Rumbling at Rookies
January 26, 2000
By Fritz Capp
I have to ask...was the Royal Rumble a great PPV or what?
Before I get into my thoughts on the Rumble I want to take a moment to thank Rookies Sports Pub for all of their hospitality this past Sunday night. If you live in the Allentown, PA area and you havenít been to Rookies for a WWF PPV event then you are missing something. Television screens are everywhere. There is no way you can miss one minute of the action. (They even have one in the menís room...I assume the same is true about the womenís room). Their food is great and the place is packed. There was between 150-200 people there and while it was filled to capacity, it was not overcrowded and you could move around the place with ease. This is not just some hole in the wall either. This place is class personified with excellent seating, pool tables and a great atmosphere. Everyone who works there is gracious and friendly and the crowd was the same. I am sorry to say that the WWF is all they carry now as the last WCW PPV drew one person to the place, which is not business friendly to say the least. I am sure if WCW gets things under control and starts to attract a following again this may change. Once again thanks to Rookies for allowing me to do my coverage from there. I am sure I will be back again. For those of you in the Lehigh Valley or surrounding area and you want to just go out to a PPV with a bunch of fans and have a great time check out Rookies Sports Pub. It is located on Tilghman St. by 13th in Allentown, PA.
Now the Rumble in my humble estimation was great. Sure there were a few slow spots but there are very few shows that donít have slow spots. Tazzís debut was very good, although I believe the squash he did on RAW the following night should have happened at the Rumble. Either way, if the WWF plays their cards right, Tazz will be a force.
The Dudleys vs. The Hardys was fabulous. I already had a great deal of respect for the Hardys, but I must say that the Dudleys are showing me that they are what they could have been in ECW, and that is consummate professionals. The bumps these guys took last Sunday were incredible. While the Hardys have already carved a name for themselves, I think the Dudleys are about to see what the "big time" is all about, because I see them taking another step up the plateau. My best wishes for the team to achieve the greatness they are working so hard to achieve.
Ahhhh yes...The Swimsuit Competition. Who will ever be able to forget that? While I was waiting for Terri to take it to the extreme (one can only dream huh?) We instead were treated to something none of us really wanted...Mae Young showing us her Basset Hounds....(there is nothing puppy about them). I have to say it...I loved the whole thing (except the actual sight of course) and laughed through the whole thing. Everyone in Rookies went into some form of shock as the bar was relatively quiet for at least 20 minutes afterwards. All I could do was laugh as I heard people saying, "I canít believe she did that" for the rest of the night. My hat's off to Vince. He not only took a shot his critics but also gave everyone what they wanted in the form of a topless WWF Superstar on a PPV. He just didnít give then the one they wanted...
What can be said about the Cactus Jack vs. Triple H. match? This was one for the history books and one that should put Hunter in a different class than he was in before the match. I never thought I would ever see HHH do a match like this one. I always took him to be one of the guys who felt he was above this kind of match. I was wrong huh? Not only did he participate in a match like this but he took it to the level that a match like this is supposed to go. I have to say that I thought that it would be Mick taking all the punishment like he did with the Rock at last year's Rumble. I have gained a new respect for HHH, as he has shown that he will do what it takes to not only make a match like this work but to also keep the legacy of someone who is soon to retire from the business alive. As far as Mick is concerned, this match was classic Foley. I feel bad that the WWF did not strap the belt on him at MSG. It should have happened, but with everyone expecting that, Vince will of course throw a curve into the pitch, as it should be. I still expect Mick to headline Wrestlemania but knowing how unselfish he is, it could go down that he does not retire with the Heavyweight Championship or even headline a WrestleMania which would be sad. Mick deserves it, he has shown that many times over. All we can do is sit back and watch the Road To WrestleMania unfold. I am sure it will have many twists and turns before we actually reach it.
The matches that were a bit slow (I know Iím going out of order here) were the matches for the I.C. Title and the Tag Titles. I can see the I.C. match slowing down as it came after the Hardys/Dudleys match and the WWF had to slow it down. There was no way they could keep that pace up and be able to have the Cactus Jack/HHH match be as effective. By the time they got to that match what would have been left for them to do is each match kept getting wilder? The Tag Match was shortened to accommodate the CJ/HHH match, but could have put over The Acolytes as they are without a doubt a deserving tag team and could wear the straps for a good amount of time. But I donít know what the WWF has in mind, so again I will sit back and watch things unfold.
As for the Rumble itself I am not a huge fan of this match. It bores me for at least half of it, so I look for the little intangibles that make it funny. Kaientaiís constant run-ins were humorous. (did Taka take a hard fall or what?) Too Cool and Rikishi doing their little dance routine made the crowd pop and that little vignette is way over. (Can anyone tell me why?...lol) What was even funnier was to have Rikishi throw out his teammates. They should have let Backlund stay in longer, as he can still make me laugh with the things he does. The finish was predictable but they way they did it was interesting.
All in all I really enjoyed this PPV. I know that CJ/HHH has to be considered a Match of the Year candidate and this PPV could be on the list for PPV of the Year. If the WWF can keep this quality of PPV going all year, we fans are in for a treat.
And with that I am outta here. Remember wrestling is nothing more than what it appears to be.
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