2009 Royal Rumble
2008 like many years had its ups and downs, but by the end of the year it seemed to be more of a down year than an up year for me. I was starting to feel bored with wrestling. And then like always I ordered the RR. And after watching it my love of wrestling went to an all time high. I just hope it holds up as a super fun event with some good matches!
Match 1 – Jack Swagger Vs Matt Hardy – ECW title rematch, with Swagger now defending the title against the former champ! Remember when Swagger was seemingly destined for greatness? Then he got drafted to Raw. Went nowhere. Randomly won the WHC. Went nowhere. Lost the WHC. Went nowhere. Now he literally IS nowhere because he hasn’t been on TV in months. Hardy is aggressive early on, throwing some pretty sweet punches and really taking the fight to Swagger who beat Hardy for the title ending his near 5 month reign. Plus with Hardy making this match a FIGHT it gives him an advantage over the more “pure” wrestler in Swagger. Swagger knows this and after taking some time out on the floor to stop Hardy’s momentum, he goes right for a double leg takedown and manages to ground the former champ and begins to control the match. Nice basic story told really well by an underrated veteran in Hardy and a talented new comer in Swagger. A trip to the ring post doesn’t do Matt’s shoulder any favours, and the ECW champ goes after it like a shark that smells blood. Nice work here, though nothing compared to the arm work we would see from Swagger in his epic classic bout with Christian a month later. Great comeback from Matt with a nice moonsault for a great near fall, but another trip to the ring post takes him out for good, and Swagger lands the gutwrench powerbomb and its over. Good stuff. Matt looks visibly disappointed afterwards. ***.
Match 2 – Beth Phoenix Vs Melina – Santino is with Beth at this point, and he’s over as fuck despite being a heel. Simple story for this match again but nicely executed. Beth is the powerhouse female wrestler so Melina has to use her quickness and FLEXABILITY to try and counter Beth’s strength. The spot where Melina is on her stomach and Beth uses Melina’s OWN FOOT to kick her in the head is amazing. AMAZING. Seeing that kind of flexibility makes me jealous of Morrison. And Batista. And Mike Knox. And all those other hundreds of guys she’s apparently fucked LOL. Nice counter into a roll up for the finish, with Melina winning the title! Good women’s match, let down only by a couple of botches from Melina, but nothing too bad. Really like this match. **3/4.
Backstage before the next match, JBL talks to HBK and tells him it’s simple; if he wins the WHC from Cena, he will pay ALL the money he owes him… TONIGHT. And he guarantees him a spot in the RR tonight as well, so he has the chance to go to WM to fight for the title in his home of Texas. Seems like a win win for HBK to cost Cena the title. However, from out of the shadows it’s THE UNDERTAKER. SOMETIMES, IT’S HELL GETTING TO HEAVEN. 3rd year straight they teased Undertaker Vs HBK, and with WM 25 happening in TEXAS this year, it was almost certain to finally happen!!!
Match 3 – John Cena Vs JBL – HBK in JBL’s corner, as this was during the time when HBK was broke and JBL hired him to help him win back the WHC. Some people didn’t like this angle, but personally I thought it was GREAT. Just some amazing story telling all round in their matches, promos and segments. I was a little afraid that it would lead to a match between HBK and JBL at WRESTLEMANIA rather than NWO (or was it EC by 09?), because they kept teasing HBK/Undertaker. Thankfully they had the match at NWO/EC and WM was HBK/Undertaker! Cena has the advantage early on, so JBL keeps having to leave the ring and have words with HBK. Eventually Cena gets distracted by HBK just enough for JBL to deck the champ with a huge right hand to the back of the head, and the New York Texan looks to be on his way to the WHC. Crowd is unfortunately a little quiet during this match, which will likely prevent people from enjoying it too much. However I like the storytelling and JBL’s brawling style so I really enjoy it regardless of what the shitty crowd thing lol. HBK SUPERKICKS JBL. HE’S FINALLY SEEN THE LIGHT AND DECIDED NOT TO… SUPERKICK TO JOHN CENA! DRAGS JBL OVER FOR THE COVER! 1…2… KICKOUT. Dammit. HBK got some revenge on JBL by kicking him in the face, but doesn’t get paid now because JBL didn’t win, and Cena manages to hit the AA still. Anyways, good match, very story driven, and the finish leads to HBK/JBL at the next PPV and that in turn does a nice job of leading to HBK/Undertaker as well as a few guys battling each other to have the opportunity to face Undertaker. ***1/2.
