That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition – Part 3 of 13 – WWE Royal Rumble 2013 (The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk)

Welcome! This is the third out of thirteen stops on “That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition”. For anyone unfamiliar with my work or recaps, I have disclaimers at the bottom of the article along with the “Expedition” schedule.

So far on the tour, I’ve done WWE RAW and experienced the hour-long version of Miz-TV, also known as WWE Main Event. Both shows have been kind of a drag, but I’ve been having fun, and I appreciate the nice little response the tour has gotten so far:

Victor: Wow. Blair is really a dick, isn’t he?

Nobody: Blair A. Douglas is so cool.

Dragonslayer: Go away Blair A Douglas, seriously. So, just because someone might have an opinion that different from you, it makes their opinion silly? This overly-cynical, I-am-never-wrong philosophy is why so many people are turned off by this site. Sure, you are the most popular writer on this website but so is John Cena in WWE. That does NOT mean he isn’t part of the problem. Ppl might support you but you turned just as more off.

The Truth: And he bangs way hotter chicks than A.J. on a regular basis.

Totally. Cheers. I didn’t even know Ron Killings read my work.

 

Before we start, I just want to say that Royal Rumble is one of my favorite PPV’s of all time. The last couple years, it’s been pretty lackluster, but I attribute a lot of that to them having guys win the Royal Rumble PURELY in an attempt to make them huge stars. As we all know now, that didn’t really work. But, hopefully tonight that won’t be the case, and, at the very least, the show will likely be more entertaining than the last two shows I’ve watched. I’m looking forward to Punk / Rock a lot, and even though the Rumble will probably not be all that good compared to previous years, it’s at least got a lot of big names in it.

I’ve put my predictions for how this will go on other parts of the site, but just in case you’re interested and haven’t seen them before:

  • The Shield can’t help Punk, or he loses his title. So, Brock comes in and sticks Rock, setting up Brock / Rock at WM, and saving us from everyone’s apparent locked-in certainty (internet rumours are just that, kids) of Rock / Cena II and HHH / Lesnar II.
  • Bryan is the ONLY correct choice to win the Rumble, but I figure the most likely outcome is that Cena wins and goes on to fight Punk in the main event of WM. Not the best option, but certainly not the worst, and certainly better than, again, Rock / Cena II and HHH / Lesnar II.
  • If Cena doesn’t win, I can see them giving it to Ryback or Miz… obviously, this is a horrible idea. But those are the only 3 guys I can see them giving it to.

 

That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition

Part 3 of 13: WWE Royal Rumble 2013

I even did the pre-show. I’m awesome! It’s being commentated by Matt Striker and the FBI agent from Prison Break.

Josh Matthews is interviewing Big Show. They replay Del Rio winning the belt a few weeks ago. Big Show is upset about them showing the footage. He talks about how winning the lottery doesn’t make you a smart businessman, basically saying Del Rio got lucky.

Then the YouTube carrying the pre-show crashed. Tomorrow night on RAW in their “DID YOU KNOW?” thing they’ll claim they had so many people watching the pre-show that they took down the site.

… 4 minutes later. Stream still down. Awesome. This is fucking easy.

2 minutes later, and we’re back. They’re running the “numbers” Royal Rumble ad. THREE – that’s the number of minutes that promo now is.

 

United States Title Match
Antonio Cessaro (c) .vs. The Miz

So here’s the master of the Figure-4… actually, I have to say something about this. I’ve noticed some people ragging on Miz for botching the Figure-4. I don’t really understand this. Miz has been struggling to properly perform the moves he does REGULARLY for years. Are you all that surprised that he would struggle to perform a NEW move? Given that Miz is likely the first babyface out there, he was probably hoping for a bigger reaction. It was tiny and sad. They replayed Flair and Miz beating Cessaro up.

They jockey back and forth for control, and Miz hits a headlock. Cessaro turns this around and hits a headlock himself. Miz tosses him off and into the ropes, Miz tries a leapfrog but Cessaro grabs him in mid-air, twists him around and hits an awesome backbreaker. Very nice spot there, and the crowd liked it. 2-count for Cessaro, followed be a stretch on Miz. Cessaro hits a bodyslam for 2. Cessaro DEADLIFTS Miz off the ground and hits a sitdown powerbomb on him after holding him there. Cessaro is awesome. 2-count. Miz fights back with his trademark.. kicks. Cessaro hits a RIDICULOUS backbreaker and kicks Miz in the head.

Almost all Cessaro so far, basically the match is him hitting cool moves on Miz while Miz kicks out of pins. Miz fights back with punches, then hits a VERY nice backbreaker / neckbreaker combo. Easily the only cool thing I’ve ever seen from Miz in the ring. Miz is now punching Cessaro in the corner, trying to get the crowd amped up, before he hits his corner clothesline. He goes to the top and lands funny when Cessaro moves… that was a botch by someone, but it looked like Cessaro didn’t get out of the way fast enough. Anyway, they try to recover from this with Miz hitting a DDT for 2. Cessaro tries a rollup, but the ref notices his feet on the ropes. Miz goes for a figure-4, but Cessaro escapes, or Miz just doesn’t know how to do the move. There’s no way to tell.

Miz goes outside after Cessaro, but Cessaro trips him and tosses him into the apron. He rolls Miz back into the ring, and hits the neutralizer for the pin.

Winner & Still US Champion: Antonio Cessaro

Decent match, Miz actually pulled off one cool move, which came out of nowhere. Miz is horrible though. Cessaro did a lot of cool moves – but given all the cool moves he has, I don’t know why neutralizer is the one he’s using for his finisher?

 

Harrak is saying on Pulse’s Twitter feed that Mark Henry is backstage. He tweeted it to Batista. Why does Batista care?

Punk / Rock / Shield video package.

Start of the actual Royal Rumble show.

Opening video package.

The theme song for this event can quite generously be described as awful.

Commentators are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler.

 

World Heavyweight Title Last Man Standing Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) .vs. The Big Show

So the reaction that Alberto Del Rio gets tonight will probably be the most indicative one so far regarding how well his sudden babyface / WHC run is going. Before the match, Del Rio and Ricardo are walking backstage and run into Bret Hart – Jesus, he looks ripe for a Funeral Parlour segment. Anyway, Bret talks about how he fought Big Show once and that Ricardo reminds him of a Mexican Bret Hart. (…) Del Rio thanks him and wishes him luck. Bret gives Ricardo the Hitman sunglasses and Ricardo is happy. Isn’t that sweet.

Anyway, when Del Rio actually came out, the reaction, sadly, wasn’t that great. Big Show punches, chops and headbutts Del Rio in the corner. Del Rio fights back with an enziguri and some punches, but he runs into Big Show and goes down. Big Show stomps him, and the crowd start getting on Big Show. Del Rio tries to fight back with some kicks and punches, then tries a jump from the second rope but Big Show slaps him down. Big Show splashes him the corner and hits the ropes, but Del Rio trips him and kicks him in the head. Crowd chanting “Si”, and Del Rio hits a superkick but Big Show doesn’t go down. Big Show punches Del Rio and tries a powerbomb, which Del Rio turns into a hurricanrana. Del Rio to the top rope to hit a senton.

Crowd wants tables, Del Rio hits an enziguri. Big Show then catches another Del Rio attack, carries him on his back and drops him. Big Show goes outside and gets a chair. Big Show tries to hit him, but Del Rio dropkicks him and he drops it. Del Rio then works on Show with the chair. He keeps hitting him – crowd chants “Si” each time he hits it. Del Rio tries to hit Show with the chair from the top rope, but Del Rio catches him and chokeslams him. Del Rio makes it to his feet before the 10-count, but falls out of the ring. Big Show follows him outside, and bodyslams him on the floor. Del Rio kicks Big Show right in his dick, and Big Show very slowly goes down, but before he can he eats a nice superkick.

Big Show makes the 10-count and then he and Del Rio brawl for a bit, before Show tosses Del Rio into the set. Del Rio dodges a kick, then takes a piece of the set that fell off (a piece of wood or something) and hits him on the back. Big Show gets a table, and chops Del Rio some more. Big Show then climbs the set area which appears to be some wood suspended from the ground… and is wobbely. Yikes. Big Show pulls Del Rio up there with him, and chokeslams him off of it and through the table below. Impressive spot.

Del Rio barely beats the count and gets up. Big Show takes him back to the ring and tosses him inside, and loads up his stupid KO punch. Del Rio bails to the outside, so Big Show goes and grabs the stairs. Big Show tosses the steps at him and Del Rio moves and the steps hit the post. Ricardo jumps Big Show from behind, so Show tosses him into the barricade. Show then tries to charge Del Rio, but Del Rio moves and Show goes through the padded barricade and the crowd does a small pop like they always do for that spot – guys, it’s a PADDED BARRICADE. Del Rio grabs a chair and hits him a few times before setting up Show’s arm on the steps, and hitting it hard with a chair. In an odd de-escalation of tactics, Del Rio then hits him with the fire extinguisher.

Crowd is chanting “This is Awesome” and Del Rio puts the armlock on. Ricardo duct-tapes Big Show to the bottom rope so he can’t move. So Big Show just head-butts him and Del Rio releases, but Show is still tied to the bottom rope.

