Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Royal Rumble 2013

Rockin' the Royal Rumble 
a decade later! 

WWE presented their twenty-sixth edition of the Royal Rumble extravaganza live on Sunday January 27th from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. With The Rock firmly in place from many months ago for tonight's main event, will he leave with the most coveted prize in sports entertainment he returned for? In addition to this, would WWE be able to produce a great card with its other superstars and set up any strong lines to a future with the chance to create a new superstar of the back of the very Royal Rumble match itself? Let's delve a little deeper...

World Heavyweight Championship
Last Man Standing 
Alberto Del Rio (c) w/ Ricardo Rodriguez Vs Big Show

As Rio makes his entrance to the ring through the corridor backstage, with Ricardo taking his time and Rio stressing they are on and need to move it, Bret “The Hitman” Hart talks to them beforehand expressing how much Rio reminds him of a Mexican Bret Hart. Hart also places the pink shades over an excited Rodriguez.

Big Show starts by taking Rio to the corner with headbutts and fists. Show knocks into Rio to knock him down. It was a basic Big Show match with bog standard practice once again. Knock, fall, wait. A Last Man Standing match was a perfect place for WWE to mask Big Show’s inaccuracies. He can remain down on the mat whilst gaining time to figure out his next match spots whilst resting due to his incapabilities in the ring with minimal action.  

Del Rio returned fire with some further impressive flight, including a hurricanrana as a huge selling point to this match. Landing a seated senton on Show, then aims to follow up with the cross armbreaker however Show counters into a slam of sorts. Rio returns to his feet after a minor count. Show delivers chops and brings in a steel chair for extra punch. “Ce” rings out fro the WWE Universe in an intense display showing just how over Rio is when combatting Show with the chair. Rio soon takes a chokeslam and makes it to his feet. Rio works Show down with a kick to his goolies, which saW Show pause in the ring for so long in a disgraceful manner that he almost forgot where he was in an attempt to convey the pain and took ages to sink like a stone which was just dire. Rio gave a boot to the head for extra measure on kneeling Show to take down. Show soon rose up again after a lengthy nine count.

Both manage to trek backwards to the arena entrance stage where both alarmingly climb the scaffolding structures above. Show wrenches a chokeslam on once more and hurls Rio off plummeting into a table below, randomly in place for extra measure. Rio was down but prevailed at a nine count.

The two soon travelled back to the ring outside, where Ricardo attacked Show from behind. Show responded by tossing Rodriguez into the barricade. The most obvious charge was coming. Rio, by the corner barricade, waited for Show to launch a running spear, as Rio swiftly moved and sent the powerful block that was Big Show obviously through the barricade which broke in another traditional booking ideal for Show’s, uhm, structure. Show managed to make it to his feet once again.

Rio smacked Show’s back with chair shots in the ring, then locked on the armbar submission to slow down the giant. On the outside, Ricardo Rodriguez scurried to the bottom rope where Show’s feet were level, and pulled out and tied the ever deadly duct tape around Show’s feet. Fans were furious! Shades of John Cena/Batista at Over the Limit drove them nuts. WWE booked another duct tape tie feet down ending causing Big Show to fail to stand up before a count of ten claiming Alberto Del Rio as the winner in a tedious, disgraceful and destructive way for Rio to win on a technicality that does not portray match excellence nor even rules of the Last Man Standing requirement. WWE don’t realise they ruin the star they try to make just as much as the one who loses they try to protect.

Har Har CM Punk, Bertie's got Balloons...
The three stooges AJ, Dolph Ziggler and Big E. 'background character' Langston were interviewed by Matt Striker. Ziggs said that his ex-girlfriend and Managing Supervisor of Raw, Vickie Guerrero was “Bitter, jaded and pathetic.” Ziggler’s new girlfriend spoke for him adding “Dolph can’t do it? My Ziggy isn’t good enough?” Dolph ended he planned to cash in at Wrestlemania so he can “unify” the World and WWE titles. Yeah, good luck with that. It is also encouraging to see AJ adopt “Ziggy.” Previous endorsements include “Ziggs” “Zigglesworth” “babe” and many others from Wrestling Wonders. You’re Welcome!

He ended “Show……………..


