Our co-host Simon Iles was unavailable for comment this week so find a slightly longer rant/review from @Leeleemu.
James Partridge (@Goofy Villain)
The Royal Rumble was this past weekend and I found it quite an enjoyable event. I guess the unpredictable nature of the event was a good thing though, don’t want everything to be so easy to call, otherwise there’s no real point in paying for the Pay Per Views.
The Steel Cage match worked well for me, despite one third of the competitors being injured going into this. Due to this, I felt Daniel Bryan and Big Show covered the rest of the match fine. Despite it not lasting long, the match did it’s job, and credit to WWE for a different way of ending a cage match.
It was nice to see the Divas added to the mix, even better to see 8 Divas Tag rather then a usual 1 vs 1 title match. While this also didn’t last too long, it was interesting to notice Beth’s attitude, I feel a problem between her and Natalya developing.
Kane and John Cena was OK, and with no winner, it keeps the feud going one more month, allowing Cena to fill time before his feud with Dwayne, and keep him away from the title. The only downside for me, was Zack and Eve’s involvment, not neccessary for me.
The WWE Title match was good, better than I expected. Just thankful ol’ clown shoes didn’t get involved much. I did think Ziggler might win once Punk had lost the chance not once but twice, but was pleased when the Chicago star retained.
As for the Rumble match itself, I did feel a bit let down by it. I felt the star power was missing this time, and the surprise entrants weren’t as exciting as past events. I also didn’t like seeing all 3 commentators enter. Having said that, I’m happy with Sheamus winning, he had a good 2011 and barely got any rewards, nice to see he now has a title shot at Wrestlemania to start 2012.
The Undertaker returned once more the next night on Raw, and while I’m always glad to see the Deadman return, I was a bit uneasy as he stared down HHH…do we really need a 3rd installment of this? I’m not so sure.
Finally, there’s been a lot made about Great Khali taking a spot in Smackdown’s Elimination chamber. I don’t actually feel he’ll make it. I can see a more Charismatic guy returning to take his place…Captain Charisma anyone? 😉
Lee Charleton (@Leeleemu)
So the Road to WrestleMania officially began last week with the Royal Rumble, and Sheamus has become the Number One Contender for a Title match at WrestleMania 28. Well I can’t say I am not disappointed as I thought this Rumble was by far the worst in recent memory, not only did the Rumble have a distinct lack of star power within it, the only memorable moment to me were Kofi handstanding his way back into the ring and Kharma’s return to eliminate someone who shouldn’t have been in it in the first place.
Fair enough, seeing Booker T enter the Rumble is something I can live and it was nostalgia to see Road Dogg but with Jim Duggan, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Mick Foley along with the returning Kharma, Khali and Ricardo (even though quite funny), that’s 9 spots in the Rumble wasted.
Worst yet was the booking of the entire Rumble match itself, they missed the opportunity to help push Brodus Clay and someone like Mason Ryan by not even utilising them and they had their main draws come in at the end. It just seemed anti-climatic. Chris Jericho’s claims of the world ending as we know it has irked me and I can’t be bothered to even rant as to be honest, I am starting to get sick of him working the audience over Twitter only for us to not see any results worth paying our hard earned money for.
Furthermore, the event itself felt lacklustre, even the excellent Punk v Ziggler match for me was affected by the almost bizarre and pathetic use of the Laurinaitis/Punk storyline. Instead of using Foley’s spot in the Rumble, they could have used Foley to help Punk win, to set up a potential feud for power further down the line.
Even the Kane / Cena match, although decent was overshadowed by the pointless use of Kane once again demolishing Zack Ryder, they could have had Ryder in the Rumble match instead of getting assaulted yet again. They are not going to turn Cena heel, so this embrace the hate storyline for me is as useful as a chocolate tea pot.
I will give WWE their credit, they have produced entertaining TV the last few months and they have managed to keep us guessing but every time they get to a stage where they can take the product to the next level, they just fail to utilise the position they are in with bad booking.
