Welcome to a special Royal Rumble edition of CB’s World, featuring snapshot recaps, results and other thoughts:
–I love those Super Bowl prop bets where you can literally bet on who wins the coin toss. I would love to have WWE prop bets too, like who’s theme song will you hear first. It used to be Jeff Hardy without fail back in the day. Who wins this year’s Royal Rumble honor? Daniel Bryan.
Match 1: Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Big Show
–Some Daniel Bryan chants to start
Snaphot Recap: After not doing much, Henry was taken out by the WMD, but Bryan broke up the count. Bryan then scaled the cage shortly after, and Big Show ended up with one hand holding onto Bryan. Big Show lost his grip and the match ends with Bryan falling to the floor to retain the Big Gold Belt.
Result: Daniel Bryan defeats Big Show and Mark Henry after 18 minutes.
–This was a very abrupt match, even for lasting 18 minutes. Henry’s injury must have really affected some of the planning, because there really wasn’t much to his involvement. Also, they spent all this time building up the AJ storyline and then didn’t really visit that at all during the match.
Match 2 (throw-in match): 8-Divas Tag Match: Beth Phoenix, Natalya and the Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox and Tamina
–Prop bet 2 I would have won: Kelly Kelly’s theme song representing all the baby faces.
Snapshot Recap: After a melee occurs outside the ring and Kelly lands a splash on all other 7 Divas, Kelly slides back in with a Bella twin, Beth tags herself back in and that’s all she wrote.
Result: Beth Phoenix scores the pin with the Glam Slam over Kelly Kelly.
–This add-on match leads me to think the Big Gold Belt encounter really was cut short by 10 minutes. No point otherwise.
–Backstage Zack Ryder is in a wheelchair, Johnny Ace feigns compassion, and Eve says he hopes Ace is FIRRRRED tomorrow on Raw. “That’s gratitude for ya,” Ace retorts.
Match 3: Kane vs. John Cena
Snapshot Recap: This started out with what looked like a pyrotechnic malfunction of some kind. After a slow and plodding start, well, things stayed slow and plodding, actually. Kane hits his top rope clothesline, then later on Cena hits a top rope 5-knuckle shuffle. Things then spill to the outside and we get — you guessed it — a double count-out.
Result: Double Count-out
Post-Match Snapshot Recap: They fight down the ramp and keep fighting in the back, and Kane winds up hitting several CHAIRSHOTS OF DOOM on Cena.
Kane then sees Ryder’s dressing room, breaks the door down, puts the glove into Ryder’s throat to knock him out and wheels Ryder back in front of the crowd and into the ring.
Eve runs out to beg Kane for mercy, and Kane nails a TOMBSTONE pile driver despite her pleas. Cena stumbles out, tries to fight back, gets Kane up into the AA, it’s blocked and Kane hits a choke slam before his music hits and he finally leaves the ring.
The music stops, everyone attends to Ryder and Booker speculates that this could be the end of Ryder’s career.
–This was simply like any other Kane-Cena match with typical Kane-Cena sequences, and again the storyline heading into this match was simply an afterthought once the bell rang. They tried to make up for it after the match ended with all the extra attention, but again this felt like a mere extension of Raw with a Raw quality match than the second-biggest PPV of the year.
–After all that, a Rock package airs to promote his WrestleMania match with John Cena, and apparently the movies Snitch and Journey 2 … Ugh.
The package then transitions into Rock going back to Hawaii to visit his alma mater and his family’s graves. Rock says he’ll shine at Mania. Great to know.
Match 4: Drew McIntyre vs. The Funkasaurus Brodus Clay
–If Drew wins he earns a Royal Rumble slot
–Huge Funkasaurus chants to start, and Booker says “Testify my brother” in a shotout to D-Von I guess
Snapshot Recap: SmackDown-quality squash, and still no PPV-quality matches tonight.
Result: Brodus Clay pins Drew McIntyre with the What the Funk splash
Match 5: WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler (special guest referee John Laurinaitis)
–Before the match, Johnny Ace says he’ll officiate from outside the ring (if needed I presume) and asks for a real ref to come down and call the action.
–Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero come down to the ring, and “CM Punk” chants start up already before Cult of Personality hits to bring Punk out.
–After the official introductions, Ace actually sends Vickie to the back before the match starts…
Snaphot Recap: After some feeling out, Ziggler tries a Zig Zag but Punk catches him and sends Dolph to the canvass. Punk then goes on the offensive, nails some kicks and the running high knee into the bulldog. Dolph blocks the GTS, but Punk hits another kick and the match resets for a minute.
Punk hits the flying elbow soon after and a huge Randy Savage chant breaks out. Dolph kicks out and the ref gets knocked out to secure my third fake prop bet win of the night.
SHENANIGANS then ensue, and Punk has Ziggler beat THREE TIMES all without Ace looking:
1. Anaconda Vice
Punk calls Ace out on this and goes for another GTS that Ziggler turns into a Zig Zag and a two and a half count.
