I know I haven't been on here much lately, and I've already fallen behind my average of 13 posts a month to get more posts than last year (I still have time to make up on that goal). However, for the most part I have a good reason. I have been working on my want lists, and have updated them all the way to 2010 now. Hopefully by the end of the month I can get it current. After that, I will work on other things. I have also been knocking out some of my other cards I collect too, and entered them into the Trading Card Database. I haven't made want lists or anything on them yet, and not sure I will, but its nice to get them catalogged.
Since I've been busy with that and some other things, I decided to take a short break Sunday night and watch the Royal Rumble. It's the first PPV I've watched live since I think Wrestlemania a couple years ago, and boy was I happy I did. I haven't been pleased with the current state of wrestling for the last year or so, but have watched some of the most recent PPV's from WWE, TNA, NJPW, and ROH, and I must say, I have been somewhat pleased (aside from TNA's Bound For Glory and WWE's TLC, I liked all the rest).
The draw of the Rumble for me is two-fold. I may or may not have said how the Rumble match itself is my favorite match in wrestling. Though it has been watered down the last few years and the shock seems all but gone, I still like how anything could happen. The second and bigger draw this year was a possible debut. I only get WWE on the cable I have and weekly ROH, so I haven't got to see as much of AJ Styles in the last couple years as I'd like, so his potential signing excited me. I made a pitch on a wrestling site a few days ago that I wouldn't have had AJ debut at the Rumble because I couldn't buy him as a potential contender for the WWE Title in his first match. However after watching it, I was pleasantly surprised and happy with how they booked "The Phenomenal One". He was given time to get acclimated to WWE style, got introduced to future opponents, and even got some good offense in while being in it for half an hour. His elimination was by the perfect guy (Kevin Owens) as it gave KO some heat, but also gave AJ an out before the serious threats to the title entered (aside from Roman Reigns who drew first).
Okay, so I haven't posted pictures yet, but don't fret. I decided to honor the Rumble, I would make some custom cards. I haven't made any in quite a while, so I am a bit rusty, and I didn't spend much time on them, but it helped me get back in the groove. Once I get things caught up, I'm going to try using something besides Paint to design my cards, I'm thinking GIMP. Anyways, let's see some customs.
Let's start with the pre-show match and probably my worst card of the bunch. I missed the pre-show, so I missed the four way tag match between the Dudleys, the Ascension, Sandow and Young (why are they teaming?), and Mark Henry and Jack Swagger. I'm glad Swagger and Henry won, and to be honest, I know they aren't really the same style as most of the tag teams in the division right now, but I hope this is a full time tag team. It works well I think. Mark and Jack won the match gaining them entry into the rumble, but it didn't amount to anything. While I like Jack Swagger, I'm fine with how he was used, but I felt Mark Henry should have gotten more time in the Rumble. I know he isn't a serious title contender, but give him some time and he could. Plus big men should be better protected in the rumble not dumped less than a minute after entering.
As for the card, I had no real inspiration for the design, but wanted some sort of border and wanted to stamp them to show what event it was (thus the box showing 2016 Royal Rumble). If I spent more time on it, I would have included my RCR cards logo but couldn't find it, and like I said I wanted to make these quick. I planned on blogging this last night, but I was watching Raw while I was making these, then The Rock came on and I decided not to post last night.
This was the second card I made, and possibly the second best one I made. The border does remind me of and early 2000 WWE (or maybe still WWF) set but can't place which one it was. I do notice now the bottom box reminds me a bit of the recent Road to Wrestlemania sets Topps has produced for WWE, which wasn't my intention. In fact, I'm not a fan of those sets.
The card depicts Kevin Owens, who I've watch since his Ring of Honor days, and in fact sometimes I still call him Kevin Steen. I will admit I missed a good portion of this match, but I liked what I did see. Owens and Ambrose was told to start the show and they did their job telling a story in the ring and pumping the crowd up. I'm not sure I would have booked it any different, aside from possibly making the table spot at the end a little less obvious, but they still made it good. Even though it opened the show, Owens and Ambrose still sold the injuries as they entered the Rumble match, though I must say sometimes a lot of wrestlers tend to forget to sell when getting their offense in. Usually a lot of workers only sell in defense spots or rest periods. It something I admit I'd probably not do too well, so I can look past it for the most part.
No border on this card, and I'm not happy with it. First off I only had a small picture so that hurt it to begin with. I think I could do a lot better, but I liked the shot enough to make it a card. I guess I should mention that spoilers will be ahead in case you haven't watched or read the results yet. I figured by now fans would have though. Plus they gave most the results out on Raw last night. If you don't want the spoilers, just read the blog later.
I forgot if this match was next or the Del Rio vs. Kalisto, but I didn't like this card as much, so I'll do this one next. I am a fan of the New Day. I didn't think they could make me like Big E Langston, but they pulled it off. I've always liked Kofi, and the same for Xavier Woods (dating back to his Consequences Creed days in TNA). I'm not sure what makes me like them so much, but I think its a combination of it is something different, the seem to have some leeway with what they can say and do (unlike most of the others), and they are basically just having fun. I'm not on board with the unicorns, but otherwise I like most of what they do. I'm glad they are the W...W...E...World...Tag...Team...Champions (admit it you thought of their shimmying why you read that). I'm glad they retained their ugly looking titles at the Rumble (seriously, those are the worst looking titles I've ever seen). I am also one of the few people who thought they saved the segment on Raw featuring The Rock. I won't say I'm the biggest Rock fan, but he seemed all over the place and wasn't as great as The Great One once was. New Day I felt saved a segment which in essence was a 30 minute setup to try to get The Uso's over. Boiling it down to that, I'm not sure it was worth it.
