We’re a few days removed from the 2012 WWE Royal Rumble pay per view. As this is the official start to the Road To WrestleMania (and happens to be my favorite PPV of the year) this is one of the 2 shows per year I get (with Mania obviously being the other). There’s been quite a bit of bad press out there for this show and I really don’t get it. This was a very entertaining PPV from top to bottom.
Triple Threat Steel Cage match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan (c) defeated Big Show and Mark Henry
Talk about a great way to start the show. I’m absolutely loving Daniel Bryan as a heel and putting him in this type of match against two big men where there’s “no escape” is brilliant. This was a bit shorter that I would have liked but all 3 guys worked hard even though it was reported that Henry was injured going into the match. I’d thought this was going to be “match of the night” and while it didn’t quite live up to that it was a great opener.
The Bella Twins and The Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix & Natalya) defeated Alicia Fox, Eve, Kelly Kelly and Tamina
I’ll admit that this I could have done without, but there was some good stuff here as well. I don’t understand the folks who scream at the top of their lungs for the WWE to develop a Diva’s roster, but then complain when they put a match like this on the card. Think about it… the only way you’re going to build this kind of division is to put these fine ass ladies on PPV. Sure a one on one match between Phoenix and say Kharma is what we all want, but this type of match gives 8 spots on PPV as opposed to 2.
John Cena fought Kane to a double count out
Yeah… this sucked balls. This whole “embrace the hate” speed bump on the way to The Rock at WrestleMania is just silly. At this point I don’t think there’s a chance in hell they’re going to turn John Cena heel so why bother with this? And if you ARE going to do it, then why not end the feud here? The way it stands there’s only 1 more PPV before Mania where you KNOW that Cena isn’t really going to be going 100% for fear of getting injured. Are they really going to build Zack Ryder out of this? Um… kay. I absolutely HATE when we get count outs or disqualifications on PPV so this was an epic fail in my book.
Brodus Clay (with Cameron Lynn and Naomi) defeated Drew McIntyre
I feel bad for Drew McIntyre. Dude is a good worker that’s stuck in this mid card hell. Sure the WWE needs folks to feed the Brodus Clay machine but I could think of about 30 other guys that I’m throw at him first. A lot of people were pissed that we got our Clay fix here rather than in the Rumble match itself. Why? He clearly wasn’t going to win the Rumble this year, which means someone’s going to have to put him out making him look weak at least for a moment. This way, he can have another squash, get the PPV exposure and continue to the story. Good booking.
Singles match for the WWE Championship with John Laurinaitis as special guest referee
CM Punk (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler
I’ll be honest. I thought this was going to suck. I wasn’t sure how they were going to work the Laurinaitis angle in here and I was pretty sure that they were going to put the strap on Ziggler. While I love the #HEEL, I think it’s a bit too soon and it would been a mistake. Luckily I was wrong and the WWE got this one right. The in-ring action was exactly what I’d hoped for and Ziggler once again cemented himself as one of the best bumpers in the business. With Johnny Ace taking himself out of the ring Punk & Ziggles were able to put on a good match without too many shenanigans (until the end at least). Hearing Punk say, “I beat him 3 times” was just awesome and I have to say that I was impressed with the way the match ended. Match of the night.
The Royal Rumble
This was the best Rumble match I can remember in the last few years. There were quite a few guys that had a legit shot of winning. It was the first time in history that everyone was eligible (even folks who’s wrestled earlier in the evening) so there was a real sense of anticipation as the seconds clicked down to see who was next. While we didn’t have the super returns that we’ve had in the past (Diesel & Booker T last year, Cena, HHH, Taker in previous years) there were some surprise entrants that made me mark out. Ricardo Rodriguez coming out to ADR’s gimmick was outstanding. Seeing the first ever Rumble winner Hacksaw Jim Duggan mix it up was awesome and I just about popped my top when Kharma made her return.
There’s a ton of people out there that are pissed Sheamus won the Rumble. Why? He’s a stud. Are you pissed that Chris Jericho didn’t win? He doesn’t need it. He’s gonna go into a program with Punk (I still think he should go after Taker) and that frees up Sheamus to have the battle that was bumped from last year’s Mania: Bryan vs. Sheamus. Or better yet, how about a 4-way match that would unify the titles? How epic would Sheamus vs. Jericho vs. Punk vs. Bryan be???
The Road To The Beeramid
While the Rumble is the first stop on the Road To WrestleMania, it’s also the first stop on the Road To The Beeramid. From now until the big day, Pip and I will be putting the finishing touches on the WrestleMania 28 Drinking Game. Marko watched the show with me this year but wasn’t drinking and my brother from another mother Pip wasn’t in town. That said, I got into pre-Beeramid form with a first… The Rumblemid!