WWE Royal Rumble 2012

World Wrestling Entertainment Proudly Presents…

WWE Royal Rumble 2012

Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only wrestling blog that gives you Rumbles while making you wait for the Rumble, Cewsh Reviews!  We have a special treat for you tonight as we take the first solid step towards Wrestlemania with WWE Royal Rumble 2012.  Now for us at Cewsh Reviews, the Royal Rumble is a special time of year.  Parties are had, wagers are struck and along with hundreds of thousands of others we hunker down in front of our tvs to be sucked in by the kickoff to the Road to Wrestlemania and what is possibly the biggest single match of the wrestling year.  And if you like unpredictability, boy is this year right down your alley, because there is no certain winner or even any real favorite for the first time in recent memory as numerous guys bucking for that top spot arrive here ready to take the spotlight.  So for a match, and an event, of this magnitude, we roped in a ragged band of outlaws to review with us this year, including our always crotchety historian of these dusty trails, Maverick MichaelC, our former Raw reviewer who is so bad his name includes his body count, Killer Kyle_242 and the man so crazy they just call him Psycho.  We’re here to russell up some varmints and maybe even review some wrestling matches along the way.  So kick back, tip your saloon waitress and enjoy the show.  Its Rumble season, baby!

So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!


Segment 1 – OPENING VIDEO FEVER!

Cewsh: Ah, the Royal Rumble.  That one special night each where where WWE happens to know what statistics are and bothers to keep track of them.  Here, though, they concentrate more on the whole Kane/Cena thing and MUCH more on Punk/Laurenitus, with a possible sprinkling of Dolph Ziggler in there too if you count arms and legs getting in the shot.  I guess he’s in that match too?  Its kind of hard to tell.

MichaelC:  Pretty standard opening promo. Lots of people, but especially Randy Orton, want to win the Rumble. They’ve done better. Not even footage of a road, for a metaphorical road to WrestleMania moment. I loved that.

Segment 2 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Steel Cage Match – Daniel Bryan (c)  vs.  Mark Henry  vs.  Big Show.

Cewsh: This steel cage match ought to be the apex of a number of things that have been in motion on Smackdown for months and months now.  See, months and months ago, Big Show first set off the reign of monster mashing that has been Mark Henry’s last 6 months.  They feuded for a good long time before Big Show finally managed to get the win over Henry that had eluded him, and managed to scoop up his first World Championship in nearly a decade in the process.

He held it for less than a minute.

That’s where Daniel Bryan joins this charming tale.  See, Mark Henry had been bullying him around, and Big Show encouraged Bryan to take any opportunities he could and to stand up to people bigger than him.  So when Daniel bryan won the Money in the Bank ladder match, he promptly used it to screw over Big Show and win the title and ever since, he’s been on a slow slide down into full on heel territory.  Bryan will go to any length to defend his title.  Disqualifications, count outs, shortcuts, anything.  Winning the match has become utterly secondary to simply retaining the title for him, and he has used everything from the feud between Henry and Show, to his own girlfriend AJ’s physical well being to ensure that that title isn’t going anywhere.  But here Henry and Show finally have the little shit in a cage where he can’t run or cheat and all signs point to Daniel Bryan trying out for a new career as a talking pancake, as Henry and Show clash with him in the middle to settle 3 different grudges with 6 months of build up in one epic match.

That’s what this match OUGHT to be.  Unfortunately what actually happened was Mark Henry got an injury in the weeks before the show, and was unable to go at anywhere near 100%.  So instead of moving him out of the match, they left him in and just slowed everything down to a snail’s pace.  People got thrown into cage walls a whole bunch, punches were thrown a lot more, and in general everyone seemed to amble about like they forgot they were supposed to be mad at each other.  Finally, after only a few minutes, Bryan makes a break for it and climbs to the top of the cage, and most unexpectedly the Big Show not only follows him up, but sits on top of the cage and bodily holds onto Bryan to keep him from dropping to the floor.

Now i’m not really sure what his plan was at this point, as its not like there’s anything that he could have done to prevent Bryan from getting down eventually.  Its not like Show could actually toss Bryan back into the ring when he’s hanging like a sack of potatoes from the man’s hand.

Seconds After This Was Taken, Big Show Picked Daniel Bryan Up And Threw Him Into The Rafters.

So as you might expect, Bryan slips out of Show’s grip and escapes, giving him the somewhat anticlimactic win and leaving a very perturbed giant in his wake.

The trouble with this match wasn’t so much what they did, which was unspectacular, but not actively BAD, but more that it was just such a spectacular let down on the amount of build that had gone into it.  This was the crossroads for the 3 biggest storylines on Smackdown in the past 6 months to come to a head, and instead it was basically half a Smackdown main event with a cool finish.  I wish I could say more about it, but it is what it is, and without a healthy Henry, this match was doomed to failure before it ever began.

70 out of 100.

MichaelC:  Bryan is massively over as a heel, for someone who hasn’t really done all that all out heelish stuff lately. Just goes to prove Angle’s Maxim, if you put two faces or heels and get the fans to choose, they’ll pick the longest tenured star to cheer.

Hang on, Kurt Angle talks sense?

This is kept as short as possible due to the injuries of 2/3s of the Participants. Mark Henry’s body celebrated his best career run ever, by breaking down, and Big Show is as banged up as you’d expect a man his size at his age would be.

I love Daniel Bryans run though. The guy who gets beat up, wins by fluke, then celebrates like hes MVP: practically full proof. He’ll probably lose in the Chamber, but I’d love the run to continue. It’s one of the most interesting runs in the WWE and deserves to get to Mania.

I wouldn’t give this many sleeping kittens out of a thousand, and the match could have been much better had all three been able to go, but that’s life. It was perfect pre-Rumble fodder.

Shame there was no AJ Lee.

Psycho:  Bryan is so over-the-top with this heel persona that it’s almost hard to believe it’s actually happening. He does such a great job of coming off like an arrogant douchebag that you have to boo him…but you can’t take your eyes off of him. It’s definitely given Bryan the right chance to shine, and my guess is that we’ll see him sustaining a pretty strong push after losing the belt.

Watching DB get tossed around like a Smash Bros. Sandbag is endless entertainment, just watching him wile his way into getting some serious shots in on his opponents.

Straying away from Bryan, Henry still remains my favorite monster, even if he was prematurely bereaved of the title, and he employs some creative punishment. I particularly liked Henry literally sling-shotting Bryan into the steel wall.

Back to Bryan. Have I mentioned how awesome Bryan is right now? I don’t think I’ve said it enough. Henry’s great too. What? Big Show? Who? Is that that guy who was The Giant at some point?  ALRIGHT FINE! Big Show’s doing a fine enough job. I’LL ADMIT IT, ALRIGHT?!?

Being present in the crowd, this match was actually pretty exhilarating. If you’ve never been to a live show, one thing that you must take into account is that the matches will feel a lot shorter. I went to Money in the Bank this year, and I thought the Smackdown MITB match was only about 15 min, until I got home and watched it again, realizing it was closer to 30. Therefore, while really getting into and enjoying this, I thought it was short as hell. I absolutely loved the ending though. Bryan barely slipping out of the cage by dropping off of Big Show who was trying to hold him back. Not to mention Bryan looked strong as well as lucky, making him win in the most legitimate way possible when surrounded by two behemoths.

Which He Handled Classily.

So, in short, after seeing it live and on screen, I have to say this was an awesome Title match, especially considering Henry was injured. Much praise is deserved by all men.

Grade: B+

Kyle 242:  If you follow the NHL, you probably know what an “agitator” is. An agitator is a player whose role is to get under their opponents’ skin, to either throw them off their game and/or draw a penalty if they react. Agitators aren’t goons because they don’t seek fights, rather, they instigate them and then hide behind the rulebook. Throughout this match, and the past several weeks, Daniel Bryan is playing this role in the WWE to a tee, using every clause in the rulebook to his advantage. In regards to Bryan cementing this role, this match (especially the finish) was a success.

