Smack of the Week (28/01/2011): Royal Rumbles

The first thing of real note on this week’s show was Kaitlyn’s debut match, teaming with Kelly Kelly, the two of them uncharacteristically attacking LayCool from behind before their match, dealing them a pretty decent beat down. As the match swung pretty quickly towards the heels once the actual match started, the important thing was the behaviour of Kelly Kelly, who was acting more like a member of LayCool than her sweet self. This took on especial significance after the match that immediately followed it.

Drew McIntyre was out next to take on JTG, who it is always heartening to see in the ring these days; he deserves to be there. Initially, it looked like JTG was going to get squashed for McIntyre’s benefit (which would have been understandable but a shame), but JTG fought back and bested McIntyre quite a few times, frustrating him. All the while, Kelly was at ringside watching, and this made the psychology of the match very interesting, as she seemed to be on McIntyre’s mind, affecting McIntyre’s actions. The match ended after an amazing counter from McIntyre to JTG’s backslide where McIntyre rolled through in to position for his Future Shock DDT. After the match, Kelly entered the ring, approaching McIntyre, but apparantly not seeing her, McIntyre left the ring, with her looking on. It definitely seems WWE will pull the trigger on this ‘relationship’ soon, but given Kelly’s previous heelish actions, it will be interesting to see whether McIntyre turns face, or Kelly turns heel to accommodate it.

It looks like WWE are preparing a Mysterio-Rhodes programme for Wrestlemania following last week’s incident where Mysterio hit a 619 with his brace to Rhodes’ nose, supposedly ruining his ‘dashing’ face. This would be great for both guys, a push for Rhodes, and a much needed new direction for Mysterio.

More Royal Rumble banter as Alberto Del Rio hosted a Rumble-style battle royal which was going well for him until Kane and Kofi Kingston showed up. This set up a tag match between Mysterio and Kingston against Del Rio and Kane. This was on ok match. Mysterio was flying about more than usual, and was really exciting to watch at times. Kane and Del Rio couldn’t work together, in true Rumble fashion, and Kane left Del Rio high and dry to be 619’s and Trouble in Paradise’d for the pinfall. Interestingly, Kane, who has been absent of late, got quite the pop when he came out to at first, and ended up acting more like a face than a heel in some ways. If he does turn face, it might be a good thing all considered, but it’s a damning indictment of his feud with Edge, that he’s getting cheered already.

Another rumble occurred after Corre tried to again take out Big Show. This angle is definately missing something so far, but maybe that’s just the spectre of the Rumble getting in the way. Time will tell, but it needs a ‘headline’ moment pretty soon.

Our main event was all about the two world title matches at the Rumble as Miz and Ziggler took on Edge and Orton. This was pretty good, if a little forgettable. Tension grew between Miz and Orton as they continued to play cat-and-mouse, with Miz often out-smarting The Viper, and Viper otherwise getting a taste of the retribution he will seek on Sunday for all the mind-games and beat-downs. The real statement was made by Edge, who pinned his #1 contender clean with a Spear. This made such an impact, in fact, that Vickie Guerrero felt she had to swing the pack more in Ziggler’s favour at the Rumble, stating that, until further notice, the Spear was banned, and that if he uses it at the Royal Rumble, he will lose the world title. I quite like this stipulation as it adds a further tension and dimension to the match just to differentiate it from the other title match. I will talk about who I think this favours in the WHC match, however, in my Royal Rumble preview.



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