September 4, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WWE: Royal Rumble
January 30,2011
Boston, MA
TD Garden

The current WWE champs were as follows:
WWE Champion: The Miz (11/19/2010)
WWE U.S. Champion: Daniel Bryan (9/19/2010)
World Heavyweight Champion: Edge (12/19/2010)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston (1/7/2011)
WWE Unified Tag Team Champions: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (12/6/2010)
WWE Divas Champion: Natalya (11/21/2010)

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker.

World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Being the acting GM of Smackdown, Vickie has made it so that the SPEAR is illegal in this match to make it easier for her man to win. If Edge delivers the move, he will lose the title. Before Dolph makes his entrance, Vickie tries to lead the crowd in a ďspearĒ chant. It doesnít work. Edges goes after Zigglerís abs to start. They go to the floor where Edge drops him on the barricade. Dolph is the first guy back in and gives Edge a reverse neckbreaker through the ropes. Edge escapes a chinlock and catapults Ziggler into the corner for 1-2-NO! Ziggler takes over with another reverse neckbreaker. He follows with the Mr. Perfect rolling neck snap for two. Back to the chinlock. Before Edge can mount a comeback, he rolls to the apron where Ziggler knocks him off to the barricade. Back in, Ziggler gets two. Another chinlock ends up in a double-crossbody spot. Ziggler misses a corner splash and then charges into a flapjack. HERE COMES EDGE! Half nelson facebuster gets two. Ziggler cools off Edge with a shoulder jawbreaker. That gets two. Famouser by Ziggler is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two. Flying bodypress by Edge, but Ziggler rolls through for 1-2-NO! ZIG ZAG is blocked by Edge as he grabs the ropes. Now he applies the EDGECATOR. Oh, but Ziggler makes the ropes. Edge tries to crossbody Ziggler as heís draped on the ropes, but Ziggler moves at the last second. FAMOUSER! Cover, 1-2-NO! Edge boots Ziggler down and sets up for the SPEAR. Forget it, bro. He walks over to Ziggler and gets caught in the SLEEPER. Edge manages to break free and hit the EDGECUTION. Cover, 1-2-NO! Vickie gets up on the apron and distracts Edge, but he sidesteps Ziggler and rolls him up for 1-2-NO! As Edge stands up, Vickie starts slapping his face! Just before Edge lays hands on her, Kelly Kelly pulls Vickie down and jumps her bones. Edge is for some reason captivated by this and gets hit with the ZIG ZAG. Dolph has to crawl into the cover though and only gets two. Another try at the SLEEPER. As Edge is twisting around trying to find the ropes, the ref takes an elbow to the face. With Ziggler on his back, Edge piggyback stunners out. No Vickie and no ref means a SPEAR for Ziggler! Just for fun, Edge delivers Christianís KILLSWITCH for the 1-2-3. (20:46) Poor Ziggler. Along with Edge of course, the man put on a good main event-level match and now seven months later heís feuding with who? ***

