This week was a busy week for me. My 10 month old was sick so I didn't get around to watching RAW until this afternoon and I have to say, I truly feel like we are seeing some of the best wrestling companywide in a long time. Not saying that there haven't been amazing wrestlers (being an avid CM Punk fan, I would say we are working without the best right now), but I am saying that there is almost a companywide focus on well wrestled matches that make you jump out of your seat. Instead of having one or two phenomenal showmen you could argue that indeed the reality based era is giving rise to almost a new breed of wrestler. That breed is one that feels like you put on a Wrestlemania effort each time you step into those ropes. Can I honestly say that this translated into a fantastic Royal Rumble PPV! Now admittedly I might be a tiny bit biased because I won 20 bucks, but this Rumble was fun and entertaining from the FANTASTIC Owens/Ambrose match to Sasha Banks' reaction and hope of a better Women’s division to the astounding way the timing of the Rumble was presented. I would definitely say this is the best one they have produced in many years.
I usually hate Last Man Standing matches for one reason. The idea of the 10 count. On paper, it seems great. Have to incapacitate him. That is difficult. In reality, it is usually a spot fest where every time something cool happens instead of capitalizing on that momentum you have to stop and wait and watch as the referee counts and fails to reach a 10 count and they are always ridiculously predictable. Then finally you see the biggest spot and "bam" 10 count. While this match was a bit predictable (literally everyone I watched with saw the two stacked tables and called the end), it didn't matter. Owens wove a wonderful story with Dean as a man on a mission while Dean was a desperate man who had fought and scratched to get what he had and didn’t want to give it up. The story of these men's match didn't end in their match either it continued through the night. We saw Ambrose not only successfully defend the strap he fought so hard to get, but also was the last man in the ring with HHH. The Ambrose we saw was a badass that you seriously thought might go on to main event Wrestlemania. Owens was seen losing to his foil in Ambrose, reigniting an old feud, and meeting a potential new feud. I'm not going to lie I would love to see how the "prize-fighter" snaps when literally everything keeps standing in his way.
Not a lot to say about Kalisto except he is a fantastic wrestler that I hope they treat seriously. He is incredibly talented and I would like to see them use that.
The Rumble was laid out absolutely perfectly this year, but I had a major problem with it. Now admittedly I try my hardest to ignore big plot holes (like "Oh. That guy punched my son-in-law in the face and me in the face. Don't fire him though. Let him defend the title.") But both Sunday and Monday had holes that were REALLY hard for me to ignore. When the League of Nations jumped Reigns why did they not actually MAKE SURE he was eliminated. One could argue it's because they knew HHH was coming in later, but it seems incredibly sloppy to just leave that open like that. What if he had managed to eliminate HHH? Would they regret the decision? I hate plot holes like this because they are impossible to ignore. For that matter, please tell me why Reigns gets his chance to main even Mania... seriously... If you seriously hate him that much tell him ‘oh sorry you lost your chance’. At the very least say ‘Because of your rematch clause...’ and make him earn his rematch. Don't just leave it open like that. It's sloppy writing.
Please don't take away from this that I didn't enjoy the Rumble. It was a fantastic PPV, but it really pointed some things out to me. I watched Monday Night RAW and saw how they went from relying heavily on newer talent (HHH being the obvious exception) and onto RAW where we opened with the old Mr. McMahon character and (some people will argue with me on this) I realized just how cartoon-y that character comes across as on the screen. In the attitude era everyone was like that so it just kind of... fit in. However, like I said earlier this is an era based in reality. It seems out of place as he went for his cheap heat insults "Roman is as bad as all of you." or "He belongs where you belong. Under my boot." That is an effective heel method but I definitely felt like placing him next to Stephanie who is a master at insulting your intelligence indirectly kind of highlighted that Cartoonish sound. Top that off with Jericho who seemed to be huffing halfway into his match and having trouble on his form with some of his moves, and those god awful Rock segments (seriously. the sexism, the insulting big show, the penis jokes. it wasn't funny and it wasn't train wreck bad where I couldn’t stop watching. I just wanted to stop watching.) It got to be too much. Why would you put an outdated humor style of the Rock with a modern humor of the New Day? it only dragged them down! It was not good TV. I'm sorry but if the Rock can’t update his humor I am all for keeping him a memory from the attitude era.
I am left wondering why it feels like two different people wrote these shows... There was good stuff and bad stuff on both... but it seemed like two completely different focuses. I would like to see the focus from here on out be the one we saw at the rumble. Well-developed stories that span the show. Characters put in creative situations. A less cartoon and more reality based WWE. If the requirement of that is getting rid of some beloved characters... then so be it. I don’t want to hold onto something I feel is dragging down the product.
Well that’s my take guys. I hope you enjoyed the Rumble as much as I did. Tune in next time. If you have any questions or feel differently don’t hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @eeanmoryx13