Saturday, January 30, 2021

Who should return for the 2021 men's Royal Rumble?

The Royal Rumble is always a fun match.  It's probably my favorite event of the year, beating out Survivor Series (which has become a boring Raw vs. Smackdown event) or even Wrestlemania.  One of the main reasons I love it is because it's like a giant Avengers movie.  You see people cross paths who normally don't cross paths.  You have history and new feuds all happening at the same time.

Another reason is the surprise returns.  I always hope for at least a handful of them.  We've seen Kevin Nash, Goldust, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley and others blow the roof off of the arenas with some of their surprise Royal Rumble returns.

So who should appear this year?  Which surprises would be refreshing and/or memorable?  Here's my list:

He recently stated he’d like to return in some capacity for one more run.  Why not give him a return at the Royal Rumble?  He’s one of the most talented guys of the 90s and deserves some shine.

Disco Inferno

This one may seem a bit odd, but I’d love to see some WCW flavor in a Royal Rumble match.  Disco has one of those gimmicks that is memorable and would get a pop from fans in the arena or watching at home.  Certainly, he wouldn’t be a contender to win the match, but I’d prefer seeing him over a Hornswoggle or Santino.

James Elsworth

Even James Elsworth would be preferred over the regulars that WWE brings back over and over (and over) again.  A little comedy.  A familiar face.  In and out.  He’s not a bad option.

Ken Shamrock

I always hold out hope that Shamrock’s music will hit on a legends night or at a Royal Rumble.  It probably won’t happen but I hope does because he’s so severely underrated and way ahead of his time, transitioning from MMA to pro wrestling back when not many people even knew what MMA was.

Heath Slater

I’m not sure what Heath’s current status is with Impact, but if it’s a pay-per-appearance or not an exclusive deal, then why not a Royal Rumble return?  They don’t need to hire him back full time but a return for a night and to pop the crowd wouldn’t be bad at all.


His longtime former tag team partner, Edge, returned last year.  It’d be really cool for Christian to have a Royal Rumble return as well, even if it doesn’t lead to additional matches.

CM Punk

The only way CM Punk should return in the Rumble is if he wins it.  He’s too big of a name to return for a quick elimination.  So, I'd like to see him return and win and feud with Roman or Drew or whoever the red or blue brand champions are.

Damien Sandow

This was a well-liked character from a few years ago.  With the NWA situation being up-in-the-air due to COVID, a one-night return at the Royal Rumble would be a welcome surprise.

David Hart Smith

Tyson Kidd recently said that he’s been trying to get Davey Boy’s son to resign with WWE.  With years of experience in Japan, MLW and other organizations, I’d also like to see that.  Even if he’s not the most charismatic on the mic, give him a manager like Robert Stone and push him.  Brock Lesnar isn’t a great talker either but that’s why he has Paul Heyman.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Who should win the 2021 women's Royal Rumble?

2018 - Asuka won the first ever women's Royal Rumble.  2019 - Becky Lynch won the women's Royal Rumble.  2020 - the third female winner of the Royal Rumble was Charlotte Flair.

So who wins 2021?  Let's look at the options.

If you're looking at the past three years, then one of the other two 4 Horsewomen (Bayley or Sasha Banks) have the best chances of doing so.  Given that Sasha is the Smackdown Women's Champion, she won't actually be competing in the Royal Rumble.  So, Bayley may have the best odds of winning.  The only problem is that Bayley vs. Sasha just happened.  It just wrapped up.  Sure, we could revisit it, but WWE would need to make it fresh after the feud this past Fall.  I don't think she will win, but I think Bayley will be one of the final four women in the match.

Charlotte Flair
WWE allowed Steve Austin to win multiple Royal Rumble matches, so they could do the same with Charlotte Flair this go around, but I doubt it (and I hope not!).  She won a Women's Tag Team title on her first night back in December.  She doesn't need another Royal Rumble victory.

She's loyal and a good worker, but she's not at the level of winning a Royal Rumble and being the centerpiece of a feud going into Wrestlemania.

Bianca Belair
She's young and athletic, but she is also not at the level of winning a Royal Rumble and being the centerpiece of a feud going into Wrestlemania.  I could see WWE pulling the trigger on her, though.  Sasha vs. Bianca as faces?  I don't know that this would work all the way through Wrestlemania.  I think Bianca would have to turn heel, which is fine by me because I think she's better that way.

WWE could give this fan favorite her chance at a big moment.  She's certainly won titles and battle royals in the past, but she's never had as big a win as the Royal Rumble would be.  Naomi vs. Sasha isn't a bad idea for a Wrestlemania match.  It's more of a face vs. face unless one of them turns heel, but that may be a nice change.  Maybe some heel turn teases with neither one actually going full heel?

Sonya Deville
I've seen her name thrown around as a possible winner and I wouldn't even be disappointed with it.  She doesn't have a lot of big match experience but Sasha could walk her through a match.  Sonya came into her own in 2020 and developed a strong heel persona.  She improved as a character and on the microphone thanks to her feud with Mandy Rose.  I don't know that she'd walk out of Wrestlemania with a title win, but she'd be a solid heel for Sasha to feud with.

