Posts Tagged ‘Zack Ryder’

The Royal Rumble is upon us and it’s a great time of year to be a wrestling fan. As soon as the Rumble is over, the push to Wrestlemania begins. This year WWE decided to make it a 40-man Rumble. Seems like too many wrestlers. But hey, anything that gets Zack Ryder on the big stage is ok with me. Seriously, I hope it doesn’t turn into a big, giant mess. Hopefully it just means that guys like JTG, Primo, Santino Marella, Yoshi Tatsu and Chris Masters get eliminated quickly.

WWE has already announced 34 competitors so there will be six surprise entries in this year’s Rumble. Who could fill those six spots? The surprises usually make for an interesting wait in-between wrestlers. Remember 2008 when John Cena was the surprise entrant at #30? He went on to win but the fact that he showed up was huge. I don’t think anyone expected him to be back from his neck surgery so soon. I was watching the Royal Rumble at a bar near Chicago that year and the place went nuts when his music hit. I think we’re in for a few surprises this year. A couple have already been spoiled but it should still be interesting.

Here are the 34 wrestlers already confirmed for the Royal Rumble:

Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, David Hart Smith, David Otunga, Drew McIntyre, Ezekial Jackson, Heath Slater, Husky Harris, Jack Swagger, John Cena, John Morrison, JTG, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Primo, R-Truth, Rey Mysterio, Santino Marella, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, Vladimir Kozlov, Wade Barrett, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder

Is he back?

The wrestling dirt sheets are reporting that Kevin Nash and Booker T will be two of the surprise entrants. I don’t know what kind of reaction Booker T will get but the place should erupt when/if Nash comes out. That leaves four more spots to be filled. HHH should be healthy enough to come back so he should be another surprise entrant. There’s no reason not to bring him back now. Wrestlemania is around the corner and he needs to build an angle to get him there. I just hope he doesn’t win. WWE needs something fresh this year and if Cena or HHH win, it will seem like the same ol’ same ol’. Last year Beth Phoenix became the second woman to enter the Rumble so why not Awesome Kong this year? She’s in the company and they’re waiting for the right moment to debut her and seems like as good a time as any.

Some other names to fill the remaining spots are Christian, Evan Bourne, Jerry Lawler, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Cody Rhodes. Christian, Bourne and Rhodes would be nice but the other two, not so much. We don’t need to see any token “Legends” in the Rumble. The Undertaker is another name, a huge name, being thrown around. That would be big but does he really need a Wrestlemania push? He’ll be at Mania no matter what so winning the Royal Rumble is not a huge deal for him. He doesn’t need the rub.

Join a real company

An interesting angle I was thinking of was having Sting come out at #30. Sting has never been with WWE or WWF so this would be a big deal. This could lead to his induction into the Hall of Fame and possibly an angle with The Undertaker. Sting is 51 years old and he doesn’t have much time left in the ring. He’s hardly ever in TNA for an extended period of time so why not move to the E and finish his career there? The Hall of Fame should be the pinnacle for anyone in the business. I don’t know if Sting cares about that but it would be a good end of a career. Does he really want his last memories of a wrestler be in TNA?

The Mexican JBL

So who’s gonna win the whole thing? As long as it’s not HHH and John Cena, anyone else is fine with me. It’s not that I am a Cena or HHH hater, it’s just that we’ve seen that before. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Alberto Del Rio winning the Rumble. He may be too new to do it but he’s such a great heel and if he doesn’t win it this year, he should win it very soon. The guy is gonna be a star. John Morrison, CM Punk, Sheamus and Wade Barrett would also be good choices.

Speaking of CM Punk and Wade Barrett, maybe the Royal Rumble will come down to Nexus vs The Corre (Nexus II). The final participants could be a combination of CM Punk’s Nexus (Punk, Otunga, Harris, McGillicutty, Ryan) and Wade Barrett’s Corre (Barrett, Gabriel, Slater, Jackson). This could be a preview to an eventual Nexus v Nexus showdown at Wrestlemania. What also could take place is that Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield could reappear at the Rumble and each could be one of the unannounced entrants. There, Tarver and Sheffield could choose sides and rejoin Nexus or join The Corre.

