This Monday, January 4, the first WWE Raw of 2016 will take place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The main event is scheduled to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns defending his title against Sheamus with Vince McMahon as the special guest referee. In addition to this match, it also looks as if John Cena and Alberto Del Rio will be having another match for the United States Championship (although it has not yet been confirmed). WWE.com had this to say in regards to the potential of a Cena/Del Rio rematch:
“John Cena made his anticipated return to WWE last Monday night, goading United States Champion Alberto Del Rio into a title bout and coming incredibly close to recapturing his star-spangled prize. Were it not for The League of Nations, we’d all be eagerly anticipating one of the Cenation leader’s exciting U.S. Open Challenges this coming Monday night.
With his last encounter with The Essence of Excellence ending in a disqualification, might Cena make another attempt at Old Glory early in the New Year? Even better, will Cena head to SmackDown on USA Network next Thursday night with the U.S. Title slung around his shoulder?”
During the latest edition of Monday Night Raw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Big Show announced his entry into the 30-man Royal Rumble match. There was apparently some confusion as to when Big Show would enter the Royal Rumble match, as many were under the impression that during his promo on Raw he was saying that we would be entering the match as the #1 entrant. However, this was not the case as he was merely saying that he is the first person to claim a spot in the match.
WWE.com also announced that Curtis Axel is the second person to claim a spot in the annual Royal Rumble match. This is what WWE.com had to say about Axel’s entry and the news of more names being announced for the 30-man match this Monday in their ‘Raw Five-Point Preview’:
“With the 2016 Royal Rumble Match less than three weeks away, the entire WWE Universe is buzzing about which Superstars will declare their entry in WWE’s iconic over-the-top-rope tradition. Big Show emerged on Raw to become the first competitor in this year’s 30-man melee, and we’ve since learned that Curtis Axel – who claims he was never eliminated from last year’s Royal Rumble Match – will also enter the fray (even though he evidently never left it). Which other Superstars will announce their participation in the weeks ahead? Expect more Royal Rumble news on Raw.”
Mark’s reaction: I’d like to see a Cena/Del Rio rematch for the U.S. Championship. I prefer seeing Cena competing for the “mid-card” belts and I’m always a proponent for giving the U.S. title a more prominent role on the show. If this match does happen, I think there is a good possibility of Cena taking back the U.S. title. Similar to what WWE.com mentioned in the quote above, I’m sure WWE would like to be able to advertise Cena as their U.S. Champion heading into Smackdown’s debut show on the USA Network. Also, having Cena’s popular U.S. Open Challenge on the first Smackdown of 2016 could potentially be a big help toward the show’s ratings.
The Curtis Axel news doesn’t stand out to me as much. It’s nice to see Axel in the match because he’s a good in-ring performer but there’s no chance he leaves as the winner. If anything good can come out of Axel’s entry into the Royal Rumble match, it could be the WWE giving Axel another shot at rejuvenating his character.
What are you most looking forward to for the first Raw of 2016? Will John Cena walk out as United States Champion? Does the news of Axel’s entry excite you at all? Are you an Axel fan? With Vince McMahon as the special guest referee, any predictions as to how Roman Reigns walks out of San Antonio with his WWE Championship? Keep the conversation going by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below.
Image used above is courtesy of WWE.com.