Tuesday, 31 January 2012
2009 ROYAL RUMBLE
WE ARE STARTING TO RUN LOW ON ROYAL RUMBLES HERE AREN'T WE as together we address ourselves to the 2009 Royal Rumble which I am almost certain I have not seen but I see no reason to think this will be anything but totally good because the average level of awesomeness of the Royal Rumble match has been steadily on the rise as we have made our way through these wouldn't you agree? An opening montage shows Randy Orton vs. the McMahons as a thing to keep our eyes on this evening and lol the way Orton described Stephanie McMahon as "sexually worthless" seemed pretty harsh. The Road to Wrestlemania XXV begins here at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan and we begin with Matt Hardy challenging THE ALL-AMERICAN AMERICAN JACK SWAGGER YEEEEAH for the ECW title and I guess this is Todd Grisham and Matt Stryker on commentary which will probably be ok. Swagger's music sounds way more like Rage Against the Machine than any of the other wrestling themes that are totally supposed to sound like they are by Rage Against the Machine. Something I should have mentioned whilst discussing last year's Royal Rumble but failed to is how much I like it that they started introducing people once both guys are in the ring rather than being like "now coming down the aisle" because this makes it more Of The Past. Denounce me as hoss enthusiast if you must but I think Jack Swagger is basically the perfect professional wrestler for this our modern age and as I have mentioned on more than one occasion he bears an uncanny resemblance to my Aunt Sheelagh and it goes well beyond their literally identical haircuts. Swagger is doing all kinds of slick takedowns and great basic "matwork" that looks fantastic. Also fantastic or at worst *borderline* fantastic: Hardy's cool fall from the top turnbuckle to the floor. These guys are having a good match! Swagger is focusing on the arm and we are told that the arm is vital to the execution of the "twist of fate" which is the finishing move that the Hardys employ after going WUUUUUHHHHHH which is a bit like when John Malkovich screws the tops of the Oreos in that once people figure it out the Hardys will probably be fucked.
I don't know if this is view that is already widespread on the internet or whatever but I think Matt Stryker is pretty good on colour and I have no real problem with Todd Grisham though I don't think he is around anymore is he. Swagger is the best man we are way way into the match before he hits his first belly-to-belly suplex and seriously if you take the way say Kurt Angle wrestled and the way Jack Swagger wrestlers I will seriously take Jack Swagger every time. It was totally weird to go back to all that Benoit/Angle/Lesnar stuff around say 2004 and see suplexes reduced to nothing but transitional moves as our friend 'Taine noted, like they wouldn't even get you a near fall which was *dumb* but at the time it was happening I almost certainly would have told you it was awesome. But Swagger did a bunch of really cool "amateur style" takedowns and some slick matwork and then just worked the arm and "sold" the comeback for the rest of the match until he hit that one suplex, survived a near fall on an odd looking moonsault, and finished with the gut-wrench powerbomb. In summation this was a good match and Jack Swagger owns beyond all conventional reckoning.
Next up is a Women's Championship match between Melina and the champoin and "Glamazon" Beth Phoenix accompanied by the great Santino Marella and I have no problem with Melina but I mean come on *Santino.* They are both wearing cool shiny outfits that are vastly less revealing than usual "divas" fare and you know what they are actually really cool so think about that, divas, and also you should respect yourselves and make good choices. lol THE BEST THING just happened and it was OK OK Phoenix had Melina face down on the mat and Phoenix had her leg all bent up like a half crab almost but not really and then she started hitting her in the head from behind *with her own fucking foot* and it was an extraordinarily good use of Melina's much celebrated flexibity. I wonder if you could that "spot" with like RVD or somebody? Phoenix has all kinds of power moves here and most of them are really good. I am not reading "the sheets" at all these days but I believe she is now or at least has in the past dated CM Punk? OH SHIT SUNSET FLIPESQUE MANEUVER AND MELINA HAS WON IT! So much for what I am told is Phoenix's five-month title reign. That was the best women's match I have seen in a long time. Did I ever mention that I totally enjoyed the women's match at the "house" show I attended in the fall at the historic Halifax Forum where Leo Burke once wrestled National Wrestling Alliance Champion Harley Race to a sixty-minute draw? The impossibly tiny AJ defeated Natalya and it was quite good!