The match itself, with no backstory, wasn’t very enjoyable, however. It was basically Big Show and Mark Henry taking turns being laid out on the floor, while the other fought with Bryan. This did make Bryan look good (he was the only guy in the match who looked like he had conditioning), but it took away from the coherent feel of the match overall, and it was sort of disappointing given what could’ve been. All three men, surprisingly, have some degree of chemistry with each other, and that wasn’t explored here at all.

RATING: Bloodsport 5.

The rare sequel that’s all about Frank Dux ducking fights. Side note, yes, there’s actually 3 existing Bloodsport sequels, and I’m as surprised you are.


Daniel Bryan Over Everyone Else Following His Escape From The Cage.


Segment 3 – The WWE Production Department Are Okay At Their Jobs.

Psycho:  Wow, I ignored this and went to go buy a t-shirt during this segment, but this is actually pretty well done, and powerfully shows the divide and polarization of the viewers that watch him perform every week.

I’m still Pro-Rock at the match, though, as a principle.

MichaelC:  Overlong Cena promo. Cena the guy seems like such a nice person. I have no issues with Cena outwith the whole wrestling bit. Good to keep a bit of perspective.


Segment 4 – Tamina, Kelly Kelly, Eve and Alicia Fox  vs.  Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and The Bella Twins.

Cewsh: I’m not sure how many variations on “a bunch of young ladies came out and wrestled for 3 minutes and then one of them pinned another one” I can really be expected to provide as a wrestling reviewer before it officially qualifies as charity.  I need to look into this.

62 out of 100.

MichaelC:  Divas! Match of the Night follows. NEWZ claimed Beth would get punished for, uhm, personal reasons, and she responds to that with three wins in a week. People ought to get HEATZ more often, really.

Divas used or mentioned heavily in storyline so far = 9.  The Kane story – more on that to come – seems to have got crowds to react to Eve. Even briefly. Will wonders never cease?

Also, Tamina is a better wrestler than her dad. True story.

Beth continues her near one woman quest to make the rest of the division competitive. This match DID get time though, which is a step in the right direction. Now if we could only remove the Bellas, Kelly, Alicia…

The face divas get a ton of offense in, and Kelly flies through the air (better than Evan Bourne, he ponders for no reason other than to get hate mail…).

“WHEEEEEEEEE”

Then Beth says “Enough”, seeing to Kelly with the Glam Slam and getting the academic pinfall.

Beth seems to have too many gears she can go into, which makes most of the divas prey. I wonder if there’s anyone lurking in the wings for WrestleMania who could challenge her on her own awesome terms…

Did ya see my subtle prediction hint there?

Kyle 242: Wow, really, a Raw match at the Royal Rumble? The main thing I took away here was the Bellas are a high-risk duo, in that their outfit gives extremely high risk of sideboob. Oh, and kudos to the WWE for not giving us the Kelly roll-up finish for the 100000th time. I almost forgot that Beth’s finisher isn’t actually giving her opponent a free roll-up attempt, it’s a powerbomb or something.

RATING: The Peter Griffin Sideboob Hour.

Self-explanatory.

Psycho: Look…there’s some good stuff here. I love Natalya, Tamina, Beth, am starting to really like Eve, and I’ve already “really liked Alicia Fox.” Kelly Kelly is someone I disrespect outside of the ring, and barely respect inside the ring, whereas The Bellas keep slowly earning more respect from me. I think that describes the match well enough. Props to Kelly for doing a splash to the outside to make an interesting Diva’s moment…but Eve would have done a moonsault. She could have at least cross-bodied to change it up. I hate top rope Thesz Press’ (I’m looking at you Mickie James).

Grade: C

Beth Phoenix, Natalya and The Bella Twins Over Kelly Kelly, Eve, Tamina and Alicia Fox Following A Glam Slam From Phoenix To Kelly.
Segment 5 – Franklin Delanor Woosevelt

Cewsh: Backstage, we see some guy wheeling a very beaten up looking Zack Ryder into the arena until they are stopped by our legendary hero, Johnny Ace.  Ace tells Ryder about the special room he got for him for the show and Ryder seems not at all suspicious about this.

Johnny Trollface Rides Again.

Eve, more attuned to douchebaggery than a guy who wears headbands for a living, then proceeds to tear Johnny a new one for how awful he’s been to Ryder, before wheeling her manfriend into their room, which happens to be RIGHT NEXT TO an entrance to the ring area.

HMMMM.

MichaelC:  Zack Ryder got killed on RAW. Now he’s in a wheelchair. Poor little Zack Ryder. He’ll only get a Rumble paycheck, and a possible Mania feud out of all this.

Segment 6 – Kane  vs.  John Cena.

Cewsh: How did it come to this?  A match between John Cena and Kane just 3 short months before a much bigger match for Cena with the Rock isn’t a surprise.  People have been using Kane from transitional purposes for years.  But this is no transitional anything.  Instead, this things that has developed between John Cena and Kane has grown and grown from absolutely nowhere to almost completely distract people from the Rock at all.  See, it all started when Kane first came back to the WWE in December and immediately made a beeline for John Cena.  He laid Cena out, and when asked why later, stated that his entire mission as of this moment, was to convince John Cena to “embrace the hate”.  So week after week, Kane did what Kane does.  He played mind games with Cena, hit Cena where he was most vulnerable by taking out his unprepared sidekick Zack Ryder in increasingly brutal ways as Zack’s girlfriend Eve watched on in horror and just generally made John Cena’s life a frustrating ball of misery.  And all the while Kane just kept hammering back at Cena the way that the fans booed Cena even now as all this happened.

As the weeks went on, a more quick to anger Cena emerged.  Short tempered, obsessed with revenge and totally unwilling to listen to reason even by babyface standards.  But no matter how mad Cena got, Kane never stopped getting the upper hand in the end.  And now, finally, Cena gets his chance to get back at Kane in a match.

Now this match is about 1/3 match, 1/3 backstage segment and 1/3 crowd.  Because when I tell you that the crowd is hot for this match, you’d better believe that they were fucking HOT.  Every move Cena makes is met with deafening boos, and Kane is openly hailed by the crowd as some kind of heroic savior at first, until he is booed so loudly himself that Cena is almost cheered by comparison.  Perhaps because of this, Kane wrestles this match with an energy and crispness that he hasn’t shown in years and years and things are pretty much great until they start brawling in the aisleway and both get counted out, ending this match before it could really be anything other than a precursor to a storyline.  Predictably then Kane and Cena brawl to the back and wind up SHOCK right outside of Zack Ryder’s room.  Kane knocks the door off of its hinges and puts Ryder to sleep so he can wheel the Long Island Iced Z down to the ring and dump him out like garbage in a city park after dark.  Eve pleads with Kane not to hurt Ryder, which shows that she really hasn’t watched a lot of Kane feuds because Kane gets a big grin on his face at that and promptly Tombstones Ryder into the netherworld.  At this point Cena shows back up and tries valiantly to help, but Kane just shrugs him off like nothing, chokeslams him out of his shows and wanders off chuckling to himself, leaving a path of complete devastation in his wake.

In the end, Kane has lain absolute waste to two men of no small renown, and leaves the ring chuckling.  That’s a powerful image to consider.  Kane is not only destroying John Cena and Zack Ryder, he’s doing it with ease and laughing all the way home.  That is a push and a half, boys and girls.  And it’s working.  It really actually is.

75 out of 100.

MichaelC:  Cena’s entrance is very interesting. I recall many split Cena crowds over the years, I’m sure we all do. I’ve never quite heard an 100% anti-Cena crowd before, bar One Night Stand which was for gimmick purposes.

There’s usually some kids cheering, but its wall to wall booing here. You know, that Ryder kid is pretty damn popular, and he keeps getting killed thanks to being Cena’s pal. Maybe Eve was right?

Hang on, crowds listening to Eve. Now I’ve gone crazy.

