Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Royal Rumble 2010
Date: January 31, 2010
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Michael Cole, Matt Striker, Jerry Lawler
First off, love that announcing trio. Having 6 guys was WAY too much for PPVs. I’m excited for this Rumble. Yes the title matches are easy to see, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be bad. Sometimes you need predictable matches and this is one of them. The matches look good on paper and the build was all there. The Rumble winner is pretty up in the air actually. That being said the show is starting so it’s time to shut up. Actually it isn’t but you get the point. Let’s get to it.
The video is what you would expect: a look back. Basic but well done as usual.
ECW Title: Ezekiel Jackson vs. Christian
They’ve built this up great as it finally feels like the night Christian is going down. I’m not so sure though. Jackson is a freaking scary man indeed. My stream is very choppy so this is kind of like a fast moving slide show mixed with good audio. There goes Regal after a few minutes. Striker talks too fast at times. Cole sounds sick or something. We hit the formula based stuff which is likely the best way to do this.
Since Jackson is still limited in the ring, it’s probably best to have him be carried by the far more experienced and better Christian. We’re in our second chinlock of the match already. Seriously Striker: CALM DOWN! Christian hits the jumping reverse elbow making him awesome. And then he does those stupid claps to take that away. “Hmm, I have him down and I’ve walked around in a circle so he doesn’t know where he is.
I’ll clap since that doesn’t give him a tip at all.” Jackson hits a big clothesline and we get LARIOTO from Striker. Jackson is really limited. Like Monty Brown levels of limited. I love that slingshot kick that Christian does in the corner. Why should I care about who last won the title where? No one says a word and Striker says nothing? That’s very amusing. Sleeper time. And there’s the Killswitch out of freaking nowhere for the pin. What the heck was that???
Rating: C+. This was your run of the mill big man vs. little man and the more I think about it the more I like the ending. Christian couldn’t hang with Zeke going head to head so he stopped trying to and got a quick win. I actually like that one.
Cryme Tyme both want to be in the Rumble but only one spot is available. Apparently they’ve managed to trade Khali’s spot for a kiss from Tiffany. Apparently not. Gender stereotype humor fails and Khali imitates Urkel. Shad is almost able to look eye to eye with Khali. This is stupid on so many levels. Miz comes in and Teddy, who has no authority on this show, makes the US Title match.
Rhodes sucks up to Orton and throws Ted under the bus. I’d bet on the same thing happening later with Ted,
US Title: MVP vs. The Miz
Talk about two guys that have gone in completely opposite directions. Miz used to look like a joke and is now awesome and MVP used to look awesome and now is a borderline joke. Something tells me he’s winning tonight though. MVP was US Champion what, back in 2007 and he’s still in the same place how long later? There’s a big MIZ IS AWESOME chant. Or was it AWFUL? Either one is a good sign.
MVP is all over him to start which points to Miz hanging onto the belt. Ok, we get it: MVP hung out with some chick from The View. It means nothing at all. Ah there we go. Miz is back now. He’s grown more than anyone else I’ve ever seen in the past two years. We get it also: MVP used to be in prison. Let it die already. MVP is just a failure as a face. His character is designed to be a heel but we can’t have street wise heels that look like stereotypes of course.
Ok, so MVP hits a face crusher and literally 12 seconds later the Ballin Elbow hits. Are we supposed to believe that Miz isn’t going to get up in that amount of time? Seriously? There’s a Pounce from MVP and called so much by Striker. Oh, period. Wouldn’t want to forget that.
I actually don’t know who’s going to win here which is rare in matches like these but it’s a nice plus. And Miz hits a rollup as MVP is getting back in for the pin. And that’s what he needs: wins, even by fluke, that are clean. MVP attacks him after the match and is heavily booed. Please let that be a heel turn. Cole implies it’s not. Blast it.
Rating: B-. Not bad at all. The ending was great here as it literally came out of nowhere. Miz needs more wins like these but it gives him more and more credibility every time which is what his character needs at the moment. I haven’t seen them get a character’s development much better than his in a LONG time and I’m loving it.