OK so coming up next JBL challenges John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship and lol I had no idea that Shawn Michaels had been humbled by the economic crisis and is now in the employ of the one-percenter JBL and I mention to my wife that Michaels is still around in this the 2009 Royal Rumble and that this is what he is doing and she was like "that guy is like Woolf's 'Orlando'" and then we are both like lol. Backstage JBL is like "I will pay you all kinds of money tonight Shawn if etc. etc." and then after he leaves the Undertaker appears and is like "you know Shawn sometimes heaven something hell something else" and I am ready for the Heart Break Kid to break free of his chains let me tell you that much! John Cena is wearing his rad AWA-inspired t-shirt that I hope they sold a zillion of because that is a great idea. Your referee is Mike Chioda, my favourite one! He checks the ring gear of the competitors for foreign objects which is a crucial step no official should ever neglect but some do man some do. Maybe these guys are "going long" because they start out with a really nice slow pace with headlock takeovers and things like that. LET'S GO CENA/CENA SUCKS are the things that you are hearing right now if this is what you are watching. Hey so on "The Masked Man"'s Grantland podcast that aired a couple of days after he and his bro went to Survivor Series at MSG he mentioned that one of the striking things about going to wrestling now compared to say in the depths of the Attitude Era is the almost complete absence of dudes holding up signs, and he's right, there's definitely a huge difference there. He speculated that this was because the wrestling sign is no longer necessary exactly as the way to make like ironic comments or inside jokes or anything as now we all have message boards and/or Twitter. You should hear him talk about it.
Solid match so far as you would expect out of these two and again the pace here is somewhat reserved. This is not to say that they aren't doing stuff because they totally are but it's like, some stuff on the inside, then outside and into the ring steps, back inside, and back out for the steps again. A weary-looking Shawn Michaels stands with sorrowful eyes waiting for the moment at which he will be called upon to transgress against his values in the interests of securing his family's financial well-being or whatever. I am waiting for it to because it will probably be cool. Cena kind of missed his top-rope leg drop a little but I think I'm actually going to pin that one on JBL who was moving weirdly. Despite this he is like FIVE-KNUCKLE SHUFFLE YOU CANNOT SEE HIM and although he is unsuccessful in executing the "Attitude Adjustment" he does apply a stepover toe-hold facelock HOWEVER it looked like Shawn Michaels was going to help put the ropes within reach of JBL and Cena broke the hold and went over to like kick him away from the ropes OH SHIT LARIATOOOOOOOOOOO FOR TWOOOOOOOO but now an Attitude Adjustment attempt but it escaped and hahaha woah that was a pretty enormous boot that referee Mike Chioda just ate as he has now officially been "bumped" and he is out of the ring but HBK is IN that very same ring and he has a choice to make right as to who shall be superkicked into oblivion and PROLETARIER ALLER LANDER VEREINIGT EUCH YEAH DO IT HBK FUK U 1% but wait what he has also superkicked Cena and then Michaels drapes Bradshaw's arm over Cena for the pin and a second referee races to the ring but it is but twoooooo! Cena ducks a lariat and hits the Attitude Adjustment for three and that was a pretty good match. All three matches have been good so far, nothing extraordinary or anything but all totally enjoyable stuff. You know what was not particularly enjoyable? The Legends of Wrestlemania video game or at least the demo of it that I DL'd but only played a couple of times HOWEVER the recent WWE All Stars gets my highest recommendation! There is an ad for for the former which is why I mention it.
Looks like we're going to get Edge challenging Jeff Hardy for the WWE Championship and there's a video package with something about a car crash and also a ring entrance pyro accident or something and I guess the idea is that Edge is behind all of these attempts at murder but there is every reason to expect this match to be plenty nuts regardless of the motivation and so I am ready for it. Jeff Hardy is more painted than usual and lol remember when he came to the ring in TNA so fucked up that Sting was instructed to "shoot" on him and hold him down like twenty seconds into the match and you could hear Hardy go "come on that's it?" or something and then on the way out a fan goes THAT SUCKED and Sting said "I agree" lol that was the best. As you know I feel very strongly that the champion should come out last with literally no exceptions and so I am not pleased that this rule of mine is being flagrantly ignored. So Vickie Guerrero is still the Smackdown(!) GM and apparently Edge's wife and she has decided to make this a no disqualification match and that could very well play into the challenger's plans as he is accompanied to the ring by *ooooh Chavo.* Hey do you know who is way better than the Raw ring announcer well I'll tell you it's Lilian Garcia. This guy actually stinks.
