I loved having the Royal Rumble on a Sunday afternoon (Sydney time), as well as the usual three shows. The Rumble had some good matches but was pretty underwhelming overall, and everything else was as usual; nothing blow-away happened on this final weekend of January.
What was my favorite match of the weekend?
Jay White vs. Christopher Daniels. My big take here is that Jay White is the best wrestler under the age of 30 right now. He’s a guy I really watch closely just can’t pick any holes in his game. There’s no part of his move-set that’s illogical. He has so much poise in the ring and looks like he’s been doing wrestling for double the time he has, I haven’t even mentioned his fantastic promos. If he came into AEW full-time, he’d market-correct the shit out of Adam Cole.
Daniels is a veteran, he’s one of the few people ever that have wrestled in both WCW and AEW, and he looked awesome in this match considering he’s 51 years old. The U.S. of Jay open challenge series is great. I love seeing White in front of an audience that can verbally react to everything he does. He’s someone that thrives off the heat. In Japan right now, the fans clap for what they like, but when it’s something they don’t like they just don’t react.
What happened to Private Party?
This team beat the Young Bucks clean, in the middle of the ring, on the second ever episode of Dynamite. This young, unknown, charismatic, and athletic tag team upset the #1 seed and their trajectory seemed near vertical.
Here we are, over two years later, and they feel less important than ever. They’re out here as members of the dirt-worst group in AEW, the Andrade-Hardy Family Office, and they just have no credibility as a result. I loved Matt Hardy when I was a young lad, but his work in AEW is counterproductive more often than not. I didn’t mind the idea of the Hardy Party babyface trio, with Matt in his old-school Team Extreme gear mentoring these young guys, but this current version of Matt Hardy isn’t good and it affects everyone surrounding him even if they’re immensely talented.
I sat and watched Private Party challenge the Jurassic Express for the All Elite tag titles on Rampage and not a single one of my 32.7 trillion cells thought Private Party had a chance of winning this match. Mid-2019 Party challenging the Express could’ve been a pay-per-view tag title match, but it’s now a taped television main event airing at 10:45 p.m. I think Marq Quen still has plenty of potential, and Isiah Kassidy does too if he changes up some aspects of his game (just the squealing, really), they just need to go back to what got them so over and get away from Matt Hardy.
Did I like anything from this year’s Royal Rumble?
Surprisingly little considering what the card looked like on paper. I probably got way too excited for this show, forgetting how ludicrous WWE can be. It’s just baffling how with all of that money, and all of those resources, WWE isn’t the best wrestling promotion in the world. They do have some of the best wrestlers in the world and that is the main reason why this show wasn’t unwatchable. This was the only stuff I liked on this show:
- Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins: I’m a sucker for the Shield, so I popped huge for Seth Rollins’ entrance. This was great for the storyline and great after the promo segment on SmackDown this week. Roman Reigns’ line reading of “I’ll never forgive you for what you did to us”, and “I hate you”, were incredible. In the storyline, Reigns still holds this grudge over what Seth did nearly eight years ago. Seth knows this and used it to mess with Reigns in a big way at this PPV. I liked their match a lot, but the finish was rotten.
- The women’s Rumble match: It was way better than the men’s. I loved seeing Mickie James with the Knockouts title, Lita still rocks in 2022, Rousey got a great pop. There was heaps of stuff in this match.
- Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley was everything you’d want in a heavyweight title match. They worked hard. The twist of Paul Heyman switching back to being aligned with Roman Reigns was a great moment. WWE finally has a Reigns vs. Lesnar main event that people are super excited to see. It’s cool to see the WWE title back around Lashley’s waist, although I think it’s high time to unify the world titles.
How much money did I win in betting on the Royal Rumble?
A mere $163.60. A large chunk of that was the quick bet on Ronda Rousey to win the women’s Rumble match at great odds. Another part of it was betting on Big E to have more eliminations than Damian Priest (they both had the same amount so I just won back my stake), and for the men’s rumble winner to enter at a number over 17.5.
I had a bunch of other bets that didn’t hit, and if it weren’t for Ronda Rousey I would’ve been in the deep red. Something took over during the opening match and made me sprinkle a few dollars on Roman Reigns to win the Rumble, that was very dumb. Here are some more that didn’t hit for you to laugh at:
- Big E to win the Rumble at 26–1 (I did this in September, he was then favored for weeks after he lost the WWE title at Day 1 until he wasn’t).
- Sheamus to have more eliminations than Austin Theory at 1.88–1.
- Kevin Owens to have more eliminations than AJ Styles at 1.90–1.
- Omos to have more eliminations than the rest of the competitors combined (don’t ask me why).
- Entrant 9 or 10 to win the Men’s Rumble at 21–1.
- The winning number to be odd at 1.88–1.
- Bianca Belair to have the most eliminations at 2.75–1.
- Entrant 29 or 30 to win the Women’s Rumble at 4-1 (this one stung with Rousey winning it from 28).
- Omos to have 10+ eliminations at 3–1 (I really rode Omos here as you can tell).
- Omos to have the most eliminations at 2–35–1.
I realize this portion of the column makes me look like a problem gambler but I can promise you everything’s fine. Besides, the Kansas City Chiefs will win me some money back.