I’m not going to deny anything. Over the past few days, I have felt 100% completely detached from sports. Hence, the lack of columns (for which I do sincerely apologize). Unfortunately I had some personal things to take care of, but let’s hope that things can begin to get back to normal.
Now as I mentioned before, I haven’t felt the normal bond I do with sports over the last week. Perhaps it was the disappointment of the Duke mutilation at the hands of St. John’s, or maybe it’s just me waiting for the Super Bowl to get underway. So what have I been doing to pass the time? Well other than constant tweeting and watching re-runs of The Office, I have turned my attention elsewhere.
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble
While I do generally avoid writing about the business, I do sometimes find myself captivated by it. It was an old hobby of mine back in the day, and as someone who generally follows it from a backstage-perspective, I decided to give what used to be one of my favorite events of the year a chance.
For those unaware, the Royal Rumble is an event held by the WWE that involves wrestlers trying to throw one-another over the top rope, effectively eliminating each other. Participants enter at intervals of 90 seconds, and the person left standing at the end earns themselves a shot at one of the two major championships (WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship) at the iconic Wrestlemania. This year’s Rumble featured 40 “superstars” as opposed to the normal 30, thus making it the largest in history.
Fooling The Dirt Sheets
In the world of wrestling, a “dirt sheet” is referred to as something that may spoil one of the scripted outcomes or surprises that the company is planning. As the Internet has become accustomed to spoiling the “surprises” that may be in the process of being worked at, some believe the product suffers.
With this PG-era WWE though, everything has become all too predictable. The faces nearly always triumph, especially in the form of John “Super” Cena. The “smart” fans knew he was going to walk away with it just because it would be all too-easy to book…
So when the first-year Mexican phenom Alberto Del Rio (a heel) took it after weeks of tremendous promo work, needless to say, I was quite surprised (and in a good way). He entered with his cocky and arrogant attitude and put on a show, accomplishing his goal as he ousted the popular Randy Orton over the top to clinch the win.
That is, until it was revealed that another fan-favorite Santino Marella, known for his absurdities and tongue-in-cheek performances, creeped back into the ring after never truly being eliminated (he went under the bottom rope), and almost pulled off what would have been undoubtedly and unquestionably the biggest upset in the history of the business. Unfortunately for him though, Del Rio came back and eliminated him, thus clinching the victory.
It’s pretty impressive to see a guy establish himself in the eyes of Vince McMahon so quickly, which is why I do see a lot of potential in him. It was a great booking decision, one of thew few that I agree with now-a-days, and I do feel this push will develop him into a star.
His name is Alberto Del Rio. But you already knew that.
Many of you probably know that I’m a sucker for breaking news, and will do whatever is necessary to be one of the first to report something.
So when I read reports of one of my all-time favorites, Diesel (aka Kevin Nash) making his return at the event, I had to make sure I spoiled it for everyone. This, alongside the fun and brief run of Booker T, made the Rumble very enjoyable for some old-school fans like myself.
Noticeably absent, however, was Triple H, who many expected to make his return after nearly a year’s absence. Expect him to be back within the next few weeks though, as he may begin the final run of his career.
Last night on RAW, they began to air a vignette for 2-21-11. The promo was rather ambiguous, and left it open to much interpretation as to who it would be for. Would it be concerning the return of the legendary Undertaker? The newly signed Awesome Kong? Or someone far darker…
When I first saw it, I instantly thought of Sting. After spending years in WCW and TNA, he vowed he would never work for Vince. However, after a NY Daily News report that Sting (real name Steve Borden) had in fact signed a one-year deal with the WWE, it would appear my beliefs have been confirmed. We won’t know until that date of course, but it would appear that this does hold some ground.
Jerry Lawler: Champion?
Also occurring last night was a shocking victory by RAW color commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler in a bout that would determine the challenger for the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. I don’t expect this feud to really progress anything, however, I do believe Lawler will find a way into his first ever Wrestlemania match. Expect some interference from play-by-play man Michael Cole, and we’ll see what we have from there on out.
Do I normally watch wrestling? No, I don’t. But over these years, I have kept one foot in with the business. Be it through the occasional editorial or report though, I do ensure that I remember my past. These past few days have reminded me that there is a little bit of a child left in all of us, even as I embark on my 18th year of life.
Whether people “mark” out at the return of a legend or are marveled by a surprise, professional wrestling has a captivation factor that few other forms of entertainment have. Regardless if I continue to write about it or watch it, these two days of nostalgia have reminded me that no matter if I try to distance myself from it, it will always be a part of Jon Alba.
My name is Jon Alba. But you already knew that.