The pace is pretty quick to start here and I think that is a "WE WANT TABLES" chant that starts up within the first minute. I was pleased and surprised which is to say pleasantly surprised by the like "mature" or something match that Hardy "worked" against Randy Orton at the 2008 Royal Rumble which was this totally coherent deliberate thing and not just a collection of awesome but somewhat baffling shit so I am genuinely curious to see how he handles this one. They're doing a fair amount of stuff on the outside as you would expect in the no-disqualifications context and there are some things off of aprons and into barricades and such but nothing nuts so far. Oh come on though guys I am totally into HOLDS but don't do this Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Big Boss Man waistlock on the ground shit *do not do it* there is now way that is acceptable no matter how much you need a breather man grab a reverse chinlock or something *at least.* OK cool we are onto other things now as Hardy comes off the top but Edge hits him with a dropkick and now Edge brings two chairs into the ring or OK he *tried* to do that thing I have just now described but instead he was first tackled and knocked off the apron and secondly dove on top of OH SHIT TWIST OF FATE ON THE APRON! That was awesome! Also Hardy's hair is purple and his face is like swirly grey and all kinds of shit if you'd been wondering
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Jeff Hardy just almost slipped off the top of a ladder but ended up catching just enough of Chavo Guerrero to not just straight up die as he put Edge's second through an announce table. Back inside is the "whisper in the wind" and then one would assume a "twist of fate" BUT NO IT IS A DDT COUNTER AND A COOL ONE for twoooooooo and an "inside cradle" for twoooooo more. Hardy's head is driven into an unpadded turnbuckle and it is kind of crazy how that still gets sold like death because it is like the tiniest little thing. A SPEAR IS COUNTERED BY A TWIST OF FATE AND NOW IT IS A "SWANTON" but Vickie Guerrero interrupts the count which is *not cool* but here comes Matt Hardy and he has brought a chair and could this perhaps be duplicity? YES INDEED IT IS AS JEFF'S OWN HALFWIT BROTHER HAS TURNED AGAINST HIM AND HE LAID HIM OUT WITH A STEEL CHAIR OOOOOOOOOOOON THIS DAY EDGE IS YOUR CHAMPION ONCE AGAIN and once again this was another totally good match. ONE CAN ONLY SPECULATE WHY ONE BROTHER WOULD TURN AGAINST ANOTHER AS WE HAVE SEEN HERE TONIGHT is how Jim Ross closes this portion of the show and yeah he is the best at this ever by far.
Did you know that the MAGNIFICENCE of this year's Royal Rumble is presented by Castrol GTX? Backstage we are shown Chris Jericho who tells Randy Orton that he thinks he is a cool guy even though Randy Orton was mean to Vince McMahon who Jericho says is no longer "the creative genius, the god who created the heavens and earth of the WWE universe" but instead a "pandering, shameless drone" and I don't think I saw a single minute of whichever "heel run" this is that Jericho is on but it seems as though he may have been awesome. OK cool it looks like we've got just Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler calling the Royal Rumble match rather than like the million dudes we had last year and starting things off we have Rey Mysterio and John Morrison and Jim Ross is like "I'd like to have abs like that" and really what he wants is to touch them imo. These guys are both excellent so this should be a good first ninety seconds! Yeah in fact the first ninety seconds *are* pretty good with a couple of near eliminations that actually had me thinking a dude might go out this early which is to say they were effective. In at number three is Carlito who wears pants now and is a tag team champion with Primo (I like Primo!) and he still spits apple HOLY COW he is springboarding off the ropes in ways I have not seen from anybody let alone Carlito! Also he hits a sick neckbreaker. MVP of whom I am fond is out next and he is tossing dudes all over the place and dropping elbows and such and I guess he is the United States Champion right now. lol they called his "shiny wizard"esque maneuver the "drive by." The crowd is not like crazy about this so far but I am here to tell you that this is about as well as Royal Rumbles can begin and I am at the point where I speak with at least some measure of "kinos" if no other element of rhetorical proof. Khali is in next and everybody just bounces off him for a minute and a half and yeah this is awesome.