Jericho and Show continue their bromance. R-Truth laughs at Jericho and says it’s every man for himself. It’s better than it sounds but it’s still dumb.
Orton is walking. Yes indeed he is. And there’s Ted to say he’s here for him. No Cody in sight though and I was right with my prediction.
Ad for Raw. I love that they feel the need to advertise a show that you likely would have had to see in order to buy this show.
Soldiers are here. Oh they’re from the National Guard.
Raw World Title: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
And the champion comes out first for no apparent reason. Sheamus is another character that has gotten a solid push from nowhere and I’m liking it. It’s working bette than Bradshaw’s when they did the same thing and I think that’s because there’s nothing of his past to compare it to. Bradshaw had nothing to go off of in the main event either but we had known him for years and he sucked. Orton gets a bit of a pop.
Please: give him a face title run. It could work. A heel vs. heel title match isn’t something I would have guessed on but it should be awesome. I’m pulling for the Irish dude just to prevent anything resembling Orton vs. HHH or Cena again. We get the big match intros too. Orton gets a straight up face pop. Sheamus gets heat but it’s mild. Still though, likely his best ever. It’s weird seeing Orton not being taller.
Sheamus is getting a bit of heat here. I like it. MASSIVE Randy chant. The fans Vince. LISTEN TO THEM. Yep, he’s wrestling life a face too. Sheamus is dominating here as he should. I’m glad they never went anywhere with the kick he gave Lawler. Orton goes for the knee which makes a lot of sense here. There has been talk of Sheamus holding the belt until Mania. I like it. We’ve begged for a new main event guy and we’ve gotten one.
Giving him a long reign is making him far more credible as a champion and main event player. It’s a brilliant move and I think it’s working. Orton STAYS ON THE KNEE! Oh blessed psychology how I love you! Sheamus works on the arm of all things. It’s different if nothing else. There’s the boo/yay thing. Fans are more or less completely behind Orton which is something Vince needs to listen to.
Sheamus goes for the Razor’s Edge but his knee gives out. See what psychology can do for you? Orton hits that elevated DDT that is varying degrees of awesome. They’re trying so hard to have him be heel in this and it’s failing epically. The Punt, which again is more of a freaking place kick but what do I know. Vince started the XFL so obviously he’s smarter than I am. It misses of course because that never hits on PPV for some reason.
Oh wait forgot HIAC. There’s likely a reason for that one. Rhodes runs in and attacks Sheamus but the RKO hits, meaning Sheamus keeps the belt. YES! Came out of nowhere but whatever. The fans are calling for the RKO on Rhodes but they settle for a choke instead. Ted comes down and gets that whipping. Grr and there goes the stream again! Orton more or less fires them, HOPEFULLY turning face. And Sheamus kicks Orton in the head and everyone leaves him there. Not bad at all.
Rating: B. I liked this a lot more than I should have. The psychology was all working here and it played into the match later on which is nice. The DQ ending kind of sucked as I would have preferred Sheamus to get a pin but this worked just fine I think. Legacy is FINALLY over though which is the far more important thing.
We recap Mickie vs. McCool which is by far the best build to a match I’ve seen in a match where both had boobs. It’s even better than the Mark Henry vs. Viscera match. Short version: McCool and Layla were saying that Mickie was fat and it led to this. It’s a lot better than it sounds, trust me.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool
I’m actually pumped for this thing if you can believe that. Odds are it’s going to suck but whatever. The video had Beth in it which implies she’ll be here tonight. Sweet goodness change Michelle’s music. I freak can’t stand it. McCool cuts a bad promo before the match. Mickie isn’t here apparently?
And here’s Layla in the fat suit. This was stupid Friday but cute I guess and now…never mind as Mickie is here. And it’s a 20 second match as Mickie freaking murders her. Ok then. And they bring out food and poor it on the heels. Good to know.
