The WWE held their annual Royal Rumble pay per view last night. The road to Wrestlemania has officially begun. Fan reaction on social media ranged from downright rage to over the top excitement over the results of the PPV. One thing I can say about the event was that there was no filler matches or unannounced time killers. Everything seemed to matter last night in the context of title hunts and setting up story lines. The Ring Time Pro Wrestling crew witnessed all and here is our breakdown of last night’s PPV.
US Champion Antonio Cesaro vs The Miz for the US title
The pre-show kicked off with The Miz facing Antonio Cesaro for the United States title. It was a good teaser because both of these participants would be in the Rumble match later on in the evening. It was a good back and forth between both men until Miz got slightly injured. The end result was Cesaro winning by pinfall and continuing his reign of US Champion.
World Champion Alberto Del Rio vs Big Show for the World Heavyweight Title
Of course I was a little upset that this match started off the event because I am old school and think main title matches should be main event or semi-main event. This is a rematch between Show and Del Rio as the Giant wanted to regain his title the same way he lost it. I thought overall the match was well executed and didn’t insult the fans intelligence. Even though Del Rio was the baby face it was apparent that he was going to have to be crafty to defeat the big man. They did not turn Alberto into a super hero who could with stand the huge punches from Big Show or over power the 7 footer. The match ended with Del Rio taking a page out of the John Cena book of how to win a last man standing match. With Show tied into a cross armbar by Del Rio, his assistant Ricardo Rodriguez duct taped the shows feet to ropes. So technically the Big Show could not stand. Del Rio retained and looks to be in position to hold the title for a little while.
Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars for the Titles
The second match of the evening was the tag team match up between The Rhodes Scholars and Team Hell No. Solid match between good teams. All members would participate in the Royal Rumble match later that evening. Kane and D-Bry were able to hold on to the titles and looked very solid doing so.
The 30 Man – Royal Rumble Match
Like many fans I complained about the placement of this match. It started at the top of the 2nd hour as opposed to being the main event. That being said it was still an exciting match and the good news is the WWE was the main event. The match started off electric with the surprise entrance of Chris Jericho at the number 2 position. We even got to see the Rhodes brothers in the ring at the same time. As Golddust returned to the Rumble to compete alongside and against his brother Cody.
There was a lot of good action and few possible stories may have gotten rolling by this match. Ziggler looked real good just wish he would have made into the final 4 but the 50 minutes were solid. The final 3 were Sheamus, John Cena and Ryback. With Sheamus going out first of the 3 we were down to Cena vs Ryback. The WWE proved that they were going with the money by Cena going over. The goal right now does not appear to build for the future but get the big money now.
Surprise Entries this year
– Chris Jericho
– The Godfather
MVP of the Rumble
– Chris Jericho
After returning from a long layoff Jericho had the crowd electrified. Going a solid 47 minutes taking on all comers.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs The Rock for the WWE Championship
The main event was the showdown we have been waiting on for months. CM Punk vs The Rock for the biggest prize in the game. The match started off with a good pace and going back and forth. Not sure if Rock got tired but the match did take a slow down after about 5 minutes. The match was going good until the arena went dark and The Rock was attacked. Most people believe it was The Shield but it was dark so there maybe a story there. Of course at this moment I was upset and thought what a horrible finish. Then came the Chairman of the Board to fix the situation and strip CM Punk. Instead at the suggestion of The Rock the match restarted.
After the restart the match ended kind of quick. It was a pretty much a spine buster followed by a People’s Elbow. No Rock Bottom or CM Punk taking control early since he is facing a man recovering from an attack. Once again the WWE went for the money over the creative ending. Going forward we will how the company will book the matches going into Wrestlemania.
Overall Grade : B –
Keith B. Holt