Kane having the organ intro back is so lovely. Its only eleven years late. Kane is just brilliant. He might not be in his prime anymore, he might have had to wrestle some right stiffs and focus on some dreadful stories over the year, but he just makes things work. He takes on ideas that would kill lesser careers, and manages to become more over than ever before. He’s managed to keep an aura as an unstoppable monster for fourteen years despite a willingness to job to everybody. It’s nigh on impossible for me to hate on Kane, he’s been constantly about since I started watching wrestling. He’s Mr Dependable, and the best wrestler in WWF Attitude by miles.

This match was pretty awful though. It was more the prelude to a better match, presumably at the Chamber PPV.  The storyline though? Love it. Most interesting thing Cena, Eve and Ryder have been in. Kane has always been the horror villain of the WWE, and its cool to seem them play on so many old horror motifs. It’s also amusing to see Kane cheered as he kills everyone. It’s that old adage: if you are a monster who kills everyone, the fans will cheer.

Weak double countout follows Cena getting killed with a chair. Then Kane kills Zack Ryder with a Tombstone, terrorizes Eve, and kills a recovering Cena with a chokeslam. When was the last time we saw John Cena so utterly and convincingly destroyed on PPV? The match was a draw in result only. Kane is so powerful, Cena even sells his moves for longer than a minute. Miracles!

It’s going to take a LOT for Cena (will he embrace the hate? What then with Rock coming quickly?) and Ryder to see off their foe.

I can’t wait to see how that happens.

Psycho:  Every segment leading up to this match has been hit or miss, but I can’t deny that it’s probably the best, the most fresh, and the most interesting thing they could do for Cena leading up to his feud with The Rock. We’re seeing Cena being “pushed past his limits” to where I will suppose we’re trying to see a more “edgy” John Cena. Naturally, there are Cena Heel turn rumors abound, but it’s not easy to look past that ultimate option. The only possible way they could do it in modern times and allow it to stick for hardcore, young, and casual fans would be cheating The Rock, a symbol of the Attitude Era, where kids would be angry at him for cheating, and other people would complain that he beat The Rock. These are just crazy ramblings by this point though.

Nothing too noteworthy happens here, really. The crowds pretty into it though, for a little more than just chanting for or against John Cena. There are decent spots, and actually it leads to some creativity and innovation on Cena’s part. Kane feels very refreshing in an odd way, even though he hasn’t changed his moveset much. I suppose his movements feel more enthusiastic?

Though, then he gives us moments like this…

“No! Not A Glove Briefly On My Face! Anything But That!”

Really though…again, watching this on-screen, and this now being the third time I’ve seen this match, I’m discovering that it’s paced quite well. The bump-and-feed between the two is flawless, and you can’t help but love when Cena gives a cheesy smile that’s directed at all the Cena haters that will boo any sign of his signature move. The count-out finish was a smart turn, and a tad more unexpected than the “Kane wins by DQ cause Cena goes apeshit” route. 

Live, it sounded like the crowd pretty much died during the backstage bit, with some decent pops, but my “event high” kind of faded. Things really fell apart when Ryder got involved.  Seeing the Tombstone is nice, but Ryder over-acting his unconsciousness by constantly bowing his head back and forth like he was a comatose Cloud from Final Fantasy VII was pretty rough.

“Oh Hey Guys.  Just Kidnapping This Midcarder.  Don’t Mind Me.”

The beating does get it’s point across, and there is a hilariously timed “Are You Serious Bro?” shout from a member of the crowd when Ryder falls out of the wheelchair.

We’ll probably see Ryder come back with a bigger mega-push because of this, once he heals up, and maybe even have a match against Kane at WrestleMania (which is an idea that increasingly sounds appealing to me). Either way, while sort of defecating all over this segment when in the crowd, I’ve come to enjoy the possibilities that can are spawned from this. Plus I bet Cena and Kane put on a good Hardcore match at Elimination Chamber.

Grade: C+

Kyle 242: This entire storyline is a disaster. Kane wants Cena to unleash the hate, even though he never really paid attention to his reactions before, so he spray paints Undertaker’s old mask red and throws on some fake hair. He then decides to torment Ryder, which costs him a US title that we were finally beginning to care about, and allows his girlfriend Eve to cash in her community college acting classes (which somehow, we paid the price for in the end). Then, to sum it all up, Cena decides that he’s all pissed (which he portrays by looking goofily into the camera), which sounds awesome, except when we finally get the match, it’s a double-count-out that ends with Cena getting destroyed, Kane wheeling Ryder to the ring to beat on him publicly, Kane somehow chokeslamming Cena again, and Kane chokeslamming this feud clearly over top of the shark.

Did I love it? You bet!

RATING: KFC Double Down. 

Possibly the worst and best idea in the world, at the same time.

This Match Went To A Double Countout.
Segment 7 – Drew McIntyre  vs.  Brodus Clay.

MichaelC:  Drew Mac! He’s on PPV. Look Cewsh, it’s Drew!

Cewsh:  Yes, Michael.  I know that Drew is on television.

MichaelC:  Maybe’s getting a push? Do you think he’s getting a push?

Cewsh:  …yes?  You just keep that optimism up buddy.

You Too Drew.  Just Keep That Enthusiasm.

Breaks your heart, it really does.

MichaelC:  This’ll be brilliant. I wonder who he’s facing. Hopefully he’ll get a win. Drew Mac, yes!!!!

Oh bugger.

Double bugger.

Brodus gets cheers for his entrance, then the crowd dies a bit for the ten seconds of the match. Psycho, who was at the show, tells me its a mix of the crowd being fed up with the standard Brodus squash already – they want to see him try more – and a hatred for losing gimmicks.

They should have Brodus team up with T Reks. They can be Cretaceous Powers. Oh yes.

I prefer Brodus when he’s not squashing my favorites.

Psycho:  This match hurts me. I don’t even want to talk about it.

When I was in the merch stands, and I saw “Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre” on the Royal Rumble shirt, I freaked. I was not expecting a long match by any standard, but I was hoping we’d get at least 3 minutes. Just enough for Brodus to actually get beaten up a little, and to let Drew show off some of what he has to offer too, then Brodus would proceed to crush Drew. It sticks with Drew’s story, and keeps Brodus looking strong. Instead, they just did a squash with perhaps one new “Funkasaurus” antic.

For the first time in the PPV, the second and third viewing didn’t make it feel any better. This match was a straight squash, with nothing to really enjoy, especially considering they might have needed to kill some time due to a shortened WHC match.

Grade: N/A

Kyle 242:  Wow, now we have a Superstars match at the Royal Rumble? The names involved here make the Divas tag match we saw earlier look like Demolition vs. Legion of Doom.

I hated this for two reasons. First, there’s no reason to “punish” Drew by giving him a PPV match. That’s punishing us, not Drew. Second, this means no Brodus in the Rumble. NO BRODUS IN THE RUMBLE ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I’m sure he would’ve pulled off all sorts of zany antics. Instead, we got a squash that in no way belonged on a regular PPV, much less the Royal goddamn Rumble. This has missed opportunity written all over it. Somebody call my mama.

RATING: LA Noire. 

It just makes you shake your head and say “oh what could have been”.

Cewsh:  Look at these poor angry and disappointed young men.  They need more of this in their lives:

Yes.  Yes, That Will Do Ladies.  That Will Do.

In the end, this was a squash match.  We’ve seen it several times recently, and the crowd seemed to like it.  It was a harmless filler segment to kill time before the big match and give people a chance to get a beer, take a leak or just settle in for the long road ahead. 
There’s something to be said for an enjoyable 3 minutes of nothing in particular.

64 out of 100.

Brodus Clay Over Drew McIntyre Following The What The Funk?

Segment 8 – WWE Heavyweight Championship – CM Punk (c)  vs.  Dolph Ziggler w/ John Laurentius As Guest Enforcer.

