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ANOTHER Royal Rumble Review

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So the dust has settled on the 2012 Royal rumble and before we see the fallout begin on Raw lets think about what we’ve see, what my humble thoughts are, and what it could mean going forward to Wrestlemania...

Bryan vs Henry vs Big Show
As is quite often the case these days a WWE PPV opens with the World Heavyweight Title match. I get why this is done, a good way to get the crowd interested right away, but does very much make the title seem even more 2nd rate than it already is. That aside, the match itself was a decent starter, a few decent spots and a... interesting finish. Many on here have already mentioned a botch job, for me I have a feeling it wet more or less to plan, especially as the Referee at the cage doorside had the title ready. Good effort, 3/5.

Beth Pheonix, Natalya & The Bella’s vs Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia & Tamina
To be fair, probably more match time and spots than any recent Diva’s match but still pretty poor, especially compared to the competition. Kelly Kelly’s off the top splash and Beth’s ‘get outta my ring’ moments the few bright parts of an otherwise lacklustre effort, 2/5.

Cena vs Kane
Funny one this, build up had me thinking we’d see a Cena who was on the cusp of “embracing the hate” and that some way during the match Kane would do so. So with the pre-match appearance of Zack Ryder it became obvious that this would factor in – and indeed it did. The match left me ultimately feeling that this did more for Kane and his development (annihilating Cena & Ryder, especially with the sinister Tombestone) than it did to the much anticipated Cena character turn. It remains to be seen how this angle gets closure, with hopefully Raw providing some answers, but as already blogged here Cena’s time I would imagine will be taken up quite a bit by a certain Dwayne Johnson very soon so I imagine this being put to bed at latest by the Elimination Chamber, 3/5.

McIntyre vs Brodus Clay
Only on the card to allow Brodus more screen time, this definitely felt like a last minute addition – and for me an addition that did nothing. Brodus with another squash would been fine if it had’ve showcased us something new – instead we’ve seen the same headbutt/suplex/corner slash/jumping splash combo since he debuted. I feel that both men, especially Brodus, would have benefitted from being Rumble entrants instead – it would have gave Clay more credibility for him for have entered, eliminated a few people than squashing McIntyre, 2/5.

Punk vs Ziggler
Best fight of the night, with some decent moments - the reversal of Ziggler’s jumping leg drop (Fameasser lol) into the powerbomb & Zigglers reversal of the GTS into said jumping leg drop 2 well executed moments for me. Punk is the main man in the WWE right now and works well for this mantle whilst Ziggler is someone who I think will have a big breakout soon, good in ring and underrated on the mic. The Laurinaitis angle was a bit undersold, but again we have Raw and Triple H’s announcement to come so we’ll see where it all goes, 4/5.

Royal Rumble Match
This fight very much for me felt like a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ as we had the most amount of ‘surprise entrants’ that I can recall – but ultimately felt a tad pointless, especially given it only being a 30 man Rumble this year.
The match started off in rather annoying, predictable and un-random fashion. Miz # 1, Alex Riley #2, R-Truth #3 was very much all connected rivalries – but to then add to this, Cody Rhodes comes in #4 and Justin Gabriel, the man who’s feuded with Rhodes over the last couples of weeks comes in #5 – again the unrandom feeling continuing. I get that rivalries developed in the build up should show up but that felt very lazy.
Then we got some interesting spots, Foley coming in at #7 (Cactus attire an all) was a great pop and Mick – for the 1st time since coming back – gave a great account of himself: eliminating Primo, going through his moves on Rhodes and the Sock vs Cobra piece with Santino was great fun.
Ricardo Rodriguez was for me one of the smartest of the other ‘surprise’ entries, with the initial guise of him being Alberto Del Rio when the music hit a great idea. He kept it fun until his quick elimination but was a solid move.
Kofi Kingston undoubtedly has the spot of the Rumble, with the handstand save truly a unique moment, and whilst I’m not a huge Kofi fan it deserved more of a showing from him otherwise.
The commentary team entries of Lawler #12, Booker T #17 & Cole #20 was clever enough, and in another Rumble I may have appreciated it better, but felt very much like a waste of time – even with Booker getting some ring time, huge Booker fan that I am.
Duggan should have been an obvious entrant but did surprise me and was a nice moment for the anniversary of the event.
Khali was a surprise entrant, although at least a current superstar didn’t have that feeling of a wasted entrant. Road Dogg was expected given his recent return, and for me a good moment (despite me moaning about too many ‘surprise’ entrants) would have been for Bad Ass Billy Gunn to have followed – especially for me with the similarities between Gunn and Ziggler a double fame asser moment would have been quite cool.

Standout Players/Decisions: The Miz & Rhodes alliance allowing their prolonged stay in the Rumble was good. That Orton wasn’t given his homecoming win was also good, as I had very much anticipated that outcome. As stated earlier Kofi’s handstand save was top drawer.
Sheamus’ win – somewhat surprising, deserved, interesting to see where it goes...
The ‘I Don’t Quite Get It Moment’: The Raw build-up for Jericho that Sunday’s Rumble would be “The end of the World as we know it” didn’t quite come through – and indeed up till this point Jericho’s whole return has been questionable. I’m sure the WWE will make it go somewhere, although whether it all makes sense is another thing...

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