Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wrestling Six Packs: Surprise Royal Rumble Entrants

Put her in the Rumble. DO IT.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The Royal Rumble is the greatest gimmick match of all-time. Many factors come together in confluence to make this opinion close to fact in my personal opinion. The chaotic nature, the bunches and elimination runs, the built-in potential for comic relief, the fresh matchups, and the propensity for epic finishes are all great contributing factors, but the factor that usually provides the best short term titillation is the surprise entrant. Names are swirling as to who might be unexpectedly entering themselves into the Rumble this year. Technically, Daniel Bryan would be a "surprise" entrant since he's not officially expected to be in the match itself (he's booked against Bray Wyatt in singles action). I have another surprise entrant I'd love to see be in, but I'm saving that one for a special piece on Wrestling On Earth that'll run Thursday. Other than those two, the following are six guys I would love to see make cameos in the Rumble match.

1. AJ Lee

Sawyer Paul (get the K out!) has said that he expects Lee to be the first female WWE Champion. Traditional metrics work against her. Size is valued by WWE, Bryan's push right now be damned, and that rumored maxim especially seems to hold true for females. The women they've teased as legitimate threats to the men have all had considerable body mass working for them - Beth Phoenix, Kharma, Nicole Bass, and of course Chyna, who won the Intercontinental Championship on more than one occasion. But Lee has something none of them have, the ability to hold a crowd in the palm of her hand. She's by far the most charismatic female performer they've ever had, and she has the bona fides in the ring to back it up. What better way to tease her going up against the dudes with dicks than by putting her in the Rumble match and letting her work in an environment where everything and anything is possible.

2. Lanny Poffo

If he gives the blessing for Randy Savage to get into the Hall of Fame, Poffo recurring his most famous WWE role as The Genius would be great comic relief. As he proved on his episode of the Art of Wrestling, he can still ad lib poems, which would make for an incredible entrance. As Godfather proved last year, sometimes, all a memorable Rumble appearance needs to be comprised of is an entrance. I would give bonus points if they had Damien Sandow be the one tossing him. Transference of one intelligence-based gimmick to another (unless Poffo's appearance comes in, say, 2015, and Aiden English is already on the main roster by then...).

3. Evan Bourne

Sheamus is a lock to come back at the Rumble, right? I'm psyched to see the Celtic Warrior come back and start having great matches on free TV again, especially with some guys who've emerged since he's been on the shelf. However, this entry isn't about Sheamus. Bourne has been out of action for almost two years. When he's on, he's the most effective babyface WWE has in the ring. A Rumble comeback for him would be ideal because he would bump huge when he was eliminated, could provide a spectacular, highspot elimination himself, or he could take the John Morrison/Kofi Kingston role of being the dude who saves himself from getting tossed through parkour or some shit like that.

4. Sami Zayn

Last year, WWE tried to kick start Bo Dallas by putting him against Wade Barrett in the Rumble match. Given that Dallas' true calling was less as heroic underdog and more as troll god of Florida and that Barrett was about as hot as intergalactic space, the idea flopped. Now, what if that same push from NXT were done with someone who has shown the ability to orchestrate crowd reactions at every level he's performed? Zayn is magnetic, and if the same story were attempted with him that they did with Dallas last year, he could head into WrestleMania with a match that would get mad heat.

5. Shane McMahon

I'm not advocating for McMahon to come back to the fold full-time. I don't want him to be entrenched in the current Authority story, or lead to another rehash of WrestleMania 2000. I just wanna see him do the Simba dance one last time. McMahon wasn't necessarily a good wrestler when he was active, but he was entertaining to watch just for the insane shit he would do to his own body. Hoping that middle age and fatherhood hasn't dulled his thirst for adventure, he might be good for an impressive looking bump.

6. Harvey Wippleman

C'mon, who wouldn't wanna see Downtown Bruno get tossed over the ropes in hilarious fashion one more time?