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Monday, 26 January 2009

Live Royal Rumble Blog

Hi folks, welcome to the live blog for the 2009 Royal Rumble.

I went to a news-site I often frequent earlier tonight and saw headlines of big name spoilers and plot twists. I didn't read on, although I was dying to. Let's hope the promises of big news is true. This could be an awesome show.

The opening video package is finished. I was surprised to hear the voice of Tony Schiovane in there, but not surprised to see an extensive look at what Orton did to Vince on Raw.

Wow, a cold open to a major PPV. Cole and King explain about Vince's condition so you can bet something major is going to go down on that front.

ECW to open the show. Matt Hardy v Jack Swagger. You know, Swagger is a talented guy, but everything else about is average and generic. His music, his entrance, even his name.

This is a huge moment for him, though. Hardy gave Evan Bourne a tremendous match in his first ever PPV - can he do the same for Swagger?

Don't forget that if you want to contribute to the blog tonight you can email me - robthegreen(@) - with your opinions, comments, thoughts, jokes, limericks, haikus, prayers, whatever. Happy to read all submissions and will post a few of the better ones.

Wow, they are going big with this guy. Swagger wins cleanly, and I rather enjoyed that match. As a credible opener this delivered in spades, with Swagger getting a nice introduction to the WWE PPV audience. I enjoyed the hard-hitting looking action and even the post-match sadness of Matt Hardy. A good start.

Nice backstage shot of Randy Orton arriving. I like little touches like that. It makes the situation more than simply the snippets we see in the ring. I like the idea that everyone else would be looking at Randy differently backstage because of what he did to Vince.

Beth and Melina up now. Loving Santino's new Ferrari-inspired shirt.

Goodness me, did Melina ever fall badly on her arm. She looks as though she is ok though. Beth has just hit Melina on the back of her head with her own (Melina's) foot. These two always pull something different out of the bag.

Reader Steve Pritchard writes: "The All American American is a talented guy, needs a personality but he'll have a real belt by the next rumble."

Difficult to disagree with most of that. The question arising is whether the US or Intercontinental titles are bigger than the ECW strap. I'd say they probably are.

Oh my - an upset from where I sit. I didn't see Beth dropping the belt, but I can't deny Melina deserves it. Another fun match. They kept it short enough that it stayed snappy and entertaining, and dropped in plenty of unique moves. One or two dodgy spots, but mainly good.

Two very satisfactory matches so far - now for the storyline-heavy title bouts. Interesting that Cena/JBL is before Edge/Hardy.

Very, very cool backstage segment. HBK IS in the Rumble, it seems. JBL basically says help me and we can face each other at Wrestlemania. Then Undertaker (!) appears and tells Shawn "Sometimes it's hell getting to heaven". What the hell does that mean?

A continuation, then, of the Undertaker/Shawn dynamic at the Rumble. They wrestled in 1999, when Michaels damaged his back big time, and the last two years have seen them linked in the Rumble match itself. Two years ago with them being the last two, and last year they were the first two.

Is this a tease of a possible Shawn/Taker programme down the line?

Cena and JBL in the ring for their match.

By the way, Michaels being in the Rumble means my prediction could still come true. Who do you think will win the Rumble? Give me a name and one line stating why - robthegreen(@)

Reasonably start to this one. That's not a criticism, just an observation. Probably means a longish match will take shape. Good use of HBK early on.

Meanwhile, Connor from Belfast says "Orton for the Rumble. He's the only one they've built up. No-one else has the profile."

Interesting point, Connor, but perhaps thats a) a ruse and b) plans for Orton to go on to theoretically bigger things.

Steve Pritchard (Any relation to Bruce or Dr Tom?) is back in touch with a Rumble thought. "I reckon Shawn Michaels will come second, do a kamikaze for the money"

Interesting, but wouldn't that only work if JBL ends up in Rumble too? Can't see that happening.

I really enjoyed that. The wrestling was very average, but that was never the story. Michaels is a genius at stuff like this.

Some nice little points in this match. Good positioning for the STF so that Michaels was in shot. Great facials from Shawn, and even great stuff from the referee. They normally act like morons and turn blind eyes to things. Chioda actually kept an eye on Shawn.

Loved the double kick. I saw it coming as soon as Cena started smirking. It makes little sense, especially with HBK leaving, but it was fun.

By the way, in the interests of fairness, Cole called this brilliantly. I am usually a critic of Cole's, but his "Oh no" after HBK pulled JBL onto Cena was perfectly inflected.

The end of the match may have been a little anti-climactic, but I fail to see how else it could have been done.

HBK v JBL v Cena in the pipeline?

Hey, I've just had a thought. The person attacking Jeff has to have access to the building where he stayed, access to the pyro etc. What if it wasn't Edge, wasn't Christian, wasn't Matt? What if it was a man who has access to these things and has previous in the this field? What if it is a jealous man - jealous of Jeff Hardy and desperate to get back at him for overshadowing him?

What if it was Triple H?

No DQ huh? So someone could interfere and help Edge legitimately? Now who could there be that would do that...........?

And that sounds to me like Detroit is chanting "we want Christian". They just had Shawn, isn't he Christian enough for you??

I think the Matt heel turn is even more likely to happen now, rather than Christian's appearance.

I mean, Chavo never accompanies Edge. I can see Chavo increasingly getting involved, prompting Matt to emerge. JR and Tazz will speculate that he is evening the odds, then he turns on Jeff, giving Edge the win.

