Going into the PPV: My thoughts
The Royal Rumble is always my favorite PPV every year, and the match itself is masterful, with thirty potential winners (in a kayfabe sense) anyway, to go on to fight whatever championships their are come Mania. Usually, they have a relativly small undercard. This one just happened to feature some of the best matches. So, without any further ado, let's hit up one of my favorite PPV's of my relative youth.
Be warned, because I've seen this PPV so many times, there might be a bit more armchair booking than usual. Jim Ross calls this the "most star-studded Royal Rumble ever" and he isn't wrong, there's a bunch of past winners, plus the ECW guys.
Hardyz vs MNM w/Melina
This is the rematch from Armageddon 2006, in which the Hardyz about killed Joey Mercury, Joey Mercury is pissed about this, I credit WWE turning this giant botch into storyline.
--Melina's wearing knee highs and a short skirt. Mmmmmm, NWK is happy.
-MNM apparently dislocated Matt Hardy's jaw with a concrete Snapshot
-Mercury jukes out Matt and allows Nitro to sneak up on Matt, great.
-There's actually a shitton more jaw shots on Matt than I expected
-Lots and lots of double teams
-I wish jaw injuries were done more often, it would make things like rest holds way more effective
-Mercury gets punched in the face and he kind just slowly falls to a sitting position, perfect
-Props to Johnny for actually kinda looking like he got caught by Whisper in the Wind
-Matt and Jeff do the Splash/Legdrop combo, and Nitro gets his knees up and fucks up Jeff, the legal man. Also, Jeff comes down first, so it looks like Johnny was too busy blocking Jeff's splash to avoid Matt's legdrop.
-And Joey works Jeff's midsection. I never really noticed until I read a recent WWE.com article, but Joey is a master psychologist
-I should point out that both Hardyz have gotten babyface in peril
- The ref doesn't see the tag from Jeff to Matt, and MNM drags Jeff to the corner while Matt is arguing, great s**t.
-In order to counter a double team, Jeff throws Mercury into Nitro, and they conk heads. Since Mercury's face is pretty much the focal point of this feud right now, that should've been the end of Mercury's involvement in the match.
-I love "one man double teams two people spots-
-Jeff does the most realistic block of a Snapshot on Matt ever, a frantic running forearm to Mercury's back
- Jeff and Matt go for a Poetry in Motion on Mercury, and Nitro Oklahoma Rolls Matt for a near fall. Why isn't this done more often.
-Jeff does the Uso's "blind tag as a guy is falling out of the ring" for a Swanton and a win.
9/10, LOOK THIS UP
Teddy Long and Jonathan Coachmen administer the Royal Rumble number drawing, Edge is a giant douchebag, Orton comes in, and there's Rated RKO tension, and even a "Tell me he didn't just say that" from King Booker. Great stuff, except for the fact that ECW went General Managerless for about 2 years and that pissed me off even as a teenager.
Test vs. Bobby Lashley for the ECW Title
-Test is made to look like an uber credible monster in the video package.
-They do the whole "Lashley hitting all his signatures on one arm" thing, which actually makes sense as a recurring theme if one of Lashley's easily dodgeable moves is a running shoulder tackle in the turnbuckle.
-Test runs through all of his finishers and can't quite put Lashley away. Instead of dusting off old finishing manuevers (the Testdrive, Pumphandle Slam, Pumphandle Powerbomb) Test gets himself counted out. This pisses me off to no end because it makes the title look like it's not worth putting in 100 percent for.
-Instead of just blowing off a guy who just WALKED OUT WILLINGLY ON A TITLE DEFENSE, Lashley rolls him back in the ring and his the Dominator, this makes Test look like a weasel and the ECW Title look 'not worth it'
Batista vs. Kennedy for the World Title
- Kennedy looked like a major douche in the video package, screwing Taker out of a seemingly easy beat the clock match to win a shot at Batista
-Once again, Kennedy does some great intensity selling, not taking his eyes off the title
-Momentum goes back and forth for a while, with Kennedy pretty much being a cheap heel
- Kennedy works the knee, so much so that Batista has to small package Kennedy, great
-Batista sells hurting his knee more on the Spinebuster, and when you think about it the Spinebuster is about the worst thing you could do with an injured knee.
