The much anticipated WWE Royal Rumble is finally upon us as many, including myself, are excited to watch the event Sunday night on PPV from Phoenix. My last two blogs have addressed different aspects of the Rumble along with the updated Q&A's and here are some more random, rumble thoughts...
I expect the WWE Title bout the close the show featuring WWE Champion @CMPunk defending against @TheRock. It will be interesting to see how the challenger will be able to morph from movie star back to his wrestling roots especially against the intense Punk who is obviously walking into the main event with a sizeable chip on is shoulder.
As I have written, I see Punk, who is extremely physical and tough, using Muay Tai kicks and strikes, in general, against Rock who never really encountered anyone of Punk's skill set when Rock was wrestling in WWE full time.
The longer the match goes the more it would seem to favor the Champion but I'm sticking to the prediction that Punk makes one mistake, likely mental, that cost him the WWE Championship.
Rock won't leave Phoenix unscathed as I expect his body to resemble that of an auto crash victim when all is said and done tonight but winning any major championship always comes with a price.
At this stage of his life and athletic career, I see tonight as arguably the last viable chance that Rock has to win the coveted WWE Title.
I've picked John Cena to win the Rumble match but in reality this could go in a multitude of ways. I still feel Dolph Ziggler will make an impact and I can't count out Sheamus, Ryback and Orton, among others. There will be so many different stories being told within this contest which makes the Rumble match so compelling. Who leaves not only the winner but who leaves this bout with their stamp on the night such as @KevinNash and Kane, among others, have done over the years? Is Kane's record of eliminations in the Rumble match in jeopardy tonight? I say it gets broken.
Plus, I'm curious to see how many if any at all surprise entrants there are in the Rumble bout especially any "Alumni." NXT's Bo Dallas has qualified and he's a 3rd generation talent who everyone in WWE Talent Development is very high on.
The Last Man Standing Match for the World Title is intriguing and I think that the stipulation actually favors Alberto Del Rio but Big Show's right hand may have something to say about that assumption. I think that ADR is just coming into his own and retains World Title Gold in what could be, thanks to the rules, a bowling shoe ugly bout.
It seems that most of the focus on the WWE Tag Team Champions has been with Dr. Shelby so based on that I'm predicting that the duo of Rhodes Scholars will upset the Tag Champions tonight in what could be a sleeper of a bout on the PPV. Rhodes and Sandow are an odd couple who may have less distractions that do Team Hell No. They may never be Rhodes and Murdoch but they damn sure aren't bad.
In the pre match festivities, Antonio Cesaro defends his United States Title against @MiketheMiz and I have Cesaro winning a close one prior to the PPV starting.
From a broadcasting perspective, The Royal Rumble PPV is so challenging to master because of so many different participants who each have their own story that needs to be told especially in the rumble match where the stories change with each entrant and elimination notwithstanding when the nut cutting gets down to the elite eight and obviously the final four and, lastly, the two men left vying for the spot of sole survivor and subsequently heading to WM29 for a main event slot and a massive pay day.
From what I understand the arena in Phoenix is sold out which always helps the atmosphere especially if the live audience emotionally invests and doesn't sit on their hands.
Hard to believe that on this date in 1993, just before I arrived in WWE from WCW, that WWE HOFer Andre the Giant passed away in his sleep in Paris, France at the age of 47. There will never be anyone remotely comparable to Andre in our lifetime in the wrestling business. He was the true definition of "an attraction" and because Andre wasn't over exposed to the masses Andre generally stayed special even in his later years when he was physically limited in the ring.
When Andre would come into the Mid South Territory for Bill Watts back in the day one of my jobs was to make sure that "the Giant" had plenty of food and booze. He loved Creole/Cajun food because of the French influence it had and could consume enormous amounts of liquor, especially wind, that has been well documented. I've personally seen Andre the Giant drink over 100, 12 ounce cold beers in one sitting with only the occasional time out to hit the men's room or to continue to eat. Andre knew that acromegaly, the disease from which he suffered, had issued him an early death sentence so he vowed to live every day to its fullest.
Several have died here in Oklahoma of the Flu but I'm feeling better each day thanks to a great doctor and an even better wife who is taking great care of me. I'm not a very good patient but I'm doing as I'm told, most of the time, and hope to be ready to head back to Orlando next week for NXT and then on to Tampa for another tryout camp. So it looks like I will be in Tampa for the Super Bowl. Sounds like a trip to Selmon's might be in order.
Hard to believe that today it will be warmer in Norman than it will be in Phoenix as the countdown is on as the green flag drops to begin the race to WrestleMania 29,
I will be doing live Tweeting tonight during the Rumble @JRsBBQ and I invite you to join me.
Enjoyed #UFCONFOX6 Saturday night from Chicago. Nice night of fights overall. Good to see the small guys get a shot at closing the show. UFC, like WWE, always has to be aware of overexposure as there seems to be an awful lot of UFC product on the air and it, like sports entertainment, can be challenging with which to keep up.
Any one watching the NFL Pro Bowl today? I didn't think so.
Order JR's products including the world's best Chipotle Ketchup and Main Event Mustard in the UK and Europe from @americansoda and of course our complete line of products including 5, tremendous flavors of JR's Beef Jerky from WWEShop.com, http://www.wweshop.com.
Thanks for stopping by and for those that are submitting succinct, intelligent questions at our Q&A section.