Disclaimer: As I type this, I am still fairly drunk from the Royal Rumble drinking game. Relatedly, somebody commented on the most recent comic with something related to the Royal Rumble, and I deleted it by accident instead of approving it. So, uh, sorry about that.

All right, I’m drunk and just watched the 2012 Royal Rumble, so let’s go.

Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. The Big Show vs. Mark Henry

The show opened with the steel cage triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship, which was correctly called by Alberta wrestling all-star Tex Gaines. For some reason there was argument over what would be first. I don’t know why.

I spent most of this match filling in the whiteboard with the rules for the Royal Rumble drinking game, so I mostly only caught the big spots which people pointed out. And then all of a sudden it was over. The consensus in the group I watched with was that Bryan slipping out of Show’s grasp and falling to the floor was not intended to be the finish, because having a triple threat cage match that only lasts for about 8 minutes just seems dumb. If that WAS the intended finish, I hope Vince literally shit on somebody backstage, because it was terrible. It seemed like the intended spot was that Show would display his massive strength by hauling Bryan back up to the top of the cage, then he’d chokeslam him from the top of the cage into the ring, which would have been one thousand percent badass. As it was, it seemed like a lot of the following show was designed to fill time that would have been allotted to the cage match (the unadvertised Brodus Clay match and the Divas 8-man tag, in particular). But the crazy chokeslam didn’t happen, and all we got was Bryan celebrating for five minutes to kill time while Show awkwardly climbed down from the cage.

Also, Mark Henry needs to take time off, because the dude is clearly too hurt to be working in matches. Between the ankle giving out on Smackdown and the nothing that he contributed to the cage match, he’s just hurting his immaculately built monster image.

Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and the Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve, Tamina, and Alicia Fox

The heel team came out in matching gear and the face team all wore colours in the warm range, which was actually a really nice touch. This was pretty much a standard Divas PPV match, in which the girls who can wrestle were stuck trying to make sure the models didn’t get themselves killed. Or just stood on the apron collecting paychecks. Kelly Kelly hit a dive from the top rope on everybody else, were clustered on the floor brawling. It was kind of neat, but she lacked the body weight to make it look like she actually did anything to knock them down, they just fell over on their own after catching her. I kind of wish they had all just moved and let her implants splatter themselves all over the floor. Beth Phoenix won with the Glam Slam in an inoffensive bout. Given that it was unadvertised and didn’t last long, we felt that it might have been thrown together at the last minute to fill time because of the cage match being so short, but upon consideration the heel team having perfectly matched gear makes it seem like it just wasn’t advertised because nobody gives a shit about the Divas, including the WWE.

John Cena vs. Kane

Did this happen before or after the Brodus Clay match? I can’t remember. Eh, doesn’t matter. Zack Ryder wearing the under-part of a halo while in a wheelchair was ridiculous, and also made it pretty clear that Kane was going to murder him later. And he did. After a solid but unspectacular bout with John Cena ended in a double count out, Kane beat the piss out of Cena in the back then turned his attention to the helpless Zack Ryder. Kane smothered him, then pushed the “unconscious” Ryder to the ring on his wheelchair… while Ryder held his feet up off the ground the entire way, as unconscious people do because they have complete control over their limbs. That’s how being unconscious works. Don’t, uh, don’t look it up, though. Kane tombstones Ryder while Eve does absolutely nothing to help him, despite being a professional fucking wrestler who is, as the Divas division’s catchphrase alleges, “smart, sexy, and powerful.” Watching your boyfriend be mangled and crying isn’t any of those things. John Cena then came back and got chokeslammed and nothing was resolved and fuck this is going to last until Elimination Chamber because The Rock has shit to do in Hollywood, isn’t it? Whatever, the match was fine and the best one on the show so far. Which isn’t really saying much.

Drew MacIntyre vs. Brodus Clay

Okay so at this point in the show I hadn’t started drinking yet, so it was definitely Drew MacIntyre that was in this match, not a drunken phantasm. Drew MacIntyre, who has been fired for, what, three weeks in a row? Were Teddy Long’s firing privileges revoked but nobody has the heart to tell him? Is there some sort of clause in Drew’s contract that links his employment to showing up? If so, can I get one of those with the Edmonton Oilers? I’m preeetty sure most of the players have those already. And that’s enough “the Edmonton Oilers are bad at hockey” jokes for this wrestling blog. Anyway, Brodus Clay killed Drew MacIntyre in like a minute and robbed me of the Royal Rumble dance party that I had hoped for.

