First Batch of Reader Feedback To The Royal Rumble

Nick Paglino

This was my first time ever paying for a pay-per-view. Sorry to say it was also my last. There were some good moments, RVD, Taker and Big Show.
 
But at times it seemed slow. Also, there surprises were few and far between. Before the rumble even began we all knew Orton was going to win. If they want the rumble to be exciting have someone random win. If they are worried about a random person headlining wrestlemania… either change the rules so the winner doesn’t automatically go to Wrestlemania, or have a story where he loses the #1 contender spot. Make it more random… like it should be.
 
The championship matches were ok. But it just seems like WWE is recycling story lines. I would like to see new feuds, new stars, and a few surprises.
 
That’s all I got.
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The Royal Rumble, in my opinion, was the best PPV so far in 2009. 8D
But in all seriousness, if this is an example of things to come this year, then I would say the WWE Universe is in for one heck of a treat.
    1. Matt Hardy vs. ECW Champion Jack Swagger
I thought this was a decent match, putting off my opinions of the "All American American." They both hit the mat well and left a good chunk of themselves in the ring. I’m glad the powers-that-be decided to keep the belt on Swagger, giving him a bit more credibility. I am equally impressed that he was able to pick up the clean win. (7/10)
Now with that being said, I think they jumped the gun a bit on this guy. The new ECW champ does have some skills on the mic, which is rare to see of newcomers, and there is no doubting that he can handle himself in the ring. I think in a year or two this guy could really stand out as the top guy in ECW (if the product lasts that long), but right now, he’s new and he needs a bit more time. Giving him the belt, in my opinion, was just an means to an end, in that it opens up both the new Hardy storyline and welcomes in the Dreamer vs. Swagger title picture at Wrestlemania.
    2. Melina vs. WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix
Finally, a PPV Women’s Championship match without Mickie James or Candice Michelle! Don’t get me wrong, Mickie James is still the best Diva in the business today as far as I’m concerned, and Candice Michelle is probably the worst (or most liable), it’s just nice to have some new, refreshing PPV matches. Melina is one of the best and proved that tonight picking up the win and the title for the third time. This was a great move in my opinion, and WWE will see more viewers tuning in to see Beth chase the title, rather than the other way around. Santino’s face at the end of the match was priceless. The match itself was pretty good for a Diva’s match. I give it (7/10) as well. The counter/pin giving Melina the win was a great spot, but the most bizarre definately went to Beth using the new champ’s own leg as a weapon…"OH MY GOD!"
    3. JBL w/ Shawn Michaels vs. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
Before I say anything, can I point out my complete change of heart towards this HBK/JBL fued? At first the idea of HBK being bankrupt was ridiculously over the top to me. But now, they have handled this so well, I don’t care about the angle anymore. I watch for the intense drama that has culminated between this new Shawn Michaels and John Cena, because from my perspective, I had no idea what Shawn was going to do. Would he turn on JBL and go to Wrestlemania, or would he help JBL and give him the title? Turns out, NEITHER! He tried to cash in on his boss’ offer, completing the fan’s heat for the Showstopper, but Cena kicked out (rather unexpectedly) and saved the world from having to see John Cena vs. Captain man boobs on the biggest stage of them all (Though I guess the biggest rack in wrestling deserves the biggest stage in wrestling). THe other great thing about this angle, is that it has forced the crowd to cheer for Cena again. I was shocked to hear the champ’s name being called during JBL’s entrance. And the intensity of Cena’s promos since returning have been amazing. I think this "new" intense Cena might actually be the "champ" I can get behind….so to speak… I give this well scripted match an (8.3/10). And one more thing… We’ve all been waiting for Undertaker to some how show up in this angle, but "sometimes, getting to heaven…is hell" made, at least to me, no sense. I was left with that "what?" feeling and still had no idea how they were going to pull of Undertaker vs. HBK at wrestlemania.
    4. Edge vs. WWE Champion Jeff Hardy
