Royal Rumblings.

The Royal Rumble is the first stop on the road to Wrestlemania and it’s always been one of my favourite events on the WWE calendar. I still count down with that clock with the same level of enthusiasm at age 28 as I did at age 8. I was really excited for this year’s Rumble because I thought that there was really no way to know what was going to happen.

You had the possibility of Kenny Omega, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, and/or Samoa Joe being in that match. Excitement was high and I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting, counting down, and trying to contain myself.

I was a tad bit disappointed to put it politely.

I do want to make something clear, I thought that the pay-per-view as a whole was really good. The cruiserweight title match between Rich Swann and Neville was actually my favourite. As I was watching the Royal Rumble match, I could feel my excitement escape me as each entrant came out and it wasn’t who I thought it would be. I expect a few surprise entrants and maybe one or two people that are new to the roster. We didn’t get ANY of that. I had thought that with Shinsuke losing the title to Bobby Roode the night before at Takeover, he would be at the Rumble…NOPE! I thought that Finn Balor would appear as the thirtieth entrant and be dressed as the Demon King and have a stare down with the Undertaker…NOPE! With Samoa Joe being in a suit at Takeover, I thought for sure that he would be in the Rumble…and again I was a little disappointed.

The biggest disappointment for me was that Kenny Omega wasn’t there. Now, I know that he did interviews and stuff saying that he wasn’t coming to WWE but, as fans all know, that means nothing.

What really pissed me off about the Rumble was that Orton won and Roman was entrant number thirty. My heart literally sank. I love Roman but was his entering as the last man really necessary? Short answer is no, it wasn’t. The only thing that was gained from Roman even being in the match was to set up a potential feud with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. And the icing on the cake was Orton winning the entire thing and getting to main event the biggest event of the year. They could have literally given it to anyone else in that Rumble and it wouldn’t have been half as disappointing. I see no value at all in giving it to Randy other than boring the bejesus out of people.

This year was the year that they could have done ANYTHING with the Royal Rumble. There was an air of unpredictability surrounding it and literally nothing happened. There’s less than two months until Wrestlemania, now is not the time to be screwing around trying to figure things out.

Rollercoaster.

This year’s Royal Rumble had to be one of the craziest in the last few years.

The rest of the matches on the card were pretty good but I know I’m not alone in saying that the main event was what I was waiting for. Roman Reigns was the first entrant, defending his title, and he seemed to have all of the odds stacked against him. As anxious as I was to see if Roman would retain his title, I was equally as anxious to see who the surprise entrants would be. That was always my favorite part of the Rumble and rumors were rampant, especially with top stars in NJPW becoming free agents.

Boy, did they ever deliver this year with AJ Styles. I wasn’t really sure at first who it was because I didn’t recognize the music but did that place ever erupt when he came out! When he came out, I thought my boyfriend was going to flip the damn coffee table and I immediately thought that Vince McMahon owns the world. It’s not the Monday Night War days and there aren’t a whole lot of places for wrestlers to go but what a victory for the WWE to pull a major star with many of their own out with injury.

It was just absolutely incredible to feel that energy and see the crowd be so into what was happening.

Another shocking moment to me was Brock Lesnar’s elimination. I just assumed that he would be handed the belt and everyone would call it a day. I KNEW that the Sister Abigail meant more than it seemed, there was no way it was just a fleeting moment.

On Raw, Lesnar was added to the triple threat match at Fastlane to determine the number one contender for Triple H’s newly one WWE title (that’s another blog post for another day). I still don’t think he will win because there is too much potential in both Roman vs. Dean and Lesnar versus anyone in the Wyatt Family. The Wyatt’s are finally going to be in a storyline that is heading somewhere (they have been flip-flopping for a while) and we get treated to best friends brawling. What more could a wrestling fan ask for?

I feel like I’m rambling but I’m just so excited. It’s Wrestlemania season, they’re announcing the Hall of Fame Inductees, Shinsuke Nakamura is coming, and I can barely contain myself.

I may shed a tear of joy.

Mixed Messages.

Roman Reigns has to defend his title in the Royal Rumble.