Rating: N/A. Not sure if I like this or not. Mickie dominating is good as it ends this quickly, but it feels flat otherwise. I think I like it though. Yeah let’s go with that.
Ad for Elimination Chamber. Yeah nothing says SPECIAL gimmick match more than two in one night baby!
We recap Rey vs. Taker, which more or less is Rey won a contender’s match and then Batista is a whiny man. Something tells me that’s your ending because he has muscles and therefore he’s a good wrestler, at least in Vince’s eyes.
Smackdown World Title: Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio
They call this the biggest match in Rey’s career. Yep, far bigger than winning the title at Mania I’m sure. As bad as a champion that he is, that belt looks awesome on Taker’s waist. More big match intros which while they’re usually good, they kind of don’t work for Taker for some reason. This is likely to rock or suck with no real in between. This is like a wet dream for Vince: both guys are big faces so why wouldn’t this work?
Taker at 299 pounds sounds odd for some reason. Rey gets freaking launched to the floor but lands on his feet. Nice indeed. Taker has done maybe two moves and he’s put Rey on the floor twice. This is all Taker so far. Thankfully the 619 misses. Taker goes for the Tombstone but Rey uses the ancient Chinese principle of kicking his feet to get out of it. Taker of course messes up his knee because that’s all he can do in most matches anymore.
His hip is in a lot of legit pain at this point so it’s likely not a ton of acting. We get the Asai Moonsault for the Japanese fans out there. Taker’s chest looks the same as Michelle’s used to look like. I wonder if they got them done in the same place? They seem like they’re killing time, which screams BATISTA to me.
Surprisingly enough though it doesn’t come as Taker just more or less casually hits the Last Ride after countering a flippy. Where’s Norcal when I need him? Oh yeah at a bar with muscle guys.
Rating: C-. I wasn’t thrilled here at all. The only good thing was that there was a clean ending which was my main concern here. It’s two more old guys in the main event but at least they’re popular so that’s all I can ask for. Not awful, but underwhelming.
Shawn and Kane talk. HHH and Shawn talk. Greatness personified.
I freaking LOVE that video package about the numbers.
Dolph Ziggler is first and Evan Bourne is second. Ok then. And the Zig Zag hits a few minutes in. He pulls a Davey Boy Smith though and doesn’t make sure he goes over. The Shooting Star hits and Punk is third. With the roll he’s been on lately he needs a LONG run here. He starts off hot by throwing out both guys and has time to cut a promo. The heat is there, the look is there and the ability is there.
He has to job to the old guys though right? Number four is one of Cryme Tyme. Oh it’s JTG. Please….make it quick. Hey I got my wish! It lasted just a few seconds as we get our second promo of the night. I love Punk in case I didn’t make that clear. Fifth is Khali. Don’t you freaking put Punk out to this imbecile! You know they will though. Please, sacrifice Serena or something. I beg of you Vince, use your freaking brain.
Nope, Punk gets his the beating. Oh I get it: Khali is a “fun” character so that makes the idiocy ok. He gets the vice but it doesn’t last long enough and…Beth Phoenix is 6th? Well ok then. It’s different if nothing else. Beth gets picked up and placed on the apron where she kisses Khali before ELIMINATING HIM!! Punk hits her with the GTS after a brief skirmish. Didn’t see this coming. Seventh is Zach Ryder. This is odd indeed.
Beth is odd as we get some awesome music from Ryder. Punk tries to recruit Ryder and then hits him to MASSIVE face pops. He’s alone again as this is awesome. It’s another promo. Kane or Show will put him out soon enough. He says he’s better than whoever is next and you can smell the elimination coming from here. And it’s HHH. Bye Punk. Have fun in the belly of HHH’s ego. His intro takes the better part of ever so at least he’s consistent.