My mouth was hanging open for at least 15 seconds after this one. The entire spoiler-reading community expected Christian to come down and screw Jeff out of the title… All signs still indicated this up to the last possible second. When icky-Vickie made the match no DQ I knew it was so Edge wouldn’t get DQ’d for the run-in by Christian. When Matt came down in the end I knew it was to play up the Edge/Christian vs. Hardy Boys thing. When Matt stopped Jeff from smashing Edge to get another chair, I KNEW it was Christian could make his return. But when Matt came back and laid out Jeff, what I "knew" became completely irrelevant. No Christian…but what in God’s name just happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy at Wrestlemania in some kind of Hardcore match. It doesn’t matter that neither are golden on the mic. They both sell huge and they can both draw big in Hardcore matches. This will be the feud that steals the show. The match itself was a good match and I’m glad Jeff wasn’t hurt by that ladder mishap. I give the match an (8/10) but the whole deal a (9.5/10). Two wonderful main event title matches tonight with both leaving me speechless. The only question is, is Christian really coming back, or was WWE trying to throw everybody off? If they were, congratulations Vince, you just fooled the spoiler community, and not by accident as usual.
    5. Royal Rumble Match
Honestly, after the last two matches, this didn’t feel as great as it should have. It had some great moments for sure, but the end wasn’t what the end of the title matches were, and the suspense was lost knowing that Orton was probably going to win. After all, he was the only one in the rumble match getting a big enough push. I’m going to review the Rumble a bit differently. First, the CONS of the match.
CONS: Beth Phoenix wasn’t in the Rumble. She’s the most powerful diva since Chyna….come on. Put her in there. Undertaker literally stepped over the top rope on his own and eliminated himself and Big Show in one of the worst eliminations I’ve seen in the Rumble before. Rey Mysterio was completely destroyed the entire match. The birds that are undoubtedly living in Mike Knox’s beard didnt save him from elimination. No Christian…again. Nobody that competed earlier was allowed in. Koslov eliminated the Great Kahli that quickly. Koslov is still in this country. No Umaga (he was backstage wasn’t he!?!)
PROS: Santino’s run to the ring was awesome, and his new record time made me laugh out loud. RVD returns…but doesn’t return at the same time…dang. Bitter sweet. Randy Orton RKO’d the heck out of half the participants. Rey Mysterio used Morrison and Miz to skip around the ring and get back in after being thrown out. The Undertaker’s presence was known and everybody in the ring, veteran and newcomer alike stopped what they were doing and focused on the Phenom. He may not be the greatest wrestler of all time, but he can do THAT every time he walks into that ring.
Overall I give the Rumble match a (8/10). The moments were good, and everybody that was being given any sort of push at the time seemed to get their own time to shine, which was good. It was never one man the entire time. Everybody got in their licks. The most disappointing thing for me was the end. I knew Orton was going to win, mainly because of his insane push. But leaving the legacy and Triple H in the ring alone wasn’t exactly fair. Yeah, Triple H got rid of them and the crowd got hot for the Game, but as soon as Triple H put Orton over the top and "didn’t know he wasn’t eliminated" I knew what was going to happen. It was a predictable ending to a completely unpredictable show. I have to say this though. In Evolution, I hated Randy Orton. As the youngest champ, I hated Randy Orton. As Randy Orton vs. Evolution, I hated Randy Orton. Until his return last year, I hated Randy Orton. I felt like he was boring and had no desire to be in that company. But since his return he has demanded the respect of everybody watching at home. His promos are intense and he’s not afraid to stand up to anybody, including the McMahons. Since coming back he’s done things and said things to people that I never though he could do. His RKO’s have become something I want to see every week. I want to know who is going to be in the Legacy. I want to know what the Legend Killer’s next move is. The first "Age of Orton" was lackluster, and I thought WWE was trying too hard to get people to hate his character. Now I hate his character so much I cheer for him, and you can hear the RKO, RKO, RKO chants. The point is, when Randy Orton stood as champion in 2008 I hated him completely. When Randy Orton stood and pointed at the Wrestlemania 25 sign and the pyro went off, I thought "there is the future of this business." The Age of Orton may just indeed be upon us in 66 days at Wrestlemania 25.
Overall, I give the PPV a (8.5/10) and again state that if this is how WWE handles things in the year to come, TNA might as well pack up now.
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The Royal Rumble, in my opinion, was the best PPV so far in 2009. 8D
