The Second Raw of 2012 – Someone’s Coming HomeBy Laurence SalfordWorld Wrestling Entertainment has been presenting us keen eyed fans with an opportunity to watch some YouTube videos for a returning wrestler in a very different fashion that they would usually. When a wrestler has been out for a few months, or is even debuting, there is usually months of videos about the return, in order to build up hype. These videos are usually quite short, start out a little bit mysterious, building up to a big long video to get everyone excited. A couple of weeks ago on Raw, someone “hacked” one of the seemingly endless twitter plugs revealing a link to a YouTube user.<!--more-->Going onto this account revealed a video , with the usual good production values that you would expect from a WWE video, with a creepy small child talking about a returning WWE superstar, coming back to reclaim what is rightfully his. The video has the child sitting at a desk, scribbling down some information, whilst he narrates. The video cuts to shots of a playground, a tree, a small girl etc, all in a very gloomy grayscale type production. A second video revealed through the same means on the following week on Raw pointed to a separate YouTube video, it stated a lot of the same information, although presented slightly differently. The video talks about a familiar force returning, and proclaiming that it will be the end of the world as we know it. A thief in the night to claim what others have taken.This is one of the first times that WWE is hyping up the return of someone in this very subtle fashion. I haven’t seen Raw this week yet, so am not sure if any more clues have been given, but so far they are being very quiet about it. Kane’s returning video has started to air, which very much fits in line with the usual WWE returning video style – mentions who it is, hints at a new look, will probably reveal a date soon etc. This new way of doing it is very subtle, relying on the viewer not only to notice the “hack”, but to be bothered to go and check YouTube. It’s a style WWE hasn’t done before, but it intrigues me, especially since the videos point to someone coming back, rather than debuting, and usually they like to make a big deal over people coming back.There has been much debate on the internet over who this could possibly be, and as far as I can see, it’s probably only likely to be one man – The Undertaker. When it comes to returning superstars, The Undertaker is the king of videos to hype him up. Not only has he had a career plagued by injuries and breaks that require him to come back after months out, but his character is a gimmick based character that revels in mystique and intrigue. Every time he comes back, he usually tweaks his gimmick in a certain way to keep him feeling fresh in the eyes of the fans, without losing the certain magic of his character. Sometimes there will be a certain mystery to his videos, making the fans doubt its him, but then as regular as clockwork, the Undertaker will return.The videos of 2011 that depicted a man entering a log cabin, whilst the sounds of Leonard Cohen played over the top, giving people hope that Sting, Goldberg, Jericho, Foley, Shane McMahon and every other missing superstar would be returning, when there was no doubt in my mind that it was Undertaker all along. He always returns in this fashion, especially around Wrestlemania season. It will surprise me slightly that he is returning this early on in the year, but this is the first time that ‘Taker has had a long time since his last match to recover. He’s well rested apparently, and rumours are abound that he is ready to return, and his opponent at ‘Mania has already been selected (hopefully Barrett). I would be excited for this returning superstar to be ‘Taker, but I expect it to be him, so won’t be shocked.The other main name in the frame is Chris Jericho. The nod to modern technology, the interesting idea, the potential swerve, all could mean a big return for Y2J. The rumours have been abound that his contract negotiations have broken down between him and WWE, but I tend not to believe rumours like this, as I wouldn’t be surprised if Jericho gets asked when he’s coming back a thousand times a day, so if he does return, he needs an element of surprise. If he returns in January, then it would have been nearly a year and a half since he was last in WWE, which gives him a good amount of time to rest up. The videos would be a completely different tact to a Jericho return, but this would fit in with the mantra that he has, of always returning differently to how he left. Suit wearing, monotone heels are a dime-a-dozen, and a lot of people have been using Jericho ’s old movesets etc, so him coming back to “claim what is his” would make complete sense.I would be happy with both of these returnees, and would welcome them both back into the fold with open arms, but still, I really want to be shocked. I haven’t been shocked or surprised much recently in WWE, and if it wasn’t for Punk’s departing with the title in the summer, I would struggle to think of the last time I was truly surprised. I love to be hoodwinked by WWE, and would love this video campaign to be the time when WWE fools everyone, and on January 2nd 2012, someone else appears from behind the curtain. Who else could it be though? I have given it some thought, and can only think of these possibilities:- Skip Sheffield – Slight stretch to fit, coming back to claim what is his? He hasn’t really lost anything, but this could be a hint to his rumoured new “Ryback” character, who is supposed to be a terminator from the future.- Vince McMahon – Would hate it if it was Vince, as I want it to be a wrestler, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Vince hype himself up this way.- Batista – He is only on the list as he’s been absent for a long time now, but I would love it if it’s big Dave. He left the WWE during the period where he has created the best heel persona he had ever had, and I fully expect him to never return to WWE due to MMA interest, so this would shock me.- Kane – Would be disappointing, as there’s another video already, but not outside the realms of possibility.- Rey Mysterio – Again a stretch, but I’m starting to run out of superstars. His return should be around this point, and the videos don’t suggest it’s him, but you never know. (Note from JC: He's not due back until around May. Just saying.)- Potentially a returning wrestling promotion/stable that WWE owns, like WCW/NWO/ECW/Nexus etc.- I’m struggling now to think of anyone else who isn’t a wild stretch of the imagination – Goldberg, Lesnar, Austin , Heyman, Shane McMahon, Mankind, Rikishi, eerrrr Steve Blackman?The five I have listed (and massive speculation list) above are real stretches of the imagination as well, and I just can’t see past it being ‘Taker or Jericho , which is exactly what the WWE want. The intrigue, the rumours, the endless speculation will fuel the debate for the weeks to come, and will help build up whoever makes their appearance, and if it’s not Y2J/’Taker, then hats off WWE, you will have had me fooled.Do you agree, or think it’s someone else?Tweet me @l_salfordEmail