Punk kicks out, Ziggler hits a couple moves but then gets thrown into another GTS that finally seals the win for Punk. Ace joins in on the three count for good measure as if he was impartial the whole time.
Result: Punk wins four times, but the fourth one via a second GTS is the result on record
–Did Ziggler just set a record for losing FOUR times in one match? This might be the quickest de-elevation of a #1 Contender in WWE history, and that further clouds what really should have been a better match than what was booked.
Match 6: Royal Rumble Match
Snapshot Recap: No way I can recap this whole thing and do it justice, so here’s memorable entries / items of note:
–#1: The Miz
–#7: Mick Foley to a huge pop
–#8: Ricardo Rodriguez to a huge pop
–Foley and Ricardo hilariously team up to eliminate Justin Gabriel
–#9: Santino Marella
–Santino eliminates Ricardo, leading to a Cobra vs. Mr. Socko showdown. Epico then comes out to take the Cobra and the Claw, and the comedy segment ends with Rhodes and Miz coming back into the ring to attack and eliminate Santino and Foley to a chorus of boos.
–#12: Jerry The King Lawler goes in and out (thanks to Cody) pretty quickly for no reason other than to offer up a mild surprise
–The crowd is DEAD since Foley’s elimination, until…
–#17: Booker T to a big pop
–Kofi Kingston gets the cool non-elimination spot when Miz sends him out of the ring, but Kofi lands on his hands, then does a full handstand and walks on his hands back to the steel steps
–#19: Hacksaw Jim Duggan to the pop of the night so far, after all no one can resist USA / HOOOO chants.
–FYI: Miz (#1) and Cody Rhodes (#4) are carrying this Rumble match as the iron men of this year’s proceedings. Rhodes is also the resident “Legend Killer” this year, eliminating Duggan.
–#20: Michael Cole
–Kharma scares off Cole, and Booker and King come back to finish him off. She also throws Hunico over the top rope, impressively.
–Kharma hits a huge move on Dolph Ziggler, then Dolph comes back and eliminates her.
–Sheamus eliminates Kofi, who had a solid showing in his own right.
–#23: Road Dogg Jesse James to a huge pop and a “You Still Got It” chant after hitting his signature moves
–#26: Wade Barrett
–Barrett eliminates Road Dogg
–Miz is in over 40 minutes and Cody is in over 30 minutes at this point
–#28: Randy Orton to a huge pop, double DDT on Cody and Dolph
–RKO to eliminate Barrett
–#29: Chris Jericho to a solid reaction and Y2J plays it straight and runs to the ring, no antics
–#30: Big Show, who immediately eliminates Jack Swagger, and then ends a valiant effort by Miz (#1) and Rhodes (#4), who are finally eliminated. Dolph Ziggler’s long night also ends here.
FINAL FOUR: Big Show (#30), Chris Jericho (#29), Randy Orton (#28), Sheamus (#22)
Orton eliminates Big Show
Jericho eliminates Orton
FINAL TWO: Chris Jericho (#29) vs. Sheamus (#22)
–Jericho and Sheamus go back and forth in singles match mode, and the longer it goes you can tell they are setting up a surprise finish.
–Low and behold, Sheamus eliminates Jericho via the Brogue Kick that knocks Y2J off the ring apron and onto the floor … and Sheamus is going to WrestleMania.
Result: Sheamus wins the Royal Rumble match by eliminating Chris Jericho and is headed to the main event of WrestleMania
CB’s Slant: This was a very lackluster Royal Rumble that just felt like one big TV SuperShow instead of the second biggest PPV event of the year. The Rumble match itself was still fun in spots, but it was also boring in others and had a ton of filler with all three announcers being entered into the match and Dolph Ziggler and Big Show pulling double duty even though there was no way they were going to win.
Also, while the result was certainly a surprise considering the Final Two, it’s not necessarily the result that everyone wanted either. Does Sheamus moving into a main event slot at WrestleMania really excite the fans as much as Jericho would have?
Also, why waste Jericho’s return and months of teasing in such very anticlimactic fashion by have him simply “play it straight” the whole night without playing into the storyline of his character working the fans?
In addition, Jericho also didn’t deliver on his promise to change the world as we know it, something that won’t get lost on the fans who actually pay attention to the rhetoric the wrestlers use in their promos and segments.
On a personal note, congratulations to Sheamus for winning his first Royal Rumble.
At the same time, Sheamus vs. Punk and/or Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan really doesn’t make all too much sense at the moment, so we’ll have to see how all of that plays out in the coming weeks.
That’s all from me — CB.
Tags: big show, Booker T, CB's World, chris jericho, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Eve, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jerry Lawler, john cena, John Laurinaitis, Johnny Ace, kane, kharma, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, randy orton, Ricardo Rodriguez, road dogg, royal rumble, Santino Marella, sheamus, The Miz, The Rock, Wade Barrett, WWE, zack ryder