Monday, July 4, 2022
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WWE Royal Rumble 2016: Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt Breathe Life into Listless Rumble

No one appears safe.

Just when we were beginning to talk about Bray Wyatt and his brood becoming an afterthought in WWE, the sinister clan of characters do the one thing we all were waiting for – they picked on the wrong superstar. By making Brock Lesnar the object of their desire Monday night, the message is loud and clear.

Wyatt is a serious player in the Royal Rumble and a match at WrestleMania may not be between the “Beast Incarnate” and the current WWE World Champion, Roman Reigns.

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Finally, Wyatt could become part of a title picture that has been long overdue.

Secretly, I have been praying to the wrestling gods that a verbal confrontation between Wyatt and Paul Heyman would at some point occur, sending the hardcore wrestling fan into a fit of obsession the likes of a Kevin Sullivan rant and a Raven promo. The thought is making me sweat as I type the words on my computer.

I wondered out loud how WWE, more like Vince McMahon, would use the Royal Rumble to his advantage, make Reigns look more superhuman than before, and capitalize on Lesnar’s re-emergence in the building. Does this mean Lesnar/Wyatt happens in Dallas, or does one of his minions step to the plate and attempts to conquer Lesnar in the House that Jerry Built?

The ending of Raw, making Lesnar look mortal and leaving all of us wondering if Reigns at some point turns heel (I am also praying for this to still happen) has created more buzz for the first pay-per-view of the year, and frankly has helped to boost the event in Orlando since it looked more than bleak in its state before Monday night.

The mind of Vince McMahon is a terrible thing to waste. We have all learned that over the years. Just when things look as bad as they can be – and we all swallowed what was being served week after week – the evil genius makes us love his brand again.

Do we all think Reigns will really lose the title he has been built up to win? Does a short title reign do anything but force the masses to walk away from him when the champion needs him the most? The Lesnar-Wyatt segment created a diversion of sorts, taking some of the pressure off the current leader of the unbalanced band, and deflected it toward two superstars the fans could get behind in a mega match. It could mean many things. It could mean nothing. But I would be shocked if the final four wrestlers in the Rumble match weren’t Reigns, Lesnar, Wyatt and Kevin Owens.

I had to pick one more superstar, so why not pick the guy I have been pimping as the best choice for world champion for some time now? And remember, somewhere in all this amped up chutzpah, Triple H may reappear from his “injuries” to challenge his assailant, creating the match in Dallas we all knew was going happen at some point.

Even before the Rumble begins Sunday, there is enough buzz in my mind to make it one of the more entertaining events in some time. Fear of a falling brand is now replaced with optimism in my mind. The cost of $9.99 never looked so cheap to a wrestling fan’s credit card.

WWE needs to properly book this event. The names are going to sell themselves. Fans are too smart for that. The best booking has Reigns winning the Rumble. That isn’t the most important part of this match. The biggest part is the creation of rivalries moving forward. McMahon has created the drama he wanted. He created the excitement fans wanted. This is now a “starter” event, setting the table for new feuds and potential spoilers. Lesnar-Wyatt, if it should happen, is the best thing to happen to WWE in some time. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, and most of all, it creates the desired effect of Wyatt as a real main event threat. To the casual fan, it’s a reason to watch on Sunday night. To the rabid fan, it’s the best thing to happen since The Shield made its appearance in the company.

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Sunday night is now must-see television. McMahon knew what he was doing all along. Shame on us for doubting him in the first place. Now, the show his to deliver. Don’t think for a second that it won’t – even if the desired effect shocks fans a bit.

Isn’t that what McMahon used to do when this concept was new and fans were a little naïve to think everything happens the way it should? We have learned to expect the unexpected. Finally, that is what we are going to get.

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