WWE Tag Team Championship
Kane and Daniel Bryan (c) Vs Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow

Bryan and Rhodes set the tone for the beginning with equal trading of blows as Bryan locks a Mexican Surfboard on Rhodes, after which tags Kane in. Kane gains a quick two fall, before controlling. Rhodes soon switches and dropkicks Big Red. Sandow enters to double team though depleted by Kane. Bryan and Rhodes re-enter for some technical tussling for a while in a credible display until Sandow regains a tag with a side Russian Leg Sweep to allow a drop of the Elbow of Disdain for a two count on Bryan. Cody returned to work a double team well, further highlighting the tight connection in Rhodes Scholars. Cody later adds on a submissive hold on Bryan well.

After Kane returns to head to the turnbuckle, Sandow retaliates as the pair duke it out with Kane getting the better of him and knocking Damien down. Kane tumbles down as Sandow moves to land a swinging neckbreaker beautifully on Kane with swift transition for a two fall. Rhodes enters to halt a double clothesline, only to both double team Kane with his manoeuver failing to notice Bryan blind tag in just before Kane fell victim to the duo. Bryan flies a missile dropkick into Sandow, while Kane somehow returns to chokeslam Cody. Daniel Bryan slams on the YES! Lock forcing Sandow to delay the inevitable and tap out and secure the tag team championships for Team Hell No in a tremendous display.

The Rumble match looms. It’s not going on last, naturally. 

30 Man Royal Rumble 

Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella, Drew McIntyre, Titus O’Neil, Goldust, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Sheamus, Tensai, Brodus Clay, Rey Mysterio, Darren Young, Bo Dallas, The Godfather, Wade Barrett, John Cena, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro, The Great Khali, Kane, Randy Orton, Jinder Mahal, The Miz, Sin Cara, Ryback

Kicking off the Rumble encounter itself, Justin Roberts (No Howard Finkel!?) informs the rules. Every 90 seconds, that’s a minute and a half, a new superstar will enter the match.

The first two take their places. Number 1 was Dolph Ziggler. Number 2? Usually the first two are for big stars to get the show going, and sometimes a shock return. Many though it would be John Cena. It was a returning Chris Jericho! What a shocker. The crowd were wild for this one. They chanted “You still got it” in a nonsensical, do what is always the standard as they don’t know anything else to say. Jericho barely began wrestling before this chant was mentioned and Jericho had also returned last year proving he ‘had it’ with his in ring performances.

No. 3 strode out after his previous match. It was Cody Rhodes. Jericho superplexed Ziggler while Rhodes came along. Y2J instantly clotheslines Cody. Ziggs and Rhodes soon double team Jericho, now down in the corner as most standard Rumble booking adopts. Y2J later clasps on a Walls of Jericho on Cody, broken by Ziggler. Kofi Kingston then enters as the number 4 entry. After some high spots and attempting to ditch Dolph, Cody plans on taking both out. No. 5 returned from injury to surprise everyone. Santino Marella joined the festivities. Marella goes for Rhodes and Jericho together, now combating. Somehow, ‘Tino has the ring all to himself, centre, to pull out the Cobra, nailing Kingston. 

Chris and Cody then eliminate Marella. He was first out. Ziggler and Rhodes join forces once more to remove Kofi, who valiantly defends his position. Man number 6 is ‘the chosen one’ Drew McIntyre. Jericho almost gets eliminated but holds on, time enough for number 7 to enter as Titus O’Neil. O’Neil still hasn’t learned how to work in the ring and relies on muscle mass to carry him. He had terrible exchanges with Rhodes and Kofi with a double clothesline takedown. O’Neil hurls Kofi over the ring in a pointless display that did not create any levels of being a ‘beast.’ Titus tried to eliminate both Ziggler and Jericho, in the same two for one spot again.

Number 8 became the second surprise entry. Goldust. The formerly fired for terrible output on Smackdown while in charge and PR disaster on Twitter preaching to and blocking fans for disagreeing with his Christian beliefs returned. Cody waited for Goldie to approach. Both had a brawl of minor proportions, before Goldust downed Ziggler. Rhodes supports bro Goldie but soon gets dusted off with a right hand instead. Cody is almost eliminated by his brother, but holds on. Goldie received a few crowd responses.

Ever favourite and useless bulk David Otunga became number 9. He became a distant memory instantly. Heath Slater joins as #10. Sheamus follows as 11. Shea launches Otunga into O’Neil, knocking Titus out of the ring. Otunga clambers to safety on from his near loss, only for Sheamus to slam a Brogue Kick to eliminate him.

