Sunday, January 25, 2015

LIVE Royal Rumble thoughts - January 25, 2015

10:58 - The Rock telling unseen people to stop laughing, when we can't hear or see them, came across as kinda sad and self-congratulatory.  Also, nothing says "I'm ready for Brock Lesnar" like "I'm bleeding and need to see the trainer."

10:57 - "He won the Rumble, let him speak." - The Rock....before interrupting Reigns every second.

10:50 - And there you go, the beginning of your build for Cena/Rusev.

10:45 - The blatant attempt to use the Rock's popularity to get Reigns' on the fans good side is both obvious and desperate.  And, when you KNOW you have to go to that level, why not just do the things that you know your fans want.

10:43 - Well, I guess technically Ambrose wasn't in the Final 4.

10:41 - I'm confused....why are the announcers surprised that the Rock is in Philly, or even here at the Rumble?  It was blatantly announced earlier.

10:38 - "And now it's down, to Roman Reigns..."  This company....

10:36 - I was right though.  Ambrose in the final 4.

10:36 - That Ziggler thing....the worse....

10:32 - So I guess that means Ziggler at #30?  Which means we won't see some sort of Bunny appearance that turns out to be Daniel Bryan.

10:30 - Cesaro gets some extra points from me for wearing different trunks for his two matches tonight.

10:23 - Got a kick out of the fact that Ryback clotheslining Reigns got an inordinately loud pop.

10:20 - I tell ya....they better have something up their sleeve better than Reigns winning, because otherwise we're in for a Batista Year 2.

10:16 - Yep.  Eating him alive.

10:14 - Liked the use of the rosebuds....particularly that they DIDN'T save Rose seconds later.  But it bothers me that Kofi's appearance is now ONLY to do a stunt.  Then he gets promptly eliminated.

10:12 - Roman Reigns is dead in the water.  This crowd is going to tear him apart.

10:09 - I think that's the first time in Rumble history that the crowd was so deflated they didn't even countdown.

10:05 - Number 14 is my pick in a Rumble pool I'm in.  I suspect I won't be winning that.

10:04 - I think we're all kinda wondering why Fandango is still in there.

9:58 - This confrontation would be soooooooo much more fulfilling and meaningful if these two didn't face off in a needless match on Raw a week or two ago.

9:55 - Bray Wyatt getting the CM Punk Straight Edge Society treatment right now.

9:52 - The Wyatt reunion was fun and a satisfying enough resolution to their storyline.  I also loved Bray's sadistic reaction to both of them setting their sights on him.

9:47 - Again....shocked they turned down the obvious comedic spot of the Mizdow self elimination.

9:45 - Has it really been 10 years since the Dudleys have been in WWE?  That's incredible.  I feel old.

9:43 - Ugh, WWE's Instagram just spoiled the surprise #3 entrant.  :(

9:42 - Surprised they turned down the chance of doing Mizdow as #2.  Miz would try to convince him to eliminate himself, but the only way he would is if Miz does it first (since he mimics him).  Mizdow would just continue aping Miz.

9:41 - Mizdow as #2?

9:31 - What an awesome match. Truly thrilling.  And all three men did an awesome job.  Rollins ate the pin -- which made sense from a storyline perspective (they had to create a reason why he didn't cash in post-match) -- but I think this was his coming out party as a singles competitor.  Bravo to all three.  And they really did build Lesnar up so that whoever does defeat him becomes a huge star.

9:24 - Did anybody have a better year than Seth Rollins?  This guy is a blast to watch and I really would be thrilled if he's the first member of the Shield to hold the gold.

9:18 - Brock takes the best looking Curb Stomps.

9:12 - This dominance would still mean a lot more if Lesnar had made more than one title defense (which he had to be saved from) since winning the title in August.

9:03 - I am shocked that we are yet to see a gray variant of Seth Rollins' attire yet.

8:55 - I was wrong about the Dudleys returning during the Ascension match....but I was right about Stardust wearing purple!

8:49 - I really don't like the Bella twins, but I'm happy they're at least heels again.

8:47 - We have some extremely strict referees when it comes to these tags tonight.

8:42 - Fun tag team title match.  Really happy to see the continued success of the Usos.  And Miz and Mizdow remain entertaining as always.

8:26 - Nice looking new gear for the Usos.  Nothing new for Miz & Mizdow.  I kinda miss the days when Miz would wear those flashy outfits.  You could always count on a fresh appearance from him.

8:19 - LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that they're putting these live Stone Cold podcasts on the Network.  This is EXACTLY what they need to be doing to bring in those subscriber numbers.

8:11 - This certainly doesn't need to be a squash, but anything less than a fairly dominant victory would not be a good thing for the Ascension.

8:06 - Fun opening segment.  I particularly appreciated the appearance of veteran midcard guys who likely have no chance of winning, but were made to look like bigger deals.