Hey Punk actually lasts until McIntyre is 9th. And HHH puts out Punk to get his ego up again. Yep, can’t have these young talented and over guys taking the place of guys like HHH. HHH is called the future of the company. That’s a scary thought. DiBiase is 10th. We’re 1/3 of the way through this. Oh great. Morrison is 11th. Nothing of note is happening at all. McIntyre takes Starship Pain and here’s HHH to take his head off anyway.
Kane is 12th, To recap it’s HHH, Kane, DiBiase, Morrison and McIntyre in there at the moment. The IC Title boys take a double chokeslam and it’s all Kane meaning he’ll be out soon or last a long time. And HHH saves DiBiase. Ok then. I guess the whole end your career thing is forgives. Cody Rhodes comes up on the monitor and Striker says it must be Rhodes. What would we do without you Matty? Legacy dominates…kind of. Morrison is incredibly acrobatic.
Rhodes underrated in the ring. Striker says he’s the seed of the Dream. BAD IMAGE MAN! Kane of course is moving and Cole can’t tell McIntyre and HHH apart. MVP is 14th. Miz jumps him in the aisle and blasts him with the belt. Know what would be nice now? A shot of the ring. Oh there it is. Morrison hits a SICK springboard spinkick to the head of McIntyre. MVP is taken out as I’m pretty sure HHH is going to win here.
My guess is Shawn vs. HHH somewhere down the line because of Shawn’s incessant ego. Carlito is 15th and apparently he’s interesting. Yeah that’s nonsense if I’ve ever heard it. He hits a nice springboard reverse elbow to Legacy. That was nice. MVP will likely run in and attack Miz later. Nothing predictable at all there. HHH takes the Backstabber as do a lot of people. Holy crap he’s dominating. Sixteenth is Miz. Amazingly MVP doesn’t jump him. That’ll be next I guess.
The Skull Crushing Finale hits Carlito. The fans pop like a cherry pie for Miz vs. Morrison and here’s MVP to put himself and Miz out. Legacy has HHH in trouble and of course he doesn’t go out. Carlito hangs onto the rope and stays in. Number 17 is Matt Hardy to a huge pop. This crowd is awesome. To continue the trend he dominates and hits a bunch of people before Kane puts him out and Kane is out by HHH.
You really can see it coming. I hope I need glasses. Spinebusters all around. A hot crowd pops for him so that validates this I suppose. HBK is 18th and I think I feel a showdown of 1990 proportions coming. Rhodes and Carlito and DiBiase are gone. Ok we have Shawn, McIntyre, Morrison and HHH in there at the moment. Ok take out Morrison and the showdown is pretty clear.
Shawn has the second most eliminations in Rumble history apparently. Yep it’s showdown time and there’s the clock. It’ll be a jobber and…never mind it’s Cena. Vince the Survivor Series bombed with this main event so why wouldn’t this do it too? And of course he beats up DX. A double You Can’t See Me is booed to an extent. HHH stops an FU and takes a Pedigree AND HHH IS SUPERKICKED OUT OF THE MATCH! I am STUNNED as all goodness. TAKE THAT MELTZER!!!
Shelton is in now and I’m switching my bet to Cena. Shawn has put Shelton out like three years in a row or something. This is his eighth consecutive Rumble. Wow I wouldn’t have guessed that one. Cena ends Shawn’s streak and puts out Shelton. Holy Mania rematch Batman. Yoshi Tatsu is 21st. I like this guy for some reason. Of course Striker has a dumb name for him: the Poison Fist of the Pacific Rim. Cena dumps him in a few seconds and we’re back to Shawn and Cena.
Nothing overdone about that AT ALL is there? Ok Atlanta is allowed to do the WOOs. Big Show is 22nd. Show almost goes out but saves himself. Cena goes for an FU but it misses. Shawn has to skin the cat (what a name I tell you) because Chin Music misses. Mark Henry is 23rd. Well they’re having some big names in there at least. I still can’t get over HHH being out already. It’s a curveball if nothing else. Henry goes for a slam can can’t get it.
