Royal Rumble 2011 Rant
Hello, everyone. "Great" Scott is taking a break from watching less-than-stellar sports entertainment to…watch less-than-stellar sports entertainment on pay-per-view. I'm doing this recap because I have an interesting blend of traits: I'm smart enough to put together a pretty decent report, but I'm stupid enough to pay $55 to watch what turned out to be a pretty crappy event…yin, meet yang.
Anyway, I'm doing this recap based on my recording of the event (instead of recapping as I watched), because I wanted to enjoy the show as much as I could the first time. I'll resist giving my overall comments until the end. For now, let's head to our opening match…
Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie) vs. Edge
Soooo…we're having a championship match as a curtain-jerker, huh? I realize there are only three non-Rumble matches on the card, but they're seriously going to start with a championship match? They couldn't throw a tag match on the card? Or an intercontinental match or something? I'm already not liking the direction of this PPV.
I see at least four "I hate Sign Guy" signs in the crowd, and Sign Guy is actually sitting right in the front row with his dorky red hat on. He has a clever (sarcastic) "Miss Ziggy" sign with Vickie's head on a pig's body…original. That guy should take on Michael Cole in a Tool-Off.
Since this is a SERIOUS match, we're going to get the boxing introductions. It also appears that someone in the crowd is Batman.
Match starts with a tieup. Edge takes the early advantage with some simple offense, but Ziggler fights back quickly and unloads on Edge in the corner. The match is pretty much by the book until both men end up on the floor a few minutes in. After beating on Ziggler, Edge rolls him back in the ring. Ziggler catches Edge with a kick as he gets back in the ring and follows it up with a suspended neck breaker that's sorta' like Orton's suspended DDT (but less boring).
Ziggler stays in control for a little bit with more basic heel offense until Edge escapes from a chinlock. Ziggler regains control after a short bit with another nice neckbreaker. Ziggler follows that up with the Mr. Perfect neckbreaker.
During another Ziggler chinlock, I notice that someone has taken all of the "I hate Sign Guy" signs away…are you kidding me? What is this, WCW? Dude, I've seen signs that say "Cock Molester" when Brock Lesnar was competing. I brought a sign that said "Snitsky has backne," and no one took it from me. Why are they defending some tool fan? Whatever.
When I return my attention to the match, I'm treated to the old "double cross body" spot. Ziggler gets up first, by takes a leaping dive into the turnbuckle as Edge moves. Edge hits his flapjack move and a weird side-slam-looking thing, but Ziggler returns the favor with a jawbreaker. Ziggler goes for the Rocker Dropper, but Edge catches him in a sit-down powerbomb.
The two men fight over a superplex for a few seconds, but Edge ends up with the advantage and hits a (no, Dolph Ziggler didn't jump into it) cross body off the top rope, but Ziggler rolls through it for the first exciting moment of the match. Ziggler hits a nice dropkick and tries to follow with the Zig Zag, but Edge grabs the ropes. Edge follows by applying one of the sloppiest Sharpshooters I've ever seen. Hell, Nattie Neidhart does it 100 times better.
After a little bit of lollygagging, Ziggler hits the leaping leg drop, but only gets two. The two men lay around some more…this is boring with flecks of cool, as the crowd starts dueling Ziggler and Edge chants. Edge goes to the corner and starts making spear faces, but then he remembers he can't use it. Edge walks right into a sleeper, which lasts all of five seconds because we can't have Ziggler looking TOO credible. Edge ends up escaping and hitting the impaler DDT. The ref goes to make the cover and Vickie grabs his leg. Vickie's up on the apron to yell at the ref and Edge comes over to confront her. Ziggler tries to attack from behind, but Edge moves. Ziggler stops in time, but Edge gets a rollup (not of the fruit variety) for another two count. Vickie continues to verbally and physically assault Edge, and…Kelly Kelly comes out to make the save?!? What the holy hell?!? While Edge watches Kelly Kelly (and her admittedly adorable butt crack) beat up Vickie, Ziggler leaps up and hits the Zig Zag, but is slow in making the cover. Since Ziggler has been pretty much set up to be a tool, you know he's not going to get the win…and he doesn't.