Roman Reigns is also entering the Royal Rumble at number one.

I initially thought that he was completely and totally fucked.

This feeling was first brought about when Lesnar was named as a participant. I thought that pretty much guaranteed that Brock would win and Roman would lose. They’ve just been putting all of these road blocks in Roman’s way that it made it seem IMPOSSIBLE that he could walk out of that match with his belt. That’s a little thing that I call ‘Daniel Bryan Syndrome’.

What changed my mind about Roman not winning the belt was the interaction that Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family had with Brock at the end of Raw. I think that Sister Abigail to Brock had more weight to it than just being a wrestling move. There were rumors floating around that a Wyatt Family member would be facing Brock at Wrestlemania and I think that makes perfect sense.

Bray and his followers have feuded with some of the best in the business but always seem to sort of fizzle out after. I don’t care for Lesnar that much (or at all) but the Wyatt’s need something to bring them to the forefront and establish them as a dominant force.

I hate to quote John Cena, but everyone’s time is now.

Turning On A Dime.

Three huge things happened in the wrestling world this week. Three things that could change the outcome of two of the WWE’s biggest events of the year, Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble.

Let’s start with Monday Night Raw and the fact that Roman actually retained the title. The match wasn’t what I thought it would be in that it wasn’t riddled with ridiculous stipulations that would virtually guarantee a loss, but just had the right amount of fuckery attached to keep it ridiculous. Vince was the guest referee and pulled the typical tricks like not seeing things and slower than usual counts. It came to a point where Vince was incapacitated, Scott Armstrong came and went, and another official came out to properly count Roman to victory. The match was good but that wasn’t what was most interesting, the shocker came at the end.

As he and Stephanie were retreating to the back, Vince announced that Roman would have to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match against 29 other superstars. That was only done one other time in the history of the event, and my jaw dropped when it was announced. Intrigue for that event shot up 1000% for that reason and a few others…

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few days, some of the biggest names in New Japan have given their notice after Wrestlekingdom 10.

Excuse me for a moment…AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I will admit that I haven’t been following NJPW for long but I instantly loved Nakamura, among others in the promotion. Of course, as soon as that report came out, the wrestling universe exploded. It was literal insanity. There were people already confirming that those who gave their notice signed and that the launch of the WWE Network in Japan was to coincide with the announcement. The dirt sheets went insane and it was the number one talked about item on my news feed that night.

Like could you imagine Finn Balor and the Bullet Club in the WWE?

I used to keep tabs on certain wrestling news sites but I haven’t really paid attention to much in the last couple of years unless I feel like it’s something super important. I am very much a ‘believe it when I see it’ type of person but this is just too good to not pay attention to. Even the WWE itself has acknowledged it in an article on their own website, that NEVER happens…EVER! Finn Balor even made reference to the Bullet Club on his Instagram and people went even more wild. This could change the face of wrestling from here on out, my dream would be that they debut some of the NJPW at the Royal Rumble and that would result in one of the craziest Mania’s ever.

Lofty goals but Shinsuke Nakamura did an interview in which he said he was going to the WWE after he is done with New Japan. The practical side of me doesn’t want to believe it until I see it but the crazy wrestling fan side of me lost its damn mind.

Another piece of wrestling news that caught me by surprise is that John Cena is undergoing shoulder surgery and will miss the Royal Rumble and, possibly, Wrestlemania. I had to calm myself down because that news also completely changed what I thought the possible stories would be for Mania season. There’s no possibility of him swooping in to win the Rumble and being in the main event of Mania. I wish no ill will on anyone but these last few months, and going forward, will be very interesting for fans all over the world.

Seth is still out, Cesaro is still out, Cena will be out, the Rumble is a title match, huge stars of NJPW are leaving and possibly coming to WWE…I literally can’t even right now.

As cliché as it sounds, I’m ready for the road to Wrestlemania.

Time Is Ticking.

Monday Night Raw was a unique show this week, with a house show happening at the exact same time as the television broadcast. A lot of talent was missing but I thought that it gave others time to shine and further some storylines leading into the Royal Rumble at the end of January.

