Everything has a starting point. Professional wrestling is no different. Each year we already know what pay-per-view events will be filling our minds and emptying our pockets well in advance of their release on television. I'd like to think of it as a preparation process, much like wives preparing to become football widows for seven months out of the year.
The WWE is at a point where this pay-per-view event has to go off without a hitch and be the catalyst for a successful wrestling year. There were as many hits as there were misses last year. Too many inconsistencies and too many feuds that provided overkill. A lot of that had to do with injuries (ReyMysterio, Wade Barrett, Christian) and a lot of it had to do with suspensions and bad timing (Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio).
The Royal Rumble allows for balance with matches that mean something and the chance to set the tone for WrestleMania. It's almost four months away and seems like it will happen tomorrow. Vince McMahon has done a great job for years building up the "early year swing" to the road to wrestling's greatest event.
Does CM Punk keep his WWE title? Does The Rock steal the show again like he did with John Cena? Can Dolph Ziggler finally realize his dream of cashing in the MITB contract? Does Sheamus finally walk away from his feud with Big Show?
And what does AJ Lee have up her sleeve again in another PPV?
And we haven't even discussed the actual Battle Royal!
As a youngster, I remember the idea of 30 wrestlers getting in the ring to beat the hell out of each other and win the prize—title shot, cash, or both. Thanks to Vince and his ingenuity, things are spiced up a bit. Surprise entrants in the match, twists and turns and of course, the return of wrestlers from days gone by. Do we see Brock Lesnar? Does Billy Gunn get into the ring? Do we have to see Mick Foley and that damn "Socko?" Does Vader surprise us all and cause havoc?
Yes, I love this time of year and can't wait to see what happens. And everything that happens in this one event could set the WWE on fire. Or, as in other pay-per-view events, it could fizzle out within moments.