Why do I have a feeling he’s not the world’s strongest man? He gets the slam a bit later but then almost gets an FU. Masters is number 24. Have to have some jobbers I guess. He press slams Shawn and of course doesn’t throw him out. Instead he puts the Masterlock on Show and he gets tossed for it. Henry and Show go at it again as we have a clock. It’s R-Truth….AND HE PUTS OUT SHOW AND HENRY.
I guess there is a youth movement. It’s Truth, Cena and Michaels here. He shows his TNA connection by hitting Cena with the Stroke. The fans are chanting boring. This hasn’t been bad at all. Swagger is 26th as Norcal pops. This is his first Rumble. I wouldn’t have guessed that. Vader Bombs all around. NO! Stream went out! Never mind it’s back!
Kofi is 27th. There goes Truth. Jericho is 28th. Kofi put out Truth in case you were wondering. He follows that up by kicking the heck out of Shawn and then gets thrown by Cena. All three are down and here’s 29. HOLY CRAP IT’S EDGE! Ok it’s not really shocking but still cool moment. Oh yeah he’s a face. Just like he should be. Spears all around and we might not have a surefire winner now.
There goes Jericho and Edge is domination. Sweet the Edgecution is back! Fans are WAY into this. Shame Batista will be 30th. It would have made sense to just have it be Edge in at 30. Ok final four are Cena, Shawn, Batissta and Edge. Naturally Batista is dominating. Anyone of these guys could win. Edge spears him down and Cena FUs Edge so everyone is down. Shawn nips up to another great pop. That’s one of those moves that just plain works.
Shawn is dominating here and Striker screws up again by saying that Edge has had no vigor. Shawn is dominating here and this is exciting me. Cena gets kicked and si does Big Dave. Edge clotheslines Shawn to the apron and then gets superkicked back in. DAVE PUTS SHAWN OUT! The crowd just goes dead silent. That came from nowhere. This is wide open at this point. WOW I haven’t heard a crowd die like that ever.
That…might not have been what was supposed to happen. He goes nuts an goes back in, beating up referees. Could this be a Shawn HEEL TURN??? I certainly freaking hope so. More referees come down as Shawn looks freaking crushed. Striker says this is heartbreaking (no pun intended I’m sure) as he says Shawn has never achieved this. If he means beating Taker he’s an idiot. He’s also never achieved a good buyrate but we’ll ignore that.
Ok so it’s Edge, Batista and Cena. Cena reverses the Batista Bomb and Batista reverses the FU and there goes Batista! This would suggest Edge winning but I’m not so sure. He sets for the spear with those great visuals of his and it misses of course. Cena goes for a clothesline and EDGE WINS IT! YEAH!
Take that people screaming this was going to be predicable! Love that ending, even though it’s the same thing they did with Cena but not as exciting/sweet. This is what we needed too: a FRESH face that is going to get some POPS. Great move all around and a great Rumble match.
Rating: A. Very solid Rumble here. Edge winning was a very pleasant shock and I liked it a lot. They had the star power in there tonight and no Santino or Duggan or jokes like that who are just going to waste time and spots. The formula works great when it clicks and this was no exception. I was bored until HHH got dumped but it wasn’t awful before that. Once he’s gone though, it’s straight through the roof. Very good Rumble and likely in the top five ever of them.
Overall Rating: A-. I was going back and forth between B- and C+. The whole show was indeed nothing great, but there was nothing that bad really. The right people won, for the most part they won clean, Orton is a face…I think, Shawn is snapping, Legacy is OVER, and Edge is back as a top level face.
This was a very good show and if you want to say it was predictable, let me know so I can laugh at you. Fun show and worth checking out, just don’t expect a classic. Edited: what the heck am I thinking? This show was great. A-.
And so ends the history of the Royal Rumble. I had fun doing this and I think I’ll be doing one off reviews now as it’s much easier and I can look around and have more fun and diversity with it. Anyway, thanks for reading. I appreciate it. I’ll be doing another of these for Wrestlemania so stay tuned. Or logged or whatever the right term is.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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