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WWE Royal Rumble 2011(TV) (2010)
WWE Royal Rumble 2010 Pay-Per-View.
For more about WWE Royal Rumble 2011 and the WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray release, see WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 10, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Big Show, John Cena, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan
» See full cast & crew
WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray Review
Forty men, one destiny.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 10, 2012
The road to WrestleMania begins.
There's just something special about Royal Rumble. The event finds that professional wrestling sweet-spot of just a bit over the top, not too flashy, and a whole lot of fun. While there's something to be said for the hype and excitement of WrestleMania, the hardcore nature of Extreme Rules, the fun of TLC (tables, ladders, and chairs) matches, and all of the rest of the WWE pay-per-view and Monday and Friday night lineups that extend beyond the regular man-on-man match ups and story lines, the Royal Rumble simply captures the essence of what the WWE is all about. This is an event where (this year) forty wrestlers descend into the ring -- one at a time and not all at once -- at a set ninety-second interval to battle one another. The rules are simple: stay in the ring until the end. No frills, no running around backstage, no weapons of mass wrestling destruction, just a whole lot of confined excitement between some of the world's biggest, meanest, and most determined athletes. Certainly, there's no doubt it's all calculated ahead of time, right down to "would wrestler X be better for the sport coming into the match at number 24 or 23?" but it's not the predetermined nature of the sport that sells, it's the energy and enthusiasm of the performers. Bash the WWE for staging the outcomes, but praise the wrestlers for a dedication to self and industry as they compete in one of the most physically grueling and challenging sports in the world. "Fake" though it may be, there's no denying the physical abuse and raw skill necessary to compete, and there's perhaps no better showcase for that skill than the Royal Rumble, an event that keeps every wrestler on his toes in the WWE's most dynamic, fluid, ever-evolving landscape, all confined to one twenty foot-by-twenty foot squared circle.
Short fight card, sweet match-ups. Royal Rumble's 2011 event isn't a dazzler in the same scope of Sports Entertainment's biggest events, but it throws top-named wrestlers out onto the mat with regularity, first in two highly-anticiapted match-ups between four of the WWE's brightest stars, and later in the forty-man main event where fresh meat runs down the ramp and into the squared ring for a ridiculously entreating clash of wrestling titans who toss one another about the ring with the only goal of surviving through to the end, to stand tall when all others have fallen, to earn an opportunity for WrestleMania greatness. The evening kicks off with a matchup between Dolph Ziggler and Edge, the angle in this one being acting General manager Vicky Guerrero's banning of Edge's signature "spear" move. Fan favorite Randy Orton battles the showy, cocky Miz in the evening's second bout, an entertaining but ultimately routine clash that never quite seems elevated beyond the average high-profile matchup viewers might see on RAW or Smackdown. The obligatory Diva's match precedes the main event, a dazzling headliner that includes pretty much every Superstar one might want to see (The Undertaker is a notable absentee). The event begins with CM Punk and some tomfoolery between his "New Nexus" amigos and the rival Corre before the refs straighten things out and bring Daniel Bryan into the mix. Superstars of all shapes and sizes -- from The Great Khali to Hornswoggle, from Kofi Kingston to Husky Harris -- enter and exit the ring, and the usual array of high profile Superstars, including John Cena, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, and Sheamus, all compete in a spectacle of larger-than-life humanity vying for a shot at WrestleMania legend.
Royal Rumble 2011 delivers a typical WWE pay-per-view on Blu-ray experience. The main program on the disc is the PPV event reproduced for home video, nothing more and nothing less. The event is entertaining, nothing extraordinarily memorable or historic, but rather an all-around performer that delivers first-rate WWE action from beginning to end. Boston's TD Garden houses a great show; the WWE certainly knows the meaning of "spectacle," and there's no end to the music, pyrotechnics, flashy electronic signage, and excellent camera work that captures some amazing action shots, both up-tight and medium-distance. The story lines aren't particularly interesting this go-round -- the best they could come up with results in nothing more than the usual shenanigans; did anyone really think Edge would get through his match without utilizing his banned move? -- and the event relies more on sheer wrestling prowess, spectacle, and raw entertainment to get through the evening. There are some highlight moments to be sure, including the towering figure of The Great Khali wiping out New Nexus, a Hornswoggle-John Cena alliance, and a John Morrison move that would make even Kofi Kingston pause and applaud the insane athleticism required to pull it off. No, this isn't a particularly memorable Rumble, but it's an awful lot of fun, and at the end of the day "fun" is pretty much all the WWE needs to succeed.
The following four matches comprise the 2011 edition of Royal Rumble:
WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Royal Rumble 2011's 1080i high definition transfer isn't quite as crisp as the 2012 version -- things seem to get better by the year with the WWE new releases, if not by the release -- but it holds its own and delivers a satisfying presentation, background warts and all. Viewers will note a general crispness and strong attention to detail. Close-ups reveal amazing skin textures, clothing (what little of it there is) intricacies, tattoo details, and even little imperfections on the mat. Strong clarity allows for even distant audience members and their signs to appear nicely defined and both recognizable and readable. Colors are well balanced, and there's no shortage to be found on wrestler attire, electronic signage, and throughout the crowd. Light noise is evident, ringing is visible along the ropes, and moderate blocking is easy to spot across darker backdrops. The image often captures a slightly hazy appearance, but even then the overriding crispness and attention to detail are evident. This isn't a perfect transfer, but WWE fans should be pleased with the results and the knowledge that things are getting better as time goes by.
WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Royal Rumble 2011 features the WWE-standard Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Also included is the audio from the Spanish-language feed, presented in LPCM 2.0. The 5.1 English track demonstrates a general proficiency and liveliness. There's a fine sense of immersion into the stadium. Music flows with surprising clarity and vigor through the stadium speakers, and crowd applause, chants, and general background murmurs nicely envelop the home listening audience. Ringside commentary plays with satisfactory clarity, and in-ring and in-match microphone commentary -- even the shrill Vicky Guerrero -- comes across with all the clarity and accuracy listeners could want of a release like this. Heavier sound effects impress; the hard crashes and stomps onto the mat ring out with a precision thud. While this lossy track lacks the absolutely dynamic and seamlessly realistic sense of immersion that's often found on other recorded "live" events -- like Rock concerts -- presented via lossless audio on Blu-ray, the end result is a satisfying presentation that might not transport the listener to the front seat but that at least recreates the environment with some accuracy and attention to detail.
WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Royal Rumble 2011 contains a trio of bonus features revolving around pre- and post-Rumble events. A DVD copy of the event is also included.
WWE Royal Rumble 2011 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
2011's edition of one of the WWE's premiere events -- the Royal Rumble -- won't go down in the record books as one of the all-time great evenings in Sports Entertainment history, but it's a satisfying little diversion that's home to first-class wrestling and a plethora of stars that no other evening throughout the wrestling year can match. Names like Cena, Orton, Del Rio, Kane, Sheamus, Edge, Mysterio, and Kingston comrpise just a sampling of the Superstar talent on display, and that alone is reason enough to watch, never mind that they are all performing at peak efficiency. If nothing else, this Blu-ray release of Royal Rumble 2011 both adds another piece to the complete WWE-on-Blu-ray collection, and it's also good enough to pop in for a relaxing evening of classic wrestling action. The disc features quality video and audio as well as a few extras, including a complete episode of Monday Night RAW. Recommended.
WWE Royal Rumble: Other Editions
Blu-ray bundles with WWE Royal Rumble 2011 (1 bundle)
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