But in all seriousness, if this is an example of things to come this year, then I would say the WWE Universe is in for one heck of a treat.
    1. Matt Hardy vs. ECW Champion Jack Swagger
I thought this was a decent match, putting off my opinions of the "All American American." They both hit the mat well and left a good chunk of themselves in the ring. I’m glad the powers-that-be decided to keep the belt on Swagger, giving him a bit more credibility. I am equally impressed that he was able to pick up the clean win. (7/10)
Now with that being said, I think they jumped the gun a bit on this guy. The new ECW champ does have some skills on the mic, which is rare to see of newcomers, and there is no doubting that he can handle himself in the ring. I think in a year or two this guy could really stand out as the top guy in ECW (if the product lasts that long), but right now, he’s new and he needs a bit more time. Giving him the belt, in my opinion, was just an means to an end, in that it opens up both the new Hardy storyline and welcomes in the Dreamer vs. Swagger title picture at Wrestlemania.
    2. Melina vs. WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix
Finally, a PPV Women’s Championship match without Mickie James or Candice Michelle! Don’t get me wrong, Mickie James is still the best Diva in the business today as far as I’m concerned, and Candice Michelle is probably the worst (or most liable), it’s just nice to have some new, refreshing PPV matches. Melina is one of the best and proved that tonight picking up the win and the title for the third time. This was a great move in my opinion, and WWE will see more viewers tuning in to see Beth chase the title, rather than the other way around. Santino’s face at the end of the match was priceless. The match itself was pretty good for a Diva’s match. I give it (7/10) as well. The counter/pin giving Melina the win was a great spot, but the most bizarre definately went to Beth using the new champ’s own leg as a weapon…"OH MY GOD!"
    3. JBL w/ Shawn Michaels vs. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
Before I say anything, can I point out my complete change of heart towards this HBK/JBL fued? At first the idea of HBK being bankrupt was ridiculously over the top to me. But now, they have handled this so well, I don’t care about the angle anymore. I watch for the intense drama that has culminated between this new Shawn Michaels and John Cena, because from my perspective, I had no idea what Shawn was going to do. Would he turn on JBL and go to Wrestlemania, or would he help JBL and give him the title? Turns out, NEITHER! He tried to cash in on his boss’ offer, completing the fan’s heat for the Showstopper, but Cena kicked out (rather unexpectedly) and saved the world from having to see John Cena vs. Captain man boobs on the biggest stage of them all (Though I guess the biggest rack in wrestling deserves the biggest stage in wrestling). THe other great thing about this angle, is that it has forced the crowd to cheer for Cena again. I was shocked to hear the champ’s name being called during JBL’s entrance. And the intensity of Cena’s promos since returning have been amazing. I think this "new" intense Cena might actually be the "champ" I can get behind….so to speak… I give this well scripted match an (8.3/10). And one more thing… We’ve all been waiting for Undertaker to some how show up in this angle, but "sometimes, getting to heaven…is hell" made, at least to me, no sense. I was left with that "what?" feeling and still had no idea how they were going to pull of Undertaker vs. HBK at wrestlemania.
    4. Edge vs. WWE Champion Jeff Hardy
My mouth was hanging open for at least 15 seconds after this one. The entire spoiler-reading community expected Christian to come down and screw Jeff out of the title… All signs still indicated this up to the last possible second. When icky-Vickie made the match no DQ I knew it was so Edge wouldn’t get DQ’d for the run-in by Christian. When Matt came down in the end I knew it was to play up the Edge/Christian vs. Hardy Boys thing. When Matt stopped Jeff from smashing Edge to get another chair, I KNEW it was Christian could make his return. But when Matt came back and laid out Jeff, what I "knew" became completely irrelevant. No Christian…but what in God’s name just happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy at Wrestlemania in some kind of Hardcore match. It doesn’t matter that neither are golden on the mic. They both sell huge and they can both draw big in Hardcore matches. This will be the feud that steals the show. The match itself was a good match and I’m glad Jeff wasn’t hurt by that ladder mishap. I give the match an (8/10) but the whole deal a (9.5/10). Two wonderful main event title matches tonight with both leaving me speechless. The only question is, is Christian really coming back, or was WWE trying to throw everybody off? If they were, congratulations Vince, you just fooled the spoiler community, and not by accident as usual.