7:49 - I'm betting that Kofi Kingston appears in the Rumble tonight (for his stunt false elimination) and I'm hoping he comes out with his annual fun comic book inspired ring gear, instead of the New Day attire he's been wearing.

7:40 - This was a generally fun match but also seemed to look very messy and disjointed.  I'm also happy to see Kidd and Cesaro with a victory, but really, considering where Cesaro was coming out of WrestleMania last year, he should be so far beyond this.

7:34 - Alright, I hit the "reload" button on my Roku and that seems to have done the trick.

7:27 - Starting to have issues with the WWE Network.  Getting a lot of "Loading, Please Wait" interruptions and the quality of the feed has gone down a lot.  I'm HOPING this is just the result of a lot of new people joining at once, hopefully this isn't a whole night thing.

7:24 - WWE 24 looks amazing.  What's the "24" refer to, though?  24 hours?

7:20 - I wonder if they're trying to swerve us by putting SO much attention on the possibility of Reigns winning.  Having said that, I guess the same could be said about Daniel Bryan.

7:04 - Oh, another random prediction:  New purple attire for Stardust.  He posted a pic of all of his wrestling boots on Twitter, and there was a random purple pair that he hasn't worn yet.

6:57 - Did anybody else watch that Santino's Rumble Lottery special?  If so, how was Hulk Hogan not turned heel, like, 40 times during his memorable run?  I was a blind Hulkamaniac as a kid, but that special really highlighted what a dick he could be.  He's getting double teamed during one Rumble and is saved by the Ultimate Warrior.  Those two guys then double team the Warrior and what does Hogan do?  HE ELIMINATES WARRIOR!!!  The guy who just rescued him.  Then a year or two later he comes in and eliminates his best friend Tugboat.  And then a year or two after that, he's eliminated (completely legally) by Sid.....actually, in almost an identical fashion as he eliminated Warrior....and what does he do?  He CHEATS and pulls him out of the ring, giving Flair the victory.  And, evidently, NONE of this was done with the intention of turning Hogan heel.  Which makes me think WWE may be successful despite itself, not because of itself.  They have a history of really questionable decisions.

6:32 - Tonight is quite possibly my favorite event on the wrestling calendar -- the Royal Rumble.  A night where, ideally, there really are so many possibilities.  And a night that can easily set the tone for what is supposed to be the most entertaining two or three months of WWE's year.

There's a lot to wonder about tonight.  Will Brock Lesnar retain?  If not, will they give a huge rub to Seth Rollins or will they go the "easy" route with John Cena?  And, regardless of what result, who wins the Rumble?  Will they "make it up" to the fans last year but giving the win to perennial favorite Daniel Bryan, or will they strap the proverbial rocket to Roman Reigns and give him the nod?  Or, will they completely swerve us with something unexpected?  A surprise Cena appearance or win?  Ditto for Lesnar?  Or Rollins?  Or will they "make it up" to the fans for the past few months and give somebody like Ambrose his due?  Or Ziggler?  Or Wyatt?  Or will it be Rock?

And with that in mind, which Superstars make a surprise appearance?  Rock?  Hogan?  DDP?  Dudleys?  Sting?  Chris Jericho?  Batista?

Well, here are my early predictions:

I want to say Lesnar retains.  But regardless of the result, I don't think Cena leaves the night as champion.  I see Lesnar winning, but if he doesn't, Rollins ultimately leaves as the champion.  Whether that means Cena wins, only for Rollins to cash in and win, or Rollins straight up wins (after, perhaps, a Heyman double cross?) remains to be seen.  I personally hope for the latter, as we've never seen a champion with the Money in the Bank briefcase.

I do think we'll see a Rock appearance.  WWE has already teased it, and it would be foolish of them to drop that hint and not follow through.  You saw what happened last year.

If the Dudleys do appear, I think it'll be as a post-match attack against the Ascension and not as Rumble participants.  Since there are two of them, the impact will be diluted with them coming out separately.

I see Mizdow coming out early and doing the predicted self elimination after Miz gets eliminated.  I see him coming out early and lasting a long time, though, adding a little tragic element to that comedy ("he lasted that long just to eliminate himself!?!?!")

I think either Ziggler or Ambrose will make it to the final four, but will ultimately lose.

In the end, I think Daniel Bryan wins.  Bryan hasn't even been involved in any significant feud, so there really was no need for them to bring him back before the Rumble.  And, really, putting him in the Rumble only for him to lose in favor of their golden boy (Reigns) isn't fair to Reigns.  There simply is no upside to having Bryan make a monumental return and participate in the Rumble if he's not winning.  Surely they have to be smart enough for that.......right?

Anyway, check back around 7 or 7:30 or whenever the pre-show stars for my LIVE thoughts.

No comments: