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Royal Rumble XXXV - 1/29/2022


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11 hours ago, sabremike said:

The biggest problem is pretty simple: They have a roster that with a few exceptions nobody cares about (and that's almost entirely because there's been no reason given to care about them with how they've been booked and positioned) and for a Rumble match that's pretty much death.

I'd say the biggest problem is this: you don't put the belt on Andre.

Lesnar is the modern-day Andre. And they put the belt on him constantly.

This is what, the second year in a row now that they've done " Lesnar inserts himself into big gimmick match at last minute and easily wins to get a title shot"? It makes the whole roster look like shit. 

Ironically, the "people person Lesnar" thing is a move in the right direction, but what he needs to be doing at this point is acting as an odd-evener like Andre used to. Say, Ricochet gets on the bad side of AJ and Omos (assuming they never split). They're beating him regularly until he bumps into Lesnar in the back one day, and Brock's like, "hey I remember when you helped eliminate me in the Rumble a couple years ago. You got gumption, I like that. Lemme help you out." Bang, Ricochet gets a rub from teaming with Brock, Omos gets a rub from being enough of a threat to involve Brock.

Bottom line, Brock don't need the belt. Neither does Rousey for that matter, nor did Goldberg. They gotta stop putting the belts on special attractions if they ever wanna build up a pool of new main event talent.

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9 minutes ago, The Comedian said:

Bottom line, Brock don't need the belt. Neither does Rousey for that matter, nor did Goldberg. They gotta stop putting the belts on special attractions if they ever wanna build up a pool of new main event talent.

That's the rub. They don't want to build up anyone new. A rotating Greatest Hits section is good enough to keep the diehards watching and ratings good enough to keep Fox placated.

The Rumble used to be building 2 month programs for folks based on who eliminated who because you have that hour to start and tell stories. What stories were told in either Rumble last night involving people who didn't win and will be on the weekly TV in a month? The only tiny thing I can remember is Gable throwing Damian Priest to the wolves before getting Omos out. Will that lead to something considering Gable and Otis are chasing the tag belts? Probably not.

Pat Patterson was the master of taking advantage of this storytelling format to plant seeds that ripened 3, 6, 9 months down the line. The Rumbles this year felt like a dust bowl in comparison.

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You're right James. They're too far gone into the Hollywood mindset of "sequels, remakes, and reboots". It's really scary to think that, if Stone Cold didn't have too much pride in his craft to do it, they would jump at the chance to have him go out there at Mania, not bump, punch and kick Bobby Lashley around a bit, gingerly hit a stunner, and win the title as a half-crippled fifty something.

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I'm surprised everyone is chalking up Beck vs Doudrop have a quiet crowd due to anything except the building evacuation. The Wrestlemania sign caught on fire. They evacuated the entire side of the audience that sat on the sign side. They lowered the sign to the ground and put it out with fire extinguishers then raised it back it. I mean sure Doudrop isn't a pushed act. But that crowd was paying attention to that weird spectacle. There was even a "the building is on fire chant". Hard to have audience investment in this scenario. Dunn kept to super tight shots from only the 3 non evacuate sides to avoid it being on camera, but Becky even said that sign caught of fire because I'm straight fire, or something to that effect.

The mixed tag got the shaft tonight. It was a really solid outing for that type of match. But they gave it the cool down death spot. After the big Brock match and before the "big" men's Rumble match. Bad show layout in my opinion.

Men's Rumble was probably the worst Rumble they've ever done. Bottom two or three at least. Just no star power. They also announced 25 people, and just sent those 25 out first. You have to take the audience on a ride. Ups and downs and weaving stuff in and out to have a fun Rumble. You need to pepper those surprises in along the way for maximum effect. Also feel for Kofi. They made the right call calling it as a shoot since his feet hit. But that has to be a bummer to mess up a big spot like that and not get your planned shine in. The Rumble was ESPECIALLY dull during the 3 minutes after Kofi was out. You just know they had some planned stuff with him & Otis, and since he wasn't there they all pretty much stood around doing nothing.

Don;t care about Lesnar winning. Their story didn't need the Rumble win. Whatever Lashley's match is gonna be did. But I feel apathy towards it, not annoyance.

The sign caught of fire again after the Lesnar pyro too. Pretty fucking unsafe to risk that on a faulty sign setup that already caused an evacuation.

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3 hours ago, Matt D said:

They were all in the women's rumble. I didn't catch everything, but you've got: Sasha's gear, Melina crying, Sasha doing the split after eliminating her, the Liv/Logan reunion, Sonya taking out Cameron, Sonya spoiling the Naomi spot, Bella dissension, Zelina being excited for Carmella to come out only for Carmella to hang out with Graves, Nikki ambushing Molly, Ronda's look on her face when Baszler came out 30, Ivory, Etc. There were tons of little moments like that in the women's Rumble and what felt like 0 in the men's.

Liv in particular lost weeks (months?) of her career to errant Bella kicks. In a world with a better Rumble planner, Liv taking out the Bellas after they toss Sarah Logan would have been a thing. Maybe a tag down the line.

