My Two Centsss - Seven Positives From A Disappointing Royal Rumble
By Super Chrisss
Jan 28, 2013 - 7:58:33 PM
RAW is only a few minutes away from going live, but I wanted to squeeze in some post-Royal Rumble thoughts before it's too late. I think last night's Pay-Per-View can be summarized in one word - disappointing. While no match was 'bad', we got tons of mediocrity, a terrible final six in the Royal Rumble, and an even worse finish to a historic championship reign. If we do get Rock/Cena II and Triple H/Lesnar II at Wrestlemania 29 (I guess we'll find out tonight), then this year's 'Mania will be the first Wrestlemania I miss since becoming a fan. I refuse to spend my hard-earned money on rematches that I have no interest in. Sorry, Vince.
But I'm not here to bitch. I did most of that on Twitter last night. Instead, I wish to share with you seven highlights from the 2013 Royal Rumble PPV. Sounds good?
7. Del Rio vs. Big Show >>> Big Show vs. Sheamus >>> Sheamus vs. Del Rio
Last night was the third official match between World Heavyweight Champion Alberto del Rio and the man with the Iron-Clad contract that no one cares about, The Big Show. Surprisingly, despite it being the EXACT SAME gimmick match they had two weeks prior on SmackDown, both men put on a solid match. Not a MOTY candidate or anything, but this was easily the best world title match since Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler at No Way Out (Big Show vs. Sheamus was a snooze-fest for me every time). Show performs well in Last Man Standing matches, mainly because he can stand around and do nothing and actually get away with it. But Del Rio was the star of the match, as he took one sick bump after another, and it seems he has finally found a way to connect with the crowd, Latino-heavy or not. I know a lot of people hated the Batista/Cena duct tape rehash, but this time it made sense, with Del Rio injuring Show's arm, making it impossible for Show to free his feet. Good match.
Rating: 3.25/5 stars
6. Kane and Bryan "still got it"
I was really surprised to see Team Hell No retain their titles last night. I figured their hilarious run as a tag team had run it's course and it was time for both men to go their separate ways. I still think Team Rhodes Scholars should have won as they are overdue a run with the belts, but after seeing Kane and Bryan ham it up (Hi, Al) both backstage and during their epic spot in the Royal Rumble, I'm kind of glad they're still the champs. Kane and Bryan have been comedic gold for months now; it's a shame Kane's career is winding down or else I would have given him another world title run. As for Bryan, I hope to see him back in the world title hunt by SummerSlam, but for now, I'll keep on laughing at his awesome chemistry with The Big Red Monster.
Rating: 1.75/5 stars
5. Rumble Is Jericho!!!
Hands up if you guessed Chris Jericho would be a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match. Okay, I can believe a few of you.
Hands up if you knew Jericho would be the number two entrant, square off with his arch-nemesis Ziggler, and last until the final six. If your hand is still up, get the **** outta here.
I had a feeling WWE was using guys like Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, and Chris Masters as a red herring for a much bigger surprise entrant. After all, how many people would really mark out if Benjamin's or Master's music hit? Didn't the fact they had an extremely difficult time getting over play a factor in their releases?
Anyways, kudos to WWE for pulling off an awesome, perfectly-executed surprise, probably the best Rumble return since John Cena in 2008. Hopefully Jericho can 'save us' from a boring and predictable Road to Wrestlemania. If anyone can do it, Y2J can.
4. New stars are born - Ziggler, Rhodes, Dallas
I have no desire to talk about the final ten minutes of the Royal Rumble match, when it came down to Jericho and Ziggler vs. the 2013 Justice League (Sheamus, Cena, Orton, and Ryback). I had lost complete interest in the Rumble by that point since I knew Ziggler wouldn't win. But I do want to talk about Mr. Money in the Bank and two other guys as well.
I saw many people predict Ziggler would last extremely long in the Rumble, possibly even win it. Although Ziggy wasn't that lucky, he did nearly pull off a coast-to-coast performance, and he did it without Aj or Big E running down to help him. I really hope WWE has big plans for him on April 7th.
Like last year, Cody Rhodes had a lengthy stay in the Rumble, but he made a lot more with his time than he did twelve months ago. Rhodes survived one near-elimination after another and his battle with surprise entrant Goldust was one of the match's highlights (Cody got TONS of heat after getting rid of his brother). Cody made several other eliminations, and if Team Rhodes Scholars would part ways tonight, Cody would be the stronger-looking of the two after his performance last night, although Sandow didn't do poorly for himself either.
Finally, we got another blast from the past when Bo Dallas - an NXT superstar - lasted an incredibly long time in the Rumble and shockingly tossed out Intercontinental Champion, Wade Barrett. This was quite reminiscent of Maven and The Undertaker from 2002, and much like then, I hate this rookie's guts. I'll admit Bo Dallas came off looking like a big deal after his Rumble performance, but I really hate that guy. He's extremely bland and he has the kind of face that you just want to punch. Maybe I'm the only one who feels that way about him, but whatever. We'll see if he gets called up to feud with Barrett as early as tonight on RAW.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
3. JBL's commentary
Can we just make JBL the full-time commentator on RAW, SmackDown, NXT, Superstars, Saturday Morning Slam, Main Event, Bottom Line, Velocity, Saturday Night Main Event, you name it. The man is brilliant and brings so much to the announce table. Even when you're watching crap, JBL will try and keep you entertained. Last night the Wrestling God was on fire again, telling off Cole, ignoring Lawler's stupidity, and putting wrestlers over. I love that guy.
2. Punk vs. Rock
Bullshit ending and table botch aside, I really enjoyed watching Punk and Rock go at it. I thought this was way better than Rock's Wrestlemania match with John Cena, as it didn't feel like they were going through the motions and switching from resthold to resthold, but actually trying to out-wrestle each other. It was also a good choice to have as the main-event because John Cena winning the Royal Rumble and sneding the fans home would have pissed off a lot more people than Rock winning the title. Unfortunately, the unnecessary restart and Punk not kicking out of even one of Rock's finishers really hurt the final few minutes of the match and prevented it from becoming a MOTY candidate and the epic match it should have been. Still, the match itself is definitely worth checking out.
Rating: 4/5 stars
1. CM Punk's last night as WWE Champion
I'm still pissed about Cena winning the Rumble and the thought of Rock/Cena II at Wrestlemania quickly becoming a reality, but I am content that I was able to witness with my own eyes the end of Punk's historic reign as WWE Champion. Years from now, people will think back to the longest title reign of the 21st Century, and Punk's reign will be remembered. I for one am thrilled I was able to see him go down as a fighting champion, and I can tell future friends, readers, maybe even my kids, that I saw Punk's title reign come to an end. I may not necessarily agree with the way it ended, and I may not like why it happened, but at least I didn't wake up this morning and check out LOP to learn of Punk's title loss. I saw Punk win the title live on PPV back at Survivor Series 2011, and I saw him drop it at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
That, my friends, is a memory that will last forever. Because unlike Rock vs. Cena, Punk's epic title reign truly was once in a lifetime. And that makes it all worth it.
What did you think about last night's PPV? Are you still excited for Wrestlemania 29?
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