Royal Rumble (2017)

Royal Rumble

“Remember the Rumble”

(Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas – Attend. 52,020 -January 29, 2017)

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PreShow

Panelists: Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Shawn Michaels.

Crowd: “H-B-K!”

Social Media L0unge: Charly Caruso.

Parking Lot: Peter Rosenberg

For once, HBK isn’t dressed like a jackass.

Michaels’ memories of the 1995 Rumble are informative and interesting. He admitted that he felt like he could “walk on water” back then.

Cut to Rosenberg. He delivers the rules and regulations for the main event as he walks from the stage to the ring. It gives the match context and immensity. He hints at the importance of surprise in past events.

Naomi/Nikki Bella/Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss (c)/ Mickie James/Natalya.

Why are there commercials during preshow matches?

I really don’t get why people are so into Becky Lynch. I don’t sense anything special about her.

Naomi pinned Bliss with a split-legged moonsault.

Perfectly acceptable trios match.

Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson defeated Sheamus/Cesaro (c) for the RAW Tag Team Championship.

Sheamus eats a “Magic Killer” for the pin. New tag champs.

Who is next for the Bullet Club?

Remember the Rumble. The WWE is so good at galvanizing moments and making them feel important.

Austin Aries joins the panel. He does a great job crystallizing Rich Swann’s grittiness.

Charly Caruso interviews Dean Ambrose.

Nia Jax demolished Sasha Banks.

Jax tore up Banks with a “Stretch Muffler.” She pinned her with a pop-up “Samoan Drop.”

Stephanie McMahon will address Seth Rollins actions at TakeOver the next day on RAW.

As for tonight, Rollins has been banned from the building.

Lawler and Booker say Sami Zayn isn’t a threat in the Rumble.

What? Seriously…what? It’s one thing to sell him as an underdog but this is insulting.

With 6:44 left until the Rumble goes live, Shawn Michaels does his entrance and poses in the ring. He gets on the microphone and says that he isn’t there to talk about himself. He wants to know who will win the Rumble.

I thought for sure he was going to announce a last-minute decision to enter himself.

Main Show

Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley to retain the RAW Women’s Championship.

Flair’s “Figure Four Suplex” is impressive.

The crowd is biting hard for Bayley pin attempts.

Flair hits the “Natural Selection” on the apron. She secures a pin on the challenger.

The champ is now 16-0 on pay-per-view. Who is next for her? Maybe an undefeated Asuka comes up and beats her for the belt, vacating the NXT Women’s Championship? Maybe this streak goes on for another year until she runs into Ronda Rousey?

Kevin Owens (w/ Chris Jericho suspended above the ring in a “shark cage”) defeated Roman Reigns to retain the WWE Universal Championship.

The crowd shits on Reigns as he makes his way to the ring.

Early on, Owens sets up a tower of chairs at ringside. Someone is fittin’ to get hurt.

Jericho manages to insert himself in the match by dropping a pair of brass knuckles to his “best friend.”

After much battling, Braun Strowman attacks Reigns. He powerslams him through a table.

Owens scores the pin to retain.

Neville defeated Rich Swann (c) to become the WWE Cruiserweight Champion.

Neville is absolutely on fire in his current incarnation. This heel persona suits him perfectly. The metamorphosis reminds me of Rocky Maivia to The Rock when he was injured and came back with all the pieces in place. I don’t think Neville is going to blow up like that…but it feels like equivalently transformative change.

John Cena defeated AJ Styles (c) to become the WWE Champion for the 16th time.

John Cena’s physique. Good god, man. What a monster.

These two performers sync together so well.

This match was flawlessly executed and tells a great story.

Cena’s “Figure Four Leglock” was a great callback to Ric Flair’s 1992 Rumble win.

Cena hit a picture perfect “Canadian Destroyer.”

Mauro Ranallo’s commentary has been pristine.

John Cena showed some stanky swag after the “Avalanche Attitude Adjustment.”

Fantastic ending. Sensational match. Tremendous stuff. I think it was just as good as the alleged “6-star” Kenny Omega/Kazuchika Okada match, which was weeks earlier at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 11.

Someday, people are going to deny that they ever hated John Cena.

braun-strowman-6

Randy Orton outlasts 29 other competitors to win the 30th Annual Royal Rumble match.

White hot opening from Big Cass (#1) and Enzo Amore.

Jericho is #2.

Jerry Lawler is announcing the match. Good to have him back behind the mic.

Jack Gallagher’s umbrella spot with Jericho was money.

The Strowman chapter of the RR has been interesting. He is murking the competition. Like a teenage girl, he dumps guy after guy. Having him take a chokeslam was a mistake. He needs to appear invincible.

“Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger got a very nice pop.

Carmella came out with James Ellsworth looking oh-so-fine. There is just something about her.

Baron Corbin eliminates Strowman. There’s a Wrestlemania match.

The match pace noticeable slows around the time that all three members of The New Day are in the ring.

The Sheamus/Cesaro friction angle is wearing thin. Just let them be a “normal” team.

Enzo Amore is eliminated quickly. Why do that to him? The dude is one of the few performers on the roster with nuclear charisma. Why try to snuff that out by dogging him?

The Goldberg-Lesnar faceoff. Man, I think they are putting way too much shine on Goldberg. I realize that he is old and decrepit…but will they get any equity back from putting him over Goldberg like this?

Taker dumps Goldberg. Truly, no one does it better than Taker. He can stare holes through anyone.

The Taker-Reigns interaction was solid. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

I actually liked the spear/RKO/elimination finish.

So, Randy Orton won. Are we faced with another Cena-Orton match at Mania? Does Cena fall before he makes it to the big show?

I do love the start of WrestleMania season…

-Ted Zep

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More Wrestling

NXT TakeOver: San Antonio (2017)

IWC Reloaded 3.0 (2017)

PCW New Year’s Revolution (2017)

Wrestle Bowl XI (2017)

AIW: Jelly of the Month Club (2016)

 

 

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