Hit: Dark Horses
It's funny, as I type this I'm listening to this years Wrestlemania theme song "Invincible" by Machine Gun Kelly. I've come to realize that as a wrestling fan, your taste in music tends to expand over the years. You may not like hard rock, but you sure as hell love listening to "The Game" by Motorhead. You might even despise rap, but there is just something about Three Six Mafia's "Somebodys Gonna Get It" that gets you pumped up. There are countless examples over the years of amazing theme songs chosen to represent each WWE Pay Per View. This choice for the Rumble, "Dark Horses" by Switchfoot, is nothing short of perfect for the event. Combined with an amazing (as usual) opening video package, and you have a great and easy way to get the fans in the arena and at home pumped up for what they are about to see.
Hit: Big Show Is A Monster
Okay, this was one me and Charlie Speed had fun with. Did you guys see the little girl that Big Show tried to give his skull cap to? If you didn't, she ducked away when he tried to put it on her head and came up crying. Here's hoping Daniel Bryan throws that into a promo this week on either Raw or Smackdown.
Hit: Daniel Bryan, World Champion Celebrator
I know some people weren't too sure about putting the Triple Threat Steel Cage match on first, but I think it was the right choice in the circumstance. You couldn't really put the WWE title at the top of the show, and Kane versus John Cena isn't something that I advise using to warm the crowd up. So they went with this, which was fine.
Anyway Show, Henry, and Bryan had a pretty good and entertaining Steel Cage match that worked well around the Worlds Strongest Man's injury. I absolutely loved that Daniel Bryan won by escaping the cage. All night he was doing his best to get out of there. It's sort of like what is going on with John Laurinaitis, he is giving you reasons to boo him, but when you look at his actions on paper...they can all be justified.
Also two bonus hits go to Daniel Bryan dedicating the match to the girl he "appreciates" and the Big Show getting on the top of the Cage. When you have a 500 pound man sitting at the top of a 15 foot high steel cage, well its usually going to be awesome.
Hit: An Irish Elimination Chamber
Now before you starting thinking this review is just filled with Hits and no Misses, trust me...there will be plenty of those later on. But for now, how awesome was that promo with Sheamus for the Elimination Chamber? I really loved it, and not just because it was well produced. Ever since 2002, we've been treated to basically the same type of promo for any event housing the huge structure. Dark, dreary, dangerous. That's great, but it was refreshing to hear Irish Bag Pipes instead of your standard evil haunting music. Intercutting Sheamus talking with scenes of some of the most brutal moments of Chamber's past was great, and immediately made me excited for the event.
Hit: John Cena is Wrestling
I wrote a column on bleacher report three years ago how John Cena was professional wrestling. This was at the height of ridiculous Cena hate, especially after each great match Cena was putting on. Do I have my problems with the way John Cena is booked sometimes? Yes. But I have no idea how anyone can watch that powerful and frankly amazing video package and boo when it is over.
Hit:...and so is the Rock.
I came into the Rock video package, sort of expecting to like it less than Cena's. But as usual, I couldn't stop a smile creeping to my face. The Rock is so different yet so similar to John Cena, and its makes their match at Wrestlemania even more of a big deal. I usually roll my eyes at the label of "Biggest Match of All Time" and such, but I think the WWE might be right on this one. Cena v.s. The Rock is just that.
Miss: Hey everyone, here's a divas match!
Okay, here is a confession. I love the Bella twins. I mean, as my main man Booker T would say "Don't do it like that, baby!". So anytime they are on my television screen is a hit. But this match, this match is a miss. And not because it was a bad match, but because randomly throwing your entire (that's sad isn't it?) Diva's roster into an 8 women tag match. Why should the fans care about this? What feud is this predicated on? That four of the girls are bad and four are good? Seriously, somebody tell me. I know the WWE likes to add bonus matches, but I'm much more in favor of announced matches with actual feud buildup. Maybe instead of a minute long Divas match on Raw this week, you can have a diva cut a promo on Beth and how she wants her title. Bam, now you have a reason to see them wrestle. But if you must book bonus matches, make sure the fans that watch Raw and Smackdown have a reason to be interested.