What was most exciting (to me) was that we got a second appearance from Vince McMahon, something that always means shit is going to hit the proverbial fan. It’s always interesting to see him on television because the reaction is always insane. People love seeing him and they love watching him be an asshole, playing up his billionaire status. In my opinion, he’s probably one of the best heels in the business.

As I’ve mentioned before, he’s also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

In the opening segment, Roman Reigns was supposed to be the one who was going to be arrested for brutalizing Vince. Stephanie came out, screaming as only she can, with officers in tow. I may not be sure of much in life but I know that when cops show up on a wrestling show, it’s usually never going to end well. Much like weddings and contract signings, something will go awry.

However, the tables turned and Vince ended up going to jail for putting his hands on a detective. That whole deal, and what happened as a result, were actually my favorite moments of the show. So many people complained about it (as they always do) but I thought it added a lot of humor to the show and it allowed Roman to improve his skills on the microphone a little more.

After he was bailed out of jail, Vince came back after Roman with a vengeance. He made the main event for the upcoming Raw and treated us to yet another appearance. Roman has to defend his title against Sheamus with McMahon as the referee. My jaw almost dropped to the floor because I was so excited. With that set of circumstances there is bound to be some sort of fuckery afoot, I couldn’t even begin to think of what it could be. Vince is involved so I like to say that the impossible is possible with that guy, you couldn’t predict what he would do. Sure he may be 70 years old but he is as sharp as a tack.

It’s a title match but I don’t think that the belt would actually change hands this close to the Rumble. It’s less than a month away and the fans react to Sheamus in a way that is less than favorable. They don’t boo him because he’s a heel, they boo him because they don’t like him. What I’m interested in most is to see if any stipulations will be added to the match next week to make it even harder for Roman to retain. I was thinking of what they could be and I came up with the usual no disqualifications and whatever but it would have to be something that wouldn’t allow for any friend of Roman’s to be a part of the match and lead him to victory. Knowing the Authority and Vince, it will probably be a stipulation that is equal parts entertaining and ridiculous.

The Royal Rumble will also have an effect on this match because, if Sheamus loses, he goes to the back of the line. A few of the entrants into the Royal Rumble were revealed and anyone of those guy could be a potential opponent for Reigns leading into Wrestlemania.

I’m just hoping it isn’t the Big Show…

Reign Over Me.

Roman Reigns is going to the main event of Wrestlemania and I couldn’t be more happy with that decision.

That’s right, I am happy with the decision that the WWE made. Most of the internet seems to disagree with me, as I have seen on all forms of social media and even heard some dissention from my own friends. I did say on Twitter that I don’t have to justify my happiness with Roman winning to anyone but I feel like I have to say something about it, so here goes nothing…

I didn’t just pick Roman to win because I wanted to beat my dad in our annual Rumble bet. I thought for a few weeks about who I thought had the strongest chance of winning and Roman was a name that kept popping into my head. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy that Daniel is back and Dolph is one of the best wrestlers I’ve seen, anyone who knows me knows that I have the utmost respect for both of those superstars. Before I continue this post, I feel the need to stress that anything I say in this post is nothing against any other superstar, these opinions are my own.

(I already had to defend my thoughts to someone who couldn’t grasp the fact that a woman can like Roman Reigns for something other than his looks so I am NOT in the mood)

Daniel Bryan just returned from a potentially career-ending injury. Sure, he had a built-in storyline with the Authority from before he left but he was not their focus anymore. Dolph Ziggler JUST got ‘rehired’ so to have him win didn’t seem to fit right at this time. I laughed so hard at how quickly people dismissed Roman’s win like it didn’t matter but they quickly forget that they were cheering him not too long ago. Looking at all of the entrants that were in that Rumble, Roman simply made the most sense in my opinion. I think that each of the superstars that people thought should win, are just meant for another story, another opponent, and another moment. Fans react, that’s one of the best parts about being a wrestling fan is the reaction that certain superstars and moments can bring out in people. In my many years of watching WWE (both live and at home) I have laughed, cried, cheered, booed, and been left speechless.