Psycho: I love EVERYTHING about Ziggler. His look, his moveset, his wrestling talent, his personality, his mannerisms, his promos…everything. I have for a very long time now, ever since I saw his match with Daniel Bryan and realized how damn near flawless he is in the ring. CM Punk is one of the top ring performers in WWE as well, but I would personally put Ziggler a bit more above him when it comes to a pure wrestling aspect, other than the fact that CM Punk is vastly more experienced. Still, I love Punk, so I’m excited to see this transpire.

This match has many polarizing opinions, but this is the match I most enjoyed live. The crowd seemed into it, and these guys were providing creative spot after creative spot. All of their counters, their taunts toward each other, and there was even a dueling “Let’s Go Ziggler/CM Punk” chant. While it still doesn’t feel like their best, I don’t see how people can say this match wasn’t entertaining *Glares at Kyle with evil intent*

The main thing that hurt this match was the lack of focus on Ziggler through the whole build, just like last year, which doesn’t give him as much of a believability to win. Not too worried about the fact that he was “beat three/four times,” though, and it my eyes, this match still made him come off like a strong contender that could beat Punk on the right night.

Reversals Like This Sure Help That Image, Too.

The only other thing that brought this match down a couple of notches was the predictable ending. Most people were pretty sure Punk would be winning, and Ace wouldn’t be screwing him (though he tried), but I can’t help but feel that Ace being involved in the match was kind of pointless if Ziggler didn’t win with his help, or if Punk didn’t get the chance to pummel him some more. Seeing him take the credit for the official pinfall count was classic Laurinaitus, but it didn’t add anything particularly special to the feud, though Kyle would say different.

Seriously, though, these guys were great together, and this is the match between them I’ve been waiting to see. Had not been involved, it would have been that much better. Also, it could have been much longer in my eyes, but I’m not surprised at the length considering it’s at the Royal Rumble.

Grade: B+

Cewsh: Considering the fact that I am about to recommend this match to you, I actually, surprisingly, have very little to tell you about it.  Laurenitus doesn’t come into play until very late in the match and has very little to do with the outcome, the title doesn’t change hands and Punk and Ziggler had a really fun, smooth match that it would be easy to watch for hours on end.  These are all great things, and things that are just fun and nice and enjoyable without being dramatically good or bad is absolute poison to a wrestling reviewer.  So unless I stop prattling on right now and just get on with the recommendation, i’m just going to start making lists like “The Top 10 Things I Assume CM Punk Eats For Breakfast” or “The Top 10 Ways Dolph Ziggler Isn’t Like Mr. Perfect (Even Though He Totally Is).”  And while those would be fun, this is serious business goddammit.  We’re journalists here!

Watch as I journalize!

80 out of 100

Cewsh’s Seal of Approval.

Kyle 242: A solid bout between two awesome competitors that should’ve been more awesome than it was solid. I didn’t feel like either guy truly showed what they were capable of, and it wasn’t as good as their first match, but the story was very compelling. Oddly enough, almost all of that was due to Laurinaitis.

I, for one, had no idea what Laurinaitis was going to do. I felt they set that up very well. Was he going to screw Punk, since he knows he’s probably getting axed anyway? Or was he going to do the opposite and help Punk, since he wanted to get in HHH’s favor? They could’ve gone either way, and I think the end result made alot of sense. Him counting enthusiastically along with the referee (something he refused to do earlier) when Punk got the final cover just iced the fact that Laurinaitis is nailing his character, and seems to be having fun with it too. It took him awhile, but Johnny Ace finally found something he’s good at.

Which, Unsurprisingly, Is Being An Enormous Toolbag.

Of course, we know that we’ll probably get a drawn-out HHH/Laurinaitis feud that no one’s interested in that lasts until WrestleMania and somehow involves Kevin Nash, but I’m still hopeful that this turns into the Austin-esque anti-authority storyline we’ve been waiting for ever since Punk made his return. 

RATING: Showgirls.

As in, it’s entertaining, but not for the reason you’d think.

MichaelC:  This was like Dude Love/Austin from Over the Edge 98, but not as good.


Segment 9 – THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH.

MichaelC:  Last winner of the Rumble to win the title at Mania? Undertaker in 2007.

Kyle 242:  I’ve got a fever! And the only prescription…is more cough syrup. So on an unrelated note, let’s watch the Rumble.

Royal Rumble Entrant #1 – The Miz

MichaelC:  The Miz earned the Number 1 spot on RAW by losing to R-Truth. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit have won from the Number One spot, which is two more than the number 26, which is the highest Rumble spot to never have a winner.

Psycho:  I know the secret to Miz’s mysterious moving letters. Does anyone else know the secret? Do you want to know? I’ll tell you, but it’s definitely a spoiler

Miz gives us his Miz spiel on the mic. You’ve heard it before.

MichaelC:  Miz messes up in his pre-Rumble promo, but I’ve noticed that recently he keeps slipping over a word or two.

Royal Rumble Entrant #2 – Alex Riley

MichaelC:  #2 is Alex Riley? Watch out folks, he might eliminate himself like he did last year! That’ll never get old. As many folk have won from Number 2 as they have Number 1, actually, but forgive me if I don’t think A-Ri is the caliber of a Vince McMahon or Rey Mysterio.

“I’m going to WrestleMania!” Riley says. Someone give him a ticket!

Miz and Riley stare down, and stare at the Mania sign, before exchanging blows furiously. Into the corner, whip reversed, dodgy clothesline and Rileys on fire. Slam over the top rope attempt, blocked and Riley gets a kick to the face. Many kicks, but Miz’s attempt to toss Riley is reversed. Miz goes over the top rope, but hangs on for dear life, Riley charges him, Miz drops the top rope and Riley goes flying to the floor.

Some of us might be masochistic enough to play by play the rumble, but really, I’d rather stick to the history and bad jokes.

I’ve been meaning to make that joke for three years now!

Alex Riley Has Been Eliminated By The Miz.

Psycho:  Smart move having Riley come out second. Even more smart that Miz eliminating him like yesterday’s news. They left that storyline where Riley kept beating him open and completely dropped it, so now he finally gets to “turn the page on that chapter” so to speak.

Kyle 242:  There was something that felt so incredibly right about that. It’s like, Miz put over Riley as an up-and-comer during their feud, except Riley realized that he sort of sucks as a face and disappeared promptly after. So the whole thing basically ended up being a waste of Miz. Vengeance for Miz right there.

The whole rumble there was Alex Riley’s career in a snapshot. And funny enough, its the only way we’ll remember him by 2020!

Royal Rumble Entrant #3 – R-Truth

Kyle 242:  Miz’s OTHER rival!? Ok, who decided the randomness of these Rumble participants? NBA referees?

MichaelC:  So they fought to the death for a ninety second advantage? That’s hilarious.

Number 3 is usually unlucky, first man out in half the rumbles.

Most of the rumbles that 3 ISN’T the first out, its #2 though. So well done Riley for keeping up that score.

Pyscho:  R-Truth is next, visibly showing us the progression of Miz’s personal feuds after Cena. They have a decent back and forth almost ruined by a botched Sit-Out Gordbuster/Oklahoma Slam, but none of that matters, because greatness follows up his entry.

Royal Rumble Entrant #4 – Cody Rhodes

MichaelC:  #4 is Cody Rhodes, and you can hear the screams of delight from a certain mod from Rajah.

Kyle 242:  KFLJDKFJADKLF JDFUCK YEAH!

Cody hits a beautiful disaster that goes right through two guys. You see that? It’s dim mak powerful.

Psycho:  That’s right, Cody Rhodes comes, and the beginning of Miz and Rhodes domination of the Rumble begins. LOVED Cody’s Beautiful Disaster spot.

MichaelC:  So if Riley was Miz’s Ghost of Christmas past, and Truth is the Ghost of Christmas Present, this means Rhodes and Miz will have an epic heated feud later this year.

#4 is a good spot to have a good rumble, unless you are Phineas I Godwinn. Cody isn’t.

