Welcome back wrestling fans to another edition of the Wrestling Roundtable. This week, our panel discusses this years Royal Rumble. We give our early predictions Who will win? Who are our sleepers? This and much more!!
Let’s start with the Frosh Five
Last week Eric took over the Frosh Five, this week he hands the reigns (and the pancakes) to Steve who will take over the Frosh Five. Frosh had a baby so he is busy doing his daddy duties or doodies. Eric covered the top 5 Royal Rumble matches. I am going to give you my top 5 Royal Rumble winners.
5. Hacksaw Jim Duggan- Okay you are thinking, Really? Really? But yes, Duggan won the first ever Royal Rumble to kick start the event that has lasted nearly 30 years. While it was only a 20 man event, Duggan made history when he threw the One Man Gang over the top rope to win the inaugural event.
4.Hulk Hogan- As painful as it is to put Hogan on this list, you have to give the guy his due. Hogan was the first back to back winner, winning the event in 1990, and 91, and he was also one of the last three in 1992. While I can’t stand the guy, he deserves to be on this list.
3.Rey Mysterio- Kind of a feel good moment when Rey won the Royal Rumble in 2006, just a couple of months after the passing of his best friend, Eddie Guerrero. Rey entered the Rumble at #2, and won the title as the smallest wrestler to ever win the Royal Rumble. He also holds the record by being in the Royal Rumble the longest at 1 hour 2 minutes, and 12 seconds.
2.Shawn Michaels- The first man ever to win the Royal Rumble after entering at #1. Shawn went on to win the 1995 Royal Rumble, and accomplished the feat again in 1996. Shawn is one of only five other men to be in Royal Rumble matches over 3 hours long if you add up his time. Triple H is 1st on the list, followed by Shawn, Rey Mysterio, Kane, and Chris Jericho.
1.Stone Cold Steve Austin- The only three time winner of the Royal Rumble. Austin won his first Rumble in 1997 after he was eliminated by Bret Hart. The referee did not see the elimination, he re-entered, eliminated the final three wrestlers, including Bret Hart to win the title. Austin would go on to win the Rumble again the following year, runner up in 1999 which was won by Vince McMahon, and then won his last Rumble two years later in 2001.
Wrestling Roundtable Power Rankings
1.Roman Reigns- The WWE Champion has his back against the wall now that he has to defend the championship in the Royal Rumble match.
2.Dean Ambrose- It seems as though the lunatic is in Kevin Owens’ head, can he continue his run as the IC Champion?
3.Kevin Owens- Gets his rematch on Smackdown tonight, can Owens regain the championship?
4.Bray Wyatt- I said it last week. I don’t think anyone is on more of a hot streak that Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family, they may have picked the wrong battle with Ryback and Big Show.
5.Alberto Del Rio- The United States champion looked good on Raw in tag team action, when will Del Rio start defending the US title?
This week in Professional Wrestling
2006- Edge wins his first WWE Championship, defeating John Cena at New Years Revolution.
2009– The Waxman Congressional report reveals its findings against professional wrestling and the steroid era.
2010– Bret Hart returns to the WWE after ten years to forgive Shawn Michaels over the Montreal Screwjob.
Here are the questions this week.
**Editors note: Wednesday it wasannounced tthat John Cena is set to have rotator cuff surgery and is out for 6 to 8 months. Therefore he is out of the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania 32.***
What is your take on Roman Reigns having to defend the WWE Championship IN the Royal Rumble match itself?
Steve: While as you will see below, one of my favorite matches of all time was the 1992 Rumble when the WWF Championship was on the line and was competed for. However, having Reigns actually defend the championship at the Rumble, IN THE RUMBLE MATCH. Takes away any intrigue that I have for the event. Now, it is almost way too predictable that Reigns will probably win the match and the Rumble in back to back years. Not saying that I have anything against Roman Reigns, but now the Rumble match is more predictable than ever, and it almost gives me ZERO anticipation for the event itself.
Eric: I think it is a great idea. I’m very annixous to see how this will play out. I think it could either go really good or really bad. In my damn opinion, this will either be one of the best or one of the worst royal rumble matches in history. They have the opportunity here for something really good, now I just hope that WWE does not mess it up. It will be very interesting to see the Royal Rumble this year. I really hope Roman does NOT win it. I think of he does not win it, then it will be one of the better royal rumble matches. I don’t want to see the WWE title defended every year in the rumble match, but this year I think it is a good thing.
