For me, one of the biggest disappointments about Wrestlemania 27 wasn't the finish between John Cena and The Miz. Nope, not at all. What pissed me off the most about that underrated Pay-Per-View (yeah, I said it) was we did not get to find out who was the anonymous RAW General Manager. The angle had begun in summer 2010, and there we were in April 2011, at the biggest WWE PPV of the year, and the WWE Universe found no closure to the mystery. The whole "who's the anonymous GM" storyline had gone on for far too long, and The Rock's involvement at Wrestlemania should have ended the angle - but it didn't. Instead, two months later, we are no closer to finding out who's running the RAW brand than we were when Edge got into a "fight" with the laptop over a year ago.
At this point, the majority of WWE fans are so fed up with the angle that whoever is selected to be revealed as the anonymous GM is pretty much guaranteed to be a disappointment. Stone Cold? Wouldn't make sense. Triple H? Boring. The Undertaker? It would be amusing, but make zero sense. The Rock? What's the point, unless the RAW General Manager is scheduled to appear only once every three months. Those are four of WWE's biggest superstars of all-time, yet not a single one of them could live up to the stupid hype generated by a laptop sitting at ringside.
Except for one man. WWE fans have not seen or heard from Mick Foley since his television departure back in mid-2008. Apparently he had a brief stint in TNA where he went on to capture the world heavyweight championship over there. Unfortunately for TNA, they recently decided not resign Foley and there are already rumours swirling (some from Foley's very own Twitter account) that the Hardcore Legend would be making a return to the WWE. Thank God!
From a wrestling standpoint, there's not much that Foley can contribute to the product. His physical condition is in terrible shape, and he may not have many more matches left in him. However, Foley as a non-wrestler still has plenty to offer. Give him a microphone, and Foley will cut a better promo than 95% of WWE's current roster. He could offer priceless advice to young and struggling superstars backstage or in FCW, and really give them the motivation they need to step up their game. Since WWE are planning on bringing back managers, use Foley in that area as well. Or, better yet, why doesn't WWE kill two birds with one stone by,
REVEALING MICK FOLEY AS THE ANONYMOUS GENERAL MANAGER!
In my honest opinion, Foley is the only person WWE could select to play the role as the formerly anonymous RAW General Manager and have the fans actually care. I can guarantee that no matter which city RAW happens to be in that night, if Foley's music hits and he makes his cheerful way down to the ring, the crowd will pop like crazy. Sure, he may not be a bigger star than someone like The Rock, Stone Cold, or even Shawn Michaels, but each one of these men have made appearances on WWE television in recent months. Foley has not. He was last seen going spine-first through the table on an episode of Smackdown! with none other than - you guessed it - Edge. Wait, wasn't Edge the same superstar who "feuded" with the anonymous GM for about a month last year? He was! Talk about tying up some loose storylines.
Let's also not forget about the ratings. Since The Rock came and left, Monday night RAW has been averaging a 3.1-3.3 rating week-in and week-out. I'm no business expert, but I somehow doubt introducing Foley as the RAW GM who appears every week will hurt ratings. Instead, Foley's ECW fanbase (I'm pretty sure they still exist) will have a reason to tune into RAW every Monday night, to see one of their favourites still alive and kicking, walking around just a tad mentally unstable.
I would love to see Mick Foley return to the WWE as a full-time or even part-time wrestler, but I know very well that’s probably not going to happen, nor should it. Throughout his wrestling career, Foley has already shortened his life and endured more physical pain than most people do their entire lives. That’s why I’d be perfectly content with having the former Cactus Jack running the ship every Monday night, instead of Michael Cole and his stupid laptop/ipad/whatever.
Please come back, Mick. We miss you, and WWE needs you. Maybe more than you think.
2. Day 321
Considering that the main-event for this Sunday's Capitol Punishment Pay-Per-View is scheduled to be a WWE Championship match between John Cena and R-Truth, I think it's fair to say that the event does not interest me in the slightest. Even less so than Over The Limit, which reportedly drew some scary-low buys, the worst WWE have seen in years. Therefore, I don't want to waste my breath (or fingers, whatever) discussing Capitol Punishment. Instead, I'm going to look ahead to next July's PPV, Money In The Bank.
