LAW Jan. 27 Update - Royal Rumble Tonight, LAW at 11pm EST
John Pollock / January 27, 2013 - 4:03pm
**Tonight is the 26th annual WWE Royal Rumble from the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, which has been sold out for quite some time and looks to be the second most purchased show of the year for the company. The Rock’s first match since WrestleMania 28 coupled with a credible opponent and a dream match of sorts for modern fans looks to make this the most purchase Rumble since at least the 2008 show (which is a show we are reviewing this week on Review-A-Wai and gained significant steam in the final week leading in with Jeff Hardy catching fire for his WWE Title match with Randy Orton that year). Last year’s Rumble did 438,000 buys worldwide and 272,000 buys domestically (U.S., Canada and Mexico). This year’s show has a lot more of a marquee but it has significantly more expenses because of The Rock and what he makes for a pay-per-view as well as the added promotion for this year’s show with lots of advertising and therefore the need to do more business to justify the costs (and hence why Brock Lesnar appearing on this show as a surprise would be a big surprise but cost the company a ton of added dollars for an attraction that no one is buying the show for). We have a full preview of the Royal Rumble up on the website with Dan Lovranski, Jason Agnew and myself running through each match and throwing out a bunch of different scenarios. Here is the quick line up for tonight:
*30-man Royal Rumble – Dolph Ziggler will enter either #1 or #2 and seems positioned to do the marathon tonight
*CM Punk Vs The Rock for the WWE Title – the only reason Punk would retain would be to surprise people but I see no value in that when the title ultimately has to get to The Rock so why delay it? It will be interesting how long they go as Rock and John Cena went close to 30-minutes at WrestleMania and most would agree that match was too long and Rock was really tired (and also injured after taking the leg drop off the top from Cena)
*Alberto Del Rio Vs Big Show in a “Last Man Standing Match” for the World Title – All of the promotion has been towards getting the audience to accept the new babyface Del Rio and I think there is zero chance of a title change in this one
*Team Hell No Vs Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes for the Tag Titles – It’s probably time for the title switch, they can do it tonight or save it for another night.
*Antonio Cesaro Vs The Miz for the U.S. Title on the pre-show – It seems odd to pull off a title change on the pre-show but that is where Cesaro won the title back in August, hopefully the figure-four is retired.
**The LAW is live at 11pm EST tonight with Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski, Jason Agnew and myself recapping the Royal Rumble immediately after its conclusion and taking your phone calls at 1-855-591-6876 (if you are in Toronto call 416-870-1050) and we will get your instant feedback to the event, your thoughts on the directions they choose to take and more. We will also chat the Rumble with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and play Title Bout Trivia. Tune in at 11pm EST on TSN 1050 Toronto, The TEAM 1410 in Vancouver and online you can listen here on the website.
**Ric Flair’s appearance for All Japan Pro Wrestling was nothing short of a disaster with the end result that Ric wasn’t even able to work the Ota Ward Gym show, which was sold out for the six-man tag featuring Flair. After flying to Japan Flair developed a blood clot in his leg and refused to go to the hospital and attended the show and appeared in the corner of the babyfaces with son Reid Flair taking his place in the match and teaming with Keiji Muto and Tatsumi Fujinami. Flair then got on a fight to head to San Francisco today in an act of insanity without the blood clot being treated or examined.
**There are lots of rumors circulating about surprise entrants for the Rumble tonight with names such as Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Shane Helms and Chris Masters all being spotted in Phoenix this weekend. The Honky Tonk Man lives in the area and is a possibility as he did a cameo in the 2001 event and has been close a few times to going into the Hall of Fame (including in 2010 at WrestleMania 26 in Phoenix but had a deal with Wizard World and had an appearance that weekend for more money and declined).
**This past weekend also featured the WWE Fan Axxess event in Phoenix that had some initial problems with fans buying tickets online and being recognized. The highlights of the weekend appear to have been the three panel discussions they had with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Jerry Lawler conducting one on the Montreal Screwjob, Triple H, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, X-Pac and Shawn Michaels hosting a DX panel and a WCW panel held earlier today with Big Show, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman and Booker T. I am assuming the panels were taped and would be a great extra for future DVD releases or content for various projects down the road and it sounds like they will continue with these panels down the road and might be an idea to make them available live on WWE.com for $9.99 to watch live because there certainly is an audience for them and they have access to the key talent for almost any topic.
**The full unedited chat I had with Nigel McGuinness discussing “The Last of McGuinness” documentary is up at http://fightnetwork.com/news/36028:interview-nigel-mcguinness-on-last-of-mcguinness-doc/ and on iTunes by subscribing to Live Audio Wrestling.
**The eight-man NXT tournament concluded with Bo Dallas getting the spot in the Royal Rumble tonight and will serve as his introduction to the main roster moving forward. A lot of talent has been very high on Dallas, who is the son of Mike “I.R.S.” Rotunda, and the younger brother of William Rotunda a.k.a Husky Harris / Bray Wyatt.
