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Royal Rumble Week: Day 7

January 27th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Royal Rumble was last night, meaning you no longer care about anything I have to say. Yeah, well… shut up, okay?

I thought the event was top notch. Jack Swagger vs. John Morrison is going to make a very fine PPV main event one day.

The Rumble match itself was pretty good. It had a lot of fun spots, but got bogged down by keeping the ring too full. They were so determined to keep every single main eventer in the ring until the end while keeping them scattered on the card that it seemed to blow up in their face.

But the highlight of the Rumble?

MAMA MIA!

(thanks to Jerusalem for the gif)

Let’s finish this off and call it a day.

4) Smackdown Royal Rumble 2004

The set-up: After months of making Chris Benoit’s life a living Hell (insert your own afterlife joke here), Paul Heyman should not have been surprised when Royal Rumble winner Chris Benoit decided to switch shows and challenge Raw’s champion Triple H instead of sticking around on Smackdown and taking more unwarranted abuse. On the Smackdown after the 2004 Rumble (January 29th), Vince McMahon came out and confronted Heyman over this. Heyman, thinking fast, told Vince that he didn’t need Benoit around. He would hold his own 15-man Royal Rumble that very night. The winner would face Brock Lesner at No Way Out. Prior to the Rumble match, Eddie Guerrero was found beaten up backstage and was taken to the hospital.

The roster: It’s only 15 guys, but it’s still enough to keep it fun. The wrestlers are the same as those who represented Smackdown the weekend earlier, but with two changes. Eddie Guerrero, who was busy wrestling Chavo at the PPV, takes the place of Benoit. Hardcore Holly, who had a title shot at the PPV, takes the place of the injured Matt Morgan.

The match: It starts out with Kurt Angle, who is a face at this point, up against Rhyno. After about a minute or so of fighting, Rhyno already nails Angle with the Gore. Angle plays himself as dead weight so that Rhyno can’t get him up and soon gets Rhyno back by hitting the Angle Slam.

Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin turn out to be the next two and while they work with each other, they work against their old mentor Angle. Bradshaw comes in and hits a couple Clotheslines from Hell, including a seriously nasty one on Rhyno. It goes to a commercial break.

Once it’s back, we have Tajiri coming out at #7. #6 was Ernest “The Cat” Miller, who has already been eliminated during the commercial. He kneels outside the ring, James Brown-style, with his manager Lamont comforting him. Tajiri stiffly kicks Lamont out cold and enters.

There are a couple more entrants and the excitement holds up. Even with the ring filling up, you see different wrestlers pulling off some of their classic moves, rather than focus merely on aimless brawling. Angle reverses one of Shelton’s eliminations attempts into an ankle lock. Billy Gunn is able to hit the Famouser. Tajiri gets Haas with his handspring back elbow smash. I had to check out Wiki just to see what the hell that thing was called.

Then everything grinds to a halt when Big Show comes out at #9. Everyone just stops what they’re doing as they see the guy who dominated the other day’s Rumble walk in. Angle and Bradshaw stand in front and once Big Show steps over the top, all seven goes go right at him, pounding away. In one gesture, Big Show shrugs all of them off across the ring. It’s great.

Big Show beats down everyone and when Tajiri tries kicking him in the leg, Big Show simply chokeslams him out of the ring. Everyone gangs up on him again, but with another shrug, he scatters them a second time. All but Bradshaw, who stays on his feet and hits Big Show with a boot to the face to stun him. He runs back and goes for a Clothesline from Hell, but Big Show ducks and Bradshaw goes out of the ring.

John Cena’s next and he has his leg in a brace due to the landing from when Big Show eliminated him at the previous Rumble. He goes for Big Show and clotheslines him over the top rope, but surprisingly Show is able to land on the apron and crawl back in. Things calm down for a bit, allowing for a commercial break, and soon a hurt Eddie Guerrero comes out at #13.

