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Six burning questions heading into WWE Raw at Nutter Center

Andrew Smith, Sports Editor

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With only 11 days remaining until the Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh on Jan. 26, WWE’s flagship program “Raw” will broadcast live from Wright State’s Nutter Center on Monday.

Heading into that show, there are several questions on the minds of WWE fans. With rivalries that are starting to take shape and actions that need further explanations, let’s take a look at six burning questions heading into the “go home” show before WWE’s annual January pay-per-view:

1. What will be Brock Lesnar’s response to the Big Show?

Two weeks ago on Old School Raw, Brock Lesnar laid waste to Mark Henry in an impressive display of athleticism and power. It looked like Lesnar would walk out, head held high, with that cocky smile stretched across his fire hydrant-sized face yet again.

That is, until the Big Show confronted Lesnar. Lesnar tried a sneak attack on Show, but was thrown across the ring like a rag doll.

So how will Lesnar- who should be in attendance, despite his irregular work schedule- respond to the world’s largest athlete? These two men have a history that dates back to the early 2000s. Lesnar is one of a few wrestlers on the roster that can produce entertaining and fairly fast-paced matches with Big Show, so this rivalry has me excited.

2. What will John Cena’s response be to Randy Orton for Orton’s surprise attack on Cena’s father?

Raise your hand if you had Randy Orton losing cleanly to Kofi Kingston. Ok, now put your hands down because you’re all lying.

As a result of Orton’s huge upset loss, the Viper snapped and attacked John Cena’s dad, who was seated in the front row. Cena chased off Orton, but you can bet this isn’t over between these two.

Cena- like him or not- has proven to be a fighting challenger and has not ducked Orton to this point. Is another sneak attack in store for Cena, or will Orton man-up and face him head-on?

3. What is the mental state of Daniel Bryan?

We all thought Daniel Bryan was the newest member of the Wyatt family. A flying knee and hundreds of “Yes!” chants later, Bryan appears to be back to normal.

Or as normal as someone with that much facial hair can be.

Was it all a ploy? If so, why? Bryan figures to be one of the front-runners to win the Royal Rumble, but will the Wyatts ruin his chances leading up to the match?

And will Bryan even be healthy enough to participate in the Rumble? According to 411mania.com, Bryan suffered a concussion during the last episode of Raw. If the injury is serious, WWE just lost a huge competitor for the main event.

4. What will be the impact of Batista’s return?

The last time Batista was in a WWE ring was almost four years ago. His foray into MMA was short-lived and now he is back. Batista will make his much-hyped return in Fairborn on Monday.

How will he look? Is the WWE Universe even excited he is back? Will someone interrupt his promo and challenge him that night?

Along with Bryan, Batista is among a few names who are considered Royal Rumble favorites. Personally, I think Batista is all look and very little substance. Most of his matches have a predictable pace and he has limited move set.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how his return plays out.

5. Will the New Age Outlaws explain why they left C.M. Punk high and dry last week?

I admit, I didn’t figure Road Dogg and Billy Gunn as heels when they were brought back, but I’m pleasantly surprised WWE decided to take that route with them. Attitude Era fans will instantly remember the NAO’s ties to Triple H, and, perhaps, something is in the works with the current COO and Stephanie McMahon.

6. Will the rest of the Royal Rumble field be revealed?

So far, we know that Batista, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio and Big E Langston are among some of the men who will compete in the Royal Rumble. Cena and Orton will be wrestling in a title match and will not compete in the Rumble. Same for Big Show and Brock Lesnar.

Who else will be named to the list?

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Wright State University
Six burning questions heading into WWE Raw at Nutter Center