Royal Rumble Review Part Two: Breakdown of the beat down
Editors note: The following is part one of a two-part series, looking at the first-hand accounts of the WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event from two of Couch Side’s finest writers.
As a fan of wrestling, I find it odd that I’ve only been to three WWE events in my life. The first two (a house show and a taping of SmackDown), while entertaining, lacked the glitz, glamour, and star power that the wrestling organization loves to trot out. But that underwhelming feeling immediately disappeared upon walking into the U.S. Airways Center on Sunday, January 27, for the Royal Rumble.
John Cena, CM Punk, The Rock, hell, even a surprise return by Chris Jericho. What more could I ask for? While the returns of Goldust and The Godfather were fan-pleasing, the matches themselves left quite a bit to be desired. Still, the star power alone was easily worth the $45 price of admission.
The night started hot with The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro in what turned out to be an excellent opening match. Brett and I both (accurately) predicted Cesaro would win, but the fact The Miz got a hot pop not only surprised me, but foreshadowed everything to come.
This includes some nice segments in the night’s second match, Big Show/Del Rio (chokeslam through the table?! Big Show spear through the ringside barricade?!). But let’s be honest. What really got me antsy throughout the night (besides the superstars) was the presence of the WWE’s trademark pyro, which blew out my eardrums on multiple occasions, including Kane’s two (count ‘em two!) entrances.
Then we have my highlight of the night, which came in the Rumble match itself. My MVP of the match and candidate for most excited I’ve ever gotten outside of the bedroom was the return of the self-proclaimed “Highlight of the Night,” the “Ayatollah of Rock N’ Rolla,” Chris Jericho. Nobody (and I mean nobody) could have expected his return, because the reaction given to him by the fans itself was generally overwhelming. Jericho himself has gone on record to say this return was the biggest pop he’s received in the industry, and for a veteran to come out and say that, I’ll admit it was an honor to be a part of.
Perhaps my biggest gripe of the night was The Rock beating the “Best in the World,” CM Punk, for the WWE Championship. Sure, this resulted in a Vince McMahon sighting (see, star power was prevalent throughout this show), but it still made me wonder how the WWE will function without its top champion competing on only a handful of occasions. It definitely left a sour taste in my mouth, but once again, the sheer amount of electricity in that building following The Rock’s victory was something I’ve never experienced before.
Although it remained a fairly predictable PPV (Brett and I tied as far as our predictions piece went), it was still amazing to see the lights up close, hear “Cult of Personality” when CM Punk came out, and participate in a variety of chants throughout the night. The moral of the story is like many others when it comes to the WWE. Not everything was great, but the Royal Rumble was still a damn good time.