2012 Royal Rumble Play By Play – 30 Man Royal Rumble

It’s my favorite PPV of the year and it generally delivers. We’ve done tremendous coverage on the show on the site so far with our preview articles and all that’s left is the wrestling.

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. The Big Show

The story of this match is that Daniel Bryan is a pinball and he’s bouncing around for Big Show and Mark Henry. Mark Henry couldn’t really do anything. He was not the world’s strongest man tonight. He could barely get his foot off the ground.

Bryan went to the top of the cage to try and leave, but the every so swift Big Show kept catching him. Big Show trapped Daniel Bryan’s arm and then also had him by his head so it looked like Bryan was hanging from the top of the cage, which was pretty cool. Show had a grip on him and Bryan was hanging from Show’s wrists, and finally let go and won the match.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Bryan did the “Yes” screams after the match. (Photo sent in by my friend Jenn who is there live.)

2. The Bellas, Natalya, and Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox, Eve, Kelly Kelly, and Tamina

Beth Phoenix tagged herself in by slapping one of the bellas pretty hard, immediately gave Kelly Kelly the Glam Slam for the win. Beth projects her character better than most of the dude wrestlers.

Winner: The Bellas, Natalya, and Beth Phoenix

3. John Cena vs. Kane
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Push Or Fire! Wade, Ezekiel, Or Drew

A couple weeks ago, Duan asked us what we thought about three WWE guys who are either pushed to the moon, or squashed like bugs and there’s no consistency in what’s going on with them. One of them won the very first WWE NXT which Vince McMahon thought was going to be the future of TV and is now isn’t even the future of YouTube. The second is a behemoth whose signature move is a body slam, followed by a body slam, and followed by more body slams. The third is someone who Vince McMahon declared as the future (much like he declared NXT as the future, see a pattern here?) and had seemingly flushed him down the toilet until recently.

So, out of Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, and Drew McIntyre, who would you push and who would you fire?

Here were our thoughts on each guy:

Wade Barrett

Alan says:

Started out awful in the ring and is now competent yet very boring. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a Wade match that I considered actively good. Personality wise he’s top notch though and his speaking ability is excellent. In ring can always get better so the upside is definitely there. He needs to step up and start having good matches though. A feud with Danielson or Christian could do wonders.

Duan says:

I liked Barrett initially, but he has fallen out of favour with me lately. He was improving steadily when he first arrived. I think that has dried up now. No recognizable advances in a fair while. His talking is fantastic though. Ideally, I would just stop him working matches altogether and just have him as a spokesman for the Corre. The problem is that because he is so big it’s hard to justify him not getting involved in the action. Also his finisher is seriously whack. I hate that damn move.

Don says:

This man is a combination of Ted DiBiase and Honky Tonk Man. He’s a great talker, and great at riling up crowds. But in video game terms he needs to be the final boss. You get through all his minions and you finally get to him. He’s big and he still has potential, but he needs to have matches with somebody like Regal or Christian on the road again and again and again.

GG says:

I wonder if part of the reason that we’re now a bit down on Barrett is because his angle was blown to pieces and he was made to look like a moron by John Cena. Part of this game is that when you’re pushed hard and management is looking out for you, you can overcome some of your weaknesses. We know that his wrestling game isn’t up to par, but did we really expect him to be all the better for getting treated like a jabroni when he was in his only main event feud? I give him a mulligan for that one. He needs to tidy up his game, but he also needs to be booked strong again. If he fails a second time, then maybe there’s something to our collective outlook.

Ezekiel Jackson
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WWE 2010 Survivor Series – Wade Barrett Vs. Randy Orton With John Cena As The Referee

For whatever reason, I still get excited for Survivor Series. It’s definitely partly nostalgic. I can remember watching just about every Survivor Series. The very first one didn’t show up via my cable company. In 1987, my cable company was one of the only cable companies to call Vince McMahon’s bluff and instead show Starrcade, so there was always a mystery to that first show for me.

I remember playing basketball in high school and coming home from practice to watch the Survivor Series where Hulk Hogan lost to the Undertaker. This was when the show was on Wednesday night. Even though the show doesn’t feature many elimination matches anymore, I think there’s something about the show being the precursor to Thanksgiving, since it’s my favorite holiday.

