It’s not a full play by play, but it was written live. It’s not going to be formatted like the TV reviews, so less jokes. More of the basics. Enjoy it.
Live from Atlanta, GA it’s the Royal Rumble.
Three man announce team with Cole, Lawler and Striker. First match is Jackson vs. Christian.
I’m watching on HD with the laptop in front of me. Also got some Grey Goose vodka by my side, but only for some light drinking I think. Have a couple buddies watching along.
ECW Title: Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson
The story was the obvious one with Jackson on offense for the majority of the match and Christian selling very well. The crowd wasn’t into it that much, but it wasn’t that bad. I know I don’t write about ECW much, but I like Zeke’s offense for the most part. It works against Christian because he’s one of the best at selling a beating. After getting beat up for about ten minutes, Christian came back. He even went for a flying headbutt that missed. Jackson countered a lot of Christian’s moves well. It looked good. Christian got a good nearfall with a swinging DDT that crowd bought. Jackson threw a lot of clotheslines. I mean a lot. Jackson gave him powerslams into the turnbuckle only for Christian to counter with the Killswitch for the pin. I had picked Jackson to win, but I’m fine with this result. Of course, I’d rather see Christian on Raw, or even better on Smackdown. Match was about 14 minutes…or at least that’s what I saw since I ordered the PPV a few minutes after 8pmET. (**1/4)
Backstage, Teddy Long congratulated ECW GM Tiffany on the good match. Cryme Tyme came in saying only one of them could get in. It involved Khali and then Teddy busted out the “Pants on the ground” song. Miz walked in saying nobody will remember them in five years, but they will remember him winning the Rumble. Apparently Teddy’s in charge and he just made Miz vs. MVP for the US title. Miz is still in the Rumble, but Miz vs. MVP will be right now. Khali then ended the segment singing “Who Let the Dogs Out.” It wasn’t a funny segment. Not THAT bad, though.
Backstage, Cody talked to Randy in the locker room. He said he’s on Randy’s side, but he’s not sure about Ted because he wants to win the Rumble and challenge Orton at Mania. As expected, this will probably be the night where the Legacy split happens…or at least begins.
US Title: The Miz vs. MVP
Early “Miz is Awesome” chant. Haha, that’s great. Striker’s heel commentating is so refreshing when working with the lame commentary of Cole and Lawler. The crowd is pretty hot, which always makes a show better. They’re even clapping during chin locks. Nice to hear. Just noticed “sign guy” sitting row one. Dude always has the best seats. Miz was on offense for the first five minutes until MVP came back. Good two count with the high kick. I think MVP just stole Monty Brown’s “Pounce” move. MVP missed the running kick, then got three two counts in a row. They went back in the ring and Miz won with a cradle. It went about eight minutes. Post match, MVP hit the Playmaker after Miz was talking trash. (*1/2) Decent match, nothing special. Would like to see them get more time and I assume they will based on the finish. Both guys are still in the Rumble.
Winner: The Miz
Backstage, a Jerishow reunion! Jericho says he knows that if it comes down to them two and Miz then he knows where his loyalties lie. Show says he’ll throw them both out. R-Truth walked in to say he’s going to throw Jericho out of the Rumble. He said he had to go through Big Show first, but Show left. Jericho said he’s going to the main event at WrestleMania.
Backstage, Orton spoke with Dibiase. Ted told him he’s not sure about Cody. Orton told Ted he doesn’t want either of them to help him.
They showed some members of the National Guard at ringside.
WWE Title: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
King actually said that even though they’re both white, Orton’s a lot darker. And Striker ripped him for it. Good for Striker. They worked a very physical style with Orton working over Sheamus’ leg. Cole said “classic Randy” with the methodical attack. I guess it’s not vintage. Sheamus chose to work on the left arm. I love Striker ripping on Cole’s stupid comments. It’s been a very slow match. Crowd has died a bit because of the working style. The crowd woke up a bit as they exchanged punches. I love this crowd. Not many pinfall attempts in the first ten minutes. Orton slid out of the Celtic Cross (Razor’s Edge) and kicked Sheamus out of the ring. Wait, do I have to say slithered out? No, I’m not a douchebag. The crowd stood up as Orton hit the DDT off the middle ropes. I do love that spot. Sheamus slid out of the ring to avoid the punt. Cody Rhodes hopped the rail and attacked Sheamus outside the ring. The ref saw it. Orton hit the RKO, but the ref DQ’d him because of Cody’s interference. The match went about 13 minutes. The lack of a babyface hurt it a bit. (**)
Winner via DQ: Sheamus
Post match, the crowd was chanting RKO as Rhodes confronted Orton. Orton decked Rhodes with a punch. Dibiase came in. Orton decked him too. After berating Legacy, Orton turned around and got KO’d by a Sheamus kick.
