Looking over last week’s event.
Welp, the Royal Rumble for 2016 has come and gone. The “road to Wrestlemania” has already started and with so many major stars out for the next number of months, it may be a rocky one. But before we start worrying about how the hell WWE is going to fill 100,000 plus with a dwindled roster, we got to get over the hump of this event. So, let’s break things down match by match.
Pre-show match: Dudleys V/S Ascension v/s Henry/Swagger V/S Sandow/Young
There wasn’t a lot of expectation that this match was necessarily going to be a good one. It wasn’t terrible but seemed like they got lost out there multiple times and guys were missing their cues a lot. The big surprise had to be the insane reaction for Damien Sandow. Here is a guy who hasn’t had much of anything for about a year now, largely kept off TV for months, and then comes out and gets more reaction that the guys who’ve been on RAW every week. Even he was surprised by the reaction. I’d hope it would lead to something, but let’s face it, it won’t.
Last man Standing: Dean Ambrose V/S Kevin Owens
This was a great way to start the event and get people fired up! Both guys got creative with the ways they beat on each others, especially when using an IPad as a weapon. They went all out and didn’t screw around too much. Both guys had to have been beaten up coming out of the match let alone to come back a few hours later and go in the rumble. Both guys get my kudos for that.
Tag Titles: New Day V/S Usos
A bit of a cool down after that. These guys have just faced each other way to many times to make something new out of it. Here’s hoping to get something new going on in the tag division since while these teams have decent matches, it’s been done to death.
US Title: Alberto Del Rio V/S Kalisto
This is about as Lucha as the WWE is ever going to get. Going in I thought (along with others) this was just going to be a filler squash match, but that was not the case. Both guys went out there made this match actually worth something. While there were some missed moves (especially that scary moment where Kalisto went down right on his neck) if you watch real Mexican Lucha Libre it’s to be expected. This match exceeded the expectations put on it.
Divas Title: Charlotte V/S Becky Lynch
This match was all right. It was good but wasn’t anything over the matches they’ve been having on free TV. The ending was goofy as hell though with Flair using his jacket over Lynch’s head. Really? THAT’S is the best Ric Flair heel interference they could come up with? It seems they’ve pretty much moved on from this as Sasha Banks got her “return” after the match and disposed of Lynch as quickly as possible. They put something into this match, but meh, the catty “they all hate each other” bullshit doesn’t work for me.
The Rumble match:
All right the meat of the meal. Honestly the only reason anyone cares about this show at all is for the rumble match and little else. Since this match went about an hour or so there were lots of points that I noticed as I watched it.
Obviously the main focus during the match was Roman Reigns, but it was a different kind of feeling. For me, it wasn’t a case of if he was going to win, more like it was wondering who would eliminate him and who would win the belt. I have no problem with that, and by the sound of the cheers he got when he got dumped out, neither did to many others. For what they seem to be building too, that’s not a good sign. It also didn’t help when he was “taken to the back” and wasn’t it the ring. Last year’s showing from him was terrible when he just hung around and did nothing, but having him not even out there was even worse. You might as well put up a big sign that says “This guy can’t go for that long”. Not things you want people to notice for the guy who is supposed to be the next big star.
Outside of Roman, there didn’t seem to be any interest the WWE had in the match. People who in most years were treated like threats were dumped out like nothing. Hell even BROCK LESNAR seemed almost secondary in the match. He should have been tossing guys out left and right, but he was in the match for less than 10 minutes and only tossed out 4 guys. Conversely, Chris Jericho of all people lasted nearly an hour, and only tossed out one person. Why was Chris Jericho in the match so long? His “comebacks” have less affect each time he does, he is only there putting guys over, and then he bails to go sing again.
The leads me to another point. During one part of the match you had Roman, Styles, and then a string of past their prime attitude era guys all in the ring. I understand you need to have a lot of bodies out there for the Rumble, but if that isn’t a sign that the roster needs to be freshened up more, I don’t know what is.
Finally, the ending. Las Vega had Triple H as the favorite to win the match, and he was supposed to be the big surprise. I have no problem of him being in the match but there is no way in hell he should be winning it, let alone being for the Title. There were no tricks, no over the top interference at the end. Literally a 50 something, mostly retired, Triple H walks in, dumps out FOUR top WWE guys (Wyatt, Ziggler, Reigns, Ambrose) with no real effort or help and becomes champion again. I get the roster is a bit short, but this is NOT what the WWE needs right now. Off the top of my head I can name four or five guys that could have been more compelling winners of this Rumble and set up better main event matches that hauling out “ol’ knobby knees” for a useless run at the title so he can say he main evented for 100,000 people and “pass the torch” he’s never really had to one of his pet projects.
Some people have given this show a pass, saying it broke the streak of Rumbles that ended terribly, but I don’t. The show was good, don’t get me wrong, but how you end a show like this counts a lot and I think they blew it once again. If Roman Reigns is supposed to be the big good guy, why is it people were cheering when he was tossed out? Is that what you want the biggest Wrestlemania of all time to look like, having that many people booing the hell out of the guy who you want to be the face of the company?
The WWE could have done much better than this, but instead we are treated to Triple H playing Mary sue with the writing team. I don’t think they learned anything from the last two years, and that they may have the biggest disaster of Wrestlemanias if they keep this going.
See you all next week!
You can visit my website HERE
You can see my published work HERE
You can contact me on my Twitter HERE
and remember, I’m a candidate for President of the United States in 2016!