave the arena. Now we've got a situation where number 30 is our winner but we don't even know who that is.
And then CM Punk's music hits.
Punk enters the ring, winning the Rumble on the spot by default for the first time ever. He takes a microphone and explains that Rock and Cena can have the Title match everyone wants at WrestleMania. But just because the WWE Universe get their rematch, “YOU STILL DON'T GET TO WIN”. He, not Rock or Cena, will main event WrestleMania. He gets the title shot at WrestleMania. He then explains that “title” doesn't just mean a physical championship, it can also mean an honour or a recognition. And that's what he wants instead.
So Punk announces that he's trading in a shot at a Championship for the title of “the one who ended The Streak”.
I understand that this scenario relies heavily on the rumours of Cena winning and facing The Rock again actually being true. And, of course, the big variables of both of those matches actually being on the cards for WrestleMania. But, unless WWE are intentionally misleading us (as they're wont to do on occasion), a Rock-Cena fairytale ending to Sunday's pay-per-view is a high probability.
This ending does twist the definition of "title" to a degree, but WWE have proven time and time again that they're not above twisting situations or interpretation to suit a purpose. Even if something has a precedent, if it fits to ignore, twist, or even outright lie about it, they will. Besides, the explanation I put forward is hardly a huge leap of imagination. In return, though, they've got an ending no-one would see coming, a first time occurrence which they love, a bit of buzz surrounding the WWE product, and the chance to do the big rematch at WrestleMania.
It might not be everybody's favourite scenario1, but to me, it's a better use of the Royal Rumble than John Cena winning another match he doesn't need to win, to get him in a position there are a million other ways to get him to2.
1. And yes, part of me just wants CM Punk to come out on top in some way on Sunday.
2. You could argue that Punk doesn't need the Rumble to challenge Taker, either. You're absolutely right, but you've also completely missed the point of the entire exercise.