Royal Rumble Review
Nice use of the veteran Shawn Michaels in the early going, outperforming the hothead Cena at every turn. Not use to seeing Michaels go for a hurricanrana, at least not this late in his career, so that was a bit out place. Nice spot though. Expanding the arsenal of John Cena a bit here, first with the sit out powerbomb and then the bodyscissors/chinlock combination. Solid action, with it going back and forth until Michaels hit’s a moonsault. Liked the focused assault on the leg of Cena but HBK doesn’t really have a submission move to take advantage of it, I don’t think. Maybe the Sharpshooter or Figure Four though. Some bookers would have rushed the “heel” beat down of Cena but Michaels working on the knee went a long while, good stuff. Honestly, I hope HBK turns full-fledged heel during this match or shortly after because he’s really pushing the line between face and heel at the moment, grabbing the chair. A bit of a stretch to see Cena kick out of Sweet Chin Music when Cena came flying off of the top. That should be enough to put anybody away…or you could have had some more time between the contact and the actual cover. You also over relied on the sunset flip in my opinion, maybe should have had a couple of more school boys or inside cradles. Finish came out of nowhere but was definitely a good thing, allowing Michaels to look strong as Cena picks up the victory. Solid, solid match. ***3/4
HBK starts a heel turn afterward?
Ouch. JBL completely owns Ric Flair in this segment, which is somewhat surprising considering the faces usually get the better of the heels in these one off interbrand segments. Leads me to believe that this feud of sorts will actually turn into a full blown one following some sort of incident in the actual Royal Rumble match.
Angle promo was solid in and of itself but the fact that he kind of glosses over why he wasn’t on Raw was a bit disappointing. Like the intensity Angle showed though, especially considering Hunter’s assault from Monday. Nice work.
Nice exchange between Batista and The Undertaker to kick things off, showing the equality between the two. In my opinion, Batista and Randy Orton don’t have particularly great chemistry with one another and was shown in their little brawl. Pretty plodding. Match is continuing the usual triple threat format with the individual matches taking place while each superstar catches themself a breather at one point or another. Gotta say I liked the way it was done as the action never really slows down, until Orton and Batista are left one on one as I said before. The back body drop through the table spot I could see from a mile away but was a nice way to get Batista out of there for a bit. Never seen Taker go for the cover after the Old School, so that seemed a bit off. Batista recovered rather swiftly and judging from the line afterwards, that was the point. Should have out it over/pointed it out more. Batista winning that way lets me know that Orton is pretty much out of the title picture for a while. If that was the indication, that was great booking as well as a solid finish to a good match. ***3/4
The Cena/Bischoff segment came off a little weak. Cena seemed quite a bit timid and didn’t say as much as he should with Bischoff, someone he hates, getting into his face. Also, the line about the WWE Championship boosting Cena’s ego, transitioning into the names of Hunter, Orton and Jericho came off as weird. I think I get what you were trying to say but it was just choppy. I expect Bischoff to somehow get involved in the Royal Rumble match.
Nice segment with Booker and Mysterio, establishing the cocky nature of the United States Champion as well as the underdog nature of Rey Rey. Booker’s slang was a little troubling at times but it fit his character well. A little more ‘straight’ talk could be helpful too though.