The referee counts to 10, while Show is clearly up and moving. Awesome. That was fucking stupid.

Winner & Still World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio

Well… it’s better than Big Show or Shaemus having the belt, that’s for sure, but this match fell kinda flat for me outside of the one scaffolding spot. Del Rio got a pretty lukewarm reaction until about halfway through the match, but at least it improved. That ending was retarded though, and the match outside of that was okay I guess, but it certainly wasn’t up to their SmackDown title match a few weeks back.

 

AJ, Ziggler and Biggie are talking to Matt Striker. Ziggler says he is entering at #1, since #1 and #2 are the same thing and those are the numbers he has to pick from. AJ asks Striker if he thinks Ziggler can do it, then asks Striker how far he can run in 5 seconds – Striker takes off and Biggie grabs the mic. Biggie grabs the mic and actually does a pretty funny commentator impression while Ziggler talks about how he’s going to win. Ziggler is all right, but I don’t know why anyone is excited about Ziggler promos, they’re pretty generic.

Cena, Orton, Ryback, Shaemus, Cessaro, Barrett and Prime Time Players cut some generic Royal Rumble promos. They were all really lame.

 

WWE Tag-Team Title Match
Team Hell No (c) .vs. Rhodes Scholars

Cody hits some punches and an armbar. “Cody’s Moustache” chants start. Bryan hits a dropkick, and when Rhodes tries a leapfrog, Bryan catches him and turns it into a half-crab. Bryan then does his awesome ROH inverted surfboard submission, while Kane comes in and kicks Rhodes in the face for 2. The commentary team argues about Dr. Shelby while Cody hits a dropkick (Cody highspot) and tags Sandow. Kane slams Sandow and hits an elbow. Kane tags Bryan in, and tosses Bryan into Sandow and Bryan hits a nice dropkick. Bryan then kicks him a bunch of times while the crowd yells “YES” before tagging Kane back in, and Kane hits some chops and Sandow eventually goes outside. Cody comes inside, and Kane tosses him too. Bryan dives to the outside and ruins their shit before getting to his feet and yelling “NO!” Bryan is awesome.

Rhodes Scholars in trouble – but they do pull a rope down and Bryan falls outside the ring. Rhodes Scholars don’t know wrestling moves to counter actual wrestling moves with, but they do know how to AVOID wrestling moves and hope that a wrestler beats themselves up. Bryan fell for it. Cody runs him into the ring a few times, and tags in. He knees Bryan and hits a bodyslam. Half-crab by Cody, which Bryan turns into a rollup. Sandow tags in and hits some stomps, and a russian legsweep (Sandow highspot) followed by his retard elbow for 2. Sandow with some legs and punches for 2. Cody tags in and Bryan blocks a Cody charge with his foot, and Bryan hits a nice single-leg dropkick, but Sandow gets in in time to stop Bryan from tagging Kane. Cody tags back in and hits a weird torture-rack thing that looks like someone only taught him the first half of a move. Bryan eventually realizes this and DDT’s Cody.

Kane tags in and starts ruining Sandow after he tags in. Sideslam gets 2, and he goes up to the top rope but Sandow goes up after him. Sandow doesn’t know any moves to do off a rope so Kane eventually just knocks him off. But when Kane goes down, Sandow hits a neckbreaker. Kane eventually powers up, but eats a double suplex from Cody and Sandow. Unbeknownst to them, Bryan tagged in already, so he comes off the ropes and wrecks Sandow with a sick dropkick. Kane takes Cody down, and Bryan locks the “YES” or “NO” Lock or whatever it is on Sandow. He taps.

Winners: Team Hell No

Another kinda “blah” match, but not bad given who was involved.

 

Elimination Chamber ad.

Royal Rumble “numbers” ad.

Bryan and Kane are celebrating backstage while Vickie gives them their numbers for the Royal Rumble match. They both look at their numbers, and Bryan shows Kane his number. Bryan is annoyed that Kane won’t show him his number. Kane says no. They do a lame penis-size joke, before Kane tells Bryan that it’s bad strategy to show your number to anyone. Kane says he’ll see him out there, and Bryan says “not if I see you first!” and Kane comes back and says that’s highly unlikely, and laughs. That last bit wasn’t bad.

Tomorrow night, RAW is in Vegas. They’re doing RAW Roulette, whatever that is.

They recap the Royal Rumble Fanfast, and show this Bo Derek guy winning his Royal Rumble spot. They show the “Straight Shooting” thing that they did with guys like Triple H, HBK, Nash, Outlaws, and Bret. That part looks kinda cool. They then show some of their “Be A Star” activities, which tells us that Ted DiBiase Jr. is still alive.

