Wednesday 4 July 2018

WWE Royal Rumble 2008 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is harder to sit through than Sasha Banks and Bayley’s “feud”! WWE’s Royal Rumble 2008, Jeff Hardy challenges Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, Hardy had been put through the paces by the champion but could Hardy pull off the unthinkable and defeat The Viper? On the Smackdown side, we have Rey Mysterio challenging Edge for the world heavyweight championship. The Ultimate Underdog finally gets to work the main event with Edge, I expect a kickass match to start off the year and finally, we have the royal rumble. Thirty men vying for the goal of main eventing Wrestlemania. Royal Rumbles very rarely suck but can 2008 start off hot? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

One of the WWE promo packages I remember vividly due to the WWE returning to Madison Square Garden and the promotional video of the WWE superstars fighting in the subway station was memorable too. Every man for himself, thirty superstars every line that you can say off by heart by this point.

Ric Flair vs MVP

Vince had begun the angle where if Flair loses a match, The Nature Boy would be forced to retire. Flair has no regrets inside of the ring and will give it his all but could MVP upset The Nature Boy? The two feel one another out, side headlock and shoulder block by MVP. MVP gives a clean break from the corner, wristlock into a hammerlock from Flair. MVP goes to the corner, slap from MVP. Flair chops and punches MVP, MVP is down. Chops galore, side headlock. Shoulder block from Flair, MVP drop toeholds Flair. Boot to the side of the head, neckbreaker from MVP for two. Forearms from MVP, snapmare into a chinlock.

Punches in the corner, Flair shakes off MVP and attempts the figure four, MVP shakes off Flair. Another figure four attempt, small package by MVP for two. MVP punches Flair in the corner, Irish whip to the corner and back drop by MVP. Player’s Boot connects, two as Flair places his feet on the ropes. MVP believes that he is the winner, roll-up from Flair for two. Clothesline by MVP, forearm shots by MVP for two. Double underhook suplex for two, Flair is placed on the top rope. Superplex by MVP, two for MVP. Slaps by MVP, Flair escapes a military press. Chops, Irish whip to the corner and they bang heads.

MVP walks over to Flair, chops by Flair. Small package for two, backslide from Flair for two. Massive chop by Flair, right hands and chops to MVP. MVP is on the ropes, Flair chops back before a throat thrust from MVP. Facebuster, Playmaker is blocked. Figure Four from Flair in the middle of the ring and MVP taps out, Flair is still a wrestler.

Rather basic match, Flair’s career continues. The treatment of MVP continues to make me angry, MVP is being treated like a joke rather than a rising star, I do not know what they were thinking when it came to the future when Kennedy and MVP are being stopped at every turn. Regardless, it was rather simple but that works with Flair, Flair never fails to elicit a response from the audience.

Winner: Ric Flair over MVP via Figure Four!

JBL vs Chris Jericho

I am so glad to see JBL back inside the ring, JBL is one of the best heels inside of that ring, JBL is simply a bastard. JBL cost Jericho the WWE Championship and continued to infuriate Y2J with disrespectful comments. JBL seems reluctant to fight with the mad Jericho. Two lock-ups end with clean breaks from Y2J, JBL asks for the break. Cheap shot from JBL, big right hands. Flying forearm and mounted punches by Jericho, spear from Jericho. JBL pulls Jericho to the floor, Jericho storms back into the ring with right hands. Stiff kicks to the ribs, Jericho ducks the clothesline, Walls of Jericho but JBL grabs the ropes instantly.

JBL is pushed into the ring apron and steel steps, Jericho attempts a Codebreaker but JBL counters with a stungun. Short-arm clothesline, make it two. Bottom rope choke by JBL, rope guillotine by JBL. Right hands by JBL, sleeper from JBL. Jericho escapes and nails a clothesline, JBL answers with a big boot. Jericho is sent head first into the ringpost. Jericho is bleeding everywhere, right hands by JBL. JBL batters Jericho in the corner, Jericho is bloody everywhere. Jericho nails forearms and shoulder blocks, Lionsault by Y2J. Clothesline to the floor, they brawl over to the announce table. Jericho cracks JBL with a chair, JBL wins by DQ but Jericho has evened the score just a little.

I loved the story going into the match, Jericho was furious with JBL provoking Y2J but remaining cautious to frustrate Jericho. The blood added to the match too with JBL bullying Jericho in a way that few heels could do within the company at the time. The DQ finish was understandable as Jericho was beyond angry when it came to fighting JBL but a downer because I thought these two could have a simply awesome match, I am already happy to see JBL back in a WWE ring though.

