Alberto Del Rio Atlanta Big Daddy Cool Big Sexy Booker T Boston CM Punk Diesel Dolph Ziggler Edge Georgia Domw John Cena Kelly Kelly Kevin Nash Nexus Pay-Per-View Pro Wrestling Randy Orton Ricardo Rodriguez Royal Rumble The Miz Wrestlemania Wrestlemania 27 WWE
Sunday night was my second favorite fake sporting event of the year. No, I’m not referring to the Pro Bowl, a game that embarrassed itself to even lower levels than usual last night. I could write a post about how much I think the Pro Bowl sucks and shouldn’t exist, but I think that’s been beat to hell pretty well today. There is a need to address the pants that some of the NFL’s finest [who felt like going to Hawaii] were wearing. What’s next? Stirrups?
But as you can tell by the title, this isn’t a post about fake football. It’s a post about fake bloodsport. Yes, there is a similarity between the two. Most stop caring about both in roughly the fifth grade.
Last night was the Royal Rumble, and while it is getting some mixed reviews around the Internet today, I thought it was pretty awesome. Here’s why:
Edge defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Title matches usually aren’t given too much of an emphasis at the Royal Rumble due to the fact that the event’s namesake match does the heavy lifting in selling the show. However, this match served as the opener and offered the best action of the night.
I almost wanted to see Ziggler win this match simply because I really enjoy this feud and would like to see it continue until Wrestlemania. However, I’m a little biased in that area as I am going to Wrestlemania this year. Edge’s win combined with the result of the Royal Rumble match makes it look like this feud is over which is too bad.
But plenty good came out of it. The Kelly Kelly interference was out of the ordinary as it wasn’t anything that had a set-up to it, and Edge’s use of Christian’s finisher to end the match will bring speculation that a Christian return is coming sooner than later, possibly as a feud for Edge if he loses the title at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
Also, people can pan the lack of originality in Vickie Guerrero’s banning of the Spear all they want to, but it made the crowd ridiculously hot for that move last night. And that’s something that the WWE failed to do with Edge’s signature maneuver going into Wrestlemania 26.
The Miz defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship
The question going into this match was whether or not the WWE trusted the most successful “Real World” cast member of all time to carry its most prized belt into the most important stretch of the pro wrestling year, the “Road to Wrestlemania.”
By beating Orton, Miz seemingly ends a feud that has gone on for a couple of months and moves on to a program with John Cena based on his actions in the Rumble. Once again, The Miz beat Orton in an unclean finish when members of the new Nexus invaded and essentially handed him the victory.
For those complaining about Miz never winning clean, get over it. Miz is never going to win clean. His gimmick is that he’s a weak champion and there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve read people saying that all WWE is doing is making it look like the title should be on someone else. And that’s the truth.
It makes me think back to when I was a little kid, and I hated Ric Flair because he always “won” matches in the most ridiculous fashions. As a young viewer, it frustrated the hell out of you and made you beg your mom to buy the next pay-per-view so you could see someone, anyone beat him. That’s called good business.
The most pleasant accident in WWE right now is this underlying feud between Cena and Miz that has gone on for almost two years. What began as the squash of a comical figure has turned into a legitimate possibility to headline April 3 at the Georgia Dome and that is a huge tribute to how far The Miz has come in that time.
Eve defeated Natalya and LayCool to win the Divas Championship
Uh, cool moonsault?
Not too much to talk about on this one as it did little more than serve as a buffer between the two larger title matches and the Rumble. Something tells me Eve won’t exactly have a very lengthy title reign.
Alberto Del Rio won the 40-man Royal Rumble match to earn a title shot at Wrestlemania 27
It speaks to the anticipation of Triple H’s return that his failure to appear at the Rumble trumped the surprises of seeing Booker T and Diesel in a WWE ring again, or the fact that an upstart won a match that’s usually dominated by veterans.
If there was one thing that everyone could agree on going into the Rumble, it was that it would be the night for Triple H’s return. But it didn’t happen because, well, Vince McMahon is brilliant.
We know he’s coming back before Wrestlemania, and we know that his return is something that we’re excited about seeing, which is why Sunday night was all about leaving the fan wanting to see more. They’re going to milk Triple H’s return for as much as they can. They’re going to do the same with Awesome Kong’s WWE debut. They gave us just the slightest taste of Booker T and Diesel that made us want to see them again.
During the most important television time of the year for WWE, it’s genius work.
But aside from the personnel surprises, it is newsworthy that Del Rio won the Rumble if for no other reason than McMahon is usually unenthusiastic about letting fresh faces main event his biggest show. Del Rio will main event Wrestlemania just over seven months after his WWE debut.
Does he deserve it?
His performances leading up to Wrestlemania, and his in-ring work at the big event will answer that question. The former MMA fighter does provide a fresh main event face, a concept that we have seen more and more in the WWE’s recent youth movement.
Del Rio’s victory likely leads to a title match with Edge, a program that both should be able to carry well for the next couple months.
As far as the Rumble match as a whole, it was very enjoyable. It told a number of great stories and was broken up into separate pieces that made the largest Rumble ever easy to digest.
I especially enjoyed the transition from the very serious, Nexus-dominated portion of the match to the brief-but-fun Hornswoggle show. The Hornswoggle portion has caught tons of heat on the Internet today to which I say that the Internet needs to shut up and stop taking entertainment so seriously. John Morrison also took HBK’s trademark “skinning the cat” to a whole new level with this little maneuver:
WWE’s only job is to appeal to the casual fan, and they did so very well last night. The live crowd loved the Rumble and that’s really all that matters.
Tyson Kidd is hopeless anyways. He deserved to get beat up by a leprechaun.
Anyways, good show. Can’t wait for Mania.