Royal Rumble Entrant #5 – Justin Gabriel

MichaelC:  Justin Gabriel comes running down to the ring. Not someone I expected in the match, but he swiftly beats his 2011 personal best (read, 40 odd seconds). Cody then beats the tar out of him, and is the MVP of the Rumble so far. More on him to follow.

Psycho:  Gabriel comes out for…more punishment from Cody, really, after getting a few moves in. He doesn’t even get a 450 Splash.

Kyle 242:  I still can’t get over how little fluidity Justin Gabriel has. It’s like playing WWE 12. Move-stop-move-stop-move-stop-amIthrownoutyet?-stop

Royal Rumble Entrant #6 – Primo

Psycho:  The next entrant got a varying degree of a reaction from me. The titantron said Epico, but the man who entered the ring was Primo, so I started cheering much louder. He gets a fancy headstand into a headscissors, but thats about it unfortunately.

MichaelC:  PRIMO! Love Primo. Glad to see him getting a run. Revenge for 2009, when as tag champs, Carlito got in the Rumble, and Primo got snubbed. Or last year, when he was announced and replaced by Randy Orton.

I mean, who would rather see Randy Orton than Primo Colon? No, I can’t think of anyone either.

Cewsh:  You’re crusin’ for a bruisin’

R-Truth Has Been Eliminated By The Miz.

MichaelC: Miz tosses R-Truth, so Number 3 gets an unlucky spot in the Rumble again. Truth then kills Miz on the floor, to give him a breather.

Royal Rumble Entrant #7 – Mick Foley

MichaelC: MICK FOLEY! The crowd erupts! His knees are gone, but his pops are still there.

Psycho:  Foley’s in, and the crowd erupts. At this point, I’m marking out because he’s wearing the classic Cactus Jack tights and boots with the cheetah print. He may be “over the hill,” but he can still put on a good match, and he’s healthy enough to look believable.

Cewsh: Now let’s be clear.  While running to the ring, Foley looks like his knees are made of microwaved lasagna.  But when he gets in that ring, the crowd is completely in the palm of his hand.  Nostalgia is powerful, and this is pretty great.

Primo Has Been Eliminated By Mick Foley.

MichaelC: Foley quickly tosses Primo, who takes a big bump to the floor.  Cody Rhodes gets a showdown with Foley, and the crowd love it. Big Double Arm DDT.

See, this is why I wanted Foley in this thing. His prime is a decade gone at least, his knees are shot, but hes OVER, and his OVERness spreads to almost everyone he gets involved with.

Royal Rumble Entrant #8 – Alberto Del…

MichaelC: Del Rio? Sod this.  Bloody Del Rio.  Hate Del Rio.

Cewsh: Wait a minute.  That car looks much too shabby to belong to a Mexican aristocrat.  In fact, it isn’t Alberto at all.  Its a walrus, its a zeppelin, its…

Royal Rumble Entrant #8 – Ricardo Rodriguez

MichaelC: Worst Rumble ev… RICARDO!!!! Brilliant. Love it. Ricardo is such a brilliant character.

Comedy characters that have won the Rumble? Hmm. Does Lex Luger count?

Psycho: This entrant is remarkable, as you’d think Del Rio made it out of his injury…untilyou see Ricardo driving up in a beater of a car, decked out in Del Rio’s attire, pulling the personality off better than ADR himself. We, as a crowd, start a “RI-CAR-DO” chant which is completely heart-warming. This was absolutely better than if ADR did make it into the Rumble, and a stronger sign that Ricardo will eventually become an actual performer, even if he only becomes a joke character that can put on good matches.

Cewsh: There are a lot of things to talk about from this show, but in my opinion Ricardo completely stole the Rumble here.  The guy’s enthusiasm was just so enjoyable to watch, and the crowd went totally batshit for the chubby, lovable scamp.

Justin Gabriel Has Been Eliminated By Ricardo Rodriguez.

Cewsh: That’s what you get for trying to ruin the moment, Gabriel. Now go back to South Africa where it is acceptable to look like your pants are the result of a cotton candy factory explosion.

MichaelC: Foley and Ricardo toss Justin Gabriel. Watch out Ricardo! Rumble history tells me people who form partnerships often have them broken in these matches.

Royal Rumble Entrant #9 – Santino Marella

MichaelC: People often talk about 14 as a cursed number. But lets see about 9.

1989 – Shawn Michaels. Never mind.
1990 – Bad News Brown. Released that year.
1991 – Jake Roberts. Gone within 14 months.
1992 – Texas Tornado. Dead.
1993 – Genchiro Tenryu.
1994 – Billy Gunn. Rubbish.
1996 – Yokozuna. Dead.
1997 – Pierroth Oulette. Who?
1998 – Owen Hart. dead.
1999 – Tiger Ali Singh. Career died.
2000 – Big Bossman. Dead.
2001 – Perry Saturn. Thought dead.
2002 – Matt Hardy. Batshit crazy.
2003 – Bill DeMott. Career ended in same match.
2004 – Matt Morgan. Who?
2005 – Shelton. Who?
2006 – Kane. (ok, he’s not hurt by it)
2007 – Shelton Benjamin. Who?
2008 – Hornswoggle. short.
2009 – JTG. Jobber.
2010 – Drew McIntyre. Oh shit.
2011 – Husky Harris. Demoted.
2012 – Poor Santino. He’s either Kane, Shawn or buggered.

Ricardo Rodriguez Has Been Eliminated By Santino Marella.

MichaelC:  The stage is now set for the most epic showdown in history.

Forget Andre/Hogan.

Forget Rock/Austin.

Forget Rock/Cena.

It’s SOCKO v COBRA! And the fans go BANANA.

My Money’s On Mr. Socko. He’s A Cagey Veteran.

Psycho: SOCKO VS. COBRA, BITCHES!! This was outrageous! Sure, Miz and Cody ruined the festivities, but THAT was a Rumble moment, people!

Royal Rumble Entrant #10 – Epico

MichaelC: Epico is in…

Epico Has Been Eliminated By Mick Foley.

MichaelC: …Cobra, Mandible Claw, gone. See ya, Epico!

Cewsh: That was, at best, mediocreo.

Kyle 242: I can’t get over how great this Cobra/Socko battle is. It’s like Soul Calibur with footwear.

Santino Marella Has Been Eliminated By Cody Rhodes.


Mick Foley Has Been Eliminated By Cody Rhodes.

MichaelC: Santino v Foley showdown is rudely interrupted by Cody and Miz. Cody then tosses Santino and Foley.

Brilliant cameo by those two.

Kyle 242: Somehow I feel relieved. Great showing by Mick though.

Psycho: I’m glad Cody eliminates Foley, because he needs to look as intimidating as possible. The more legends he eliminates, the better, on top of the time he remains in the Rumble.

Royal Rumble Entrant #11 – Kofi Kingston

Cewsh:  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

MichaelC:  Cody, Miz and CEWSH’S FAVOURITE STAR KOFI KINGSTON face off. Maybe this will start Kofi’s push as Only Midcard Face?

Kyle 242: Kofi continues his trend of cool PPV outfits with his rendition of The Riddler. Careful, Kofi, that might count as showing personality.

That Is Pretty Cool, Actually.

MichaelC:  At this point, I’d like to remind you all of the Cewsh Reviews bet. I have Sheamus, Wade or Ziggler to win the Rumble. Should one of them win, I get to pick a Review for Cewsh to review at some point. Should I lose, he gets to do the same. I’m 0/3 and none of my guys are out yet.

Cewsh:  This thing is in the bag.  There’s no way any of those guys are winning.

Royal Rumble Entrant #12 – Jerry Lawler

Cewsh: Lawler’s music hits and he just stands up from commentary, takes his shirt off, and enters the Royal Rumble. For most announcers this might be weird, but its been well established for years that Lawler wears his ring attire under his announcing clothes because like 10 times a year he has to wrestle on zero notice.

Kyle 242: YES!! LAWLER’S AWAY FROM THE BOOTH!!

Jerry Lawler Has Been Eliminated By Cody Rhodes.