Winner: JBL over Chris Jericho via DQ!

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Edge © vs Rey Mysterio

The Ultimate Opportunist battles The Ultimate Underdog, Edge managed to steal the championship from Batista while avoiding The Undertaker. Theodore Long brings Vickie to ringside while Hawkins and Ryder sit with Vickie. Edge shoves Mysterio, wristlock from Edge. Mysterio kicks his way out of the hold, springboard hurricanrana by Mysterio. Side headlock and shoulder block by Edge, drop toehold and low dropkick by Mysterio. Middle rope choke by Edge, Mysterio is thrown to the floor but Mysterio lands on his feet, Edge is one step ahead with a baseball slide. Hawkins and Ryder try to get involved but they are caught by the referee, they are ejected. Springboard senton for two, Edge elevates Mysterio to the middle turnbuckle. Huge kick to Mysterio’s repaired knee.

Edge targets the knee, Edge poses in front of the crowd. Edge is relentless in stomping the knee, single leg Boston crab. Mysterio kicks off Edge, enzugiri from Mysterio. Edge falls onto the middle rope, Mysterio runs into a powerslam. Two for Edge, Edge attempts a Brock Lock before transitioning into an ankle lock hold. Edge rips at the protective knee brace of Mysterio, Mysterio battles like a mad man to kick away Edge. Wheelbarrow bulldog from Mysterio, chops and kicks by Mysterio. Mysterio rolls through a sunset flip for a massive kick to the head for two.

 Irish whip to the corner, Mysterio nails a roll-up senton for two. Mysterio hobbles to the top rope, double stomp by Mysterio for two. Hurricanrana with Edge falling to the floor, Mysterio slides out for a DDT. Two for Mysterio, Mysterio runs off the ropes and Mysterio eats a massive boot. Mysterio ducks the spear, hurricanrana. 619, Vickie is out of her wheelchair. Splash by Mysterio, Vickie grabs the referee. Edge misses another spear, 619 but Edge uses Vickie for a shield. Mysterio looks for the West Coast Pop but Edge Spears Mysterio into the mat for the win.

That was a good match, Mysterio brings all the excitement of everyone of his big matches. Edge makes Mysterio look great, the counters and spots were great stuff and Vickie helping her man Edge was great heel stuff, I do not think anyone was more despised by her at the time. Finish was great too, I would love to see an extended program between the two, Edge has been on fire since his return though.

Winner: Edge over Rey Mysterio via Spear!

(WWE Championship Match) Randy Orton © vs Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy fluked his way to victory over Triple H, Orton set his sights on his new challenger. Hardy proved that he is bat-shit insane by diving off of high places onto the likes of Umaga and the champion. Jeff Hardy’s biggest test of his career, will Hardy rise to the occasion?

They lock-up, clean break from Orton. Side headlock and shoulder block by Hardy, takedown by Hardy. Orton counters for a headscissors, Hardy escapes and nails an inverted atomic drop followed by a low leg drop. Low dropkick by Hardy for two, Orton batters down Hardy. Hardy clotheslines Orton to the floor, baseball slide and Orton cracks his head against the barricade. Plancha by Hardy, Orton tries to leave the match but Hardy prevents Orton leaving. Orton is thrown into the ring, Hardy tries a springboard but Orton lands a big dropkick. Orton strolls over to Hardy’s body, suplex on the floor. Two for Orton, Orton stomps on the ankle of Hardy.

Knee to the head of Hardy, Orton drops multiple knees for two. Orton clubs down Hardy, Hardy fires back at Orton. Orton is sidestepped and sent tumbling to the floor, Hardy nails a flying clothesline off the apron. Two for Hardy, Hardy misses a corner spear, hitting the ringpost hard with his shoulder. Two for Orton, rear-naked choke from the champion. Hardy breaks free, powerslam by Orton. Another sleeper by Orton, Hardy nails a massive neckbreaker drop. Flying forearms and clotheslines, Whisper in The Wind for two. Corkscrew Mule Kick, slingshot dropkick by Hardy.

Hardy climbs high, Orton rolls to the apron. No Swanton, missile dropkick by Hardy. Orton smashes into the barricade, Hardy measures Orton. Moonsault from Hardy onto the floor, Orton and Hardy are both down. Hardy pulls Orton into the ring, Hardy is feeling it now. Twist of Fate is countered for The RKO and this match is over!

This was missing something, I do not think Jeff had the complete package as a main event talent at this time but that’s understandable as Hardy had never competed at this level. But yeah, it felt flat. Orton did well , I believed Orton to be carrying the match with Hardy doing his best to keep hanging in there but the workrate or drama just was not there, underwhelming but considering the booking of Hardy, should I be surprised?

