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Hawke’s Royal Rumble 2007 Review

January 19, 2019 | Posted by TJ Hawke
10
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Hawke’s Royal Rumble 2007 Review  

Some other Rumble reviews of mine

2018, 2017, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2002, 1996, 1995, 1992

 

January 28, 2007
San Antonio, Texas, USA

MNM (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro) (w/Melina) vs. The Hardys (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy)

This was a very solid match. It was a bit tamer than you would expect, as it was predominantly made up of MnM beating down the Hardys in a fairly pedestrian manner. It was an easy watch though, and The Hardys nostalgia run during this period worked out very well the great majority of the time. This was not the exception. Jeff won after a swanton on Nitro. (***)

 

Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Test

This was for Blaster’s ECW Championship.

This was not good, but it was not as terrible as you might have expected. The match even had a shot of being good which was frankly not something you could have reasonably predicted from the onset.

It’s just that the opening minutes were filled with extremely awkward brawling that set a bad tone for the whole thing. When you’re not going that long, it’s hard to recover from something like that.

The match from there got much more competent at least. Test went after the left arm of Blaster. It led to this great spot where Bobby started to make his comeback but a foolish Gorilla Press attempt caused Bobby’s worked over arm to collapse.

Test had his last shot to win, and he connected on a big boot. Bobby fought right back though and this time never used his worked over arm. Test, sensing defeat, opted to lose via countout. Blah.

There’s no real reason to defend this match because it was largely a failure. Between this and the Dave/Kennedy match that followed, it’s clear that the agents had a boner for limb-selling at the time though. That makes it probably at least somewhat more interesting than the proceeding star rating implies. (**)

 

Batista(c) vs. Mr. Kennedy

This match was for Dave’s World Heavyweight Championship.

This will go down as one of the most shockingly good WWE matches in the history of the company.

First off, you have Mr. fucking Kennedy. Yes, he sucked. He did honestly seem like a hard-worker though who viewed wrestling with a unique perspective and all that (remember him falling backwards to make running the ropes look more realistic?!?!?). However, he was mostly just very awkward and terrible for the majority of his career (he’s not still working, is he???)

For those who do not remember, Big Dave looked ROUGH from 2006 until Wrestlemania 2007. He and Booker T absolutely rode the struggle bus in their feud, and it seemed like the time of Big Dave producing fun stuff might be genuinely over. It was a logical conclusion to make as well given that he was an older gentleman coming off a torn quad.

Enter this match. What a gem.

Dave tried to overwhelm him early on. That led to them being on the floor where Kennedy managed to force Dave to crash his surgically repaired leg into the ring steps. Kennedy from there relentlessly and ruthlessly targeted the injured leg of Dave.

Dave could not get anything going as a result. He realized he needed to get out of this match quickly otherwise Kennedy would likely leave with his belt. Dave summoned all of his strength to bust out a Big Dave Bomb and then crawled over to make the cover.

GREAT match. Between THESE TWO! WHAT THE FUCK! (****)

 

John Cena(c) vs. Umaga (w/Armando Estrada)

umagaaa

This was a Last Man Standing match for Cena’s WWE Championship.

This was one of the greatest matches in professional wrestling history.

Everything about the presentation of this match from the pre-match hype video (yes, I am a fake music boy who enjoys Rise Against) to everything that happened in the ring was executed perfectly.

A few weeks earlier on a B-PPV, Cena ended Umaga’s undefeated streak via fruit roll-up. Umaga, enraged that this streak that he held so dearly was ruined, had injured Cena in the build up to the rematch. Cena’s ribs were all taped up as he made his entrance. You knew the story of the match before it even began, but it in no way detracted from what transpired.

Cena, looking to kill Umaga, came out hot early on. The intensity and urgency. The hatred. It was all there. It was clear that this match was going to be a barn-burner.

And then it happened. A maneuver that was so simple, yet so brilliant. Umaga cut him off with a simple kneeling punch to the taped ribs. From there, the match became perfect.

Umaga dominated the rest of the match. Umaga did it in his typical awesome and brutal fashion. The key to its success was not just on Umaga’s end though obviously.

Cena perhaps has never sold as well and as consistently as he did for Umaga on this night. From beginning to end, Cena looked destroyed. There was never any phony over-excitement. There was no Super Cena. There was just a bloody (literally) and desperate Cena who occasionally had enough adrenaline to fight back. That just made his comebacks all the more effective.

They timed each of the mini-comebacks as well as anyone could have done. Cena never even really had a prolonged comeback at any point in this match. He was just surviving and getting his shots in when he could.