It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since the last time a Money in the Bank match took place. Due to the match being given a PPV of it's own last year, the once Wrestlemania-staple now only happens once a year, every July. Despite last year's show being very entertaining, I'm still not a fan of limiting the gimmick match to a specific PPV. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that there should be multiple MitB ladder matches a year, because that would merely take away even more credibility from both the winners' briefcases and the world titles. All I'm saying is that allowing one specific gimmick match take place at only one PPV a year is silly. Even the prestigious Royal Rumble has it's variations occur at other times during the year (i.e. Battle Royals, this year's RAW Rumble, etc.).
In my opinion, the Money in the Bank ladder match could become one of WWE's top-tier gimmick matches, but only if given the right build-up. As I mentioned, prior to the creation of the MitB PPV last year, the match itself was seen exclusively at Wrestlemania. In the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania, the announced/qualified participants would compete in singles matches, tag team matches, and even promos, to build up to their match. While I have nothing wrong with that booking method, there's only one problem. Any fan who has never ordered a Wrestlemania PPV between the years 2005 and 2010, and who never ordered last year's MitB PPV, has never seen a MitB match.
Think for a second about some of WWE's top "specialty matches". Cage matches. Ironman matches. Ladder matches. Table matches. Every one of these matches have taken place on an episode of RAW or Smackdown! in the past. While some people would complain that it's a foolish move giving away an "attraction" on free television, I argue that it gives the fans a taste of what is to come at an upcoming PPV. For example, going into a TLC PPV, the average fan has seen at least one tables, ladder, or TLC match beforehand. Therefore, he or she knows what to expect if they order the PPV - they're not spending $45 on an event featuring match-ups they have never even heard of. As a result, fans feel more comfortable about ordering the PPV.
That's why I think it's long overdue that WWE give away a Money in the Bank ladder match on RAW or Smackdown!. In addition to helping build-up a feud or promote a PPV, I doubt it would hurt ratings. Maybe there are some fans who don't want to watch Jack Swagger one-on-one with Evan Bourne, or Kofi Kingston in a singles match against Drew McIntyre, but group the four men up, throw in another two-four particpants, as well as a ladder and a guaranteed world title shot, and there might be some ratings success. The best part is, there doesn't even have to be main-eventers involved. Remember when the fatal-four-way tag team TLC match stole the show at an episode of RAW and was considered one of the year's best matches in the early 2000s? That TLC match main-evented RAW and among those involved, none of them were currently involved in the world title picture. It was essentially a battle between eight of RAW's midcarders, yet it worked!
That's why I'm looking forward to this year's Money in the Bank PPV. Last year, we saw what would eventually become the rise of The Miz to main-event status, as well as Kane receive one last run atop the Smackdown! brand when both men won their respective brand's MitB ladder matches. This year, I hope WWE sticks to a similar formula by having two MitB matches at the July PPV, one in which a veteran wins the briefcase, and the other where a newcomer gets to shine. On the veteran side, I would mark out if Chris Jericho returned and won the match, or if WWE randomly decided to give the nod to a William Regal title reign on Smackdown! (one can always dream, right?). As for newcomers, I think having either Kofi Kingston or Daniel Bryan win the briefcase would be the best bet, because it's time to push babyfaces into the main-event, not heels. Guys like Del Rio or Dolph Ziggler don't need that big win to ascend the card as much as someone like Kofi or Bryan does.
And that's how I would book next month's MitB Pay-Per-View.
3. Day 322
For the last few days, the Internet Wrestling Community has been abuzz about long Island Iced Z, Zack Ryder. Thousands of people are upset that despite being in Ryder's hometown, and the show being three-hours long, WWE couldn't find time to give Ryder a match or at least a backstage segment on Monday's RAW. A lot of people cannot comprehend how the same man who competed in a decent match-up with United States Champion Kofi Kingston the week before and fist-bumped backstage with WWE Champion John Cena the week before that could be snubbed from making an appearance in front of his hometown crowd.
Am I pissed that Ryder was a no-show on RAW? Hell yeah! Right after I watched the Christian/Mysterio match, I checked the spoilers section of LOP and saw that Ryder defeated Primo in a "Superstars" match. At that instant I knew Ryder would not be making an appearance on RAW and didn't bother watching the rest of the show. I mean, fuck it. If WWE is going to ignore their fans, I might as well ignore them back.