WWE Championship Match
CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Charles Montgomery Punk and Dolphin Zigglesworth Jr. are both excellent wrestlers, therefore they had an excellent wrestling match. Also there was some BS with Johnny Ace to set up RAW. Because apparently WWE is taking cues from TNA now and using pay-per-view championship matches to build to their free TV show. Triple H will be back, because he wasn’t on TV for a few weeks and got the shakes.

The 2012 Royal Rumble

Drinking time! The Miz comes out and cuts a promo, which we assumed was yet another time-killing measure. Then Alex Riley came out, reminding all of us that Alex Riley still exists. Remember when Riley was getting monster pops and feuding with The Miz? I’ve already devoted more time to him than he spent in the Rumble match, then R-Truth entered due to a C-O-N-spiracy by WWE officials to start the match with guys Miz has feuded with in the last 6 months. Then Cody Rhodes came in and both he and the Miz would stick around for the majority of the Rumble. R-Truth was eliminated, then dragged out Miz and hit him with a flatliner on the floor. He stayed there for quite a while. While the first few minutes of the match were fairly bland, Mick Foley’s entrance at number 7 livened things up with an extended comedy sequence highlighted by Ricardo Rodriguez officially cementing himself as more interesting both in and out of the ring than Alberto Del Rio and Santino and Foley engaging in a sock-based battle of wills. Ricardo (who was my first draw in the Rumble at number 8 ) came out to ADR’s music, wearing similar gear, and driving the automotive equivalent of Hulk Hogan’s body. Then he bumped his ass off and got tossed at the most convenient time possible for the drinking game (when one of your draws is eliminated, you have to chug the rest of your current drink), because I had maaaaybe two drinks worth of booze left in my current bottle. Santino’s Cobra and Foley’s sidekick Mr. Socko did battle, clashing with each other to a stalemate (and much to the chagrin of the other wrestlers in the ring, most of whom either ate a Cobra or got a taste of Mr. Socko as the monumental clash of mitten-based finishers caused both belligerents to break off frequently).

The middle portion of the Rumble featured a bunch of surprise entrants, only one of which was worth the slot. Jerry Lawler came in, proving that my friend Dan is never allowed to have a good pick in these things ever (I believe last year he had Ezekiel Jackson and somebody else who was terrible). Naturally, Lawler waited until Dan refilled his drink to find himself forcibly ejected. Unfortunately, as soon as Lawler’s music hit I drunkenly slurred that Booker T and Michael Cole were also in the Rumble, which they were, which was kind of funny but also a terrible booking decision, because it was VERY obvious that 10% of the participants had no chance to win because THEY WERE WORKING THEIR OTHER JOB. Argh. Great Khali also chopped everybody roughly forty-six times each, which led most of us to conveniently forget that he used to use it as his finisher, because otherwise nobody at the party would be alive right now. Also, why are big men still considered favourites in battle royales? That hasn’t been true since Andre the Giant. At some point in this middle segment, Kofi walked on his hands over to the steps to avoid elimination, which made everyone at the party lose their shit, although in retrospect Morrison’s Spider-Man routine last year remains the champion of ways to avoid elimination. Kharma’s entrance resulted in Michael Cole soiling himself before being eliminated by Lawler and Booker, which BETTER FUCKING NOT lead to a renewed announcer feud. I will cut a bitch. Oh, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan was also there, which was a really fun nostalgia piece.

Also, KHARMA. While the depressing hypothesis that she likely lost the baby – as it hadn’t been long enough for her to have recovered from having it – was quick to surface, having her mangle people for a minute was a ton of fun. Sheamus came in at #22, which resulted in me winning a bunch of free DVDs from the fine folks over at Rudo Reels, although by this point in the Rumble I was too sauced to remember I had entered their pick ’em contest until I got a Tweet from them congratulating me on my winning pick. All of the heavy hitters came in right at the end of the Rumble (and also David Otunga, who was my second and final draw of the evening, and was very good about being thrown out when my drink was almost empty, just like Ronald Truthington the Third). Orton, Jericho, Sheamus, Barrett, Big Show (whoop, threw up in my mouth a little. Not alcohol-related). The finishing sequence between Sheamus and Jericho was very strong, and I always pop for Brogue Kicks, because anytime a dude gets booted in the face by a pasty Irishman who kicks people like he hates teeth, I am a happy man. I think I need psychological help.

This year’s Rumble PPV wasn’t that great. The Royal Rumble match itself was pretty average, although it resulted in me drinking more in 50-some minutes than I had in the previous month. The undercard stank up the joint, with the exception of Punk/Ziggler (and even then, only the first 12 minutes or so and the Go To Sleep’s that Ziggler sold like a CHAMP), and really left the Rumble with too much work to do to salvage things. But I had a BLAST, got trashed, and won free DVDs, which is a good night in my books.