Umaga’s downfall here was a mixture of bad luck and miscalculation. If Umaga just kept the match  going at the methodical pace he set early on, he would have had the match won.

Cena, whether on purpose or not, baited Umaga into a battle that escalated far too much for Umaga’s own good. Weapons were the equalizer for Cena. Big spots involving furniture took away Umaga’s strengths and gave Cena openings. Umaga kept getting tempted to go for the kill with weapons before it was time. Before the time was right.

That was made perfectly clear early on. Umaga was in complete control and then attempted to bring the steel steps into play. Cena managed turn the (metaphorical) tables though and tossed the steps at Umaga and almost won in under ten minutes in what would have been a total fluke.

Umaga (and Armando Estrada) did not learn the lesson though. Time and time again, Cena used the weapons to give himself life. It was so clear that Cena could not win on his own on this night. The weapons were his only chance.

It was poetic justice then for Umaga’s ego to of course to be his own undoing in the end. It was merely gravy that it was done in such a unique and barbaric manner.

The ring post was undone, and Umaga attempted to use a loosed turnbuckle on Cena. It was not completely illogical. He was facing the only man who beat him, and it seemed like Cena would never stay down for the ten.

Cena turned the tables as he did continuously throughout the match in similar moments.

Umaga wasting time with the turnbuckle allowed Cena to catch him with the FU. Cena then used the loosed ring rope to choke Umaga the fuck out. A bloody Cena choking the life out of Umaga is the defining image of Cena’s career (or at least it should be).

Umaga could not answer the ten count, and Cena retained. Cena, still bloodied and broken, never once acted like he hadn’t just been through a war. He looked shocked. (Shook, I dare say.) He looked like he barely knew what had just happened.

This was a brilliant story of endurance from Cena and miscalculation and ego getting the better of a monster.

 

My personal reaction to this match went way beyond the perfection that took place inside the ring or the crazy environment in which it took place. I do not know how anyone can watch Umaga and not immediately get sad.

Here in this match, it was made clear that he was potentially an all-timer in the making. Beyond all the obvious physical tools that he had, he proved in this match (and many other times throughout his final WWE run) that he “got it.” It’s the undeniable quality that separates the good from the great in professional wrestling.

To watch such a brilliant artist at work in this match and then to know that he died so young just a couple of years later is heartbreaking. To see someone so brilliant largely getting forgotten as the pages of history turn just makes it all the worse.

As awful as the professional wrestling business is and as unpleasant as so many professional wrestlers can be, you still want all of them to be successful and to be good people. You want them all to be beloved. You want all of them to remembered forever.

I miss you, Umaga. Forever.

I doubt anything could ever top this match for me. On a match construction level, it was textbook perfection. On an emotional level, it filled me with so much sadness in a way that only the tragedy of life can. This was everything. (******)

 

Royal Rumble Match
Carlito vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Masters vs. CM Punk vs. Edge vs. Finlay vs. Gregory Helms vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro vs. Kane vs. Kenny Dykstra vs. Kevin Thorn vs. King Booker vs. Matt Hardy vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Super Crazy vs. The Great Khali vs. The Miz vs. The Sandman vs. The Undertaker vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Viscera

bbdbdbd

This was the 2007 Royal Rumble match.

This was a really fun Rumble from beginning to end for the most part. They had a fair share of big names this time, and they generously threw them out all the while saving Shawn and Taker for the final third of the match. While you could talk about the pacing of this match and whatnot, this match is truly remembered and important for the final bit.

Rated-RKO did a great job of working together while organically teasing tension throughout the match. It came down to them against Shawn and Taker, and they did a great job of strategically attacking them. It seemed like Shawn was taken out, and that they had Taker on the ropes. Shawn recovered just in time to help Taker eliminate them.

Shawn and Taker then squared off in an infamous closing sequence. It was quite fun and an extremely effective tease of their future Wrestlemania match in 2009. Everyone should watch this Rumble. Taker ended up winning in the end in very satisfying fashion. (****)

 

Reviews of notable non-Rumble Royal Rumble PPV matches

John Cena vs. AJ Styles

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

The Rock vs. CM Punk

Rey Mysterio vs. The Undertaker

Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show

The Rock vs. Chris Jericho

Cactus Jack vs. Triple H

Shawn Michaels vs. Psycho Sid

Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker

10.0
The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
One of the best WWE shows ever.
legend

article topics :

Royal Rumble, TJ Hawke