In the days that followed, I took some time to analyze the whole Ryder-RAW situation, and you know what folks? It ain't that bad. Long Island played host to Monday Night RAW at the worst possible time, six days before a Pay-Per-View (which very few people will order, but I digress). It kind of makes sense for them not to "play the Ryder card" since they figured he would get a louder reaction than many of their other stars, despite not even being scheduled for Sunday's card - which he did, as evidenced by the crowd's reaction on "Superstars". Also, WWE had to find time to showcase both the RAW and Smackdown! rosters in three hours, which is no easy task. Therefore, I kind of understand why WWE did what they did.
That doesn't mean I'm happy about it, though. PPV or no PPV, when a superstar has found a way to earn himself one of the loudest reactions of the night, you put him on television. It doesn't matter if it's boos or cheers, whether he got over on TV or online, or if it's his hometown or not. When someone finds a way to connect with a large portion of the audience, you put him on television. You push him. I'm not saying that Ryder should have wrestled Kofi for the United States Championship and won last Monday, but surely they could have found something for the Woo Woo Woo Kid. Since they were having several RAW vs. Smackdown! matches, they could have put Ryder over any Smackdown! mid-carder with ease. But - they didn't.
I've seen several people suggest that Ryder should have wrestled against Sheamus instead of Santino. They argue that even if it was a squash match, Ryder would have had a match on television. Well, that wouldn't have made a lot of sense for a couple of reasons. One, Ryder's a heel, as evidenced by his match against Kofi last week. You don't go from facing happy, go-lucky Kofi one week to wrestling mean, lean Sheamus the next week. It's just illogical. Second, how would the #RyderRevolution look if he received no ring entrance, got a chant going, but fell short to Sheamus? Ryder would have been right back where he started, the bottom of the card. Technically, WWE hasn't booked Ryder as badly as some people think they have in recent weeks. Ryder goes from appearing in backstage segments with John Cena to not being squashed by Kofi Kingston the next week and defeating Primo on "Superstars" the following week. Not a bad resume when you compare it to that of, well, the rest of the mid/lower card.
People, don't get it twisted. I'm still one of the biggest Zack Ryder fans on the planet. I "Woo" at least a dozen times per day, I follow Ryder on Twitter, and I bought the t-shirt, bro. But I'm not delusional, either. Did WWE do the right thing by not granting Ryder a spot on last Monday's RAW? Absolutely not. However, they didn't bury him either. He could have come out to a great reaction, only to be squashed in less than a minute in front of his hometown crowd. Something along those lines would have hurt the revolution, no doubt about it. Instead, WWE played it safe and allowed Ryder to have his moment on "Superstars". Baby steps, people.
All I wanted was to hear an audible "We Want Ryder" chant occur at some point during last Monday's RAW. Well, it happened. I heard it. You heard it. Vince heard it. Now we'll have to wait and see what WWE does with Ryder AFTER Capitol Punishment.
Dare I say, mission accomplished?
4. Day 323
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c.) vs. Ezekiel Jackson
We kick things off with what i hope will be the conclusion to a rather lackluster feud. When Barrett first won the Intercontinental Championship and formed The Corre, I was excited. I thought Barrett was on his way back to the top of the card. Unfortunately, after months of inconsistent booking, Barrett now finds himself stuck in a program with a green Ezekiel Jackson. I like Zeke as a face; he seems to have some charisma. However, he is NOT ready to win a midcard championship. He wasn't ready when he defeated Christian for the ECW Championship sixteen months ago, and he still isn't ready today. That being said, I don't think WWE cares, and I'd rather see Barrett move on to something else, so might as well give Jackson the ball and let him drop it.
Winner, and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Ezekiel Jackson
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
Considering that these two guys not only faced each other one million times on Smackdown! last year, but also wrestled twice in the past three weeks, you think WWE would have at least added a stipulation to tonight's match since it's on Pay-Per-View. A Street Fight, a Last Man Standing, a Number One Contender, a Texas Bullrope match, even. Something to spice it up. But nope, they'll just go out there and have a slightly above average match. Many people are calling a Mysterio win, but since Punk "cleanly" defeated John Cena on last week's RAW, I expect him to "cleanly" defeat Mysterio tonight, and use that momentum to challenge for the WWE Championship at the enxt PPV.