Vladimir Kozlov comes in at number six and he is a fake Russian fake shooter of some kind? He is on a pretty good tear here as he eliminated Khali like it isn't even a big deal for him and then he tosses MVP and Carlito too. It is TIME TO PLAY THE GAAAAAAAAME however and people are into Triple H here in Detroit and lol Kozlov is promptly facebustered and crotch chopped (at) and disposed of. Randy Orton who we are told is without question the most controversial figure in the WWE is the next man in and in a cool sequence he goes for the RKO on Triple H but it is countered into a Pedigree attempt but Morrison hits Triple H with that jumping kick off the ropes that he does and then Mysterio hits a "seated springboard senton" on Orton and then a 619 on Morrison and this is *really* cool. JTG of Cryme Tyme is the next guy and I have never seen Cryme Tyme at all. Ted DiBiase Jr. comes in at number ten and I'm not sure he's all that good frankly and it gives me no pleasure to say that. I am given to understand that he is cahoots with Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes at this time. OK cool Morrison and JTG are both over the top rope and dangling and they are trying to kick each other off from there and neither do but it was neat! Mysterio just hit a baseball slide to the DiBiase's groin in the corner. Here comes smug Jericho in trunks for the first time in Royal Rumble action and as soon as he hits the ring he and Triple H pretty much run through a whole main event's worth of combination and counters or *renraku waza* and *kaeshi waza* if you are so inclined.
I don't know anything about Mike Knox other than that is a hell of a beard and every time I have tried to grow a superbig beard I always get sick of it after like a month and bail so I admire his commitment if nothing else. The Miz who is in next has probably the douchiest ring gear in wrestling history but that is probably his deal so criticizing it would be misplaced kind of. RKOs on Morrison, Miz, and JTG but a Pedigree on Orton! Triple H just tossed Morrison into the Miz and both went out in a heap and lol Mysterio was out of the ring but he landed on Morrison and the Miz and just like walked over them to the steps and reentered the ring. Here comes Finlay and he hits everybody pretty hard for about ninety seconds and now we have Cody Rhodes who is *awesome* and now Orton and DiBiase and Rhodes triple-team Triple H and oooooh that's right they are called "Legacy" OK I remember that. Mysterio tries to springboard into the ring but is caught in an RKO and I will never ever ever get sick of RKO OUT OF NOWHERE as a move.
We have passed the halfway mark now as it is like *BONG* and everybody stops and the Undertaker comes in and man this guy moves really well for a big dude who is at this point seriously old and he tosses JTG in seconds and has pretty much everybody laid out within about a minute. THE BIZARRE AND OFTENTIMES CONTROVERSIAL GOLDUST is next and he and Cody Rhodes go at it until lol RKO OUT OF NOWHERE and again man that is the *best* and Goldust is out. CM PUNK YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHH THE NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION MAKING HIS THIRD ROYAL RUMBLE APPEARANCE and apparently he has also won the ECW title and the World title and the Money in the Bank match so that is something of a "push" he is getting here. He kicks some dudes and does the running high knee to others. Mark Henry is number nineteen and who can withstand his might? lol surely not CM Punk who yells "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH JEEEEEEEEESUS CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIST" as Henry stands on him in the corner and then Triple H sells the shit out of a power slam and yes this is the way Mark Henry should be treated thank you all. Shelton Benjamin is the United States champion at present and he has been awful just awful in these Royal Rumble matches and he's been in a bunch of them. He can't catch a break. Jericho and Punk are both up on the ropes in the corner and Benjamin runs up the ropes and double DDTs them which was pretty cool.
REGAL. WILLIAM. FLOPPY HAIRED VERSION. He hits a cool "exploder" suplex on CM Punk and I am told these two "feuded" over the Intercontinental Title and I should totally try to find those matches on youtube. Oh shit Mark Henry is out and it didn't even make it on camera until a replay: Mysterio just kind of pulled the ropes down and there he went :( but now Koffi Kingston is in at number twenty-two and this is his first Royal Rumble by my calculations and also by my calculations he is really good! The ring is totally crowded btw and look this has been a totally good one so far but not like *incroyable* exactly and I expecting some serious shit to go down on the soon. The Undertaker tosses out Benjamin and then *BWOOOOOOOOF* is is KANE and he and and a bloodied Undertaker hit DiBiase with a double chokeslam. Punk eliminated Regal which reminds me that yeah I will *definitely* have to find those matches. R-TRUTH I LIKE THIS GUY YEAH LET'S DO IT R-TRUTH and in keeping with this theme of dudes I like it is ROB VAN DAM A SURPRISE ENTRANT IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE and he is ever-so-gingerly kicking the shit out of dudes in his trademark fashion and the crowd is going nuts for this guy as he goes RRRR-VVVVVV-DDDDDDD from the top turnbuckle. THE Brian Kendrick is in next and I don't know anything about him at all but he just pushed Kingston off the top but then Triple H tossed Kendrick so I do not have to worry about it.