Both men are down again, which has been the theme for this match. For some stupid reason, Ziggler applies another sleeper. At least this one lasts about 15 seconds, until Edge smacks the ref with Ziggler and then hits a jawbreaker. Edge sees that both Vickie and the referee are out, so he starts making funny faces until Ziggler gets up and eats a spear. Sweet Jesus, has this match been overbooked. Michael Cole is trying hard to be a mega-heel and he succeeds only in annoying the piss out of me. Edge pretends to be hurt and gets up just as the ref does. To sell his trickery, Edge hits the Killswitch to get the win. We get a great close up of Vicki with her fake eyelash coming off to put a cherry on this mediocrity sundae.
That match was okay. I guess it was good for a curtain-jerker match. Unfortunately, the booking was completely retarded. The "face" cheated to win, Kelly Kelly got involved in a feud that she had nothing to do with (What, was Kaitlyn busy?), and Dolph Ziggler looked like a toolbag loser who couldn't win with the deck stacked heavily in his favor. My buddies and I thought that Edge might get stripped of the title on SmackDown, but since Del Rio already chose to fight Edge at WrestleMania, that's not looking like it's going to happen.
Anyway, the show starts with an okay, if not overly impressive opening match. Let's see if we can improve on things at all.
After the match, we get a video package of the Orton vs. Miz feud, complete with the evil-stare Miz-hating girl. I've never really paid much attention to Miz's face, but he looks sorta' like a cross between a Muppet and a Simpson's character. I fast forward through a live interview with The Miz, and it's time…
Randy Orton vs. The Miz (with Alex Riley)
I cannot put into words how much Randy Orton looks like a lobotomy patient. I swear that Jonathan the zombie kid who likes turtles (take a look HERE if you don't know what I'm talking about) has a wider range of emotions than Randy Orton.
Michael Cole actually stands up and cheers for The Miz. Please, if anyone even remotely affiliated with the WWE reads this, please pass on this message to someone with some pull:
MICHAEL COLE IS NOT FUCKING BOBBY HEENAN. PLEASE CEASE AND DESIST TRYING TO MAKE HIM INTO BOBBY HEENAN. HE IS A COMPLETE FUCKING GOOFUS AND A SHITTY ANNOUNCER. HE IS BARELY BETTER THAN MARK MADDEN OR EVIL TONY SCHIAVONE. THANK YOU.
Caps lock off. Let's continue, shall we?
Anyway, the match starts with Randy Orton punching a lot. He tosses Miz outside and beats on him some more. Back in the ring, Orton kicks and stomps a lot. Someone in the crowd has obviously been hitting the Internet, as he or she has a Papa Shango sign. I guess that word is he might be in the Rumble.
As far as the match goes, Randy Orton is hitting more punches. I thought the heel was supposed to be the one to slow the pace down. After a bit, Miz distracts the ref and Alex Riley stuns Orton over the top rope. The Miz takes over with insanely basic heel offense (such as raking Orton's eyes on the ropes). Orton sells for about three seconds before tearing back into the Miz. Miz, however, regains control after Alex Riley pulls him out of the way of an Orton charge. After hitting his through-the-ropes clothesline in the corner, the pace slows to the speed of erosion. You know you're in for a fast-paced affair when both of your competitors are using rest holds 75 percent of the time.
Orton eventually escapes from a Miz rest hold (surprise surprise), but Miz gets in a knee and takes control again. Seriously, the most charismatic guy in this is Alex Riley. The crowd starts a chant that sounds like "Orton's butthole," but I can't make it out.
Things pick up a little during one sequence where both men block and duck moves and Orton ends up hitting a suplex. It's pretty awesome when a suplex is the most complicated move of the match. I feel like I'm watching WWF circa 1985.
Miz goes to the top and Orton stops him. Orton actually manages a superplex, but only gets an…actually, he gets like a four count, but the ref pauses for about two seconds on the count. More brawling follows, until Orton hits a pair of clotheslines and the 3.0 backbreaker. Orton tries for the suspended DDT, but Miz ends up tossing him to the outside. Alex Riley gets some more shots in, and Miz rolls Orton back in. Miz goes to the top again and actually hits a double axehandle. Didn't that move die with the likes of Macho Man Randy Savage?
Miz returns to another rest hold and my interest in this match is waning below the already-low level it was at the beginning of the match.
In an effort to regain my attention, the "action" spills to the outside. After a few seconds, Miz ends up slingshotting Orton to the post. Orton, master of selling that he is, makes it back in at the nine count and then acts as if nothing ever happened. It appears that even Sign Guy is bored with this match, as he's gone. Too bad, too, because he misses the Garvin Stomp as performed by Randy Orton.
