The Royal Rumble is this Sunday, we all know that. Most of us also know that last weekend was the NFL’s Championship Sunday, which saw the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens advance into the SuperBowl. I went to school in Baltimore, so while the Ravens aren’t my favorite team they have a special place in my heart. As a pro wrestling fan, I am always intrigued with the story lines of big sports games, whether it be a Yankees vs. Red Sox game, The World Cup or the SuperBowl. This year I see a lot of similarities between the storylines of the SuperBowl and the WWE Championship story line going into the Royal Rumble.
On one side of the SuperBowl you have Colin Kapernick, a second year quarterback, who started the season as a backup, that’s the total package. He can throw, he can run and he’s good under pressure. He has now lead his team to two playoff wins, broke the record for most rushing yards by a QB in a single game, and is now officially starting in his first SuperBowl. On the other side of the field, you have arguably the best defensive player in the last 25 years (all time?) in his last game, ever. Win or loss, Ray Lewis is retiring. He has played for 16 seasons and has led an amazing defense on the Baltimore Ravens. #52 has been to the Pro Bowl an amazing 13 times and he won the SuperBowl in 2001, a little over ten years ago. That was there last chance at the championship, but they've always been a force in the NFL.
A veteran seeking one last run at glory. A fresh face riding a hot streak. Is it the fairytale ending to an amazing legend or the first chapter of a new one?
Did I mention Ray Lewis played college football with the Rock?
CM Punk vs. The Rock at The Royal Rumble follows this pattern. It’s pretty amazing actually. The Rock coming back seeking one last run at glory, CM Punk riding his winning streak, a battle over the biggest prize in the industry. There’s even records being broken. But one is real life, and the other is scripted, so the real question is; what’s the better ending?
The SuperBowl is decided by guts, determination and defense, and although I would love to see Ray Lewis ride into the sunset, I wouldn’t bet any money on the Harbaugh Bowl. You know what they say, “Any given Sunday.” The match at the Royal Rumble, however, is decided beforehand so it’s easy to take a look at the pros and cons of both.
If the Rock wins, he gets his glory moment, His one last triumph before riding into the sunset that is an Attitude Adjusment at WrestleMania (at least, that’s the “current plan”). The similarity between Ray Lewis and Dwayne Johnson is that when the next season starts, they both won’t be there. Obviously, it’s a feel good moment, and sure, I’d probably pop (or cry in the case of #52), but it doesn’t do anything for the business as a whole. Everyone already watches the SuperBowl, just like everyone who’s going to watch Mania is already prepared to order it. How many Kapernick jerseys get sold if the 49ers win the SuperBowl?
I truly believe that CM Punk will retain the title at the Royal Rumble. I’ve watched their interactions; I’ve listened to the promos. It just doesn’t seem like it’s the Rock’s time. If it were me booking it, I’d have CM Punk go over the Rock with Brock Lesner’s help and have John Cena win the Rumble. WrestleMania sees CM Punk vs John Cena, for the title, and Rock v Lesner. If you want to go long term, both Rocky and Cena win their respective matches and feud between (Cena wins, makign it 1-1) going into SummerSlam, and the double lose for the Paul Heyman guys causes an implosion between Lesner and CM Punk and leads to a feud.
I just think that the WWE can’t really be as lazy as we think they are, but are actually concerned about the long term development of their product. Maybe I’m just being an optimist, but I just came up with a pretty good story sitting in my room at 1:00am.
Thanks everybody, this has been Kuma’s Den.