WWE Champion The Miz (w/Alex Riley) vs. Randy Orton
Orton beats Miz out to the floor to start and throws him into the barricade a couple times. Back in, Orton stomps Miz a bunch and catapults him onto the bottom rope for two. To give Miz the advantage, Riley jumps on the apron and snaps Ortonís neck on the top rope behind the refís back. Orton quickly comes back with clotheslines, but then Riley pulls Miz out of the corner to avoid a charge. Miz corner clothesline gets two. Riley sneaks in another shot on Orton. Chinlock by the Miz, but Orton fights out. He runs into the kitchen sink and takes a boot to the face for two. As Orton is draped on the apron, Miz delivers a high knee from the floor. More of the chinlock. After they exchange the sleeper, Orton hits a back suplex. As he stands up, Miz is there to meet him with a big boot for two. Miz gets crotched up top for a superplex. Cover, 1-2-NO! They trade blows, but Orton sends Miz running with the Inverted Backbreaker. He tries the DDT through the ropes, but Miz backdrops him out. After he backs Orton into the barricade a few times, Miz covers inside for two. Miz drops a flying double sledge for two. Over to the announce table, Miz catapults Orton into the ringpost and tries to get the countout victory. The ref reaches eight, but then Orton sprints back inside and catches Miz in the Lou Thesz press and punches! HERE COMES ORTON! Snap powerslam leads to the Ronnie Garvin Stomp. Kneedrop gets two. Riley distracts again and that allows Miz to hit the inverted backbreaker and reverse neckbreaker combo for 1-2-NO! RKO? No! Miz blocks, but gets caught with the Angle Slam. Cover, 1-2-NO! Enough of this, Miz tries to leave with his belt. However, Orton has something to say on the matter and brings Miz back inside. Riley proves once again to be enough of a distraction for Orton to cause him to take a DDT. Cover by Miz, 1-2-NO! Miz tries leaving again, but receives the DDT through the ropes that Orton wanted earlier. As Orton gets ready for the RKO, out comes the New Nexus without their leader CM Punk. While the ref tries to talk them into leaving, Riley goes after Orton. The crowd lets him know heís there, so Orton grabs Riley and throws him ONTO the NEW NEXUS! Meanwhile in the ring, Orton avoids the SKULL CRUSHING FINALE and hits the RKO! Then from out of nowhere, CM Punk shows up and delivers the GO2SLEEP to Orton! Punk lays Miz on top of Orton and the ref counts 1-2-3! (19:51) Why do they keep insisting on making Orton work with these could-be main eventers? Heís not exactly Paul Roma versus Alex Wright bad, but who has he ever made look good that needed the rub? Another good match, but it could have been better for all the time they had. And might I add, that I am such a mark for CM Punk. ***

Todd Grisham reads a prepared statement from Cody Rhodes saying that he will not be appearing the 40-man Royal Rumble due to Rey Mysterio breaking his perfect face. Ahh yes, the Marcia Brady angle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k04Wv0fydvU

WWE Divas Champion Natalya vs. Michelle McCool vs. Layla vs. Eve
Originally billed as a handicap match with LayCool against Natalya, but the Raw GM changes the match to a four-way including Eve. LayCool rule the ring to start until Natalya catapults Layla into Michelle to send them both to the floor. Before they can EXPLODE, Natalya and Eve break things up. Michelle gets dumped and Layla gets put on top of Eve as Natalya LOCKS THEM BOTH IN THE SHARPSHOOTER. Eve gets dumped again by LayCool, but now Natalya works them over. As Natalya lifts Layla on her shoulder, Michelle tries a running boot and winds up nailing Layla. Oops! Now Natalya and McCool get dumped as Eve delivers the EVESAULT to Layla. When Natalya tries to break up the pin, McCool sneaks a rollup on her which allows Eve to get the three count to win her first Divas championship. (5:12) LayCool lick their wounds while Eve celebrates. This was better than what we normally see from the divas, so from that perspective itís an improvement. But Eve as the champ over Natalya is just ridiculous to me. Every time it seems they have something good going, someone gets injured or pregnant and its usually followed with a year of nothingness. *Ĺ

In the back, Daniel Bryan and Gail Kim talk with Josh Mathews saying how cool it would be for him to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. The Bella Twins stop to apologize and hand them flowers. As usual with women, itís a fake apology that leads to Bryan having to peel the Bella twins off Gail Kim. Cole Ė ďWhat an idiot! What a goof! What a dork!Ē I really want a sound bite of that.