Will John Cena be kicked out of WWE tonight? Hmmm, not so sure. I imagine Barrett wins semi-cleanly, or that Barrett pisses Cena off and he’s about to hit him but hits Orton instead. And there’s a possibility that the Miz cashes in his title shot.

Here’s what he tweeted today:

Be sure to check out survivor series tonight 8pm only on ppv. Anything can happen.

1. Ted DiBiase Jr. vs. Daniel Bryan

What a fantastic match this was. This was one of the best openers in a long time. Bryan eventually won with the LaBelle lock. They went all at it and he brought the best out of DiBiase. They did a back suplex off the top rope, a suplex outside of the ring, Bryan’s drop kick off the top rope, and there was just a great aggressiveness from both guys. I want to see them wrestle again immediately.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

The Miz came out and hit Bryan with his briefcase and went into the center of the ring to cut a promo. He ran down LeBron James something fierce.

2. John Morrison vs. Sheamus

Yet another really good wrestling match. The story was that Sheamus would be on the offense and then Morrison would get really great small comebacks, but eventually, Sheamus would get the heat back. At the end of the match, Morrison went for the Starship Pain, but Sheamus hit him before he could get all the way up. Sheamus then went for the Razor’s Edge but Morrison caught him with a kick and then a running knee lift that was slightly botched for the victory.

It was hot because of the way the match was booked, but also because of the surprise win. So far, there has been some amped aggression on the show and it’s been great.

Winner: John Morrison

3. Kaval vs. Dolph Ziggler
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2010 WWE Night of Champions Preview

WWE’s fourth “Night of Champions” Pay Per View drops tonight, with five, possibly six, titles on the line.

Last year, four titles changed hands, but this year may be the actual night FOR the champions, as most of the titles may be defended successfully. As in might. As in… well, probably not really. This is the WWE, where every year guys win or lose the title 3-4 times, making Ric Flair’s 16 championship reigns mean nothing.

The buildup for the championship matches on Raw and Smackdown have gone pretty well, especially the World Heavyweight championship match between Kane and Undertaker.

Let’s do a rundown of each match, starting with the lesser titles and working our way up:

1. WWE Tag Team Championship
Champions The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd) vs TBA (presumably Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre) — Rhodes and McIntyre defeated the Harts on Smackdown, which should give them a title shot at the PPV. McIntyre and Rhodes won cleanly, which is no surprise due to how the WWE is treating the tag team belts.

WHO SHOULD WIN: After having the titles defended by a duo of high tiered singles wrestlers (Miz/Big Show, Jericho/Big Show, Edge/Jericho) the WWE believes the fans would actually care about, McIntyre and Rhodes have a good chance at winning. But if they do win, would that mean only the Harts would be chasing the belts? Or will the team of John Morrison and R-Truth chase after the titles? I’m assuming the latter so Morrison can get a proper heel turn. Right?

WHO WILL WIN: McIntyre and Rhodes. Unless the WWE wants the tag team division to continue to swirl into obscurity, something needs to happen in which the Harts begin some infighting (which would be bad for the tag team division, meaning the WWE will do it eventually). The Harts will probably lose the match due to a mistake between Smith and Kidd.

2. Intercontinental Championship
Champion Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston — Kofi had a promo on Smackdown that was so badly scripted that I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Needless to say, since Dolph has Vicki Guerrero in his corner, he will lose the title if he loses by DQ or is counted out.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Dolph Ziggler, to keep his status quo up, and continue the storyline between himself, Vicki and NXT contestant Kaitlyn. They need to continue to make Dolph important, and give him more time to cut promos and get wins over bigger stars. Kofi is stuck in the funnel of obscurity (like the Tag Team Titles) and unless he’s given time to cut his own promos (like he did once upon a time against Randy Orton) and also improves his in-ring work, he’ll never get a higher position than IC or US champion.

WHO WILL WIN: Kofi Kingston, probably due to outside interference, pushing forward the Dolph/Vicki/Kaitlyn storyline a little too quickly.

3. The Big Show vs. CM Punk — In a feud that isn’t helping either man, hopefully this will be the match that ends it.
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