Oh and if I ever am fortunate to book for a wrestling company, I'm going to be sure to follow this one rule. Make sure that there is no easy bathroom break for the fans. Everything on the show should have some sort of meaning. If it is there just to fill time, then come up with something that will change that notion.
Miss: Picking Your Number, and a Star Wars reference.
I agree with the recent rumblings that the WWE should bring back the backstage segments where the wrestlers would pick a ball from a tumbler with their number on it. It wasn't always a hit, but it did give us amazing moments like Eddie Guerrero stealing both Ric Flair's number and wallet, and of course Captain Charisma laying down some serious hot fire!
Okay, now onto Kane. Take the damn welder's mask off. It looks goofy, its just...just take the damn thing off. Though if you read last week's review, you'll remember Charlie referencing the mask as a Storm Troopers helmet. Last night he suggested it was appropriate because Kane is trying to take John Cena over to the dark side. YES. That was worth a high five!
Miss: Kane, Attempted Murder #17
This is going to get a miss every time from me. Unless he falls to the waste-side and ends up trying to suffocate the Cobra, its not something I want to see. Just stop it, everything else you did last night was worthy of a wrestling monster, but "that move" as the announcers like to call it is just a waste.
Miss: Jerry the King Lawler, Face Commentator.
This first point is just a rant, but did you hear Lawler last night when Ryder was being wheeled out from backstage. He was asking why somebody doesn't help him when three crew guys walked by. Hey King, how about you help him? You're a WWE Hall a Famer who still can go from time to time, why in the world would the crew get involved?
Now I totally understand that I don't really have a point there. Of course Lawler isn't going to help, but god did you hear him the rest of the night? His face commentary has become really annoying, to the point where I don't think I can facepalm any harder. During David Otunga's entrance to the Rumble, Cole mentioned the great story about Otunga's return to the courtroom and victory as a lawyer for a client that was Pro Bono. I don't remember his exact words, but he clearly insinuated that the case never happened. So just because David Otunga is a heel, Lawler immediately balks at the idea that he could ever do anything good in his life?
Oh and then later in the Rumble, when Jindar Mahal entered, he did it again. Cole was explaining that the turban (sorry, I don't remember the proper name) was used to keep mens hair clean, Lawler replied with a "What?!", sounding like it was the strangest thing he has every heard. Its his culture, what the hell is wrong with you. It's not like Cole says he wears it so that he can have sex with a chair. It was a reasonable comment. Tone it down Jerry, seriously.
Hit: Kane leaves the Rumble Relevant.
Honestly, I did not expect Kane to leave the Royal Rumble as a threat. I expected either a complete beating by Cena, or at least being one upped by Cena so that he was no longer the ruthless monster that they have been trying to bill him as. But last night, Kane got the last laugh. And it was the right decision.
Kane looked like a monster, and he actually looked quite good in the ring. Cena and Kane are two type of workers that together, I don't expect to enjoy all that much. But last night both men put in a solid performance and did a good job of telling their story. Also Cena takes a freaking awesome chokeslam. Nuff said.
Actually, no. It's not nuff said. Those complaints that Cena is always in the main event? Yea, where was he tonight? In the middle of the card, and he was left laying in the middle of the ring. These past few months have featured less "throat-shoving" if you will, so if you are going to complain about Cena, you might want to amend your argument a bit.
Hit: Please be proud of who you are.
We can have a long discussion about some of the hypocrisy of the B.A. Star campaign, but in my opinion its fine. It was great to see that video last night, and I hope a lot of young fans out there took that message seriously. Don't change who you are for someone, and be proud of who you are. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Miss: I told you this was coming.