    5. Royal Rumble Match
Honestly, after the last two matches, this didn’t feel as great as it should have. It had some great moments for sure, but the end wasn’t what the end of the title matches were, and the suspense was lost knowing that Orton was probably going to win. After all, he was the only one in the rumble match getting a big enough push. I’m going to review the Rumble a bit differently. First, the CONS of the match.
CONS: Beth Phoenix wasn’t in the Rumble. She’s the most powerful diva since Chyna….come on. Put her in there. Undertaker literally stepped over the top rope on his own and eliminated himself and Big Show in one of the worst eliminations I’ve seen in the Rumble before. Rey Mysterio was completely destroyed the entire match. The birds that are undoubtedly living in Mike Knox’s beard didnt save him from elimination. No Christian…again. Nobody that competed earlier was allowed in. Koslov eliminated the Great Kahli that quickly. Koslov is still in this country. No Umaga (he was backstage wasn’t he!?!)
PROS: Santino’s run to the ring was awesome, and his new record time made me laugh out loud. RVD returns…but doesn’t return at the same time…dang. Bitter sweet. Randy Orton RKO’d the heck out of half the participants. Rey Mysterio used Morrison and Miz to skip around the ring and get back in after being thrown out. The Undertaker’s presence was known and everybody in the ring, veteran and newcomer alike stopped what they were doing and focused on the Phenom. He may not be the greatest wrestler of all time, but he can do THAT every time he walks into that ring.
Overall I give the Rumble match a (8/10). The moments were good, and everybody that was being given any sort of push at the time seemed to get their own time to shine, which was good. It was never one man the entire time. Everybody got in their licks. The most disappointing thing for me was the end. I knew Orton was going to win, mainly because of his insane push. But leaving the legacy and Triple H in the ring alone wasn’t exactly fair. Yeah, Triple H got rid of them and the crowd got hot for the Game, but as soon as Triple H put Orton over the top and "didn’t know he wasn’t eliminated" I knew what was going to happen. It was a predictable ending to a completely unpredictable show. I have to say this though. In Evolution, I hated Randy Orton. As the youngest champ, I hated Randy Orton. As Randy Orton vs. Evolution, I hated Randy Orton. Until his return last year, I hated Randy Orton. I felt like he was boring and had no desire to be in that company. But since his return he has demanded the respect of everybody watching at home. His promos are intense and he’s not afraid to stand up to anybody, including the McMahons. Since coming back he’s done things and said things to people that I never though he could do. His RKO’s have become something I want to see every week. I want to know who is going to be in the Legacy. I want to know what the Legend Killer’s next move is. The first "Age of Orton" was lackluster, and I thought WWE was trying too hard to get people to hate his character. Now I hate his character so much I cheer for him, and you can hear the RKO, RKO, RKO chants. The point is, when Randy Orton stood as champion in 2008 I hated him completely. When Randy Orton stood and pointed at the Wrestlemania 25 sign and the pyro went off, I thought "there is the future of this business." The Age of Orton may just indeed be upon us in 66 days at Wrestlemania 25.
Overall, I give the PPV a (8.5/10) and again state that if this is how WWE handles things in the year to come, TNA might as well pack up now.
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Hello J. Brown here long time wz site reader and long time wwe fan. This years rumble i thought was real good. matt hardy turning on his brother was very unexpected.I thought christian was gonna make his debut and do a run in, i guess not. Lets see where they go with this.. i think that storyline has real potential.. lol its almsot like peyton hittin eli with a chair. I guess thats why they took the belt off matt on the ecw brand, the whole hbk angle was confusing lets see what developes on raw, milena winning the belt didnt really care but thats cool. And orton wiining the rumble.., i guess i shoulda seen it coming especially when it was legacy and hhh left in the ring, now i guess he cant be fired. I was going for RVD onxce i seem him, to bad it was just a one time apperance with him, i miss watching him perform. rvd vs punk vs jericho – what dreams are made of. Out of a possible 5 i give the rumble 3 and a half.
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I thought this was a great pay per view.  I’ll give my two cents on each of the matches on the card.
 