Rhea's backstories with Shayna and Charlotte didn't really seem to come up, Bianca felt like an afterthought as the match went on (and it's jarring that the EST wouldn't take exception to the BaddEST Woman On The Planet) ... and last year we had Rhea and Bianca much later in the match eliminating Charlotte -- it's a strain to watch them try and fail to eliminate her as they did this time. 

Anyone - characterwise, it probably works best for Rhea or Bianca - spearing Rousey during her walk down the ramp would have had a star-making moment.

3 hours ago, Matt D said:

I haven't seen much WWE in forever or even followed it an it's all pretty dreadful. I'm still going to put together a Mania card based on what I saw though, for both masochistic and sadistic reasons.


Charlotte vs Ronda for the title
Becky vs Bayley or Becky vs Asuka for the title (With Sasha up against the other)
Alexa/Rhea/Molly Holly vs Zelina/Carmella/Nikki Cross
 

Having already turfed Charlotte to win the Rumble, I'm not sure Ronda would have enough incentive to choose her over Becky -- but Ronda-Becky means Bianca gets hung out to on the story that's been building since Summerslam. They can certainly do Ronda-Charlotte / Becky-Bianca, but it feels like they'll be swimming uphill against the crown in both of those situations. And it brings up the spectre of another inane tag skirmish and leaves Sasha and Rhea with nothing to do.

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Also, it was St. Louis. Any reason they only had Orton in the Rumble for 3 minutes or whatever? He should have been somewhere around 8/9/10 and stayed until the end to give the home town audience someone to root for. Orton is big over there, and they really had him out in 3 minutes. Just doesn't make any sense.

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4 minutes ago, Iron Moose said:

Having already turfed Charlotte to win the Rumble, I'm not sure Ronda would have enough incentive to choose her over Becky -- but Ronda-Becky means Bianca gets hung out to on the story that's been building since Summerslam.

I feel like its Rhonda-Charlotte because there was no finishing stretch to the match, like they were trying to save their interactions. Once it came down to the 2 of them the match was over in 30 seconds. Now Charlotte is pissed at Rhonda because she ruined her big plan and Rhonda can hold it over her that she eliminated her.

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4 minutes ago, alstein said:

Was this as tough to watch as 1999-2000 WCW was?

 

In different ways. 99/00 WCW creative was trying, but just really bad. This didn't even feel like they were trying. It was like watching a video game Rumble.

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I don't know that I have a lot more to add that hasn't already been said: Not great stuff!

Doudrop/Becky was really good and Roman/Seth was about as good of a match as those two are gonna have when the winner is so clear.

The women's Rumble didn't do a ton for me considering how thin the roster is, but it did really underline that at least they have some stars there: Ronda, Charlotte, Sasha, Bianca, Rhea and to a lesser extent, Naomi and Sonya all had a lot going for them and the crowd responded. Whereas, as someone else said, the men's Rumble looked like a bunch of geeks. I don't think the firings would have made much of a difference in terms of quality because ultimately, they just don't have any full-time star power in the men's division outside of Roman and Rollins due to how badly everyone's been booked. I guess there's AJ and RKBro? But even then, Orton and Styles are 41 and 44 respectively, and Riddle was dumped pretty unceremoniously. Poor Big E was a complete afterthought.

26 minutes ago, alstein said:

Was this as tough to watch as 1999-2000 WCW was?

 

It's duller, for sure. 99-00's WCW felt a lot more like a sinking ship with each passing week, but it always had a glimmer of, "Okay, fuck it, we're starting from scratch, maybe THIS wild idea will work." 2022 WWE just feels like it will endlessly coast, never dying or ever getting any better. Kind of like the Simpsons.

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3 minutes ago, The Comedian said:

I'd say the biggest problem is this: you don't put the belt on Andre.

Lesnar is the modern-day Andre. And they put the belt on him constantly.

This is what, the second year in a row now that they've done " Lesnar inserts himself into big gimmick match at last minute and easily wins to get a title shot"? It makes the whole roster look like shit. 

Ironically, the "people person Lesnar" thing is a move in the right direction, but what he needs to be doing at this point is acting as an odd-evener like Andre used to. Say, Ricochet gets on the bad side of AJ and Omos (assuming they never split). They're beating him regularly until he bumps into Lesnar in the back one day, and Brock's like, "hey I remember when you helped eliminate me in the Rumble a couple years ago. You got gumption, I like that. Lemme help you out." Bang, Ricochet gets a rub from teaming with Brock, Omos gets a rub from being enough of a threat to involve Brock.

Bottom line, Brock don't need the belt. Neither does Rousey for that matter, nor did Goldberg. They gotta stop putting the belts on special attractions if they ever wanna build up a pool of new main event talent.

Exactly - and Brock we know is not a full timer.  He had the belt and was literally not on TV for weeks. The main roster must look at this and be deflated. Don't blame Brock, its a great gig for him.

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I have Peacock for the PL and heard from friends and family who still occasionally watch that this show was bad on another level, so I went in and played it in the background this morning. This is the first full modern WWE show I've seen since 2016. 