He really is awesome

There are other matches on the Royal Rumble card. Natalya  will be facing Lay-Cool in a two-on-one handicap match for the Diva’s Title that nobody will really care about. Natalya should retain and hopefully we start to see some dissension in Lay-Cool so they can finally break up this annoying team. Edge will take on Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Title. This should be a decent match and Vickie Guerrero will generate a ton of heat. Ziggler is enjoyable to watch but now is not his time to win the title. Randy Orton will take on The Miz for the WWE Title. No way The Miz loses this match. He’s too good of a heel champion to end his reign now. There’s also no way Randy Orton loses clean in this match either. Alex Riley will somehow take some punishment so Miz can get the win. Look for Riley to eat an RKO from Orton but also for Riley to interfere in order for The Miz to get the win.

Except for the Divas match, the card looks pretty good.

I just caught up with the first two episodes of WWE NXT and I am really impressed with this show.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked what the new ECW was but it had run its course.  Guys like Christian, Zack Ryder, and Shelton Benjamin should be in the big time.  ECW gave us new stars and reinvented some veterans but WWE needed to make the change and try something different.  Now we have NXT and, if you’re a wrestling fan, you should be watching it.

TNA is garbage.  It’s always been garbage and now, with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, it’s even bigger garbage that probably won’t live to see 2011.  The NXT rookies are more compelling and have more swagger and charisma than TNA World Champion AJ Styles and he’s been in TNA for eight years.  Maybe that’s why NXT is doing better ratings in the last two weeks than TNA.  It took TNA seven years to make it to at least a 1.4 rating and NXT did it in its first week.  If you’re not watching TNA, don’t bother.  If you are watching it, why?

TNA wishes it was this good

The premise of NXT is simple.  Eight “rookies” are each paired with a WWE “pro”  There are some good pairings and some pairings are train wrecks.  I’m sure the relationships between the individual rookies and pro’s will develop and, in some cases, deteriorate over the course of the show.  The pro’s will vote for and against a rookie but they can’t vote for their own rookie either way.  This means that the rookies have to learn from their pro’s but they have to impress everyone.  The winner will become a WWE Superstar.

Matt Striker is the host of the show which airs on Syfy on Tuesday nights at 10pm EST.  Josh Matthews and, a heelish, Michael Cole are the announcers.  Matthews jocks all the rookies and Cole reminds him that they’ve never done anything in WWE.  Striker sides with Cole when it comes to how to treat the rookies, and we already know he’s a heel announcer on SmackDown.  Striker, with the absence of Jim Ross, is the best announcer in WWE right now.  What the hell, throw TNA in there too.

So far my favorite aspect of the show is that CM Punk, who is paired with Darren Young, doesn’t want to be on the show and doesn’t want anything to do with his rookie.  On the first episode Punk is interviewed and openly says, “I don’t understand why I’m here.  I have no idea why I’m on this show.  I don’t know who Darren Young is or who he thinks he is but I mentor Luke Gallows and Sarina so if Darren Young wishes to be mentored by the Straight Edge Savior, CM Punk, I suggest he thinks about accepting straight edge into his life.”

The Pairings:


The Miz and Daniel Brian – This is by far the most intriguing pairing on the show.  For those of you who don’t know, Daniel Bryan is Bryan Danielson.  Danielson has been a star overseas and on the independents for ten years.  He has a loyal following.  The Miz (Mike Mizanin) is a former reality star who’s resume includes The Real World 10, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, The Gauntlet and many others.  ESPN’s Bill Simmons and writer Chuck Klosterman regard The Miz to be one of the best, if not the best, pure athletes in all the MTV challenge shows.  The Miz has been in WWE since 2006 and he’s the current United States Champion and Unified Tag Team Champion with The Big Show (Show Mizzness).

