January 30, 2005
Head-2-Head: The mystery spot
By Jon Waldman and Jason Clevett
As the Royal Rumble draws closer and closer, talk and speculation continues to grow on the 'net over who will be the mystery entrant.
With the event just hours away, two of Slam!'s writers sat down at the debate table to discuss what they think WWE will do with the final entry position. Here is their discussion.
Jason Clevett: Its one of the few things that actually has suspense about it in this Rumble. Is it Lesnar? Is it a RAW superstar jumping ship? The reality is... it's going to be Billy Kidman. The ultimate bait and switch is to have a "mystery entrant" and then have it be a midcarder who isn't going to win.
Jon Waldman: I don't know. I think this is too valuable an opportunity for WWE to botch it on a nobody. Hopefully they realize the potential that they have here.
Jason Clevett: This is the company that blew their intended 'Mania event by
having it at Unforgiven. Granted, Batista has taken the ball and run with it,
but WWE has a long history of screwing up opportunities like this.
Jon Waldman: They do, but I think there are enough guys who are able to use this for their debut and get over. One of the constants in the Rumble is that there's one guy who comes in and dumps 4-5 wrestlers at one time. A big man like Chris Masters could fill this role well.
Jason Clevett: Perhaps it will be Ray Romano? Or the winner of a random reality show? I mean they had Drew Carey one year!
Jon Waldman: True, but I think WWE is more likely to use this as an opportunity to debut a new wrestler. Word is Psychosis is supposed to be getting a tryout tonight in a dark match, so him coming into the Rumble and taking out Rey Mysterio Jr. would set off what could be a really hot feud.
Jason Clevett: I would pop for that. I miss the old days when they would bring
back names from the past like Honky Tonk Man, Jake Roberts and Mr. Perfect for
the event. I even remember when they had guys who weren't part of the promotion
like Dick Murdoch and The Headhunters as surprise entrants.
Jon Waldman: That is definitely a possibility, and I agree it would be fun. They re-debuted a bunch of guys like Mr.Perfect and Val Venis a couple years back.
I think we can safely say, however, that Brock will not be the entrant. There's
been a lot of Internet buzz, but I just can't see Vince bending like that
Jason Clevett: I dont think there would be any point in bringing him out to
lose.... well, other than to embarass him. So it could be a possibility!
Jon Waldman: It could be, but I would sure hope that Vince has the foresight
to see what kind of damage that can happen with that.
Jason Clevett: Vince letting ego get in the way of business? That would NEVER
Jon Waldman: Never.
Jon Waldman: The other possibility, since the slot is a Smackdown! spot, would be for one of the two triple-threat losers to get the spot. Maybe whoever isn't pinned in the bout.
Jason Clevett: Perhaps. Edge and Michaels are doing double-duty, so why not one of the main event guys.
Jason Clevett: True. There is a lot of talent that isn't being utilized in this Rumble, which shows how indepth, and misused, the current rosters are.
Jon Waldman: Plus there's guys who have been away from WWE like Rock, Austin
or Foley who could easily go into the mix as a nice little surprise.
Jason Clevett: They did that last year with Foley to advance his feud with Orton, but it had meaning. Sticking Rock or Foley in for no reason doesn't make sense other than to get a pop.
Unless Rock wins and takes on JBL at Mania
Jon Waldman: Which is a possibility, but the emphasis by Tazz that Smackdown! has won the last two Rumbles leads me to believe Raw will take it this year. If Rock were to win as a free agent (which he essentially is), then there could be a mini war between Bischoff and Long for who gets Rock for their build towards 'Mania.
When you think about it there are a lot of possibilities... but sadly I think
it will be a dissapointment.
Jon Waldman: Unfortunately that will likely be the case.