WWE visits San Jose this evening for Monday night RAW following last week’s mixed 20th anniversary show. This is the go home show before the Royal Rumble and truth be told, WWE need to pull out some stops to ensure that the audience forks out their hard earned cash to order the 2nd most important PPV of the year. It probably shouldn’t be this way 6 days before the show.
So far the build up to Punk Vs Rock has been very much hit and miss; the hits being whenever Punk has got on the mic and the misses being everything else. As it goes, the almost inevitable title change will hold very little impact the way things have gone and creative must create a show based around this feud to add some drama and some serious emotion to the situation. After Punk was muted last week to give more emphasis to The Rock, they must now give time to Punk to really sell this match as I feel he is the only one who really can. Let him speak his mind about the situation as I’m sure he has plenty to say about it privately. Let the Rock feed off of this and finally become serious and move more towards being The Rock rather than Dwayne Johnson.
The Rumble itself is now taking great shape with plenty of first rate talent involved. It is actually quite difficult to pick a winner to face one of the top champions at ‘Mania but you have got to believe Cena is the forerunner simply to queue up Cena vs. Rock at WrestleMania. However, I would say it’s unlikely we have seen the end of his feud with Ziggler, even with his victory in the cage last week. I would almost predict that Ziggler will get the best of Cena this week so that Johnny will have some fire built up to eliminate Ziggler in the Rumble, potentially as the last man.
Alberto Del Rio has now made the full turn into face and I’m very excited purely for the fact he will start to use more Lucha moves that made him so watchable in Mexico but don’t fit the WWE heel mould. He will become a very exciting wrestler to watch and a change from most talent on the roster. Expect him to have a short match with a wrestler who can take the flips and tricks of the everyday Lucha such as Antonio Cesaro to really put over these highflying moves. Seeing as someone backstage is obviously a massive fan of Cesaro I wouldn’t be surprised to see Big Show interfere to bring about a DQ finish.
Team Hell No will likely garner more purchase over The Scholars, as I’m predicting Cody and Sandow to take the tag straps come this Sunday. Say your goodbyes to Team Hell No as I’m sure this time next week, they’ll be at each other’s throats once again leading to ‘Mania.
The most intriguing aspect for this RAW is just how The Shield will interact with their given “opponents” for the Rumble; Orton, Sheamus and Ryback respectively. It’s quite obvious that at some point during the Rumble these 6 will likely interact and tonight we might get an indication as to how. Orton being the leader of The Shield as an outside chance anyone? The Shield need to make some bigger ripples leading to and actively in the Rumble match itself, as they may be coming a little stale. Some fresh TV time would solve this rather than the usual 3 man beat down.
All in all Punk and Rock will be the main attraction tonight, and if they don’t try to steer us away from the idea that The Rock WILL become Champion, I will just see the Royal Rumble event as a far too predictable affair.
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This article was first posted on January 21, 2013