At #14 it’s Rikishi and things become hilarious. This is towards the end of his WWE career and his whole Stinkface attack is getting really old, but within a minute, he pulls the move off three times and it’s still put to good use. First he knocks Big Show into the corner and shoves his ass into Big Show’s face. On commentary, Tazz mentions that you know you have a big ass when Big Show’s head fits up there. Then he delivers the move to Shelton Benjamin, whose wide-eyed scream before impact is something that will haunt my dreams. Once Rikishi’s done, Haas comes to the rescue by trying to wipe the ass sweat from his buddy’s face. Lastly, Rikishi uses the Stinkface on Billy Gunn. Tazz points out that, hey, Billy does call himself the “Ass Man”.

Hardcore Holly is #15, the last man in the Rumble. You might think that due to having half the roster, the match would simply be half as long as your average Rumble. Not so much. The match doesn’t end for another fifteen minutes. All in all, the entire match is longer than both the 88 and 95 Rumbles and has enough action to keep you distracted from the shorter relative length.

John Cena tries to pick up Big Show with the FU, but considering Big Show is 500 pounds and Cena has a bum leg, it only goes to show that Cena’s about as dumb as a bag of rocks. Big Show strangles Cena and slowly shoves him out of the ring. Others team up on Big Show yet again, but this time Cena is there to help eliminate him from outside the ring. I guess he really is the second coming of Hogan.

By the end it becomes Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero. Angle’s been in there since the beginning and Eddie had the crap beaten out of him backstage prior, so they’re on equal footing. This one-on-one confrontation lasts over eight minutes and it is incredible. Not quite as good as that Undertaker vs. Michaels ender, but incredible nonetheless. They even use some sweet mat wrestling in there for kicks.

There are some beautiful near falls in there. Eddie knocks Angle down flat on his back and gets to the top rope for the Frog Splash. Angle, as he’s wont to do, pops to his feet and jumps up to the top rope before Eddie realizes. Usually Angle would go for a suplex, but he instead tries to force Eddie to the side and out to the outside. Eddie remains firm and fights back until the two lose their footing and fall crotch-first on the two adjacent ring ropes. They roll over to the outside, but each hang on by a thread.

It ends with Angle on the outside ring apron, enduring punch after punch from Eddie until ducking and hitting Eddie in the ribs with his shoulder. Angle goes for a vertical suplex to the outside, but Eddie reverses it. Eddie goes for the suplex, but instead of slamming Angle back into the ring, he steps back, runs forward and launches Angle out of the ring. Beautiful match.

They should just have Paul Heyman come back and book their Royal Rumble matches every year. He was so totally behind this match.

Longest time: Kurt Angle (exact time unknown due to commercial breaks)
Shortest time: Seems to be Ernest “The Cat” Miller
Most eliminations: Eddie Guerrero (6)

Best elimination: The final three are Eddie, Angle and Rikishi. Rikishi dominates at first, but after being stunned by missing a Banzai Drop, Eddie runs over and tries to lift him over the top rope. Rikishi knocks him away. Angle tries the same, but he’s too hurt to get Rikishi up and over, so he too gets knocked back. At the same time, Angle and Eddie get up and pool their strength. This time, their teamwork makes all the difference and Rikishi is taken out.

But hey, if this Smackdown Royal Rumble is a spin-off, what about the original?

3) Royal Rumble 2004

The set-up: On Smackdown, Chris Benoit had to fight for his chance to enter the Royal Rumble against General Manager Paul Heyman’s endless tyranny. He won his spot in a tag match with the help of John Cena and defended it in a mini-Royal Rumble against the Full Blooded Italians, but Heyman continued to hold him down by giving him the #1 entry. On Raw, Randy Orton was feeling triumphant over making fun of Mick Foley for ducking him months before due to cowardice. Orton unleashed a campaign of smear ads to show what a joke the Hardcore Legend had become. Meanwhile, Bill Goldberg won a match that granted him the #30 spot in the Rumble. During the PPV, he got into an altercation with Smackdown’s champion and so-called Goldberg rip-off Brock Lesner.

The roster: Somewhat weak for a modern day Rumble. I guess that the WWE is coming off what I call the Crossover Era and they are low on top names. Austin, Rock and Hogan are no longer wrestling. Some guys like Scott Steiner have depreciated in value while guys like John Cena haven’t become 100% believable as main eventers. The winner would be a toss-up between Chris Benoit, Bill Goldberg and Kurt Angle (Angle had dedicated the match to the troops overseas, which could be considered a tip-off), but by making Benoit #1 and Goldberg #30, it becomes a little easier to tell who it’s going to be. Also interesting is that unless you count the Big Show, nobody in this match has won a previous Rumble.