Winner: Randy Orton over Jeff Hardy via RKO!

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

We are getting to the good stuff now, thirty men competing for a chance to headline Wrestlemania. The rules are simple: elimination occurs when both feet touch the floor, you must be thrown over the top rope. Two men start as people continually enter throughout timed intervals. To make this easy to follow I break up entrants in blocks of fives and highlighting superstars who are eliminated so do not worry, you won’t miss a single elimination.

Entrants 1 To 5

Entrant is number one is The Undertaker, number two is Shawn Michaels. Interesting at these were the last two entrants from last year’s Rumble are kicking off this Rumble. Taker corners Michaels, chops by Michaels. Irish whip is reversed, Michaels flip in the corner. Throat toss to the turnbuckle, right hands by Taker. Headbutt, big rights by The Deadman. Taker misses a big boot, Taker survives on the apron. Number three is Santino Marella, Marella realizes what he is in for. Sweet Chin Music to Marella and Marella has been dumped out.

Santino Marella Has Been Eliminated by Undertaker!

HBK blocks Old School, Taker is yanked to the canvas. Inverted atomic drops with chops, number four is Great Khali. Taker goes after Khali, right hands stagger Khali. Brain chop by Khali, Khali chokes Taker. Taker chokes back, Khali misses a chop and Taker dumps out Khali.

Great Khali Has Been Eliminated by Undertaker!

Number five is Hardcore Holly, Holly stomps both Taker and Michaels. Corner clothesline by Taker, Holly eats massive right hands. Holly fights back against Undertaker, big boot to Holly. HBK tries eliminating Taker again but Taker has caught Michaels is a Samoan drop hold. Holly stomps on Taker, Michaels chop blocks Holly.

Entrants 6 To 10

Number six is John Morrison, Morrison locks eyes with Taker. Taker hammers Morrison, Michaels throws Morrison to the apron, Morrison hangs on in the rumble. Scoop slam, HBK lands an elbow. Morrison blocks and nails an enzuigiri, number seven is Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer runs wild before Taker hammers Dreamer, Morrison and Michaels battle by the ropes. Morrison survives yet again. Number eight is Batista, spinebuster for Dreamer. Batista and Undertaker lock eyes but Dreamer is in the way. Dreamer is tossed out by The Animal.

Tommy Dreamer Has Been Eliminated by Batista!

Number nine is Hornswoggle, Hornswoggle hides under the ring. Wise choice by Swoggle, number ten is Chuck Palumbo. Palumbo is punching everyone, everyone is pairing off in corners with little happening.

Entrants 11 to 15

Entrant eleven is Jamie Noble with taped ribs, Palumbo is the target. Palumbo is hung up on the apron, massive big boot from Palumbo, it is see you later.

Jamie Noble Has Been Eliminated by Chuck Palumbo!

Entrance number twelve is CM Punk. High knees to everyone, Taker shuts off the lights of Punk with a clothesline. Palumbo is tossed to the apron by Punk, high knee and bye bye Palumbo.

Chuck Palumbo Has Been Eliminated By CM Punk!

Thirteen is Cody Rhodes, Rhodes runs into The Deadman. Dropkick by Rhodes, number fourteen is Umaga. The big names keep coming in this match, clotheslines to everyone. Holly tries to brawl, bad idea as Umaga Samoan Spikes Holly to the floor.

Hardcore Holly Has Been Eliminated By Umaga!

Fifteen is Snitsky, clotheslines to everyone. Morrison eats a massive right, Rhodes almost takes out Snitsky. Everyone hangs on, seems things are hitting a dull point.

Entrants 16 To 20

Number Sixteen is The Miz, Miz and Morrison double team Punk right away. Taker and Umaga square off. Seventeen is Shelton Benjamin, Benjamin shows off some incredible agility before a superkick from Michaels ends Benjamin’s night early.

Shelton Benjamin Has Been Eliminated By Shawn Michaels!

Number eighteen is Jimmy Snuka, chops and headbutts by Snuka. Number nineteen is Roddy Piper, this is getting crazy. Piper and Snuka brawl, headbutt by Snuka. Eye poke by Piper, number twenty is Kane. Kane dumps out Piper and Snuka to begin his Rumble.

Piper& Snuka Have Been Eliminated By Kane!

