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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Monday Night RAW Review and WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Predictions
By Mr. Tito
Jan 21, 2014 - 12:44:04 AM
Enough about burials or discussing the backstage rumors... Let's talk Royal Rumble 2014! I'd argue that even in the worst years for the WWE, the Rumble has always entertained. Where else can you see a Battle Royal that builds up anticipation with each of its 30 entrants and has a major "sense of urgency" behind it with the Wrestlemania title shot? Even with the Elimination Chamber watering the show down, the show remains entertaining. I'm pumped for he show, as always...
Much of you were counting on an A++++++ Monday Night RAW to get you hyped for Royal Rumble 2014. Why? You know the Main Event singles match, John Cena vs. Randy Orton, and you know that the Rumble match is going down. What more are you expecting? WWE's "go home" shows continue to follow the same trend of safe matches in order for their wrestlers to be healthy for the big show.
Of course, maybe everybody was expecting a HUGE return of Batista. Surprise, surprise... He wasn't that over. He certainly had his pops, as he was a well liked superstar and it's good to have him back... But he returns with a bald head, shades, and the tightest pants humanly possible. Cuts a lame promo on Randy Orton and later confronts Alberto Del Rio regarding a Twitter feud that excited nobody. Oh, and those tight pants left him incapable of doing the true Demon Drop powerbomb as he couldn't sit down without tearing. John Bradshaw Layfield, with either Vince McMahon or Triple H in his headset, was hyping this as the biggest reaction that he's heard in a while. I guess he disappeared for last week's RAW that ended with the huge "YES!" chants for Daniel Bryan.
In fact, I thought it was a bad night for the Ohio Valley Wrestling "Class of 2002". Batista returned to a "meh" reaction, although as I said, it's nice to have him back. Solid wrestler and good in the main event spotlight. Randy Orton has a bad match with Kofi Kingston, probably upset that he couldn't defeat Kofi Kingston in revenge for last week. I actually agree with Orton on that... He should have destroyed Kofi this week. To further ice that Orton is probably retaining the WWE Title at the Rumble, John Cena arrived late to brawl with Orton. What happened to the "first one in and last one out" mantra that we've heard from Cena? Complete waste of John Cena to just have him arrive at the end.
But then there's Brock Lesnar... Actually, nothing wrong with him but everything wrong with his Rumble match-up with the Big Show. Big Show, like Daniel Bryan during 2013, had major issues with Triple H/Randy Orton but wasn't able to resolve them. He loses to Randy Orton at Survivor Series 2013 and yet he's considered a legitimate threat to Brock Lesnar now? Actually, I have a good idea how to sell this match: Acknowledge their damn history! Did you know that Big Show actually BEAT Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series 2002 in what I believe was Brock's first ever WWE loss? Why not acknowledge that? Granted, Lesnar had yet to fight in UFC, but it's SOMETHING and this feud needs something to convince fans that Big Show could legitimately beat Brock Lesnar.
With the WWE Network going to offer ALL WWE, WCW, and ECW Pay Per Views on-demand, how on earth can the WWE ignore its history when fans can easily access the past now? Something to think about, WWE...
But yeah, not a great night in particular for the "Class of 2002", which in my opinion, are going to get pushed HARD during 2014. Randy Orton and John Cena have been the top paid WWE stars for many years now... Brock Lesnar, following his major success in UFC, is commanding a high salary with the WWE (reportedly $5 million per year). Batista's return probably wasn't cheap, either. Expensive wrestlers that Vince McMahon is going to put in huge spots during 2014 in order to hopefully generate revenue from their match-ups. I strongly believe that we'll see either a 3 Way with Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Batista or a 4 Way with Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Batista vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania 30. With Randy Orton being made to look weak for the past 2 weeks against Kingston and losing the brawl with Cena tonight, he's the odds on favorite to be WWE Champion heading into Wrestlemania 30.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan will possibly wrap up his Wyatt Family feud at Royal Rumble. Possibly... All depends if the WWE allows Bryan to "double dip" by wrestling a singles match and entering the Rumble. I know that many NXT fans are high on Bray Wyatt, but I'm just not seeing it yet with him. Decent personality, but the WWE won't let Wyatt impress in the ring. At the end of the day, the WWE is still a wrestling company. You can't be reliant on the WWE storylines, promos, or great entrances to spoonfeed to fans that you're great. You need to get into that ring and perform well in the ring. That's why I argued that Bray Wyatt should have started low and worked his way up. By doing well in the ring, it could have justified Bray Wyatt's top level push. In my view, the best wrestler of the Wyatt Family is Luke Harper. Why? Because he's been wrestling actual matches since their debut.
I don't know where the WWE is going with Daniel Bryan... On one hand, we have the OVW "Class of 2002" in the way, on the other hand, the WWE reportedly ditched months of storylines with Bryan/Wyatts in order to return Bryan to a full blown babyface again. WWE gave the impression that Bryan will be just wrestling Bray at the Rumble while the other 2 Wyatt family members will be entering the Rumble. God only knows...
