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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2009

January 21, 2017 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Royal Rumble
4
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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2009  

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2009: The Teamwork, Finally!

Oh, 2009. The year of WrestleMania 25. Such a high/low ‘Mania. And of course, the first stop on the road there is the Royal Rumble. At this point in WWE history, Randy Orton had formed the Legacy stable, and they were the focal point of the Raw brand heading into the Rumble.

The Participants

1. Rey Mysterio
2. John Morrison
3. Carlito
4. MVP
5. The Great Khali (Who never really got the whole “Enter Late And Be Scary!” gimmick that Show did)
6. Vladirmir Kozlov
7. HHH
8. Randy Orton
9. JTG
10. Ted DiBiase Jr
11. Chris Jericho
12. Mike Knox
13. The Miz
14. Finlay
15. Cody Rhodes
16. The Undertaker
17. Goldust
18. CM Punk
19. Mark Henry
20. Shelton Benjamin
21. William Regal
22. Kofi Kingston
23. Kane
24. R-Truth
25. Rob Van Dam
26. THE Brian Kendrick
27. Dolph Ziggler
28. Santino Marella
29. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
30. The Big Show (I literally throw my hands in the air at this one)

Final Four
4th – Ted DiBiase (eliminated by the Cerebral Assassin)
3rd – Cody Rhodes (eliminated by the King of Kings)
2nd – Triple-H (eliminated by Randy Orton)
WINNER – Randy Orton

Notes/Thoughts

-Non-Royal Rumble sidenote: WWE had not outlawed headshots with chairs yet here, as the match before the Rumble sees Matt Hardy crack Jeff upside the skull with a chair. It had to be coming, though… I really thought it was in place earlier than this.

-The pre-match segment is an interview with Randy Orton. He apparently viciously attacked Vince McMahon on the go-home Raw before this, and the interview is basically “So You’re Going To Be Fired…”. Jericho comes out and proclaims the REAL Vince McMahon died years ago (In a limo explosion! I saw it!) since the spineless sycophant Randy assaulted is not the man who used to strike fear into the hearts of WWE talent.

-Rey and Morrison start off, and these two have outstanding chemistry. They were just maybe 5 months away from having a brilliant match on Smackdown for the IC title. They have a nifty little opening segment with each other here.

-Just as I’m getting ready to comment on all the really good workers this Rumble is starting off with through the first four combatants, here comes Khali at number five.

-Kozlov targets Khali upon entering, and the Russian gets the Indian out all by himself. I’m reminded again that this is the lead-up to WrestleMania 25, and Kozlov was in the midst of such a large push that within the next two months, he’d get a clean win over The Undertaker on Smackdown to tease that he might be Taker’s opponent at ‘Mania.

-The Game and Randy Orton go right after each other, and in the kind of booking you will not see very often from the modern era of WWE, John Morrison and Mysterio break up their fight and wreck both of them before going back to fighting each other! In what reality am I ever going to see Morrison and Rey look strong against Trips and Randy again? Damn.

-This is a relatively fast-paced Rumble for a good while, and guys like JoMo and Rey are just flying around (Seriously… Rey looks so substantially better here than he did the year he won; it’s ridiculous), and there is very little lazy walkin’ around and half-hearted pushing at the ropes. There are a lot of decent near-eliminations and offensives.

-After YEARS of seeing tag teams and gang units enter the Rumble, lose any semblance of an idea that they are buddies, and quickly turn on each other, I am seriously torn over the sight of Legacy being the group that puts it all together and works like a unit for their entire duration. On one hand… yay for sensible cohesiveness! On the other hand… I bloody hated Legacy. Rewatching this Rumble is actually making me start to like modern Cody less.

-Unfortunately, this Rumble turns like milk, and at about the #16/#17 point, the lethargy sets in, and you can visibly see guys just milling about in the background, looking for things not to do.

-Lots of guys in the ring, and my anticipation builds for pausing and counting! Thirteen of them after Kane enters… Rob Van Dam enters to bring it up to fourteen… and then THE Brian Kendrick enters, and we’ve got FIFTEEN men in the ring (momentarily, at best; Kofi is eliminated by Kendrick upon entering). FIFTEEN GUYS! That’s half the match roster. Heaven forbid we let the early midcard guys do any heavy lifting or anything.

-The “RVD!” chant for Rob lasts through Brian Kendrick’s whole entrance into and exit from the match. Fans will always eat out of this guy’s hand.

-Santino breaks The Warlord’s 2 second record, and–not long after having 15 guys in the ring–he marks the third guy in a row to enter and get tossed before the next man’s turn (Kendrick, Ziggler, and himself).

-Big Show at #30! Oh no however will they get him out he is so big and also fresh he is probably unstoppable here. I’m not of the “Please Retire” mindset regarding Show, but after you watch this many Rumbles with him pulling this late entry gimmick, it makes you weary.

-This Rumble REALLY overplays the “Guys stand back in awe of the new guy entering the match!” bit. It happens at the entrances for Undertaker, Kane, RVD, and Big Show.

-Rey lasts until after #30 is called. And he was working hard for the first half of the match. There was no reason for him to basically take the Rumble he won off for 58 of his 63 minutes.

-This match is… super boring late. Just tedious to watch. If not for wanting to get the ORDER of the Final Four right, I might have just shut it off and ad libbed the ending for this review.

-One noteworthy achievement in the latter stages see Big Show save himself from elimination by grabbing the top rope (in a skin-the-cat position, though Show clearly does not do THAT). It was actually relatively neat because it’s nothing I’ve seen Show do before. That’s what I get for bitching about how his role is so repetitive. He’s learning how to Royal Rumble, guys! In ten more years, I think he might win this thing!

-The ending happens. Legacy vs HHH. HHH looks like he might overcome the odds… but does not. Whatever. Orton wins. And it was all worth it for the tepid match he and Hunter would go on to have at WM25.

The last 20+ minutes of this Rumble aren’t just boring… they’re painful. I’m not kidding when I say I genuinely struggled to even leave the match on and not just fake it and move on to 2010. That is the first time I have felt that way in all of the Rumbles I’ve viewed to this point.

Rankings

1. 2001 (Austin III) – 10/10

2. 2004 (Benoit) – 9/10
3. 1992 (Flair) – 9/10

4. 2007 (The Undertaker) – 8/10
5. 1997 (Austin I) – 8/10
6. 1998 (Austin II) – 8/10

7. 2008 (Cena I) – 7/10
8. 2002 (HHH I) – 7/10

9. 2005 (Batista I) – 6/10

10. 2003 (Lesnar) -5/10
11. 1989 (Studd) – 5/10
12. 1996 (Michaels II) – 5/10
13. 1999 (McMahon) 5/10

14. 1993 (Yokozuna) – 4/10
15. 1990 (Hogan I) – 4/10
16. 1994 (Hart/Luger) – 4/10
17. 2009 (Orton) – 4/10

18. 1991 (Hogan II) – 3/10
19. 2006 (Mysterio) – 3/10
20. 2000 (The Rock) – 3/10

21. 1995 (Michaels I) – 2/10
22. 1988 (Duggan) – 2/10

4.0
The final score: review Poor
The 411
The beginning was good and fun, though. And I give credit where it's due for FINALLY having a completely in-synch group of team-guys without idiotic betrayal booking. But this Rumble became a chore after the halfway point.
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