Winner: CM Punk
WWE United States Championship: Kofi Kingston (c.) vs. Dolph Ziggler
I'm surprised that this match actually got some decent build rather than just being announced at the very last minute on WWE.COM. It seems like Kofi has been United States Champion or Intercontinental Champion for the last five years, and I sadly don't see that changing anytime soon. In fact, I'm pretty sure he'll remain in his current spot until a major heel turn occurs, ala R-Truth, which will propel him into the main-event. As for Ziggler, I'm glad he's still with Vickie, as she continues to get him over every single week. and I'm also pleased to see his blonde hair growing back. What were they thinking with that haircut? Anyways, Kofi has an abundance of challengers on the RAW roster, and there's a lot more guys that could use the title win more than Ziggler, so I see Kofi retaining tonight and moving onto a new feud almost immediately after.
Winner, and STILL United States Champion: Kofi Kingston
The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio
Okay, time for Mr. Pessimistic to show his ugly (but "dashing" face). This feud has been crap. The match will probably be crap. The fact that Del Rio may not even win, or lose some momentum at the very least, is crap. This feud will probably continue into the next PPV, and that's crap as well. In other words, everything about this match is disappointing. Best case scenario, Del Rio gets the better hand of Big Show and makes him tap out like a little girl. Worst case scenario, Del Rio gets knocked out by Big Show's "Weapon Of Mass Destruction" (wtf?) and Del Rio gets revenge the next night on RAW by running over Big Show's other leg, leading to another match at Money in the Bank. If there is a God up there, he will let the former come true, and everyone can move on after tonight.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c.) vs. Christian
I said it last PPV and I'll say it again. I would LOVVVE to see Christian defeat Orton and regain his world heavyweight title. I understand the importance of having a major star as Orton carry a "weak" Smackdown! brand, but considering how the show's ratings have been slipping since the WWE Draft, they might as well take a chance and put the belt back on Christian. Then again, even if they don't, both men have been putting on a great feud, one of the year's best (take notes Big Show, Del Rio, RAW writers). This rivalry could end tonight, or it could continue all the way until SummerSlam. That being said, I sadly don't expect Christian to win tonight, partly because I don't think WWE trusts him as a world champion yet, but also partly because apart from Orton, Christian would have no legitimate challengers. Sheamus is still a heel, Daniel Bryan is not ready, and Sin Cara is far from ready. As a result, The Age of Orton will continue.
Winner, and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton
The Miz vs. Alex Riley
Six months ago, how many people thought a match between The Miz and Alex Riley would be one of the main-events for a PPV? Definitely not me. Riley's sudden babyface turn has taken off far better than I think even WWE expected, as the crowds have been strongly behind A-Ry the last few weeks. It just goes to show how big of a heat magnet The Miz is, right? Either way, I doubt this will win match of the night, but it should be a good brawl, and like Hustle stated in his column, the company would be wise to keep this feud going all summer long. The Miz has been made to look like a bitch since losing the WWE Championship to Cena, and that has to stop tonight with a victory, clean or dirty.
Winner: The Miz
WWE Championship: John Cena (c.) vs. R-Truth
The announcers weren't lying. Win or lose, tonight is the biggest match of R-Truth's professional wrestling career. His heel turn has placed him in the main-event of a WWE PPV, where he gets to compete one-on-one for the most prestigious championship in the business. While a Truth title win wouldn't surprise me as much as it would shock the rest of the world, I don't see it happening tonight. Truth is technically still a midcarder, and he has unfinished business with John Morrison to contend with. I believe in time Truth could win the WWE Championship, but tonight is far too early. John Cena has feuds with CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio awaiting him, as you can this match and feud is nothing but filler for a throwaway PPV. Sorry, but it's true. Therefore...
Winner, and STILL WWE Champion: John Cena
5. Day 324
Writer's Note: I had originally planned on discussing CM Punk's future in today's column, but Hustle already beat me to the punch, and there's not too much I can add to his thoughts. Therefore, I'll save my feelings about the former world champion for another day, presumably a bit before the Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View.
Do you know what today is? It's June 22nd, 2011. Why does that matter, you ask? Well, for those who are aware of seasons and horology, it means that today is the second official day of summer. Again, why should you care? Simply because WWE shocked many people by not performing their annual "spring cleaning", a.k.a. releasing a shit-load of talent, referees, writers, etc. However, don't let your guard down just yet. Considering that WWE stock is at the lowest point it's been in years, and that recent PPVs (excluding Wrestlemania 27) have earned horribly-low buys, you can rest assured WWE will be looking to save costs and fire some people.
