Monday, January 28, 2013

Rumble Gets Rocked

The Rock is Mania bound
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

The 2013 Royal Rumble is in the books. Heads up, this blog is going to be full of anger, snark and stereotypical Internet wrestling fan rage. If you’ve been reading my123cents for the at least two weeks or listened to last week’s From the Rafter’s radio show then you know everything we didn’t want to see happen at the Royal Rumble happened. Before I get into the complaining let me get the positives out of the way.

For the most part there wasn’t anything bad on the show from a pure wrestling standpoint. All the matches were laid out well and the in-ring action was perfectly acceptable. If I weren’t one to think about the outcomes and how it plays into a bigger picture, I wouldn’t have any issues with the show. So at least there’s that. Add in some genuine surprises into the Royal Rumble match (Chris Jericho, Godfather) and I would definitely think the show was worth the $15 I spent on food at Buffalo Wild Wings while watching the show. Unfortunately I look at the bigger picture and that picture resembles that refurbished picture of Jesus the old lady tried to touch up.

Last Man Standing
Del Rio retains
Photo courtesy: WWE
I don’t get why Big Show and Alberto Del Rio had another Last Man Standing match instead of a different gimmick, or straight up match. The match was perfectly fine as long as you overlook the logical gap of every Big Show match in which you wonder why he doesn’t punch his opponents in the face right from the beginning. While the match was fine, I didn’t like the ending. Ricardo Rodriguez duct tapes Big Show’s feet to the bottom rope preventing Show from getting back to his feet before the 10 count is administered. Yes, Big Show didn’t get back to his feet, however he was clearly trying to get up. To me the referee should have realized there was no way for Big Show to stand while his feet were taped and thus remove the tape before making a 10 count. Guessing we’ll get a rematch on RAW or Smackdown and then Big Show will be one of the competitors in the Elimination Chamber match at the next pay per view.

I was surprised to see Team Hell No defeat Team Rhodes Scholars. I don’t know where Kane and Daniel Bryan go from here. The Primetime Players have fallen down to non-serious contenders. The Usos and Primo/Epico haven’t been presented as potential contenders for the past couple of months. Hunico and Camacho’s bicycle must have gotten a flat tire, as they haven’t been seen in some time. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara returned during the Royal Rumble but if the rumors of the two of them squaring off at Wrestlemania are true, then there’s really no reason for them to get a tag-title shot. Maybe Hell No will renew their feud with the Shield. Or maybe we’ll get more Dr. Shelby and wacky skits and hope fans don’t realize the tag titles aren’t being defended.

Y2J Returns
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
The Royal Rumble match was well laid out. As mentioned before, the return of Chris Jericho was a surprise and actually played into a storyline from more than a month ago. I don’t know if Y2J is back or if this was just a one-time event. I hope he’s not back just through Wrestlemania as I don’t like part-time guys taking Wrestlemania slots.

The return of Goldust was a nice surprise and I would really like to see a Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes match at Wrestlemania. Maybe throw in Dusty Rhodes as special guest referee.  For the second year in a row, Kofi Kingston wins the award for most creative way to avoid elimination.

Cena wins
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
As exciting as the Royal Rumble match was, the ending killed not only the match but was the first step in making me dislike the show as a whole. John Cena winning his second Rumble foreshadowed a Rock victory and made me not interested in Wrestlemania 29. Cena is the holder of the “Being John Cena” title, which allows him a title match whenever he wants one. Instead of having Cena win, whoever is going to challenge for the World title should have won the Rumble. Though I suspect that Cena winning the guaranteed title shot at Wrestlemania is a way for WWE to claim last year’s promotion of Rock/Cena as “once in a lifetime” wasn’t a lie. “Cena just happened to win a title show and Rock is champion, it’s not like we set up that way.” 

During the Punk Rock match, I thought they might have Punk retain the title because a Rock victory seemed too obvious. If Punk retained, Rock could still win the title at Elimination Chamber and go on to face Cena at Wrestlemania. Because I had this thought, when Punk pinned Rock, I wasn’t too shocked. However my spirits were deflated and every bad thought I had came to a head once Vince McMahon came out to address CM Punk.

Punk wins...for a minute
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
Due to the lights going out during the match and Rock apparently being attacked, I think maybe he just slipped, Vince claimed The Shield had helped CM Punk and pre-match stipulation declared if this happened Punk would be stripped of the title. The Rock grabbed a mic and said they weren’t going to end that way and demanded the match be restarted. One People’s Elbow later, the Rock ended CM Punk’s 400-day title reign.

This ending was pure dreck on many levels.  First off, Vince had no proof the Shield interfered. Who’s to say Rock didn’t arrange for the lights to be turned off so he could get Punk stripped of the title? Rock beating Punk with one of the weakest wrestling moves in the history of wrestling was also frustrating. Here’s a guy who has been champion for over 400 days, has defeated some of the best wrestlers on the roster and he gets beat after a movie star who’s wrestled two matches in ten years hits him with an elbow drop. Could they have made Punk’s title reign look any more pointless?

Now unless there’s some major shake up at Elimination Chamber, The Rock will defend the WWE title at Wrestlemania against John Cena. I have not heard one person who has said they want to see this rematch. Had I taken a survey at Buffalo Wild Wings, I may have gotten a handful of people who were excited for the match. In my opinion, Rock/Cena was the laziest booking decision that could have been made.

Seventy days until Wrestlemania and I have very little interest in the show. WWE really needs to build a strong undercard to make Wrestlemania 29 not be the weakest show on a weekend full of shows. Right now, I don’t have high hopes.  

1 comment:

  1. As much as the internet wrestling fans would love to see guys like Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, and many others move into the top spots, the WWE is still a business and as a business, their #1 priority is to make money. WWE is now "PG" and seems to concentrate on younger fans. As we all can see, Cena sells A LOT of merchandise. Kids love Cena and that seems to be enough to have WWE keep him in title contention year after year. As for the Rock, many of his movies have been geared towards kids. So not only does he get a pop from fans of the Attitude Era, kids gravitate towards him as well. As long as the WWE feels that these performers can sell the most tickets and merchandise (= more $), they will continue with this formula.