People are acting like Roman Reigns is just some schmuck jobber they pulled off the streets or some guy they found in the parking lot. He may not have been around as long as some of the superstars on that roster but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t work as hard. He travels, goes to shows, interacts with fans, which is a lot more than I can say for some people *cough* Brock Lesnar *cough*. Even if you don’t necessarily like Roman, you should still be happy that a guy who shows up every week won instead of a part timer.

Nobody is ever 100% ready to be in a main event spot at an event like Wrestlemania, I don’t care who you are. Seeing the look on Roman’s face as he knelt in front of that Mania sign was assurance enough for me that he will do well.

And hey, it could have been Cena…

Royal Rumble 2013.

I was yelling at the tv, throwing my hands up in despair, cheering, and just having a great time. That’s how the 26th annual Royal Rumble made me feel this past Sunday. As cheese filled as this sounds, the Royal Rumble was pure magic. Everything was on point and it really came through combined with the crowd reactions.

The other matches were very good, but everyone watches this event to see 30 men get in the ring and just one emerge victorious. I know a lot of people really didn’t like it but I enjoyed every match and I was happy that there wasn’t a divas match. It was refreshing but hard to not have a pee or snack break.

That’s right. I’m admitting to liking a Cesaro match.

There were a lot of really great moments, I have one MAJOR hit and two misses for the show (my only critiques for a near-flawless show). My major hit is the appearance of Chris Jericho as the second entrant in the Rumble. I had done a fantasy list of who I wanted to see compete with a few surprise entrants and I lost my mind when Jericho came out. I had my hands on my head and literally screamed. Jericho is one of my favorites and one of the few wrestlers who brings something different with them each time they appear. A small moment but it meant a lot.

The internet community has already verbalized their distaste for The Rock and John Cena, now it’s my turn.

Cena should not have won the Royal Rumble. It’s not a matter of him deserving it or not, he didn’t need to win it. John Cena is a main event guy and does not need anything to propel him into the main event spot at a Wrestlemania. I’m sure the whole wrestling universe collectively rolled their eyes when he pointed to that Wrestlemania XXIX sign. I legitimately do not know what to say other than he didn’t need to win it, along with a few obscenities tossed in for color.

What really left a bad taste in my mouth was The Rock winning the title. What in the flying fuck is going on? I had an expectation that he would win it but I was hoping it wouldn’t happen. Him saying that he deserved a title shot made my blood boil. Showing up once every ten years does not make a champion, being there everyday and working your ass off makes a champion. So now we`re stuck with a guy who shows up when it`s convenient for him and has no real value to add other than spitting out funny words. Maybe it’s because I`ve watched wrestling for so long but no one should be handed anything. You work for what you have, not have things delivered on a silver platter. Another movie star was the champion in WCW and we all know how that ended…

Monday Night Raw didn’t deliver as well as the Rumble, in my opinion, but it was still a great show that brought a strong rating. I had a friend in attendance at both events and he said the crowd in Vegas was terrible compared to Phoenix. There were only a few standout moments, one of them being CM Punk. He always says what everyone is thinking. The Rock is being spoon fed his title reign, it’s a ratings thing. I do have to applaud Rocky for appearing for almost 14 minutes, which is probably the most we will see him for a while. Elimination Chamber is just over two weeks away, hopefully he shows up!

The standout segment, besides CM Punk, was Paul Heyman with Vince. Heyman can play that camera perfectly. We got another surprise return as Brock Lesnar returned in Vegas. I dislike Brock as much as I dislike Rocky but I do have one thing to say about it. Brock wasn’t handed a belt that he has no business having in the first place. No one needs to hear my rant on Brock because it is eerily similar to my rant about The Rock.

The one standout match was Wade Barrett and Bo Dallas. I’m always a bit weary of a relatively unknown guy but I’m willing to give him a chance. It was a good carry over from the night before, where Dallas eliminated Barrett from the Royal Rumble match. He won’t win a belt straight away but it is a fantastic opportunity for a guy like that. If he is willing to put in the work required of a champion, he will go places.

As a final thought, I’d like to leave you with my insight on the lumberjill match…

Matches like that are why women’s wrestling is never taken seriously. Ever.