Tensai joined at number 12. “Albert” rang through the crowd once more. All the same chants. The audience became more mindless than the WWE product. Tensai nails headbutts on the Celtic Warrior. At 13 the funk is on, as Brodus Clay joins the frucous. He drops Jericho before squaring off with equal frame Tensai. Rhodes and Goldust return to centre focal point, taunting by Rhodes and smacking Goldust in the gut. After some on apron tight tussling, Rhodes sends dust into the post and eliminates him. Yes. I know what you’re thinking. This sounds so repetitive and exhausting.

Number 14 was a returning Rey Mysterio. Hitting Ziggler and the Jericho with a 619 and frog splash, Cody almost sends Rey out, just in time for number 15. Prime Time Junkie Darren Young. In a blind and unseen how it happened uprising; Brodus Clay was against the ropes as everyone swiftly united to tip the funky dino out of the ring. Ludicrous.

What happened next was plain ridiculous. Obvious was the notion that springy Kofi Kingston would have the ‘stupid spot’ once again. Previous years with John Morrison and last year’s Kofi ‘thrown over the top rope but not touching the ground to re-enter the Rumble’ farce continued. Ziggler hurled Kingston out, who lands on the back of Tensai, whom Kofi just eliminated. Using Tensai to land onto the Spanish Announce Table, SAP Kofi Kingston avoided elimination and contemplated a launch from table to the ring. Instead, Kofi grabbed a swivel chair, stood upon it, and hopped along on the chiar to get to the ring for re-entry. It was absolutely pathetic. Cody Rhodes then eliminated Darren Young and threw a disaster kick into Kofi to eliminate him seconds later.

At 16, Bo Dallas entered the Rumble. Dallas had previously won an NXT contest with seven other men one day earlier to gain a place in the match. Alex Riley and Michael McGuillicutty didn’t feature.

No. 17 came in the form of, The Godfather! With his Hoeski’s alongside, Goddy entered the ring for literally a second before Ziggler eliminated him. The announce team acknowledged this surprise entry as “one of the shortest” to which WWE seem to have a fascination with short record scorings. It was a complete waste of a character and a spot, not that WWE care for its viewing audience. Godfather lives in the area, and is always a shoe in for the match when Raw Roulette is scheduled for the following evening. Wade Barrett enters next at 18 to no interest or dominance.

No. 19 was John Cena. Everyone looked at Cena as a potential threat. Yes. When Cena is present, everyone must drop everything and focus on WWE’s premier superstar. Jobbers unite as Barrett, Ziggler and Slater join to attack a rushing Cena, who fights every one of them off with ease. Cena instantly eliminated Heath Slater and Cody Rhodes. Jericho took on Cena after the impending superhero charge of doom. Jericho was almost sent out until Dolph Ziggler (?) saved Y2J, his nemesis, for an even greater pain in Cena.  Cena even went for the rookie Dallas after, who fought Johnnie Boy off. No. 20 arrived attempting to save us all. Damien Sandow. He goes for Dallas with a knockdown. Out of nowhere, Wade Barrett catches Rey Mysterio then slams a boot into Mysterio to eliminate him for the Rumble. Sheamus hits Wade while Jericho counters an Attitude Adjustment from Cena. Bryan flings high kicks to Barrett. Bryan almost sends Jericho out, as Sheamus helps.

Antonio Cesaro entered at 21. Cesaro gave an impressive uppercut to Dallas before going for Y2J in the corner. The Great Khali joins at 22. Barrett, Sandow and Dallas receive disgraceful chops. Cesaro is still trying to eliminate Sheamus, who moved onto him after Jericho. Confusing, right?

Thanks for coming.
Kane came at 23. He took on Jericho, Ziggler and Khali. Sheamus and Sandow are now going at it. Eh? Where’s Cesaro? Wasn’t he with Sheamus? Kane then dropped a headbutt on Antonio Cesaro. Oh, there he is. Zack Ryder then enters at 24. There was no impact. The unthinkable then occurred. Daniel Bryan eliminated Kane in a chance opportunity! Kane was livid. Cesaro then bumped Bryan over the rope to the outside though landed onto Kane in a bearhug clutch. Bryan’s feet did not touch the ground. Bryan yelled “No!” as Kane retorted “YES!” to encourage audience participation. They blindly joined in. The chants are starting to peter-out. Kane’s visible hilarity at the chants while holding Bryan face to face were too much not to laugh to himself which was highly humourous. He couldn’t contain as much as he tried. It was more humourous to see, so this actually pleased than annoyed. So, is Kane gonna drop him or what?