Chad: I am anxious to see how the match will play out I think it’s interesting to have defended in a Rumble for the first rumble (The title was vacant in the 92 Rumble) especially with Jericho being announced for the rumble and the other surprises that could come as part of the match as is what happens every year.
Todd: While I think it is a bad idea, under the circumstances I understand why WWE has decided to do this. First No one really wants to see Roman Reigns against Shemaus, that match just is not a big draw. Brock Lesner is gonna be saved for Wrestlemania. John Cena will probably be in the Royal Rumble. The reason WWE made Roman Reigns defend the WWE title in the Royal Rumble is to bring more subscribers to WWE Network. My original pick to win the Royal Rumble was Brock Lesner but now I changed it to Roman Reigns because I don’t see him losing the title this quickly. some how he will walk out the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Jim: I think the story line they’re building for Reigns is insurmountable. If he loses, well it’s the frigging Royal Rumble and it’s impossible to win it. If he wins it, he’s the most powerful wrestler ever to step in the ring and there isn’t one person on the roster they can then put against him. He’s unbeatable and there is no way they can continue that story line. It’ll all come crashing down around their feet. Building him to be a great champion is fantastic, and the fans love him. Building him to be the greatest ever this soon is a MISTAKE.
Choose Five Wrestlers who may shock the world and win the Royal Rumble and WWE Championship?
Steve: Well I seriously think that Reigns is going to win the Royal Rumble as it is almost all too predictable going into it. But the other four that I think have a legit chance would be, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and give me Bray Wyatt as a sleeper.
Eric: My 5 pucks in who may shock the world and win the rumble match, these are in no particular order, Big Show (he can’t have much time left, why not give him one final run as champ), Undertaker ( same reason as Big Show), Dean Ambrose( the lunatic fringe is a well deserved champ and could shock the world and win the title), Daniel Bryan( could be a surprise entrant and would definitely shock the world to see him come back and the reaction would be very good), Roman Reigns( ok, it may not seem that shocking but it would be to me. I just don’t see Roman winning the Rumble match, I don’t think he can do it and if he does it will be shocking to me.)
Chad: I think Roman is the overwhelming favorite to win but I would pick Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar, a returning Daniel Bryan, someone from NXT possibly pulling off an upset like a Samoa Joe I think would bring some much needed intrigue to the Road to Wrestlemania. With the rumored signing of AJ Styles from NJPW at the start of the new year he would be a fantastic wild card. Again Reigns almost has to win but those would be some names that would be cool to win.
Todd: I think Roman Reigns will win the whole thing, that won’t shock anyone that is just predictable. Who may shock the world I have to go with Chris Jericho,
John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesner, Triple H, and The Undertaker.
Jim: Chris Jericho would be a fantastic story line. Reigns dang sure better win it. For some reason, the WWE likes Curtis Hennig, I mean Axel. Sorry fans. Hate using someone’s real name and blowing their oh so well crafted storyline. Personally, I’d love to reward The Big Show with another title. He’s earned it. And quickly getting too old, at his size, to keep doing this stuff. As for the 5th, there isn’t one I want to see. John Cena? But that would be so contrived. Bring back Daniel Bryan? Bring back CM Punk? Jerry the King wins it and has another heart attack? It’s just so hard to find any winner that’s interesting. When I’m actually enjoying a Alberto Del Rio match lately, you know I’m waiting for wrestling to jump back over the shark.
What is your favorite Royal Rumble memory?
Steve: Ironically I had this question set up before Raw aired, and my favorite memory was when Ric Flair won the WWF World Championship in the 1992 Royal Rumble. Flair entered in at #3 and at that time no one had given him a chance because there had never been anyone that low come close to winning the Rumble. He went over 60 minutes, and wins the championship in historic fashion. Loved every minute of it, and pleased me very much because the winner was not Hulk Hogan.
Eric: There is many great memories from almost 30 years of Royal Rumble, but the my favorite memory will always be 1992 when Ric Flair won. The rumble match that year was a star studded and packed with loads of talented wrestlers. Watching Flair come out at number 3 and survive the whole match and win it. It proved he was the iron man, and could go at it for an hour. I can still sit and watch that rumble today (even though I have seen it a hundred times) from start to finish and still be amazed. Remember, to be the man, you gotta beat the man.