Oh Brodus, how I wish I could give you a hit. Your green wrestling gear was fantastic, and I love the dancing. Also I can never get enough of Booker T going "THERE IT IS! THAT'S THE DACTYL!!!". But you should have been in the Rumble Match. I'm sorry, but I'm not budging on this one. I thought it was fine that Drew Mcyintre wasn't in the match, why would he be after the losses he has strung together on Smackdown. But I just think the WWE missed the mark on this one. Somebody call my momma, Brodus needs to do something.
Hit: Ziggler v.s. Punk, A Given.
One of my favorite moments of the night came when Dolph Ziggler's music hit. There was a sign that said "Dolph, Get a Life!" Wait, what? What about Ziggler and his character would imply he needs to get a life? LOL
This was the match of the night in my opinion, and I have a feeling I'll like it even more on a second viewing. A few notes before I get to the actual wrestling. I'm pretty sure the real reason Laurinaitis was on the outside was because he wanted to text. Oh and seriously guys, the World of Japan? Are you shitting me? You do realize the WWE is based in the United States, and with your logic, Daniel Bryan is the World Champion of the United States. I know you guys are popular all over the world, but christ.
Anyway, this match was great. I was a bit worried I would be a little bored because we have seen these two lock up quite a lot in the past few months. But they didn't disappoint. The counters were crisp, and it was just what a great WWE Championship match should be. So bravo gentlemen.
As for the finish, I have my theory. I know it's probably not on base, but I think Laurinaitis slid in the ring fully intending to stop the referee's count. But in that spilt second, he remembered that his job is on the line, so he made the three count. Either way, I'm interested to see what happens tonight on Raw with Big Johnny and Triple H.
Oh and one more thing, Clown Shoes is an excellent insult. Especially when said with such hatred. Thank you CM Punk.
Hit: The Miz at Number One
I said last week I was pleased with the decision to make Miz the number one entrant, and the announcers hyping him up was the right thing to do. He cut a very good promo which was again the right thing to do. I've been saying he has an amazing life story and honestly believe he will one day make a great face. But...
Miss: I'm the Miz, and I Spray Tan.
Holy hell. Did you see Miz's face last night?!? His body looked fine, but jeez his face looked like a badly painted oompa loompa. I could barely pay attention to his promo.
In my notes for the Rumble, I wrote "A-Ry-Push?" when his music hit. Unfortunately, I quickly scratched that out. I'm not sure why Riley isn't being used, but I personally think its a mistake.
Hit that wasn't pretty, but it's still hit: Bang Bang!
I love Mick Foley. I was very glad to see the reaction he got. But dude, you should not have run down to the ring. I'm not exactly the skinniest dude, but I'm just saying. It was hard to watch. Still, it was awesome to see Foley mixing it up again, even if he was a little slower than normal. Oh and a bonus hit for Booker T saying "Bang Bang!" I'm confident Booker T is the greatest thing ever you guys, I really am.
Bullseye of the Week: My name...my name is Ricardo Rodriguez.
I did not expect this. But oh boy, was it ever awesome. At first I just thought one of Del Rio's taillights was out. But then I saw the duct tape. And it just got better from there. Seeing Ricardo Rodriguez come out to Del Rio's entrance was gold, and the exact type of comedy that I think most of us can agree is entertaining. But the best part was the reaction he got. The big "Ricardo" chant was fantastic, and I just loved everything about his time in the Rumble. When he eliminated Gabriel, his CM Punk style World Title celebration was perfect. Viva La Ricardo!!!
Hit: Cobra v.s. Socko
I'll let Charlie take this one. "I shouldn't like this, but I do." I feel ya brotha, I feel ya.
Hit: Announcers Rumble
I may get a bit of heat for this, but I really liked the announcers entering the Rumble. Yes it took up three spots, but it was worth it in my opinion. King being it in was fine, but when Booker's music hit..I lost it. While King just had a shirt on, Booker had a full blown suit on and had to take it off to reveal his wrestling gear. That was golden. Cole's moment was pretty funny too, but the best had to have come after King was eliminated. Booker telling him that he "almost had it" after a mere 60 seconds in the Rumble is awesome.
