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Monday, 1 February 2010

Royal Rumble Live Notes


I have nervous ten minutes or so ahead of me - problems ordering the PPV have led to ringing up the technical people and ordering it in a different way to normal. I fear my screen will suddenly go blank just as the show starts. Keep your fingers crossed for me..........

Looking good folks. Thanks Sky. Let's Rumble.

Tag line is "I am the one", it seems. Billy Gunn to return? :-)

Interested to know who you think will be a surprise entry in the Rumble tonight. There usually are a couple of folks appearing unannounced. Sometimes a returning superstar (either from an injury or returning to the company), sometimes a big debut, sometimes a star from the past.

Last year RVD turned up, a couple of years ago Piper and Snuka popped up in MSG. Any thoughts, let me know.

Christian retains in a more than adequate opening bout for the ECW Championship. Good pacing to the match with Christian's speed earning an early advantage, Jackson's power being matched only by Christian's resilience, then a constant shift in momentum until Captain Charisma hit the Killswitch.

This won't be remembered even by the time the Elimination Chamber rolls around, but it was plenty good enough to kick the show off. Perhaps the only slip was Zeke not taking a reverse DDT very well, but he did it while in the back of frame in a double feature.

A long skit backstage involving Cryme Tyme and Khali along with Teddy and Tiffany goes on for a while and involves US TV references I don't understand. Miz interupts and Teddy tells him he'll have to defend against MVP next.

Now I don't have a problem with this being on the show, but I fail to see why it wasn't mentioned ahead of time. Presumably they've only just made their mind up, but it didn't take a genius to see there was only four matches apart from the Rumble.

Miz on his way for his defence, and my goodness Justin Roberts's inflection is wild tonight. Miz to drop the belt and blame it on not being ready?

A few suggestions in so far for surprises entrants in the Rumble include Booker T, Bryan Danielson and RVD. All possible, but the first would be most likely in my mind. RVD has been at the WrestleReunion show in California yesterday, and he was a surprise entrant last year. Danielson wouldn't be perceived by WWE as a big enough star to debut cold in the Rumble. (I wouldn't be surprise to see Regal berate Zeke on ECW and bring in Dragon as his new protege to take on Christian, though)

Booker is a possible. If he is coming back its the right time to bring him in.

That felt purely like filler on the show. I would liked them to have held off, promoted this for a couple of weeks and made it a Raw main event. This didn't really take off, but it was fine.

I liked the ending, though. Miz winning with a small package was the right kind of booking, because it was him winning fairly, but sneakily. I hate it when heels have to defend titles with feet on the ropes and foreign objects. Good stuff for the Miz.

Also liked hearing Lawler side with Miz, along with Striker, on commentary. I like colour guys heeling it up. Lawler is backing Miz a lot at the moment.

Randy Orton has now had two backstage segments, with first Cody telling him good luck, but confiding that Ted is talking about winning the Rumble and beating Randy at Mania. Later, Ted catches Randy and tells him Cody is acting weird, and talking about winning the Rumble and meeting Sheamus at Mania. Nice storytelling and creation of intrigue. WWE is very strong with it's subtle stories right now.

Sheamus and Randy in the ring. I'm thinking a 90 second gap in the Rumble this year. Two minutes means a 70 minute or so Rumble over all, whereas you are looking at 50-55 for 90 second intervals. I can't see them leaving 70-80 minutes in the show, since it's taken us three quarters of an hour to get to the opening of this one.

Fans are chanting "Randy", by the way.

Freaking awesome. Dropkick by Orton, then he (literally) slithers away from Sheamus. Great visual.

Orton working on Sheamus' leg, the Irishman has injured Orton's arm. Nice logic. Crowd sitting on their hands right now, but the match is solid enough at the moment.

Had another mention for a return in the Rumble - Edge. Has to be a shout, remembering what happened with Cena being officially injured but appearing ultimately two years ago. with your suggestions, remember.

Ok, we got half of the result we were expecting. Randy Orton was disqualified because of outside interference, but it was by Cody Rhodes and not Ted DiBiase. As I type Orton is getting pissed off and about to face Cody..........