So what if it's too late for "spring cleaning"? I am confident that pretty soon, by the end of August at the latest, WWE will perform the very first "summer's sorrows" and release about a dozen or so superstars from their contracts. But who shall see their dream of one day becoming the next big thing in the WWE come to an end? Once again, I'm glad you asked.
Tyler Reks: Funny, I believe this is the third consecutive time I place T-Reks on this list. He keeps hanging on by a thread, as someone somewhere backstage seems to like him. Personally, I don't see what there is to like. He flopped as a face, and is currently flopping as a heel. Some say it's because he was pushed too quickly (headlining Survivor Series? What where they thinking?); I say he's just plain awful. No mic skills, boring in the ring. He could maybe succeed in TNA, but he doesn't fit into the current WWE, not at all.
JTG: Like his buddy Tyler Reks, JTG is yet to make his RAW debut since being drafted two months ago. That being said, I don't see the former Cryme Tyme member doing anything but being squashed by midcarders when he does get a chance to appear. It's a shame, because JTG isn't a bad performer. He's decent on the mic, witty, and has charisma. He's just too small to make an impact, and not small enough to be labelled an underdog like Evan Bourne or Rey Mysterio. Unfortunately, JTG's time may be up.
David Hart Smith: Need I explain this one? He hasn't wrestled on RAW or "Superstars" in months, and a few weeks back, there were rumours about him being interested in learning MMA. For me, that's pretty much saying that DH Smith's wrestling career is done. WWE tried to push him again and again, but each time it showed that he was not going to following in Davey Boy's footsteps. See you later, Mr. Smith.
Primo: I was very impressed with his match against Zack Ryder on last week's "Superstars", but after the match concluded, I realized something. Not only is Ryder going to be a star (duh) but Primo is not going to amount to anything in the WWE. The announcers brought up the fact that he and "his brother" were the first-ever Unified Tag Team Champions, and since Carlito turned on him, Primo has done absolutely nothing. The worst part? That happened more than two years ago. Ask yourself this: could you imagine Primo being introduced as the "NEWWWW Intercontinental (or) WWE Champion?". Of course not. Sorry, amigo.
Johnny Curtis: Here's what I think's going to happen to Johnny Curtis. He will continue to appear in awkward backstage segments before making his Smackdown! debut in about a month. His debut will go so badly that WWE will give him a second chance to impress the next week, but the crowd still won't care. After a few more weeks (if he's lucky), Curtis will be regulated to "Superstars" before being released. He is just so bland I can't see him succeeding. Right now, Smackdown! is loaded with some hungry, exciting low and mid-card talent. Curtis is neither of those things.
Trent Baretta: I really hope I'm wrong on this one. Baretta is a massively underrated superstar who is overdue a push. Don't believe me? Watch any of his past matches from "Superstars". The guy is the pure definition of a cruiserweight, and he does some pretty cool stuff during his matches. Unfortunately, I don't see Trent hanging around too much longer. Without a cruiserweight division or tag team partner, singles success might be almost impossible for him to achieve. Like I said though, I hope I'm mistaken.
Rosa Mendes: Is Rosa smoking hot? Oh hell yes! However, since her WWE debut, has she improved in the ring? Ummm, not really. I love watching the sexy Rosa Mendes on my television screen, but if she's going to be used as a "wrestler" and not a valet, I'm not interested. WWE's women's division is in a bad enough state as it is; they need to hire or call up women to the main roster who can actually wrestle. The division is a serious problem, and Rosa is not a solution.
Heath Slater: Now that The Corre is no more, I don't expect Heath Slater to survive much longer. I can tolerate his tag team with Justin Gabriel (they are former three-time tag team champions), but you can tell WWE is itching to one day push Gabriel as a babyface. When that eventually happens, what becomes of Slater? He is average in the ring, horrendous on the mic, and is just kind of weird to look at. An August release might be too premature, but I wouldn't be surprised if WWE cuts ties with Slater before the end of the year.
