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WWE Royal Rumble

January 31, 2010

by Samoa Rowe

-From Atlanta, GA. Our hosts are Michael Cole, Matt Striker, and Jerry Lawler.

-Savannah is our official ECW ring announcer! I’m surprised TNA hasn’t hired her yet and then acted surprised when their fans didn’t recognize her.

ECW Championship:
Christian © vs. Ezekiel Jackson (with William Regal)

This would prove to be the final ECW title match ever on pay-per-view, as the brand was soon scrapped in favor of NXT. Jackson has a clear size advantage and forces Christian to get creative. Jackson gets flustered but manages to hit a short arm clothesline to take control. Christian counters a press slam and delivers some attacks to the head. Jackson knocks Christian off the turnbuckles to regain his momentum. Regal gets kicked out of the arena for coming too close to Christian at ringside. Jackson dead lifts Christian off them at for a choke slam and continues an extended beating. Jackson’s superplex to blocked and Christian nails a flying uppercut. Christian makes his comeback with quick attacks. Christian’s diving head butt misses and he eats a clothesline for 2. Christian absorbs a backbreaker and delivers a tornado DDT! They trade counters until Christian delivers the Killswitch to retain at 11:57! This was a surprisingly game opener, **¾.
Winner and still ECW Champion: Christian

-Cryme Tyme tells Teddy Long that it isn’t fair that only one of them can be in the Rumble. They offer The Great Khali to trade his spot for a kiss from Tiffany. Khali has no idea what’s going on, but Ranjin Singh saves him from making a big mistake. They make some really painfully dated Family Matters jokes and Long and the whole group makes fun of Cryme Tyme. The Miz wanders into the scene and says people will remember his first Rumble win more than any lame pop culture reference. Long doesn’t like having his buzz killed and books Miz against MVP on the spot. Khali leads a group sing-a-long of “Who let the dogs out” and we finally cut away.

-Cody Rhodes approaches Randy Orton in his locker room. Rhodes feels that they’ve worked too hard to let Legacy fall apart and promises to be there for his leader. Cody isn’t finished and tries to plant some dissension by claiming that Ted Dibiase is planning on beating Orton for the WWE title at Wrestlemania.

United States Championship:
The Miz © vs. MVP

They waste no time and keep a fast pace in the early going. Miz absorbs a suplex but runs into a back drop. MVP prevents Miz from fleeing and delivers a side suplex for 2. MVP overwhelms Miz in a ringside brawl but soon gets knocked off the apron onto the announce table. Miz takes control by targeting the back. Miz latches on for a chinlock but MVP powers out and makes a comeback. The ballin’ elbow and yakuza kick aren’t enough to put Miz away. Shoulder block by MVP gains another near fall. MVP misses a running boot but counters with a series of pinning predicaments. Miz surprises with a roll-up and gets the win at 7:27. I will always remember this as a match I saw once, **.
Winner and still U.S. Champion: The Miz

-MVP puts Miz down with the Playmaker to mostly boos. Nobody likes a sore loser. Why the WWE writers thought this was a good thing for a baby face to do, is beyond me.

-Big Show bumps into Chris Jericho backstage. Show accuses Jericho of being jealous that he likes tagging with Miz more than him. Jericho scoffs at the notion and accuses Miz of using Show for his own personal agenda. Jericho is basically trying to make an ally for himself in the Rumble match, but Big Show says he’ll toss both Miz and Jericho out if he gets the chance. R-Truth shows up and promises to toss Jericho, who no longer has Big Show to watch his back.

-Randy Orton is approached by Ted Dibiase, who wishes him luck and offers his support. Dibiase claims that Rhodes is acting weird. Orton has had enough of this nonsense and says he doesn’t want help from Dibiase or Rhodes tonight.

