If last night confirmed anything for us, it showed us that the Big Red Machine is back and back with a vengeance. This looked like the Kane of old and when Zack Ryder stepped into the ring for a falls count anywhere match, you knew he was in for trouble. The “match”, if you even want to call it that, went on for quite a while, with Ryder maybe getting one solid hit in on Kane. The rest of it was him getting absolutely brutalized, culminated with him getting choke-slammed right through the metal stage. Ryder lay motionless as Eve looked on in tears, but then, things went from bad to worse. The idiot himself, John Cena, came out AGAIN to say he would take care of this and have Ryder’s back. This needs to stop because as SITB co-editor Phil so aptly put it, Ryder needs to part with his new bro Cena or else he is going to lose his entire fan base. We’ll see what happens when Cena takes on Kane this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, but here’s to hoping that Cena and Ryder is a thing of the past.
Phoenix also witnessed something that no other WWE city has witnessed in 2012, and that is hearing Chris Jericho speak into a microphone. Although he only spoke very briefly, what he uttered is actually pretty promising. Granted the majority of the time he was out there he was shushing the crowd, he uttered these crowd pleasing words as he finished his segment: “This Sunday at the Royal Rumble, it’s going to be the end of the world as you know it.” So now we know that not only is Jericho going to be participating in the Royal Rumble, but apparently has something pretty big up his sleeve. Honestly though, if they keep up this ridiculous heel gimmick they have going with him into Sunday, it would be genius. What they have done with Y2J since his return has been nothing short of amazing. They have him polarize the crowd night in and night out, and he continues to do nothing. He goes from the most loved guy in the arena, right back to the heel in only a few minutes. Imagine if they pulled a stunt like that at the Royal Rumble? I probably wouldn’t be mad.
Last night also saw the return of Jericho’s infamous segment, the Highlight Reel. It was a pretty cool segment and you can watch the clip below.
In other noteworthy news, Brodus “Funkasaurus” Clay won another match, this time taking Heath Slater out in what seemed like 2 minutes. Clay and his new character have been growing on me in recent weeks, but again, he gets a nonsense match against a joke of an opponent. I really think the Funkasaurus is growing on the WWE Universe and that he will be getting a bit of a push soon. Maybe they will use the Royal Rumble to catapult Clay into the mix of contenders or maybe we’ll be forced to watch countless two minute matches and wonder what could be with this massive superstar.
I am going to make a bold Royal Rumble prediction based off of one of last nights matches. The Miz lost to R-Truth (who is getting really annoying) in a match that saw the loser get stuck in the first slot at the Royal Rumble. This means once the 30 Man Rumble starts Sunday, The Miz is going to be the first man in the ring. If he is to win the match, he would need to beat out 29 other competitors to take the cake. I do not think Miz is going to come out the winner, but I am predicting a serious run. Miz is too talented to be stuck in the rut he is in, feuding with R-Truth, and I think a serious run in the Royal Rumble will help his case. Again, you heard it here, Miz is going to last a long time in the Rumble, I’m predicting somewhere in the low to mid twenties.
The big news of the evening centered around CM Punk and John Laurinaitis. Raw started off with Punk coming to the ring and calling out Laurinaitis, verbally humiliating him in front of the WWE Universe, and seeking justice for all the misdoings that Laurinaitis has been responsible for against Punk. Instead that dolt Cena strolls out to he can plea for a match with Kane and that Ryder gets a re-match for his United States Championship. Again ENOUGH with the Cena-Ryder schtick. It sucks. Then Laurinaitis created a tag team match of CM Punk and Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. This paired up WWE Champion CM Punk against the number one contender Dolph Ziggler for the fourth time in recent weeks, and Ziggler ended up pinning Punk…again. Of course Laurinaitis had something to do with the outcome…again, which drove Punk to his boiling point. He called out the Executive Vice President for Talent Relations and the Interim Raw General Manager and challenged him to a bout later in the evening. Much to our disbelief, Laurinaitis accepted!
Guess what? That match never happened. Shocker I know, but at least something awesome happened. Laurinaitis came out with his boy toy David Otunga and read a letter to the crowd and to Punk. The letter was from Triple-H and the rest of the Board of Directors and it said that Laurinaitis was under evaluation and that his decision making ability has been called into question. It now seems evident that Laurinaitis will have to call a fair match between CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler on Sunday when the WWE Championship is on the line. This is huge news because all along it was clear that Laurinaitis was going to do what he could as the guest referee to screw Punk out of his title.
I really have no idea and really no opinion on who wins the WWE Championship on Sunday. Punk has been at or near the top for a long time and the WWE Universe could use a shake up, and a guy like Ziggler has been climbing the mountain for a while so I would not be shocked to see him take the belt. However, Punk has been and still is the best the WWE has to offer. He is the total package and having him with the title is great for the company because it keeps its older fans happy. Ziggler wouldn’t neccesarily upset the masses, and having a true heel at the top would be fun, but whatever happens, the WWE Title match on Sunday promises to be a great one.
Royal Rumble Predictions:
WWE Championship: Dolph Ziggler defeats CM Punk
Triple Threat Steel Cage Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry: Daniel Bryan wins and keeps his belt, feeding off of the anger from the Big Show’s brutal attack on his girlfriend a mere two weeks ago.
John Cena vs. Kane: Kane defeats Cena with a choke-slam to hell
30 Man Royal Rumble: Randy Orton returns with a bang and wins the Rumble, but not without fights from The Miz and Chris Jericho.
I had to include this segment from last night. EWWWWWW.