I'm sorry this has taken so long, but hopefully you can understand my position.
I'm not going to draw the obvious comparisons with the 1999 Royal Rumble with from this opening promo, as you acknowledged it all too well later on and throughout the show. It's not just a boring, unimaginative, rehashing of an old WWE idea then, it's an homage
, which is what you were going for. Christian's interview later on in the show basically confirms this. But it certainly does have it's own 'Wolfy-style' twist on it, as, unlike in '99 with Vince & Stone Cold Steve Austin, this time it's not about money. I can't remember off the top of my head how much Mr. McMahon was putting up for the elimination of Austin, but I'll guess it was somewhere in the region of $100,000. That's all well and good; I love
the merging of the wrestling world with the cinematic, and the whole Austin/McMahon thing oozed of that, with the tyrannical boss placing a hit on the head of the hero. However, what you've done is turn it around so that the prize on offer for the person who gets rid of Christian this Sunday is in fact wrestling
related, which actually offers more in the long term than a simple $100,000 - think about it, main eventing WrestleMania equals a big paycheck automatically, and you're automatically a star after that, with or without the belt - so in essence what Vince is offering the man (or woman; good ol' Victoria eh?
) is lifetime
success, power and security, and that
, Wolfy, is what I call a hell of an offer.
"Hell, let’s just call it an old fashioned bounty."
I just love the term 'bounty' so much. It reminds me of the good old days of Western films (not that I'm old enough to remember then; that's be Naitch
) and Gangster flicks. I had been wondering whether or not you would pull the trigger with something like this for Christian's feud, but you've the got the placement just right. The show before the Rumble? Together with the separate deal about just taking CC out tonight, it not only guarantees a hell of a Rumble Match this Sunday (I love it that you're actually posting this Sunday, Wolf), but also a hell of a (chaotic) show tonight.
Nice touch with McMahon pointing out to certain superstars what this deal could bring each of them. I can see Shelton Benjamin (bearing in mind The Brotherhood have basically been McMahon go-to guys in this thread since his return, kind of like The Spirit Squad were) making a big effort to get rid of Captain Charisma, and the Shawn Michaels look throws up an interesting question: just how badly do the faces in the Royal Rumble Match want that Main Event spot? Would someone as babyfacish as HBK, or even someone like Matt Hardy over on SmackDown, do anything
to get there? Should be very, VERY interesting. Subtle yet effective glimpse of Brock Lesnar's continues disillusionment with The McMahon Family Empire, storming up the ramp. A face (or more likely tweener) turn is destined to happen by WM I think, but in what capacity? Part of me hopes he gets in on the World Heavyweight Title act with Christian and Trips, but another part of me wants to see him go at it with Cena. The possibilities are endless. Good main event for tonight too; I just hope everyone's favourite Irishman (other than you
) can look good against Raw's Number One Face.
I figured that Rey Mysterio would be involved in some kind of contest with one of Shelton Benjamin's Brotherhood buddies, but since I've always had Benji down as retaining this Sunday, I was quite surprised (and disappointed?) to see Rey-Rey do the job. Why? Because I have a feeling that this all but guarantees Mysterio a title victory at the Royal Rumble, sparking another
Intercontinental Title reign for him, which I can't honestly get too excited about since his last one went on for so long. I'd much rather see a member of The New Wave get a run with the strap.
So Umaga won't be in action tonight? Fair enough. On such a stacked show it's hard to fit everyone
in; I understand. Smart choice to showcase his talents with a VP before the big PPV. I'm looking forward to seeing how 'Mags does this Sunday. I'm sure he'll be keeping pace with Brock Lesnar when it comes to number of eliminations, but I don't see him making it to the Final Four just yet.
Good interview from Christian (paying homage to the 1999 Steve Austin predicament like I said), kind of taking on The Rock-kind of role, if you get what I mean. When they used to interview Austin before a show, he'd just be tough etc. but Rock did just what CC does here:
"… That I AM walking out of this arena tonight, and I AM walking into the Conseco Field House on Sunday. And I’m gonna pick my number … and I’m gonna walk right into the Royal Rumble, whether it’s Number One, Number Thirty, or any of the twenty eight in between … and I’m throwing bodies over the top rope like there‘s no tomorrow … whether you’re in my way, or just in my vicinity … I don’t care if you’re Randy Orton … or Cody Rhodes … I wont discriminate for any generation. I don’t care if you’re a legend like Shawn Michaels or a rookie monster like Bobby Lashley … hell, you could be a champion like Brent Albright, or a chump like Joey Mercury. I’m dumping anyone, and EVERYONE out of MY RING … until there is no more left, and I’m standing … alone … victorious … and most importantly … headed to WrestleMania on March 18."
