Del Rio beats the odds: WWE Royal Rumble 2011

The newly expanded Royal Rumble match had thrills, chills and excitement, and even a shocking finisher when relative newcomer Alberto Del Rio survived the onslaught of talent, last eliminating both Randy Orton and Wade Barrett to earn his way to the main event of WrestleMania XXVII.  John Cena rounded out the final four, but while the referees were busy trying to break up a brawl outside of the ring, The Miz, who had joined the commertary team upon the entrance of his protege Alex Riley, slid into the ring and dumped Cena over the ropes.  Before leaving the ringside area, Cena left an ominous message with Miz’s biggest fan, Michael Cole, that he’d had enough.

The Rumble almost ended with the most shocking upset ever when Santino Marella, who had earlier been knocked through the ropes, returned to the ring after Del Rio had seemingly captured the match.  Marella loaded up the Cobra and nailed Del Rio, but as he tried to throw him over the ropes for the win, Del Rio shifted his weight and sent Santino flying.  And with that, Del Rio claimed victory and was heading to WrestleMania.

Rest of the show after the jump.

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Preview: WWE Royal Rumble 2011

It’s finally here!  The Royal Rumble is my absolute FAVORITE PPV of the year.  The co-writers of this blog will tell you that I won’t shut up about the damn thing.  Finally!

Like it needs to be said, the Royal Rumble is the beginning of the “Road to WrestleMania” that will continue until the big event itself in April.  The event is highlighted by its namesake match, a gauntlet-style battle royal in which two men start in the ring and an additional one comes out at fixed intervals (usually 90 seconds) until all participants have entered.  At that point, the last person still in the ring wins a main event title shot for either brand’s championship at WrestleMania.

But you already knew that, didn’t you?  Let’s run down the card.

WWE Championship Match
The Miz (c) (w/Alex Riley) vs. Randy Orton
After defeating John Morrison, who won a title shot at last month’s TLC, the Miz thought he would have smooth sailing through the Royal Rumble.  Not so, said the anonymous GM of Raw, who set up a triple threat steel cage match between Randy Orton, King Sheamus and Wade Barrett.  The match was more noteworthy in that it featured CM Punk costing Barrett his leadership of Nexus (and subsequently his spot on the Raw roster), but it still led Orton to take the win and the title shot.

This is the second straight PPV title shot for Orton, who is still looking to reclaim the WWE title which was taken from him when The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Orton suffered a beating at the hands of the Nexus.  Miz managed to pull out a win by using his apprentice Alex Riley to knock Orton from the ring apron through a table to cost him the match.  This match features no such stipulations, so if Miz wants to retain his belt, he’ll have to pin Orton or make him submit.

Or get himself disqualified, which is what I have a sneaky suspicion is exactly what he’s going to do.  Don’t be surprised if whomever doesn’t win the title shows up in the Rumble match.

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Saturday Morning NXT/Smackdown – Jan 25th & 28th

NXT

Howard Finkel wins Out Think The Fink Challenge

Ted DiBiase def. Daniel Bryan

Brodus Clay def. Derrick Bateman, Johnny Curtis & Byron Saxton

  • It seems Bateman wasn’t as smart as he thought in regards to last weeks challenge win and was punished losing immunity points and given less time during this weeks challenge
  • The video footage catching him was hilarious
  • After his Fatal 4Way win Brodus Clay took advantage of his opportunity to switch Pros choosing Alberto Del Rio
  • It was very clever how he used DiBiase’s profile to refer to Del Rio
  • Not a fan of Clay’s finisher though

Smackdown after the jump…

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Holla if ya hear me: TNA Impact 1/27/11

There was an ominous feel to the Impact Zone just one week before we get Hulk Hogan’s return, Dixie Carter’s court verdict and the deadline of Crimson’s new “THEY”.  What are the odds of all those happening on the same night?  But Kurt Angle is still upset about his ex-wife and Jeff Jarrett, whom he wants in an actual match (rather than the “match” they had at Genesis).  This call brought out the whole of Immortal, with Eric Bischoff telling Angle that he is no longer employed by TNA due to his own stipulation and no one’s going to be reinstating him, let alone giving him Jeff Jarrett.

