With the Wrestlemania season officially underway, @DaveWritesJunk watched the entire Royal Rumble show twice and compiled a list of the top three babyfaces and heels with momentum headed into the industry’s biggest show of the year.
Honorable Mention: The Miz
During both the Tag Title match and the Royal Rumble itself, The Miz exhibited definitively heelish behavior: selfishness, vanity, and a love of shortcuts. He’s a perfect midcard heel, which is exactly what keeps him off the official Top Three. With a clear Wrestlemania trajectory of first-hour comedy match, Miz doesn’t make the cut.
NUMBER 3: Rusev
Rusev was elevated as much as anybody in this year’s Rumble (aside from, perhaps, Number 2 below). He was made to look strong, well-conditioned, and resourceful. He nearly connived his way to stealing the Rumble, a tremendous heel move that has been lost in the fervor over the finish. After this show, there’s no question Rusev is a worthy, deserving act destined for the heart of the Wrestlemania card.
NUMBER 2: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt owned the first half of the 2015 Royal Rumble. His masterful performance picking apart midcard wrestlers one-by-one was reminiscent of Steve Austin’s incredible ’97 Rumble, as were his short but pointed remarks on the microphone. Like Rusev, Wyatt asserted himself as a major player on the Wrestlemania card with his strong Rumble.
NUMBER 1: Seth Rollins
A World Heavyweight Title match is about to start. The three opponents glare intently into each other’s eyes. The bell rings… and one of them bails to the floor as the other two stare on in contempt. That’s Exhibit A as to why Seth Rollins is the most main event heel working the North American style. Wherever he winds up on the Wrestlemania card will be special, but if anybody in the WWE is going to make Sting look good, Rollins sure seems like the man for the job.
NUMBER 3: John Cena
John Cena is as good a big match wrestler as anyone short of Ric Flair, and the main reason is because he’s a babyface who’s willing to spend the first half of the match bumping and selling. Cena’s character isn’t as hot in either polar sense as it has been the last five years, but he’s still a guy who will put together a thrilling match at Wrestlemania.
NUMBER 2: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan once again asserted himself as the man of the people, which puts him high on this list even though he was featured much less than anybody else who made the cut. Bryan’s connection with the crowd is so special that it keeps him a top star with minimal support from the bookers. Look for a feel-good Daniel Bryan moment on the ‘Mania card, but look for it earlier than you’d hope.
NUMBER 1: Brock Lesnar
Based on the last ten days of WWE programming, Brock Lesnar has made the inevitable switch from punishing heel to kickass babyface. His sell of Rollins’ elbow through the table showed that Lesnar has what it takes to make the fans concerned when he is in jeopardy, and his win proved that he can execute an exciting comeback that people can get behind. WWE was successful tonight in transforming Lesnar into a versatile, over babyface who opens up a large number of possibilities for Wrestlemania.