After a few minutes of making odd lobotomy faces, Orton goes for what looks to be a piledriver (Is there any 80s move you won't do, Orton?), Riley interferes again, allowing Miz to hit his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo to get another two count. Man, this ref is the master of the delayed three. Hey, Sign Guy is back with his beer!
Another decent sequence sees both men block each other's finisher, with Orton getting the duke with an Angle Slam. The Miz even gets bored with this match, so he takes his belt and…oops, gets clotheslined by Orton. Another delayed count gets a two for Miz. Orton takes control again, punctuating things with the suspended DDT. He starts having a seizure, which I guess is the signal for the RKO, but Nexus comes out to make this match as overbooked as the first one. While the ref and Orton are distracted, Riley tries to sneak in the ring, Scooby Doo style. Unfortunately, Orton catches him and LAUNCHES his sorry ass into the Nexus members on the floor. Miz tries to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale on a distracted Orton, but Orton hits the RKO instead. You may think it's over, but CM Punk thinks otherwise, as he comes out to nail Orton with the GTS. He drags Miz's carcass over Orton and The Miz retains.
Wow, another overbooked illogical mess.
Winner: The Miz
That match was boring and didn't have a hint of psychology or suspense. In the first match, I knew Ziggler was going to lose and there were a still a couple of times where the ending was in doubt. Even though Orton was in control about 70 percent of the time, I never really though he was going to win. I also like CM Punk helping Miz. Why? Riley and Cole aren't enough? They should've had Kelly Kelly come out again…would've made as much sense. Also, they haven't even finished the Punk/Cena feud yet. Man, the WWE's storytelling is complete trash right now.
Somehow, Cody Rhodes merits a few minutes of time. If they're building to a Cody Rhodes/Rey Mysterio match at WrestleMania…err, I can't even think of an insult for it. The sheer apathy I feel for both guys sucks out my ability to mock it. The best part of the segment? The fact that they continuously show Rey Mysterio's knee coming NOWHERE NEAR RHODE'S FACE during the entire duration of the 619. He should, at the very worst, have a red welt on his chest.
The next bit is a series of interviews with fans telling who they think is going to win the Royal Rumble. There's one super-hot chick in the mix (twice, actually, as her tool boyfriend marks out for John Cena). The high point of the interviews is that some doofus is actually wearing a Drew McIntyre shirt. One of my running jokes on my SmackDown recaps is that the WWE is financially retarded for producing Drew McIntyre shirts. Even I can admit when I'm wrong; that was one more McIntyre shirt than I'd ever thought I'd see.
Oh boy, the divas match is next.
Laycool vs. Natalya
And in a stroke of genius, the GM is included in this PPV. I'm sure this was solely to taunt the "smarts" into thinking Awesome Kong was coming out. Yeah, instead, they're sticking a woman who hasn't fought in a match (at least not that I can even recall) in months.
Layla vs. Michelle McCool vs. Natalya vs. Eve Torres
The match is decent, but nothing special. The coolest parts are Natalya applying the Sharpshooter to both Layla and Eve as they lay on top of each other and Eve hitting a relatively competent moonsault.
The ends comes after said moonsault. Eve pins Layla while Michelle rolls up Natalya. Unfortunately, the ref was counting the Eve pin and she (for no reason I can even fathom) wins the match.
That match was pretty average, but I'm taking away a point because of the absolutely pointless booking. You couldn't put the strap back on Melina, Beth Phoenix, or even Gail Kim? All of them would be more logical choices. Is Eve really the best choice for Divas champ? I would put her only a notch or two over the Bellas and Kelly Kelly in the usefulness department. Man, the word of the evening has been "illogical."
After the match, we go to the back, where Daniel Bryan is with Gail Kim. As is the norm, the Bellas come in and a fight breaks out. I think I'd take half a Gail Kim before I'd take six Bellas.
Well, it's time for the Royal Rumble. I'm going to recap this by breaking the match into four parts, listing the competitors in that part (in order), and hitting the high points in each part.
Before we continue, we get to sit through the "by the numbers" segment again. Rest in peace, Mr. Perfect.
