I caught the beginning of the New Age Outlaws eventual win over Cody Rhodes & Goldust but not the actual victory so I’ll post those thoughts after I actually watch the match. (Next Day Note: I got the chance to watch this one this morning. It was a solid match. It’s still mildly confusing that the WWE puts people, in this instance the New Age Outlawas, in a heel spot while the crowd cheers them. I also don’t like that the bevy of young teams get to sit back and watch this go on. I enjoy the NAO when they come out from time to time but I don’t want to see them on the regular. I will until Wrestlemania at least though.)
The Royal Rumble itself starts with Daniel Bryan taking on Bray Wyatt. I also haven’t done the best of watching this one either. Although as Daniel Bryan gets momentum, it’s a little odd that they’re using this PPV in particular for Wyatt’s coming out party. Bryan goes for a Yes Lock but Wyatt bites his way out of it. Jerry Lawler & JBL do a good job of covering for Bryan doing a splash instead of the Flying Goat Head butt. Wyatt turns a suicide dive into Sister Abigail into the barricade. Sister Abigail in the ring for the win. Um, okay. What does Bryan get as a return win? Why did the Wyatt Family just leave Bryan alone after the match? It makes no sense. Weren’t they promise to bring hell fire and brim stone down on Bryan?
Paul Heyman cuts a brilliant promo. He talks up Big Show then puts over his own talent in Brock Lesnar. Ben Roethlisberger is in attendance. Josh Matthews gets to play in studio host with Ric Flair, Jim Duggan and HBK. I feel like I’ve read about these segments but haven’t sat thru their uncomfortableness. It’s the exact reason I don’t watch studio shows for baseball, basketball, football, hockey or soccer.
Brock Lesnar gets a jump on Big Show. Heyman then gives him a chair. Lesnar beats down Show with the chair. JBL trying to defend Lesnar’s tactics is ill advised. I’m not sure why Mike Chioda is letting this happen. Big Show punches Lesnar after Chioda finally calls for the bell. I figured the chair would get punched into Lesnar’s face. Big Show is doing a good job of selling the chair beat down. Gigantic F5. Lesnar almost lost his balance but he kept it. Lesnar still looking worse for wear. Lesnar grabs another chair. Lesnar going out of his way to hit the back even as Big Show is laying on it. Should Stephanie come out and give Lesnar similar advice that she gave to Randy Orton earlier this week since he’s number one contender? Big show has got to be hurting. I’m not quite sure the point of this segment. I can understand reinforcing the anger angle but it drug out a bit longer than I’d like.
Solid promo out of the Shield. Seth Rollins playing peace keeper. Roman Reigns talking about his swagger was an indication he isn’t going to win. Dean Ambrose cracks me up a little bit. Randy Orton talks down all of his possible opponent. Renee Young in the leather jacket is cracking me up. Is she part of the Greasers? Randy Orton took so long getting down to the ring that I had time to drop off the scorpion peppers I ate last night. I can’t sit down. John Cena makes short order of his entrance. The beginning of this match is slow, which isn’t entirely bad. Cena cracks me up when he takes the stairs because he ducks down into them and pushes them up and away from him. (Next Day Note: Cena’s trying to make it look like it hurts more because of how far the stairs go but it just makes it look more fake to me.) Orton goes for a pin after a DDT but only gets two. I love Orton trolling the crowd. He gets an electric chair for the trolling. Cena and Orton fight back and forth. Cena’s top rope leg drop is awful. I’d have him take that out of his arsenal before any other move. A 2nd countered AA means that the third one will be the charm. Orton does the hanging DDT from the ring apron onto the floor mats. Orton rolls him back in but doesn’t get the pin. Cena locks in the STF but Orton gets to the rope. Orton hangs Cena out to dry. The referee gets knocked out. Of course this would happen in a tradition match. I feel like the WWE has gotten away from the ref bumps. I could be very wrong. Orton nails Cena with the belt. By the time Charles Robinson is awake, Cena kicks out. AA but Orton kicks out. The lady & I aren’t completely sure if the crowd is chanting “This is awful.” RKO but Cena kicks out. The lay out of this match has been odd. I thought they were getting into second gear but it jumped to third. Orton locks in the STF sleeper style. Cena transitions into a cross face. AA to Cena only gets a two count. Cena with the RKO but another kick out. Nice of Orton to jump up on Cena’s shoulders. Tornado DDT by Cena after an Orton reversal. Cena locks in the STF again. Cena drags him into the middle of the ring. The Wyatts music hits. Cena goes after the Wyatts. Randy Orton nails the RKO for the win. Orton walks out thru the crowd. The Wyatts attack John Cena. Sister Abigail. Interesting turn of events. The only reason I have to think Wyatt is a threat is his win earlier tonight, which also came out of nowhere.