It was pretty terrible! Roman still is just okay, and Rollins was fine in this match, but it was whatever and had the fuck finish. 

The women's Rumble is the first time I have seen Rousey work. Not a great match to get a sense of her as a worker. Anyway, it was shit, though I did enjoy Sasha, Mickie, and Ivory's stints.

Becky Lynch looks kind of shit at the pro wrestling now? This was not a great match, though Doudrop (who has a dumb name that makes me think that Bertha Faye is no longer the shittiest "give the heavyset woman a dumb-ass gimmick name" example in the history of the company) doesn't seem particularly good either. She worked hard, but meh.

The mixed tag wasn't good or anything, but The Miz was like the best worker on this show by miles, which is kinda fucked up? I mean, Miz is a very good WWE-style worker, but he probably shouldn't be your best worker on any given show.

Lashley/Lesnar was bad. That suplex shit was boring six years ago. Lashley looked like a punk motherfucker after that finish.

The men's Rumble was terrible, but it's still not worse than the "dump Bryan early so Reigns can win" Rumble. It's definitely below all those boring mid-'90s ones that at least had some decent angles or moments running through them. Like, '95 was the most boring one of those, and at least it had HBK and Bulldog going bell to bell and Michaels doing increasingly more ridiculous elimination teases all the way through. The one where Bryan got dumped by Bray way early so that Vince could shit on the crowd (complete with Goldust entering right after Bryan was dumped so SHATTERED DREAMS was prominently displayed on the screen while Bryan over-emoted at ringside) was just awful, like the biggest fuck you to the fans, complete with dragging The Rock out on some "Remember this guy, back from when we were entertaining? You like him, right? Well, he's buddies with his family member Roman Reigns!"

This was just totally directionless garbage with no stars except for Brock and Bad Bunny.

@Super Apedeclared American wrestling to be in the mud, and he is right. TNA or Impact! or whatever is roundly mediocre with a small handful of decent-enough matches every once in awhile, and it is absolutely the best company running right now. No wonder no one outside of an increasingly older amount of hardcores watches any of this shit. 

I've watched some stuff from the '91 - '95 period over the past few months thinking that I have rose-colored glasses on and that it was just as shit as modern American wrestling is, but no, it genuinely is a million times better than the contrived, over-produced shit that these modern companies, especially WWE, puts out. 

Also, that camera-shaking bullshit is completely unnerving when you aren't used to it anymore. I bet Kevin Dunn's completely awful direction/production turns off more potentially new fans than any of Vince's run-in-place booking or the writing team's plastic promos ever could. 
 

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2 hours ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

Also, it was St. Louis. Any reason they only had Orton in the Rumble for 3 minutes or whatever? He should have been somewhere around 8/9/10 and stayed until the end to give the home town audience someone to root for. Orton is big over there, and they really had him out in 3 minutes. Just doesn't make any sense.

Instantly better story -

Orton in at 3.

He makes it all the way to the final 4 - AJ (#1), Orton (#3), Drew (teens) & Riddle (#20s)

Orton and AJ both go over the top before Orton throws AJ, all while Riddle and Drew go back and forth.

Drew gets Riddle down and sees Orton on the apron. He goes for the Claymore and Riddle dives in the way to take the hit.

Huge pop.

Orton back in the ring. Goes back and forth with Drew before throwing him out... Only to IMMEDIATELY get judo-plexed out by the winner, Matt Riddle.

Orton pissed but hey, every man for himself and his bro is going to WrestleMania.

Riddle starts the build to a shoot fight/MMA/HOOK style title match with Lashley where we crown a new main event talent.

Orton has the slow burn towards turning on him. I'd do it the night after Mania.

Lesnar v Reigns didn't need the Rumble. Lesnar has enough reason to go after The Bloodline on SDL.

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I find it really interesting that Ronda has a commitment to being a "striker" in WWE when trying to be a striker is what ended her UFC career.

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2 minutes ago, L_W_P said:

Also Rousey's punches look like shit.

That was some Shane O'Mac level stuff in the corners.

I saw at some ring rust - no clue how much time she put in before last night. They looked really bad. I thought Rousey was pretty darn good when she first started given how little she has been in a pro wrestling ring but last night was not good. 

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2 minutes ago, Raziel said:

I find it really interesting that Ronda has a commitment to being a "striker" in WWE when trying to be a striker is what ended her UFC career.

 

Ronda copying Minoru Suzuki in this way?  I feel almost sacrifiligeous saying this.

 

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50 minutes ago, L_W_P said:

Also Rousey's punches look like shit.

That was some Shane O'Mac level stuff in the corners.

At the same time: Shane O'Mac's punches + Kevin Dunn trying to hide their shittyness = seizures among half of the people watching at home

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53 minutes ago, chriskbrown50 said:

I saw at some ring rust - no clue how much time she put in before last night. They looked really bad. I thought Rousey was pretty darn good when she first started given how little she has been in a pro wrestling ring but last night was not good. 

I'd think the fact that she worked in jeans, a cheap tank top, and a long sleeve t that they gimmicked to make it look like she had a cleavage window should tell you how much prep time she had for the Rumble...

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