WWE Royal Rumble went down last night (Sun., Jan. 29, 2012) from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and featured a show that disappointed almost the entire Internet, which is no small feat. And that's only slight conjecture on my part.
- Of all the teases for this show, not a single one was paid off. What a drag, right? They teased dissension with John Laurinaitis and whether or not he would screw CM Punk, only to give away the physical confrontation at the end of the Raw go-home show before having Laurinaitis call it straight down the middle last night. Oh, and he wasn't even the actual referee for the match. They did all this to set up Laurinaitis looking better for his "job evaluation" with Triple H tonight on Raw but what a waste, all the way around. Chris Jericho also failed to come through on his promise to "end the world as we know it." His response to complainers on Twitter? "Stop whining." Et tu, Jericho?
- CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler wasn't great but it wasn't terrible. The referee bumps and the way they got to the finish was fairly well done but dragged on far too long. I will say, though, that because of how the match was set up, when Ziggler hit the zig-zag on the reversal of the GTS, I legitimately thought for a second that he might win the title, despite it making no sense within the structure of the storyline. That's the mark of a good match, not to mention performer. We all knew Punk was going to win but, even just briefly, Ziggler made us think otherwise. That's the goods, folks.
- Mark Henry looked pretty damn good for a guy gimping around on a bum groin and hyper-extended knee. He wasn't asked to do much and credit goes to Daniel Bryan and Big Show for the way they carried most of the match. It was average for the most part, but the finish was well put together. The good news was that Bryan came out with the win. The bad news is that he might be defending that belt against Sheamus at WrestleMania 28.
- John Cena vs. Kane was just about the abomination I think we all agreed it would be. I suppose supporters of Kane can take solace in the fact that he didn't get buried as many suspected he would and instead came out having done more than Cena. The double countout was terrible, mostly because it means we're likely headed for a rematch. This match did, however, lead to a highlight of the evening.
- I am, of course, talking about the crowd in St. Louis and the way they reacted to the closing angle of the match. Somehow it went from Cena and Kane brawling to Kane inside the ring with Zack Ryder laid out from the choke glove and Eve begging Kane not to hurt him any further. So what does the "Big Red Machine" do? To the delight of the audience at the Scottrade Center, he picks Ryder up, smiles at Eve then delivers the tombstone piledriver. I cannot put into words how awesome it was that the crowd actually enjoyed this. When the monster turne his attention to Eve, they got even more excited. The women and children cheered hard for Cena when he came in to make the save but they were quickly drown out by the delight of the rest of the fans in attendance who gleefully made their voices heard when Kane chokeslammed Cena before walking out. The match before it was a gigantic waste of time but the way it ended was entertaining
Thought on the rest of the show after the jump.
- Impromptu Divas matches should be banished from the WWE. Unless Kharma actually reinvigorates the division, which she very well could do ... if she's sticking around. Let's hope she is because the Divas aren't going away and it would be nice to see something compelling from them that's actually worth our time.
- I covered the Royal Rumble match earlier but I would like to point out here that using Brodus Clay in a squash match earlier in the night against Drew McIntyre as opposed to letting him get over in the Rumble was unfortunate to say the least. Alex Riley was the number two entrant and was quickly tossed by The Miz. You're telling me Brodus Clay couldn't have fit in there somewhere?
- Speaking of Clay, I won't complain about the changing colors of his jumpsuit anymore, and not just because I got bombed for it by you Cagesiders. I like the idea of changing them up each week but the original red looked best. Also, was that Funkasaurus logo I saw last night new or has that been on his trunks before?
- How about Randy Orton getting very little love in his hometown? Apparently even the top dogs in the company aren't safe from the hometown hate. His elimination was probably just as big a shock as Sheamus actually winning the match. My fear is that he'll continue his program with Wade Barrett and that won't be good for anyone. My hope is that he'll find himself in a three-way with Sheamus and Daniel Bryan in a feud for the world heavyweight title leading to a triple threat match at WrestleMania 28. It's not ideal to have a match like that for a major title at the biggest show of the year, but if Sheamus is going to be involved then it's the only way to get Orton in there. Bryan vs. Orton is far more compelling than Bryan vs. Sheamus.
- Everyone who was excited for the return of the Great Khali, take one step forward -- NOT SO FAST, everyone on Earth.
- One thing I really liked last night were the two video promos that aired for John Cena and The Rock. They're really starting to get the push going for their match at WrestleMania 28 and the production team nailed it with the videos they aired last night. It's becoming more and more clear that Stephanie McMahon wasn't lying when she said the build to the match will be much the same as the "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" type deal from the Twilight series. That sounds bad in some ways but should be a good thing.
I gave the Royal Rumble match a D grade and the event on the whole gets the same. This was a show that should have been memorable but failed to deliver on anything of significance.
But that's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts and reactions from the event last night.