Renee Young is getting a work out. Road Dogg gets to correct her and do his introduction a second time tonight. Interesting clean finish. I’m not sure why the old guys are getting the title reigns while the young guys who are getting the crowds into the product are not. Is this so Punk can have more conspiracy theory material? We get more Josh Matthews and the round table. Hacksaw picks my boy Dolph Ziggler for some reason. Shawn Michaels picks The Shield & CM Punk and Ric Flair goes with Batista. My lady thinks that Shawn Michaels is Kirk Herbstreit, Ric Flair is Lee Corso, Hacksaw is Desmond Howard and Matthews is Chris Fowler.
CM Punk starts the Royal Rumble against Seth Rollins. Nice. Punk goes on the attack. Both go for an early toss out. They’re both down as Damien Sandow comes in. I was wondering if they’d have the Shield beat down Punk to fuel the conspiracy theory. Nothing much happens before Cody Rhodes comes in the ring. Him and Sandow go at it. Makes sense with their history. Sandow is back dropped out by Punk. Rhodes & Punk work over Rollins. Kane comes in. Kane takes down Rhodes then goes after Punk. Kane gets tossed out by Punk after a kick to the head. Alexander Rusev from NXT comes in at #6. Rusev only has foot wraps on. Jack Swagger is #7. Zeb Colter’s sign cracks me up. Kofi Kingston gets to have a spot again this year. The ring is just filling up. Jimmy Uso hits the ring. He goes after everyone which makes no sense. Goldust hits the ring at #10. A team up effort eliminates Rusev. Kofi Kingston is caught by Rusev who leaves him on the barricade. Holy shit, Kofi makes it from the barricade to the ring. He’s a spot monkey with some serious hops. Dean Ambrose is the next in the ring. Dolph Ziggler is the dozen mark. “Let’s go Ziggler.” Those are my peeps. R Truth is the next one up. R Truth gets eliminated by a Dean Ambrose drop kick. Jimmy gets tossed off the top rope for another elimination. Kevin Nash comes out at #14. He tosses Swagger. Kofi Kingston got to have another near elimination. Roman Reigns is in there at #15. Reigns tosses Kofi. Ziggler attacks Reigns. Spear and Ziggler gets tossed. Reigns low bridges Nash for a third elimination.
To break up the text, the Great Khali. Superman punch by Reigns helps the Shield toss Khali. Goldust and Cody Rhodes get tossed back to back. Sheamus makes his reappearance. Clubbing blows on Dean Ambrose. Sheamus has taken the Shield out but couldn’t toss anyone. The Miz gets a late entrance. We’re at a one to one heel to face ratio. Fandango comes out next. The match is back to the build up phase. El Torito is #20. Nice. Fandango gets eliminated by El Torito. Reigns tosses El Torito onto Fandango. Antonio Cesaro is the next entrant. Zeb Colter’s sign isn’t as good the second time. Seth Rollins is taking a serious Big Swing. Luke Harper is the next man in. Jey Uso getting a late slot. Harper and Cesaro trading blows was fun. JBL is an entrant. He goes in in his full suit. Reigns tosses JBL as he gives his jacket to Mitchell Cool. Erick Rowan is #25. Him and Harper team up to eliminate the Miz. Both factions are in the ring. Harper & Rowan also toss out Jey Uso. Ryback hits the ring. He goes after Cesaro. Sheamus gets into a brawl with Cesaro. Antonio has been a fun part of the match. Alberto Del Rio is out at #27. The Shield and Wyatts faced off for a bit but nothing meaningful. Batista is the next one out. Batista tosses Erick Rowan. Ryback shows down with Batista. The later back drops Ryback out. Batista tosses Del Rio. Big E Langston hits the ring. Rey Mysterio is the last entrant. The crowd boos the decision.
Time to start another paragraph. Sheamus eliminates Big E. Seth Rollins gives Rey an enziguri to eliminate him. Superman punch eliminates Luke Harper. Reigns tosses Cesaro, Ambrose & Rollins. Reigns walks into a spine buster. They did the finisher spot for the final four. Kane eliminates Punk. Kane then choke slams Punk thru the Spanish announce table. (Next Day Note: My woman wondered why this is allowed to happen. I’d love to know since they use it all of the time. Shouldn’t the WWE come down on the offending party like the NFL did to Mike Tomlin for his sideline interference or the like the NBA did to Jason Kidd for spilling water?) Batista, Sheamus and Reigns struggle to get to their feet. Sheamus is the first Wrestlemania sign pointer of the year, I think. Reigns tosses an injured Sheamus. (Next Day Note: Batista had done the injuring while Reigns got to do the tossing so he could have the elimination record as a parting gift.) Batista and Reigns are the final two. The crowd seems anti-Batista. Roman Reigns! Roman Reigns! Batista spears Reigns. Batista plays to the crowd and gets speared by Reigns. Batista reverses a toss out for the win. That’s kind of a weak elimination for such a struggle between two power guys. Interesting reaction by the crowd. Batista gets fireworks for his finger point. (Next Day Note: This match is brutal to write because you’ve got no time to riff. The wrestling moves are limited because of the style of match. You have to note the comings and goings which is why the last three paragraphs look like a John Cena shirt.) – Kevin