Good opening match between World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, Big Show and Mark Henry that was just as most would expect. Henry's recent injuries limited him, but he made the most of it and was still able to compete well. The Steel Cage was once again a nice environment and saved this bout from being a complete disaster, and I'm glad Bryan escaped with the victory in a decisive fashion to retain the belt. The only real issue I had with this bout was that it was only nine minutes.
Fine Divas tag team match that was of course unadvertised, but was nothing groan-worthy. It was as as clunky and quick as Diva tag matches usually are, so it was good in that aspect. It's about time Divas Champion Beth Phoenix remerged on television, and hopefully this is an indication that they'll continue to establish her as a threat in the Divas division.
Sloppy match between John Cena and Kane that certainly didn't live up to my high expectations. Sure, they've never had great matches in the past, but I had my hopes that they'd pull out something good enough. However, it was a smart move in having both Superstars get counted-out to keep the feud going and save the finish for a later date. The brawl between the two that followed was dragged out, and bringing back Ryder onto to television so soon only to be attacked again was a mistake. This rivalry no longer holds my interest, and I can't wait long enough to see Cena's feud with The Rock finally kick off extremely soon.
Meaningless match with Brodus Clay quickly defeating Drew McIntyre. Luckily, my feed got off moments before the bout, so I was saved from the horror of McIntyre being once again buried, this time live on pay-per-view. As much as I love Clay and his fan favorite gimmick, it doesn't seem to be winning over the crowd while his squash matches feel more and more repetitive.
Excellent title match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler before the final few minutes. They have perfect chemistry and made for a solid wrestling match-up. I was originally expecting John Laurinaitis to referee in the ring and not a special guest enforcer, but it turned out for the better. The numerous performed finishers on Ziggler by Punk for the handful of pin-falls were unnecessary, but I must admit that Ziggler's comeback bulldog on the Straightedge Savior was well done.
Uninspiring Royal Rumble match that mostly filler from start to finish, which is pathetic seeing there was only 30 participants this year and not 40. Having Alex Riley and The Miz kick off the match was fun given the history between the two, despite Riley being eliminated so quickly. Miz and Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes looked strong from entering first and lasting as long as they did, but Show eliminating them so quickly was anticlimactic. Mick Foley provided good humor through the time he was apart of the match, especially with Santino Marella, but I was hoping we'd see a more serious side of Foley given his heartfelt promo on Raw a few weeks back. I didn't mind the commentators entering the Rumble at first, but I began to dread it at the end given how it wasted so many potential spots for other competitors. While the Great Khali's return fell flat, it was awesome to see Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Road Dogg, and Kharma make surprise returns and get huge ovations from the live audience. Kofi Kingston had a very cool spot with the handstand on the floor, so I'm glad his participation in the bout went to good use. On that same note, I was extremely disappointed not to see the returns of Ryback, the rumored Carlito, and the ever popular Christian, as Big Show being the 30th entrant fell flat big time. The final four felt completely rushed, especially for someone like the hometown hero in Randy Orton. Nonetheless, Chris Jericho and Sheamus had the most entertaining segment of the whole match with the near eliminations, that left me shocked with the Sheamus Rumble win. I was a bit let down Jericho didn't end up winning as promised, but the Celtic Warrior is still a fresh face that can finally be relevant again with this upset victory.
Overall, a good show that certainly wasn't as strong as originally expected that included too much filler for my taste. The two title matches were entertaining, as were parts of the Royal Rumble, but it wasn't enough in the end of being an uneventful show. The unadvertised matches didn't do much help, and I spent most of the Rumble hoping for a major swerve, which subsequently didn't come to fruition. With it being a forgettable event, one can only hope that they can kick off the rest of the road to WrestleMania with a bang if build to the show of shows looks to be anything notable or exciting.
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