WWE Championship:
Sheamus © vs. Randy Orton

This is a heel vs. heel contest, so I expect Orton will become the de-facto baby face. Orton has an experience advantage and uses that to his benefit in the early going. Sheamus surprises with an Irish hammer and begins targeting the arm. Orton retaliates by targeting the knee. The crowd dies as Sheamus begins favoring shoulder thrusts. Orton comes back by further attacking the weakened knee. We get a nice “Randy” chant but Sheamus counters and goes after the arm some more. They trade shots until Sheamus delivers a hard backbreaker. Orton blocks the Celtic Cross and kicks Sheamus to the floor. Spike DDT by Orton gets a 2 count. Sheamus rolls out to avoid the death punt. Sheamus rolls Orton into the ring and gets jumped by Cody Rhodes! Orton nails the RKO, but the referee calls for the DQ due to Cody’s interference. That was a lousy finish to a sloooow match, **.
Winner via DQ: Sheamus

-Orton looks really aggravated as Cody tries to explain himself. Orton clocks Cody in his sorry face and starts pummeling him. Ted Dibiase runs in and pulls Orton off and tries to reason with him. Orton clocks Dibiase as well and continues his 1 on 2 beat down. Sheamus is back up and catches Randy off guard with a Brogue Kick! Bad night for Randy.

-Michelle McCool comes to the ring and claims that Mickie James isn’t here, because if she was, you’d see her. You know, because she’s sooooo fat! McCool tries to claim a forfeit victory, which is a shame, because Layla baked a cake for Piggie James. Layla comes out wearing a fat suit and a pig nose. Mickie’s music hits and she’s here to end this nonsense! Mickie delivers a Thesz press to Layla and slams her into the guard rail.

Women’s Championship:
Michelle McCool © (with Layla) vs. Mickie James

Michelle accidentally kicks Layla off the apron and eats a DDT. Mickie wins at 0:25! Everyone really hates on the Piggie James storyline, but you know what, it resulted in Mickie squashing Michelle to a huge reaction from the crowd. I don’t know why everyone got so mad at Michelle for acting like a heel. ½*.
Winner and new Women’s Champion: Mickie James

-The other baby face divas come out with a huge cake, which they dump onto Michelle and Layla. That was fun.

World Heavyweight Championship:
The Undertaker © vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey is cautious in the early going, but Undertaker easily tosses him to ringside. Rey springboards into a head shot and tumbles to the floor. Rey avoids the apron leg drop but ends up suffering a worse leg drop off the first rope. Mysterio counters a choke slam but Undertaker counters 619! Rey counters a Tombstone! Sadly, Rey springboards into a big boot. The Dead Man misses a big boot and collides with the ring post, which Mysterio capitalizes on. Rey avoids a Last Ride to the floor and nails an Asai Moonsault! Rey misses a baseball slide and gets driven into the barricade. Undertaker has a bloody nose as he dismantles Mysterio via the arm. Rey counters with a chin breaker and an inverted DDT. Springboard leg drop by Rey gets 2! Mysterio counters the Last Ride and nails 619! Springboard drop-kick by Rey and a second 619! Undertaker counters the West Coast Pop with a huge Last Ride! Undertaker retains at 11:04. They kept a hell of a pace and threw in a ton of great counters, ***½.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: The Undertaker

-Kane confronts Shawn Michaels in the locker room. Kane tells HBK that his obsession with The Undertaker is unhealthy. Kane reminds him that he’s eliminated more men in Rumble matches than anyone else and also faced Undertaker at two Wrestlemania’s, so he knows that HBK will find nothing but darkness if he continues his quest. Kane takes off and Triple H strolls in. HHH wishes Michaels luck in the Rumble and HBK apologizes for being selfish. They shake hands, but Michaels doesn’t let go right away and says his rematch with Undertaker is meant to be. Triple H agrees, but HBK is going to have to find another way.

30 Man Royal Rumble:

As you all know, the winner gets a WWE or World Heavyweight title match at Wrestlemania. #1 is Dolph Ziggler and #2 is Evan Bourne. They have a lively exchange but neither man scores an elimination before #3 CM Punk (with Serena) joins the party. Bourne and Ziggler are already worn out and gets easily eliminated. Serena hands Punk a microphone and he cuts a promo! #4 is JTG and he briefly takes control. JTG foolishly stands on the turnbuckles and gets dumped out! Punk grabs the mic and continues his promo where he left off. Punk plans on becoming the first ever straight edge Rumble winner, but he’s in trouble as #5 is The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh). Punk offers to “save” Khali but just eats a chop to the face. Khali applies the vice grip but gets distracted by #6 Beth Phoenix! In a classic spot, Beth uses her feminine charms to eliminate Khali. Beth clotheslines Punk and almost dumps him, but Punk retaliates with Go 2 Sleep! Punk eliminates Beth as #7 Zack Ryder shows up. Punk clocks Ryder with the mic and dumps him over the ropes. Punk declares himself better than whoever is next, so naturally #8 is Triple H. Punk gets dominated and #9 is Drew McIntyre, who takes his sweet time walking to the ring. Punk gets tossed by Triple H after blocking the Pedigree. Drew takes the fight to Triple H and #10 is Ted Dibiase.