 

Royal Rumble is next, so I guess the title match is going on last. Only a 90-second delay between entries. I will try to keep up – these things can be hard to recap.

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

 

Winner Gets A WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship Match At WrestleMania

Entry #1: Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler comes out with Biggie and AJ. Ziggler and AJ do an absurd make-out session before Dolph heads to the ring by himself. I don’t say “absurd” because I thought it was dumb – for a heel, it actually kinda worked. Of course, then he cuts a lame heel promo and kills it. Crowd is dead for him this time, which is kinda surprising.

Entry #2: Chris Jericho

Well, well well.

The crowd goes absolutely BATSHIT for Jericho. Who was that guy who said that Jericho’s beef with WWE was a work? Oh right, that was me. Jericho’s coiffe has reached epic proportions.

Crowd continues going apeshit for Jericho for a bit, and then they lock up. Jericho knocks Ziggler down, and then hits an axe-handle off the top. Jericho attempts to clothesline Ziggler out, but he lands on the apron. They fought back and forth. “You Still Got It” chant for Jericho as he attempts to take out Ziggler. Superplex by Jericho off the top rope.

Entry #3: Cody Rhodes

Ha. This guy sucks. Cody and Ziggler team up on Jericho while the crowd chants “Y2J”. Cody hangs Jericho over the ropes and kicks him in the gut, but Jericho turns around and hits the Walls Of Jericho. Dolph breaks it up. Dolph beats down Jericho for a bit.

Entry #4: Kofi Kingston

Kofi gets his usual energetic entrance before springboarding in on Cody. He beats him up on the turnbuckle, and almost takes out Ziggler with the Trouble In Paradise. Kofi does a weird bounce off the ropes, and Cody jumps on him. Jericho jumps on Cody and they all break up. Jericho and Kofi in control on Ziggler and Cody.

Entry #5: Santino

Santino comes in, and tosses everyone, but no one actually hits the floor. He puts on the sock, and this is your comedy spot for the night. They then all kick the shit out of Santino and toss him. They go back to fighting. Ziggler and Rhodes trying to eliminate Kofi, but he kicks them off.

 

Entry #6: Drew McIntyre

Ha. This guy sucks. He comes out and starts fighting everyone, and beats up Kofi. Not much else happens during this period, except for Jericho doing the “skin the cat” spot.

Entry #7: Titus O’Neil

Ha. This guy sucks. He comes out nad starts fighting Kofi and Cody, but this doesn’t last long. Kofi and Cody actually tried to team up on Black Stereotype, but he clotheslines them both and the crowd barks. Jericho eliminates Drew.

Entry #8: Goldust

Crowd pops like mad again, and Cody looks worried. Cody is yelling at Goldust, and he charges him when he hits the ring. IS there a story going on here I don’t know about? Probably. Anyway, Goldust tries to take out Cody but Cody stays on the apron. Cole is telling us about how Goldust has been vocal on Twitter about Cody teaming with Sandow, apparently.

Entry #9: David Otunga

Ha. This guy sucks. he goes in, and not much happens. Otunga works on Jericho, Ziggler, works on Kofi, Goldust and Cody then decided to start teaming up on that Titus guy, but then Cody then turns on Goldust and tries to eliminate him. He fails.

Entry #10: Heath Slater

Ha. This guy sucks. Slater charges the ring and starts beating up Kofi. Jericho starts going after Ziggler again, and gets him to the apron. Goldust went after Otunga.

 

Entry #11: Shaemus

Shaemus comes out to a MUCH bigger pop than I’ve heard him get for most of this year. This dies down quickly as he backbreakers two guys and does his weird roll thing to another 2. He gets Titus on the apron and does his strikes while the crowd counts with him – he then tosses Otunga into Titus and knocks him out. He then does his strikes while the crowd counts again, and Otunga gets Brogue kicked out.

Entry #2: Tensai

Easily the biggest non-reaction so far – even smaller than 3MB. He starts beating up Kofi and tosses Shaemus into the corner. Everyone gets messed up in the corner, as Shaemus tries to get out Heath Slater. Kofi is trying to knock out Ziggler.

Entry #13: Brodus Clay

Ha. This guy sucks. He clubs Jericho and starts fighting with Tensai. So far they’ve only eliminated 3 guys. Cody and Goldust are fighting on the apron – Cody climbs back in and eliminates Goldust, garnering him more heat than I’ve ever heard him get.

Entry #14: Rey Mysterio

Rey charges in with new attire, and kicks Ziggler in the head and 619’s him before doing the same to Jericho. He does a top-rope splash on Jericho before Cody picks him up and tries to take him out, but fails. Shaemus is going after Tensai in the corner, but it doesn’t work. He’s tired already.

