I’m not sure how YOU felt about Sunday night’s Royal Rumble, but I knew well in advance that something was up when I became more interested in seeing the post-Rumble RAW than I was in watching the Silver Anniversary pay per view spectacle that featured the classic 30 man over-the-top-rope brawl.
And boy was I on the money…
Believe it or not, those thoughts made me more on the money than I usually am (for those of you that know my most notorious pseudonym, the pun was intended).
For example: my good friend DJ Rallo asked me to participate in a roundtable discussion prior to the Rumble for his site, The Sharp Shooter Press (shameless plug). The very first question asked who we felt was the most likely person to win the Rumble. Here, in brief, was my response…
The Royal Rumble is such a HUGE match that I typically never take guesses at who’s the odds on favorite to win, especially seeing as there’s a 1 out of 30 chance that I’ll be “right” and rarely do people ever like to be “wrong.” However in this instance (seeing I was asked), I’ll say that I feel Sheamus has a good chance of being this year’s winner.
But of course that is vastly different from what I said about a week ago in my Talking Points piece about the importance of the Rumble:
Not only that, but this year’s rumble is taking place in Randy Orton’s hometown of St. Louis, MI. Add to that the fact that he’s been out with an “injury,” and all signs seemingly point to [Orton] sliding in later in the match and pulling it off.
For the record, I called the Sheamus thing long ago and that makes me a winner. Wanna fight about it?
All that speculative talk aside, Sheamus is indeed the 2012 Royal Rumble winner and will move forward to face the champion of his choosing at WrestleMania 28 in Miami, Florida. More important is the fact that the Rumble is the beginning of the “Road to WrestleMania,” and while the actual pay per view was mediocre or miss depending on who you’re talking to, last night’s RAW provided the surge of energy needed to make this annual road trip seem like a big effing deal.
Not only did last night’s RAW feature good in-ring wrestling, but also gave fans several reasons to hope and believe that this year’s “Grandaddy of them all” will be far better than that thing they did a year ago in Atlanta…
So as usual, here are the few points that I picked up on and felt were the most important things during the show:
- CM Punk + Daniel Bryan + Chris Jericho = Change of Shorts
- I CALLED THE UNDERTAKER THING…after I realized what was happening
- Triple H is the new…Hulk…Hogan…? ::confused face::
- Dear Kharma: Please Save Us. XOXO, Ash (smiley face)
- Did ANYONE see Epico get eliminated from the Rumble???
When it was announced at the top of the show that CM Punk would be facing Daniel Bryan in a Champion vs. Champion match, my Twitter time line exploded with fans having markgasms about the match; I’m not ashamed to admit I was in that group as well.
Most were worried that the match wouldn’t be given an adequate amount of time, and surprisingly enough it was. Most complained that the match wasn’t the main event, but as indy wrestler Joey Image pointed out, the ever so important second hour of the show (which is just as important as the overrun, but more on that later) featured these two wrestlers going at it.
After that, the only thing some fans had to complain about was the fact that no one referenced the Code of Honor handshake before the match began; William H. Macy, can you guys puhleeeze grow up?
In any case, the bout when well over the average five to seven minute mark, but the ending is what really sold the story line. Daniel Bryan gains the victory via DQ when Chris Jericho runs out, tosses him into the fan barricade, then proceeds to deliver the Codebreaker to CM Punk. Methinks Mr. Quinn Gammon was right.
And we should’ve known this was coming from the start of the episode. CM Punk literally said “Best In the World” at least one time every time he was in whispering distance of a microphone. It’s so beautiful how all of this is starting to come together; think about it:
- CM Punk is the “Best In the World”;
- The “It Begins” viral videos promised us that the “world” as we knew it was coming to an end.
- Chris Jericho returns, will make sure as the “world” that CM Punk is the “best in” will come to an end…
- 2 + 2 = 4
Keep in mind that Laurinaitis’ job is still on the fence, and we may see a new GM come into play sometime soon seeing as Triple H is attempting to not allow his personal business to interfere with his work. Is it possible that the infamous “she” could be a returning Stephanie McMahon Helmsley?
Speaking of Triple H, his epic silent stare down with The Undertaker once again left us salivating at our television screens. I wasn’t thrilled about the third installment of Trips and Taker, nor was I pleased with the thought of the possibility of Trips defeating Taker this year.