So, Orton punched Cody, rammed his head into the mat a few times, and this brought out DiBiase. Orton hit him too, and beat them down a little. They begged off, Orton spun around and Sheamus nailed a "Pump Kick".

Well done post-match segment, because Orton didn't beat the shit out of them, he just hit them a few times and was basically trying to reprimand them. Expect some fallout on Raw. I'd think they will still be a unit for a bit, then break up. The question is really who will be babyface and heel. The crowd popped for Orton hitting Cody, but not so vociferously for him nailing Ted. Interesting.......

A long recap of the Michelle v Mickie angle. Hopefully it is a heightening of the sympathy for Mickie, and we'll get the right closure to the angle and retribution for Mickie.

I'm not happy with that. I'm glad Mickie won, partly because it was right, and partly because I called it, but she should have won a wrestling match, not just ambushed Michelle and Layla, and hit one move to win. Michelle has improved, and Mickie can really go. I would have much rather have seen this go seven minutes and not seen Miz v MVP. Never mind.

Elimination chamber promo with Triple H. Suggests he will be in a chamber match - does this discount him from winning the Rumble?

An anonymous emailed suggests Bret Hart to enter the Rumble! I doubt it, but you never know I guess.

Midway through Taker's 27 minute entrance. Rey was taking of his necklace when the Gong struck. Rey stopped and looked up, nervous. Brilliant work from Rey, and even more impressive when you realise that the mask doesn't help facial expression.

The Undertaker wins after a last ride, and after a very reasonable contest. It wasn't amazing, but it pretty good. If you saw the Kane v Rey matches, it was better than them, but the same sort of thing. Rey took a whole bunch of bumps and kicks and so forth which looked cool as hell because he's a tiny little guy and Taker is massive, basically.

Rey slapped in a couple of kicks early in the match, and I assume they connected because Taker's upper lip was soon covered in blood, possibly from a broken nose. Taker did look eerily human after that.

Rumble preview vid ends 73 minutes from the end of the PPV. It's 90 seconds.

Don't expect too many frequent updates during the Rumble match. I'll comment on big moments, entries, surprises and so forth. Ziggler and Bourne to start.

Woah, Punk in at 3. Gets rid of Ziggler and Bourne, and gets some heat on the mic. Could be a long stay for Punk - or he'll eliminate a couple of people then a babyface will get rid of him, sparking a feud.

In comes - and there goes - JTG.

Uh-oh. Khali. Go on Punk, convert the big guy. Chop, vice grip, and number 6 - Beth???

And she's eliminated Khali! Plants a kiss from the apron and pulls him over the ropes! Punk hits the GTS, she's history, and here comes Zack Ryder. Punk starts his spiel but smashes Ryder with the mic.

Turns out I can update quite a lot. What do you know?

Has to be someone to smash Punk now.......Hunter?

Yep! Score one for me.

It was Hunter, and they square off and exchange a couple of moves. McIntyre is next, and slowly approaches. Drew is number 9, by the way. I suggest the ring may start to fill now.

Or perhaps not. Punk is history. That's a shame.

DiBiase is next - crowd are dead right now.

Morrison is next, and has a little exchange with McIntyre. Number 12 is.....KANE!

Cole says Kane has made a career out of the Royal Rumble. He's been in eleven prior to this and never won it. Wow, Cole, what a career!

Domination from Kane, and Cody is is 13. Saves Ted straight away. Lets keep and eye on Legacy then.

MVP at 14, but Miz appears behind him to smash him with the US belt. MVP lies in the aisle. General brawling in the ring occasionally punctuated by Morrison doing something flashy. MVP never made it to the ring, referee helped him away. That was poor. He could at least have struggled down there and been thrown out straight away. Or maybe they could have explained pre-match that you have to get to the ring during the 90 seconds or you are DQ-ed.

Carlito in at 15, and nails several people with the Backstabber, including the Game. And now it's Miz time.

Wait, here is MVP. I spoke too soon. He lunges at Miz and takes both of them out. Seven men in the ring, HHH has been nearly out a couple of times.

Number 17 is Matt Hardy. Perhaps a small punishment for the elder Hardy brother as Kane gets rid of him quickly. Trips comes up behind Kane and gets Big Red out of there.