Match 4 – Jeff Hardy Vs Edge – WWE title on the line and it’s No DQ! For months there has been a “black cloud” hanging over Jeff Hardy. Taken out before the triple threat at Survivor Series, allowing Edge to take his spot and win the title. Then Jeff still managed to win the title at Armageddon. Then there was a car crash. Then the pyro went crazy and nearly blinded him or something (looked hilarious btw). EVERYONE thought it was Christian, who had left TNA and was about to make his return. On screen he was Edge’s brother, and of course they are former tag champs and all that. WWE WERE planning on Christian being revealed. But because everyone knew, instead of GIVING THE FANS WHAT THEY WANTED, they swerved us Vinnie Russo style and gave us some other shite instead. I’ll get to that in a moment. SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT JEFF HARDY WOULD NEVER MAKE IT TO THE TOP. Thought. Hoped. Edge apparently thought he was too charismatic so he brings out Chavo Guerrero Jr to even things out a bit. WE WANT CHRISTIAN chants from the crowd. Sorry, you ain’t getting him. Instead he’ll be relegated to “its christian…” on ECW. He makes the best out of it but yeah, he deserved so much more. Jeff is confident that Edge is the “black cloud”, so he has revenge on his mind. And with No DQ rules for the match now (Vickie announced it just before Edge came out), he can do whatever he wants to gain revenge AND still win the match. Or at least he thinks he can. Chavo Jr (for those wondering why I insist on adding the Jr part to his name, I do so because I refuse to ruin the good name of his father, the actual Chavo Guerrero) grabs hold of Jeff’s leg, either to help out Edge or he hoped that touching something that charismatic would rub off on him. It ended up helping Edge. Sunset flip from a Spear attempt was cool. Match seems to be Edge kinda controlling with Hardy constantly fighting back and making comebacks. Nice Twist of Fate on the apron. He tries to jump off a ladder to drive Edge through the announce table, but Chavo Jr distracts him. As punishment, Jeff puts HIM on the table instead. Holy FUCK at the jump off the ladder, as it falls out from under him and Jeff nearly fucking DIES. Somehow despite the punishment and the risks and shit, Jeff is still firmly in control and managed to hit the Swanton. Vickie pulls out the ref, so who comes to make the save? MATT HARDY. CHAIR SHOT TO JEFF. CHRISTIAN GOT SCREWED. Edge wins. Mostly a really good match. Didn’t like it quite as much as before, but it’s still good. ***1/4.