Does this mean a face turn for Orton? I have no idea. The way it was booked here made it look like Orton’s on his own. I did not see this coming. It could be furthered later in the night in the Rumble match. Interesting to say the least.
Women’s Title: Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James
They got a video package showcasing the feud. Michelle did a pre-match promo. Her voice is really annoying and the jokes are awful. Please stop singing. Please. Layla came out in the fat suit again. Mickie came out sporting her cowgirl type outfit and took Layla out with a Thesz press. McCool kicked Layla accidentally, then hit the Mickie DDT on Michelle for the win. It lasted about ten seconds. (NR)
Winner: Mickie James
Post match, the other divas came out and they dumped the cake onto Michelle & Layla. There’s your closure to the angle. I wish the match was longer because I’d get to see more of Mickie, but I’m sure that’ll come in the future.
World Title: The Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio
Both guys have bad knees and are probably due for surgery post-Mania, but they’re both very tough guys. I have a lot of respect for both. Mysterio countered a chokeslam to a hurricanrana, and then Taker countered a 619 to a Tombstone that he wasn’t able to hit. Cool spot very early. Wow, springboard moonsault by Mysterio on the floor. That’s vintage Mysterio from WCW in the mid 90s. Undertaker’s nose is bleeding. Lawler actually said he’s shocked that Undertaker can even bleed. Lawler’s a brutal commentator these days. Crowd is surprisingly quiet after ten minutes. Rey’s finally getting some offense in. Last Ride countered, 619 hits and then a springboard dropkick. Then he hits another 619. Undertaker catches him. Last Ride. Wow, that was impressive. Undertaker wins after 11 minutes. I was hoping we’d see something more from them, but it was still pretty good for what we got. (**3/4) Yes Lawler, Undertaker has bled many times before. He’s been in the company for 20 years. He’s bled before. Stop saying stupid things.
Winner: The Undertaker
Don’t be shocked if Undertaker barely wrestles between now and WrestleMania. He could even get the Elimination Chamber PPV off.
They showed HBK watching the Undertaker match. Kane showed up to tell him that his obsession with Undertaker is unhealthy. Kane left, Hunter walked in and the DX boys basically wished eachother luck although Shawn told him Undertaker vs. Michaels is meant to be. HHH says “I know, that’s why you have to find another way.”
Cool WrestleMania 26 video package. 56 days away.
They replayed the Royal Rumble video package to get us ready for the 30 man Rumble.
30 Man Royal Rumble Match
The #1 entrant is Dolph Ziggler and #2 is Evan Bourne. I guess nobody’s going from first to win this year, huh? They worked slowly, not much happened. #3 is CM Punk with Serena at ringside. Punk threw Bourne out and clotheslined Ziggler out. Punk grabbed a microphone. He thanked us for joining him. JTG is #4. Punk got rid of JTG in about 20 seconds. #5 is Great Khali. Punk tried to save him by converting him to straight edge, but Khali wanted none of that.
The #6 person to enter is Beth Phoenix. She kisses Khali and eliminates him from the match. That was memorable. Punk fought off her attack and gave her the GTS. #7 is Zack Ryder as Punk tosses Beth out. The interesting thing about Punk tossing Beth out is that they were dating at the time. Must have been quite the romance huh? I don’t know what I mean by that. I’m just saying. Punk hit Ryder with the mic, then tossed him out. Punk’s mouth is bleeding. #8 is HHH. They go face to face. They brawl a bit and #9 is Drew McIntyre. This was around the time when people were saying he was a favorite of HHH backstage, so the placement is interesting. Cole busted out the “vintage” for the high knee. Striker mocked him for it. HHH eliminated Punk by countering the GTS. #10 is Ted Dibiase.
The heels worked on HHH as we got #11, who is John Morrison. He goes after McIntyre right away with a sick DDT. Starship Pain by Morrison on McIntyre. #12 is Kane, who is in for the 12th time, which is a record shared with Shawn Michaels. The announcers of course have to tell us he’s a big threat. Chokeslam to HHH. Cody Rhodes is #13, so we have six guys in the ring right now. Nice dropkick by Cody on Morrison coming off the top. #14 is MVP, who never got into the ring. Why? Miz attacks him in the aisle with the US title. MVP gets helped to the back, so he never entered the match. #15 is Carlito. Eight guys in the ring. Hey, Carlito actually got some offense in. That’s shocking.
#16 is The Miz. Skull Crushing Finale to Carlito. And here comes MVP. Clothesline over the top to Miz, so they’re both out. #17 is Matt Hardy. Kane shoved Hardy out after about 20 seconds for Matt. HHH flipped Kane out. Everybody ran at HHH ninja style and he gave them all spinebusters. #18 is Shawn Michaels. They chucked everybody out except McIntyre rather quickly. Double clothesline on McIntyre sends him out. We’re at #19 and it’s John Cena. He works over the DX guys. HHH hits a Pedigree on Cena. Michaels just superkicked HHH out of the match. Wow. Pretty shocking there. #20 is Shelton Benjamin. He’s out pretty quick, so just Michaels and Cena.