Psycho: It was cool to see King enter, though he isn’t the greatest surprise entrant. Still, it made sense after his run as a regular wrestler last year. At least he was eliminated quickly, by Cody, nonetheless. Check another legend.

Kyle 242: It’s nice to see that Lawler put as much effort into this match as he does his commentary.

MichaelC: Cody Rhodes has eliminated three men so far. The record in one rumble is Kane with 11.

Royal Rumble Entrant #13 – Ezekiel Jackson

MichaelC: Zeke is in, nobody cares. He dominates for a bit. No one cares.

Royal Rumble Entrant #14 – Jinder Mahal
Number Fourteen Victims

Marty Jannetty, Bulldog (dead), Hercules (dead), Berzerker, Doink, Doug Gilbert (who?), Shamrock, Kurrgan, Godfather, DDP (career ended soon after), Eddie Guerrero (dead), Rikishi (released), Orlando (released), Joey Mercury (met a ladder which disagreed with him), Jeff Hardy (who ate all the drugs), Umaga (RIP), Finlay (released), MVP (released), Chris Masters (released).


MichaelC: So basically if you draw fourteen, you get released within a year and a half (but mostly IN that calendar year), or you die horribly young, or have a terrible career ending injury. Or you are Haku, for whom curses are too scared to go anywhere near. Jinder Mahal is 14. It’s as if the WWE know of the speculation now – its been around for years – and threw their least important guy in the role. Haha. It was nice knowing you, Jinder.

And that’s a lie.

Kyle 242: Ok, I’ve defended Booker all through is his commentary career, and I’m not going to quit now, but goddamn is he making it difficult in this match. Tripping over your words every time a new number comes out is a bit much. IT’S JINDER FUCKING MAHAL!!

So Jinder’s now dominating. I’m not sure how this can get worse…

Royal Rumble Entrant #15 – The Great Khali

Kyle 242: Good god.

Jinder Mahal Has Been Eliminated By The Great Khali.
Ezekiel Jackson Has Been Eliminated By The Great Khali.

MichaelC: Khali throws out Zeke and Jinder. The WWE universe rejoices.

Royal Rumble Entrant #16 -Hunico

MichaelC: Hunico enters on a bike on the back of HAKU’S SON, Camacho. Hunico’s music fits him, and he’s great in the ring. People just need to get used to him really.

Kyle 242: Sin Cara’s out for awhile, right? Can we just have Sin Cara Negro back? Please?

Royal Rumble Entrant #17 – Booker T

Cewsh: What?! Booker T’s music hits and now HE takes off his shirt to reveal that not only did he have his ring attire on, but that he’s had no pants on this entire time.  And nobody thought that was weird or suspicious.

The Look On Cole’s Face Is The Best Part.

Kyle 242: Wait, how do we know Booker T ever wears pants at all?

Psycho: Thankfully, Booker comes in to liven up the crowd strongly, and this is about the time that the Rumble picks up again, too.

MichaelC: Miz tosses Kofi. He hangs on and goes to skin the cat, but Miz blocks it and Kofi’s hands land on the floor. Just Kofi’s feet need to hit the floor, so Miz throws them off the apron….

Legs? Who Needs ‘Em?

HOLY SHIT! He handstanded his way to the stairs! Amazing. I’ve wanted to see that in ages! Good old Kofi.

Psycho: Possibly the best Rumble moment of the year. Absolutely nuts!

MichaelC: Come on Cewsh, that has to have impressed you, surely?

Cewshgrumblegrumblegrumbleyeah that was pretty cool.


MichaelC:  Wow! In Royal Rumbles, miracles can happen!

 Royal Rumble Entrant #18 – Dolph Ziggler

Psycho: Then, of course, my hero(or rather, #HEEL) joins the Rumble and immediately starts dominating. I’m still pretty into the match at this point, even though the “Khali Krew,” as I like to call them, soured my mood for a bit.

Kyle 242: Of course, it wouldn’t be a PPV without Ziggler pulling double duty. You might want to protect your assets at some point, Vince.

MichaelC: Number of Royal Rumbles Dolph Ziggler has been in – 4

Number of Royal Rumbles Dolph Ziggler has been announced as a participant in pre-show – 0

Amusing stat, that.

Royal Rumble Entrant #19 – Jim Duggan

Cewsh: Holy god, Jim Duggan’s music hits and the crowd acts like Brock Lesnar just showed up.

MichaelC: Hacksaw Jim Duggan gets the mega pop he’s been getting for thirty years, and it still bamboozles me.

Kyle 242: Wow…the first surprise that’s…actually a real surprise tonight! I actually kinda hate Duggan, but this is awesome!

Jim Duggan Has Been Eliminated By Cody Rhodes.

Psycho: The pop Hacksaw gets is great. I’m even more happy that he was tossed after getting a few punches in. He is beyond washed up these days. Plus, CHECK for another legend Cody eliminates.

The Great Khali Has Been Eliminated By Cody Rhodes.

Cewsh: It doesn’t seem possible for me to forget a 7 foot dude is in a match, but I absolutely had forgotten all about Khali until he got eliminated here.  Doesn’t really say much for him, does it?

Booker T Has Been Eliminated By Cody Rhodes.

Psycho: CHECK again for eliminating Booker.

Kyle 242: Rhodes is eliminating all the legends tonight. I remember another youngster doing that back in the day, he turned out pretty good. 

MichaelC: That’s SIX eliminations from Cody Rhodes so far. It’s been his Rumble.

Royal Rumble Entrant #20 – Michael Cole

Cewsh: Ahahahahahaha, now Michael Cole, who has been lambasting Booker and Lawler for getting involved in the match, stands up and reveals that HE is also in the Royal Rumble.  This tickles me beyond comprehension, because it means that these three guys all sat together keeping the secret that they were Rumble entrants this whole time.

Michael Cole then spends the full 2 minutes until the next entrant taking his pants off and getting into the ring. He jumps around congratulating himself as the countdown ticks down.

Psycho: Michael Cole makes the first OFFICIAL joke entry(you could count Ricardo, but I almost feel he was serious), and while completely apalled live(because it only felt like a few minutes before when Khali came out), I did have to laugh. It was all worth it for this…

…wait for it….

MichaelC: Hang on a second.  I know that music…

Royal Rumble Entrant #21 – Kharma

Psycho: ijfiouj098uj093jrolijfoiwdejiopfmdklnmoiklhbguivu0 9ikopkmnehvfgeytuur8679yu9084jee87tcdfyugidfkdgw79 3ohn3e893ur32rh98hrfoiwnf9yha09oidjfq098u2j09poj2u r89joiwjmfiowejfiopsdm,vop;ssd;,mvbjsvnlkzmn ioujxpoa’,d;k’;wm, gwlv[p,f’;qd,cx.[‘]pl.x-[pqls-0qiws01q9jakpoq,kxdfk-0u23yrhfilgwp;kv-0aujv98ghfpqoekmfpqsjpowijek-09t2wjptfjwp0ogjwerojgwerjgwejmkfjp-qwe0kq[-pk,poqfjpwef–

MichaelC: KHARMA?  ?!!!!!  Shimmer fans are going nuts here, I bet!

Cewsh: Kharma comes out to an enormous pop, as nobody in their right mind expected to see her here. And nobody is less happy to see her than the very unfortunate Michael Cole.

This Is The Look Of A Man Who Likes His Spine And Isn’t Looking Forward To Having It Removed.

Michael Cole Has Been Eliminated By Booker T And Jerry Lawler.

Cewsh: Cole flees to the ring apron to get away from Kharma, and Lawler and Booker yank him down to great amusement from the crowd. 

MichaelC: Ziggler gets in Kharma’s face. She responds by killing him with what was the Implant Buster in TNA, but doesn’t have a WWE name yet.

I Vote For “Pec Punisher”.

And there’s the difference between Ziggler and others. Other folk (coughcoughahmedjohnsoncoughcough) refused to sell low blows by women as it would hurt their image. Dolph Ziggler, WWE Champion heir presumptive, takes their finishers to help the product. And unlike Marc Mero, wont be hurt by it.