What made my night was the conversation I had with DiZ before Trips walked up the ramp, paused, and disappeared behind the curtain. For the first time I can remember, The Undertaker was the aggressor in his usual WrestleMania match.
What I’m saying is that usually the WWE superstars come gunning after Taker in order to end the famous streak. Last night, however, Taker entered the ring and issued the challenge to Triple H with his signature throat slash. I’m very positive it has happened before, but can you remember the last time Taker challenged someone for WrestleMania?
From that perspective it was easy to see that Trips wasn’t going to accept Taker’s challenge. The man just spent ten minutes explaining to Johnny Ace how the GM position corrupts good people because they allow personal vendettas to cloud their decision making abilities. Why on earth would this new, reformed Triple H accept any kind of challenge given to him by Taker or any other wrestler in the company?
This puts a different spin on Taker’s classic match at WrestleMania. As I put it to DiZ last night, it’s one thing to kick over an anthill and leave yourself vulnerable to ant bites; it’s a completely different thing to open kitchen cabinet to find ants swarming around an open box of Oreo cookies.
The Undertaker has spent most of the streak defending it, but for him to bring the streak to the table himself gives his opponent an advantage that superstars prior never had. Trips took Taker to the limit last year, leaving the Deadman to be carried out by refs and medical assistants. Taker this year has something to prove, the desire to show that he’s stronger than ever and that he’s willing to put the streak on the line to boot.
But pride always comes before the fall, and if Taker attacks Trips with that same fury and wrath, he could easily make one mistake in the heat of the moment, allowing Trips to capitalize and be the first (and perhaps ONLY) superstar to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Interestingly enough, the last time we saw Triple H was at December’s TLC pay per view. You remember his match, the slow motion one against Kevin Nash? I just found it interesting that after disappearing for a month he shows back up to one of the better show’s RAW has had in 2012 and 2011. Even the promos for the show were slightly built around his return to RAW.
Seemed a bit Hogan-like to me, brother. But again, maybe I’m analyzing it a little too deeply. It is a little suspect, though; if Trips accepts the challenge, he’ll be the first man in history to face The Undertaker 3 times at WrestleMania, and he just may be the first and only man to beat him. Hulk Hogan was/is notorious for pulling similar stunts for his own benefit, and Trips is one of the better backstage politicians in sports entertainment today.
I’m just saying…if it happens, you heard it here first from Mr. Ashley Morris.
The ten second Diva match between Beth Phoenix and Eve for the Divas Championship was atrocious even by Divas match standards. Many of the folks in my Twitter time line expected Kharma to return to TV and tan Phoenix’s fanny. Alas that didn’t happen and we were subject to another week of foolishness.
Call me a Diva Division Apologist, but I get why the WWE chooses to parade models around the ring instead of actual women wrestlers. I get it, I understand it, and really don’t agree with it. The thing that irks me is that these women can be used to do what they’re doing now in ways that aren’t as disrespectful as what we’re witnessing now.
My question is this: who in sweet cream on an ice cream sandwich is responsible for the Divas’ training and booking? When Fit Finlay was doing it, this type of s**t wouldn’t go down; too bad they fired Finlay.
I read somewhere in passing (no link provided) that Kharma gave birth to her baby on December 31. If this is true, congratulations to her and her growing family! If she decides to return to pro wrestling, particularly to the WWE, I pray to the wrestling gods (JBL and Ric Flair) that they look favorably upon us and allow her to beat the holy heck back into this dying division. For the love of Verne Gagne, Nick Bockwinkel, and all 17 iterations of the Four Horsemen, PLEAAAASSSEEEE stop the madness with the Divas!
Just in case JBL and Flair are busy at the moment, I would also like to propose this: if ANYBODY from the WWE is reading this post, how about you take the next picture and flash it on the wall whenever you’re booking a show and think about throwing some Divas action in there…
And finally, there were three of us (myself, Diz, and Pastah Showtime) that never saw Epico get eliminated from the Rumble. 1) How embarrassing is that for Epico, and 2) are we the only ones that didn’t see him get eliminated?
All in all, last night’s episode of RAW was well done and exciting from top to bottom. Great way to start the Road to WrestleMania.
That’s it for me; what did YOU think of the show?