I think you can see what I mean; the list that he reels off. Strangely, both Christian and John Cena have been doing that a lot in recent weeks in this thread, reeling off their 'comedy' lists as it were. You seem to be a real fan of this kind of face, kind of taking the edge away from them almost (which has been made especially clear considering the kind of guys CC was as little as one year ago). Nice tension between CC and Lesnar at the end too. You've become a master of these short, sweet and menacing comments from The Iron Man, which has made me love him even more in this thread. If he and Christian aren't the last two in in the Rumble Match this Sunday, I'll be very
Wise move keeping this Triple Threat Match short, since all three men are nothing more than mid-card heels at this point of their career and I can't really see the crowd getting all that into it. Like I said in my review of the last Raw, I doubt you'll really do
anything with either of these guys, as Paul London seems to be the only newcomer you care about pushing, so Dinsmore will likely just make a swift exit in the Rumble Match at the behest of Mr. Orton.
Pretty funny segment between Christian and The Boogeyman. His debut at SummerSlam was one of the most bizarre things you've ever done. It's funny, for a minute there I almost thought that Boogeyman was going heel and trying to collect the bounty. That would've been hilarious.
Randy Orton's short promo before his match was actually quite effective. It reminds us that he's been floundering around the lower-main event scene since SummerSlam and he has a reputation to uphold (of losing at WrestleMania? Change please). I didn't think Shawn and Randy would get a third clean finish on the run so no surprises to see this bout go the way of the Dodo. I can only predict that after this vicious assault from Orton, that Michaels will gain a measure of revenge by eliminating The Career Killer this Sunday. They'll both be major players in that match though one would assume.
Okay, wasn't all that into the start of this promo from Cena. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it wasn't in character because, Wolf, it's pretty much impossible
for you to write a guy out of character, let alone John Cena, who seems to be your favourite superstar ever
No, it wasn't that; I just couldn't quite get into all of this:
"How much longer do we have to wait for season three of Lost to continue??"
"We need to know if Jack saved Ben, or if Kate and Sawyer escaped … or if Hurley lost any weight. C’mon."
This is the kind of Cena that sometimes irks me, but it's so apparent that you worship the ground the guy walks on, and it's apparent because you write with him so phenomenally. Regardless of me being a ridiculous smark and being irritated by happy-go-lucky Cena at the start of this segment, there's absolutely no denying that it was a fun read. But here's the thing, you made my day with what came next. I've ranted (and raved
) a few times in this thread recently about all the happy happy, smiley smiley, jokey jokerson stuff that was coming from Cena and Christian's little partnership, and you took my comments and you made me look one hell of a fool this week:
"Okay, okay. I’m really out here tonight … to give Triple H, the king of kings, the king of sting, The Game, the joystick, cerebral assassin, Conan, floats like a butterfly, asshole of the decade, the man of numbers; father of one, almost married twice - TWICE to Stephanie, a nose three times the size of a regular man, and a ten time world champion … a message."
"Screw me once Triple H, shame on you. … screw me twice, shame on me. This time, I’m ready for anything, and everything you can throw at me. Your wife to be, your brother in law, your father in law who you have a ‘special relationship’ with … any fool on the roster … heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if you threw your own four month old daughter at me … she’s probably got more balls than you do anyway."
Wow, just wow; some of the best stuff you've written since your return. This is when Cena's in his element, when he intense, when he's amped up, but he never stops ripping into his opponent(s) with every insult in the book, because that's just the kind of guy he is. When he's portrayed this
well, he really is an absolute pleasure to read, and by far the most fun. As a result, Triple H's in-put didn't really add much to proceedings, as it was running along smoothly just with Cena working himself into a frenzy (kind of like he did last year before facing 'Taker), although Hunter's threats about his daughter were a nice touch. It might have been a little side-tracked, what with the huge Royal Rumble storyline and all, but this promo was the perfect, subtle way to one of the biggest (in terms of who's in it) World Heavyweight Championship matches you've ever done. For Trips, Cena is Phase One, and at WrestleMania I think he'll be running into both
Phases Two & Three in the forms of Christian and Brock Lesnar.
