Monday, January 31, 2011

WWE Royal Rumble 2011

Didn't see that coming!

Let's take it from the top though, Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship kicked off the 2011 Royal Rumble, which was a little strange, but that's the way it goes sometimes. No doubt this was Match of the Night though and definitely a contender for Match of the Month. Ziggler has an uncanny knack for always being a bridesmaid and never the bride, but he does it better than anyone. I was sure he had this one in the bag after all the shenanigans from Vickie, but he just couldn't quite hang with Edge's bag of tricks, he even busted out the Edgeucator! One ref bump, Spear and KILLSWITCH~! later, Edge retained, but this isn't the end of Dolph Ziggler challenging for the World Title.
Predictions: 1 for 1

Even more strange, Randy Orton vs. The Miz for the WWE Championship went on before the Divas Title match. Really, you need a cooldown match before the Rumble? It's the Rumble, the crowd's going to be hot for it. Anyhoo, Miz and Orton had a good match, not as good as the Smackdown main event, but above the Orton average. It also helps when Orton loses, especially when it's thanks to CM Punk! Oh I think we've got a WrestleMania match confirmed, but what does that mean for Punk vs. Cena? More on that later, but let's talk about how AWESOME it is that The Miz is still WWE Champion. And can we finally just admit that Randy Orton sucks as a face? Even when his matches are above average, he's still the worst part of any match he's involved in, which is still true when he's a heel, but it's especially bad when they expect me to cheer for him. I know I'm the self-parodying Orton hater, but c'mon, let's just be honest here, he's a yawn-inducer.

But hey, Alex Riley gets a thumbs up from me for flying over the top rope onto Nexus like that. NASTY!
Predictions: 2 for 2

Natalya vs. LayCool for the Divas Championship had me excited because I was ready for the debut of Awesome Kong, and then The G?M turned it into a Fatal Four Way! Natalya vs. Michelle McCool vs. Layla vs. Aweso... Eve? Oh come on! Even worse, Eve wins the title?! This better end tomorrow with Kong coming in and eating her lunch.
Predictions: n/a

Royal Rumble time! Okay, the Rumble is really hard to review, there's so much going on and with 40 men, it's even more difficult, so here's a stream of consciousness review:
-The opening Corre vs. Nexus stuff was fun, but they need to turn one of these groups faces if they expect us to care about them feuding.

-Totally called Daniel Bryan coming it and #1 or #2, but didn't see CM Punk coming in at #1.

-Daniel Bryan was a beast too. Sick kicks all around, wish he would've lasted longer though.

-John Morrison clinging to the barricade and jumping onto the steel stairs was jaw-dropping. The dude deserved to win the whole damn thing after that, and it's a crying shame he was eliminated so early.

-I'm seeing a lot of mixed reviews to Nexus dominating the first half of the Rumble, but I liked it. Not terribly different than what Punk did last year, but his facial expressions and being the guy every new entrant tried to get at, only to fall victim to numbers, was brilliant.

-Speaking of Nexus, what was up with Tyler Reks getting all ballsy against them? He should've asked them for a job application.

-BOOKER T! Booker f'n T!!! Did you hear that pop!? Booker got in his greatest hits, side kick, spin kick, Bookend, Spin-a-Roonie! Not happy to see him go that fast, but hopefully he's sticking around, SUCKA!

-Hated John Cena coming in and clearing house though. Throwing out all the lackeys is one thing, but Punk shoulda hung around to the end, especially if he's going to be feuding with Orton into Mania, but what about Punk vs. Cena? Is that just done? Or are they going to wrap it on Raw or at Elimination Chamber? Either way, that's might anticlimactic considering Cena vs. Nexus has been THE storyline since June.

-The Cena & Hornswoggle stuff was mildly amusing, though I'm sure it made some smark heads explode... which makes it incredibly amusing.

-Kofi, Mysterio, Sheamus and Wade Barrett really should've had more to do. Sheamus should've kicked ass and eliminated half the Rumble participants... and where the hell was Triple H!?

-DIESEL! Okay, I had Nash and Booker spoiled for me yesterday, but I didn't know Nash was going to come back as freakin' BIG DADDY COOL DIESEL! Complete with black glove and Just for Men hair dye?! That was awesome, he looked like he stepped out of a 1995 time capsule. Now all he needs is a Skullcrushing Finale from The Miz for all that trash talk!

-Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, HATED the fact that Dolph Ziggler & Randy Orton were in the Royal Rumble. Sorry, you guys lost title matches, you don't get to be in the Rumble, that's the whole point. You get a title shot, you don't have to beat 39 other guys and you might still get to go to WrestleMania. If you can't get the job done earlier in the night, you're out! It'd be one thing if Vickie pulled some strings or if Ziggler mugged someone during their entrance, but Orton getting in was awful.