6. Day 325
It's been quite the hectic week for World Wrestling Entertainment. "Power To The People" blew up in their faces, both ratings-wise as well as the accuracy of votes cast. Capitol Punishment was as mediocre of a Pay-Per-View as possible, and WWE wasted no time building up to the next PPV, Money in the Bank. Chavo Guerreo got released, which angered many people, but I couldn't care less. Amidst all those happenings, WWE still found time to promote tonight's RAW, which will feature Sin Cara vs. Evan Bourne, the one-night return of RAW Roulette, and of course, an appearance from Shawn Michaels.
Speaking of The Heartbreak Kid, thousands of fans are dying to know why Michaels will be on RAW tonight. Most are assuming he's there just to promote his new hunting show which debuts this week, but I have my doubts. Usually when a former WWE superstar shows up on WWE programming to promote a side project or something, rarely is the appearance hyped before-handed. Or, the superstar does not even come to the ring, he merely appears in a backstage segment or video package. A recent example of this would be Chris Jericho's video package on Smackdown! a few months back which basically encouraged people to tune into ABC's Dancing With The Stars Monday night to see Jericho "shake his booty".
Getting back to HBK though, I really don't think he will appear in front of the Las Vegas crowd and talk about nothing but hunting deer. No way. Instead, I'm pretty sure we'll see Michaels get involved with a heel, and put him over. Not in a match of course, since HBK's currently retired, but I can definitely see Michaels going face-to-face, exchanging words with a cocky, arrogant superstar. Someone who's looking to make an impact and prove to the world that he's as great as he thinks he is. Someone who crossed paths with Shawn Michaels in the past and was left feeling the effects of Sweet Chin Music.
Folks, you can bet your horses that tonight on RAW, Shawn Michaels and Alberto Del Rio will be involved in an in-ring segment. Why Del Rio, you ask? Well, as I just mentioned, one of the last times Michaels appeared on RAW (a surprise visit, mind you) he was interrupted by The Mexican Aristocrat, but for his troubles, poor Alberto got his teeth kicked down his throat by the WWE Hall Of Famer. Also, now that The Big Show/Mark Henry feud is underway (yay!), and CM Punk has secured his WWE Championship match for Money in the Bank, Del Rio isn't exactly in a program with anyone else at the moment. Therefore, the timing is right for Del Rio to stir things up with Shawn Michaels.
There's only one problem with the scenario. Shawn Michaels is retired. He has sworn to never wrestle again, and Ric Flair's idiocy has inspired him to keep that vow. While I'm sure Michaels will eventually give in to the urge and once again tie up a pair of wrestling boots, Michaels hasn't been retired for that long. After all, his Wrestlemania 26 match against The Undertaker took place not even two years ago. Before Wrestlemania 26, Michaels was still wrestling regularly, so it's not like he's been away from the squared circle for five or ten years or anything. I don't think it would be a good idea for HBK to come out of retirement and face Del Rio at the MitB PPV, or any time this year. Should Michaels decide to come out of retirement, it should be on his terms, and his terms only.
However, Wrestlemania 28 might not be a bad event for Michaels to make his return. With John Cena vs. The Rock already pencilled in as the show's main-event, WWE shouldn't have too much difficulty selling the PPV. Of course, why not put the icing on the cake by having Shawn Michaels face Alberto Del Rio at the event as well? For wrestling purists and even some members of the Internet Wrestling Community who dislike both Cena and The Rock, a match between Michaels and Del Rio might interest them instead. It would be the battle between wrestling's past and wrestling's future; the working class vs. the upper class; the Texan vs. The Mexican. In some ways, Del Rio vs. Michaels is a dream match in it's own right.
And the seeds to that match taking place could easily be planted on tonight's episode of RAW. All it would take is another Sweet Chin Music or a Cross-Armbreaker.
Shawn Michaels vs. Alberto Del Rio. I don't know about you, but I would love to see that match.
7. Day 326
The internet, not just the Internet Wrestling Community, has been abuzz for the past two-and-a-half days. Why? You know why. Because CM Punk cut the best promo of his career, and one of the best promos in quite some time, last Monday on RAW. It's got people, from former wrestling fans all the way to WWE Legends. Every one has something to say about Punk's incredible promo. However, what I want to discuss today is the list of names who are heavily rumored to be making a WWE return sometime in the future. Some of them sound plausible, while others are more wishful thinking than anything else. But let's get started.