Royal Rumble Match
First 10: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Justin Gabriel, Zack Ryder, William Regal, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, Yoshi Tatsu, Husky Harris, Chavo Guerrero
Well, CM Punk, I'm guessing you're not going to win this thing. I'm going to make a bold prediction and say that Cena's going to toss him at some point.
Before the match starts, The Corre and Nexus come out and a brawl starts. I thought the WWE was going to do something stupid and throw out all the members, but the GM just evacuated them from the ring and allowed the match to start properly.
Daniel Bryan and CM Punk put on a mini-clinic that's 20 times more interesting than both championship matches so far. Bryan is even made to look credible, as he throws a couple guys (Ryder and Gabriel) out in the early going.
Regal also gets a chance to show off some his chops. Punk, Bryan, and Regal in the ring at the same time is the very definition of awesome.
There is one point where I thought Bryan was going to kick Regal's heart out of his back.
Another awesome spot sees John Morrison hit Paul Burchill's old move (the C-4), which is essentially a leaping backwards flipping Rock Bottom. This is one of the most amazing moves I've seen in the WWE.
Yet ANOTHER awesome spot occurs a few seconds later, as Regal tries to toss Morrison and HE CATCHES HIMSELF ON THE SECURITY BARRICADE. This move probably had a 20 percent chance of succeeding, but it did. Morrison caught the top of the barricade and his feet didn't hit the floor. He climbed the barricade, jumped to the ring steps and got back in the ring. If you can track this bit down on the Internet, it was really cool…probably the coolest thing I've seen in a Royal Rumble. During this bit, DiBiase tossed Regal…bummer.
When Husky Harris enters, it's obvious that the "protect CM Punk" angle is going to be in full swing. Some psychology in a match tonight? Weird!
For some reason, Chavo gets to look legit for a few seconds as he hits about ten suplexes in a row. Just thought that was worth mentioning, since it happens so seldom.
Second 10: Mark Henry, JTG, Joe Hennig (I'm not even going to use the other name), Chris Masters, David Otunga, Tyler Reks, Vladimir Kozlov, R-Truth, The Great Khali, Mason Ryan
Mark Henry pretty much instantly chucks Chavo. He follows by eliminating Tatsu. Thank God for fodder wrestlers.
At JTG (number 12), things kinda' slow down. Too many fodder guys. This is quickly remedied as Hennig enters and immediately dropkicks JTG out. Then, Hennig teams with Harris to chuck DiBiase. The beginning of the Nexus domination starts in this chunk of the match. Punk finally tosses Bryan, to a chorus of boos. Masters follows shortly after, as does John Morrison. Mark Henry is the last non-Nexus guy, and he doesn't last much longer, as the four Nexus guys toss him. Reks, Kozlov, and R-Truth are all eliminated within 30 seconds (with R-Truth being humorously mocked by Punk). Khali manages to toss Harris, but he's instantly replaced by "Baby Batista" Mason Ryan to round out the second set of 10. Khali is tossed by Ryan before the 21st guy can make it out.
Third 10: Booker T (!!!), John Cena, Hornswoggle, Tyson Kidd, Heath Slater, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, King Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, Wade Barrett
Booker T sends the crowd into a frenzy. Man, the WWE could use a guy like him. It's awesome how he only manages a minute or so of offense (and a Spin-a-rooni) before he's tossed. Welcome back, Book. The crowd boos the shit out of this decision, and rightfully so.
Obviously, the Nexus's domination stops at entrant number 22. Four on one? If one guy had a bazooka loaded with Kryptonite shells, maybe. Cena instantly tosses everyone but Punk. Sweet Jesus, is this guy a douche. Prepare to look impotent, CM Punk.
While I'm by no means a Hornswoggle fan, I get the whole Boston Celtics/leprechaun thing. Cena dumps Punk pretty much right after Hornswoggle's arrival. Way to make that feud look completely non-credible.
Tyson Kidd enters after Punk's tossed and immediately is made to look like Chavo 2.0, as Hornswoggle hits the Attitude Adjustment on him and Cena tosses him. It would've been funny if it wasn't so sad.
Heather Slater comes in, and…see the previous paragraph.
Admittedly funny spot sees Kingston use Hornswoggle as a stepstool to hit the BOOM BOOM leg drop Swagger.
Another funny spot sees Sheamus fling Hornswoggle down by his face and Hornswoggle steal a page out of Mick Foley's book and hit Sweet Shin Music. Sheamus wins his feud with Hornswoggle by booting him off the top rope. Epic.
