Thursday, January 21, 2021

Royal Ramble 2008

So we're headed into this period where I barely remember the Rumble shows in general.

Ric Flair defeated United States Champion MVP via figure-four reversal and it was a thing that happened. Non-title, of course. But the story here was Flair having to win matches or else he'd be forced to retire. There was no doubt Flair was winning here... no offense to MVP, but nobody saw him as the guy retiring Flair.

JBL defeated Chris Jericho via disqualification when Jericho, bloodied and brusied, hit JBL with a chair and then chokes him out with a TV cable. Jericho came back in late-2007 after a huge absence and he came off like the biggest star, so let's give him JBL and put him in a bad match. I'd imagine this wasn't any good back then, but it's even worse in hindsight. Doesn't hold up.

World Champion Edge (carrying the Big Gold Belt) defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the title via screwjob where Rey was going for a 619 on Edge, but Vickie blocked it. Rey goes for his top-rope move, but gets caught by Edge's spear in what I thought was a cool spot. Yeah, this was alright. Not quite a great match or anything, but still fine.

I forgot that this show was the debut of Mike Adamle, the former American Gladiator host who was hired by WWE because he had credibility... and then the first thing is he does is screw up Jeff Hardy's name by calling him "Jeff Harvey." The saga of Mike Adamle in WWE is fascinating; here was a guy who wasn't particularly good at this, so let's move him into a commentary spot where it got worse, then they made him the GM of RAW and he was even worse there... and then after all that, he was gone from WWE. And given some of his mental health issues that have come out in the following years, that whole thing was more sad than anything. Bad enough people were ragging on him for messing up, add those mental issues on top of that. How that guy didn't jump off a cliff right then and there, I'll never know. But kudos to him for sticking it out and still being around.

WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the title. This was a thing that happened and without much of the big Jeff Harvey spots. Dull, boring... maybe Randy should have a match with HHH. That'll spice things up... or something.

We got the Royal Rumble match and the one time announcing duties of Michael Buffer, which is an odd visual to see him in a WWE ring, despite all those years announcing WCW main events, Anyway, we kick off this year's Rumble with the way we ended last year's Rumble; Undertaker and Shawn Michaels beating the crap out of each other before the parade of jobber would come in and have fun. This Rumble is weird, as it featured FInlay getting DQ'ed for hitting people with a stick, even though we've allowed much worse in the Rumble back in the day. John Cena would make his big return from months off due to injury, getting a big pop from the New York crowd before they remembered that they hate him and boo the shit out of him. John Cena eventually wins the Rumble.

This Rumble doesn't really hold up all that well. A lot of the matches were just there and the Rumble itself, while having a big surprise return, was just kinda there. Largely forgettable and entirely skippable.

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