Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a ride as the Road to WrestleMania begins tonight!
Starting us off is the world title match!
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Edge comes out first to get the crowd pumped. Lawler quips that divorce usually isn't worth the money (ha). So far, Ziggler's looking good, like a true main eventer. Very even match back and forth. Great crowd tonight who are supporting this good match. Pro-Edge but there have been some "let's go Ziggler" chants as well, so we probably won't see a fully pro-Cena crowd later. Edge locks a Sharpshooter in on Ziggler, but Dolph reaches the ropes. Very close 2.5 count for Ziggler that the crowd was really getting worried about. Ziggler goes for the sleeper and Edge reverses into the impaler DDT. Vickie interrupts the ref's count. Vickie slaps Edge, who moves out of the way and Ziggler almost hits Vickie. Edge rolls Ziggler up. Two-count. Kelly Kelly comes out to attack Vickie! Ziggler hits the Zig Zag! Edge kicks out. Crowd was worried about that one. Ziggler puts Edge in a sleeper hold. Edge accidentally knocks the ref down while trying to get out of the sleeper. Now that the ref is down, the crowd starts chanting for a spear. Edge hits it! The ref starts stirring and Edge is acting like he's injured to fool the ref. Edge hits the Killswitch! 1-2-3, Edge retains.
WINNER: Edge via pinfall.
Very good match both to open up the ppv and in general. Ziggler looked solid as hell too. He may have lost the match, but he was put over as a good contender. Edge retains in a fashion that his character would, Ziggler looks credible, thumbs up. PPV's doing well so far.
Backstage with the Miz
Miz says all these excuses mean nothing. There's a reason Lawler and Orton aren't the champ and he is. Riley says the Miz can out wrestle, smart, and class Orton.
WWE Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Randy Orton
Even Justin Roberts has stepped up his game for tonight and sounds like he has more energy. This arena's full of vigor. Cole's pushing Lawler's buttons already, asking him to call it down the middle and not be biased. Cole makes a good point that Striker and Lawler are saying the Miz retains his title through nefarious means, but what about how Edge just won his match? While the ref's back is turned, Riley pulls Orton's neck down on the ropes and Cole supports it, saying that if the ref doesn't see it, it doesn't matter, according to Edge's match, and that Miz isn't at fault as he had nothing to do with it, just Riley. Again, Riley attacks Orton when the ref is distracted. Miz is dominating for the most part. Orton hits a one-armed superplex on Miz. Miz counters Orton's rope-DDT with a back body drop onto the outside, then distracts the ref some more so Riley can work on Orton. Orton tries to power bomb Miz on the outside but Miz reverses and slingshots Orton into the ring post. Then 10-count starts but Orton makes it in at 8 and immediately goes after Miz. Riley distracts the ref and it allows Miz to hit a neckbreaker for a 2-count. Orton goes for RKO and Miz reverses into the SKF, but Orton counters as well. Miz then goes to grab his title and leave but Orton cuts him off with a clothesline. Couple of near-falls. Orton hits the DDT off the ropes and starts pounding the mat. Out comes the new Nexus and Orton is distracted. Riley comes into the ring but is met with a kick to the gut and is thrown out into Nexus. Miz goes for SKF but Orton counters into the RKO. CM Punk runs into the ring, hits the GTS on Orton, and drags the Miz on top of him. The ref counts the pinfall and Miz retains!
WINNER: The Miz via pinfall.
Good match. Not as good as Edge/Ziggler, but still good. It's a shame the Miz had to win after all the interference instead of a simple cheat like grabbing the tights, but I guess they did that to help build Nexus up and to keep Orton looking unstoppable.
Backstage with Todd Grisham
Todd reads a statement written by Cody Rhodes about how Mysterio hasn't apologized and that he can't wrestle in the Royal Rumble.
A series of fans talking about who they think will win. They naturally made sure to ask a few hot chicks.
Divas Championship [Handicap Match]: Natalya (c) vs. Layla & Michelle McCool
Speaking of hot chicks, here comes LayCool. Before the match starts, the Raw GM noise sounds off. And Cole quotes: the match is no longer a handicap match but instead, a fatal four-way. The fourth competitor is...Eve. Well there goes the Awesome Kong assumption.
Divas Championship [Fatal Four-Way Match]: Natalya (c) vs. Layla vs. Michelle McCool vs. Eve Torres
I'm not sure why Eve is added here, but she's starting the match off more so than Natalya. Lay-Cool naturally teams up at first. Now that they're in the ring by themselves, they start circling each other. Natalya breaks it up before anything happens and soon enough, we're back to 2 on 2 until Natalya and Eve go at it with each other. Natalya puts both Layla and Eve in a double Sharpshooter! Now we're in a series of two-counts broken up by others. The commentators are making fun of Taka Michinoku now. Michelle misses a kick to Natalya and hits Layla instead. Eve clears the ring of Natalya and Michelle and sets her sights on Layla. Both Michelle and Eve pin score a pinfall at the same time, but the ref claims Eve is the new champ. Weird booking for a face to win while the heel is screwed.
