Last night, the wrestling community got its latest annual instalment of the Royal Rumble and, today, I give you my Rumble Review. I know this isn’t the usual style of work available on The Taj Show, but for the remainder of 2012, I aim to alternate the regular Taj Show with Pay-Per-View Reviews.
Now, remember folks, all opinions expressed here on in are exclusively my own and do not express the views of the entire Wrestling-News.Net staff.
The Big Show vs Mark Henry vs Daniel Bryan: In my opinion, this was an OK performance when consideration is given to the match’s participants. As I had predicted on Wrestling-News.Net’s staff predictions, this match was a stage for both bigger men to display feats of strength and brutality whilst the champion would try and seize opportunities to escape the cage as quickly as he could. My complaints with this match are that the Big Show seemed a tad too dominant throughout the match. Whilst I understand that Show was hell-bent on regaining his World Championship, he seemed to gain the upper-hand on Mark Henry more quickly than he should have, given Mark Henry and his “Hall of Pain” gimmick. Also, spots in this match didn’t seem to flow that well together. It was too start-stop-start for my liking, but understandable given the nature of a triple threat cage match and the limited space it gives the competitors.
CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler: Despite the screwy ending that I also happened to predict, I enjoyed this match. CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler are two men that have the natural ability to make their opponents look good and, when given the chance to work together, they have displayed great quality wrestling matches. The work given by both competitors in this match was second to none on this card and they know how to get the crowd going with their in-ring ability alone. Even with the possible botch when Ziggler’s throat bounced off the ropes onto the outside, both men were quick to reposition themselves and make the segment seem seamless with the rest of their encounter. With regards to the screwy finish, I wasn’t the biggest fan of it. With the modified Dusty finish, it seemed like The Showoff was stealing the show, and the title from Punk, but it was not to be. Punk ended up defeating Ziggler too heavily in my opinion. Obviously, it was due to the overall spotlight being on the rivalry with CM Punk and John Laurinaitis, like it has been throughout this feud. Punk’s easy finishing off Ziggler is a sign that, whilst Ziggler continues to steal show’s and have subliminal matches, he has yet to prove that he is, without doubt, main-event talent. He need’s to ditch Guerrero in order for this to happen. Back on topic, great match; but the finish left a lot to be desired for. It perhaps hindered this match in a way that prevented it from stealing the show.
John Cena vs Kane: This was nothing but a brawl and not a match for the technical wrestling lovers. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that in this context. Nothing but pure hate had been building up within John Cena and it was inevitable that it was going to erupt when he faced Kane at the Royal Rumble. This match, whilst not the most gripping or easy on the eye for the most part, was booked perfectly for the current stage of this feud. It was good to see Kane booked like an unrelenting monster who wouldn’t be easily thwarted compared to the usual John Cena storylines. The finish of this match was one that set-up the continuation of this feud. Kane’s continued use of Zack Ryder and Eve to further torment Cena was a nice touch and cements The Big Red Machine’s status as an unforgiving, sadistic monster. I have nothing to particularly nitpick over with regards to this match; solid work from the two competitors and a fitting finish meant that this fight didn’t disappoint despite the “Cena Sucks” chants.
Brodus Clay vs Drew McIntyre: He may be the last of his kind, but the Funkasaurus may never go extinct. I would call Brodus’ Mamma and tell her that, in a non-homosexual way, I love her son. His unity with his gimmick is simply applause-worthy. The way he embraces his inner-funk and continues it in his in-ring action is awesome and something rarely done these days. With this being another “squash” match, it was quick and too the point and not much can be said on it. It leaves you wondering where they are heading with Drew McIntyre. Surely, he’d have been fired by now? In the world of professional wrestling, things seem to go stale very quickly, but I doubt Clay will have this problem. I just hope he’ll have better competition sooner rather than later.
The Royal Rumble match: This was one of my more favourite Rumble matches in recent history. The Rumble had all of the right things going for it this year, and in my opinion, didn’t get stale at all. The timing of Mick Foley, Santino and Ricardo Rodriguez was perfect, it really kept the audience going. Ricardo entering as a cheap knock-off of his employer, Alberto Del Rio was a nice surprise and the comedic value it added to the Rumble was priceless (or should that be worthless in this circumstance?). Mr Socko vs The Cobra was hilarious, so much so that a screen-cap of their “showdown at high-noon” is currently my desktop background. There wasn’t too much comedy in this Rumble, but a sufficient amount that kept the audience going instead of killing the atmosphere. The lack of competitors at the end who had been in the match for the long-haul added a nice, realistic tone to the 30 man over-the-top battle royal. The four man finalé with the huge threat of a fresh number 30 Big Show was nicely done. One gripe I have is Randy Orton single-handedly eliminating the near 500 pound Big Show, as it rendered the previous teaming up of Sheamus, Orton and Jericho as redundant. The final showdown of Jericho and Sheamus was done nicely as it wasn’t a Rumble finalé that, once again, featured a main-event mainstay like John Cena or Triple H. The choice of two superstars who aren’t exclusive main-eventers solidifies the “anything can happen” slogan that is touted around with the Royal Rumble. Where does the elimination of Chris Jericho leave his promise of “The End Of The World”, though? A quick explanation from the man himself can easily clear that up, but until he finally decides to actually speak, it leaves me particularly confused at that booking. With regards to Sheamus winning, I am delighted. He is a superstar who deserves the huge win. His work over the past year has been great despite the huge amounts of nothingness WWE have given him in credible competition (What was the point in him vs Jinder Mahal every week?) From here, Sheamus can Travel The Road To WrestleMania and reach his destination of Immortality.
Overall, I enjoyed the Royal Rumble for what it is: A pointless undercard with a, usually, great main event. The undercard gave, for the most part, enjoyable viewing; with matches that worked to progress their respective feuds despite the age-old Rumble tradition of a lack of title changes. The main-event was one that, for its entirety, kept me enthralled in watching it. Whilst I can give no opinion on watching it live, the entire pay-per-view was enjoyable to watch the morning after despite having the ability to skip matches at will. It, like most pay-per-views, have tidbits that disappoint or annoy me and the points I previously mentioned are the only real issues I had with this pay-per-view.
Taj Rating: 4/5
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