Until, that is, Ric Flair reinstated him and gave him Jeff Jarrett.  Following an Immortal beatdown that was broken up by a baseball bat-wielding Crimson, a flabbergasted Flair reinstated Angle and put him and Crimson into a handicap match against Jarrett and six other members of Immortal.  Flair’s thinking was that with the looming threat of THEY and the prospect of losing the company back to Dixie Carter, Immortal should do its all to take Angle out for good, and that meant putting him into a legitimate match, rather than the series of beatdowns that he had been given.  Eric Bischoff, convinced that there is no THEY, was furious at Flair for bringing Angle back.

The match, closing out Impact, went about as well as a 7-on-2 handicap match would.  Angle and Crimson did the best they could, but ultimately fell to the numbers.  Jeff Jarrett, who did not come to the ring until well into the match, actually took some damage from Angle, but ultimately took the win after Immortal continued their beatings.  With the match over, Matt Morgan arrived to try to even the odds, but could not swing momentum from Immortal.  With things looking bleak, suddenly the lights went off and a theme unheard in TNA for some time hit the speakers.  When the lights came back, Scott Steiner was standing in the ring with weapon in hand.  Immortal got the hell out of Dodge quickly, and thus the show ended.

Rest of the episode after the jump.

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Royal Rumble participants – chances of victory

As of this writing, WWE.com has announced 28 names who will officially be participating in the Royal Rumble – 19 from Raw and 9 from Smackdown.  While there are some obvious choices yet unnamed – such as Kane, Big Show and Kofi Kingston – these are the ones officially named, and thus these are the ones we’ll be covering.

Though we still have two episodes – one of Supertstars and Smackdown – to go before the Rumble itself, today we’ll be going through the list of participants and gauging their possible chances for victory and a shot at the main event of WrestleManis XXVII.

FAVORITES (MORE THAN A SAFE BET TO CLAIM VICTORY)

CM Punk (Raw)
CM Punk has been riding a wave of momentum since taking over the Nexus, and he’s held the main event spot before, so it’s likely that he may have earned his spot to take the Rumble.  The problem here is that Raw’s champion, The Miz, is a pretty heavy heel and it’s unlikely to be a bash of the baddies to headline the biggest show of the year.  Though a lot can change between January and April, so there’s a chance that the scene my shift to favor a Punk challenge.  The February PPV Elimination Chamber’s scene-changer will be a running theme here.

John Cena (Raw)
This one should really go without saying.  John Cena is the face of the WWE and he will most certainly have a prominent role in WrestleMania.  But challenging for the WWE Championship?  He’s as good of a bet as anyone and a feud between him and the Miz would certainly be a good one.  But of course anyone looking for a storyline of their own has an excellent starting point with eliminating Cena.  Anyway, he’s THE favorite, as he is with any other match he’s in.

Rey Mysterio (Smackdown)
One of the top three babyfaces on Smackdown, Rey has claimed Rumble victory before and even went the entire distance to do so, setting the record for longest Royal performance in 2006.  Like Punk above, Rey Mysterio’s problem comes with that he’s not a fitting challenger should the champion remain the same through ‘Mania.  Rey’s currently in a feud against Alberto Del Rio, whom will quite possibly cause his elimination.  But until Kane or Big Show get announced, Rey’s Smackdown’s safest bet to bring home the win.

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Raw 1/24/11

On this episode of Raw, we got a champion versus champion match.  The de facto leader of the old Nexus, The Corre, would take on the leader of the new Nexus with their groups’ participation in the Rumble on the line.  Melina got her shot at the Divas title.  The story between Daniel Bryan and the Bella twins had a shocking twist.  Match results are below and full details are after the jump.  If a match doesn’t appear within the details, then nothing you need to know about happened during the match.

Match Results
Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus def. Mark Henry & John Morrison by submission.
Divas Title match:  Natalya (c) def. Melina by submission.
Edge def. The Miz by DQ.
Maryse, Ted DiBiase & Alicia Fox def. Daniel Bryan & The Bellas by pinfall.
Non-title match:  Husky Harris & Michael McGillicuty def. Santino Marella and Vladmir Koslov by pinfall.
Wade Barrett vs. CM Punk ended in double-DQ.  Read more of this post

A possible reunion?

Now I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I am saying that every time Undertaker is out after a Buried Alive match, his gimmick changes, and he and Teddy Long just happen to BOTH be out at the same time.

I’m just saying.