Entry #15: Darren Young

Ha. This guy sucks. He comes in and helps someone take out Brodus Clay. Kofi eliminates Tensai, which I didn’t see coming. Ziggler tries to eliminate Kofi, so Kofi jumps on Tensai’s back to avoid hitting the floor! Ha ha, that’s awesome. Tensai drops him on the table and gets taken away, and now Kofi is stuck on the table and has no idea how to get back to the ring. THIS is a decent spot. Crowd is chanting for Kofi like MAD now, while he talks one of the announcers into getting him a chair.

 

Entry #16: Bo Dallas

This guy comes in and no one cares. People are watching Kofi. Kofi gets onto the chair and BOUNCES it over to the ring. The crowd is going apeshit. He gets back onto the apron and this gets a huge pop. Darren tries to charges him, but Kofi takes him over. Cody hits his beautiful disaster kick and knocks Kofi out – that sucks. Cody is terrible. Why wouldn’t Kofi just have chilled out on the table and rested until later? Once again though, the crowd is HATING Cody right now. Not this many people have cared about him in years, if ever.

Entry #17: The Godfather

I’m not sure that the crowd totally remembers who Godfather is. Anyway, as soon as he takes off his hat and glasses and gets in, Ziggler dropkicks him out. He doesn’t seem to mind. He puts on his hat and glasses again and leaves.

Entry #18: Wade Barrett

Wade Barrett seems to have new shitty hard rock entrance music. We now have a new “crowd doesn’t care about you” champion for the evening, because the apathy here actually beat Tensai’s. That’s an impressive feat for Wade. Anyway, Wade slams Shaemus down and tries to take him out. Barrett does nothing for a while, like he does with his career.

Entry #19: John Cena

Crowd goes batshit for this as well, though, as usual, it’s split. Cena tosses Slater and Cody immediately. He goes after Jericho, but Ziggler saves him for some dumb reason. This Bo Dallas guy is going after Cena, but it doesn’t go anywhere.

Entry #20: Damien Sandow

Ha. This guy sucks. Barrett still holds the apathy title though, although Sandow was gunning for it there. Sandow goes after Mysterio, and Wade eventually eliminates Mysterio. Sandow stomps down Barrett while Jericho goes for the Walls on Cena.

 

Entry 21: Daniel Bryan

Crowd goes nuts for Bryan as he comes in and starts kicking Sandow to the “YES” chants. Then he does the same to Ziggler. Then he does the same to Barrett. He finishes Barrett with a ridiculous kick to the face. He tries to eliminate Jericho, and Shaemus tries to help him. Duelling Cena chants now.

Entry 22: Antonio Cessaro

Cessaro comes in and starts taking out Shaemus. Pretty weak entry though, as Shaemus takes control right away. Duelling Cena chants all over the place.

Entry 23: The Great Khali

JBL reminds us that Khali could be Bret’s nephew soon. That’s kinda funny. Khali starts stomping Jericho while the announcers argue about how to pronounce Natalya’s last name. JBL doesn’t like “inter-species” relationships.  JBL is drunk and racist. Cena has been sitting down for about 5 minutes. Even Shaemus has done more than he has.

Entry 24: Kane

Kane goes after Ziggler and Jericho, but his Rumble effectiveness has diminished over the years. God damn it, I have to piss.

Entry 25: Zack Ryder

Ryder comes in, and Kane eliminates Bryan. Bryan stares at Kane in disbelief. Why didn’t I pee before the hour-long match? I’m an idiot.

 

Entry 26: Randy Orton

Crowd goes batshit once again. Orton cleans house and eliminates Ryder. God damn it, the waterfall is coming. This better be over soon.

Entry 27: Jinder Mahal

Ha. This guy sucks. He comes in and does nothing. Cessaro goes after Cena, but Cena flips him over the ropes and eliminates him. I’m like fucking Homer outside the World Trade Center right now. Shaemus takes down Barrett.

Entry 28: The Miz

Ha. This guy sucks. ALMOST as apathetic an entrance, but not quite. He and Cessaro, who is eliminated, brawl in the aisle. He goes in, and Shaemus knocks out Mahal. Why did I drink all that crab juice?!?

Entry 29: Sin Cara

Another apathetic reaction. Bo Dallas eliminated Wade Barrett. Ha, that’s funny. Shaemus is trying to eliminate Sandow. Wade pulls out Bo Derek from the outside.

 

Entry 30: Ryback

Oh, fuck.