ROH marks went crazy on the internet when they heard this pairing.  How could The Miz be mentoring someone who is better and way more experienced than him?  That’s why WWE is king.  They know people won’t like it but will watch.  This storyline is what makes the show good.  It seems everyone, except Matthews, hates Daniel Bryan because he thinks he’s too good to be on the show ( but he will work hard to prove himself) and they want him to respect the business.  He’s already lost twice in the first two weeks but look for him to shine very soon.  He took a nasty bump when he flew out of the ring at Chris Jericho.  Jericho reversed it and sent him flying into the announcer’s table.  You could just see the pain on Bryan’s face but he went on.  On last week’s episode he had a big welt on his ribs.

King of The Gauntlet and mentor to Daniel Bryan

Chris Jericho and Wade Barrett – These two were made for each other.  Both Jericho and Barrett think they’re better than everyone.  The tall Barrett is from Manchester England and I think he regards himself as someone superior to the commoners.  Jericho, the current World Heavyweight Champion, talks a good game and so does Barrett.

R-Truth and Davis Otunga – If you don’t know, David Otunga is the fiance of Jennifer Hudson.  He has been on the red carpet and met the President (twice).  Otunga thinks his star power is enough for him to win this competition.  He tangled with Darren Young on the first two episodes.  After his loss to Young in episode two, Otunga pushed Truth away after the match.  The intense R-Truth found him backstage and the two started to brawl.  We’ll see where this goes.

CM Punk  and Darren Young – As I said earlier, this is my favorite part of the show.  CM Punk doesn’t look like a mentor in this relationship.  When Young makes his ring entrance, Punk and The Straight Edge Society (Luke Gallows and Sarina) don’t even walk with him.  It’s like someone is forcing them to be with Darren Young.  During Young’s second match with Davis Otunga, Punk looks at Gallows and says, “Why am I here?”.  He looks disinterested, bored and like he’s being punished.

Darren Young is the South Beach playboy and he likes to party.  That doesn’t sit well with The Straight Edge Society.  In episode two, Young says he’s interested in Punk’s straight edge lifestyle.  I see a different/changing Darren Young in the weeks ahead and Punk will warm up to his protégé.  A haircut could very well be in Darren Young’s future.

Why are we on this show?

Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel – Gabriel has Hardy Boyz moves and works well with Hardy.  The only problem so far with Gabriel is his look.  He looks gay and his wardrobe doesn’t help.  I think the announcers made an Adam Lambert reference in the second episode.  Justin Gabriel is from South Africa and wrestled under the name, Justin Angel.  His 540 splash against William Regal and Skip Sheffield was awesome.  Man up your look a little bit Justin.  A gay character doesn’t play well in WWE, as Orlando Jordan.

Carlito and Michael Tarver – Tarver is a muscular, fast wrestler but being paired with Carlito doesn’t do him any favors.  Carlito is known to be one of the lazier wrestlers in the business and somehow manages to not get fired whenever the roster cuts happen.  I wonder if Tarver will be jobbing on NXT like Carlito does on RAW?

William Regal and Skip Sheffield – Regal is not a big fan of Sheffield and feels negative comments are the best way to teach your rookie.  Sheffield is muscular and has some moves.  He’s not the smartest person, he said it, but this odd couple pairing should be entertaining.  Regal could definitely show this guy how to be physical in the ring and not just use his power.  During their tag team match with Hardy and Gabriel, Regal spent most of the time yelling at Sheffield.  At least he was teaching him something (see Punk-Young).

If you want to learn how to fight (dirty), this is your man

Christian and Heath Slater – My first problem with Heath Slater is that he looks like Jessie/Slam Master J.  Secondly, he looks like an idiot jumping around and celebrating.  I see Christian having a problem with that too.  Christian looks like he genuinely wants to help Slater and I’m sure we’ll see the One Man Rock Band (Slater) mature over the course of this show.

I can’t wait to see the next episode.  I just wonder what will happen to the wrestlers who don’t win?  I can’t see WWE just giving up on any of these guys.  So far it’s been The Daniel Bryan Show but I’m sure the tone of the show will change.  It’s still too early to separate these guys but I’m sure, with more exposure, someone will rise and fall.  The rookies all seem to like each other but that can’t last.  There’s gonna have to be some conflict introduced and backstabbing.

At any rate, these guys are all interesting.  Check them out on twitter.  WWE is using twitter to market this show and it’s working.  Don’t forget, TNA sucks!