The Rumble Match
This year for the first time ever, thereís 40 entrants! CM Punk enters at #1, but the Corre come out to attack Punk and prevent the entrance of #2. Why are there two ďRísĒ in their stable name? Can anyone explain this? Thereís only four people in the group, so that eliminates the theory of there being five letters for each member. I donít know. Anyways, Punkís New Nexus to even the score and the Raw GM makes everyone but Punk leave the area. Daniel Bryan finally comes out at #2. Bryan nearly gets rid Punk out while Cole blasts the stupid internet. Yeah, that fad will never last. Bryan delivers a missile dropkick and kips up, but misses the running dropkick in the corner. #3 is Corre member Justin Gabriel. He goes after Punk, but whiffs on the 450 SPLASH. As he stands back up, Bryan gives Gabriel a back suplex over the top rope to the floor. Zack Ryder comes in at #4 and dishes out Broski Boots to Bryan and Punk. Bryan tries to cool him off with European uppercuts and then launches Ryder into Punk for the Rough Ryder. He charges Bryan and takes a hiptoss to the floor! Back to Bryan v. Punk. In Strikerís opinion, the best WWE superstar to never win the WWE championship enters at #5. That man is William Regal. You can make your own judgment calls there. Half nelson suplex to Bryan! T-bone suplex to Punk! He follows up with the KNEE TREMBLER on Punk and he becomes dead weight. Bryan wins a European forearm battle with William Regal Ė despite not being European! Punk drills Regal with a Muay Thai Kick, but Bryan knows how to do that too! Buzzsaw kick to Regal and Daniel Bryan is ruling the ring. Nevertheless, Bryan canít eliminate either man. Ted DiBiase Jr is *your* #6 entrant. Heís still trying to convince Maryse that heís worth it. He gets in some stuff, but canít eliminate anyone either. John Morrison enters to a huge pop at #7. Clotheslines and dropkicks for everybody! Flying Chuck to Punk! Standing Shiranui to Bryan! DiBiase takes Morrison out to the apron, but he takes a forearm to send him back. Regal runs Morrison off the apron, but he catches himself on the barricade and never touches the floor! As DiBiase dumps out Regal, Morrison picks himself up and walks down the rim of the barricade. He jumps onto the steps and kicks Regal down once more before walking back into the ring. Thatís not the most AMAZING parkour sequence ever seen, but it makes HBKís near elimination in 1995 look almost lame by comparison. Oh, itís Yoshi Tatsu at #8! I donít watch Superstars, so I didnít know he hadnít been future endeavored. He proves to be just another body in there. New Nexus member Husky Harris shakes his man boobies down to the ring at #9. He takes the brunt of the offense intended for CM Punk by guarding him in the corner. The downside to this is that CM Punk has Husky Harris butt in his face. #10 is Chavo Guerrero. He goes into hyper-suplex mode on anybody that gets near him.

Mark Henry comes in at #11 and quickly throws out Chavo. Thanks for coming, Yoshi Tatsu. Punk and Regal begin to work over Henry as JTG is the #12 guy. Nothing of note happens. Another New Nexus member in Michael McGillicutty draws #13. He gets rid of JTG. DiBiase tries to handle both McGillicutty and Harris, but winds up taking a backdrop to the floor. #14 is Chris Masters. He goes after the New Nexus and tries to MASTER LOCK Punk out of the ring. McGillicutty makes the save for his leader. The fourth member of the New Nexus that is David Otunga enters in at #15. Finally, Punk tosses out Daniel Bryan. With the support of his crew, Punk throws Chris Masters out. Morrison tries to hang on as much as he can, but the New Nexus proves to just be too strong and he gets eliminated. The only non-New Nexus member left is Mark Henry and he gets gone. Tyler Reks who looks like a ripped white Rastafarian is the #16 entry. He doesnít stand a chance. See ya, Tyler. #17 Vladimir Kozlov receives the same fate. R-TROOF enters in at #18 and takes the running knee and bulldog combo from Punk. Peace out, fella. Great Khali waddles to the ring at #19. He tosses out Harris and thereís a Brain Chop for Punk. The newest member of the New Nexus Ė Mason Ryan Ė heads out at #20. He gets a Brain Chop, but Khali is so slow and misses a clothesline. Out you go, Khali. All hope is lost! The New Nexus will win the Royal Rumble!

