To say that this year’s Royal Rumble was a bit lackluster is an understatement.  I, for one, wasn’t very impressed with the “25th (really the 24th ANNUAL) Anniversary” of one of WWE’s flagship pay-per-views.  Here’s what I thought of the show:


Match 1: Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Daniel Bryan (C) vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry

I wasn’t horribly surprised that this match went on first.  It’s been reported that Henry and Show have both been working through injuries, so I wasn’t expecting either a classic, or a title change.  The finish was a little different than we usually see in cage matches, with Bryan applying an armbar to Big Show over the top on the cage.  Bryan wins the match and keeps his unexpected championship run going.


Match 2: 8-Diva Tag Team Match – Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and the Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Tamina and Alicia Fox

This match was never announced prior to the show, so, yeah, way to go, WWE Creative.  We finally get to see Beth after being ignored on TV the last few weeks, in spite of being the Diva’s Champion.  It’s your run-of-the-mill Diva’s match, with nothing really special happening, besides both teams being color-coordinated (pretty sad that’s the highlight of the match).  Beth pins Kelly to end the match.  Nothing special at all.


Match 3: John Cena vs. Kane

This match should have had some sort of gimmick.  It makes no sense that Kane attacks/stalks Cena for weeks, almost kills his best/only friend, Zack Ryder, and they only have a standard one-on-one match.  Then they imply that Cena has all this rage, yet once the match gets going, it’s just your average John Cena match.  The match ends with both guys getting counted out.  Kane and Cena fight through the backstage area, Kane finds wheelchair-ridden Ryder and drags him to the ring, where he gets tombstoned.  Cena goes for the save and gets chokeslammed.  Kane leaves happy, and Ryder leaves on a stretcher.  Looks like this feud isn’t over yet, which is a shame because I’m pretty sure nobody cares about this feud anymore.


Match 4: Drew McIntyre vs. Brodus Clay

Another unannounced match.  I marked for McIntyre being on PPV, but had a sinking suspicion that he was just fodder for someone.  I was right.  I’ll say this, though, it looks like Brodus is having a blast with this gimmick, which is just going to make it more successful in the end.  I think this synopsis of the match is longer than the match itself was.  Brodus wins by squash.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Match 5: WWE Championship Match – CM Punk (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Special Enforcer Referee: John Laurinaitis)

Here’s a match that would have easily been a Match of the Year candidate, if not for Laurinaitis being hyped up to “screw Punk out of the title,” and what actually happened, with all the ref bumps, Laurinaitis getting involved, distracting Punk at a couple points in the match.  So, going in, I wasn’t expecting a lot out of the match.  Besides the ending, it was a decent back-and-forth match.  Punk and Ziggler are two of the best in WWE right now.  This won’t be the last time we these two guys against each other on PPV.  In the end, Laurinaitis is a non-factor and Punk retains.


Match 6: The Royal Rumble Match

I was expecting a few things from this match: Miz was going to last a while, Sheamus would be impressive, Orton would come out near the end and win or be there at the end, and just like the rest of the internet, thought Jericho was going to point at the WrestleMania banner at the end.  All that happened, except for the last one.  Rumble matches are always hard to try to predict, especially when you have no idea what surprises WWE will pull out.  This year, we got Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ricardo Rodriguez, Road Dogg, and the returning Kharma (3rd female entrant in the Rumble, ever).  We also got all three announcers, which is where I have an issue.  Those three spots could have gone to anyone in the locker room, but instead we got Michael Cole jumping around the ring, wasting a spot where anyone else could have tried to make an impact.  That’s what the Royal Rumble used to be about.

But I digress.

I had a couple mark-out moments (which is what the Rumble is usually all about now), but in the end Sheamus pulled off the upset by eliminating Jericho in one of the best Rumble endings I’ve seen.  Sheamus got to point at the WrestleMania banner, and now we wait to see who he decides to face in Miami.


Another IWC Jerk is a self-proclaimed pro wrestling guru.  He live-tweets every week for Raw, all WWE pay-per-views, other various sporting/pop culture events, and sometimes TNA. 


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