This is not me marking out for Dolph Ziggler. Merely pointing out something good.

Cewsh: Seeing this, Hunico for some reason decides to get a running start and leap at Khrma while her back is turned…

Hunico Has Been Eliminated By Kharma.

Cewsh:  …which goes about as well as you’d expect.

Kyle 242: This is nuts, but Kharma totally looks like she can hang with the boys. The Divas division might actually be a waste of what she can do.

Kharma Has Been Eliminated By Dolph Ziggler.

Psycho: I freaked out so hardcore for Kharma, even more so for looking more dominant than any other female entry before. SHe got two eliminations(technically), and even got her finisher off on Ziggler flawlessly, but was then dumped by Ziggler. It’s alright, I knew she wouldn’t last long…I was excited enough as it was.

MichaelC: Is it over stating it to say in a minute here she was booked better than in 2 years of TNA?

Cewsh:  Yes, but not by much.

MichaelC:  The fans, for the record, LOVED IT. Proof if ever divas can still get over massively.

Royal Rumble Entrant #22 – Sheamus

MichaelC:  SHEAMUS! It’s the man from Ireland! My great-grandmother, she was a big wrestling fan, and when mega heel Mick McManus would show up, she’d cheer him on, telling everyone they “needed to support the Irish”!

So here I am, fifty years on, following that advice! COME ON SHEAMUS!

Kyle 242: Wow, the crowd really loves Sheamus. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love him as a face.

Psycho: By the way, Miz and Cody are STILL in, after the 22nd entrant. Talk about making them look strong.

Kofi Kingston Has Been Eliminated By Sheamus.

MichaelC:  Sheamus takes out Kofi. The Cewsh Household is smiling.

Psycho: Sheamus’ new red attire is pretty nice, but for some odd reason, I didn’t even notice it in the crowd. I think it’s just because I couldn’t see the detail on his trunks, so the kneepads didn’t stand out.

MichaelC: I have three picks to win the Rumble. Zigglers had his moments so far. Sheamus is a house of fire AND OVER. I love how over Sheamus is getting. It’s like when you are into some indy band and they start getting mainstream love. Far from the “its popular now it sucks” I love it!

Royal Rumble Entrant #23 – Road Dogg

Cewsh:  OH YOU DIDN’T KNOOOOOW

BA WOW WOW WOW

Kyle 242: FUCK YES!! LEGIT SURPRISE #2!

MichaelC: I’m MARKING OUT, BRO!! (copyright, Matt Striker, 2011)

When I was a kid, there was no bigger Road Dogg fan. His release in 2000 was one of the worst wrestling days ever which didn’t involve Mr Perfect, Owen or Bossman dying.  But here he is, not eleven years later, still OVER like ROVER (aha!), CLEAN, and still with the moves. It’d bring a tear to my inner fourteen year old mark.

A loud “You’ve Still Got It” chant echoes around the arena, and as much as I’ve moaned about that chant in TNA, here it feels distinctly heartfelt.

Royal Rumble Entrant #24 – Jey Uso

Kyle 242: Really, only one Uso? How did they decide that exactly?

MichaelC:  This is the spot Rock and Austin won from. Will Jey Uso do it too?


At this spot, I am still 0/3 in terms of my predictions for the Rumble bet being eliminated. Fear me, Cewshter!

Cewsh:  You can say whatever you want, man.  You are going to lose this bet.  My money is on Orton and Jericho.  It’s pretty much impossible for me to lose here.

Kyle 242: This exchange just happened after Road Dogg got knocked down:

Booker
: “Road Dogg is out!”
King: “Well, not technically…”

That’s commentary chemistry for you.

Royal Rumble Entrant #25 – Jack Swagger

MichaelC:  Jack Swagger enters, and he has a Rumble best of 3 minutes to defend. In a Rumble, his deficiencies are protected somewhat.

Kyle 242: I just can’t see this exchange happening: “Jack Swagger, your Money in the Bank run was nothing short of a total failure. You disappointed us all. By the way, you’re going to win the Rumble”.

Royal Rumble Entrant #26 – Wade Barrett

MichaelC: Wade is my 3rd prediction to win. He’s debuting with new music. Who does that? In a rumble? No body knows who it is.

Psycho: Speaking of Barrett, he debuts new entrance music, which both kills his pop and doesn’t fit as an entrance theme, let alone Barrett’s entrance theme. I’m still baffled as to why he picked it (which apparently he did). He can like it all he wants, it’s just a terrible choice, and he DEFINITELY shouldn’t have debuted it at the Rumble.

Road Dogg Has Been Eliminated By Wade Barrett.

Psycho: Road Dogg got me as excited as Kharma, and I’m proud to say that I had a strong feeling the D-O-Double-G would be making it to the Rumble. He looked like he came straight from late 90’s and I mean that more than just his attire. Great moment, great reaction from the crowd, and he even got to hang in longer than most legend entries do. He was not another notch on Cody’s belt, though. That credit goes to Wade.

MichaelC: No number 26 has won yet, but I’m sure Wade can do something in it.

England v Ireland in the corner. That’s three thousand years of history!

Cewsh: Sort of looks like three thousand years of stalling and getting distracted and moving on to something else. 

Royal Rumble Entrant #27 – David Otunga

MichaelC:  Lucky 27 is Otunga. Last Friday, David Otunga took on a court case on his day off, won it, got some poor guy unemployment benefits from a corrupt company, then did a promo for the Royal Rumble right afterwards for TMZ. I can’t help but like the guy.

Cewsh:  Wouldn’t it be great if Otunga actually won here?  He hasn’t won a match in forever, but why not?

Royal Rumble Entrant #28 – Randy Orton


MichaelC:  Orton. All that cheering is actually just Cewsh at the back. He’s that loud.

CewshWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Wade Barrett Has Been Eliminated By Randy Orton.

Psycho: Orton’s rolling in like a monster was fun, but I didn’t like how simply he eliminated Barrett. Barrett got NO offense on him. A bit nit-picky, but still a poor choice, I think, since Barret just came in.

MichaelC:  Orton takes out Wade.  Bugger.  I’m 1 for 3.  COME ON SHEAMUS. Or ZIGGLER!

Cewsh:  Barrett was your best chance, pally.  I’ve got this one in the bag now.  I hope you like dildo on a pole matches.

Jey Uso Has Been Eliminated By Randy Orton.

Kyle 242: Hm, starting to think Jey Uso will not win after all.

Royal Rumble Entrant #29 – Chris Jericho

The End Is Here.

MichaelC:  The lights go off, and people erupt. I love Jericho’s new entrance.

Kyle 242: So, is Jericho’s entire gimmick basically his jacket? Because if so that’s awesome.

Also, he’s wining this. End of the world as we know it.

David Otunga Has Been Eliminated By Chris Jericho.

Psycho: JERICHO’S WRESTLING, which is probably the best thing he could do, since by now a lot of people were catching on to and cheering his “troll” gimmick.

MichaelC: Guess 27 wasn’t so lucky.

29 is the spot Brock Lesnar and Edge won from.

Kyle 242: And here comes #30…hmm…and everyone major is already in…it’s…oh my god…it can’t be…

MichaelC: Undertaker? HHH? Brock Lesnar? It’s gotta be Kane. Mr Rumble!

Psycho: Christian? Cena? Rock? GOLDBERG?!

Cewsh:  Bobby Lashley? Tatanka? Orlando Jordan? ULTIMATE WARRIOR?!

Royal Rumble Entrant #30 – Big Show

Cewsh:  …oh.

Psycho: If you said any of the above, you’re completely wrong. You’re ASTOUNDING No. 30 is the great….who? Big Show? Never heard of him.

MichaelC: Big Show? Really? Meh.

Jack Swagger Has Been Eliminated By Big Show.

MichaelC: Show tosses Swagger and KO’s him.