Multiple combatants work on Hunter's leg - but here comes Shawn. Straightaway eliminates Carlito. And Cody. And DiBiase. I was expecting more Legacy breakup teases than that.

HBK gets rid of Morrison too, and it leaves McIntrye alone with DX. They rid the ring of the scotsman, and it's only Shawn and Hunter........for ten seconds.

And here........comes..........Cena.

Cena comes in a house of fire, hits his big shoulders and when hitting the spinning suplex on HHH genuinely lands him on Shawn's head. Hope he is ok.

He looks it. Trips nails Cena with a Pedigree, and Shawn hits a Superkick to eliminate Hunter. Basically no follow up though. No reaction shot of Hunter or anything. Shelton next but doesn't last long. Poor Rumble so far.

Tatsu in and quickly out. I'm getting sick of this, people coming in and out. This is a great forum for getting a few guys to last a long time and build rivalries. It's way to spotty thus far. Show is in now, and he is 22. A couple of teases of HBK getting rid of Show using leverage, and then Henry is 23.

Only seven guys left. No Batista or Jericho yet. No Swagger, Masters.......who am I forgetting?

Here is the Masterpiece to a sitting ova.....I mean apathy. Still time for Edge? Masters is gone, and I've realised I forgot R-Truth. Commentators all picking Shawn - too obvious now maybe?

And here is Truth at 25 - pushing Henry and Show out while they were locked up on the ropes. Only Truth, Cena and Shawn in the ring, plus five to go including Jericho, Batista and Swagger. And two more I can't think of.

Here is Swagger. Dominating so far.

Four men left to enter the Rumble and crowd is silent. I wouldn't be surprised to see Orton at 30, you know. Damn, I forgot Kofi, who is number 27. Jericho, Batista + 1 (Edge? Orton?)

Kofi switches momentum on Swagger. Truth, Kofi, Shawn and Cena in the ring, plus the last three men to come.

Jericho! And Truth won't be getting rid of Jericho, because Kofi deposited Truth. Only six can win. Jericho, Cena, Michaels and Kofi in the ring, Batista + 1 to come.

Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Shawn, then Cena throws Kofi out. AND ITS EDGE! ITS EDGE!

Jericho is out of here after spears to all. Batista will be here shortly, only four possible winners. Michaels still most likely, I think.

Batista did it. There goes Shawn. Big pause. Are they selling the shock or was Shawn supposed to hold on and slipped? I think the former. Shawn is playing it up. He's thrown down one ref, got back in the ring and superkicked Charles Robinson. All the focus on Shawn leaving.

So, Batista, Edge and Cena. Scratch then, Batista is out. Two left. Edge measuring Cena.

And Edge wins!! It's the surprise return and victory for the second time in three years.

Very, very lacklustre Rumble in my opinion. I think it's a Rumble that might be appreciated now for it's shock value with Triple H's exit, Shawn's exit and Edge's return. However, you won't go back and watch it over and over, because it wasn't gripping enough. It killed the crowd, who were reasonable during the night until the big one.

Very quickly - where do we go from here? Edge v Taker? Hmm. I don't see it. Not again. It doesn't make sense. Edge v Sheamus? Doesn't grip you. Edge v Christian???? That could happen, but would you win the Rumble and choose the ECW title?

So, it's Edge to hold back and one of the titles to change in the Chamber. Jericho to win the Smackdown chamber is a possibility. Orton could take the WWE title and then we have Edge v Orton, but then Orton may as well have won the belt tonight. I can't see Edge v Shawn or Edge v Hunter. Edge v Batista has no ring to it. Edge v Cena again?? Hope not. Edge v Punk? Punk could pull out the chamber match, and Straight Edge v Edge is a possibility. But they have been there before, just with the babyface/heel roles reversed.

I can only really see Jericho getting the World Title next month, setting up Mania to be:

Shawn v Taker
Trips v Sheamus
Edge v Jericho
Randy v Cody v Ted
Cena v Batista
Vince v Bret
Show, Kofi, Miz, MVP, Kane, Punk, Morrison, Rey for Money in the Bank?

We'll see.

Overall, average show. Decent undercard, but no standout matches, then below par Rumble in my opinion. The last few Rumbles have been very good, so this was a letdown.

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