Oh wait, itís BOOKA T at #21! Heís back, sucka! Harlem Side Kick for Mason Ryan! Thereís some black on black crime as Otunga takes the SCISSORS KICK! McGillicutty attacks from behind, but he takes the BOOK END. They donít know bout no Booker! THE SPINAROONIE HAS COME BACKÖTO THE ROYAL RUMBLE! Punk nearly goes out, but Mason Ryan saves the day and tosses out Booker. Tell me you didnít just see that. They had a setback there. The New Nexus didnít expect Booker T, but now they are back on track. But can they handle John Cena at #22? The real question though is can John Cena handle the New Nexus. Cena is on the MOVE and pulls the top rope down to send the enforcer Mason Ryan out. With Otunga and McGillicutty stunned, he clotheslines them both to the floor Ė leaving Cena v. Punk! GTS fails, but they run into a double-KO. Oh no, Hornswoggle is #23. Punk mule kicks him down and goes back to punishing Cena. Again, he canít get the GTS. Cena hoists Punk up and AAís him to the floor. Now itís Cena and Hornswoggle. WHERES THE REST OF HIM? Tyson Kidd enters the match at #24. Kidd takes some midget comedy spots Ė including an Attitude Adjustment. Cena throws out Kidd while Hornswoggle rests in the corner waiting for the next entrant. #25 is Corre member Heath Slater. Hornswoggle delivers Sweet Shin Music and a Stunner which staggers Slater into the Protobomb. STEREO FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Dang, what did these guys do to deserve taking this much little person offense? TADPOLE SPLASH gets rid of Slater. Kofi Kingston Ė the babyface Ė comes out at #26. Hornswoggle is conflicted, but Cena is SERIOUS about winning this thing. Leapfrogs and elbow smashes from Kingston. He mounts Cena in the corner for punches, but flips back into the middle of the ring and gets drilled with a clothesline. Jack Swagger is #27. He dishes out pump splashes to Kingston and Cena. He stalks Hornswoggle, but Kingston comes out of nowhere with a flying bodypress. Kingston leaps off Hornswoggle who was on all fours for the Boom Drop to Swagger. Sheamus enters the match at #28. He rules the ring until Hornswoggle gives him Sweet Shin Music. He tries to throw out Hornswoggle for trying such a thing, but Cena saves with a back suplex. Hornswoggle wants to fly off the top, but Sheamus sends him to the floor with a Brogue Kick. Out comes Rey Mysterio at #29. He goes all headscissors crazy on everybody. 6-1-9 to Swagger is stopped by a clothesline from Sheamus. He puts Rey on the top turnbuckle, but Rey punches Sheamus back into TROUBLE IN PARADISE. Swagger tries the pop-up superplex on Mysterio, but Rey drops to the mat and tosses Swagger onto the apron. The 6-1-9 takes Swagger out completely though. Wade Barrett is the #30 entrant. Rey saves Kingston from certain elimination with the WASTELAND.