Kane was a good sport; he placed Bryan back to the apron. Bryan was thankful with a sigh of relief at Kane’s glaring eyes. Until, The Big Red Monster pulled the rug from under Bryan, still locked with his legs and swiped him onto the floor. Daniel Bryan was eliminated for his betrayal.

Randy Orton joined next at number 25. The crowd gave a huge reaction to WWE’s hottest hunk. He ploughed through Barrett, Sheamus and Ziggler following up on Ryder and Dallas. Orton slams a devastating RKO on Ryder, then eliminating him from the match. Cesaro and Barrett work together aiming to silence Rand, just in time for number 27, Jinder Mahal. It was a wasted spot of non-importance.

John Cena somehow instantly eliminates Antonio Cesaro with ease in a pointless decision.

Sterling workers for WWE's future
The Miz strides out at 28. He instantly charges at Cesaro making his way to the back down the ramp after Miz failed to capture the US title in the pre-show battle beforehand. Is an honourable man meant to be bitter with sneak attacks? Miz apparently injured his ankle in the pre-show, as expressed by mouthpiece Michael Cole.

Jinder Mahal is eliminated somehow. No fuller details were shown.

Anti-climax Sin Cara returned as number 29 in the biggest disinterest from the audience, who were expecting bigger things from number 29. Cara returned from injury.

There is only one person left, and everyone knows who it is. Sheamus almost sent out Cara instantly.

A shock elimination occurs as Wade Barrett is eliminated by Bo Dallas. Bitter bore Barrett waited for Dallas to return nearer the ropes to smash a bullhammer elbow on him causing elimination from the outside. These eliminations are terribly acted and ruin the feel of the Rumble, but, the principal is that Dallas was in the match and then out, and those are the ‘rules.’ These should be booked minimally, but WWE constantly book them which causes problems with its over reliance of repetition and audience segmentation.

It's not working.
The last man comes. Number 30 is indeed Ryback. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Monstrous Ryback came in and flattened everyone. My god, what a beast! Ryback is so powerful. He took out everyone with ease. Wow. He shoved everyone down, then, he scooped up Sandow and eliminated the scholar from the scurmage. Cara unloads powerful kicks on Ryback but they do not affect the brick muscle mass powerhouse block of unmovable power that is Ryback. He eliminates Cara quickly with no powerful moves and throws him onto Sandow, outside. Miz attacks from behind quickly. Ryback is too powerful for that. Ryback simply tosses Miz out to elimination. Bye.

Chris Jericho attempts to take down the hero of the ring. He lands a Codebreaker. Powerful Ryback fell to that move from veteran Y2J. Jericho now lands a Lionsault on John Cena who has resurfaced somewhere. Jeri dropkicks Sheamus but manages to avoid leaving the match. Y2J clotheslines Randy and delivers a Codebreaker to Ziggles. Ziggy then superkick’s Jericho in retaliation. Hmmm. Oh, this move eliminates Chris Jericho, by the way.

We now have a final five. Not the traditional four. Sheamus, Cena, Orton, Ziggler and Ryback remain. Ooh, tense. Orton drops clotheslines and destroys everyone with RKO’s in succession. Orton goes for a DDT second rope smash on Ryback, stuck in-between the middle and top ropes somehow. Tangled up, Ryback, the grand monster of supreme domination clotheslines Randy out of the Rumble. Yes. Randy Orton is out of there. Fans were peeved a meathead no-name dropped Orton.

Carnage continued as bodies flew all over the place in a mish mash of whatever it was. Ziggler hangs on to the ropes after finding himself near the floor. Sheamus rushed a Brogue Kick into Ziggler to eliminate the blonde blunder.

Cena and Sheamus join to double suplex Ryback. Both then look up to the Mania sign before the signal to battle one another. It’s a typical Cena flurry of missing, non-impactful punches routine until going for a five knuckle shuffle halted by Ryback with a clubbing clothesline. Oh gawd. The clothesline is returning in the over repetitive writing context.

