I Say Nice Things About WWE And Immediately Regret Them. It’s The Wrestling Notepad

Buddy Murphy and Humberto Carrillo had a pretty good match on 205 Live. I especially like that the old fake an injury spot didn’t lead directly to the finish like it usually does. It makes sense that it wouldn’t since Carrillo comes from a wrestling family and the announcers mentioned it, but sometimes attention to detail like that is a lot to ask for.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Lanny Poffo, but he’s not making for a very good colour commentator on this New Japan I’m watching. It would be charitable to say he’s adding about as much to the show as most third wheels in a WWE booth, but that’s even worse than usual because there are only two announcers.

I figured the reason Strowman was out of the title match at the Rumble was that his elbow was still messed up, but here he is on Raw having a match with Finn Balor. So I guess he’s out of the match just because of the classic Vince changed his mind? So much for shaking things up and doing things differently.

Speaking of that match, why wasn’t Braun disqualified when Brock caught Finn outside the ring and suplexed him? Does the word interference not mean what I think it means?

Ok, so suplexing a guy on the floor, not a DQ. Coming into the ring and F-5-ing him as he’s about to maybe win the match, DQ. Got it. Until they do something different possibly on this very same show, at least.

Pretty sure Curt Hawkins is the only competent referee in WWE.

If the goal of the build to Rousey vs. Banks is to make me not be able to wait for Ronda to twist Sasha’s arms and legs off and beat the rest of her to death with them, mission accomplished. She’s surpassed Lio Rush as Bobby Lashley’s cheerleader levels of hate with me. She’s so much worse because Lio is supposed to be annoying. I’m pretty sure they think Sasha is a babyface.

WWE has done a good job with Mustafa Ali since they moved him from 205 Live to Smackdown. Promos like this certainly aren’t going to hurt.

Why do the announcers keep saying “the Royal Rumble event” instead of just “the Royal Rumble”? Are we going to forget that it’s an event if they don’t keep reminding us? WWE’s obsession with wording is so weird.

Has anybody else noticed that Bobby Fish and Dolph Ziggler have exactly the same voice?

Given the issues with crowd reactions, I’m not sure Cricket is the best choice to sponsor 205 Live.

Can’t say I understand Buddy Murphy’s strategy here. All of your Rumble opponents are in a 3-way match beating the heck out of each other. Why would you randomly jump in and interfere in it? What if they all gang up on you? Wouldn’t you be smarter to stay as far away as possible so that you go into the 4-way fresh instead of injured?

Watching more NJPW, and I can no longer be charitable about poor Lanny Poffo. He’s fucking hideous. He’s adding literally nothing to this broadcast. In fact, he’s detracting from it. It’s disappointing that such a well spoken, intelligent, veteran wrestler can be this bad. I don’t expect him to know everything there is to know about the goings on in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but I don’t think being able to answer basic questions about pro wrestling generally should be too much to ask. You can just hear the other announcers (there are three on this show) doing their best to work around him. I feel for whoever decided to give him the tryout. I hope he didn’t get too much abuse over it, because I can see myself making the same mistake.

It took me 49 minutes to watch everything that could have possibly been worthwhile on WWE’s 120 minute Royal Rumble Kickoff show. I could have done it slightly faster, but I had to pause so I could answer the door for Federal Express. My point is that nobody needs a two hour pregame show, especially if you’re then going to insist on a four or five hour main card padded with overly long entrances and video packages. More for the sake of more is not better. People have lives to live, and none of us really cares how much you’re boosting the number of minutes viewed on the Network in order to look good for shareholders.

The two highlights from the preshow were the kid who kept yelling “You’re cheating!” at Shinsuke Nakamura when he was messing with the turnbuckle and the Cruiserweight 4-way. I thought for sure that Itami was going to walk out new champ, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Murphy retain. WWE and wrestling as a whole needs more champions that seem unbeatable. Hopefully Murphy pinning Itami somehow leads to a singles match between the two. I bet that would be pretty good.

When I fired up the Rumble proper and saw 4 hours and 53 minutes, I literally screamed out loud to no one but me, the computer, the walls of my living room and whatever hate-filled, vengeful gods made this possible. All these poor saps watching live had to sit there for seven fucking hours. That’s not something you do to people that you aren’t trying to get to confess to something.

I’ve been staying away from websites to avoid spoilers as best I can, but I bet when I go back I’ll find complaining about Becky Lynch tapping clean to Asuka. And I bet a lot of it will be from the same people who complained when WWE was ruining Asuka. But you’ll get no complaining from me. It was a good match between two popular wrestlers that somebody had to win. Besides, I’m pretty sure Becky is winning the Rumble later anyway. It’s either her or Charlotte.

Jesus Christ, Shane McMahon just hit a shooting star press. I’m not his biggest fan, but credit where it’s due. Most legitimate athletes can’t do that.

Garbage announcing moment of the night so far goes to Tom Phillips trying to argue that Becky Lynch is the freshest person in the Royal Rumble, completely forgetting that she wrestled a long title match in the fucking opener. A long title match that he called, no less.

Yup, Becky wins. And thank god she did, because something had to save this match. There’s always a default level of enjoyment to a Royal Rumble because you never know who might be coming out next, but god almighty this dragged like hell until the last few minutes. There were some nice elimination saves, but not much else.

Let me tell you how boring that women’s Rumble was. It was so boring that it made it very hard for me to enjoy Daniel Bryan and A.J. Styles. WWE would have been wise to put the Cruiserweights in that spot, because the last thing this show needed right now was a slow, methodical match. It especially didn’t need a slow, methodical match with a bad finish.

On that subject, why is Erick Rowan with Daniel Bryan? And does it mean the Bludgeon Brothers aren’t coming back as a team? The thought of that makes me very sad, because they were kind of my favourite.

I enjoyed the Balor Lesnar match, even though I was right about them doing the wrong thing and leaving the belt on Brock. What I could have absolutely done without is Brock going back twice to throw Finn around like a complete nothing afterwards. If there’s going to be a rematch maybe that’s ok, but otherwise you’re taking a guy you want people to get behind not to mention one that we’re more than ready to see at a main event level and giving us no reason to do so because he’s never getting his revenge. It’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder if this company is actually interested in creating stars.

Elias and Jeff Jarrett starting out the Rumble together was a fun surprise. I just wish they’d sung some of With My Baby Tonight before Elias attacked him.

Why did Elias attack him, anyway? I thought he was a face now.

What in the absolute fuck? I was thinking to myself that this men’s Rumble had been somewhat better than the women’s, and then Nia Jax appeared, beat up R-Truth, took his spot and then eliminated, of all possible people, Mustafa Ali. The same Mustafa Ali that pinned the world champion and went toe to toe with Samoa Joe. Are you shitting me right now? Go to hell, WWE. Like I seriously can’t get through one post without you idiots fucking something up. That may be the new stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Ok so it’s not because I lived through Vince Russo, but you know what I mean. Holy fucking fuck on a stack of fucks.

Seth wins. Cool. I don’t care. I’m more impressed with myself for showing enough restraint to not shut the damn show off. Thank god for Impact, New Japan and ROH. And please let All Elite Wrestling become an actual thing. I’m leaving. I hate wrestling a lot right now.

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