**In a continuing story that gets sadder and sadder Tammy Sytch was arrested yet again this weekend for violating a court order and being in contact with independent wrestler and on again, off again boyfriend Damien Darling. Sytch is currently in custody and a bond was set at $100,000 with Sytch appearing in court on Monday morning. Sytch got out of rehab a few weeks ago and suddenly announced that Darling and her were now engaged, which was very strange considering all of the arrests last year with Sytch violating the court order continually and Darling pressing charges. Sytch also has to forego a scheduled appearance tonight in New York where she was to host a Royal Rumble viewing party.
**This week on Review-A-Wai we chat the 2008 Royal Rumble from Madison Square Garden and you can leave your feedback at http://lawradio.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=shows&action=display&thread=2419.
WWE Royal Rumble
Sunday January 29th 2012
St. Louis, Missouri
*Daniel Bryan over Big Show and Mark Henry in a steel cage match to keep the World Title
*Beth Phoenix & Natalya & The Bella Twins over Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox & Tamina & Eve Torres (funny to note that only three of the eight women are still with the company)
*John Cena and Kane fought to a double countout
*Brodus Clay over Drew McIntyre
*CM Punk over Dolph Ziggler to keep the WWE Title with John Laurinaitis as the special referee
*Sheamus won the 30-man Royal Rumble eliminating Chris Jericho last
LAW MMA UPDATE
**I have a bonus edition of The MMA Report up on the site chatting the entire UFC on FOX 6 card from Chicago at http://fightnetwork.com/news/36031:the-mma-report-w-john-pollock-ufc-on-fox-6-post-show/ and is also on iTunes for free by subscribing to The MMA Report with John Pollock. We will be back with a UFC 156 post show next Saturday night on TSN 1050 Toronto with Jason Agnew and myself.
**The UFC on FOX 6 card drew an announced crowd of 16,091 at the United Center last night in Chicago, Illinois and a live gate of $1,270,000 and here are the results from the show:
*David Mitchell over Simeon Thoresen by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Rafael Natal over Sean Spencer by arm-triangle choke at 2:13 of Round 3
*Shawn Jordan over Mike Russow by TKO at 3:48 of Round 2
*Ryan Bader over Vladimir Matyushenko by guillotine choke at 0:50 of Round 1
*Pascal Krauss over Mike Stumpf by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Clay Guida over Hatsu Hioki by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
*T.J. Grant over Matt Wiman by KO at 4:51 of Round 1
*Ricardo Lamas over Erik Koch by TKO at 2:32 of Round 2
*Anthony Pettis over Donald Cerrone by TKO at 2:35 of Round 1
*Glover Teixeira over Quinton Jackson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Demetrious Johnson over John Dodson by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) to keep the flyweight title
**The following $50,000 bonuses were handed out after the show Saturday night:
*Fight of the Night – Demetrious Johnson Vs John Dodson
*Knockout of the Night – Anthony Pettis
*Submission of the Night – Ryan Bader
**UFC president Dana White shared a story with the media after the FOX card last night involving Brock Lesnar. White stated that he met with Lesnar twice last spring (if you recall he appeared cage side at UFC 146 in May and the WWE was pissed because they had no idea he was going while under contract to the WWE). White proposed a Cowboys Stadium card where Lesnar would fight Fedor Emelianenko with both men coming out of retirement for the fight. Later that summer Emelianenko’s father died and he told White he would never fight again and Lesnar was only willing to come out of retirement for that fight and the deal died. Lesnar’s contract with the WWE expires in a few months and they certainly want to retain Lesnar after the noticeably boosts he provided for Extreme Rules and SummerSlam in 2012.
**At the post fight press conference Dana White said that Anthony Pettis would be next in line for the lightweight title after the Benson Henderson Vs Gilbert Melendez fight on April 20th. Pettis said if the title shot is guaranteed than he will wait for the winner rather than take another fight in the interim. Pettis was promised a title shot after the WEC folded and he was brought in but opted to take a fight with Clay Guida in June 2011, lost the fight and the title shot and learned a lesson from that decision. If everything lines up the optimal fight is a rematch between Henderson and Pettis with the potential to create one of the best UFC commercials ever to sell a fight and on top of that you will have three FOX fights under their belts and with that exposure I would certainly put that fight on pay-per-view as a headline fight and see what the two can draw.
THE MMA REPORT W/ JOHN POLLOCK – BONUS SHOW!!
(John Pollock runs through the UFC on FOX 6 card from Chicago, Illinois)
REVIEW-AN-IMPACT – January 25th 2013
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review Impact with Nate Milton and discuss “Teflon Taz”)
THE MMA REPORT W/ JOHN POLLOCK – January 25th 2013
(Featuring: UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Mike Goldberg and Mike Chiappetta)
INTERVIEW – JOHNNY GARGANO
(John Pollock chats with the Dragon Gate USA Open the Freedom Gate champion)
REVIEW-A-WAI – WWF Royal Rumble 1997
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review the ’97 Rumble from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas)
REVIEW-A-RAW – January 22nd 2013
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review Raw from San Jose for the final Raw leading into the Rumble)
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