 
ECW TITLE MATCH
So we started off with Jack Swagger VS Matt Hardy.  This was an ok match, I liked the one they had on ECW better though.  I’m glad that Swagger retained because now Matt could feud with his brother over on Smackdown. 
7 out of 9 points.
 
 
WOMENS TITLE MATCH
This was the only bad match of the night.  I am a huge fan of Beth Phoenix and think she is the best thing to happen to the womens division in a long time.  However, I absolutely detest Melina (her character, that is.  I do have respect for her in ring ability).  I was a little dissappointed, not just because Melina won, but also because I was expecting Rosa to interfere somehow, or for Santino to do more to help Beth, not that she would need any help.  I am hoping that Beth wins the title back soon because I am NOT looking forward to a Melina run unless she drops it SOON.
4 out of 9 points.
 
 
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
Despite it being a match with Gay-B-L, it was still an ok match.  Cena retained like most everyone would have wanted him to.  (Honestly, does ANYONE want to see Gay-B-L as champ again!?)…. Kept waiting to see what role HBK was going to play in the match, I did not see him hitting both men with the superkick.  Interesting indeed and I wonder where they go with this, as long as they keep Gay-B-L out of the title picture.
6 out of 9 points.
 
 
WWE TITLE MATCH
Jeff Hardy and Edge put on a great match, and the best of the night.  It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time and although I was expecting Christian to run in and reveal that he was the attacker, I still enjoyed the match.  It looks like we will be seeing a brother VS brother feud now!  Should be interesting.  I wonder who will face Edge though?
8.5 out of 9 points.
 
 
ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Second best match of the night after the Hardy/Edge match.  This could have gotten a perfect 9, but they were not as many surprise entrants as I expected.  I kept telling my friends that it was going to be Christian showing up at number 30, especially after HHH/Orton/Jericho had all been entered already.  I was incorrect with my prediction, and the match still kept my interest the entire time.  Never saw the Big Show coming at 30, in fact I had forgotten all about him.  Rey lasted WAY too long, my friends and I joked about it the entire saying yelling things like "will somebody PLEASE eliminate Mysterio already!?".  Morrison should have lasted much longer, having him be the last one left with Orton and HHH would have been cool.  Great ending with HHH taking on Orton and Priceless only to lose and Orton getting the win.  Can’t wait until the Orton/Cena match at wrestlemania, I will be there to see it!
8 out of 9 points.
 
 
OVERALL
A good show.  Beth retaining would have helped, not to mention a few more surprises in the rumble match itself, but an entertaining night nonetheless. 
 
 
FINAL SCORE
B+
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I don’t understand why Jeff dropped the belt in the fashion he did.  I’m not interested at all in seeing a Matt/Jeff storyline.   The guy had the title for a New York minute – give him a chance!  It’s a shame too, because Jeff has done some extremely crazy things at past Wrestlemanias.  One can only wonder what he’d do as a champion.
 
The JBL/HBK storyline became even more intriguing.  Technically, HBK did the right thing for "his boss," but now alienated Cena too.  I like the fact that it’s him against the world.
 
As for the Rumble match – meh.  Again, it’s intriguing that Orton won, but I kind of saw it coming.  It’s just disappointing that so many times the WWE uses their PPV’s to set up the next night’s RAW, which is what I think they did here.  Also a little letdown that RVD was the only real surprise. But I also wouldn’t be shocked to see some sort of qualifying match between Orton and Jericho (since he was the one to knock Jericho out) to make Randy lose his shot.
 