Brock Lesnar: Despite having one of the shortest WWE tenures than everyone else on this list, Lesnar is arguably bigger than them all. That's partly because of his meteoric rise to the main-event in less than two years, but also due to his impact in the UFC. Love him or hate him, Lesnar is practically a household name in North America. Therefore, if the rumors are true about the former WWE Champion being in negotiations with the WWE, then that's a huge gain for the company. Forget about working backstage, there's no way a young and conditioned athlete like Lesnar is going to spend all his time working behind the scenes just so he doesn't have to travel to five cities a week. If he returns to the WWE, which I think will happen sometime in 2012, I believe he will get a Shawn Michaels/Goldberg-like deal, where he will only work RAW and PPVs. That would keep him from complaining and allow him to bring his starpower to a company that needs it. Verdict: Brock Lesnar will return
Paul Heyman: About one year ago, it was heavily rumored that Heyman would be joining WWE’s “rival company”, TNA. However, both sides were unable to reach a deal, and nothing happened. In my opinion, TNA really missed the boat, because Heyman is a genius when it comes to writing storylines and developing characters, which are two of TNA’s biggest flaws. Oh well, TNA’s loss is WWE’s gain because if Lesnar returns to WWE, so will Heyman. The two are close friends, and I can honestly not imagine one returning to the company without another. Hopefully Vince or Triple H has finally realized that their current writing staff is a joke and it’s time for a revitalization. Heyman can turn all that around in no time, trust me. Verdict: Paul Heyman will return
Colt Cabana: There’s no denying that Colt Cabana was terribly misused during his short and forgettable WWE run as Scotty Goldman. Unlike others who were brought in and pushed to no avail, Cabana didn’t even get a chance to impress the audience. He debuted, lost a shit load of matches, received a webshow on wwe.com, and was released. None of which was his fault, mind you. It’s hard to stand out in the WWE when you receive less than five minutes of television every other week and are pretty much punching bags for your opponent. However, it’s being reported that punk name-dropping Cabana on RAW was a hint that he may be returning soon as part of a deal with Punk to remain with the company. To be honest, I like Cabana, but whether Punk renews his contract or not, I just don’t see WWE re-signing him. Verdict: Colt Cabana will NOT return
Batista: Batista and Punk have a lot of things in common. Both are popular with the WWE divas backstage, both are former multiple-time world champions, and both are leaving because they are burned out, or “sick’ of the product. What’s worse, both are leaving at a high point in their careers. Batista left following main-event matches against John Cena for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 26 and the following two PPVs, as well as being in the running for WWE’s top heel. Punk feuded and had one of the top matches against Randy Orton at Wrestlemania, and has earned himself a world title match on the last day of his contract. The difference between the two is that whether this “contract expiration” is a work or not, I have no doubt Punk will return to the WWE. He may even pull a Jericho and be gone for two years, only to return to the company better than ever. Batista, however, is getting on in his years, and if he waits for the PG Rating to go away before he decides to return, it may be too late. Verdict: Batista will NOT return
Chris Jericho: Speaking of Y2J, I cannot recall how many interviews/reports I have read over the past few months on LOP about Jericho “discussing his return to the WWE”. Honestly, it’s getting old already. Like he did during his first WWE hiatus, Jericho will return when he’s ready, and on his terms. If WWE is in dire need of a top heel on the Smackdown! brand, but Jericho wants to return as a face, then no amount of money will convince Jericho to return as a heel. For the lead singer of Fozzy, wrestling is all about having fun and entertaining people, and if Jericho doesn’t think he can do either of those things, he won’t come back. That being said, wrestling is in his blood, and you can bet your life savings that Jericho has another WWE run left in him. It just probably won’t happen when we think it will. Deal with it. Verdict: Chris Jericho will return
These five men are heavily rumored to be making a WWE return, but there are apparently a number of current WWE Superstars who are looking to go the opposite direction and get out of their contract. Who might that be? I’ll go more in-depth tomorrow, but for now, let me know what you think. Am I right in thinking a Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and Chris Jericho return is in the cards? Or is it nothing but false, internet rumors? Let me know!
Song Of The Day:
It's rare that I pull out a two-part column, but WWE has been making waves the past couple of weeks, for good or bad reasons. As i mentioned, tomorrow I plan on kicking off Week 48 with my thoughts on which WWE Superstars are looking to follow in Chavo Guerreo's footsteps and leave the company. Yup, times are definitely changing in the wrestling world, folks.
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