1. First off, my overall reaction to the Royal Rumble last night was good. Sure the finishes were predictable but the show overall had its memorable moments. Chris Jericho’s shocking return, Team Hell No’s & Kofi Kingston’s Rumble spots and Alberto Del Rio‘s championship win all come to mind off the top of my head. And yes, while CM Punk had to be the victim, seeing The Rock win the WWE title 10 years after his last win was something special. I think if he was in the ring with almost any other man, The Rock’s win wouldn’t have been such of a let-down for some of the most hardcore fans. And while I would have liked to see The Rock win the title on Raw or maybe the Elimination Chamber PPV, I was lucky enough to be able to pull myself away from my CM Punk-jaded eyes and live in the moment of The Rock’s emotional win. All in all, I thought it was a very good PPV.
2. Onto tonight, another Raw and another themed show. I understand the idea that WWE feels they need to capitalize on the fact that they are in Las Vegas but as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the themed Raws are getting completely out of control. At least we’re getting Randy Orton vs Antonio Cesaro to start things off.
3. Very glad we got to see a showcase for Bo Dallas on Raw for all of those who missed the Rumble last night. Wade Barrett is at the level now where he’s able to help raise the level of young talent and him being the Intercontinental Champion just adds to everything. He’s the type of guy who still has an aura around him that when Dallas was able to get offense in and the eventual surprise win, people WANT to cheer for Dallas even though they have no idea who he is. Smart move putting the belt on Barrett and even smarter move pairing him up with a kid with a ton of potential.
4. Well John Cena pretty much just assured every “smart” fan in the world that he’s going to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29. And I quote “Or do I choose a match I have virtually no chance of winning.” John Cena, a perpetual babyface, will go over whomever the WWE Champion is at WrestleMania.
5. Not only am I absolutely SHOCKED we didn’t see Dolph Ziggler cash in his briefcase after the Big Show knocked out Alberto Del Rio but I’m also surprised they’re continuing with the Del Rio/Big Show feud. The match-up worked VERY well in getting Del Rio over as a babyface as well as putting him back into the main event picture but they’ve already had numerous match, including gimmick matches. It’s time for both men to move on to new opponents and I thought tonight would have been the best time to launch a Dolph Ziggler/Alberto Del Rio program.
6. The Rock’s first segment as the new WWE Champion left A LOT to be desired. Not only was it nothing new or anything special but not even the interruption of CM Punk could add any excitement to the segment. The words they exchanged weren’t NEARLY as personal as this feud has proven to been and everything just seemed rushed. I’d hate to be a fan who turned in only to see The Rock’s first night as champion because it definitely was not worth it.
7. Chris Jericho’s return at the Royal Rumble was truly a moment I will never forget. The only thing I can compare it to was when John Cena returned 7 months early from injury as the #30 entrant to the 2008 Rumble and won it all. I never heard one peep about Chris Jericho being at the Rumble, in Phoenix or even in negotiations for a WrestleMania season return! Kudos to everyone who was involved with that surprise because it honestly made me feel like a kid again when wrestling wasn’t so predictable.
8. FANTASTIC choice in putting Trish Stratus into the WWE Hall of Fame. Trish single-handedly revolutionized women’s wrestling in North America and did it as a gorgeous athlete! She didn’t have to pose for Playboy, she didn’t have to date a male main-eventer and she didn’t have work until she was FORCED to retire or was released. Hell, she won the damn Women’s Championship in her retirement match! Not even Ric Flair can claim that! I’ve always had tremendous respect for Trish Stratus and it’s incredible that the WWE has decided to induct her into the Hall of Fame at still such a young age.
9. I’m fully expecting a Brock Lesnar attack on Vince McMahon during the Paul Heyman segment in order to set up Triple H’s return for their match at WrestleMania 29.
10. I expected Vince to take the Kimura lock (& probably an “arm break”) but NEVER an F-5! The CEO is 67 years old with known health issues and he was just lifted up over 6 feet into the air, spun and dropped on a pretty damn hard surface. I really shouldn’t be surprised considering who were are talking about but my God I was scared for him when Lesnar lifted him into the air. I just hope that’s the only bump Vince McMahon takes for the rest of 2013 because honestly, it’s just not necessary. That all being said, it was effective and will make Triple H’s return all that more effective.