The Goldberg chants, I shit you not, start IMMEDIATELY. He takes out Sandow, and Sin Cara tries to kick him – he then tries a moonsault but Ryback swats him away. Crowd doesn’t seem terribly into this, which surprises me, because despite the “Goldberg” chants I thought he was at least more over than this. Ryback eliminates Sin Cara but Jericho Codebreakers him to a very nice reaction. Jericho starts cleaning house with Codebreakers and dropkicks but fails to eliminate anyone. Ziggler dropkicks Jericho out, and he’s eliminated – crowd boos.

We’re down to Orton, Shaemus, Ziggler, Ryback and Cena. Orton takes down Shaemus and Ziggler. Crowd doesn’t seem all that excited. Orton dodges Ryback and RKO’s Ziggler, then RKO’s Cena. He ducks a Brogue kick and RKO’s Shaemus. Orton dominating right now – he sets up Ryback for the hangman DDT and hits it. Crowd is LOVING it now. Orton starts going into his trance-thing, but Ryback bounces back and eliminates him. Crowd boos – that’s hilarious. After some back-and-forth, Shaemus tries to eliminate Ziggler but fails… UNTIL SHAEMUS KNOCKS ZIGGLER OUT. Holy shit, did not see that coming. Crowd seemed to like it at first, then the boos started? Hard to gauge.

Down to Shaemus, Ryback and Cena – Cena and Shaemus team up on Ryback and hit a double-suplex. Then Cena and Shaemus stare at each other, and the crowd doesn’t seem that into this until they stare at the sign, shrug, and start fighting in something that I’m sure was supposed to illicit some type of crowd reaction but doesn’t. Cena dumps Shaemus and the crowd boos, until Ryback spears Cena. Shaemus eventually lifts up Ryback for White Noise – okay, the crowd is dead again. This is just weird now.

HURRY IT UP YOU FUCKERS!!! I’m not gonna make it. I’m gonna explode. Tell my family I love them.

Fella powers up and lots of people boo, but then they chant “BROGUE” with him – he tries his retard kick, but Ryback catches him and dumps him and the crowd likes it. Down to Ryback and Cena.

Ryback starts his chants Cena does his hand gesture before running into a spinebuster. Ryback gets the crowd chanting again, but he runs into an STF. Duelling Cena chants like mad now. Apparently Ryback passes out? That’s… odd. Cena deadlifts him up to the rope, where Ryback comes back to life and Thesz presses him. He lifts Cena up, but Cena comes out from underneath to win.

Winner: John Cena

 

The crowd doesn’t seem pleased with this – well, that was a pretty lame Rumble, all things considered. I’m interested to see what other people thought of it, and how they found the crowd reactions. I don’t know that I’ve EVER heard it that dead for the final 3 guys aside from a couple suspenseful spots.

The other odd thing about it was who got the eliminations, and then who eliminated THEM – like, Cody sucks and all, but the dude got ridiculous heat for eliminating Goldust and Cody – so wouldn’t they have at least wanted to make his elimination count for something, or given those eliminations to a heel they’re actually planning to lose? (Ziggler, Cessaro, or fuck it, even Barrett or Miz.) It just seemed weird to me.

Cena winning is probably a lot better than Shaemus or Ryback winning. Now, hopefully Punk will beat Rock via some type of screwjob involving Brock, because if Rock wins, we’re likely getting Rock / Cena II and Triple H / Lesnar II, NOW IF YOU’LL EXCUSE ME I’M GOING TO GO EXPLODE.

roger_american_dad_technical_problems

 

Video package for Punk / Rock.

Rock cuts a promo on The Shield talking about how he got kicked out of football before becoming a wrestling star. It’s a VERY long but energetic promo about overcoming obstacles in his life and relating that to getting beaten down once by 3 guys who combined don’t make one tenth his paycheck. I don’t mean to nitpick, it was a decent enough promo, it was just kind of an odd situation to break out the “MUST OVERCOME ODDS” promo given what else he’s done since being back. He was out a breath after the first few minutes.

James Sawyer: Somewhere, Rey Mundo has a chubby.

WWE Championship Match
CM Punk (c) .vs. The Rock

Mixed reaction for Punk turns VERY quickly to boos. There are some CM Punk chants after the music goes off, then Rock’s music hits and the crowd goes apeshit. Rock’s mom is in the front row. But during the announcer intro, Punk does get a fair share of cheers – and then the chants for Punk start. Interesting. Ref holds the belt up, and the “Rocky” chants start.

They lock up right away and start punching each other, with Punk actually holding his own. Rock clotheslines Punk out of the ring. Rock comes out and bounces his head off the table before doing the same off the barricade. Rock takes the cover off the table already, but Punk jumps him… a small duelling chant starts and Punk has the LION’S share of that, believe it or not. Wow. After a minute of silence, these turn into straight up “CM Punk” Chants.

