James Dixon: This is the first Royal Rumble since the ill-advised brand split, so there is anticipation in the air about seeing the “rival” shows collide in the event’s namesake match. It also means we get to enjoy/endure two announce teams, starting with Michael Cole and Tazz from SmackDown!
The Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar
The stipulations state that the winner of this will be entered into the Rumble match tonight. Big Show, who is accompanied by Paul Heyman, is currently going through his “jeans” phase. Despite having a rear end so large it could be considered America’s 51st state, Show has still managed to pick a pair of pants that are a few sizes too big for him. Lesnar is very popular, and even more so when he ignores Show’s crappy offence and hits a ridiculous brace of overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. That kind of strength is not right. Show has had enough of being thrown around so blocks a third attempt with a face smoosh, then hurls Lesnar from the ring to the outside in a silly bump. Lesnar doesn’t get as much credit as he should for his fantastic bumping ability. He throws himself into moves with reckless abandon, and makes everything his opponent does look effortless. That is saying something against Big Show, who usually makes everything he does seem like a colossal effort. Show throws Lesnar around for a minute, then Brock decides his offence is too boring, so counters with a German suplex.
Realising his charge is in trouble, Heyman jumps on the apron for the distraction, and it works in giving Show a moment to gather his bearings. Show hits a sidewalk slam, but fannies around for too long hot dogging for his chokeslam, so Lesnar counters him with an armdrag. With Show down, Lesnar decides to give Heyman a pasting for turning on him and costing him the WWF Championship at Survivor Series. Brock hooks Heyman up for the F-5, but Show recovers and plants him with a chokeslam. The crowd boo, thinking it is over, but Lesnar kicks out. Show goes for another, but Brock counters into the F-5 for the win. Short and relatively sweet, especially for a Big Show match.
Final Rating: **½