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WWE RAW Preview: Brock Lesnar set to return

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The final WWE RAW of the year airs tonight on USA Network and the show getting back on track after last week’s less serious holiday themed episode. The show has a lot of rumors swirling around and should be feature the beginning of what will play out at January’s Royal Rumble pay per view. Pro Wrestling Examiner breaks down this show and analyzes some news.

There is serious talk of Brock Lesnar returning to WWE tonight in Richmond, Virginia circulating the web today. This is based off what occurred at December 29th Smackdown tapings with Lesnar’s presence being mentioned, while this particular episode of Smackdown will not air until Friday January 3rd. There was swirling rumors that Lesnar was somehow looking to once again step back in the UFC and would be meeting with UFC President Dana White at this past Saturday's UFC 168. It would appear at this time those UFC return rumors for Lesnar are false, and he is still a WWE star.

This is logical with Lesnar’s reserved status in WWE as a featured performer who appears sporadically and only wrestles marquee matches on pay per view. WWE’s playoff season with Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, and Wrestlemania in the next few months having a million dollar performer in Lesnar on RAW and in PPV bouts is great way move the needle. Now if the Beast storms back into RAW tonight, what is his directive from his sinister manager Paul Heyman? Who is Lesnar’s next victim? This Examiner is making the prediction now that Brock Lesnar is entering the Royal Rumble match. Check out Lesnar attacking WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon last year on WWE RAW in the video posted above.

So add Brock to the list of big name stars set for WWE returns before Wrestlemania, of course last week it leaked about this wild animal from Hollywood making his scheduled return to WWE RAW on January 20th, read who that man is right here.

The Big Show is a big New Year’s baby. Yep, you read that right. The 7-foot tall 450lb giant will be wearing a diaper and it will be a ham-handed comedy element of tonight’s New Years edition RAW. This is the same superstar who challenged Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.

Who is ready to rumble in the Royal Rumble match? This is question you can ask of almost any superstar on camera tonight on RAW. The 30-man over-the-top-rope elimination classic really sets up the direction of WWE heading into Wrestlemania with the winner getting a precious WWE World title shot and several other important stories. Top level talents like CM Punk, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan are sure-ins to be in this year’s Rumble. For die-hard fans it will be interesting to see how mid-card guys like Damien Sandow, Fandango, and others fit into this mayhem of a match.

Big E Langston is the new star to watch after his showcase on last week’s 6-man main event between Langston, John Cena and CM Punk against the Shield. Langston who is the reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion, really was the star of the match with bigger name talents. The time of the match is intriguing as Langston gets the spotlight heading into January with the Rumble match and the road to Wrestlemania on the horizon. Last week on RAW, the dancing dude Fandango won a Present on a Pole match which granted him an IC title shot. This may seem like a huge opportunity for Fandango, but he’s stepping into the ring with a red hot Big E Langston.

Daniel Bryan continued his issues last week on RAW and the Tribute to the Troops special with Bray Wyatt and his clan last week, even while his name is kept in the discussion with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On RAW, Bryan with WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust lost in a show-stealer to the Wyatts in a lengthy 6-man tag bout. On the annual Tribute to the Troops, Bryan reformed his G.O.A.T.S team with CM Punk to face the Wyatt Family. Bryan who many still feel could slide back into the main event, needs to overcome Bray Wyatt’s mind games to get on the road to Wrestlemania.

John Cena is still chasing Randy Orton for the WWE World title even with his bouts against members of the Shield last week. Can the Cenation can position itself to once again get a WWE title shot or will it wait for the Rumble?

Tell this Examiner what you think of WWE on Twitter @KevKellam

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