Posted in: Mr. Tito
ROYAL RUMBLE is TITO - Full Show Review, Thoughts, and Grade
By Mr. Tito
Jan 29, 2012 - 10:50:37 PM

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Another year, another Royal Rumble show... Feels like I've reviewed about 10 of these... Oh, I have?

The opening match was Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Big Show in a CAGE MATCH. That's right, a World Title match to start the show (which is becoming a regular theme for the Smackdown brand). To further disrespect the title, the Champion comes out first and then Mark Henry followed by Big Show. Well, I guess at least we had the order of champion to former champions correct. Match was OK... Mark Henry proved to be ineffective in the match due to recently sustained injuries while Bryan tried to work with Big Show for most of the match. Seemed to be little space to work with both Henry/Big Show in the ring... I would be curious to see Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan without any limits to see if a 5'10, 200 pounder can make me believe that he can legitimately defeat a 7'0", 400 pounder. Bryan won the match by escaping the cage from the top with the Big Show trying to chase him... Big Show couldn't hold him and Bryan dropped to the floor to retain the title. **1/2

I ridiculed the WWE for not hyping matches and I guess my punishment for that is adding a 8 person Divas match between
Natalya/Beth Phoenix/Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly/Eve Torres/Alicia Fox/Tamina
. In all honesty, not a bad match... Good tags in and out allowed for each person to hit their offense and then get out. I liked seeing the Bellas and Divas of Doom tagging up, but provided the finish of the Bellas and Beth Phoenix arguing on who should finish off Kelly Kelly, it might not happen for long. Then again, I have no problems with Beth/Natalya vs. Bella Twins as a tag match. **

Up next was Kane vs. John Cena... I could just tell from the start of the match that this was a match that wasn't going to end well... The match was solid, as Kane and Cena are both solid workers. It sort of reminded me of the old Kane vs. Kurt Angle matches, although Kane is younger and Cena isn't as high risk. The match, however, ended in a Countout as both wrestlers fought on the outside and led to the backstage. Conveniently backstage, Zack Ryder is around instead of recovering from a "broken back" by resting at home. Kane lays out Cena and then wheels Ryder to the ring in his wheelchair. Kane lays out Ryder and then chokeslams Cena as he tries to make the save. Utter stupidity, as I had flashbacks of Brock Lesnar throwing Zack Gowan down the stairs... BUT - At least it gives John Cena something to do as he prepares for the Rock. **

Wow, another unannounced match... Brodus Clay pretty much dominated Drew McIntyre, as I wonder why the WWE is even bothering... Can't we give this additional 5 minutes to the Rumble match, or even Punk vs. Ziggler? 0 stars

Speaking of CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler, it's up next... Before the match, John Laurinaitis "excused himself" from being the main referee as another ref from the back came in to take his place. Right... At least for this match, the CHAMP came out second... Before the match started, Laurinaitis banned Vickie Guerrero from the ringside. Very nice, fast paced match between these two, as Ziggler is a great bumper and CM Punk seems to be enjoying himself when working with Ziggler. CM Punk hit the Elbow from the top and the crowd went "Thank you Savage"... That was awesome... Referee bump, of course, and CM Punk can't get Laurinaitis to replace on several pinning attempts. INCREDIBLE Zig Zag counter to the GTS by Ziggler! Wow... Eventually, CM Punk gained control of the match and won with the GTS and Laurinaitis had the nerve to jump into the ring and make the final 1, 2, 3 with the recovered referee. Face paced, fun match... ****.

And now, it's time for the 30 Man, Rumble Match... The Miz was the #1 entrant and he disposed of Alex Riley with a brief match, who was #2. #3, however, was R-Truth... Man, the Miz can't get any luck with the entrants. At #4, it was Cody Rhodes and now the heels gang-up on R-Truth. #5 is Justin Gabriel, as he hits a nice cross body on Miz/Rhodes as he enters the ring from the top rope. Nice. Primo, one half of the WWE Tag Champions, arrives at #6 and he hit a beautiful move in the corner that maybe only the Ultimo Dragon could hit. R-Truth was eliminated by the Miz. Mick Foley was #7, hell yeah! He's in his Cactus Jack shirt and unloads on everybody. Foley eliminated Primo and then hit his beautiful double-arm DDT on Cody Rhodes. Ricardo Rodriguez is at #8 with a hilarious entrance of a banged-up car but Alberto Del Rio's music. LOL!