-Batista does Kennedy's rolling Fireman's Carry on him, I wonder if anyone bitched at him backstage about protecting Kennedy's finish?
-There's a ref bump.
-Kennedy hits one of those 'DDT on kneeling people' spots that I despise, and acts shocked when he doesn't get the 3. To his credit he beats frustratedly on the knee.
-Batista not moving with as much speed as he normally does is great.
-Kennedy trying to punch his way out of the Batista Bomb before he gets planted was great.
Jonathan Coachmen gets attacked by Hornswoggle and Khali's stupid ass tries to pick three numbers, and hell we even get a Ron Simmons Damn
John Cena vs Umaga w/ AAE for the WWE Title
-Why has there never been a Cena match after this that ended in a Role Up like it was at New Year's Revolution?
-I hate that WWE's focal point for a last man standing match is that the guy "Can't answer the count of 10" Just call it like it is, they can't get up.
-John Cena has his ribs taped because of an absolutely murderous looking splash through a table by Umaga.
- Umaga immediately goes to the abdomen and roles out, awesome
-I'm glad the "Samoans have a hard head" trope has stood the test of time
-Props to Ross for mentioning that Cena probably couldn't train with a messed up abdomen.
-Okay, Cena throwing the stairs out of the ring at Umaga's head may be one of the most brutal usages of steps I've ever seen.
-It never occurred to me that Cena had a hard time picking up the steps, because of the fact that he had an injured abdomen.
-An injured abdomen allows announcers to sell basic moves like a bearhug like they're dreaded.
-Ooooh using the bottom part of the steps.
-YAY Cena used them as a weapon
-Ooooh, throwback and Spinning Powerbomb onto the steps
-Even a five knuckle shuffle on the steps.
-Cena lands head first on the steps jesus
-Cena hulking up looks extra cool because he's bloody and thusly looks like an insane person
-Cena blocking the Samoan Spike reminded me so much of a Hogan match, I loved it.
-DAMN that TV monitor shot
-That super splash across all three announce tables still is one of my favorite announce table spots
-And Umaga gets choked out with the top rope and it's amazing.
-Umaga having to be choked with the rope TWICE before going down was great.
Man, everyone should watch this match for themselves, it's so unique, with an amazing build, unique spots, and amazing psychology as well.
10/10. This mtach is so unique, this is easily my top John Cena match
The 2007 Royal Rumble
-Flair starting was cool, his previous win sells him as being able to go all the way.
-The refs give Finlay s**t for bringing his club into the ring. Isn't the Rumble no DQ?
-Flair and Finlay starting was cool, it established the slow pace that the opening part of a Rumble should have
-Dykstra comes in and immediately gets backed into the turnbuckle for Flair chops. Kenny technically is at 100 percent, he should be able to dodge those chops, or at least avoid them, or he's that dumb.
-I like that, the year after the Rey Mysterio win, they didn't have an undercarder who could go all the way in the first four entrants.
-Speaking of, I just want the undercarder who can go all the way spot to go to someone who's already competed on the PPV, like Matt Hardy for this one.
-Edge running to the ring and immediately getting off spears was great.
-Edge not hitting everyone with spears (missing one on Hardy) was great
-YAY Flair brought a chair into the match
-Edge eliminating a cocky Dykstra was great
-JBL implies that Jerry Lawler hid under the ring in one rumble because he thought that "There was a young chick under the ring" Oh my God bless 2007-era JBL
-Sabu enters, grabs a table out from ringside, and just sets it up and goes in. Wouldn't you slide it in and use it as a battering ram.
-Sabu went for what appeared to be a Tornado DDT on Tommy Dreamer and Dreamer landed on his back. f***ing how?
- Sabu vs anyone in Wrestlemania season with the correct build=money.