RVD's arrival is really what the crowd needed to "kick things up a notch" because the match has totally been good but not yet quite great and so they'd been a little bit flat but now they are way way into it and here is Dolph Ziggler who I think is *the real deal* and lol he is all smugly like "what is up Kane yeah I'm Dolph Ziggler" and Kane tosses him. AT NUMBER TWENTY-EIGHT IS THE EXQUISITE SANTINO MARELLA and lolololol Kane got him in literally a second and Santino is like I WASN'T READY I WASN'T READY lol I love that guy.
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO[...]OOO IT IS HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN LOL WTF MAN and as you will recall he won the inaugural event that was actually way better than you would have maybe expected and shit he doesn't look bad at all for his age and the good people of Detroit are like USA USA USA.
Everybody stops what they're doing as the Big Show enters the ring at number thirty and one of the best things that has ever happened in the illustrious history of the Royal Rumble was when like six dudes went Fire Pro on Big Show and hit their finishers in an almost obscene procession. The Undertaker and the Big Show square off but while they are just staring at each other Kane sneaks in between and punches Big Show in the face and that was awesome actually. lol Duggan tries to scoop the Big Show up and over but he is of course unsuccessful and now he is gone but that was GREAT work Jim Duggan thank you for your service. The Big Show presses R-Truth up and over and out and then fucks around with CM Punk for a little bit and then delivers a KO punch to him on the apron and he's out. Hornswoggle is in the ring for a minute and this keeps us from seeing what happened with Mysterio and Mike Knox oh OK Big Show kind of tipped both them out in a pile and there goes Finlay too so we are starting to get down to it here a little bit. Orton hits that "DDT with a dude's legs hanging on the second rope" as it is known on Triple H who is the guy who has been in the match the longest at this point. FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH ON ORTON but you know how he always sells that himself WELL this time while he was staggering around holding his puffy little belly Chris Jericho tosses him and looks smug about it only to turn around and see the "grim visage" of the Undertaker but Jericho hits the CODEBREAKER which is a great move with a great name imo so you're thinking holy shit Jericho is going to eliminate the Undertaker but on the contrary the Undertaker sidesteps a Jericho clothesline at the last instant and that is it for Y2J. That was a *great* sequence.
DiBiase and Rhodes and Orton which is to say LEGACY triple-team Kane to eliminate him and so we are left with the Undertaker and the Big Show and Triple H and all three of Orton, Rhodes, and Dibiase and they are on the Undertaker LIKE A PACK OF WOLVES whilst the Big Show is chokeslamming Triple H. lol that lasts about a minute and then the Undertaker chokeslams all three of those dudes so now the Big Show and the Undertaker are one-on-one and the Undertaker has pulled his straps down because he is for serious and WOAAAAAH a big boot from the Undertaker nearly put the Big Show out but he did a fantastic job of dangling from the top rope for a dude who is a million pounds and now they are both on the apron fighting and RKO OUT OF NOWHERE ON THE BIG SHOW and he is out and then the Big Show pulls the Undertaker out and they leave fighting through the crowd as our final four takes shape and it is a three-on-one situation as Orton, Rhodes, and Dibiase are ALL OVER TRIPLE H WITH CLEAN SHOTS BAH GAWD AGAIN AND AGAIN TO THE HEAD OF THE GAME but before long Triple H is like facebuster/spinbuster/pedigree on the lesser dudes and Orton is over and to the apron and he lays low for a second and then there is a big flurry in which Triple H fires DiBiase and Rhodes out but as he is doing so Randy Orton sneaks up and tips Triple H out from behind and that's it! That was a pretty cool way to do it! Orton and Rhodes are back in afterwards and Orton raises both their hands and this was a a good Royal Rumble match with a cool story to it and the show on the whole was actually one of the best!