-What was up with that stare down between Diesel and Big Show? Oh no, please don't let Nash hit him with the Jackknife again, my gag reflex can't take it.

-Kane coming in at #40 might be the most underwhelming final entrant in years. Really? If that's it, why not have Nash come in at #40? I was all ready for Triple H's triumphant return and instead I get Kane? ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

-When it came down to Orton, Cena, Del Rio and Barrett, I was 100% sure I'd be writing a scathing Rumble review about how much Orton sucks or how John Cena totally didn't need it, but then The Miz, who was on commentary, eliminated Cena and things got interesting. Cena telling Cole "your boy's done" was a nice touch and if we have to get another Cena title win at WrestleMania, I'm glad it will be in a main event match with The Miz, who has earned a match of this caliber.

-But I was still worried Orton was going to win... until Alberto Del Rio threw him the hell out! Hell yes, Del Rio saves the day and wins the Rumble!

-Wait... Santino Marella was never technically eliminated, he was just booted by Sheamus and rolled under the bottom rope! COBRA! COBRA! COBRA! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Yes, I am kidding you, Del Rio reversed his attempted elimination and officially won the 2011 Royal Rumble! C'mon, admit it, WWE had you there for a second, I thought Santino was going to turn the wrestling world upside down. Del Rio winning was pretty shocking though, even without the Santino twist.

I know he's had all the hype and momentum, but I thought it was just a red herring and we'd get someone like Punk or Cena. And even though this doesn't help WWE solve their problem of not building any new good guys, Del Rio has just been absolutely phenomenal since his debut and I'm eagerly awaiting his title match at WrestleMania. I assume we'll be looking at Del Rio vs. Edge, but ya know, he did injure Christian a few months back... maybe Captain Charisma could return and win the World Championship at Elimination Chamber? Hey, a boy can dream. But kudos to WWE for the surprise win and using the Rumble to get behind a new Superstar.
Predictions: 2 for 3

Fantastic show. The Rumble match fell into the same pitfall as last year, it was too compartmentalized, telling blocks of stories, rather than an overarching story throughout the entire match. First it was all about Nexus, then the ring was cleared and it was all about Cena, then the last batch of big names came in and Del Rio won. Why couldn't guys like Bryan, Morrison, Mysterio, Sheamus, and Barrett be in the ring for an extended period of time and have stuff to do the whole time? Too many rapid-fire eliminations again, and the addition of Orton and Ziggler instead of two more surprises like Jim Duggan or Roddy Piper was really annoying. Or how about Triple H and Awesome Kong!?

Still, those gripes aside, I really enjoyed the Royal Rumble match and the undercard as well. WrestleMania is shaping up quite nicely with:
John Cena vs. The Miz
Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
and maybe even Diesel vs. Big Show? Something with Booker T?

And we've still got Elimination Chamber to get through! I'm happy to finally be on the Road To Wrestlemania and I think WWE got us off to a great start with this show. Now let's all raise a glass for ALBERrRrRrRrRrRrTOOOOOOOO DEL RrRrRrRrRrRIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOO!!

*And a big congratulations to Eddie Ruckus, who picked #38 in the Kick-Out Rumble, he'll be joining me on an upcoming episode of Kick-Out!! Radio for his own Opening Bell segment!

WWE Royal Rumble - The Complete Anthology, Vol. 1WWE Royal Rumble - The Complete Anthology, Vol. 2 (1993-1997)WWE Royal Rumble - The Complete Anthology, Vol. 3WWE Royal Rumble - The Complete Anthology, Vol. 4


  1. Oh man, I feel like the King in The King's Speech >> Should be fun though!

  2. Can't wait to hear what you'll send my way, Eddie. PM me on EWB in the next day or two and we'll go over the details.

  3. shit man i got screwed, punk ganged up on truth!

  4. I couldn't agree more with Orton and Ziggler. When Ziggler came in, I thought Orton was a lock to win. I was at a friends house so I didn't hear much of the announcing, but it sounded like they didn't even question it. But in the end, the match was incredibly fun to watch. Nash and Booker looked great, I hope that's not the last I seen of them. I'd love to see Nash be involved with HBK's induction.
    And how cool is it that someone we didn't even know last year this time won the Royal Rumble? Last time that happened was with Yokozuna.

  5. I had #3....and when Justin Gabriel came in, I knew I had no chance of winning! Oh well.....can't wait to hear Mr.Ruckus.

  6. Coming soon, Eddie Ruckus gives us a 5 minute tribute to TATANKA....BUFFALO!

    I keed.

    And yeah, didn't need Orton or Ziggler in. Should have had Curt Hawkins and Trent Berretta!

  7. If Trent would've been eliminated like he was when he missed that plancha onto McIntyre, he would've been my pick for Rumble MVP.

  8. I had Tyler Reks. Quit complaining, everyone.