Sheamus counters Ryback’s Shellshock backbreaker with a White Noise backbreaker. The Great White goes for another Brogue Kick, which fails dismally, as the great powerhouse superstar that is Ryback scoops Sheamus up and drops him over the top rope to eliminate him. It was that easy.

So its John Cena verses Ryback. Cena begins brawling. Ryback lands a spinebuster. Cena then captures Ryback into the STF. There was no pressure on the hold again and the over animation of teeth gritting orgasm was dire. The big powerhouse monstrosity that is Ryback passed out to John Cena. Cena rolled him over to lift him up and sits Ry-b atop the rope turnbuckle. The beast that is Ryback awakes from his slumber and launches a Lou Thesz press on Cena. He slams Cena’s head into the mat before scooping Cena up. Cena slips out from underneath Ryback and simply shoves him over the top rope. John Cena has won the Royal Rumble. Thrilling.

John Cena wins.
See bottom for elimination order list.

WWE Championship
The Rock Vs CM Punk (c) w/ Paul Heyman

The pair instantly brawl to begin the match after their intense promos previously shared in the build up on Raw.

Rock attacks. Punk outside. Heyman hovers. Strong Rock presence and charge for Punk. Dismantles SAP table as predicted. Punk puts lid back on as notion of respect. Rock attacked with boot gut by Punk. Heyman creeps up behind with a club to Rock's back. Punk clotheslines. Punk tends to the SAP table again. He puts the lid back on and laughes. Punk has some difficulty lifting Rock. Snapmare and a boot to the back of Rock. Rocky has an electric crowd in attendance. They came for him. Punk clasps around with body scissors. Heyman staring poignantly. Tension bubbles perfectly. 

Punk lands a heel kick to Rock’s face after an inverted atomic drop. Punk maintains control of the match working The Rock’s torso over. Heyman takes a second swipe behind the official's back of the Brahma Bull. Un-allowing a second assault from shady Heyman, Rock hunts down Heyman with his piercing red eye. Infuriated, the Bull forces Heyman backward in the corner outside unaware of Punk attacking from behind in a pincer attack to remain on top, knocking Rock to the ground.    

Rock leads a good proportion of the match wearing down Punk’s tender knee pain as Punk turns the tables throwing to the outside and launching himself with a torpedo dive at Rock. Rock later changes the pace and attempts the Rock Bottom, though countered by Punk elbows into a GTS though Rock too swift for that retaliates by catching his exposed leg and clasps the Sharpshooter on Punk who switches into the Anaconda Vice in a tense, rapid exchange of near attacks.

Rocky avoids a near loss dropping the DDT as Heyman watches on. Rock responds for another Bottom to which Punk counters, where Rock now firmly sticks CM into the Sharpshooter. Punk escapes to the outside as Rock gives chase decking with a clothesline and begins dismantling the SAP table. Rock ferociously punches Punk as he smashes Rock’s head with a leg shot. Positioning Rock atop the table, a GTS follows to no avail. Rock plans the Bottom once more however the table collapses underneath them both. 

A while later they get back into it in ring. The Rock finally attempts a crucial People’s Elbow. All of a sudden the lights blackout! Oh my god, is it Chris Jericho? Undertaker? We don’t know. The lights are down for a while as scrambling is seen in the dark with sound of attack. Michael Cole screams in the darkness about The Shield. The lights return to show an incapacitated Rock sprawled out in the middle of the announce table collapsed on the floor  as Punk is down in the ring. Convenient time for the lights to get fixed. Punk has a little smile, laugh and implores he has no idea what has just happened. He was in the ring at the time, down, of course. How could he know?

Punk manages to heave Rock into the ring, finish him off and cover for a three fall. CM Punk just defeated The Rock and remains WWE Champion.

As Punk widely celebrates his triumph, the Chairman of WWE beams out to greet the champ. Reminding Punk that if The Shield made a presence in the match in one way or another, Mr.McMahon would personally strip CM Punk of the WWE title. Heyman pleads on all fours not to follow through as McMahon intends to strip Punk. Punk’s saving grace, his former foe, The Rock, catching his breath from outside in a slump by the barricade, “No No No No No…” adding if anyone would take that title from Punk, it would be Rock and Rock alone. Requesting McMahon restart the match, the Chairman complied. The match is restarted.

