Reality From Ringside #50
February 1, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of WrestleView.comWWE Royal Rumble 2010: The Hangover
There is just something about WWE's ?Royal Rumble? pay-per-view event that I can?t describe, but it always seems to bring out the autism in me. I become fervently statistic-happy and go into a nearly month-long tailspin down the gorge of empirical research.
In layman's terms: I become ?Mega-Dork 2000, now with time-released algebraic functionality?.
You may notice it at times in the Wrestleview chat-room, but whenever someone makes a claim about anything within professional wrestling or gives an opinion about something ?always happening?, I ask for evidence. I ask for proof.
Numbers and statistics never lie. They are the evidence, the proof. And WWE's Royal Rumble match is annually chocked full of statistical goodness that I can sparse through and make the most grandiose of claims and opinions.
Normally in my PPV hangover columns I go through most of the matches within the card and ask the tough questions. With this year's Royal Rumble however, I feel I should devote this hangover to the Rumble Match itself.
Listening to all opinions, looking over all of the statistics and evidence I have compiled, and watching the match in its entirety three times over? you better have a full pot of coffee brewing. This hangover is going to sting?Was this the most effective method for Edge to win the Royal Rumble?
[Edge Rumble Trivia: This was Edge's third consecutive ?final four? appearance in the Royal Rumble match (?05, ?07: Eliminated #28).]
Alright, let's sit down with WWE Creative and stare at their dry-erase board. Their plans are for a returning Edge to win the Royal Rumble. Having him come in as a late entry is definitely required, but how do we effectively build the suspense for his return?
Next to the list of entrants in the Rumble match and the presumed outcome, we see shorthand writing. ?Y2J v. E? is in green marker underneath a bleeding red-lettered and underlined ?WM26?.
[Chris Jericho Rumble Trivia: Eliminated the most people in the 2003 Royal Rumble (6).]
What did the geniuses come up with? Have Jericho enter at #28, not achieve anything substantial (no signature moves, no eliminations), Edge enters at #29, goes Spear-happy, eliminates Jericho.
Sure, we understand that the pilot has been lit for a boiling-hot feud between Jericho and Edge. We gathered on Edge's return he would sooner or later face Jericho. A 'surprise? return would be great instant heat for the feud. The only problem with this strategy within the Rumble match is that there is no build for Edge's 'surprise?, the feud between the two, or reasoning for the crowd-roaring pop when Jericho is inevitably heaved over the top rope.
Instead of in the #28 slot, Jericho should have made his entrance around the same time Triple H (#8) made his. This would have acted as a great buffer between Triple H and CM Punk (#3), causing the three involved to stick around longer, draw out suspense, and help direct the unavoidable traffic of all the newcomers and mid-cards making their way when the buzzer sounds.
Chris Jericho's endurance is never in question, he can definitely survive and help manage the chaos until the #29 slot when Edge makes his way down? barring that he stayed away from the hotel mini-bar earlier that day.Is WWE Creative's ?hierarchy of mid-cards? reflective of the Royal Rumble match?
[MVP Rumble Trivia: In the 2007 Royal Rumble, MVP was eliminated between The Great Khali and Randy Orton. Later in the year, both would become World Champion and WWE Champion respectively.]
Do you remember that mind-numbing, aneurism-inducing algebraic formula I introduced last week explaining my ?Fantasy Rumble?? Intriguing and stupefying as it may seem, this same formula and its outcomes can be used to deduce who WWE Creative seems to be leaning heavy towards at the time of the Rumble match.
Don?t believe me? Let's pick a mid-card talent who has been in at least 3 Rumble matches like MVP.
In 2007, MVP entered the Royal Rumble at #26 and was eliminated in the same slot? one position away from being in the ?final four? (Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Edge, & Randy Orton).
In 2009, MVP entered the Royal Rumble at #4 and was the second person to be eliminated. A tremendously early entry and exit for who many considered not long ago a very viable mid-card talent.
Last night, MVP entered the Royal Rumble at #14 only to be jumped by his rival, The Miz, before entering the match. Two positions later, The Miz makes his entrance at #16. This cues MVP to bum-rush the ring, eliminate both him and his rival over the top rope, and further their very effective feud.
[The Miz Rumble Trivia: Has appeared in 4 Royal Rumbles and has yet to eliminate anyone.]
It's amazing to see such a sharp parabola for a mid-card talent on WWE's roster. There are some anomalies to this hypothesis though. Look at the statistics regarding The Miz and the Rumble match. I?m not going to provide you with the evidence; I encourage you to do it yourself.
I can already hear you on the other side of the monitor. ?[Expletive]-ing jerk!?Who could have been left out of/added to the Royal Rumble match to make it more potent or suspenseful?
I?m not sure if this question can be answered with a simple pencil and eraser response; taking out names and adding new ones in their place. This question should be answered with more depth and clarity regarding entering/exiting positions and points of interest in regards to story-building.
However, since I am very sure most of you will flood my mailbox with your choices of who should have been taken out and added in? I?ll humor you just this once. Let's look at a few of the talents that made absolutely no impact whatsoever (the maintenance and furthering of the Rumble match).
[Matt Hardy Rumble Trivia: The 2001 Royal Rumble was the only time Matt Hardy had eliminated anybody. He has participated in 6 Royal Rumbles since then.]
[Carlito Rumble Trivia: In the 2006 Royal Rumble, Carlito was outperformed by only two men, Triple H and Rey Mysterio. Carlito entered #11, exited #26 and eliminated 2. Triple H and Mysterio began the Rumble, Rey inevitably winning.]
[Shelton Benjamin Rumble Trivia: Has appeared in 8 consecutive Royal Rumbles and only been one of the final 10 once.]
Along with MVP and The Miz, I would not have included the previously mentioned performers in the Rumble match. They all provided nothing but a spare body to be heaved over the top rope within one minute of their entrance. An entrant's main purpose should be to prolong the drama and suspense, not quickly end their own.
Who should have been put in their place?
[William Regal Rumble Trivia: A veteran of WWE for over 10 years, William Regal has only participated in 2 Royal Rumbles.]
[Finlay Rumble Trivia: Finlay's best Royal Rumble performance came in 2007 (Entered #2, Exited #12), lasting longer than Kane (Entered #10, Exited #11).]
[Mike Knox and Vladimir Kozlov Rumble Trivia: Made their first Royal Rumble appearances in 2009 and where the only two who did not make a return appearance and were still under contract with WWE (Brian Kendrick was only ?09 rookie to not return for ?10 RR).]
[Christian Rumble Trivia: 2005 was Christian's last Royal Rumble appearance.]
Regal and Finlay would serve as your traffic cops, directing the chaos and making sure there were plenty of dramatic spots of performers potentially being thrown out of the ring.
Knox and Kozlov should serve as your ?monster fillers?. With all of the low-cards and mid-cards we have kept in the Rumble match, most of them are not considered big men. Throwing Kozlov and Knox into the fray escalates the sense of urgency for all involved.
Why throw Christian in the Rumble match? Throw that little slice of history into the mix? it would be the first time in WWE history that the current ECW champion had participated. Regardless of how long he would last, it would be that nice piece of trivia to talk about at the commentator's desk.
I?ll be honest, I actually thought about reconstructing the entire Royal Rumble match with my new participants and describing how I could have made it much more dramatic and suspenseful. Unfortunately, I heard several pops and snaps? like tiny little brain cells spontaneously combusting with each piece of trivia I dished out.
No worries, I?m keeping my Rumble Reconstruction to myself. Feel free to send me yours though? test my willpower!
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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