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   Fri, January 29, 2010



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COMMENT





Superstars: Who would win a spot in the Royal Rumble?
By MATT JOHNSON - SLAM! Wrestling


If the Royal Rumble is the first stop on the road to Wrestlemania, we are at the last stop before the last stop before the first stop to the road to Wrestlemania. The sad thing is I will not be surprised if the show starts with Michael Cole making that very announcement.

But here is some Royal Rumble advice. WWE needs to find a way to include every top wrestler in the Rumble. This includes the Superstars competing in matches earlier in the night. Each year, it only seems like there are 2-3 candidates to actually win. think WWE could increase the buyrate if fans thought it was more unpredictable.

Match #1 – The Bella Twins vs. Jillian Hall & Katie Lea Burchill

In between entertaining guest hosts, who knew that the Bella Twins wrestle? When is the last time Jillian Hall won a match? What are the chances of the Burchills getting over on Raw? Why is it difficult for me to describe holds as if they matter during these Diva tag team matches?

Jillian takes control of Nikki early on, until Nikki fights her way back and tags in Brie. Katie Lea gets a cheap shot in on Brie while Jillian talks with the official. Katie Lea tags in and hits an impressive back breaker. Nikki Bella eventually gets the hot tag and hits a monkey flip on Katie Lea. Nikki hits a victory roll on Katie Lea and the Bellas win.

Winner via pinfall: The Bella Twins

The good news it that we get a match that counts for something. The winner gets an entry in the Royal Rumble. Don’t ask what the chances are that the winner of this match takes home the Rumble. The bad news tonight, by the way, is that Michael Cole is announcing his second match in a row. Come back Jim Ross!

Match #2 – Chris Masters vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Primo Colon

Masters uses his size to his advantage and dominates early. Once things even out, Chavo and Primo battle. They talk about the Rumble. Masters hits a big slam on Chavo, but Primo breaks up the pin attempt. When Primo tries a maneuver from the rope, Masters catches him and attempts a Master Lock. Eventually Masters and Primo end up outside the ring. Chavo hits them with a splash from the top rope. True to format, they go to commercial as the wrestlers are outside the ring.

Chavo is beating on Primo after the break. Masters is apparently not as tough as them and is outside the ring still. Primo shows fire and hits a nice dropkick on Chavo. Masters hits the ring, but Primo hits a Russian leg sweep. Chavo gives Primo a boot and tries three vertical suplexes on Chavo, but Primo blocks the third. Primo gets sent outside the ring and Masters puts Chavo in the Master Lock for the win and a forgettable role in the Royal Rumble.

Winner via submission: Chris Masters

WWE runs a commercial for Wrestlemania Axxess. I tried to buy tickets for the Hall of Fame, but the thing sold out immediately. It was actually impossible for me to get tickets. I was there well in advance, but they were not available to me for a second. I was disappointed.

The cool Royal Rumble statistics video airs. The only two men to win from the number 30 spot were the Undertaker and John Cena in 2007 and 2008. It was smart of WWE to notice that nobody had won from the 30 spot before that.

Chris Jericho cuts a promo calling the Superstars claiming they will win the Royal Rumble liars. He then guarantees victory in the Rumble. He refers to himself as the “baddest man on the planet.” R-Truth’s music hits and R-Truth makes his way to the ring. R-Truth called him a liar and claimed that he, not Jericho, would win the Rumble. Jericho attempts a cheap shot at R-Truth, but R-Truth blocks it and knocks him to the floor. Jericho held his head to show he was in pain.

Match #3 – Matt Hardy vs. D.H. Smith

Is there any more random combination than Matt Hardy and the Great Khali? Khali accompanies Hardy to the ring. Largely forgettable action before the commercial break, except for Todd Grisham saying, “How about that for impact.” Could it have been trash talk directed at TNA?

David Hart Smith is in control after the break. Or is it “D.H.” Smith? Oh I forgot, since Bret Hart is in WWE again, we can’t have two people with “Hart” in their name. Smith attacks Hardy’s arm, using the rope as a weapon. Hardy fights back and hits a clothesline and running bulldog. Hardy hits the Side Effect, but Smith kicks out. With Natalya distracting the official, Tyson Kidd interferes, allowing Smith to hit a big boot and get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: D.H. Smith

After the match, the Great Khali cleared the ring of the Hart Dynasty. He then danced in the ring. After raising Hardy’s hand, Khali throws him out of the ring to practice for the Royal Rumble. OK, that was a fun episode of Superstars. Sometimes it seems like the show drags, but the upcoming Royal Rumble really gave the show focus. Having a something like a qualifying match for a position in the Royal Rumble makes the show seem worthwhile, even if the participants do not stand much chance of winning. This was a solidly entertaining hour.


Matt Johnson is excited to cover WWE Superstars. Join him on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/mattjohnsonSLAM. Email Matt at mattjohnson62@yahoo.com.