WWE Championship
The Rock Vs CM Punk (c) w/ Paul Heyman

Punk scrambles over returning Rock with a flurry of hits. The crowd are fired highly. Punk scores a knee to the head falling The Rock again. To finally end his opponent's chances in style, Punk scales to the top turnbuckle and lands the flying elbow drop. Rock managed to kick out at a very tense two fall. Punk goes for the GTS as Rock slides out of the hold to return a spinebuster on the defending champion. The Rock issues one last try with The People’s Elbow following with a cover on CM Punk to gain a three fall and win the WWE championship in an outstanding match between the two.

Man/Woman of the PPV – The Rock

Men/Women of their matches – Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Cody Rhodes, The Rock

PPV Rating - 4/10

WWE billed its Royal Rumble PPV around The Rock which was a wise decision to gather interest early on. Choosing to put Punk in the spotlight was also a valid choice. Despite instant belief Rock would outright win was suspended beautifully by the series keeping both lines of competition available meaning Punk could have been a promising challenge to Rocky. As every match should, both rivals should have supporters in each side to add extreme weight to any contest and only Punk and Rock achieved this milestone since nearly a decade of wrestling in WWE. Nothing came close. Punk simply doesn’t have the competition, which is also the company’s problem. It has lined out only one champion at a time and only one constant for money making principals that the ten years timeframe has suffered and numerous revenue could have been made more than off the back of one star overall.

The Royal Rumble match could not go on last because of a) its result and b) Rock’s return and the restart plan to drive home protecting both champions of this generation to its audience. The Rumble was a chance for those not winning the match to at least impress and WWE made it so standard once again that it was difficult for anyone to do so. They could not show their main potential they could have for future matches. Perhaps WWE felt they needed to neuter them not to conflict with the main event. This is one theory but not in place. WWE just book the match the same way, everytime, rendering it a tedious joke when this phenomenon used to be the best match for thousands of modern WWE fans. They expect something special and the standard of today is to line up a Mania match between a comfortable superstar than a new rising star with great opportunity to provide a future and add huge growth to a star. This is usually the general purpose of the match itself and if is being forgotten then WWE should consider revising its formula. Either scrap it or re-book it the correct way in principality.

Those who did however standout were Bo Dallas as the surprise to many, Cody Rhodes who is still mistreated and Antonio Cesaro. The rest were surplus bodies in a numbers game.

WWE should have placed in Brad Maddox and even considered a victory. It could also have regenerated Michael McGuillicutty or Alex Riley also if placed in and donated time effectively. Those who don’t win have opportunities to create an opening of rebuilding esteem, often ignored again.

Image Credit: WWE
McMahon thought a win-win situation by putting Cena, the youthful favourite against Ryback, the John Cena clone that fans who oppose Cena and also oppose Ryback would have ‘no choice’ than to cheer Ryback. How flawed that perception was. Both were turnoffs to viewers and remain so and the fans, though are easily led into manipulation from WWE, weren't that easy to control with Sheamus nor Ryback formulas. It was a throwaway opportunity. 

Don’t blame Cena. He’s been ‘good’ all year. He hasn’t loitered around or been involved in the WWE title picture for over a year. You know, that’s a record for the WWE cherub to take a back seat from clogging up the product with the title.

Royal Rumble was highly disjointed and could have been exceptional if WWE figured out how to do so, but are stuck in their ways and haven’t understood how to create a new formula that only certain people can muster. They need to get those people to work with them than against them in order to protract quality and prestige it claims it aims to project than just booking the ‘big one’ for 'Mania, yet again. Once in a lifetime has now become twice in a lifetime, soon to be third in a lifetime at, wait for it, Wrestlemania 30! All to set up one match. Fans feel cheated of last years 'one time' and this year's Rumble opportunities available to freshen the product. 

The tag team championship was a decent effort from all four men and could be in line for a more healthy outlook. The problem is that when these four are not involved or changing sparring partners, WWE’s teams are filled with terrible disgraces and inconsistencies that instantly undo all that is done. WWE need to cut the weak from the chaff. The Prime Time Players add nothing and must go. They are borderline racist, cannot work and are not actually doing anything good in the ring as personalities. Dead wood must be cleared. Team the loitering newbies and NXT’ers on the roster. You have never needed them more. Bryan and Kane has its shelf life, though was necessary to win tonight.

