Welcome to this week’s edition of Four on Four. As always, we’ve chosen four of the most entertaining and intelligent wrestling fans on Twitter and decided to peer into their minds four questions at a time. After some time away, 4 on 4 returns with a batch of Royal Rumble questions! Let’s meet the panel:
Brad Ward: Biggest pro wrestling fan you’ve ever known. Video game lover. Cult following on the twitter. Past 4 on 4 contributor.
Check out Brad on FightingGameNation and follow him on Twitter: @BradWardFGN
Mike Killam: Wrestlezone writer and editorialist. Film aficionado and part-time critic. Chuckie Finster fan. Past 4 on 4 contributor.
Read his work at Wrestlezone and follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeKillam
1. Who do you hope wins the Royal Rumble on Sunday?
My hope is Daniel Bryan because I think he connects with the fans in the way that few WWE Superstars have in recent years. We know WWE loves its spectacles and what better spectacle would there be than Daniel Bryan closing out Wrestlemania with 60,000 plus chanting Yes at the Superdome? Spectacles aside, Daniel Bryan deserves it on top of all that, plus you have a story line for Total Divas as well. It is what makes sense in my mind.
The obvious answer would have to be Daniel Bryan, wouldn’t it? This should be their story, right? Daniel Bryan is the guy they’ve spent last several months building up – whether they meant to or not – and he’s the hottest guy in all of pro wrestling right now.
Batista seems like an obvious choice, but if WWE truly wants to do right by their fans it’s got to be Daniel Bryan. Yes, yes, I’ve heard all the talk about him not being in the Rumble match, his feud with Bray Wyatt stretching until WrestleMania; total misdirection.
The next three months have to be spent with CM Punk, John Cena and Daniel Bryan taking their war to the front lines against The Authority, and it ends with Daniel becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania 30. It has to. Anything else is – and I don’t say this lightly – WWE taking fistfuls of money and lighting it on fire.
My favorite wrestler in the world right now is Daniel Bryan, so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want him to win. The iron is hot, and he should headline WrestleMania, preferably against either Randy Orton (for storyline sake) or Brock Lesnar (for my own personal wishes).
That being said, I feel another wrestler winning is more important to the fabric of my enjoyment of the show. Every rumor for Mania places Cody Rhodes against his brother Goldust in a one-on-one match. Both have been reputed to have wanted a match against each other on a big stage for years, and with Goldust becoming a relevant name within the company, their chance is nigh. However, I’m enjoying their partnership way too much at this point. They have to stay together for the next year. Let them get a showcase match next year at Mania. Sow the seeds of dissension throughout the year. Have a slow burn build, one that they’re seemingly executing so well with The Shield.
Besides, Rhodes never gave Orton his receipt, and I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming most people would rather see Orton/Rhodes at Mania than Orton/Batista, right?
I’m a Missouri boy like him and I hear he’s coming back soon. I know it’s likely illogical but I have to go with Evan Bourne. The guy exudes pure excitement and that’s for real. If Bourne were to win it in surprise fashion, the arena would melt.
2. What is your favorite moment in Royal Rumble history?
There have been so many great moments in over 15 years of Royal Rumble moments. The one moment that sticks out the most for me was Shawn Michaels almost getting eliminated but holds on to throw Davey Boy Smith over the top rope when everyone thought Davey had won the Rumble in 1995.
As far as the historic Rumble match is concerned, I’m going to have to make a potentially unpopular decision and say John Cena’s early return in 2008. Nobody saw that coming. If you say you did, you’re lying.
Cena was on the shelf with a serious injury at the time, and wasn’t expected to be back for months. Doctor’s said he might even miss WrestleMania that year. You couldn’t have predicted that. The fans didn’t know, the roster didn’t know, and not a shred of a rumor leaked on the internet.
It was one of those truly rare surprise moments, and as a life-long John Cena fan, it ranks up there as the most special Rumble return of all time.
I have to admit, the recent run of Royal Rumbles, starting in 2010, have been exceptionally well-done. Not only have they been great overall matches, but they’ve produced some of the most memorable singular instances in Rumble history. Edge’s return, Beth Phoenix’s kiss-limination of Great Khali and subsequent taking of the Go To Sleep, Ricardo Rodriguez pantomiming Alberto del Rio’s entry, Kharma’s surprise return, the various physics-defying elimination-delayments by John Morrison and Kofi Kingston, Shawn Michaels going absolutely bonkers after he was eliminated, and Daniel Bryan dumping Kane, only to get the heave-ho during his gloating were all fantastic.
However, my absolute favorite moment was when Santino Marella snuck back into the ring and seemingly dumped del Rio over the top in 2011. The faux-elimination looked genuine. Both guys played their roles well, and when the TD Garden crowd erupted, I thought the foundations of the building were gonna shake to the core. Of course, Marella’s win would be short-lived, but it was a great fleeting point in WWE history that showed the funny guys could connect with the crowd just as easily as the “serious” ones could.
