Last night's Royal Rumble pay per view lived up to its reputation for delivering big thrills and bigger surprises. While it was not a home run of a show, it was a good one that kicked off the Road to WrestleMania with several compelling storylines and some intriguing possibilities.
Of course, the shocker of the night came with Edge's return to WWE, and subsequent victory in the 30-man Royal Rumble match. Edge's win seemed to throw for a loop a lot of fans' predictions for WrestleMania. Of course a lot can happen between now and March 28.
One likely scenario could involve Undertaker defending his world heavyweight championship in a Smackdown brand Elimination Chamber match later this month. A bitter Shawn Michaels could somehow cost Undertaker his win in the match, opening the door for Chris Jericho to win the match and the world title. Then Edge could challenge his former tag team partner Jericho in the "B" world title match at Mania.
That would answer one question - but it leaves several others. With Edge back from injury, and if the company's top tier could avoid the DL, WWE, for the first time in a long time, will be going into this WrestleMania with all its main event players healthy. That may be a curse as much as it is a blessing.
That's an awful lot of egos to placate on a four hour show that will likely fit only eight or so matches. Some matches already seem obvious: There's a strong chance Bret Hart will face Vince McMahon in the annual freak show contest. Edge vs. Jericho and Undertaker vs. Michaels are also good bets. There are multiple reports that Triple-H wants to work with his friend Sheamus in what I imagine would be Raw world title match on the show.
That's a fairly weak pair of world title matches to top the WrestleMania marquee. They also fail to include WWE's top star - John Cena. I think it would be preposterous for Triple-H to headline another WrestleMania challenging for a world title, while WWE's top attraction, Cena, presumably competes in the under card.
With Randy Orton presumably taking on Cody Rhodes and/or Ted Dibiase in a possible triple threat match, that leaves only Batista available for a match against Cena. This match would be a lot more compelling if WWE hadn't booked it on short notice in the undercard of 2008's SummerSlam. WWE might try to position this as a main event-level special attraction, the reality is that without a title on the line - and with the Undertaker and Michaels probably expected to deliver the best match of the night (and possibly close out the show) that also necessitates Cena wrestling in the mid card.
Now, it is true that WWE loves to book three-way world title matches at Mania. And so Cena could be added to a Triple-H - Sheamus match to make it a three-way, but that hardly sounds like a WrestleMania-worthy main event to me. That would also leave Batista without a WrestleMania opponent, unless they go with a blow off match against Rey Mysterio, but that, too, hardly seems fresh.
Let's not forget a couple other regular main event players, such as the Big Show, and C.M. Punk, and fast-rising stars, such as Kofi Kingston, John Morrison and Drew McEntyre.
Maybe I'm missing some possible scenarios. So I'll open it up to you. Presuming that all the wrestlers mentioned above will end up with a match at WrestleMania, and that two world titles will be defended, how do you see WWE this year's card taking shape?