Rock tosses Punk into the barricade and Heyman jumps him from behind – this allows Punk to clothesline him. Punk tries to get some heat by putting the cover back on the announce table, denying the people their table spot. Punk botches a front suplex and can’t get Rock up, but then he tries again and hits it. Chants for “Rocky” as Punk tosses him back into the ring. Punk kicks Rock in the back and then struts around the ring. Then he hits a knee bearhug – what is with people doing that move these days? It’s stupid. Now the crowd is duel-chanting something but I can’t hear what either side is saying.

Rock powers out but Punk hits a knee in the gut, and this gets 2. Punk with a submission that I don’t know how to call. When Punk releases, Rock hits him a few times but runs into a dropkick. Punk steps over Cena and mocks him. Punk works the ribs in the corner, then suplexes him across the top rope for 2. Punk hits a spinkick, and Heyman with a 2nd cheapshot on the outside. Punk does the Jericho springboard dropkick and Rock falls off the apron. Punk then hits a clothesline off the top rope to the outside.

Match is pretty slow and a bit weird so far – lots of rest-holds and chilling out on the mat. Chants for CM Punk. Punk is favouring his leg, and when they get back in the ring, Rock starts kicking him there to capitalize. Punk knocks him out of the ring and does a suicide dive. Crowd is kinda down for this too, which REALLY surprises me, although as I said, the match is pretty slow and a bit weird. Punk tries a springboard but Rock dodges. Rock hits a russian legsweep but can’t get the pin.

Rock stalking for the Rock Bottom and the crowd comes back alive a bit, but Punk powers out – he gets Rock up for a GTS – but Rock catches his leg and turns it into a Sharpshooter – Punk tries to turn this into a rollup but this is botched as well, Punk awkwardly moves over him and takes this into an Anaconda Vice. Rock takes this into a rollup but Punk powers out – Rock kicks him in the gut and hits the DDT.

Rock is up, and he tries for a Rock Bottom – Punk actually CATCHES himself on Rock’s arm and tries for a rollover, but one of them botches it sort of (I think they were too close to the corner?) and Rock stands up and puts him in the sharpshooter. Punk makes it to the ropes. Punk rolls out of the ring. Clothesline by Rock on the floor. He takes the cover off the announce table again and rolls Punk onto it – Punk catches Rock with a kick to the face.

 

 

Ha ha ha, hilarious – so Punk drags Rock up on the table and calls for the GTS – which makes no sense because they’re on the table. THEN, the table collapses underneath him. This is just unravelling more as time goes on.

Rock then hits a nice-looking Rock Bottom on the floor. “Rocky” chants from the crowd as he rolls Punk back into the ring – he gets a near-fall. Rock picks Punk up, but Punk hits a roundhouse kick that takes Rock out. Both guys are stumbling around hitting awkward shots – Punk is actually holding his own in the slugfests though, which I do think is a nice touch.

Rock eventually hits a flying clothesline and a spinebuster, and NOW the crowd is up and alive for sure – he goes for the People’s Elbow and the lights go out.

So all I have to go on here is the announcers, because I can’t see a thing, but they say that The Shield put Rock through an announce table. The lights go on, and Rock is down and out in the middle of the table. So, they actually did a table spot that nobody could see.

Punk goes down to pick up Rock and the crowd is alive now with “Rocky” chants – he goes for the pin and gets it.

Winner & Still WWE Champion: CM Punk

Crowd seems kinda split on the reaction. Then Punk kicks Rock out of the ring and… okay, so now Vince is here.

Vince says that Shield wasn’t allowed to get involved. He gets ready to strip Punk of the title, but Rock grabs a microphone and says that Vince isn’t taking the title from Punk, Rock is taking the title from Punk. So Vince says they can re-start the match.

Match is re-started – Punk beats down Rock and hits his kneelift. He goes up to the top rope and does the Savage elbow. This gets 2, and the crowd seems surprised for some reason, although that elbow never gets 3. NOW we have some mad “Rocky’ Chants as Punk signals for the GTS.

Punk picks up Rock for the GTS, but Rock powers out and hits a spinebuster and a People’s Elbow. He pins and gets 3.

Winner & New WWE Champion: The Rock

 

Crowd comes unglued. Well, that’s too bad – I get Rock winning the belt and all that, it wouldn’t have been my choice, but I get it. The mainstream press that Vince will get from this will have him masturbating himself to exhaustion for months until he’s seriously out of fuel. But I was hoping for something that would at least not lead to Rock / Cena II. Ah well. At least Cena didn’t come down at the end to do a staredown with Rock while they both look and/or point to the ‘Mania sign.