WINNER (and new Divas champ): Eve Torres
Meh. I don't see why they are giving the title to Eve. Maybe when Kong comes and destroys her, they didn't want Natalya to look weak so they figured they'd switch it to Eve instead? As for the match itself, well, it was a divas match. What more can you say?
Backstage with Daniel Bryan and Gail Kim
The Bellas interrupt after Bryan says that people don't expect him to win. They end up brawling.
THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
This review is about to get sloppy, but I promise to clean it up. Up first, #1 is CM Punk. Entry #2 is either Wade Barrett or Ezekiel Jackson as they both come out. Justin Gabriel shows up as well. WTF? Out comes the rest of Nexus. The Raw GM alerts and says to stop it. The Raw GM says everyone but CM Punk needs to leave and go to the locker room immediately or they'll be disqualified.The crowd starts to chant for CM Punk. Entry #2 is Daniel Bryan. Not a bad duo to start off with. Striker - "Before he came to the WWE, everything's the minor leagues". Take that, TNA. "The internet loves this, the internet loves that, who cares about the stupid internet?" - Cole. Sad face, Cole. Entry #3 is Justin Gabriel. He goes right after Punk. Punk and Bryan take each other down and Gabriel misses a 450 splash on Punk. Bryan eliminates Justin Gabriel! Our next entry is coming up. Entry #4 is Zack Ryder. Isn't this the same number he had last year, or was that #5? Rough Ryder on Punk. Daniel Bryan eliminates Zack Ryder! WWE Sign Guy is in the crowd and has a sign that says "jobber this way" pointing to the entrance ramp that he holds up. Entry #5 is William Regal who gets a pretty good reaction from the crowd. Knee Trembler from Regal on Punk. Entry #6 is Ted DiBiase. I'm assuming he's feeling less sick. Earlier he was rumored to maybe have the flu. Entry #7 is John Morrison. Very nice reaction from the crowd. He hits a C4 on Bryan. Morrison is knocked to the outside but manages to hang onto the guard rail!! He then jumps onto the stairs and stays eligible!! Goddamn that was cool. DiBiase eliminates William Regal and Morrison comes back into the ring. Entry #8 is Yoshi Tatsu. Entry #9 is Husky Harris. Entry #10 is Chavo Guerrero. Chavo hits the Three Amigos multiple times. Entry #11 is Mark Henry. Mark Henry eliminates Chavo Guerrero. Henry eliminates Yoshi Tatsu. Entry #12 is JTG. Entry #13 is Michael McGillicutty. JTG is eliminated. Husky Harris eliminates Ted DiBiase. Entry #14 is Chris Masters. Masters puts the Masterlock on Punk but Harris saves him. Entry #15 is David Otunga. Daniel Bryan is eliminated. Chris Masters is eliminated by the Nexus. Morrison is eliminated by the Nexus (shit). Nexus also eliminates Mark Henry. Entry #16 is Tyler Reks. Tyler Reks is then eliminated by the Nexus.I hope this ends soon as I don't want this to just be a repeat of the 09 Rumble. Entry #17 is Vladimir Kozlov. Kozlov kicks the SHIT out of Punk, but of course, he's ganged up on. Kozlov is eliminated by the Nexus. Entry #18 is R-Truth. Should I just say that he's eliminated already? CM Punk eliminates R-Truth. Entry #19 is the Great Khali. Husky Harris is eliminated by Khali! Finally. I'm not a fan of this Nexus domination. Entry #20 is Mason Ryan. Nevermind. Damn it. Khali is eliminated by Mason Ryan. If they do this the entire time, that's going to be so annoying. Entry #21 is Booker T! Well that rumor turned out to be correct! Crowd's surprised. Booker looks good and ready. Striker says it's a mark out moment. Booker starts taking it to them and hits an axe kick on Otunga and a Book-End on McGillicutty. Spinarooni!! Mason Ryan eliminates Booker T. Fuuuck this is going to continue. Entry #22 is John Cena. Well I guess it'll finally end because Super Cena is here. Figures. How long before he eliminates 2 of them? And right when I type that, John Cena eliminates Mason Ryan and David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty. They'd better not do the same thing with the second half and the Corre. Punk and Cena double-clothesline each other. Entry #23 is Hornswoggle. Jesus Christ, come on. This pisses me off. This started off very good and became boring, then they have to pull the typical Cena stuff, and now Hornswoggle? Pisses me the fuck off. John Cena eliminates CM Punk. Well there goes my pick, but then again, I gave them more credit than to put fucking Hornswoggle in the match. Entry #24 is Tyson Kidd. I wonder how many seconds he'll last before they have Hornswoggle eliminate him. Hornswoggle hits an Attitude Adjustment on him and John Cena eliminates Tyson Kidd. This isn't entertaining to me. This is bullshit and I'm glad they're not getting my 45 bucks. Entry #25 is Heath Slater. As my friend just pointed out, it's ridiculous when Hornswoggle lasts longer than a world champ in Booker T. John Cena eliminates Heath Slater. So the story this year is that you can only eliminate people one by one if you're teaming up against them, and stupid comedy takes over instead of realism? Entry #26 