Colin in Fife, Scotland, writes: "Don't you think the no DQ stip might just be a bit too obvious for it to work for Edge? There's definitely gonna be interference but I think it's going to go in Hardy's favour. Maybe it's just me hoping they'll keep the title on Hardy for a bit longer though!"

You might well be right. It isn't beyond WWE to do the extra swerve. Vince won't be happy that the fans were chanting for Christian. If they think the fans have guessed the storyline, they may alter it. Jeff winning would be quite a surprise.


I love being right. More in a sec.

Firstly, I'd just like to say that my phone is goign crazy. I've been telling anyone who'll listen about my theory around this storyline. I just need Christian to side with Jeff on his return and I'm set.

That was a great match. Normally I wouldn't like two title matches to end with loads of interference, but the angles in each case justified the activity.

That was beautifully booked. The big spot with the table that (just) hit gave the fans a great spot, but also nullified Chavo in the match. Good false finishes, perfect pacing for the storytelling. Great stuff.

Or I may just be happy to be right :-)

Rumble upcoming, but I just want to state that I may well update a little less during the Rumble since there'll be plenty to watch. Keep sending your emails though - robthegreen(@) - and I'll try to keep up!

Nice stuff there from Jericho and Orton there. I love how Jericho is using loads of long words (a plethora of lexicographical exuberance, you might say) to be a heel. Taking notes from Mr Backlund, Chris?

Morrison as number two is a great call. I hope he lasts a long time. This could be a huge match for him.

Bit disappointed JR and King are calling. Don't get me wrong, that's the best combo to have, but I like it when all the guys commentate at the same time.

Good start to the Rumble. Some great spots from the athletic guys, glad that Khali didn't rid the ring of everybody, and makes sense to make Koslov look good by getting rid of Khali.

And here comes The Game. Early one for him.

And now Orton! And what a terrific camera shot of Orton's face on the tron turning to look at Triple H. Photographic gold, right there.

A few too many spots for me, though, so far. We need a bit more realism of people trying to get people over the top, not just diving about and hitting signature moves.

Since my last comment they've heeded my words a little. I like it when the ring starts to fill up. Plenty of possible winners (Trips, Jericho, Orton) already out here with Shawn, Taker and others to come.

Bit of a waste of Morrison, mind you, with Trips getting rid of both he and Miz. To be fair, Triple hasn't buried a tag team in days. He was due one.

Taker marks the start of the second half of the draw. This is a very stacked rumble draw so far.

Seven left to go. Show, Shawn, Chavo, R-Truth, Primo, Helms and the other Cryme Tyme would round that off. No surprises this year? I thought we might see Umaga.

Who said there were no surprises? RV freakin' D! Is he back, or is this a one-off? I assume this is one of the spoilers I avoided.

I forgot about Kendrick. I guess Cryme Tyme had just one entry, hence the coin flip.

Oh, there goes Kendrick. I wrote twelve words during his stint. Who did he piss off? Helms probably not in this I'm guessing.

Now Dolph Ziggler. My workings out were terrible. And now he's gone. He got five words.

Aw, that was bogus. I know Santino isn't great in the ring, but he could have at least taken about ten finishers from all the guys rather than exiting in two seconds. Oh, and that's another I forgot to note. I'm having a nightmare with that, aren't I?

And now Duggan - so no Michaels? I'm assuming Show is 30.

OK, Michaels isn't in it, so my prediction is void. It reverts to Orton.

Punk is out, but just before he did there were nine former World champions in the ring. Hell of a stat.

Nearly done, and Colin says "Easy for me to say this now I suppose but I'm with you on the Orton prediction! I was going for him or Jericho on the basis that Smackdown are sorted for World Title storylines for a while to come but Cena needs an opponent on Raw."

Good point, although that's assuming Cena wins his chamber match. I want Orton to win, but I hope it doesn't get cheaply stripped of him straight away because of his other storyline.

"How the hell did the Big Show manage to keep his big ass in just then??!!"

No idea. I'm more impressed the ropes stayed in tact.

It had to happen. I would quite liked to have seen Legacy get rid of Triple H and then step aside for Orton. That hasn't happened before and would have been quite cool really.

So does this mean Cena v Orton? It may well do. Think about it, the Rumble winner needs something to do at No Way Out, so his Vince storyline may lead to a match which takes that strand in, while the rest of them fight it out in the chamber.

Fun Rumble. Not the best ever, but there have been plenty worse. There were a few people I thought were mistreated, but you can't please everybody. Great to see RVD back - I wonder if that's a permanent thing. He sure got a massive reception.

Chambers, thinking quickly.

Raw: Cena, Jericho, JBL, Michaels, Rey, Kane. (Maybe remove Rey if he wrestles Knox, and replace with Punk)

Smackdown: Edge, Triple H, Taker, Koslov, Big Show, Umaga (If not Umaga, maybe R-Truth or Shelton. Hopefully not Khali - Khali, Show and Koslov in the same match is not desirable)

Add to those Matt v Jeff in some form, work Orton in with maybe Shane, possibly Rey v Knox and a girls match (Maria v Michelle v Maryse?) and the PPV is taking shape.

Extra Rumble notes. No Snuka or Manu - I think they'll be history now. Also no Jesse and Festus. Thought Festus may have added to the Rumble more than Ziggler or Duggan.

I forgot about the location of the Rumble - it was Michigan. That suggests one night only for RVD.

Raw will definitely be newsworthy. HBK and JBL's fall out plus what happens to Orton. Should be good, don't miss it.

Thanks for following the Rumble with me. Good night.

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