Cody Rhodes Has Been Eliminated By Big Show.
The Miz Has Been Eliminated By Big Show.

MichaelC: Out goes Cody and Miz. Miz lasted 47 minutes. Cody lasted 42, and eliminated 6 men. Cody was MVP, no doubt.


Dolph Ziggler Has Been Eliminated By Big Show.

MichaelC:  Out goes Ziggler. DAMN!  I’m 2 for 3.

COME ON SHEAMUS!

Cewsh:  Accept your defeat gracefully, my Scottish friend.  For it is upon you.


FINAL FOUR

Randy Orton
Chris Jericho
Sheamus
Big Show

Kyle 242: Getting tense now. Orton would make perfect sense, almost too perfect, but even in his hometown he’s kind of a boring winner. Meanwhile, Big Show makes almost no sense, would be a hugely boring winner, and I’m convinced they threw him out here just to fuck with me. Sheamus would be a good bet…if Jericho wasn’t going to win.

Big Show Has Been Eliminated By Randy Orton.
Randy Orton Has Been Eliminated By Chris Jericho.

MichaelC: Orton tosses Big Show, then swiftly goes out via Jericho. That was a swift exit.  I love Sheamus and Orton going to team up to toss Show. They might have history, but its the Rumble, it has to be ignored for the bigger picture.

Psycho: Seriously…talk about an underwhelming No. 30 to clear the ring and then be almost immediately eliminated by Orton, who is also immediately eliminated…completely skipping the Final Three portion of the Rumble, going right to two. That’s not necessarily, a problem, but I feel Orton, Jericho, and Sheamus could have put on some more exciting moments as the last three.

It’s down to Jericho and Sheamus.  COME ON SHEAMUS!  It’s the Cewsh Reviews bet on the line.  It’s the final two in the Royal Rumble!

That Sign May Say Wrestlemania, But They’re Really Fighting For The Honor Of Michael And Myself.

Sheamus tries to eliminate Jericho, but Jericho hooks the head like Benoit in 04. Sheamus sees it and gives up. He’s learnt his Rumble history, folks! I like the looks of this.  Sheamus then back drops Jericho, who does a Shawn from 95. How many Rumble finishes can these men reference?

“Quick, Somebody Tell Me Something Else That Shawn Michaels Did First!

Jericho is in complete control. No! Come on Sheamus, do it for me, and more importantly, do it to spite Cewsh! He has no faith in you.

Cewsh: Save me, Y2J!

Jericho and Sheamus tussle around until Sheamus catches Jericho going for the Codebreaker and dumps him over the side.  Jericho lands on the ring apron and Sheamus turns back and readies up the Brouge Kick.

MichaelC: KICK HIM!

Cewsh: Dodge it!

MichaelC: Sheamus gets ready!

Cewsh: Dodge it!

MichaelC: KICK HIM!

Cewsh: DODGE IT YOU FUCK

The Sun Was In His Eyes!

MichaelC: Sheamus KICKS JERICHOS HEAD OFF!

Chris Jericho Has Been Eliminated By Sheamus.
Cewsh:

Sheamus Is Your 2012 Royal Rumble Winner!

 

Kyle 242: YESYES!!

MichaelC: SHEAMUS WINS! SHEAMUS WINS! SHEAMUS WINS! This is the greatest moment in the history of our sport!

So, Cewsh, I hear Sheamus won. Did you hear Sheamus won?

We celebrate with the winner of the 2012 rumble, SHEAMUS. Sheamus, who won the match.

What a lovely fella.

Cewsh:  God dammit.

Kyle 242: This was one of the best one-on-one endings for the Rumble that I can remember. I was pulling for Jericho so hard that I could feel myself tense up each time he was almost eliminated. The finish was perfect…I mean, hasn’t Sheamus been eliminated from battle royale by a dodged Brogue Kick before? I’m sure that was in the bookers’ minds when they created this. Mindfuck. Fantastically awesome job.

Sheamus as a winner? I had my doubts, but it’s hard not to love. He’s a great performer, the fans are behind him, and there’s really no reason not to give him that extra push. I would’ve liked to have seen Jericho win, but at the same time, I’m interested to see his reaction now that his prophecy-like return has been foiled. Has that even happened before!?

Psycho:  Sheamus winning is a bit unexpected. While he was one of the men pinned to win, he was definitely the dark horse when paired up against Jericho. With a surprising finish, an unlikely winner, and an overall entertaining Rumble…we have the makings for a very satisfied wrestling fan, though my opinions about the faults of the Rumble seemed to overcome my actual opinion of the Rumble at the end of the show. I was for some reason jaded.

Grade: A-

————————————–
Cewsh’s Conclusion:

Cewsh: The Royal Rumble is a special thing.  Its the only thing in wrestling that absolutely everyone looks forward to every year, and its the only thing in wrestling that absolutely everyone will swear was better the year before every year as well.  And while you can nitpick a match like that down as far as you want to and just restock it with Chris Jericho and CM Punk entering and wrestling each other again and again for an hour straight, the truth is that this match had the goods.  It was funny, it was dramatic, it was surprising, and it helped really build a new main event face in one night.  It, and the rest of the matches it shared the show with, was purely entertaining, without being in top notch territory.  And while that isn’t enough for some, with how things are shaping up for the show of shows, its just fine for me.

Cewsh’s Final Score: 70.2 out of 100.


MichaelC’s Musings and Considerations:

MichaelC:  The pre-matches were neither here nor there. They served their purposes.

The rumble, well, it was 95 for 2/3s of it, but a well booked 95. All the comedy characters served their purpose, and truth be told, it was a lot of fun.

The last eight minutes with Sheamus/Jericho was brilliant. Think the Taker/Shawn final 2 was longer, but its in the top 3 longest final 2s we’ve seen. I was living and dying on every moment. Not just because of the bet – though that was a major part of making the match even more fun, so lets try it more often! – but I think I’ve become a pretty major Sheamus mark along the way too.

It wont be regarded as a classic, and time will tell if it holds up historically, but for now, it was fun. Fun is good. It had a deserving winner AND pushed the hell out of 2 heirs to the main event in Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler.

Loved it.

Psycho Analysis:

Psycho: It’s really strange how different my opinion of the show is now than it was after leaving the arena. It’s hard to explain why I didn’t feel excited after the event, but perhaps I had expected way more from it. Maybe Brodus/Drew just killed my mood for the whole night. Maybe I’m just being delusional, but regardless, my final word was that this was another solid PPV from WWE, with a fantastic ending.

Great Job, WWE.

Kyle’s 242 Thoughts:

Kyle 242: Looking back, it was quite a mediocre card overall, with an exciting finish that almost entirely makes up for it. The non-Rumble matches were a bit of a write-off, nothing was really spectacular, and some were just confusing. The Rumble itself was a bit on the silly side, making use of lots of “surprise” and joke entries, but if erring on the side of fun is a sin, I think it’s fine to be a sinner. Is this really much different than if they had thrown out Tyson Kidd instead of one of the commentators? It was fun, and I had fun, and that’s what it’s all about.

I will rate this show as Price is Right. I mean yes, it’s sort of stupid, and it’s been better in the past, but the point is that it’s fun and it delivers on that.

Alright, that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls.  We hope you enjoyed our action packed review of WWE Royal Rumble 2012.  I gathered together a great crop of fresh young reviewing talent (and Michael) for this and I adore them all.  But this place is getting too crowded with all of these guest types and Michael has been metaphorically sleeping on our blog’s couch for a solid week now so…

Now then, next week we’ll be getting back to the perfectly normal business of Japanese wrestling, as we cover the second biggest wrestling event of the year, NJPW Wrestle Kingdom VI.  Defrost and I will break down all the crazyness as we bring you a tale of a legend fighting a rising star, a crazy MMA specialist trying to ugly up Tanahashi, and Naomichi Marufuji shit talking Shinsuke Nakamura and maybe even not getting murdered for it.  But that’s all next time and so as always, be sure to keep reading and be good to one another.

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