Hello and welcome to another edition of Rasslin’ Rants. So yeah, the Road to WrestleMania is officially underway with this past Sunday’s Royal Rumble PPV. I want to get this out of the way and say this show wasn’t very good. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Royal Rumble (abbreviated RR for this article), it’s a 30-man over the top rope battle royal where the winner gets a WWE or World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania. Seems like a good idea in theory, creating new main event people in the process, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, WWE uses this as an extremely lazy way of rehashing something from the past. Such is the case for this event. Anyways, here’s what I thought of the show.
Match #1 – Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship -Alberto Del Rio (c.) vs. Big Show
-I’m actually enjoying Del Rio as a face. He’s not bland now that he shows some energy. And along with his new persona, he’s also added some new moves to his arsenal. He now uses some lucha libre style moves along with his aggressive ground and pound for an interesting combination.
-World Heavyweight Championship jerking the curtain a PPV…not sure how I feel about this.
-Before they go out, Del Rio and his announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, run into Bret “The Hitman” Hart. They tell each other they are their countries’ equivalent of each other. As an added bonus, Bret goes into his pocket and pulls out his signature sunglasses and puts them on Ricardo’s face. Nice nostalgic moment, since Ricardo probably grew up watching Bret and wanted to be the lucky kid to receive Hitman’s shades.
-The match itself was alright. A few harsh bumps here and there. Del Rio locks in the Cross Arm Breaker while Ricardo duct tapes Big Show’s legs to the bottom rope, incapacitating him so he’s unable to get up for a ten count. Same finish as John Cena/Batista a few years back. Lesson learned – tables, ladders, stairs, chairs and Singapore canes don’t have anything on duct tape.
Match #2 – WWE Tag Team Championship – Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) (c.) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes)
-Cody Rhodes looks like a young Burt Reynolds with that mustache.
-Alright tag team match. Would have been better if it were the opener.
-Daniel Bryan locks in the Yes/No Lock for the win.
Match #3 – 30-Man Royal Rumble Match
-We’re only an HOUR into a THREE hour show, and the titular match is on going into the second hour.
-My pick to win – Dolph Ziggler.
-Surprise entrants/mark out moments – Chris Jericho, Goldust and The Godfather.
-When it came down the final three of Sheamus, Ryback and John Cena, I had a feeling where this was going, and I lost interest.
-Final two of Ryback and Cena. It hurt me deep down to actually cheer for the oaf known as Ryback.
-Cena wins…setting up for the long rumored Cena/Rock rematch at WrestleMania. Whoopdie doo!
-Backstage with The Rock. Cuts a promo which includes something about his mother overcoming cancer and how she’s in the crowd tonight…I have a bad feeling about this.
Match #4 – WWE Championship – CM Punk (c.) vs. The Rock
-Only FOUR matches on this card?! There was no random Divas match to toss in somewhere before the main event?
-We only have about an hour left on the show, and WWE is really making this a drawn out match. Why do I sense some BS finish at the conclusion?
-Okay match considering Rock hasn’t been in the ring since WrestleMania 28.
-Botch moment – Rock goes to Rock Bottom Punk through the Spanish announce table (if it’s shown on television, there’s a pretty good chance someone is going through it), table gives out from under them and they collapse with it.
-Lights go out and Rock gets dropped through the English/main announce table. Punk rolls Rock back into the ring, gets a three count.
-Vince McMahon comes out and says due to outside interference from The Shield (even though we never see them), he’s stripping Punk of the title. Rock opens his mouth and requests a restart…shit.
-Punk goes for a GTS, Rock counters, hits a spinebuster, hits the Peoples’ Elbow for the win…FUCK!
-Back to being in the background for Punk, and for those of you who can see that this is more transparent than a Victoria’s Secret camisole, WWE is doing a Cena/Rock rematch at WrestleMania…this time it’s for the WWE Championship.
-Also means we get to listen to Cena and Rock vociferate nonsensically on who can offend GLAAD the fastest with their petulant insults.
What did I think of this show? I don’t know what was worse a FOUR MATCH SHOW on the beginning of the road to their biggest show of the year, or the fact that the outcomes to the match were clearer than a fresh pane of glass. Had I paid money for this, I would have been PISSED. I don’t even want to know how it would feel to have paid for tickets to this event.
I understand that the titular match on the RR card is supposed to be over an hour long, they could have given us an extra match to beef up the card. I didn’t completely hate this show, Ricardo getting Hitman’s shades along with the return of Chris Jericho, Goldust and The Godfather were all moments I enjoyed. The outcomes of the RR and WWE Championship matches, along with the weak card, left a really bitter taste in my mouth.
For those of you who don’t know, my girlfriend and I will be attending WrestleMania 29 in April. I wasn’t looking forward to another match between Cena and Rock. I felt their match last year was a bit lackluster for the hype that was generated well over a year in advance. With Rock winning last year, I’m predicting Cena will win the second match (and the WWE Championship unfortunately), setting up for the final/rubber match at WrestleMania 30. As much as I dread another Cena/Rock match, I will still enjoy the event. Let’s hope in the time between now and April 7, WWE builds some quality matches for The Grandest Stage of Them All!
I hope you enjoyed another edition of Rasslin’ Rants, I’m Jon The Hipster Panda. Until next time dear reader!