WWE went rolling right on through the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, last night (Sun., Jan. 27, 2013) with Royal Rumble, its annual beginning of the year pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza.
And it delivered big, despite its predictability. Click here to check out the live blog.
Let's not waste time with pleasantries and get right to reactions to the show:
- I have zero issue with The Rock winning the WWE championship. I think he'll boost business and there's a part of me that felt happy seeing him hoisting the strap, though the ridiculous design took some shine off that apple. Still, this is one of the greatest of all time who, despite so many minor annoyances, is a big deal in a way no other wrestler on the roster today can be. He's going to elevate that title and it's going to look pretty cool seeing it on his arm. I'm still no big Rock fan anymore but he was one of the original cool wrestlers and I'm on nostalgia right now.&
- I also liked the use of the dreaded "Dusty Finish," though it did suck some air out of the building. Initially, I hated the idea of it all but this actually puts The Shield over even more because they laid Rock out and that was enough for Punk to get a pin on instead of a kick-out and match continuation despite it. Rock stopping McMahon from stripping Punk of the belt was great too, if only for the great line that "The Great One" didn't want anyone to take the belt off Punk but him. I also liked the fact that McMahon actually came out and was going to strip Punk after The Shield attack. Can you imagine how we would be reacting to all this had Punk retained and they left it be simply because it was dark in the arena when The Shield did their thing? It's nice to see WWE actually care about little things like logic and reason for once.
- Whoever coined the term "Rock Botchom" after seeing the spot on the table, thanks for that.
- John Cena winning the Royal Rumble was as predictable as it gets but you should absolutely not let that get in the way of enjoying the match itself, which was one of the better Rumbles in history. In fact, I would likely catapult it all the way into my top 10 on just one viewing. This was a deep Rumble that featured all the usual goodies: Shocking return (Chris Jericho), guy you don't expect to do well doing well (Bo Dallas), unexpected elimination to help get someone over (Dallas tossing Wade Barrett), monster coming in and eating people up (Ryback), awesome quick elimination (Godfather), impressive Iron Man (Dolph Ziggler), amazing save (Kofi Kingston on the chair hop), incredible non-save (Kane holding then dropping Daniel Bryan), and this was the Royal Rumble and damn it, it was fun.
- If you're still complaining about the Rumble not going on last, can I ask why? First, what does it matter, you're still seeing the match, and second, wouldn't it be better to close the show with Rock winning the title than having the bad taste of Cena standing tall as Rumble winner in your mouth as they fade to black? Plus, Punk actually legitimately headlined a show. Can't we smarky little shits just enjoy things for once?
- Did Kane turn heel last night? Phoenix was not happy when he let Bryan get eliminated from the Rumble.
- Chris Jericho's return was awesome, not just because it means Jericho is back in our lives, at least for a while, but because it was such a well kept secret. We thought we would be getting Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, and Chris Masters. Instead, we got Jericho. And not only did we get Jericho, he managed to go for over 45 minutes and looked like he never left. Can't ask for much more than that.
- One thing I didn't like about the Rumble: Ziggler was the Iron Man, which was great, but they didn't give him a big elimination. It wasn't put over strong the way it should have been. The Iron Man in a Rumble match should always get put over huge after his elimination because it's a really big deal to last as long as Dolph did. This didn't feel like something he can use going forward and that kind of sucks.
- Would love to see Cody Rhodes and Goldust feud but that would mean doing away with The Rhodes Scholars, who are still great. I don't know why they can't have the tag team titles, by the way. It doesn't make any sense to me. If the belts will help one team over another and one team doesn't need the straps to stay over, why not give the first team the gold? Whatever, Team Hell No still gave them a good match.
- Alberto Del Rio and Big Show didn't tear the house down but their match was a lot of fun. Show throwing Del Rio off the stage prop and onto a table the way he did was a bit reckless but made for a good spot. The old duct tape him to the ropes trick was a cool way to finish the match too, mostly because it's not something we see very often.
- Props to The Miz for damn near destroying his ankle and still pushing on.
This was a good show that I don't have a lot of complaints about. Cena and Rock going over was expected but the way they got there was good enough for me.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's event. Let's hear it.