The WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, which takes place on Sun., Jan. 29, 2012, from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, is still roughly four weeks away but the match card is starting to take shape.
Here's how it looks following Raw 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. The Wrestling Observer reported not long ago that plans were calling for Randy Orton to win it before he went down with an injury that puts that into question. Of course, everything is a swerve and everyone is trying to work you (or it's best to keep that mentality) so don't expect anyone to be able to every give you a real answer on who is winning. We simply don't know.
-- CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE championship (John Laurinaitis as special guest referee)
I can co-sign any match between these two but when you add Laurinaitis into the mix it adds an unnecessary element that could turn out to be great but could also kill what would have been a fine match anyway. I'm still not entirely sure why Punk and Laurinaitis are even feuding, outside the fact that Punk continues to claim he's going against the system, even though that's not really happening. Punk vs. Laurinaitis is like a really bad knockoff of Stone Cold vs. Vince McMahon from 1998. Are they building to a match between the two? Johnny Ace got a little physical last night; is that a sign of things to come? Still not sure how I feel about it. I do know that Laurinaitis is one of the best things going on Raw right now, so whatever keeps him doing hilarious things, I'm for.
That's all for now, Cagesiders, but really, that's a pay-per-view with just those two matches. No filler matches required. Daniel Bryan will find his way on the show to defend his world heavyweight championship and we'll likely get the customary Diva's match. But I would be totally fine with Punk vs. Ziggler and the Rumble.
Anyone else agree?