• By Anthony Cox, Kayfabe Kickout Senior Columnist

2014 Arrives!

Folks, I want to start off by saying that I am sorry that you haven’t heard from me all year. I hope that everyone enjoyed their holiday and the New Year celebrations full of friends, family, and alcohol. With that said, let’s get right down to business with a fresh column from yours truly! As we all know, this is an interesting time of the year for WWE. They don’t have to worry about competing with Monday Night Football, so now they have no excuses for why their product could be lacking and this is now their chance to show their best stuff because they now have the undivided attention of the wrestling fans. I have always considered January and the Royal Rumble build to be the first part of the Road to WrestleMania. What happens during this month will be critical to how things leading up to the big event are going to go. We already have been seeing videos hyping the return of Batista. The Animal is gonna be back to kick ass and take names. The question is for how long? Is he going to be back until SummerSlam so that he can use his name as product placement for Guardians of the Galaxy which he will be starring in? Or will he be back for a final run with WWE? I am not sure how to feel about his return myself. While he will be fresh to so many due to being gone for so long, there will be those older fans that look at this as nothing but a rerun and another guy who was already in the main event overshadowing much younger talent. This is one of those things where I have a wait and see approach. It can definitely go either way. I do expect there to be much hype when he returns though on January 20th. Then we have Brock Lesnar making one of his seasonal returns. This guy has got to be one of the smartest people in pro wrestling. He is making big money to only work a few times a year, and he will always be in some high profile match. I wonder what they have in store for him. Will it be a feud with Mark Henry, or will there be more stuff going on beyond that? Will he be entering the Royal Rumble perhaps? He might be a part timer, but so what he is a name too. He will always get props from me for getting out of wrestling and getting into other endeavors such as UFC where he won the World Title showing that he can be a bad ass in real fighting too. I look forward to what they have on deck for the man who was once known as “The Next Big Thing”. What has me most intrigued for WWE in the start of 2014 is the angle with the Wyatt's and Daniel Bryan. I’m not gonna lie, I was wondering how WWE would turn their top baby-face and most over guy into a heel. I have a feeling that Bryan is still going to be over as long as creative is smart enough to book him as the reluctant flunky who eventually breaks away. I am just hoping that it isn’t the beginning of another angle where WWE can make Bryan look silly because we all know that they haven’t done a good job in booking him thus far. This is another situation where I am going to let things play out. One thing I can say for WWE every year is that they always write a pretty nice first chapter. Then again, so did Vince Russo so let’s not start applauding just yet. We know that WrestleMania season sells itself in the WWE Universe. Plenty of stars from the past start coming back, and fans will always eat up the nostalgia factor of it. Case in point, with WWE doing old school Raw this Monday they know people are going to watch to see people from some of the eras of wrestling when more people were watching on a consistent basis. WWE knows that those people will be tuning in to see if their favorite star is gonna make an appearance. Say what you want about Hulk Hogan’s time in TNA, but it won’t matter once “Real American” blares out of those speakers on an episode of Monday Night Raw in the near future (it would be cool if it was on Old School Raw). Hulk Hogan will get a huge pop, and be welcomed back with open arms like he never left because when it is all said and done, WWE is the house that Hogan built. But I digress. This is an exciting time for WWE, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Or at least until creative finds some way to screw it all up! I know that I am pretty hype about Royal Rumble coming to Pittsburgh. I am still trying to find a way to go! If not, I will be watching anyhow as it is one of my favorite pay per views. What do you expect from WWE on the road to WrestleMania? Don’t be afraid to sound off on this one! As always, you can email me your comments to invidwarriorz@gmail.com or you can follow me on Twitter @whosantcox. As always, thanks for reading!

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