It was a little difficult to get a feel for the match since it started outside of the ring. You did your best to describe the surroundings - crates, wires and the such - but it was still a bit tough to visualize. Nice job illustrating the intensity of Angle though, loved the line about his face turning red. Just a really solid job of illustrating the match and giving the reader something to grasp on. LMAO @ Chioda and Doane getting their asses kicked this badly. You’re pushing it with the violence on the referees but it works with the two men’s hatred for one another. Angle has been booked to be a class better than Triple H tonight, looking strong tonight. I thought his intensity might bite him in the ass but that’s not the case so far. A little too reliant on Angle’s Euro Uppercut tonight. Just something to think about. Nice spot with the ring bell, reminiscent of Austin/Bret from Mania 13. Well done heel beat down by Hunter. Incredibly in character with his methodical pacing but Triple H, whom is supposed to be very intelligent, shouldn’t have gone for the cover after the spinebuster especially after he just saw both refs out. The working over of the leg was just done a couple of matches ago in Michaels/Cena so I wasn’t too big of a fan of it being repeated here by Helmsley. Another ref bump? Might as well have made this match No DQ right off of the bat. Angle finally puts it away with a roll up. Two roll up finishes almost back to back is not a good thing and in my opinion, effected the outlook of the match. Still a good match though. ***1/2
I liked the way you managed to use both Batista and Edge, having Batista’s lines kept short and sweet while Edge did most of the talking. Looks like Edge jumping to SmackDown to cash in the Money in the Bank contract is a very distinct possibility. SD could use the star power.
No clue what was going on with Cade and Murdoch at all. Closest I can come to is that someone took their number.
Starting the match off with Benjamin is a good move, since he has a nice move-set to carry the earlier portion of the match up. Same goes for Cena from a storyline perspective, forcing Cena to go the distance. JBL at number three is strange. He doesn’t have an incredible amount of stamina so I expect him to be eliminated shortly, around the fifteenth entrant. A little too early to be filling up the ring with “jobbers” (Nitro, Crazy, Eugene, Helms), so I’m expecting a few to be cleaned out sooner or later. Lol, as expected Kane cleans house. Kind of surprising to see him only get one elimination though. Most have Kane go on a rampage of eliminations, so its somewhat refreshing to see you go the other way. In my opinion, it would’ve been more effective to have one person eliminate Kane, giving them a huge rub but I guess Kane is gonna be a focal point of this thread up until Mania. Still waiting for the star to get the huge amount of eliminations. Couple of eliminations here and Benjamin has come off looking really strong so far, starting off as one and he’s taken out a few. Big things for him seem to be on the horizon but he definitely won’t be taking this match. I like Kennedy making his return at the pay per view but he needs to last quite a while to regain his momentum. I absolutely love the brutality shown by JBL and his assault on Flair. Far too many times JBL is seen as a comedian or not serious and this showed how dangerous he can be. The promos between him and Flair should be something to read if done right. What the hell?! I like the heel turn by Michaels here but it was done far too close to JBL’s attack on Flair. Hurts the impact and the shock factor. I guess it was Taker whom was involved with the Cade and Murdoch scenario earlier but once again, this loses much of its impact because of the two attacks which just preceded. I understand that all of these guys are big stars so it should’ve happened towards the end of the match but still. Awww, would have liked to see Lashley go a bit longer but he had some impressive moments. Cena is looking like the epitome of a god at the moment. Impressive way to write him but this sis the type of booking that cost him many fans in reality. Great exchange with Van Dam and Edge before RVD’s eventual elimination. I had almost forgotten about Shelton Benjamin until he was eliminated. Used him really well tonight as the workhorse of the match and he’s gotten a huge rub from this match. Hope you capitalize on it. Same goes for Carlito. Glad to see you keeping the younger stars in and get a rub from rubbing elbows with top stars (Taker, Flair, etc). The final few minutes between Taker and Cena were well done and Cena came off looking like a complete monster tonight, going bell to bell after beating Michaels and getting drilled with the chair. A little unrealistic but completely overshadowed by some tremendous writing and drama. Really, really good match up, which started a couple of new angles and gave us one half of the main event … though now we can expect Michaels to be involved someway. Great stuff, Legend, be proud of a very good match and event overall.
Cena crying afterward struck me the wrong way since I always felt that hurt a face’s credibility but it does show the importance of the win, so its worth it.
Overall: Sorry the review took so long. What can I say, great event. The Royal Rumble was hindered by the many main event angles which culminated at the end but didn’t effect the quality of writing throughout the show. 9/10