Good show though. 
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My take on tonight’s Royal Rumble was the show’s first four matches were just terrible and a bit rushed. Also it looks like WWE or should I say Stephanie McMahon is doing all she can to force fans not to cheer Randy Orton. I mean you could see that at the end of the rumble when it was just Randy’s legacy against Triple H it was done to get fans to simple boo Randy since Triple H is the bigger star and of course Stephanie’s husband. Fans began to cheer Randy the moment he stood in defiance of Vince last Monday the same way Austin used to all those years and what’s that little kick to the head compared to all those stunners and chair shots he received from Austin. The match between Cena and JBL was terrible it was only done to set up the future HBK/JBL match for Wrestlmania 25 like that’s gonna really sell tickets for Mania. As for Cena I never cared for him and never will. Edge and Jeff Hardy was another terrible match with a bad finish I mean a lot of people I believe expected Christian to make a run-in and cost Jeff the title but it never happened instead we got a Matt Hardy heel turn that wasn’t necessary. The Melina/Beth Phoenix match was disappointing I actually believed these two would put on a better women’s title match than they actually did. The rumble match itself was the only good match of the night it was shocking to see RVD back I never believed he would ever show in WWE again. The Randy Orton win wasn’t surprising but I actually believed Triple H would come out as the winner. Which lead me to the whole thing about Stephanie doing what she could to force the fans to dislike Randy and how much longer are they gonna continue to keep the fact that Steph and Triple H are really married from people. All in all the rumble pay per view was a 4 or 5 out of 10 and whatever Vince has planned for Wrestlemania 25 and it’s main event seems to indicate that he’s running out of ideas to make that show the show of the year. Last but not least they can no longer keep Randy a heel fans are beginning to chant his name every time he stands in defiance of authority like the McMahons.
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ECW Title Match – Matt Hardy vs Jack Swagger
A great outing from 2 of ECW’s shining stars; while not quite as good as the original title bout a few weeks prior, this was still a standout match and is proving Swagger’s climb through the ranks.  Hardy sold the frustration at the end of the match well, which seemed to come into play more towards the end of the evening.  3/5
 
WWE Women’s Title Match – Melina vs Beth Phoenix
What looked to be a good match, turned out to be the worst of the evening.  I’m usually a fan of Melina, but it seems as though she still has some ring rust stemming from her absense throughout the end of 2008; Beth Phoenix once again had to carry the match herself and put out a good job as the dominant diva of the company.  Nice surprise to see Melina win cleanly without any interference from Rosa Mendes.  2/5
 
World Heavyweight Title Match – JBL w/ Shawn Michaels vs John Cena
I hated the JBL/HBK storyline at first, I thought it wasn’t believable and wouldn’t work but as of writing I’m eating my words; this angle works extremely well, with Shawn Michaels providing the unpredictable factor to the match.  A great ending, with Shawn still battling his pride – it’ll be interesting to see where this will lead towards WrestleMania.  3/5
 
WWE Title Match – Jeff Hardy vs Edge
Wow.  Match of the night and what a way to kick off 2009, coming out of this match we could have multiple possible storylines.  With Matt’s surprise turn on Jeff and no appearance from Christian, we could be in for a 4-way "brother" angle towards WrestleMania or Matt vs Jeff with Edge feuding away from them.  A great turn of events for this angle, it seems as though Friday Nights will be an even more interesting watch from now on.  4.5/5
 
Royal Rumble Match
The Royal Rumble match has always been a favourite of mine, the unpredictability and uniqueness of the event and match itself has made it a standout feature for the WWE since its inception.  A lot of star power and fresh faces in the match made for an interesting bout; with the Legacy showing their great team work, a surprise show by RVD and the ever comical Santino Marella’s record time.  The ending itself is readying RAW for the Legacy’s takeover; with all 3 members in the final 4 and leader himself, Randy Orton winning, it will be a great watch tonight to see how this all plays out with the McMahon angle.  Will Orton take on Cena at Mania?  Will he lose his title shot?  Will he feud with McMahon?  Not only with RAW, but SmackDown saw a possible Big Show/Undertaker feud spark back up or Triple H and Kozlov.  4/5
 
All in all a great event itself, 2009 seems to be a great year for WWE and some of their shining new stars to break out.
 

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