Rey Mysterio Jr. winning the 2006 Royal Rumble. I had legit chills for a good minute or two. Say what you will about the circumstances surrounding the push but I’ve been watching that dude steal the show since before he was eligible for a driver’s license, he deserved it.
3. If you could have any realistic surprise appearance in the Rumble on Sunday, who would it be?
My “ultimate” surprise would be the power chords start playing and Ultimate Warrior runs down the ramp to eliminate a bunch of guys.
Scott Hall. We had Jake Roberts on Raw Old School earlier this month, and realistically Hogan is never going to compete in the ring again. I’ll pop good for another Jericho return, but I doubt he plays that card for a third time.
There are other people I can’t think of at the moment, people we haven’t seen for ages, but Scott Hall has to be the one guy I’d be most happy to see back in a wrestling ring. What a story that would be. We all saw that ESPN piece on him a few years back.
What a story it would be to see one of the best of all time come back from drug abuse and alcoholism, from absolute public shame, and then have him completely turn his life around to the point where he could compete in one of the biggest matches of 2014; I’d pay double to see it.
I’m a huge nerd for Rumble history, and I really loved the days when WWE would bring over Japanese, Puerto Rican, or Mexican wrestlers to compete in the match in a one-off capacity. Even if I had no idea who these guys were, I always enjoyed the sharing of worlds and the mystic nature of these heroes and villains coming across international borders from wrestling cultures that I didn’t quite know about but was fascinated by regardless.In addition to wanting to give a feeling like that to the younger generation of fans, I want to tap into my own nostalgia.
Genichiro Tenryu is about as nostalgic as you can get. The puroresu legend appeared in two Royal Rumbles – ’93 and ’94 – and is considered one of the finest wrestlers in Japanese history. Additionally, he’s still active at age 63. If Godfather can enter the Rumble just to get dumped after his entrance, Kevin Nash can put the Grecian Formula in his hair and put on the Diesel gear one more time, and if Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka can keep trying to get water from that stone every other year, then Tenryu can come back to the States for one more match.
Realistically? Huckster, brother. Why not? I’m all for cheap heat, hard knocks, and crowd pops which Hulk Hogan is the master of. Idealistically? Santino Marella, whether he’s in it or not, that man makes me jump out of my seat. You need to know nothing more about my Santino love.
4. If you could book a rumble of any 5 public figures, who would they be?
Richard Sherman, Metta World Peace, Dennis Rodman, Michael Crabtree and Skip Bayless.
First off I would want to see Richard Sherman go all out on Michael Crabtree but then Crabtree would duck to low bridge and eliminate Sherman after Sherman’s emotions getting the better of him.
Then, everyone would team together and take out Dennis Rodman. Leaving Bayless, World Peace, and Crab Tree. Bayless would be in the corner resting up, then would team up with Crab Tree and try to take out Peace. Bayless would turn on Crab tree. As the two would be fighting, Peace would eliminate them both bringing Peace to the WWE Universe!
I don’t really follow celebrity gossip, at least not outside of the professional wrestling world. What’s hot in Hollywood these days? Who’s got beef with who? Have Jennifer and Angelina come to blows yet? Are they even still a thing, or did Brad Pitt move on to somebody more socially relevant? You know what I would absolutely pay to see?
Put five of the biggest blow-hard Republicans in a wrestling ring, hang a briefcase full of money over their heads, and tell them if they don’t fight to the death it’s all going to support gay marriage and abortion clinics. Give me Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and then whoever happens to be leading the Tea Party movement these days – lock them all inside a steel cage and don’t open that door for anybody. I’d buy front row tickets.
I don’t want to see celebrities I genuinely enjoy get into situations where they might hurt each other, so I’m gonna put together a list of people I would want to see end up in hospital beds.
First, Darren Rovell can take all his financial analysis and thinking about all those brands and put them to use in a fight for his own survival. Next, Jim Nantz can take a sojourn from his job announcing golf and tsk-tsking wide receivers for not snagging borderline catchable balls.
Third, Ted Cruz has spent years in the Canadian wilderness preparing for his job as Texas Congressman. You ain’t taking his guns from his hands until they’re cold and dead anyway. At number four, I don’t think it’s quite fair that the best footballer in the Barclay’s Premiere League, Luis Suarez, is also a serial flopper. Let’s see him feign injury in this battle royale.
Finally, I’m just sick and tired of hearing that f***ing “Red Solo Cup” song, so let’s put country music’s foremost redneck Toby Keith into the fray. My rules state that it’s a fight to the death, although the winner will be met with an atomic bomb dropped straight on his head. If President Snow was as ruthless as me, The Hunger Games wouldn’t have required two sequels.
I love this one. I often run these scenarios though the bizarre inner working of my mind. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Larry The Cable Guy. With high hopes, the Ghostbusters smash the lame comedian for his indelible mark on pop culture.