Alberto Del Rio’s turn to the good side was an obvious matter of time and has become an invigorating way forward for him, WWE and the audience. Upholding the title match. Rio also encouraged Big Show to work a little better than others he has previously battled. Show is still vastly ignorant in the ring and it is not helping, so the drawing board must be approached. Everyone needs to think about the direction Show can feasibly have and what he can do to get this across. That will restore him to an extent and add audience interest. His role in title pictures, however, must be resigned. Rio made exceptional work and held the show, pardon the pun, together handsomely. Most would have struggled. This proved another one of WWE’s key talents revealed when it finally decides to put forward new prospects. It should not unify titles when talent is so low and needed on both brands, either. That is a pointless decision that benefits no one. Once it is done, it is hard to come back from. It will not work based on stubborn pushing forward of ideas.

The 1970s approach to star making is not the era that is in ever changing audiences in 2013. He who adopts this way of lifestyle must understand those Hulk Hogan archetype action figures are not the ones that drive the future anymore. Yes, some must be brand identity aspects, but when it comes to the overall brand of what WWE stands for, it needs to prioritise the most vital parts in order to maintain its value.

No divas? Kaitlyn was scheduled at the last minute to battle Tamina for the title as champion after Eve left and Kaitlyn won in her hometown on Raw two weeks ago. Allowing its own division to collapse and do nothing to resurrect it is just abhorrent disgrace from WWE, highlighting that it has no idea on making future aspects anymore and only seen as chasing mainstream headlines and money making ‘big’ match ventures at ‘the big one’ in three months. She may be terrible, but months ago we 'told' you Kaitlyn would be champ soon. Oh come on, it's fun "weeeeeeeeeeee!"

WWE are planning Layla to turn heel on Kaitlyn as we speak. There are no other options in line.  

Based on returns alone and entering everyone on the card in double duty was its forthright. Stars in matches should not be entered into the Rumble itself, or have we forgotten brand identity once again just as the supershow and title show swapping lunacy? So who of the entries would have benefited from the win? Antonio Cesaro, Randy Orton or The Miz and yet all of those names are not of 'importance' to make the top. Cesaro is not to be rushed yet but could theoretically challenge and lose at 'Mania to build profile. Miz is in desperate need and winning yje Rumble could revamp him but his stock has sunk. Orton is the only option but didn't need it, therefore WWE should have selected entries more crucially. 

Oh, and WWE should have stuck Aksana in there this year to help her beau. Of all the females, she was most feasible to go in. If WWE can finally raise Natalya up instead of bogging her down, then she could make massive impact next year, but WWE aren't, uhm, 'big' on her.

What happens when the big money makers, for whatever reason, are all gone? When you haven’t made anyone else? There is nothing left. The end result is to pack up and go home. Most of the WWE Universe have clearly sent this message to WWE over the last year, included with its viewing decline. It’s time to wake up, realise, leave the ego at the door and place those stepping stones, or simply resign your grand vision to dust. Nothing is eternal, but allowing it to fall without any attempt at protection is catastrophic.

Order of Elimination list below.

1) Santino Marella (by Cody Rhodes)
2) Drew McIntytre (by Chris Jericho)
3) Titus O’Niel (by Sheamus)
4) David Otunga (by Sheamus)
5) Goldust (by Cody Rhodes)
6) Brodus Clay (by multiple people)
7) Tensai (by Kofi Kingston amid others)
8) Darren Young (by Kofi Kingston)
9) Kofi Kingston (by Cody Rhodes)
10) The Godfather (by Dolph Ziggler)
11) Heath Slater (by John Cena)
12) Cody Rhodes (by John Cena)
13) Rey Mysterio (by Wade Barrett)
14) The Great Khali (by Kane)
15) Kane (by Daniel Bryan)
16) Daniel Bryan (by Kane)
17) Zack Ryder (by Randy Orton)
18) Antonio Cesaro (by John Cena)
19) Jinder Mahal (by Sheamus)
20) Wade Barrett (by Bo Dallas)
21) Bo Dallas (by Wade Barrett)
22) Damien Sandow (by Ryback)
23) Sin Cara (by Ryback)
24) The Miz (by Ryback)
25) Chris Jericho (by Dolph Ziggler)
26) Randy Orton (by Ryback)
27) Dolph Ziggler (by Sheamus)
28) Sheamus (by Ryback)
29) Ryback (by John Cena) 

© Max Waltham 30th January 2013

All Rights Reserved

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