You know I'm not a fan of Mr. Kennedy being stuck at this low mid-card level, but hey, I'll live, since I'm all but certain he'll be getting a push in the pre or post-WM run. No real surprises to see Straight Edge pick up another win over MNM, as their collision is coming sooner rather than later. It never pleases me to see KK on a losing team, but it's like I said, things will pick up soon, I'm sure of it.
Short but sweet interview from the greatness that is Teddy Long. I'm a little disappointed that you aren't allowing Shelton Benjamin or Rey Mysterio to pull double duty at The Royal Rumble, as it could've given both men a huge boost of credibility. More humorous shenanigans from Christian as he OWNS Jordan and Mack. Ignoring their first piece of gold in god knows how long, it's not been the greatest of years credibility wise for Long & Co.
Another victory for Alexis Laree to continue her push towards the Women's Championship match at WrestleMania. Melina should really start to mention
her belt at least, or you run the risk of erasing it from our memories.
Awww, sweet buddy/buddy stuff from Straight Edge there, which I think was there for a number of reasons: possibly because you like them as your own, self-made team and you want to hype them with air time; you want to get in that stereotypical pre-Rumble 'Every Man For Himself' promo; or you want to hype the possibility of even faces getting to Christian. Whichever one it was, it worked out just fine.
Two weeks running and Mr. Kennedy's getting air time? I must be dreaming. Nice little segment between him and Stephanie, evoking the kind of electric chemistry Mac has created between the two in his thread. I'm glad KK turned down her offer, as it would basically bring him on board as one of The Empire's stooges, and look how that's turned out for Finlay
If Kennedy got a push out of it then I'd be all for it, but if not, I'm just glad he seems to be being built up as a potential winner of the thing.
Bingo. You got him again. When it comes to Brock Lesnar you know to keep it short and to keep it sweeter than your Grandma's best cookies. The tension between he and Vince and Hunter has been incredible recently, so I hope you at least escalate it this Sunday.
Oh dear, poor old Shane McMahon; he hasn't exactly been covering himself in glory since the biggest match of his life at WrestleMania XXII, and ever since the inception of The McMahon Family Empire, he's pretty much been demoted to 'The Man-Servant' (Shane Hagadorn?) role. I actually thought he might be the mystery entrant this Sunday a la like on many occasions, but I suppose not.
Glad to see Finlay hanging with a former (and future) World Champion for almost fifteen minutes, though he still comes out of it not looking too great. Certainly no one has more momentum than Christian heading into this Sunday's Royal Rumble Match, as he outsmarts the entire roster and Vince. Quite an original way to get in the traditional mass brawl before the RR, with everyone actually coming down to attack CC and then forgetting about him. Still, something tells me Christian getting the big win is just too
obvious for someone as innovative as you. I remember feeling absolutely certain that Edge was winning Mac's Rumble Match this year, and he certainly did not. It's going to be wonderful, mate
I'm a bit disappointed that we aren't getting a huge heel vs. heel blow off match between Edge and Chris Jericho to send us into The Royal Rumble with, but this was still a very nice way to get in SmackDown's six main stars before the big PPV. I'm surprised that you had Lashley come out to do some talking rather than London or Brent 'OWNS' Albright, but I'm extremely pleased, as I still believe him to be an extremely
underrated big man who gets a lot of negativity in BTB. I would expect the winner of tonight's bout to be the man from SD! you are really going showcase in the RR Match, and with all of his build over the course of the past year, all of the signs point to Batista.
It's all coming together nicely for the WWE Tag Team division isn't it? Matt Hardy just cannot cope against the overwhelming odds of AMW with another loss, Shannon Moore is now down for the count, and there's a 'Mystery Superstar' entering the match this Sunday. I wonder, oh I wonder who that could be?
Glad to see Brent 'OWNS' Albright getting some more exposure tonight with a rare interview. It's also a nice change to see him so confident, as he's been so worried these past few weeks. Nice use of the Rocky quote too; movies > everything. Big performance from BA this Sunday please, to further establish himself amongst the big boys.
Well, it looks as though Cody Rhodes' undefeated run won't be lasting very long. I'm still a little baffled as to why you chose to bring him now of all times?
Quite surprised to see Juvi & Co. get the win heading into the Cruiserweight Championship match this Sunday, but I hope that it points towards the tension with the Mexicool camp finally
costing all three of them the belt. Super Crazy did seem awful edgy with his 'assistance' tonight. Honestly, out of Chavo, Kash & Kendrick, I'm spoilt for choice as to who I want to take the title more.