HHH dishes out clotheslines but runs into a Dibiase slam. The heels double team Triple H until #11 John Morrison shows up to even things up. #12 is Kane, who cleans house on everyone. #13 is Cody Rhodes, who quickly teams up with his regular partner, Dibiase. #14 is the sore loser, MVP. The Miz ambushes MVP on the stage, thus preventing him from entering the match. Kane saves Triple H from being double teamed by Legacy. #15 is Carlito, who I’m surprised was still employed at this point. To borrow a phrase, Carlito goes after anything that moves. The Miz is #16 and immediately plants Carlito with the Skull Crushing Finale. MVP rushes in and eliminates both Miz and himself and they continue to fight at ringside. #17 is Matt Hardy, who has a turn cleaning house, until Kane pushes him to the floor. Triple H eliminates Kane right after. Triple H delivers a series of spine busters to all who come near. Shawn Michaels is #18 and he is eager to win so he can challenge Undertaker for the World title. Michaels tosses Carlito, Dibiase, and Rhodes to the floor. HBK adds Morrison to the list but gets ambushed by McIntyre. DX team up and bat Drew around before eliminating him. Triple H and Michaels are alone and about to fight when #19 John Cena shows up. Cena cleans house, suplexing Triple H onto Michaels. HHH saves HBK from getting tossed and nails Cena with the Pedigree. HBK thanks HHH by eliminating him with Sweet Chin Music.

#20 is Shelton Benjamin, who delivers a flurry of attacks before getting tossed by Cena. Yoshi Tatsu is #21 and also manages to hit a series of attacks on HBK and Cena. Sadly, Yoshi gets tossed by Cena as well. Big Show is #22 and Michaels saves himself from some close eliminations. Mark Henry is #23 and he goes right after Big Show. Cena softens Show for a Henry power slam. Cena is unable to slam Henry and #24 Chris Masters joins the party. Show counters the Masterlock by tossing Masters to the floor. R-Truth is #25 and he sneaks in to dump both Big Show and Mark Henry to ringside. Truth tangles with the main eventers. Jack Swagger is #26 and he goes right after Truth. Swagger Bomb on both Cena and HBK! Swagger nearly eliminates Shawn. Kofi Kingston is #27 and he enjoys a stretch in the driver’s seat with his controlled frenzy. Kofi eliminates Swagger and Truth! #28 is Chris Jericho, who cleans house. Cena plants Jericho with the Attitude Adjustment but then suffers a DDT from Michaels. Cena eliminates Kofi, who had just planted HBK with Trouble in Paradise. #29 is Edge, who is returning from a lengthy absence. Edge spears everyone and tosses Jericho! Edge counters Cena with his patented DDT. Batista is the coveted #30 entrant.

The final four are Shawn Michaels, John Cena Batista, and Edge. Batista cleans house but eats a spear from Edge. Attitude Adjustment on Edge! Michaels finds his second (or third) wind and dishes out Sweet Chin Musics to Cena and Batista. Edge nearly eliminates himself and HBK but takes a SCM. Batista knocks HBK off the apron for an elimination! You can sense the disbelief from the audience as Michaels looks completely devastated. Michaels doesn’t handle it well and attacks the referees. Meanwhile, Cena blocks a Batista Bomb and pulls the ropes to eliminate the Animal. Cena blocks the spear but Edge rebounds and tosses Cena to win the Rumble at 49:22! Edge points to the Wrestlemania sign and has his moment like a good winner should. This was a fantastic Rumble, from Punk’s preaching to Michaels’ hearbreak, and finally Edge’s grand return. All around a ****¼ outing.
Winner: Edge

Final Thoughts: The Royal Rumble match delivered, therefore the pay-per-view can be considered a big success. There’s also a surprisingly good Undertaker/Mysterio match and there really wasn’t anything I flat out disliked. It’s too bad that Orton and Sheamus had a slight misfire, otherwise this is worth a recommendation. Thumbs up!

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