Match 5 – 30 Man Royal Rumble Match – #1 is Rey Mysterio, #2 is John Morrison. I predict plenty of FLIPS for a while! Some AWESOME near eliminations early on from these two, and it’s just the beginning as this is known for having perhaps the most genuine NEAR eliminations ever, and it’s a big reason as to why I LOVE this match so much. We get some mid carders coming in who in this environment can look good by hitting flashy moves and reversals… then Khali comes in to fuck it all up. He gets eliminated quickly… but by Kozlov who fucks shit up even more. Why they were pushing him at this time I will NEVER understand. HHH shows up to bury the fuck out of him at least., and the Rumble match can go on and be good yet again. Orton is next out, and he’s the big story going into this match due to snapping and punting Vince in the head on Raw. The whole Rumble was essentially build around him so it was so fucking OBVIOUS that he was going to win. Still, knowing the outcome didn’t, and still doesn’t, make me like this match any less. Cryme Tyme both come out, but only one can enter, so JTG tricks Shad with, and I quote, A DOUBLE SIDED COIN! Well done Lawler. It was a two headed coin. ALL coins have 2 sides. Would be rather impossible for a coin to only have one side. JTG and Morrison both dangling over the side holding onto the ropes and kicking each other is another of the many awesome near elimination moments. MIKE KNOX has the greatest beard ever. Why WWE got rid of him I’ll never know. He was a great big man. Now he’s jobbing to Sting on Impact. Poor guy. Orton going on an RKO rampage quite a while AFTER he had entered was cool to see, just because we usually only see people doing that when they first come in. Mysterio using Miz and Morrison as stepping stones to prevent being eliminated… probably the billionth awesome moment of this match. God I FUCKING LOVE THIS MATCH! The fact it was the first RR to be released on Bluray makes is super awesome too. And yes, I own the Bluray. And the DVD. Because I didn’t have a Bluray player at the same lol. Legacy are all out and nice to see them work together. RKO TO MYSTERIO WHO WAS DOING A SPRINGBOARD ATTACK. Moment #193847456383466545873288937548365369765435623778956358475676763. MARK OUT. Speaking of… THE UNDERTAKER. Everyone in the ring stops what they are doing and awaits his entrance into the ring. Doesn’t help them. Good god Undertaker is OVER LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. GOLDUST: THE SKELETON IN HIS FAMILY’S CLOSET. LMFAO. He and brother Cody go at it, and you can see Orton just watching in the background and looking disgusted that Cody isn’t destroying the freak. RKO from out of nowhere, and Orton yells at Cody who then throws out his brother. CM PUNK. The hits just keep on coming. Not the most “star studded” rumble, but certainly enough guys that I’m a big fan. Yet another reason why I love this match lol. Hey, did I mention that I LOVE THIS MATCH yet? No? Well guess what? I LOVE THIS MATCH! LOL at Henry coming out, it was like he had to build up some momentum to start running to the ring. Shelton kicks Henry HARD in the head and I think he may have legit been out of it for a few moments, as he just collapsed back into the ropes and nearly fucking crushed Ted DiBiase LOL. REGAL. He and Punk go at it to continue their TV feud they’ve been having over the IC title. Punk won it last week I think and Regal is NOT happy. Huh, Henry apparently got eliminated. And Undertaker got busted open. No idea when either happened. Undertaker and Kane tease going at it, but hit DiBiase with a double chokeslam instead. Bob Van Dam is a surprise entrant at #25. Don’t think we see him in WWE again. Now he’s hanging around TNA getting paid to be a lazy cunt. HI, I’M DOLPH ZIGGLER. OH HAI DOLPH. I’M KANE. AND YOU’VE JUST BEEN ELIMINATED FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH. Kane eliminates Santino in 1 second. NEW WORLD RECORD. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Hacksaw coming to win the Royal Rumble!!! #30 is none other than THE BIG SHOW. THE LONGER THEY COME THE BIGGER THEY GET. Not sure what JR means there LOL. Show is smiling like a little girl, because he knows at his size, coming in last means he has a great chance to win. He and Undertaker have been trying to cave each other’s skulls in for months now, and they tease them going at it again until Kane clocks Show for the hell of it, and DUGGAN tries to throw the giant out! Didn’t work. Hacksaw is OUT OF HERE. Hornswoggle going for Kane is hilarious, as is Undertaker giving the midget a quick boot out of the ring. UNDERTAKER KICKED A MIDGET. Doesn’t get any more awesome than that. Until he and Show start throwing punches at each other! Jericho’s face is awesome when he eliminates RVD, then realises Undertaker is standing behind him. They keep going back to Show/Undertaker and it’s awesome every time. Fans are super into it as well, which is always a good sign. Show holding on to the ropes ala Rey Mysterio to prevent being eliminated is just so fucking AWESOME. Show and Undertaker essentially eliminate each other (with a bit of help from Orton) and that leaves HHH alone with all 3 members of Legacy. He picks off the two rookies and then Orton wins. INCREDIBLE match that seems to get better with every watch. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. ****1/2.