Wrestlers have come and gone from WWE for years, this is one of the reasons The Royal Rumble is so exciting, because you never know for certain who will be returning.
Lately, this has become more of a hindrance than a help for current WWE superstars. If we take the last few years for example, we had The Rock returning to face John Cena for the title and headline WrestleMania 28. This was then followed up by him defeating CM Punk for the WWE Championship at last year’s Royal Rumble and going on to headline WrestleMania 29, again. Against Cena, again.
The Rock, is one of the biggest, if not the biggest superstar to ever compete in the squared circle, and while fans were happy to see him return and win the title, headlining two consecutive WrestleManias seems harsh on the superstars who work 365 days a year for that opportunity.
This brings us swiftly onto this year’s Royal Rumble and Batista. “The Animal” returned to WWE about two weeks ago and he has already established a feud with Alberto Del Rio and booked his place in the main event of WrestleMania by winning this year’s Rumble – a match that was more of a disappointment to WWE fans than any in recent memory.
Batista was leaked as being the Rumble winner more than a week before the show, however many fans believed this to just be a rumour and ignored it. Others hoped that it was WWE’s way of tricking the fans and there would be some twist and anyone else would win. The CM Punk/Kane altercation was very predictable and the surprise entrants of El Torito, JBL, and Kevin Nash were a borderline rip off.
Following Batista’s triumph at the Royal Rumble, full-time superstar CM Punk seems to have taken some sort of offense to the fact that WWE allowed the former four-time champion to walk back in and headline WrestleMania after one match. The straight-edge superstar exited WWE on Monday following a heated conversation with chairman Vince McMahon and missed the live Raw event – causing the show to be rewritten at the last minute. He was also missing from the Smackdown taping on Tuesday night.
WWE and CM Punk are yet to release an official statement regarding the superstar’s departure, and fans are clinging onto the hope that WWE has fabricated the whole situation to add fuel to the Triple H v CM Punk storyline at WrestleMania. However, the fact that it has now been three days with no official word doesn’t look very professional, especially since most departures are reported on WWE.com the same day.
I digress. For years superstars like Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar and even RVD have been part-time wrestlers, but the difference between these guys, is they are happy to come back and fight, they don’t need or want titles to prove they are still the best, whereas The Rock and Batista seem to only want to return to claim what they feel is rightfully theirs and this could be a problem for WWE in the future.
Social media is buzzing with complaints about the predictability of the Royal Rumble and the company may receive more claims for a refund. All I can say is if Elimination Chamber doesn’t build WrestleMania up well, and CM Punk doesn’t make a return, there will be a lot of people choosing not to buy the biggest pay per view of the year.