Hit: Move over John Morrison
Last year, John Morrison wowed the entire wrestling world with his Spiderman like save from elimination in the Royal Rumble match. This year, Kofi Kingston did the same with an amazing handstand, walking backwards on his hands to save himself. It was awesome, and quite frankly, one of those moments that makes the Rumble so special. Here's to a push that will last and end at the Elimination Chamber (see John Morrison's push).
Oh and before I get off the topic of Kofi Kingston, last night was the return of Booker T's Jamaican accent. I have no words. I just love it.
Hit: Oh I didn't know!
I saw the article a few days ago about the three names confirmed for the Rumble match. I made a decision to not read it, and I'm glad I did. While Foley was already confirmed, and Duggan was a given since it was the 25th anniversary, I was very curious as to who the third man would be. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The Road Dogg is great. He is an average wrestler with loads of charisma who will always be an important part of wrestling history. To see him shimmy and shake was fantastic.
Hit: Cody Rhodes, Legend Killer
Last night, Cody Rhodes put in an awesome performance. Along with staying in the match for a very long time, he eliminated four legends from the match. Throwing Foley, Lawler, Duggan, and Booker over the ropes was great. But hopefully this leads to a match with Foley at Wrestlemania, and not a legends type program that it may also lead to. Rhodes needs that one big match to propel him into the main-event scene, and I truly believe a battle with Foley on the grandest stage of them all could be that match.
Here are a few quick hits and misses before I get to the end of the Rumble Match:
- Hit: Khrama-if there was ever a diva to be in the Rumble, it's her.
- Miss: Cole gets screwed- Booker and Lawler eliminated him, why? Because they don't like him? That's a little petty don't ya think?
- Hit: Swagger No Swiping-Swagger entered on a roll, but refrained from striking Road Dogg after he put his hands up and said "hey hey hey!" Road Dogg is the best.
- Hit: M-I-Z- The Miz did the Road Dogg legs that was barely picked up by the camera. Awesome.
- Huge Miss: Replacing Wade Barrett's theme song is a mistake. They went through quite a few songs to find "End of Days" and I for one think its perfect. Buy hey, I'm sure this new one will grow on me.
- Hit: Booker T's Strategy- "Come in at #30, that's my strategy King"
Miss: The Big Show
I admit, I was hoping for a cool surprise entrant at the number 30 spot. That being said, I would have been fine with a returning star like Christian or someone new and different. But having the Big Show there, it just didn't sit well with me. I know I'm just nit-picking, but I would have preferred someone else.
Hit: Sheamus v.s. Jericho-5 Stars
The final two mini-match between Sheamus and Chris Jericho was the second best I have ever seen. The only one I can say that beat it was the epic 2007 Rumble encounter between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker. These two made you believe that they were fighting for THE most important prize of the night, and had me on the edge of my seat. I wanted Jericho to win, badly, so the stress was even higher.
Now, Charlie wasn't too happy about the ending. For me, I'm okay with it. It makes sense. Chris Jericho came back and announced he was in the Rumble. For him to just win it, I don't know. I would have loved it, but it actually makes more sense that he didn't. He did everything right, but he just didn't factor in how much Sheamus wanted this win. Since Jericho has been gone, Sheamus has went from solid heel to unstoppable face. So it was great to see Jericho beat on Sheamus and yell "Get out of my ring!"
Look, I know there are reports that Jericho was scheduled to win and they changed it because it was leaked. As much as I hate when they do that, I'm fine with it this time. This is not your normal wrestler. This is Chris Jericho. Tonight, I have faith that Jericho will take it to the next level. Here is what Y2J tweeted just hours ago:
@IAmJericho: I've got something to say.... #raw
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to hear what he has to say. Let's hope it kick starts us on a wild rode to Wreslemania!!!
Note: Thanks for reading! Comments and such are greatly appreciated!