Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The History of WWE Royal Rumble (2010)

A fun show with a strong Rumble match and a surprise return.....

Royal Rumble 2010 - Philips Arena - 1/31/10

This show wasn't a classic either, but I found it a lot more fun than the 2009 edition.  Some new stars were being showcased, the World Title bouts were both first-time matchups, and the Rumble itself had a much greater sense of urgency.

Kicking things off was another ECW Title match (I believe the last one ever held on PPV) between Christian and Ezekiel Jackson.  Nothing special going on here but it was watchable.

A "bonus" match was next as The Miz defended the US Title against MVP.  Again, inoffensive, easily digestible, and you've forgotten it ten minutes later.  Like a Big Mac when you're drunk.

New WWE Champion Sheamus was third as he faced the technically-still-a-heel-but-slowly-turning-babyface Randy Orton.  These two had never wrestled before so this was novel.  They didn't have the best chemistry in the world, but later in 2010 they'd go on to have a splendid Hell in a Cell match.  This was fine except for the DQ ending accidentally caused by Orton's Legacy buddies.

A total throwaway was next as Women's Champion Michelle McCool faced Mickie James.  Their feud centered around McCool and Layla (a fantastic heel duo called LayCool) repeatedly taunting Mickie for supposedly being overweight.  She's not.  Not at all.  But Vince does seem to enjoy petty bullying.  Anyway this could've been a solid match but it was over in 20 seconds.  Vince also enjoys pointless surprise instant Title changes.  Just ask Daniel Bryan.
The best undercard match of the night pitted World Champion The Undertaker against Rey Mysterio.  This was to my knowledge the first time these two had ever squared off, and while rather short at eleven minutes, was an extremely entertaining mismatch of styles.  Mysterio kept Taker reeling for much of the bout but eventually Taker's dominance was too much for the lucha star.

This is about as high up as Mysterio's ever been.
See, cuz he's short.

The Rumble match itself was quite well-booked and contained a number of subplots.  The primary one was Shawn Michaels' quest to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania.  Since Taker was the World Champion Michaels banked on winning the Rumble and getting his Title shot.  The whole buildup to their eventual match was excellent, as Shawn played the flawed hero being torn apart by his obsession (His facials after being thrown out by Cena were gold).  This Rumble had pretty solid star power and a wide field of believable winners.  Michaels, Triple H, Cena, Batista, Jericho, Punk, and of course the surprise return of Edge, who echoed Cena's 2008 Rumble entrance and eliminated both former partner Chris Jericho and former adversary Cena to win the match.  This was a lot of fun, though my only complaint is it was the opposite of the 2009 match, i.e. no one stayed in very long.  I'd have given Punk the Long Man slot, as he wonderfully carried the early parts of the match by clearing the ring and cutting Straight Edge promos.  Classic stuff.  This Rumble was also notable for Khali being eliminated by Beth Phoenix.

.....And that's for winning back the Title four years ago!!

Participants: Dolph Ziggler, Evan Bourne, CM Punk, JTG, The Great Khali, Beth Phoenix, Zack Ryder, Triple H, Drew McIntyre, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison, Kane, Cody Rhodes, MVP, Carlito, The Miz, Matt Hardy, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Shelton Benjamin, Yoshi Tatsu, Big Show, Mark Henry, Chris Masters, R-Truth, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Chris Jericho, Edge, Batista
Final FourEdge, John Cena, Batista, Shawn Michaels
Long Man: John Cena (22:11)

The 2010 Rumble PPV was fairly top-heavy but featured a very enjoyable Rumble match and two solid Title encounters.  This was the beginning of a pretty great Road to WrestleMania.  While none of the PPVs of this stretch were mindblowing, the booking was very well done and felt like can't-miss stuff.

Best Match: The Rumble
Worst Match: Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James
What I'd Change: Like I said, give Punk a good 40 minutes in the Rumble, and give the Divas match a good seven.
Most Disappointing Match: McCool vs. James
Most Pleasant Surprise: Edge's return
Overall Rating: 7/10
Better than WrestleMania XXVI, SummerSlam '10 and/or Survivor Series 2010? - No, Yes, and Yes.

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