Anyway, the match was totally disjointed, weird and odd until the end, and I honestly don’t have any idea who’s fault it was. I would have thought both guys would have put on a better show. Call it a bad night, timing, or whatever, but both guys sure had their fuck-ups. And a LOT more of a Punk crowd than I would have thought, but that changed when they brought out the big guns for the finish.

Anyway, I was kind of disappointed in this PPV – as anyone who knows me will tell you, I don’t go into a lot of wrestling events with high expectations. But I had a lot higher expectations for both title matches and the Rumble. For the first time in a long time I was actually expecting to see a pretty good show, but maybe I was hoping for too much? Hell, maybe I was just excited to recap a show that had more matches and less segments. After all, I did do a 3-hour RAW and an episode of Main Event recently.

Anyway, leave a comment below and let me know what YOU thought about the matches, the crowd, the results, anything.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for this recap. Again, any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at bdouglas@insidepulse.com. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @BDInsidePulse if you’re into such things.

The 4th stop on That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition will take place later this week, where I will review a show I probably haven’t seen a full episode of in a decade – SmackDown!

This has been “That Being Said”. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week.

I’ll be in my trailer.

 

Disclaimers:

DISCLAIMER #1: These recaps should in NO way be treated as a professional and unbiased play-by-play of whatever the show in question is. Inside Pulse has no shortage of professional and live coverage, so if that’s what you’re looking for, I refer you to Mike Gojira, Scott Keith, Justin Czerwonka, or another of their ilk. Rather than a recap per se, I look at this as an ongoing 3-month narrative from someone who doesn’t normally watch full shows beginning to do exactly that for WrestleMania season. The reason this idea sounds like fun to me is that this time period is usually when many casual or former fans will tune back in anyway. So I know that as I’m tuning back in, many others will be as well.

DISCLAIMER #2: Quite often, when myself or another writer rips on a show (justifiably so or otherwise), they will get their fair share of people believing or commenting that they believe the recapper thinks that wrestling now is worse than it’s ever been. Usually it’s something like “WHAT, SO THE ATTITUDE ERA WAS SO GREAT?!?! THOSE MATCHES SUCKED TOO!” or something like that, even when you haven’t mentioned the Attitude Era at all. In fact, that’s a popular opinion out there right now in general – that wrestling is worse now than it’s ever been. Me personally, just for the record – I definitely think 2007-2009 and 2003-2004 definitely hold up worse than the current product. Not MUCH worse, mind you – and I do believe that current shows are pretty lame. But if I’m being honest, it’s not as bad as it’s ever been, much as it may feel that way sometimes.

DISCLAIMER #3: In the spirit of Disclaimer #2… I am going to do my best to go into these shows with an uncynical and unjaded eye. I’m hoping to like what I see – there is some stuff going on that COULD be promising depending on where they go with it and who they decide to feature prominently. But I promise nothing in terms of what’s going to come out of me if I don’t like the shows. Anyone who read any of my TNA recaps or the odd WWE recap that I did knows that I have very little tolerance for stupid or boring stuff. If, an hour into a 3-hour RAW, they decide to give me Shaemus against Cody Rhodes for 20 minutes while Michael Cole tells me they’re the future of the business and that I still have Ryback against Wade Barrett to look forward to in the second hour, then I’m going to feel like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator, which means that me feeling like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator is something you’re probably going to hear about.

DISCLAIMER #4: The obvious one – the opinions and views I express are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Inside Pulse or it’s owners, staff, or numerous writers.

DISCLAIMER #5: Regardless of how it all turns out, weather I find the shows good, boring or bad, if nothing else, I’m going to try my best to to have fun with these recaps over this 3-month period. I’m a guy who can usually have fun with a recap even when watching a show I don’t enjoy. For me, that’s the point of this experiment – or of anything else I may write for Inside Pulse – to have fun. Worst case scenario, I lose all patience and have a rage blackout like I’ve done on on the odd recap before, and sometimes even that can be entertaining. Regardless, the point is – this is for fun – and I hope you have as much fun reading this season as I’m hoping to have writing it.

 

“That Being Said” WrestleMania Tour Schedule:

PREMIERE – Jan 14: WWE RAW (20th Anniversary)
Jan 23: WWE Main Event
Jan 27: WWE Royal Rumble

Feb 01: WWE SmackDown
Feb 14: WWE NXT
Feb 17: WWE Elimination Chamber

Mar 07: TNA Impact
Mar 10: TNA LockDown
Mar 14: TNA Impact

Mar 18: WWE RAW
Mar 29: WWE SmackDown
Apr 01: WWE RAW
FINALE – APR 07: WrestleMania

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