Blowin’ Smoke with Kemper Jones – This Road is Paved With…

Blowin’ Smoke with Kemper Jones


This Road is Paved With…

It has now been over 24 hours since the end of the Royal Rumble, and we’ve just witnessed the first Raw on the Road to Wrestlemania. Some things are going as expected, while some are not. WWE always ramps up their production this time of year. I see some things to be excited about, while others have me scratching my head…

Sheamus Winning the Royal Rumble

Few of us saw this coming. I’m pretty sure that like me, most of you were puzzled by this. All signs were pointing to Chris Jericho winning the Rumble. Instead, we’re thrown a swerve by the victory of the Celtic Warrior.

I’ll give credit where credit is due. Sheamus has developed quite a fan base in the WWE Universe. Despite lingering in the mid-card on Smackdown, the cheers have only been getting louder. I just don’t think it’s enough to justify a Rumble win.

I also don’t really have the desire to see Bryan vs. Sheamus at Mania. Many have pointed out the irony that a US title match between these two was booked at last year’s event. Only to be bumped of the card at the last minute. The match happened, but it was a dark match that became a battle royal. Secondly, how many times have we seen Daniel Bryan get destroyed by Sheamus when they were in reverse heel/face roles?

I see so much more potential in a Bryan vs. Orton match. I know I’m getting ahead of myself. Bryan still needs to defend the title at Elimination Chamber. He’s on a roll right now in his heel role. I don’t see anyone else being champion going into the big one. I see this being a great match that can stand up alongside Punk/Jericho (more on that later). Sheamus/Bryan doesn’t do it for me.

In my perfect world, I would have Sheamus ask to use his Wrestlemania opportunity to face The Undertaker. He could say that if he were to break the streak, it would be bigger than any championship. Sheamus could be seen as a legitimate threat. He’s been built up enough over the years to be a credible main eventer. He has the look, personality, and he’s good enough in the ring to get buy. And he’s been improving.

I’ve always seen Sheamus and Barrett as the only two newer stars that I could ever see breaking the streak. Clearly, this is happening (more on that later). I’ll see how it plays out. Nothing is set in stone and there may be a new WHC after EC.

Mick Foley in a match at WrestleMania

There have been rumors going around that Mick Foley may be looking to get in “ring shape” for a match at Mania. It looks like they may have been planting a few seeds for Ziggler/Foley a few weeks ago. My suggestion. Wait till next year.

I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve another match. I understand that he wants his youngest kids to see him perform. The thing that bothers me is that we’re already going to see Taker/HHH (possibly HBK) and The Rock taking up spots for the biggest payday of the year. That goes without mentioning any legends that may make appearances following the Hall of Fame. Foley competing in a match cranks the nostalgia up to 11. It’s a bit too much.

Triple H vs. Undertaker III at WrestleMania

No, no, no. As we saw on Raw tonight, this looks to be where we’re heading. Sure, HHH is gonna say he won’t let personal issues get in the way of business matters. He’ll go on for a few weeks. Maybe even a month. Eventually he’ll accept. They may throw in a wrench with a Career vs. Streak match, or the often rumored HBK as special guest referee scenario.

As mentioned earlier, I’d rather see Taker go against Sheamus. A short list otherwise: Barrett, McIntyre, Ziggler, anyone but HHH for a third time. I just don’t care. If this is Taker’s last match, why give us something we’ve seen twice already?

Punk/Jericho: It Begins

This feud basically wrote itself the moment Punk started calling himself “the best wrestler in the world”. Most of us saw it coming, and got goosebumps thinking of the potential. Great talkers, older style workers, and two of the best of their generations. They’re both also known to be hands- on creatively. I feel they could potentially match/outdo the golden 2008 Jericho/HBK story arc.

The “end of the world as we know it” did not happen on Sunday. Where do we go from here?
Apparently, the first shot in this feud went off tonight. Late into a great first time (in WWE) match between Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, Chris Jericho interfered. He looked determined to make a statement as he tossed the WHC out of his way. A Codebreaker left the Straight Edge Superstar laid out in the ring. Jericho simply started and left. No words, nothing.

I assume we’ll see a follow-up next week, as the reasons for Jericho’s return and action become more clear. I’d like to know the relevance of his return promos. They were too cryptic to not mean more than a simple return.

Timing of the Elimination Chamber PPV

I wrote about this a few years ago, and feel obligated to mention it briefly. I wish the EC PPV was after Mania. It mixes up 10 guys in two matches. For three weeks storylines are overlapping and jumbled. This time of year isn’t the right time. I hate that someone who won the title a month earlier can walk into Mania with it. It devalues the titles a little big, when they should mean the most.

Brodus Clay

I have yet to chime in on my thoughts on the “Funkasaurus”. His shtick was fun the first few times, but I’m already getting to the point of boredom. I see him eventually breaking out of the gimmick and being the monster he should be. He won’t go further than the Godfather in this role. He’s embraced the character and is doing a fine job with the cards he was dealt. Its commendable, but he won’t be taken seriously as a main-event star.

Hope you enjoyed the read. I’m open to any feedback, so take minute to send me your thoughts…

Twitter: @KemperJones #BlowinSmoke