Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Royal Ramble 2024

Well... on a rather "uneventful" week of news, we got a rather "uneventful" Rumble.
Would've been nice if it were true...

So, yes, there was a particularly dark cloud that preceded over what initially began as a rather big week of development in WWE - notably the announcement of a monumental deal with Netflix that would see the streaming service become the new home of Monday Night RAW in 2025 as well as all subsequent WWE Network content outside the United States, which means that come 2025, Canada can watch WWE material on Netflix and the WWE Network would be no more. And I've made a post on that when the news broke.

And then... the other thing happened... I'm sure you know what I'm talking about...

I'm not going to say anything regarding that piece of business. There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said and quite honestly, I would be doing nothing but adding more white noise to a ball of white noise surrounding a dreadfully disturbing situation that is still developing and will continue to do so for quite some time. Maybe some day... but not today.

In any event, I did watch some of the Rumble live, but not all of it. I ended up getting caught up with the rest of the show during the week. As to why this took longer than usual... well, other stuff came up, but I'm afraid there's not much I could say abut the show. The card was fairly light - only four matches - but when two of those matches are the annual Royal Rumbles - it's easy to forgive the lightweight content.

Anyway, let's check this show out.

Bayley wins the 2024 Women's Rumble and set the record for the long-lasting female in a Rumble match (she came in at #3). Well, good for her. It's long overdue. The Rumble itself had a few surprise entrants. TNA Knocksout Champion Jordynne Grace was an entrant, she got to carry the title, she had a decent run before being eliminated and people seemed to react to her, which is nice to see. Naomi/Trinity made her big WWE return and lasted quite a bit. Jade Cargill made her debut and womanhandled Nia Jax, who looked like more of a monster heel than she has in years. This Rumble has made me care about a possible encounter between Jade and Nia; what world are we living in? And then there was some R-Truth comedy because of course, there was. Other than that... it was an okay Rumble with a mix of main roster and NXT talent filling the blanks. Not the most exciting thing ever and some of the more shrewd observers had noted this was botchamania worthy, but despite all that, it's nice to see someone like Bayley get the duke.

Undisputed Champion Roman Reigns defeated AJ Styles, LA Knight, and RK Orton in a four-corners match to retain the title. It's the same Roman Reigns match you've seen for years; there's a bit of action, someone gets the upper hand on Roman, someone from the Bloodline interferes, Roman gets his win. Lather, rinse, repeat. I sure hope we don't have to endure another year of this bullshit because I'm ready for something fresh and this title reign is starting to mold.

United States Champion Logan Paul defeated Kevin Owens via DQ to retain the title. It was actually not that bad of a match that eventually saw Logan try to hit KO with some knux, but then Kevin stopped him and used the knux on Logan... but failing to toss the knux, he went for the pin, but the ref saw the knux on Kevin and DQ'ed him. Well, that's your own fault, pal. You used to be so much better than this. And then Kevin beats up Logan Paul a bit more. I suppose that's a way of not having Logan Paul outright beat KO, which is what I'd assume would happen and thank fuck that they didn't go that route, but I don't know. That finish made KO look a bit stupid... which seems to be an inherent character flaw.

For the second year in a row, Cody Rhodes wins the Men's Rumble match and immediately declares his challenging for Roman's belt. Well, hopefully, he gets to finish that story this time around. Amazingly, there was not a Dwayne to be found, but we did get Andrade, fresh from AEW, getting a nice pop for his entrance before people stopped caring, Pat McAfee was an entrant for some reason - he was doing commentary, still in his suit, went in the ring, saw he was faced with two giant, meaty hosses, and promptly eliminated himself... that was funny. The last stretch of the match when it came down to the last four to six guys was pretty exciting stuff, but getting there was a bit of a sloth. The notable lack of a certain deliverer of suplexes was apparent and I had assumed that Pat McAfee was the replacement entrant, but turns out it was Bron Breakker, who looked good and hopefully gets a run on the main roster soon.

On a sidenote, props to CM Punk for making it to the end of the match with a torn tricep that he might've gotten from a DDT somewhere. I'll wish him the best and a speedy recovery here before I go back to the usual "Give him a Z-Pak and he'll be fine" jokes... which is what I've been doing since he decided to take up a UFC run that lasted all of two fights. At the very least, I'm consistent.

Well, that was the 2024 Rumble. It was a thing that happened and not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely an event that felt a little lacking. I'd imagine a lot of that involved "prevailing circumstances" and such, but even with that out of the equation, this was a rather underwhelming Rumble. I'd give the nod to the women's match being the better of the two because it had more surprise entrants, but neither were particularly great and the two title matches were just kinda there. Quite frankly, it's time for Roman's story to come to an end because his matches are slowly but surely becoming the designated bathroom breaks for me.

Still, the winners of both Rumbles instill a bit of optimism going forward, which is something that is desperately needed. And things are looking up for Wrestlemania 40. Bayley's going to challenge former Damage Ctrl-Alt-Del member Iyo Sky for her Women's Title and Cody Rhodes finally gets to finish his story...

Wait... what's that?

That's not the main event?

DWAYNE showed up and carjacked Cody's spot?

Well, shit... looks like I can sleep in early that weekend.

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