#21 is Yoshi Tatsu. He’s gone quickly. #22 is the Big Show with only Michaels and Cena in there. They can’t get Show out of there. Michaels did the skin the cat move. Triple H was my pick to win. With him out I guess it’s HBK although I think it’s too obvious. #23 is “Somebody get the Kool-Aid!” Mr. Kool-Aid Mark Henry so we can get the vintage big guy vs. big guy spot while Michaels and Cena play dead. Bodyslam by Henry onto Show and Cena couldn’t get the AA on Henry. Doesn’t Cena have a bad back? That didn’t help. #24 is Chris Masters. No titty dance tonight. He’s serious. So serious that Big Show threw him out with one hand after about 30 seconds. #25 is R-Truth. Wow, R-Truth eliminated Mark Henry and Big Show at the same time as they were hanging. I guess maybe R-Truth is getting a push. It’s Michaels, Cena & Truth in there.
#26 is Jack Swagger. It’s 10:27pm and there’s only four spots left. Swagger got some decent offense in, sending all three guys to the mat. We’ve got at least Jericho and Batista left. Swagger clotheslined Michaels, but Shawn hung on with one arm. #27 is Kofi Kingston and Cole already busted about the “controlled frenzy” line. Kingston eliminated Swagger. Four in the ring with three spots left. Kingston just eliminated R-Truth with his feet. #28 is Chris Jericho. We have Batista left and one more. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Cena rather quickly. Michaels hit the top rope elbow on Jericho leading to a “vintage” Michaels from Cole. Michaels went for the superkick, but Kofi jumped in front of Jericho and hit the Trouble in Paradise. Cena capitalized and hit the Attitude Adjustment on Kofi to send him out. #29 is Edge. Woo! That’s a surprise! Spear on Jericho, spear on Michaels, spear on Cena. Edge tosses Jericho out. #30 is Batista. We’ve got the final four.
Final four: Michaels, Cena, Edge and Batista. They all hit their finishers and they were all knocked out as the announcers set the stage for the final four. Edge looks to be in great shape showing no ill effects. When he threw Jericho out he taunted him and the crowd went nuts. Edge is definitely being booked as a babyface in case there was any doubt. It’s 10:35pm with the final four, so this foursome will get some time I assume. Michaels was in control, he hit a superkick on Cena, a superkick on Batista and then Edge tried to clothesline him out. Michaels superkicked Edge back in the ring. Batista clubbed HBK in the back and Shawn fell to the floor. He’s stunned. The crowd is silent. They’re playing up that he doesn’t get his match with Undertaker now. Shawn threw a ref down on the floor and went back in the ring. He then superkicked ref Charles Robinson in the ring.
Cena’s been in the ring for over 20 minutes. Batista charged at him, Cena ducked and Batista went out. Edge is waiting for Cena. Cena charges in and Edge tosses him out for the win. Edge wins the Rumble! I’m very happy to be wrong about this.
The match ended at 49:24.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– It wasn’t the most exciting Rumble. They really didn’t have any star making spots or somebody that lasted the entire match. I’m not really complaining. It’s just that they usually have some more memorable spots or moments than what we got here.
– I didn’t expect Edge to be back. He had torn his Achilles in the summer of 2009 and we didn’t know when he would be back. The rumors were there, but everybody was saying he’d only be able to back by WrestleMania and not the Rumble. It was a genuine surprise for me at least.
– The longest entrant was John Cena at 22:11. I think that’s the shortest ever time for a longest entrant in Rumble history. That’s weird. I don’t really get it, but I guess the point was they wanted it to be more of a fast paced match.
– The paranoia of Michaels was the best story in the match. At the time of the match I had no idea this would be his last Rumble, but it was a hell of a way to go out.
– Beth eliminating Khali was a classic moment. Well done!
FACTS & OPINIONS
Person that lasted the longest: John Cena at 22:11.
Most Eliminations: Shawn Michaels with 10.
Best Performers (3): Shawn Michaels – This is like a lifetime achieved award since it was his last Rumble. Plus you could feel his pain when he lost. He sold it so well.
Edge – His comeback was a surprise and he was on fire when he got in there.
John Cena – Losing clean in the Rumble is about the only time he’ll lose clean at anything. I will reward that.
Best Elimination: Michaels with the superkick on Triple H because it was a genuine surprise.
Match Rating: ***1/4 A little better than 2009, but not by much. It felt way too rushed at times.
There are a lot of questions coming out of this PPV. It wasn’t the best PPV ever, but it wasn’t the worst either. Call it a solid 6 out of 10.
Thanks for reading.