is Kofi Kingston. Entry #27 is Jack Swagger. They'll screw him for sure. Entry #28 is Sheamus. For once, I'm rooting for Sheamus, and by that I mean that he throws Hornswoggle out and ends this bullshit. Hornswoggle does Sweet Shin Music. Ugh. END THIS AND FIRE THAT MEMBER OF CREATIVE. Sheamus puts Hornswoggle on the top rope and kicks him off. Hornswoggle is eliminated. Thank fucking God. Entry #29 is Rey Mysterio. No real reaction from the crowd is audible. Maybe because this Royal Rumble has sucked for the past 15 minutes? Mysterio eliminates Jack Swagger. Entry #30 is Wade Barrett. Entry #31 is Dolph Ziggler. I'm now rooting for Dolph to win. Entry #32 is Kevin Nash! Striker almost just said "holy shit". Yes!!! He's coming back as Diesel, too. Crowd's chanting for him, I'm rooting for him too now considering I was always a Diesel fan (though I highly doubt he'll actually have a chance). Entry #33 is Drew McIntyre. Drew runs to the ring and Cole points out that that's the fast entrance he's had ever haha. "Let's go Diesel!" from the crowd, even over Cena. Nice. Rey hits a 619 on Diesel and gets booed for it. (Good, fuck Rey haha). Cole dubs the duo of McIntyre and Sheamus "The Celtic Connection". Future tag champs? Entry #34 is Alex Riley. Wade Barrett eliminates Diesel. The crowd still chants for him when he's leaving. The Miz joins them on commentary. Entry #35 is Big Show. He and Diesel take a moment to stare at each other. Miz is losing his voice. Big Show eliminates Dolph Ziggler. Entry #36 is Ezekiel Jackson. Drew McIntyre is eliminated by I think Big Show. Zeke eliminates Big Show. Entry #37 is Santino Marella. He's already passed the one-second mark. Sheamus kicks him and he goes under the rope to the outside. What a surprise, at the moment John Cena's been in the ring the longest and is the current iron man for this Royal Rumble. Entry #38 is Alberto Del Rio. He still enters the area with a car and Ricardo introducing him. Nice. Striker informs us that while the cameras weren't paying any attention, Alex Riley was eliminated. Del Rio hasn't even gotten into the ring yet while Entry #39 comes out and it is Randy Orton. I'm not a fan of having the two #1 contenders in the Royal Rumble match. It makes it seem like they were doomed to fail in the beginning because of it being scripted (which it naturally is, but we're not supposed to believe that). Orton eliminates Kofi. Orton eliminates Sheamus. Here comes the obligatory Cena and Orton stare down. Entry #40 is Kane. Kane eliminates Ezekiel Jackson. Rey Mysterio eliminates Kane. (I fucking HATE when they have Rey always beat Kane) Wade Barrett eliminates Rey Mysterio. We're down to the final four. Was Santino eliminated off-screen or I missed it? Alex Riley comes to distract Cena and Miz runs in. Miz eliminates John Cena. Randy Orton eliminates Wade Barrett. Alberto Del Rio eliminates Randy Orton and wins the Royal Rumble! Ricardo Rodriguez loses his voice when he's announcing him because of how loud he's screaming. Wait a minute...Santino comes into the ring and sets up the Cobra. Del Rio throws him over anyway and eliminates Santino and OFFICIALLY wins the Royal Rumble.
WINNER OF THE ROYAL RUMBLE: Alberto Del Rio
Lots of things annoyed me in this match. Lots. The Santino ending was unnecessary and makes it look like a mockery. That's good for a Raw battle royal but not the Royal Rumble. The same goes for Hornswoggle's bullshit. And once again, they've made several people look like they just can't match up to the main eventers. I'm not a huge Slater fan, but if he's supposed to be a threatening member of a tough group, why have Hornswoggle get the better of him with Cena? Why snub Morrison so much? Why waste Booker on the Nexus eliminations? I like how they gave the win to a younger guy, but again, if I wanted to nitpick, is Del Rio ready? It seems like they either push someone to the sky real fast or they wait YEARS. I don't like having Orton and Ziggler in the match as I mentioned above because that cheapens their previous matches. I don't have a huge, huge problem with Del Rio winning, but this whole Royal Rumble felt like they focused on way too much humor and they booked some things that annoyed me.
There are apparently a bunch of stupid humor bumps in the Road to WrestleMania, but it looks like we've got a clear picture that Edge will defend against Del Rio and Orton, Punk, Cena, and Miz are all going to be tied together. If they were to change some of those comedy segments, I'd have enjoyed the Royal Rumble match a LOT more, as that hurt it so much in my mind, and I felt the Nexus eliminations were boring and they should have used worse people for it instead of sacrificing Morrison, Bryan, and Booker. The youth movement hits a snag in one way and they try to make up for it with a Del Rio win. What's going to change at the Elimination Chamber? Probably nothing, but who knows...some member of Creative might want Hornswoggle to come out the champ.
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