Rhea Ripley
She got a Wrestlemania moment with Charlotte in 2020, but Rhea could be the one winning this year and challenging Asuka or Charlotte (assuming Charlotte wins the Raw Women's Title before Wrestlemania) or both of them in a triple threat.  I just don't have an interest in anything involving Charlotte, but I don't have faith WWE will put effort into anything not involving Charlotte.  So, I guess I'd settle for a triple threat.

Nia Jax
She has a certain credibility to her, due to her size.  Even if she's not the best worker, she could convincingly win a Royal Rumble on any night.  I don't know how she lines up in any feuds, though.  Asuka vs. Jax has happened several times before.  It wouldn't be a bad match to have.  If Nia won and challenged Asuka for the Raw Women's Title, then you could have a secondary feud between Charlotte and Shayna Baszler going into Wrestlemania as well.  It'd be refreshing to not have Charlotte in the title picture (which means WWE will probably throw her right into the title picture).

Shayna Baszler
Just like her tag team partner, Shayna could win the Rumble.  She could face Asuka at Wrestlemania.  She could face Flair at Wrestlemania (should Flair win the Raw Women's Title before then).  However, I think WWE will simply have Shayna and Nia turn on each other in the Rumble match with a big 'payoff match' happening on a random Raw instead of culminating at a pay-per-view.

Ronda Rousey
A returning Ronda Rousey would be my pick to win.  She shows up, cleans house and goes onto Wrestlemania.  Asuka would probably lose her Raw Women's Title to Charlotte Flair at February's pay-per-view and then it'd be Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey (the match WWE wanted back in 2019).  I'd actually prefer Ronda Rousey vs. Asuka, but I doubt WWE would leave Charlotte out of a match like that, so, if I want Asuka / Rousey, then a triple threat Asuka vs. Rousey vs. Flair is probably the only way it'll happen.

Monday, January 4, 2021

9 musical collaborations I'd like to see

Some singers collaborate and they are like peanut butter and jelly.  Their voices complement each other, their attitudes are similar or they are so different that it just works.

Pink and Nicki Minaj

Cardi B is the 'it' girl these days but I kind of prefer Nicki Minaj.  Her pop songs are catchy.  Pink and Nicki seem like a good combo.

Pink has collaborated with Kenny Chesney, Eminem and, of course, the other singers on 'Lady Marmalade.'  Nicki did one of the best collaborations since 'Lady Marmalade' when she teamed up with Ariana Grande and Jessie J for 'Bang Bang.'  This just seems like it would be a fun collaboration in music video form and in song form.

Chris Daughtry and Eric Church

These two North Carolina boys who both love rock music could put together an incredible song.  While Daughtry is more rock and Church is more country, they both have some overlapping themes and sounds in their music.

Both have delivered very good albums not too long ago, but they didn't get the attention they necessarily deserved.  Maybe a team-up is in order for another hit on the radio for both of them?

Pink and Kelly Clarkson

I think most of their fans are waiting on this to happen.  Hopefully it does.  If it does happen, hopefully it's not left in the vault like Lady Gaga and Cher's collaboration or Pink and Christina's team-up.  

Technically, Pink and Kelly did have a duet together at the American Music Awards, but the song choice wasn't great and, besides, it was a cover.  I'd prefer an original collaboration over covering someone else's music.

Sugarland and Darius Rucker

Two awesome country acts and two awesome voices here.  Sugarland has been a tremendous duo for several years.  Darius is no stranger to a group act, so harmonizing shouldn't be a problem.  He did great with Adele several years ago.  Darius and Sugarland both had a sound that can be mainstream or flat out country.  I don't care what genre they produce as long as they produce a song together.

Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga

These two can siiiiiiiing!  Two great voices that work with just about any musical style you put them into.  Both of these Super Bowl halftime performers on the same track?  

It could end up being really disappointing (e.g. Chris Stapleton and Pink), but it could also turn out really cool.  I'd love to see them at least take a shot at doing something great.
Drake and Maroon 5

Maroon 5 has worked with all kinds of people in the past, but Drake would bring a different flavor for them.  I think Adam and Drake's styles could complement each other very nicely.  You'd get an interesting beat, some rap and some pop.

Again, it could be a top 40 hit.  Or it could be one of those tracks that ends up on an album that goes more unnoticed and unrecognized than it deserves to be.  Either way, we get to listen to it.

Dustin Lynch and Kelly Osbourne

These two are friends in real life but couldn't be more different musically.  Sometimes those are the times when collaborations work the best.  Those unexpected musical styles can meld together and turn out something great.

Usually, whether it's in movies or sport, real life friendships translates to success in other areas.  It could end up being the same with these two as well.

Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes

After seeing them perform together at the Grammys, I think a duet on their own song would end up sounding great.  Like I said with Kelly Clarkson and Pink, singing together at an awards show is great, but performing an original is preferred.

Between Cyrus' twang and Mendes' own unique voice, they'd end up with a very top 40-friendly hit.

Fall Out Boy and Sia

This collaboration seems kind of odd, but kind of perfect at the same time.  Fall Out Boy has a history of working with all kinds of acts -- from Elton John to Courtney Love to Demi Lovato.  Meanwhile, Sia has a unique sound that could mesh very well with a Fall Out Boy song.

Sia's collaboration with Pink was far too overproduced so 'Waterfall' didn't make any kind of dent on the charts.  Sia and Fall Out Boy could get the job done though.