Top-Down Smackdown: The Rumble Re-Run


I really, really thought WWE were a tiny bit smarter than this.

It’s not Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble, per se, as a transparent retread of Batista’s win last year. No, the issue is much more fundamental. In the past, when WWE plans have been so absolutely predictable, they’ve taken pains to ensure a swerve of some sort happens, just so it’s not exactly what every smartass fan knew what would go down.

And the attempts to save face were just embarrassing. Hey, let’s bring in Roman’s popular cousin, The Rock! Because that kind of thing always works – remember what a huge star Horace Hogan became after he joined his famous uncle in the nWo? And if you’re going to do a post-match interview with both Reigns and Rock, in the hopes that Rocky’s gift of gab will put them over, well…it doesn’t help to have him start by joking about pancakes, and then spend the rest of the interview telling the crew to stop laughing. That was face-palming bad.

Not to mention that of all the cities in the nation, you do not pull a cheesy, calculated storyline in Philadelphia. ECW country will not play that, and the way the crowd booed absolutely everything after Daniel Bryan got eliminated was the wrong kind of heat.

It’s a shame, because the Cena-Lesnar-Rollins match was handled perfectly to do what it needed to do. Yes, as a Lesnar fan I would have liked him not to spend half the match napping on the floor, but the purpose here was to make Seth Rollins a legit main eventer – and by making him look amazing against both John Cena and Brock Lesnar – without having him actually win the belt he shouldn’t get quite yet – this title bout achieved that. As for the feud between Cena and Rusev that’s being teased now, I am all for it: either Cena gets made to look bad, or Rusev is ruined by Super-Cena and we never see him again. I’m cool with both outcomes.

Sting versus Lesnar is not something I want to see. Shame on Paul Heyman for even suggesting it.

I think at this point, the only things that can save WrestleMania’s proposed, BORING main event of Lesnar versus Reigns is something like this:

Turn Reigns heel by having him attack the Rock. Telling him he doesn’t speak for him, and he wants no part of the Samoan dynasty in wrestling. If you can persuade Dwayne to participate, have him face Reigns at Fast Lane and get utterly destroyed. Won’t happen, but I can dream.

Meanwhile, gradually start to turn Seth Rollins. Increase the friction with the Authority, but keep him a semi-heel who still dislikes Cena. Make it a full turn when he’s forced to team with Dean Ambrose, against Kane and Big Show, and have them surprisingly work together well.

Then at WrestleMania, have Lesnar dominate Reigns, who becomes a cowardly heel. Lesnar wins, but Reigns beats the shot out of him with chairs afterwards. And then Rollins cashes in Money in the Bank, and beats a weakened Brock to close the show.

It won’t go down that way. But it should.

NOTE: because of blizzards, tonight’s Raw is expected to be a clip show from the studios in Stamford. Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger is this year’s celebrity inductee to the Hall of Fame.