Raw and Smackdown failed to improve matters in my opinion, why just come out and announce the participants for the Chamber matches, why not have some qualifying matches for it to help build younger talent and as for the farting Natalya angle and Santino teaming up with pointless partners, I just have to think what is going on. I just find it amazing how last week everything seemed so positive and with one PPV and two TV shows, WWE have once again made me think, what the hell is going on! Even with HHH vs. Taker, I don’t want to see it again, why make it about them, Taker can keep his streak but help build the next Stars of the future, he should be facing someone like Ziggler or Cody to help take them to the next level, but instead we will be forced to see another HHH v Taker match.
Anyway, on the horizon I can at least see the positive plans heading to Wrestlemania and I will leave you what I think will be the Top Four Matches at Mania this year:
John Cena vs. The Rock (Embrace the Hate Match)
HHH vs. The Undertaker (Career v Streak w/Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee)
CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Title Match)
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus (WHC Match)
I don’t really mind Khali being in the E.C., because it could be fun to watch him throw people around in the structure. I’d rather see Christian, but maybe they are going to use him in a different way.
I wouldn’t mind Khali in either to be honest, just saw the usual “OMG! Why is he in? What a waste!!” reaction Friday night on tumblr/twitter! Just a feeling I have though, Khali attacked by Mahal backstage, an empty spot, in comes Christian to set up him v Sheamus…after all, they never really finished their feud.
I would mark out for some Khali handwalking. 🙂
Seems several people aren’t too sure about Taker-HHH 3.
Hmm… how about…: HHH has lost confidence in his abilities (the vote of no confidence scarred him). So, he hand picks someone to take his place against Undertaker; Sheamus! He’ll now have to choose between a chance at the World title or an opportunity to end the streak.
The match is fresh, and Sheamus is a believable, young opponent. And if I’m booking, Taker’s going 19-1 by gawd!
I wouldn’t mind HHH-Taker 3, but it’ll be better to use a young talent (Like Sheamus) and even if Taker wins, it still will put Sheamus over more because he faced Taker at WM.
I like the thinking there. Personally, I’d do it the way they did with Randy Orton a few years ago. Build it up well, and make it seem like the younger guy CAN break the streak. Give us a good gripping back and forth match with close calls, and even if Taker wins, his opponent can still look good coming out of it!
Exactly. I don’t know why they won’t actually do this. it really makes you think what the WWE creative members do all day.
Yeah, I’m not sure if it will be Taker/HHH. If it is, I won’t mind.
I don’t want to see Taker/HHH again. Even though Mick is in great shape I’d rather see him face Taker than a repeat.
I agree with Lee totally, 9 spots that weren’t used so well. Ricardo was funny, and I enjoyed it. Booker was cool. I can also handle Lawler as he’s one of the best workers they have. Michael Cole shouldn’t have been in the Rumble, but it worked out perfect for Kharmas return.
I saw former WWE writer Seth Mates saying how Jericho not winning killed his momentum but I don’t agree. I’ve seen a few people say that but to me he didn’t need to win the Rumble. So glad to see a younger guy like Sheamus win the rumble.
Yes, you’re right both of you IMO. 9 spots is too many. I enjoyed seeing them but made the Rumble seem crap. There seemed to be a very good reason for that, Jason Powell said it on livecast, forget the reason but whatever it was….it was to do with setting standards for future Rumbles, very interesting. I’ll try to find his explanation again. He’s the only man I’d pay money too for extra wrestling content.
Start an online petition to get the Rumble back to 40 people so they would have room for those types of spots.
From hearing Powell’s theory on the Rumble, it actually made sense to have a bad Rumble this year in order to have better Rumbles in the upcoming years. It had something to do with Sheamus winning it, something about making him stand out as it came to the last 5 or something, I can’t remember but his reason was good.
Must say I forgot the article this week. My bad! Overall I agree with what Lee has to say. Sheamus has just under two months to convince me. Game on for the Celtic Warrior.
However, I think we may see Punk lose the WWE title to a heel, see Sheamus challenge them and have Orton-Bryan. I so want Punk to walk in as champ, though.
I wouldn’t mind if he lost it to Jericho at EC and Punk would be on a quest to regain what he claims is his; the WWE title leading to WM.
I want to see Punk and D-Bryan to keep the straps til mania. Not even because I love the RoH crowd in the main events, but I feel that in the run in to mania they need long running champions to make the titles look strong. Previous wrestlemanias have suffered IMO when the belt has swapped hands at the previous months PPV.