Now the final ten entrants. A previously defeated Dolph Ziggler comes out at #31. WE ARE ENTERING HISTORY, FOLKS! Cena nearly gets eliminated by Ziggler and Barrett. Thatís about all that occurs. #32 is another surprise entrant. Itís the return of Diesel! He puts the right hand glove on because itís business time. Great to see him, but we see his entire move set in the first minute. Drew McIntyre is the #33 guy. He joins Sheamus in a beatdown on Diesel. Big ďletís go DieselĒ chants. In an odd moment, Barrett whips Rey in for the 6-1-9 to Diesel. Then Diesel saves Rey from being eliminated by attacking Barrett. Huh? Alex Riley joins the crew at #34 and the Miz joins the commentary table much to the delight of Michael Cole. Meanwhile, Diesel misses a big boot to Barrett up against the ropes and takes one to the floor. Big Show walks out at #35 and shares a look with Kevin Nash. Naturally, Show controls the ring. He tosses out Dolph Ziggler while Cena and Kingston rid the ring of Riley. Alliteration for the win! McIntyre flies down into Show and pushed out over the top rope to the floor. Here comes Corre member Ezekiel Jackson at #36. He goes after Big Showís knee and quickly eliminates the man! Barrett joins Zeke to rule the ring for a while. Santino Marella is #37 and lasts longer than he normally does which is only one second. He takes a Brogue Kick and rolls out to the floor under the bottom rope. Alberto Del Rio rides out in a Bentley to be the #38 entrant. Rey Mysterio dares ADR to get in the ring, which allows Sheamus to wallop Rey from behind. Since he takes his own sweet time to reach ringside, Randy Orton comes out at #39 and catches ADR from behind. Thatís not enough though as Orton throws ADR into the steps. Once they get inside the ring, Orton drops ADR and a few others with an RKO Ė namely Sheamus and Kingston who are both promptly eliminated. As Cena and Orton look to lock up, itís time for #40. THATíS GOTTA BE KANE! Of course it is. What am I saying? He works over Cena and Orton, but Zeke tries to stop him. Zeke charges Kane who was up against the ropes, but Kane drops down and pulls the top rope down on him to send Zeke to the showers. Just as Kane looks dominate, Rey counters a CHOKESLAM and headscissors Kane out of the ring. Before Mysterio can get back inside the ring, Barrett knees Rey off the apron to give us the final four. Well not really, but youíll see what happens.

The assumed Final Four: John Cena, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, and Wade Barrett. Orton keeps ADR down in the corner while Cena and Barrett go at it. Again though, Cena and Orton lock eyes. Itís like they canít help but beat up each other. Barrett and ADR put a stop to that. Cena delivers the AA to ADR. Alex Riley heads down to get at Cena, but here comes MIZ up from the announce table to toss out Cena! Their evil plan is a success! Cena heads over to Cole to tell him that his man crush is going down. This leaves Orton alone with ADR and Barrett. Of course, he fights them off. Barrett gets dumped, but ADR dumps out Orton! Del Rio wins! OR DOES HE? Santino Marella who went out under the bottom rope climbs back into the ring and gives Del Rio the COBRA! He does his best trumpeting celebration before he even gets rid of ADR. However when he does go to throw him out, Del Rio sidesteps the guy and tosses Santino out to win the match for real this time. (70:54) Whew. By my calculations, the longest Rumble match ever beating out the 2002 match that went just over 69 minutes. That was a long one, folks. I know, thatís what she said. But really, I didnít think they had it in them to deliver on forty guys. CM Punk and his New Nexus ruling the ring was awesome. I knew there was a story with the Corre beating up Kane, but that story didnít seem to play out all that well considering he only had to deal with Zeke and Barrett. Unless they just wanted to put over Zeke as the Mason Ryan of the Smackdown NXT group. This was entertaining for the most part and thatís an achievement in itself considering the length of the match. Since ADR had only been on WWE TV for about six months at this point, I thought they were really shoving him down our throats forcing us to like/hate him and I still believe that they are currently since the company seems to be almost void of strong heel characters on Raw, although he has yet to do anything that made me want to boo him. I never understood the rich man heel gimmick anyways. Iím not an upper class white male myself like most of you reading this, but Iíve found peace knowing that I probably never will be an upper class white male, so Iím just not that envious of his ridiculously expensive cars. Maybe he just doesnít work it hard enough like Ted DiBiase or Ric Flair. I think heís going to have to dislocate some babyface elbows with his finisher to make me take notice. Anyways, another well-booked Rumble in a line of about five in a row. ***ĺ

Final Thoughts: They kicked off 2011 by pushing off the stars of the 2000s and giving new opportunities to the ones people have been loving for a while in the main event spots like Dolph Ziggler and the Miz. Of course then the Rock shows up. But anyways, Ziggler looked great and Miz had a good showing despite having to wrestle Randy Orton again who never seems to care much for making newer guys appear on his level. The divas match was kept short as they usually are and thereís a fun Rumble match with plenty of WrestleMania feuds to build on. Thumbs up for the Royal Rumble 2011. Did I mention how awesome CM Punk is in this review? Because he is.

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