Ricardo is selling that he's not that experienced as a wrestler and Foley takes a liking to him. Together with Foley, they eliminated Justin Gabriel. Santino is up next at #9 and adds some comic relief with Ricardo before eliminating Ricardo. Uh on, it's Socko vs. Cobra time! Epico is up next at #10 and is quickly eliminated. Cody takes care of Santino and then Cody tosses Foley after Foley is trying to eliminate the Miz. Kofi Kingston is up next at #11. Jerry "the King" Lawler is up next at #12, as he steps away from the announcer's table to enter the ring. Nice touch. All things considered, Lawler is in great shape. After battling with the Miz, Cody Rhodes eliminated Lawler. Ezekiel Jackson is the unlucky #13. Jackson is a HOSS!

#14 is Jinder Mahal, the latest WWE attempt at a Middle Eastern heel. Gotta love those "USA" chants! At #15, the Great Khali arrives as I'm happy to see the guy still employed. Khali takes care of Mahal and Jackson rather quickly. Hunico is #16 and he gets a bicycle ride to the ring from a friend. I thought Ricardo had the entrance fo the night, but that was cool too. Booker T, also at the announcer's table, is #17 as I can imagine my buddy Coolbeans is losing his mind right now with excitement. DEVASTATING chop by Khali on Cody Rhodes! A bigger WOW with Kofi Kingston avoiding elimination by walking with a handstand! Dolph Ziggler was up next at #18. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the actual winner of the 1st Royal Rumble in 1988, was #19 and the St. Louis fans are going crazy! Hooooooooooooo! USA! USA! USA!

Cody Rhodes takes care of Duggan in short order, however... Rhodes is on fire, as he then eliminates both Great Khali and Booker T. The lousy Nickelback song hits for Monday Night RAW as Michael Cole is #20. Wow... Cole just hangs out in the ring and awaits the next entrant, which at #21 is Kharma! Cole wants no part of her and climbs over the top rope only for Booker T and Jerry Lawler to pull him off the ring for elimination. Then, Kharma eliminates Hunico after Vicki Guerrero tried to distract and then Dolph Ziggler eliminated Kharma. Sheamus is #22 and soon eliminates Kofi Kingston. OH YOU DIDN'T KNOW, at #23 the Road Dogg arrives! Just loads of charisma in that man! I love his punches! I think I hear the St. Louis crowd chanting "you still got it". Nice.

At #24, one of Uso brothers arrives and the St. Louis crowd is probably wondering who is this guy? #25 is Jack Swagger and then at #26, it's Wade Barrett with odd theme music. Doesn't seem like it fits... Barrett quickly eliminates Road Dogg. David Otunga is #27, as I give a nod to Otunga for not only dating Jennifer Hudson (getting married soon?), but for also providing free lawyer work to someone disadvantaged recently. Imagine the great publicity he could constantly provide the WWE if he keeps doing this? Actually, it wouldn't surprise me that Otunga will eventually help WWE wrestlers unionize...

Randy Orton is #28 and is cleaning house for his hometown. Holy damn, double DDT through the ropes on Ziggler/Rhodes by Orton. RKO to Wade Barrett and then gets tossed out by Orton. At #29, the arena gets DARK! Chris Jericho arrives and he's actually wrestling! Jericho quickly eliminates Otunga but then gets tied up with Cody Rhodes. #30 is the Big Show, as we have a Royal Rumble WITHOUT John Cena... Wow, who made that call? No Kane as well? Big Show eliminated Swagger, Miz, Rhodes, and a 4th that missed as I was typing this sentence! DAMN!

FINAL FOUR: Big Show, Jericho, Sheamus, and Randy Orton. Nice chokeslam on Jericho by Big Show, and then a nice RKO on Big Show. Orton soon eliminates Big Show, but then Chris Jericho eliminates Orton! Holy shit! Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho for the Wrestlemania 28 shot and both look up at the banner for a very nice touch. Nice back and forth between the two, as they appear to match up quite well. The "sense of urgency" for the final 2 to not get tossed over the ropes is always exciting! Jericho was hanging around on the top rope, ala Shawn Michaels from several Rumbles, but once he made it to the apron, Sheamus kicked him off the ring... Oh damn, completely unexpected winner, although I was predicting a Mark Henry vs. Sheamus World Title match at Wrestlemania 28 a while ago. Excellent Rumble match, overall! ****1/2

LAST WORD: Damn it, I thought that Jericho had it in the bag to win the Royal Rumble and then challenge CM Punk for a title shot at Wrestlemania. Seemed too good to be true... Not sure where the WWE is going with Sheamus, but I'll be patient as the guy has improved over the past year. I'll also reserve judgment on WWE storylines for my RAW Review tomorrow... OVERALL, the Royal Rumble show dragged along until CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler pumped some life into the show and the Rumble match was one of the best of all time, in my opinion. Probably an odd choice of winner, but thanks to the Elimination Chamber, we'll get another World Title contender. I'll go B+ on my show's grade thanks to the last 2 matches.

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