Believe it or not, folks, the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view event is just one week away. Indeed, the show takes place on Sun., Jan. 29, 2012, from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. All that's left is the Raw and Smackdown go-home shows.
With that in mind, the card added another match last night to bring the grand total up to four. Here's how the line-up looks after last night:
-- The Royal Rumble
This is, of course, the big one. In fact, it's the most famous match WWE has that they can never actually botch, though they've made their best efforts (1999 comes to mind). Who is going to win, or who deserves to, at least, is always an interesting debate that we get to rehash year after year. There have been rumblings for some time now that Randy Orton would be winning this year, what with his promise for another run at the title and the event taking place in his home town but because of his injury that would seem to throw that plan into question. Chris Jericho is another obvious choice but you never know. That's the beauty of it, though, right?
-- CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE championship (John Laurinaitis as special guest referee)
What we know is that John Laurinaitis has now outright admitted that his plan all along has been to screw Punk out of the title and he was going to do so in this match. Obviously, we're supposed to want to tune in to see if he's successful or if Punk is able to fend it off and keep his title. I would think that's the plan, seeing as I can't imagine Ziggler as champion past the Rumble. Punk vs. Laurinaitis is Austin vs. McMahon over a decade later, which means this thing is building to a match sooner or later. If Punk can keep cutting promos on him like he did last Monday night, that match will sell like hot cakes.
-- John Cena vs. Kane
It's difficult to feel invested in this entire feud because we can all see how it ends. Kane isn't going over here. Cena will once again rise above hate and be the superhero on the front of the Fruity Pebbles box as he gears up for his match at WrestleMania 28 against The Rock. Move along, folks, nothing to see here.
-- Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Big Show for the world heavyweight championship
Officially added last night, WWE will have to figure out a way for Bryan to retain his title without actually letting him get a clean pinfall victory. Or at least that's what they've been doing as of late. Unless, of course, they plan on having him lose the title here. The only reason they would do that is if they don't trust having Bryan as champion heading into WrestleMania, or even the extended build to it, which is entirely possible. The problem is they continued booking Henry after he got injured and he's looked weak ever since losing the title. Show is solid but will never be a top draw as champion. The good news is 'Mania this year is big enough that the world heavyweight title picture won't mean nearly as much as the other big matches on the card but that just feels cheap more than anything. It shouldn't be that way.
This could very well be the complete match card and line-up for the Royal Rumble next Sunday night, Cagesiders. Last year's show had just four matches, though the Rumble had 40 participants instead of 30. How's everything look to you?