Hey yo. I'm filling in for Andrew with the Headlines this week. Sometimes he gets busy and doesn't have time for it, so I'm happy to step in. Do him and the site a favor by reading his always entertaining Smacking of Smackdown column because you'll be a better person for having done so.
Do you remember what the main event of last week's Raw on New Year's Eve was? You probably don't because it was New Year's Eve. Lucky for you, loyal reader, I'm here to remind you that the main event was John Cena showing photoshopped photos of comedic things before signaling for feces to be dumped onto Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee in the ring. Not exactly a riveting television segment to set the world on fire.
However, now we're into the first Raw of 2013. There's a lot of hype for it. We know that there will be a CM Punk vs. Ryback TLC Match for the WWE Title and also the return of The Rock.
First up we have John Cena on Twitter:
Tallahassee was great! Now all @WWE eyes focus on Tampa and the return of @TheRock. #RAW sure to be unforgettable!
If you look at Cena's Twitter timeline he says the word "great" way too much. It's like when your girlfriend gets new earrings and asks what you think about them even though you have no idea what any of her earrings look like. Then you just blurt out: "great." It's like that.
We also heard from WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross from his weekly appearance on Yahoo Sports Radio:
"I think it's going to be outstanding. I think that anytime you get the Rock back on TV, it brings a lot of viewers. It creates a lot of interest and it creates media opportunities for the WWE to monetize their brand using Rock's TV persona as a primary vehicle. Rock means dollars. Whoever he dances with will be outstanding. We're really looking forward to that whole run, beginning on Monday." (WrestlingInc)
When he says "dances" he doesn't really mean a literal dance. Or does he? Tune in to find out! (Spoiler: Those expecting actual dancing will be disappointed.)
We also heard from The Rock himself as he spoke to the Television Critics Association a couple of days ago. Rock said the story of his match begins on Monday and that will take things through to WrestleMania.
"That will lead to, hopefully, what will be the biggest WrestleMania of all time at Giants Stadium. I will headline that show, with someone who I can't say right now. We've got an amazing four months lined up and planned out that will culminate in the biggest WrestleMania of all time. It's going to be a hell of a thing." (Examiner)
Well said. I can confirm that it's the biggest WrestleMania of all time until we get to next year's and then that becomes the biggest ever. Sources tell me the one after that may in fact be the biggest ever. Only time will tell.
What do I think will happen during CM Punk's WWE Title match with Ryback tonight? I think The Shield & Brad Maddox help Punk retain vs. Ryback and reveal they are group. I know Punk denied having anything to do with them, but guess what? Heels lie! All the time! Then the show can end with The Rock and other babyfaces running out to send the heels running. It stacks deck vs. The Rock at Rumble and makes people think Punk will actually keep his WWE Title.
This is where I also remind you that I will be writing the Raw Deal column live tonight only at TJRWrestling.com starting at 8pmET until it's over at 11:10pmET or whenever they decide to end it this week. If I'm right about that prediction expect me to give myself a Barry Horowitz-like pat on the back. If I'm wrong I'll completely ignore it! Join me live or read it after the show. Thanks for the support!
In other John Cena news, nobody cares about the ex-WWE diva he's dating because all they are talking about is that he's kicked Fred Flintstone off the cover of Fruity Pebbles. It's true. Here's that story from AdAge.com along with a photo of the cereal box.
The WWE's John Cena is about to lay the smackdown on Fred Flintstone, booting the prehistoric cartoon character from Fruity Pebbles boxes.
Flintstones fans, relax: Fred isn't being sent back to the Stone Age. It's a limited-edition promotion covering 4 million boxes of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, so Fred will still appear on some varieties. But his presence is likely to be Yabba-Dabba-subdued in the future as Post Holdings reshapes its packaging strategy for Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, which will now front a variety of Flintstones characters in rotation, including Fred, Barney, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm and Dino.
"We've just been talking with kids. They wanted more variety," said Sharon Pupel, a Post marketing director. "Fred isn't necessarily the … coolest or [most] relevant guy for kids who we are going after."
John Cena, though, apparently is. The WWE first entered into a deal with Post last year after Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson began teasing Mr. Cena for his brightly colored ring-gear, saying he looked like a "big, fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles." WWE executives say the plot twist was not an overt attempt to lure a new sponsor. But the WWE reached out to Post after it caught on with fans, who began chanting "Fruity Pebbles" in arenas.
I love how the Post marketing director said that the kids wanted somebody cooler and more relevant. Of course they did. How long did it take the marketing director to figure out that Fred Flintstone was old? Fred Flintstone was a television character in the 1960s. They would show reruns of The Flintstones in the 1980s when I was growing up and I could tell it was old! These kids were born in the 2000s. Even 86 year old Hugh Hefner's new 26 year old wife "Barbie McJugs" (does the name matter?) thinks Flintstone is too old for them.
When asked what he would do with the money he gets from these cereals Cena said: "Buy another car. I only have 17 of them."
Remember Rob Van Dam? He's in TNA these days working at about 1/3 of the speed he used to be at because he's old and probably just doesn’t give a shit. He recently did an interview with WildTalkRadio. Here's one of his answers.
Where does the X Division Title he currently has rank amongst his multiple titles: "I’ve enjoyed other championships. You know I’ve been tag team champion lots of times. I’ve been Intercontinental Champion lots of times, Television Champion. One of my favorites has been the Hardcore Championship because it reflected my favorite style and I feel that the X Division belt does that too. People have expectations when the X Division Championship is up for grabs and I try to deliver that, make it more exciting and I try to get that out of my opponent too. So I’m enjoying the X Division title run and I would put it up there against all my other world title championships as well." (ProWrestling.net)
He didn't even mention being the WWE Champion, which is the most coveted title he's ever had. Maybe it's because he doesn't remember being WWE Champion since he lost it due to getting pulled over for a speeding ticket that led to cops finding marijuana and Vicodin.
I thought his run as Hardcore Champion was pretty awesome particularly the matches against Jeff Hardy in the summer of 2001. Also his ECW TV Title run was pretty great too. But he still should have mentioned the WWE Title since that's what should be the most important one.
In other news, finding marijuana on RVD is like finding breasts on Pamela Anderson. If she's too old for you younger kids out there we'll just go with Katy Perry.
Before I leave you, be sure to check out Jacob Lindsey's Sunday column about The Rock titled: The Rock is Bad and He Should Feel Bad. The title gives away what Jacob is thinking, but it shouldn't discourage you from reading if you disagree. I don't agree with every word of it. However, I see a lot of his points. There are a lot of interesting comments on that column too.
Later on Sunday, Christian Michael wrote a column about The Rock titled: Embrace The Rock. Once again the title gives away what the author is thinking. He's obviously a big Rock fan, but he's fair in understand why the critics say what they say too.
Those columns are examples of what we're about at TJR. Neither writer knew the other was going to write about The Rock. They just wrote them because we know The Rock is coming back tonight.
I think now that the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania season are here a lot of our writers won't be shy about expressing themselves on certain subjects that are on their mind. There's more going on in WWE these days, so we will do our best to cover it and give you different perspectives from our talented group of writers.
That's all I got for you as far as Headlines because quite frankly it was a slow weekend for wrestling news. I think after this week with WWE's taping schedule back to normal we'll have a lot more juicy tidbits that we can make jokes about.
I'll be back later this evening with the live edition of the Raw Deal and more columns later in the week as well as re-posts of Royal Rumble reviews. Have a great week!