About Me

I'm Phil! American living in Japan. Teacher. Ex-independent professional wrestler. Student of Japanese. Traveler. Article writer for Mythic Scribes. Also written four manga, novels, and various short stories and poems. For my fantasy-related blog, check out http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/.


Drill Bits: random thoughts, bloggy stuff
Japan Hammer: topics about Japan
Story Time: stories I felt like posting

Monday, January 31, 2011

WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Review

Well, that was an interesting PPV. Being that I haven't been in the States for a while and watched WWE much, this was the first PPV I have seen in quite some time. It seems people are almost universally shitting on it, but I think it had some telling moments. I'll highlight them below:

1. CM Punk is over as shit: If there was any doubt that CM Punk couldn't hang with the "big boys" on Raw, he has proven himself time and time again as a go-to guy, both on the stick and in the ring. His standout performance in last year's Rumble (where he cut promos in between eliminating people until the Almighty Hunter squashed him) carried over to this year, with his leadership of the Nexus. Of the two heel stables floating around now, I'd say Nexus stands head and shoulders over the Corre. The Nexus was made to look strong (until Super Cena came out) and I think CM Punk's 7 eliminations are testament to that. And Batista Jr. (Mason Ryan) is someone they are obviously very fond of.

2. The Miz is going to Wrestlemania: Even though there are a handful of PPVs before Wrestlemania, there isn't any doubt that Miz will not make it to Wrestlemania without the WWE Championship. His chicken-shit, smarmy, skin by the teeth heel character may lack a distinct edge or menace, but he gets the job done. His ingenious elimination of Cena (when he wasn't even in the Rumble) had me thinking that Miz doesn't have to be a strong heel champion. He's smart. So I'm liking Miz's continued push so far.

3. Diesel and Booker T: Who'd thunk it? A "Let's Go Diesel" chant? Really? When Kevin Nash once talked about Gran Torino, and that Clint Eastwood was a badass even though he is 80, I didn't think the comparison to be possible with Nash. In brief doses, he's a good character. I much prefer no-nonsense Kevin Nash to goofy, worked-shoot/shoot-work Kevin Nash. Booker T's appearance also was pretty awesome. These kind of things is why I like WWE. They can make appearances feel special. Whereas another promotion (cough TNA cough) makes appearances seem insignificant or "par for the course." I'm not always pro-WWE, but I think they did these appearances right.

4. Alberto Del Rio winning: Has a heel ever won the Royal Rumble? Huh? I can't think of a time for sure. The celebration was hilarious with Ricardo Rodriguez going ape-shit like a Hispanic JR trumpeting a Stone Cold win. And the brief moment of Santino possibly eliminating him had me marking out a bit. Of course Santino main eventing Wrestlemania would be incredibly stupid, but it was a fun tease anyway. Del Rio's win was a solid choice. They didn't go with a face for a happy ending and they didn't go with an established act to make sure Wrestlemania had a sure-fire blockbuster match. Right now I'm seeing Miz vs. Cena and Del Rio vs. Edge. Seems like decent, mostly fresh match-ups.

5. Disappointments not so disappointing: I had hoped for more surprise entrances such as Triple H, Christian, Evan Bourne or others, but no such luck. Honestly, I don't miss Triple H. He's a good worker and all, but he's the same as Cena and Orton. A babyface wrecking machine that kills any momentum a heel has. The Royal Rumble was an Empire Strikes Back-esque show this year. Del Rio, a heel, won the Rumble. Miz and Punk screwed over Cena and Orton respectfully. The heels WWE has right now are fresh, new, and interesting. The babyfaces are lacking now. Mysterio doesn't seem as over, Undertaker is gone for now, Cena is stale, Orton is over one week and not over the next. Edge is a mediocre babyface, but makes it work I suppose. They need lots of fresh babyface acts. Heels they have covered.

So even though the Rumble itself wasn't the best, I did like the surprises, some of the spots (Morrison's "Parkour" jump stands out) and the "internet mark out" moments with Punk clashing with Daniel Bryan, and the exchanges between Bryan and Regal. Soooo...I was glad to watch it. The Rumble always entertains me as it was always one of my favorite events.

My favorite was when Heenan went bonkers on commentary when Ric Flair won the WWF title in '91, I think. That, as Miz says, was awesome.

That's it for now! Stay tuned for more reviews of Japanese shows soon!

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