Lost in the whole Wyatts/Bryan storyline is the fact that the Usos have 2 quality wins against the Wyatt Family. Those guys are pretty good and I'm hearing louder pops for the Usos with each week. As much as I love Cody Rhodes and Goldust as champions, the Usos are READY and would be proud tag team champions.
Those who told me that Fandango would be the "next big thing" owe me an apology... When you're valet Summer Rae is actually more entertaining as a performer than you, it's time to go back to the drawing board. And to think, the WWE had him actually defeat Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 29... Xavier Woods could actually be worse. Awful match on RAW tonight.
"Meh" to the continued matches against masked wrestlers by Alberto Del Rio. That guy has way too in-ring talent to be booked poorly as he has been for the last 3 years. WWE Creative should be ashamed of themselves for how poorly they've developed his character. The WWE Board of Directors should question the creative team... Oh, Vince McMahon is chairman of the Board? Oh, and he loves Alberto Del Rio and is responsible for the revolving door booking of Del Rio? My bad...
The Naomi push is on! Happy for her, as she's an entertaining personality on E! Network's Total Divas. See, for all of you bashing that show, it's helping to make a known commodity for the Divas Division. She has decent talent... Still, my chips are on Tamina Snuka as the next big star. I'm hoping that the cake in the face from AJ starts to cause Tamina to want to turn on AJ. Tamina, to me, looks like a legitimate badass and the Divas Division needs someone larger than life to help it draw. Tamina is that person, in my opinion, and making her take multiple pinfalls, as the WWE Creative team has lately, is not the way to book her. Just use the Shawn Michaels/Diesel model from 1994 but make sure Tamina is the heel and not the face as Diesel foolishly was booked during 1994 after the break-up.
CM Punk became the #1 entrant into the Royal Rumble thanks to his issues with Kane and/or the Authority, though Stephanie was trying hard to downplay issues with Punk by attempting to make Kane "apologize" to CM Punk. I actually like how the New Age Outlaws are, once again, acting as flunkies for the Authority and Triple H. It's nice to have them back and I wouldn't be surprised if they steal the WWE Tag Team Titles from Goldust/Cody before the Rumble. I'm actually happy that Punk is the #1 entrant... Chances are that he'll last at least 45 minutes before getting tossed. I'm happy with that. The more CM Punk, the better.
I was fine with RAW and will go with a "B-" grade. The show advanced the CM Punk/Authority storyline and there wasn't much that insulted me this week. The Ohio Valley Wrestling "Class of 2002" better step it up, though, or Vince will get impatient with them and begin to scrap the 2014 plans. WWE could have each of them lose to Daniel Bryan or elect to push guys like Sheamus, Big E Langston, Bray Wyatt, and Roman Reigns hard in their place.
Onto my predictions with the classic "what SHOULD/WILL happen" style:
MR. TITO's PHAT ROYAL RUMBLE PREDICTIONS
(If it gets booked on Smackdown) Naomi vs. AJ Lee
I'm writing this column AFTER Monday Night RAW and assuming this gets booked on Smackdown. If it happens, it seems like the WWE is getting warmed up to Naomi as a wrestler lately... That being said, they are also hyping how long AJ Lee has been champion.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Naomi should win. Sometimes, you've got to shake things up and I believe that the win would help Naomi's career considerably.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: AJ Lee retains. The streak will continue.
New Age Outlaws vs. Goldust/Cody Rhodes
Something tells me that the Tag Titles are getting changed in this match... With the Usos being booked strong lately, the WWE needs to do something to get the titles off of another babyface tag team. Then again, would the WWE change titles on a pre-show match?
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Cody Rhodes/Goldust retain. That is a great tag team with talent that should overwhelm most teams, let alone an older team who hasn't wrestled much for the past year.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: I'm going to call it. New Age Outlaws are going to steal the titles. They will be placeholders for the Usos to defeat in the coming weeks on RAW.
Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show
Please. Lesnar is going after WWE Title gold and Big Show is not. This match is just filler and is Brock's "something to do" before he goes after the WWE Title for Wrestlemania 30. This is probably my crapper break after a long night of devouring pizza.
WHAT SHOULD/WILL HAPPEN: Brock Lesnar wins 100% clean.
Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan
This match is perplexing only because we're unsure of Bryan entering the Royal Rumble or not. I figure if we see Bray Wyatt winning or a DQ, there's a strong chance that Bryan enters and wins the Royal Rumble. Then, he could wrestle a more hyped match against Bray Wyatt at the Elimination Chamber instead. But if Bryan defeats Bray Wyatt, I'm not sure if Vince would want to book Bryan that strong in one night. Vince is weird like that... But for all I know, Vince could be 100% behind pushing Bryan.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Daniel Bryan defeats Bray Wyatt 100% clean. Wyatt should go down in a strong losing effort and start wrestling regularly in the midcard to build himself up for the future.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: No Contest or Disqualification to keep this feud going for the next few RAW shows or even the Elimination Chamber. WWE wants Bryan to work with Bray Wyatt and get him over.
