- WrestlingINC.com reader @aimanjarrar sent the photo above from this past Tuesday's SmackDown taping in Grand Rapids, Michigan and noted that the attendance was pretty poor. The whole upper bowl - except for two sections - and lower bowl were tarped. In contrast, RAW in Grand Rapids last June was sold out. Another reader pointed out that the attendance was around 4300 people, and that with all the sections that were tarped off, fans were moved to other areas so that it looked packed.
- Jim Ross appeared on The One Sided Ring podcast and talked about leaving WWE, as well as this Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view. While he feels that the Royal Rumble match outcome could go several ways, he predicts that Daniel Bryan - who has not being announced for the match - or Batista will end up winning.
"Looking down the list of other guys, you have Cena and Orton already in a match, Lesnar and Big Show in a match," JR said, via The Mirror. "They are four very viable candidates, but I don't know if any of those four are going to be in the Rumble. If you take away all of those possibilities, to me it comes down to Daniel Bryan or Batista.
"Who is going to mean the most as a challenger, against the champion, in New Orleans? An argument can certainly be made that that person is Daniel Bryan. He seems to be, based on watching Raw, the hottest guy on TV. He has connected with the audience very organically. He is a magnificent in-ring performer. He is the prototypical underdog. He's a consummate pro. And the people have embraced him. However, part of Daniel Bryan's charm and popularity is that he never quits. He is always working to achieve the impossible and earn respect. There is something to be said for Daniel Bryan being on the chase. I'm not one that thinks that Daniel Bryan has to definitively have the world title today to continue his growth.
"You can make an argument for Batista. How do you bring back after four years – he's a massive star, he's done well outside of wrestling – how do you bring him back and not monetize your investment by having him win?"
Ross also discussed other possibilities for the match, how difficult it is to call, if he has any bitterness toward WWE for how things played out and more. You can read more from the interview by clicking here.
- Santino Marella underwent neck surgery earlier today and said that when he returns, he will "still be funny and entertaining, but I'm gonna kick some serious ass this time straight up."
He also posted this photo:
Success! more blood and pain this time but doctors are happy with the out come pic.twitter.com/qx0ooHcFUI— Santino Marella (@milanmiracle) January 23, 2014