Just got back from watching the Royal Rumble on PPV with Nick Mamatas. I brought the ribs (from Looney’s in North Oakland, which was very tasty, though the coleslaw wasn’t as good as the corn bread), he got the rumble!
In the Royal Rumble, you have thirty wrestlers compete. You start with two, and every ten minutes (which was suspiciously closer to five minutes) a new one is sent in. You can only be eliminated if you are thrown over the top rope and have both feet hit the ground. It’s one of the few wrestling events where it’s hard to guess who is going to “win.” The winner gets a title shot at Wrestlemania.
And, man, was it a mixed bag with a few high lights and lots of lowlights. How can you tell the difference? If Nick and I aren’t talking during the match, it’s good! We talked a lot during this Royal Rumble!
1. Announcers who don’t know the names of moves and don’t seem to be calling the matches as much as hyping the next event, just in case we forgot in the four seconds between mentions what the hell a “wrestlemania” was.
2. The first half of the Rumble was a jobberfest of the most epic proportion. Mid and low card talent bouncing around without a chance because none of them can headline Wrestlemania. What few guys had storylines coming into the match (like Wade Barrett) didn’t focus on it (and neither did the announcers). No major names showed up until the last five or so entries, which essentially made it the waiting game.
3. Announcers, retired wrestlers, and folks who had competed earlier could participate . . . which was as boring as it was tiring! I half expected midgets, Doink the Clown, and the Federettes to show up for no reason. In fact, that would have been awesome.
What were the highlights?
1. CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler (title match, not part of the rumble): two younger athletes who did a great little set and could hold my attention for longer than two minutes. Some funny dialog and reversals made for some good rasslin.
2. Koffi Kingston’s walking-hand-stand survival against the odds! Nice!
3. Sheamus Wins! Did not see it coming, figuring they would push Chris Jericho, but it was a nice finish (that the crowd seemed kind of bored with . . . since there doesn’t seem to be a storyline tied to it). But still, nice surprise!
So, a minor Rumble. I seem to recall previous Rumbles doing a better job building toward Wrestlemania, but since one of the headliners of WM isn’t wrestling (the Rock is too busy staring in box office gold!), it seems they are just not taking any chance of having something great upsetting the main event of John Cena vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania. Which, considering the show has to go on with the Rock afterwards seems short sighted. He can only come out of retirement so many times before people get bored.
Oh well, the ribs and commentary we provided was awesome!