WWE Royal Rumble After-Thoughts
Last night, the WWE held its annual Royal Rumble event. Anyone reading this article probably knows the idea behind it, so I'll save the explanation.
I have to say that, overall, the card was very lack luster and predictable.
The night was outlined by expected successful title defenses by Jack Swagger and John Cena, the very not-shocking Matt Hardy turn and subsequent Jeff Hardy title loss, and last but not least, the Rumble winner himself, Randy Orton.
Let's face it—the WWE pretty much set itself up for a predictable night. Swagger had just won his ECW title, so there was no way he would lose it this quick. Ditto for Cena. As for Hardy, all these "accidents" were obviously a set up for something bigger (so much for Christian, hmm?).
The WWE also hurt itself in terms of storyline and development of certain individuals.
Having Melina win the women's title was a mistake. Build her up through a series of cheap, unfair losses at the hands of the Glamazon and let her take the title at Wrestlemania. It would be an old and tried way of doing this, sure, but usually a moneymaker.
The current JBL/HBK storyline would be a perfect vehicle for a last HBK title run. JBL should have won the title last night, spent the next few weeks berating and humiliating HBK only to have Shawn rebel and stand up for himself, setting them up for an epic title match at WrestleMania. If this is still in the plans, it's certainly going to be rushed now.
Then we have Victor Kozlov. He started out like gangbusters, only to have a short run in the Rumble. What's the point of having him single-handedly eliminate Khali if he's going to be gone moments later?
The WWE only scored big on two things.
One of which was the one-night-only return of Mr.Monday Night, Mr.PPV, the Whole F'n Show himself—Rob Van Dam. The WWE has gotten rather good at these one off appearances and super surprises in the Rumble. Kudos to the WWE as they kept this under wraps for so long.
The other is two-fold. One is taking the belt of Jeff Hardy. The guy isn't championship caliber and obviously worried the WWE enough to take the strap off of him after such a short time.
The second part is turning Matt Hardy heel after a less-than inspiring run with the ECW title. Not only that, but it takes Matt out of the bush leagues and gives him a chance to shine on the main event level. It's been long overdue.
As far as Randy Orton winning the Rumble, I had it down to him and Triple H—because, let's face it—if Triple H is in the Rumble, you always have to consider him a strong shot because of his backstage pull.
Randy was the logical choice and will most likely go on to lose to Super Cena at WrestleMania 25. I hope that they decide to put the strap back on Randy and give him a very long run as champ, establishing him as a legend in the making and THE premier heel in the WWE.
Overall, the Royal Rumble was a very lack-luster show and a lot of questions to be answered. Let's hope the WWE can fill in the holes.
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