We Finally Got One Right This Decade!!!!
The "Land of the Rising Sun" beat the "Prodigal Son", as no superhero was without sin.
Match Quality: 4/5
Extracurricular: 3/5-it was safe, so not a lot that really stood out like past Rumbles
Great Moment You May Have Forgotten: You almost forget how long some of these wrestlers have been around in mediocrity. Case and point: Miz is now tied for third most Rumble appearances, while Goldust is tied for the second most Royal Rumble appearances! So...congrats?
Moment You Wish You Weren't Reminded Of: Not a lot of bad, but when you build number 30 to be Dolph Ziggler's return, and he does nothing, that's pretty wasteful. Also WILL SOMEBODY CLEAN UP THE DAMN PANCAKES?!
*For those that know my story and writing, many are aware that I am on a boycott of WWE programming due to the actions of the McMahon family of late, particularly Linda. Therefore, this is the first WWE program I have watched since WrestleMania 33, and in order to justify my return for one night, I had to do things. Terrible, unforgivable things. So forgive me if I'm not caught up on some of these story lines, or zany antics of some of the more...colorful wrestlers of the past year.
Far too often we have seen the WWE shove horrible ideas down our throat. From bad wrestlers hamstringing the title (See Mahal) to back-to-back-to-back Wrestlemania Main Events by Roman Reigns, we were constantly left with a state of disappointing Rumble events that left a sour taste in our mouths. But finally, there was a shining light that would possibly topple the Roman Empire for one night. Would the WWE stick to its terrible laurels or would the fan favorite Indy star get the dream moment that only 30 other times (well 31) has been anointed?
Before we get to that we should probably cover the regular Wacky-Delly-ness of the first 30 Rumble spots. Kudos to the competent but not flashy commentary for now, even with Jerry Lawler. We start off with what is apparently Rusev Day and Finn Balor competing as the workhorses they are. Soon Rhyno came out and let his horniness get the beast of him, as Corbin would be 4th and eliminate him. This followed by the oft maligned Corbin being ousted early and going to town and Balor, Rusev, and especially poor Heath Slater. This paved the way for...a musical lesson by Elias
Sampson for some reason and the next group just continues to beat him up (including the apparently heel Sami Zayn taking over for Tye Dillinger like a jerk).
I'm a drifter, just blew into town
So after that the upper and mid-carders appear. Wyatt, New Day,
Terry Creed Apollo Crews, the NXT Champion whose name I can't remember so I'll call him Edward James Almos for now. Oh, and Sheamus is out in 2 seconds because he threw Slater in and wasn't paying attention, happy birthday! Kofi Kingston played Patty-Pancake with Jinder Mahal, Bray and Matt Hardy Version 3 threw each other out, and Seth Rollins lit the world on fire with his pants.
But at 14, the hottest wrestler in the match comes in, as Shinsuke Nakamura was beloved and ready to kick ass, strong style. He got rid of Zayn and prepared to be in it for the long haul. This was something special, someone the fans wanted and had to want in order to prepare for a match that will widely be expected to blow the roof out. Game on, no Hunter.
At number 20, the Golden Boy of the 5-Knuckle Shovel showed up. John Cena did his usual stick beat up jobbers like The Hurricane who came back for a quick nostalgia laugh and the guitar drifter guy. Eventually more big names such as Randy Orton, the Miz, and even Rey Mysterio (much better received than his 2014 outing) came out to give this Rumble notoriety of names. Then at 28:
The Modern Day Shovel arrived to join his cohorts in eliminating the fluff. Soon Aiden English, Adam Cole (Baby?), Edward James Almost made it, Titus O-Neill, and the rest were soon victim to the two feet of doom, and we were left with 6. The old guard: Cena, Orton, Mysterio, Vs. the New Guard: Balor, Nakamura, and...Reigns. Shenanigans and a few finishers were used and Orton and Mysterio went wayside, leaving us with 4 "fan favorites" left.
At this point the match has played perfectly smooth and the way you would expect it to go, but how would this journey end? After some ridiculously painful stare-downs and equally painful maneuvers to chests, Balor's Ironman gold became Ironman pyrite, and Cena threw him out. Strike one to the negatives.
Then to the tune of "You Both Suck", Cena and Reigns laid blows upon each other while keeping their eye on the crazy Japanese powerhouse in Nakamura. But after pulling out one too many stops, the Face that Runs Creative was kick out of the ring by Shinsuka, leaving us Reigns and Nakamura to decide victory.
And here we are, back to the start of the piece, as two wrestlers fought for the love of their title matches we pretty much knew were going to happen. But through a nice back and forth and a boatload of trickery, Nakamura pulled just enough weight to kick the teeth off of Roman and throw him out for the career building win for the ages!
Back to reality
oh there goes gravity, this was a great Rumble and planned greatly on all sides. They gave you an ending that kept you on the edge (or Christian) of your seat rooting for Nakamura to reach a high point. We all know Roman is going to Wrestlemania against you know who and probably going to main event (and honestly it will be a good match too), but this win ensures the fans of the match they dreamed of against the Champ that runs the Camp. While there have been more outstanding wins and moments for fans in the Rumble, this match did nothing wrong and that is a tough feat to accomplish in recent WWE writing of late.
So...where does this match stand on the pantheon of Royal Rumble matches???
....7th. It is the 7th best Rumble match of all time. It had less low points than Edge's victory in 2010, but didn't have the high points to match the 1998 Rumble in its correct booking and character arcs.
So that's it for now, I guess I'm done updating this Rumble list until next year, since there were no other Rumble matches this year...
Or was there??? Tune in tomorrow...or the next day...or the next day...or the next day...or the next day...