Oh baby, Batista and Lashley getting in each other's faces sends chills down my spine. I'd love to see them go at it at a big PPV, as, ignoring what everyone says, I think they could pull it off. If both men start to pursue the U.S Title, a Triple Threat involving them and Brent 'OWNS' Albright would be more than worthy of making the WrestleMania card.
Is RVD even capable
of getting pissed off?
Kind of the same as with Raw really, it was always likely that the WWE Championship match would have to take a backseat to the Royal Rumble build tonight, but this was a fine way to get the three men involved in the title match on the show. The Undertaker is one annoying fella' when he decides to no-show like this and just try to 'mess' with his opponents, but I honestly think it's going to cost him, as I can see him taking the fall this Sunday, to further the feud between him and Angle heading into WrestleMania.
Oh dear, well I guess my Lashley-shaped bubble was very much burst, and he's been Batista Bombed right back down to the bottom of the pecking order. I though Jericho and Edge might be the ones to get all of the spotlight, but it actually seems to be the U.S Title scene you're concentrating on. I expect big things from Big Dave (pun intended) this Sunday as a result of this, uh, result.
Awww, how lovely between Chavo, Kash and Kendrick. Unfortunately though, I can't see whichever one of them wins the strap honouring their deal, as one of them needs to HEEL IT UP~
I wonder why Matt Hardy is so upbeat????
Surprised to see that Porter had to cheat to beat Cody Rhodes. At this point of his career, I would've thought you'd be giving Montel clean wins left, right and centre to build his credibility up. Hopefully he puts in a good showing this Sunday, though I don't expect much from the rookie Rhodes.
Well, I wonder who that could be, Arn??
Nice main event, with Kane once again serving his main event purpose as the resident jobber of the pack, giving Angle a heck of a lot of momentum heading into the title match this Sunday. My prediction for this thing still stands though, Undertaker's the one taking the fall to continue Angle's utter dominance of late and not have him get pinned.
I'm sorry for the lateness of this feedback, but I wasn't sure whether or not I should still review people, but that's all been sorted out now, so you haven't lost my (awesome) reviews at all
FINAL Card for WWE Royal Rumble:
Date: 14th January 2007
Location: Conseco Field House, Indianapolis, Indiana
Event Music: Saliva, Ladies and Gentlemen
30 Man Royal Rumble:
Winner has automatic shot at EITHER brand’s Champion at WrestleMania XXIII:
Entrants in Alphabetical order;
Batista, Bobby Lashley, Brent Albright, Brock Lesnar
, Carlito, Chris Harris, Chris Jericho, Christian, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Edge, Finlay, Gregory Helms, Hardcore Holly, James Storm, Kane, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Mercury, Mr. Kennedy, M.V.P, Nick Dinsmore, Nitro, Paul London, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Tyson Tomko, Umaga, William Regal + 1 Surprise Entrant!!!
I can see you swerving us with this one and having Vince or Shane or Hunter or Steph or all of 'em somehow getting involved and costing Christian at the last point, which ends up backfiring on them as BOTH CC & Brock end up coming after Triple H at WM.
WWE Championship; Triple Threat Match:
Rob Van Dam
vs. The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
Angle/'Taker doesn't need the title at WM, and it's really just a matter of time until Edge cashes that baby in (could be tonight), so a grand finale for Van Dam would be a big win of two of the greatest of all time.
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
vs. John Cena
Christian/Cena or Brock/Cena would be nice, but I think this is all being built around The McMahon Family Empire, and without their 'boy' in the main event, that can't happen, so Hunter retains here.
Cruiserweight Championship; 6 Man Tag Match:
The Mexicools vs. Kid Kash, Chavo Guerrero & Brian Kendrick
A new, non-Mexicool champion for the first time in AAAAGES will make such a refreshing change.
Intercontinental Championship Match:
vs. Rey Mysterio
Regardless of the result on Raw, I think a seventh month reign was more than enough Rey-Rey for me.
1) Who will enter the Royal Rumble #1 & #2 - Christian & Brock Lesnar
2) Which superstar will draw #30 - Jeff Hardy
3) Who will be the mystery superstar?? - Jeff Hardy
4) Who will score the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble Match?? - Brock Lesnar
5) Name the 'Final Four' in the Royal Rumble Match - Christian, Brock Lesnar, Edge & Batista