|Not since the days of The Shield, shown here with Undertaker, running rampant did RAW have a chance to be great for three hours|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Hoo, it's been awhile since RAW has been in that kind of rarefied territory. The knee-jerk reaction is to say the last time was one of the night-after WrestleMania shows, but which one? I seem to recall a few shows during the 2013 Daniel Bryan/Shield-dominated RAW runs where the wrestling filled up three-hour RAWs to the point where few complained at the show's length. I guess the short answer is no, I don't remember a specific episode, just hazy memories of shows that might have been fully awesome, but none too specific that stand out in my mind.@tholzerman can you remember an episode of Raw where every segment was a hit?— Sawyer Paul (@_sawyerpaul) January 20, 2016
You mean like this one? Certainly, he's got pics of so many other wrestlers, whether co-workers or potential peers for purposes of blackmail. What, you don't think Cena stays in his position because he's a tireless worker, a company man, and a person in possession of the strongest crowd reactions either way, do you? I bet he has several compromising pictures of Daniel Bryan, since they're virtually brothers-in-law at this point. I bet he has some candid photos of Samoa Joe from olden days when they were both schlepping around with Rick Bassman down in Southern California in the early, early days. And remember the camera he had planted in Vickie Guerrero's locker room where he caught her and Big Show smooching in the run-up to WrestleMania XXV? Yeah, he's got those in locker rooms around the country to catch the Young Bucks in illicit and embarrassing acts for when they FINALLY come around to negotiating with WWE. John Cena don't fuck around.@tholzerman What other bizarre photos of IWC favorites does John Cena have on his phone?— Brian Coulter (@PhilaBCoulter) January 20, 2016
I'm a simple man, with simple tastes. Don't fuck with the classic:@tholzerman which ECW shirt was the best ECW shirt— bd (@IHatebd) January 20, 2016
You wouldnt' want to know what I would do if I were in charge. But if I'm just limiting to Royal Rumble entrants...@tholzerman If you were in charge, which 4 mystery wrestlers would you add to the Rumble?— Hans Brewber (@BeerBaron4life) January 20, 2016
- Daniel Bryan - He got clearance from that mythical third doctor, and unlike WWE's or his first doctor, these UCLA docs who ran tests on him aren't affiliated with a quack organization. I'd put him in the Rumble and then have him get eliminated illegally by his opponent at WrestleMania, none other than...
- AJ Styles - Resisting the urge to have the Phenomenal One win the whole damn thing, Styles and Bryan would have such a tremendous match at Mania that I wouldn't be able to help myself setting it up here.
- Vader - He's going in the Hall of Fame, so let him run wild one more time in a WWE ring and toss all the Social Outcasts out before Roman Reigns shows how strong he is and puts him out.
- Bruno Sammartino - The old man looks like he can still go for a short burst. Seeing him compete in 2016, even if it's just for like 30 seconds to put a headlock on someone and be gingerly eliminated, would be a nice piece of nostalgia.
Northeast Philadelphia has three essential eateries, but only two of them probably come close to fulfilling the requirements of fish or veggie options. Well, Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse has salmon, but honestly, if you go there, you're going for beef or pork or some kind of fowl. Blue Duck Sandwich Co. has limited vegetarian or seafood options, but they have said options on its current seasonal menu, which includes a portobello sandwich and salads. Your best bet, however, will be Las Margaritas, a Mexican restaurant with several vegetarian and pescetarian friendly options. If you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, then you will be happy to know you can get the best thing on the menu, the chiles rellenos. But either way, you can probably get what you're looking for at all three of those places. And they're all really, really good. Las Margaritas is the most inexpensive of the bunch if your wallet is a concern.@tholzerman We're going to both 1/30 CHIKARA shows at the Wrestle Factory. Any food recs nearby (particularly any w/fish or veggie options?)— Jeff Stormer (@DexDynamo) January 20, 2016
My guess is WWE will probably brush it under the rug. Look at the way it handled the Hulk Hogan thing. He was deleted from the company's history like he wasn't ever a part of it. WWE may whitewash any Confederate flag imagery from the footage and pretend that it wasn't a part of their whole vibe. The company seems to think that pretending it has never done a racist thing while nominally embracing diversity measures without changing the company's DNA is enough. It's not enough, of course. But officials definitely will think it enough.@tholzerman How will WWE handle older Confederate Flag imagery if in fact the Freebirds get a HoF induction? Do they just not mention it?— ryan (@petzrawr) January 20, 2016
NIGHTMARE FUEL form. Benny eliminates himself, and Pierre the Pelican goes onto WrestleMania to wrestle Brock Lesnar.
The Phillie Phanatic enters at number one and tosses everyone who comes into the ring as soon as they enter. Greatest mascot of all-time, and I'm allowed to be a raging homer about this.@StarOfSavage @tholzerman can I have my question expand on this to include baseball mascots? #TweetBag— Andrew Smith (@OMGitsOFS) January 20, 2016
Rock starts to sing a really filthy and degrading song about Catrina before Danny Trejo puts a hatchet in his dome?Hey @tholzerman, here's one for the #TweetBag: could LU put together a scenario with the Rock in the Temple that doesn't suck? If so, what?— Arn Misandryson (@GemCityGent) January 21, 2016
In all seriousness, I imagine if Rock ever entered the Lucha Underground mythos, it would be as Dwayne Johnson and not The People's Champion. So I would imagine him in almost a meta role where he's being hunted down by Matanza and needs to find some way to best him using a combination of his wrestling ability and his movie star guile.
Asking WWE to see if it's hit rock bottom is begging it to send massive amounts of laborers into the hole with digging equipment, jackhammers, and explosives to keep descending down, down, down until a whole new level of shit is surrounding everyone. For example...@tholzerman Is there any way that they can mess up this year's rumble as bad as they did last year's?— The Enrico Palazzo (@Enrico_Palazzo_) January 21, 2016
- Triple H wins the Rumble match like he was his 2003 form tossing everyone indiscriminately.
- Say hello to a second year running of Corporate Kane and Big Show as your big bads!
- Daniel Bryan enters the match only to be tossed meekly by Curtis Axel.
- Hulk Hogan enters the match and wins.
- Instead of replicating the 1992 Rumble, WWE replicates the 1999 Rumble, replete with Vince McMahon's wrinkly old ass winning.
- Roman Reigns eliminates everyone. EVERYONE.
And that's just the shit I could think of off the top of my head. Never underestimate the power of WWE to fuck things up worse than it has done in years past.
In a word, yes. The Royal Rumble is one of those events where surprise is the order of the day. WWE always builds in something so that even if the winner is underwhelming, it has a couple of cool moments going forward. Washing off the stink of the prior two Rumbles will be hard, but the company is in a position where it can go several different directions, even ones with unpopular winners like Reigns or Triple H, and still come off with a good show/Rumble match. I liken it to baseball season. Yeah, your team can stink out loud the year before, but when pitchers and catchers report, hope will always spring eternal. The Royal Rumble is WWE's version of pitchers and catchers reporting.@tholzerman Will the promise/mystery of a new Royal Rumble always outweigh the feeling of crushing disappointment from past Royal Rumbles?— Son of Mecha Mummy (@thedesertpope) January 21, 2016