Entrants 21 to 25

Twenty-one is Carlito, Carlito cracks Punk with a Backstabber. Number Twenty-two is Mick Foley, Foley runs wild. Double Arm DDT by Foley, Umaga Samoan drops Taker. The ring is full of people, number Twenty-three is Kennedy. Facewash by Kennedy, Mic Check on Miz. Taker comes back to life, right hands to everyone. Number Twenty-four is Big Daddy V, Taker throws out Snitsky, Michaels kicks out Taker, Kennedy eliminates Michaels. That was so random, out of nowhere.

Snitsky Has Been Eliminated By Undertaker!

Undertaker Has Been Eliminated By Shawn Michaels!

Shawn Michaels Has Been Eliminated By Mr Kennedy!

Number Twenty-five is Mark Henry, Hornswoggle appears and tosses out The Miz before hiding under the ring once more.

The Miz Has Been Eliminated By Hornswoggle!

Entrants 26 to 30

Number Twenty-six is Chavo Guerrero, Punk and Chavo brawl. Kane boots out Morrison with ease.

John Morrison Has Been Eliminated By Kane!

Hornswoggle is caught by Henry and Big Daddy V, Finlay comes out with his shillelagh and saves Hornswoggle. Number Twenty-eight is Elijah Burke, Punk elevates Chavo to the apron. Chavo pulls out Punk with ease.

CM Punk Has Been Eliminated By Chavo Guerrero!

Number Twenty-nine is Triple H, clotheslines and right hands. Cody Rhodes has been sent flying over the top. Big Daddy V joins Rhodes. Triple H sends Foley into Burke and they are all gone.

Rhodes/Foley/Burke/Big Daddy V Have Been Eliminated By Triple H!

Umaga is hammered off the ringpost twice, Pedigree by Triple H on Umaga. Who is number thirty? Number thirty is none other than John Cena who is back from injury months early!!! Cena pummels Henry, shoulder block, clothesline to Carlito. Carlito is tossed out as is Chavo, Henry joins them too.

Mark Henry/Chavo Guerrero/Carlito Have Been Eliminated By John Cena!

Spinebuster by The Game on Cena, Umaga throat thrusts The Game. Batista Spears Umaga, Kennedy is dumped to the floor, Umaga is dumped out too. Kane tries to Chokeslam Batista & Triple H but the former Evolution teammates unite to dump out Kane.

Mr. Kennedy/Umaga Have Been Eliminated By Batista!

Kane Has Been Eliminated By Batista & Triple H

Batista gains control, clotheslines to Cena and Triple H. Cena and Triple H combine, clothesline by Batista. Irish whip to the corner, boot by Cena. Spinebuster by Batista, Pedigree is blocked for a spinebuster. Batista Bomb is blocked, Triple H clotheslines out Batista.

Batista Has Been Eliminated By Triple H!

Down to two, Cena and Triple H. Rights by The Game, Cena battles back. Slugfest between the two, Triple H eats a spinning side slam. Five Knuckle Shuffle connects, FU is avoided. Pedigree is blocked, big knockdown in the middle of the ring. Cena boots Triple H, FU attempt. The Game blocks, DDT by Triple H. Powerslam does not work, Cena hangs on. Cena escapes out the back, FU is countered again but Triple H cannot nail the pedigree, Cena has Triple H in The FU and dumps out The Game.

Triple H Has Been Eliminated By John Cena!

That Rumble was ok, there was a lot of star power in this match but I feel a lot of it was wasted. Michaels and Taker went out in such simple fashion for two big stars, it felt like nothing and then, Taker sends Snitsky through the announce table? What’s that for? Where could that lead to? Nowhere so why go there? What makes this match good though is Cena’s return, nobody knew that was coming and Cena’s return looked great. It’s a great story to tell and nobody is more over than Cena so the energy that Cena brought into the match was a big plus while the negatives were a rather dull section that seem to hurt the whole match and no standout singular performances from anyone.

Winner: John Cena Via Survival!

That was WWE’s Royal Rumble 2008, a good Royal Rumble and start to the year. I thought about calling this pay per view average due to match quality and the finishes/performances present on the show but Cena’s return changes a lot when it comes to this pay per view.s Look, the Flair was match was basic and the Jericho vs JBL match was just about to hit its stride before they cut it off. However, Cena’s return was massive. It was a big surprise and a great payoff that it can sway opinion on the pay per view. Orton vs Hardy was carried by Orton, Edge and Mysterio did well and the show was nothing spectacular like some of the previous Rumbles but Cena’s return anchors the whole show and what an end to the pay per view it was for Mr. Cena. Check this out because who doesn’t love a good rumble but stay for Cena’s return! Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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