-Jerry Lawler and Cole try to sell Sabu as some kind of maniac, when he's wrestling the Royal Rumble like literally anyone else would. They could've benefited from having Sabu smother someone, ANYONE with some weapons.
-They couldn't even have Sabu eliminate a do-nothing jobber like FINLAY? C'MON
-As much as I love Helms going after Matt Hardy immediately, I hate it when rivalries that haven't been mentioned for three months randomly reignite at the Rumble.
-JBL implies that Gregory Helms wants to step up into the Heavyweight arena like Mysterio did. This makes me extra sad that that never happened.
-And Sanu is the one who eats Table on his way out. Why couldn't it have been anyone else. It would've been much less predictable.
-I like how we've had 11 entrants and only 4 eliminations.
-"Queen Sharmel directing King Booker to the ring" way to make Booker sound like a dipshit Cole
-JBL takes his obligatory opportunity to bury Mil Mascaras because a Mexican is in the ring.
-It pisses me off that The Hardyz would double team Super Crazy and just walk away. Wouldn't you at least attempt to throw him over the top rope?
-Sandman accidentally sprays some bitch in a suit with beer during his entrance hahaha.
-Sandman literally scores three Signapore Cane shots and then gets thrown out by Booker. You couldn't have even justified a Super Crazy elimination? Royal Rumble 2007 was the one shot they have to get the ECW people over and they blew it on literally ever non-CM Punk front tonight.
-Orton and Edge, who have been teaming for less than the Hardyz, know to double team and THEN throw people over the top rope.
-Booker gets eliminated by Kane, eliminates him and beats the s**t out of Kane.
-Micheal Cole compares RVD to Gumbi
-HBK is seemingly the only person to be smart enough to go after Finlay.
-They really squandered the opportunity to have Chris Masters throw someone out with the Masterlock
-How is MVP continually wrestling with third degree burn
-Khali knocks down everyone and The Miz comes in for the comedically short Rumble run.
-He eliminates 6 people
-Now undertaker cleans house of Khali and MVP
-Normaly, I'd hate it when only the top guys in the company are the last four guys in the match, but it makes sense in this case because Edge and Orton are a team
-Okay, so Orton is standing, facing Undertaker, who's backed up against the turnbuckle, behind Orton is Edge, setting up for a Spear, almost straight behind Orton. Edge runs for the Spear, Orton turns around to wallop someone with a chair, Edge backs off, and the two argue. Cole and Lawler come to the agreement that Edge was going for Undertaker, not Orton. So, unless he A, was going for the most comically powerful shoulder tackle, or he planned on stepping around Orton and maintaining even the slightest bit of momentum, which defies physics, King, Cole, and perhaps even Orton is dumb as s**t. JBL is clearly the only person who realized what happened here
-HBK surprise eliminating Rated RKO really popped the hometown crowd
-Taker sitting up and HBK kipping up was fantastic
-As Taker and HBK face off, Micheal Cole goes, "How long since we've seen this" to which Lawler replies, "I don't know if we ever have, but we're about to" This wouldn't be a problem if Lawler hadn't been there for at least two HBK/Taker matches, one of which almost ended HBK's career (Royal Rumble 1998.
-HBK vs Taker here feels like a match in itself.
-I don't know how JBL can say Taker and HBK are in their prime here. Maybe you can pull some "he's the Deadman" stuff with Taker but HBK is obviously not in his prime.
-Props to Taker for trying to turn a superplex set up into an elimination
-In conclusion, I love love love this Royal Rumble. No surprise entrants, well spaced eliminations, GREAT final two. On the downside though, ECW got completely buried here, and there was a severe lack of extreme for the amount of ECW there was.
Great Pay Per View. A perfect match, an almost perfect match, an above average title defense and Rumble. The only hiccup was Lashley vs Test, definitely DVD worthy, although, pretty much every Rumble is. This one marks my personal favorite, this one, 2004 and 2002 being my top Rumbles, which I'm sure I'll review later.