Chad: I believe the best things about the rumble are the surprises that occur in the Rumble as far as participants. In 2010 Edge returning to win the Royal Rumble partly because he eliminated Cena and partly because after the Torn Achilles that previous summer the thought was that his career was over and here he came out of no where to win the match.
Todd: My favorite Royal Rumble memory was in 1991 where Bushwhacker Luke entered number 27. He came in one side and Earthquake threw him out the other side and he kept on going like nothing happened.
Jim: There have been so many great Royal Rumbles, but my favorite was 2008 and the return of John Cena. Triple H was absolutely running the table. But the fan reaction, including my own household watching at home, was just incredible. It’s like the roof of the building actually raised from the screams of the fans. The final four, Kane, Bautista, Triple H and Cena….it just doesn’t get much better, or bigger. And then Cena finished clearing the ring, except for Triple H…and then threw The Game out on his rear end. I pick my favorites by the fan reactions, and none was bigger than this night.
Something we have not really discussed on the wrestling roundtable. How long will the WWE run with the League of Nations in 2016? Is this a faction that will stick around, or will they disband by the end of the year?
Steve: I can’t see these guys sticking together much long after Wrestlemania. Sheamus and Rusev I think will want to go their own separate ways. Barrett will get injured like he usually does and will be non relevant, and I don’t think Del Rio will be around the WWE by the end of the year. Just my opinion.
Eric: The League of Nations, how long will they stay around? The end of January, if they make it till then. Let’s face these guys were just kinda throw together it seems like as a last minute decision and they just ain’t getting over. Their leader has already lost the WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP so what is the point of keeping them together. I don’t see one, all these men are better off as single competitors. I look for by the end of January all 4 of these men got their own separate ways.
Chad: Are they still together? Lol…but seriously I don’t see any longevity in this group the one the people to see (Barrett) is barely there and is probably bound to get hurt again. I think the only way to save the group is to have Kevin Owens from Canada dethrone Sheamus as the leader.
Todd: I think these guys are a loss cause. They are already starting to fade away. I mean if they were going to stick around they would be featured at the Royal Rumble some how. That was my point in the first question with Shemaus. Wade Barrett is injured for who knows how long and always looks like an idiot when he comes out with them cause he cant do nothing. They will be lucky if they make it up through Wrestlemania. Maybe not even that far. This group was doomed from the start.
Jim: It is my hope that the League of Nations ended on January 4th, 2016. That would be awesome. There have been some amazing groups of wrestlers in my lifetime. The Four Horsemen. The NWO. But these 4 idiots? Forget the end of the year. I hope they disband by the end of the week.
Are you okay with Ric Flair at ringside to accompany his daughter, Charlotte during her matches, or does Flair need to stay out of the spotlight?
Steve: Personally I think that Charlotte needs all the help she can get. People still love to see The Nature Boy in the ring in any capacity, so if it can help her in any way shape or form, then by all means, go for it.
Eric:The WWE is using Ric to help get over his daughter as a heel. I’m ok with it, I love Ric Flair. He’ll always be one of my all time favorites. I love seeing him back on tv. I feel like he’s just trying to help his daughter taking over his role as the dirtiest player in the game. As long as he doesn’t start to wrestle again I’m good with him being a manager to Charlotte. I don’t want my memories of Flair being tarnished, so if he wants to manage his daughter, I say let the man be by his daughters side.
Chad: Ric Flair is a legend in the sport and the dirtiest player in the game. Charlotte isn’t getting it done on her own why not have Ric show here a couple of tricks and help her become the same for the Women’s division.
Todd: In my opinion Ric Flair should bud out. Whenever he is out there, the cameras focus on him more than the divas. If Charelotte needs her 66 year old fathers help then they need to take the title off her. Give it to someone who deserves it like Sasha Banks.
Jim: Ric Flair is ruining his daughter’s career….and that’s saying a lot considering how I think she’s a ridiculously bad wrestler with neither the personality nor the talent to be the champion. She went from crushing everybody, to just cheating every week. She’s basically the new Seth Rollins with a worse ass.
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