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena
This one is easy. Randy Orton has been booked to look like a chump for the past few weeks, particularly against Kofi Kingston and now losing the brawl to end tonight's RAW. The weaker booking heading into the Pay Per View is ALWAYS a strong sign that they'll go over strong at the Pay Per View. WWE seems to have other plans for John Cena at Wrestlemania other than another WWE Title match, tagging with Hulk Hogan I suppose? What a dumbass idea that will be...
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Orton is such a dud as champion. WWE should have Cena vs. Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30, period. Their Extreme Rules 2012 match was badass and I want more of that.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Randy Orton retains. He's been booked to look weak heading into Rumble and WWE Management is reportedly high on seeing Orton vs. Lesnar in some capacity.
2014 Royal Rumble Match
WWE seems to making it very obvious that Batista will win it. Too obvious... Meanwhile, they could be hiding the fact that Daniel Bryan could "double dip" on this event by wrestling Bray Wyatt and then winning the Rumble. CM Punk has terrible odds at being the #1 entrant but you never know in today's Rumble. Sheamus is possibly returning and I remember hearing a news story that Triple H was pushing for him to win the Rumble to further help Sheamus's career (please, God, no!). And for all we know, Triple H himself could enter the Rumble... You never know. With there being just ONE World Title, we could see a situation where the Royal Rumble winner MUST DEFEND his #1 Contendership at Elimination Chamber 2014 and could actually lose it. In that scenario, for example, Sheamus could win the Royal Rumble but lose his Wrestlemania 30 shot to Batista at Elimination Chamber. WWE has yet to advise how the Elimination Chamber's Pay Per View and match will be handled now that the World Heavyweight Championship has been dissloved into the WWE Title. TOO hard to predict.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Obviously, Daniel Bryan should win it. It's his time, he's the most over, and he should win the WWE Title at Wrestlemania and be given a legitimate title reign for months after that.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: One of the "Class of 2002" Ohio Valley Wrestling members will win it. Batista is the odds on favorite with the loser of Orton/Cena probably winning the Elimination Chamber match. There's a good chance that Heyman/Lesnar are bluffing and Lesnar will enter the Royal Rumble. WWE Management is stubborn and I'll stick to my guns that their dicks are hard for the 2002 developmental talent. I'll go Orton/Cena/Lesnar/Batista as my Royal Rumble winner and I'm reluctant to do so. Bryan should win it.
So there you have it, my wonderful predictions. Honestly, I'm TERRIBLE at predicting Pay Per View shows. I'm better at predicting what matches could occur on Pay Per Views than I am of the results of the matches themselves. Who knows why?
But, I make predictions to entertain, as with any column I post. I'm not here to be a raging egomaniac known as "Mr. Tito". I'm here, now in my 16th year with LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com, because I'm a wrestling fan and I enjoy writing to a large audience of very loyal readers. And I believe 100% in what I post.
Certainly, I can be a bastard at times... I'm pretty intense when it comes to debating, so thus when you call me out on the comment section of LoP's RAW results, I'll get you back... And much of you fall for my excellent marketing of my columns. I use the word "buried" and suddenly, everyone's blood pressure rises. Sometimes, I have fun with the audience... But again, I believe in 100% of what I write. It is my opinion that the WWE Creative Team has tried to sabotage Daniel Bryan since the end of SummerSlam 2013 and I've listed facts repeatedly to back that up. I did the same thing during 2011 with the claim of CM Punk being buried. I see the inner workings of the WWE and I make the call. Doesn't mean you have to agree with that call, even if I'm quite aggressive in how I present it.
I'm just here to entertain, folks... I certainly carry a swagger and that's how I've been from day one here at LoP. Don't believe me, read through my personal column archives, particularly during 1998-2002 when I wrote Mr. Tito's Phat Daily Column. It's hilarious to hear critics suggest that I was better back then, which baffles me because I was an immature punk who regularly picked fights with actual wrestlers and purposely trolled readers. I cringe when I look back at some of those columns and some of the cruel things I've said.
But I LOVE pro wrestling... I wouldn't waste my time watching and writing on it if I didn't. I want the WWE, in particular, to improve and I see many easy ways for them to fix their product. I actually provide lots of in-depth analysis, for free, on what the WWE could do and it's from many things that I've learned in the financial world that I help operate from a marketing and economics standpoint. I wouldn't do that if I didn't care... Time is a luxury that I do not have with work, family, and a horrible video game addiction that I've reacquired, but I'm still here because I want to be here and enjoy my readers.
Say what you want about me, but it's hard to question my loyalty to LoP/Pro Wrestling. I wouldn't be here otherwise...
Thank you and goodnight.
I AM buying Royal Rumble 2014 and if all goes well, I'll write a HOT column to post immediately after the show. If not, I'll definitely write a column as I'm watching the replay on Comcast. Thus, be on the lookout for an official Tito review of that show.
Comments and debates are welcome on Twitter. Bring it on. @titowrestling
SO JUST CHILL TILL THE NEXT EPISODE!
MR. TITO COLUMN ARCHIVES on LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com
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