We are finally here, friends. The WWE Royal Rumble is this Sunday and I can safely say I am more than pumped. If there are two gimmicky events I can’t get enough of in pro wrestling, it’s the Royal Rumble match and single elimination tournaments (RIP King of the Ring).
The stakes will seemingly be raised in this next Royal Rumble chapter as recent big name acquisition Chris Jericho has more or less promised the end of the world at the St. Louis hosted event. I know WWE is waiting on bated breath–they’ve given this guy the king’s ransom to push out oddly confusing promos and basically put in a work rate that would make Prince Fielder jealous.
[ad 6]Let’s briefly revisit what Jericho has done since his re-arrival on January 2nd. He said nothing, cried about something, almost wrestled, and then almost shot a tee shirt gun before saying one little sentence that implied he would (maybe) win the Rumble. To the people labeling this as brilliant, you’ve been hit over the head with too many convoluted wrestling story lines and were just begging for something simplistic.
To the people labeling this as a waste of time, you’re just frustrated that you haven’t put your finger on the pulse of what his endgame is (i.e. skimmed the IWC for Meltzer leaks and rumors). What I can say is that this whole thing has been interesting and I’m glad that something, anything for that matter, is finally going to happen at the Royal Rumble.
But isn’t that what Y2J wants us to think? Isn’t that what the writers have waiting for us in a dark, dank corner of the room like so much red herring we’ve been served as wrestling fans? Imagine this: we are treated to a couple of promos in between matches where Jericho explains how “awesome it is to be back in the squared circle, yeah, BABY!” or something of the sort. Later, the Rumble match starts and everyone is totally anticipating a Jericho draw somewhere in the 20’s, so late in the match his music hits and….he no shows.
Yeah, that’s right. Chris Jericho, who instantly became the wrestler’s non-wrestler, crescendos his act by sticking it to corporate and no showing one of the biggest events of the year. If the majority of fans haven’t turned on him yet, a good number of them will have after he stiffs them and later proclaims that he could actually not even show up for an event those fans paid for and people will still cheer him.
If this sounds a little like the execution of CM Punk’s character from last summer, you’d be validated in comparing the two. However, when Punk was doing it he was working against the already polarizing John Cena. Jericho? He’s out to screw everybody and if he does anything close to something as brash as this, I’ll finally be on board with his shenanigans.
Whatever WWE chooses, the ringer in all of this is that they are probably working toward some sort of showcase match at Wrestlemania with Jericho and an unnamed good guy to save the day. If that part is as clear as day, why not take the road less traveled and not even hint that Y2J will win the Rumble, because that’s our other, kind of boring alternative, right?
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on the guy, but a Royal Rumble win would mean that he would definitely main event the biggest show of the year, taking away the momentum guys like Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, and to a lesser extent Mark Henry have harnessed over the past year.
I could easily point to last year’s Mania when Alberto del Rio won the Rumble and they gave him the opening match against Edge for Heavyweight belt, but you have to think the winner will definitely be gunning for the top prize instead of the consolation piece this year.
If Jericho doesn’t win, he still has a couple of months to line himself up for a match against a huge company guy like Randy Orton or Sheamus at Wrestlemania. You’d still be getting your dividends paid if such a match happens while keeping the full time employees lined up for the title matches.
If Jericho does become the main attraction of the Rumble match and teases a win, I sure hope it goes down something like this:
[adinserter name=”366 left”]1. Jericho draws No. 2 and he and Miz form some sort of tangentially related tag team and double team everyone that comes out, eventually leading to one turning on the other to win the match.
2. Jericho reveals his ultimate plan, The Fall of Humanity, and unleashes the real, brooding Brodus Clay upon the Rumble and Brodus does all his dirty work for him, letting Jericho win (I love Funkasaurus, too, but this would blow me away and explain the weird promos)
3. Dean Malenko comes out and screws Jericho, reclaiming his title of man of 1,000* holds.
4. He wins the Rumble and loopholes himself into trying to win both titles at Mania, thus re-unifying them. Again.
Oh man. Those ideas are way too sweet to actually happen. Jericho’s going to win this via misplaced Brogue kick, isn’t he? Dammit.
Joe Leininger lives in Jacksonville, FL via the greater Philadelphia area. He dabbles in all things sports, pro wrestling, and television, and more of his work can be found at The Playing Field Blog and DestiGeddon.