Final nifty spot of this chunk sees Rey hit Swagger (who's standing on the apron) with a reverse 619 to eliminate him.
Final 10: Dolph Ziggler, Diesel (!!!), Drew McIntyre, Alex Riley, Big Show, Ezekiel Jackson, Santino Marella, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, Kane
I don't for the life of me understand putting Ziggler in the Rumble. It would've at least made sense if Vickie would've came out and screamed about replacing someone with Ziggler. He has no chance of winning, so why not put another jobber in? There are about a dozen useless guys they could've chosen from.
Diesel's entrance was pretty amazing. The fact that he took an hour to get in the ring and he looked nearly immobile when he got in was sorta' not amazing. Also, I'm noticing that when the big sloths enter the ring, the timer takes considerably less time to tick down. The "Let's Go Diesel," chants were pretty funny, though. The boos Wade Barrett got for eliminating him are equally humorous.
Also funny is how the tag team division is so weak, and the announcers keep selling Sheamus and McIntyre as kindred spirits….WHY NOT TEAM THEM UP, MORONS!?! They're not doing anything else (unless you count the totally awesome Kelly Kelly/McIntyre angle), why not team them up?
Big Show takes about 10 seconds to toss out Ziggler, affirming my point about him being a useless entrant. Drew McIntyre follows quickly thereafter. Ezekiel Jackson becomes by hero by instantly eliminating the Big Show. Wow, the big men are sucking it up royally this year.
Santino is hysterically knocked out about 12 seconds into his second Royal Rumble tenure. He rolls to the outside, and I'm assuming he'll do something silly later.
Alberto Del Rio's entrance is fantastic, since it takes him so long that the next guy (Randy Orton) kicks his ass halfway down the ramp.
Orton comes in and tosses Kofi and Sheamus right away. Why is he in this match? Also, why didn't he come after Punk (the guy who cost him the title) earlier in the match? Seriously, does the WWE writing staff even bother to read the storylines they write? I would at least expect continuity to last throughout one PPV.
Kane low bridges Zeke to eliminate him, which leaves six men (seven if you count Santino). Rey eliminates Kane (OH MY GOD…KANE DIDN'T ELIMINATE TEN GUYS?!?!), and then Barrett knees out Rey.
The final four are Barrett, Cena, Del Rio, and Orton. Cena and Orton square off and no one in the crowd gives a shit. I think they're still missing Diesel and Booker T.
Because Cena can in no way be beat fairly in a match EVER, Riley distracts Cena while Miz throws him out. It's good to see Cena not winning, but I'm pretty pissed about how it went down. Can't the guy EVER put anyone over clean?
The ending of the Rumble sees Orton toss Barrett and Del Rio immediately toss Orton. ALBERTO DEL RRRRRRRRIO WINS THE RRRRRRRRROYAL RRRRRRRRRRUMBLE!!
BUT WAIT!! It appears that Santino Marella is still in the match! While Del Rio is distracted thinking he's won the match, Santino rolls back in and primes up the COBRA! He hits it and then goes to town celebrating (complete with air trombone). Unfortunately for Santino, Del Rio flips the script and tosses him instead.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Okay, I can sum up this Royal Rumble with a simple metaphor. This year's main event was like a comedy movie in which all of the funny parts are in the commercial. This Royal Rumble had some good bits (Daniel Bryan's performance, the Morrison spot, Booker T, Diesel, some of Hornswoggle's antics, Santino's near win, and Alberto Del Rio's victory), but most of it was forgettable. I don't remember a Royal Rumble match in which so many guys didn't last longer than a minute. Why have 10 more guys if 15 guys lasted 30 seconds or less? Also, there were four or five guys (Darren Young, David Hart Smith, and a couple others) that were listed on the WWE's site as being entrants that weren't in the match. Was it really worth having Ziggler come out twice? It's not like he even did anything.
All in all, the Royal Rumble was like the rest of the card…okay, but not great…illogical if nothing else.
That's about it for me. I'm going to hand out my typical awards and call it a night.
The Really Great Thing of the Night: There are a lot of nominees for this, but I'm going to give it to John Morrison's completely awesome spot.
The Not So Great Thing of the Night: The complete and utter lack of logic or continuity in this PPV.
That's all for me! I'll see you on Friday night!
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).