As for the card design, something doesn't work for me, firstly the size of the card. I didn't want a straight line border and figured this played into their zany personas well. I think the box at the bottom could have been smaller as well. I am happy with the colors though, I think that made it pop more and actually distract you from all the negatives. I guess I shouldn't be sour, cause its a NEW DAY BABY!
This is my favorite card I made, and is actually the first one I designed. Sad it all went downhill from here. Again, a basic design and border, but it has a nice action shot (one of my favorite moves in the match), and while you see no faces, I think it still tells a story. As for the match itself, a lot of people complained about sloppiness but I can look past it somewhat. Despite what this feud has done in recent weeks (which hasn't done much for either aside for giving Kalisto some screen time) it told a story. I like how the finish didn't have interference but still made Del Rio look strong and gave Kalisto the win. The botches didn't bother me as much as Del Rio trying to unmask him during the match. I know he's a heel but I have a feeling one day someone will try that and succeed and ruin someone's gimmick. To be honest, that's all Kalisto has going for him at times, so that was a bit risky. On top of that, it seemed Del Rio was aggressively trying to unmask him like it was personal. Again I know it was storyline, but he has dominated the feud so I see no need to do this tactic. I also didn't like how this feud never really saw Kalisto get a untainted victory over Alberto. A face U.S. Champion needs to win cleanly even if he is portrayed as an underdog. His match against Miz on Raw showcased that better, even if the finish seemed weak, and the announcers didn't put Miz over enough as a serious threat to beat Kalisto. As Vince Russo said on a post-Raw podcast, all the work John Cena put into trying to give the US Title more prestige has just gone out the window this month. It's a shame too, I think Kalisto could be a good US Champion if they build it right. For now give him exciting matches against Neville or someone to showcase their skills, and build Kalisto up before getting another big name to challenge.
Okay, so now its time for the Diva's match. I made two cards, and neither are that good.
Horrible sized card but I wanted to showcase this part of the match. Thank goodness JBL was calling this match. Flair kissed Becky Lynch and Byron Saxton and Michael Cole acted shocked. JBL said (a few seconds after I did at home) "that's why he's the kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin' son of a gun". Its like they forgot. Full disclosure, I don't care much for the divas right now (I'm glad they can actually wrestle, but don't have a favorite like most do), so this match didn't do much for me. I'm also not a fan of Charlotte, and not a fan of Ric being at ringside.
Having said that, I thought this match told a great story, and was well booked until the finish. I see (maybe) the direction they are heading, but I'd have booked it different. I would have had Becky Lynch win the match by disqualification allowing Charlotte to retain the title at the Rumble. The next night on Raw, I'd have a rematch made with a special guest referee. Cue Sasha Banks. Let Charlotte and Becky fight for a bit, let Ric get involved (allowing Sasha to send him to the back), then Sasha could attack both. This would set up a triple threat match for Wrestlemania, and making all parties look strong. I agree with others, Becky is being pushed aside and not made to look too strong. At least they aren't on Total Divas.
This card design is good I think, but I should have went ahead with a bottom border. I also needed to fix the apostrophe in Diva's but that was just because of the font I used.
Okay, time for the Rumble match. I could have made 30 or more, but settled on three. Two of which was the reason I tuned in.
I like this card. I wanted a better picture of Styles (maybe one with a better expression on his face)), but this one works. I can say I have actually seen AJ Styles wrestle in person before, so this make me so much happier I can see him each week. Now I hope WWE can make a trip to my neck of the woods sometime soon (I think its been of 7 years since they've last been). Maybe I could make real cards and get them signed.
I found this picture before I knew they'd square off on Raw, but I think their Raw match lacked something. Maybe its AJ still learning WWE style, but something was off during the match. They telegraphed a lot of moves. I think a smarter move would have been putting AJ in a match with maybe Del Rio or R-Truth on Raw, someone he has faced before, so maybe he could get used to WWE. I also don't think they needed to set anything in motion for AJ just yet, he just needed a match, so even someone else could have worked, maybe Zack Ryder or Curtis Axel, just to get AJ a match in.
So here is the final card I designed. It is of the winner, but the loser.
I don't have hate against Reigns like most people seem to, but I do think he should get some kind of mouth piece as he can't cut good promos. That's why he worked in the Shield. He was little talk, big action. I really wish they would bring back more managers, or create new ones. I know generally faces shouldn't need managers, but having one for Roman I think could help him get over a bit better. That and not being pushed to the moon all the time.
As for the card, its simple and direct. The picture tells the story, that's all I wanted.
Overall I will say while it appears I complained a lot, I thought the Royal Rumble PPV was pretty good. Hopefully it can lead to a great Wrestlemania (I don't care about Fastlane).
Next time I design cards, I will spend more time working on them. Thanks for reading and have a great day.
EDIT: I had to make an update of one of the cards due to a typo, I guess I should proofread my cards better next time.