Guest entrants: Test is found knocked out backstage. Steve Austin, who has deemed himself the Sheriff of Raw, yells at the man responsible and demands that he enter in Test’s place. This man turns out to be Mick Foley, who goes after Randy Orton and clotheslines him over the top rope while going with the momentum, ridding the Rumble of them both. He then keeps going after Orton as the younger wrestler tries to escape.

The match: I should get this out of the way. I know that there are some people out there who would drop this match to last place as the worst Rumble or even omit it from the list because it centers around a double-murdering coward. I get that. I’m just trying to separate the harsh eventual reality with the exciting story and performance. That won’t stop me from sneaking in Chris Benoit jokes when possible because, seriously, fuck that guy.

It starts off as Benoit vs. Orton. Other guys come and go, including Mark Henry, who messes up his own elimination by getting his cue to roll over the ropes wrong. Kane is in there, but gets distracted when the Undertaker’s music starts playing (Kane had buried him alive at a prior PPV) and gets thrown out by Booker T. He then beats up the next guy out, Spike Dudley, who is too hurt to enter the match. It soon ends up being just Benoit vs. Orton again. It’s a nice foreshadowing of their eventual Summerslam main event match.

During this time, both Benoit and Orton are knocked out. #18 is Ernest “The Cat” Miller, accompanied by his afro-sporting sidekick Lamont. The two get into the ring and just start dancing. Why? I don’t know. No wrestling or anything. Just dancing. Then Benoit and Orton get up and throw out both of them. Though with Benoit, he tries to lead Lamont over the ropes by the afro, only to find that it’s a wig, which is pretty hilarious.

Nunzio is in the Royal Rumble and spends a good deal of it sitting outside the ring, hoping nobody notices. John Cena notices him on his way to the ring and forces him in. The entire reason for Nunzio’s inclusion is for when Bill Goldberg comes in at #30. Goldberg spears several wrestlers, but the way he spears Nunzio is picture perfect. He nearly cuts Nunzio in half with his shoulder. It’s totally sweet.

All of the sudden, Smackdown’s champion Brock Lesner runs into the ring and hits the F5 on Goldberg. Goldberg slowly gets up and is then tossed out by Kurt Angle. This is set up for the infamous Goldberg vs. Lesner at Wrestlemania 20. Oh, God. I wish I could talk about Goldberg vs. Lesner. I love this piece of shit match so much I can talk about it for days. But this article is long enough as is, so I should just move on. Hey, maybe next year I’ll do a list like this for all the Wrestlemanias.

Though 07 has the best ending, 04 has the second best. The final group of wrestlers are Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, John Cena and the Big Show. Wait, go back to that last sentence and replace “and” with “versus”. All these top wrestlers go after the Big Show at the same time and it just doesn’t take. Big Show keeps throwing them off. At one point they all hit their different trademark moves and finishers on him to knock him out, but he’s dead weight and they can’t pick him up. Big Show wakes up in a rage and starts clearing the ring. Jericho gives him a good run for his money, but gets chokeslammed out for his troubles.

Kurt Angle puts Big Show in the ankle lock, but Big Show is able to roll forward and launch Angle out of the ring. That leaves the relatively fresh Big Show vs. the man who drew number one, Chris Benoit. If Benoit and his allies couldn’t beat Big Show, what’s he going to do alone? Maybe Benoit should stay away from giants and pick on somebody his own size, except that he’s the size of a child so he’d have to go after someone like… And i just made myself sad.

Big Show picks Benoit up over his head and prepares to throw him out, but Benoit twists and wraps his arm around Big Show’s head in a front facelock. Benoit ends up outside of the ropes with Big Show on the inside. Benoit moves himself downward and lifts Big Show off the ground as he does it. Very slowly and very excitingly, Benoit shifts Big Show until the giant is teetered over the ropes and gravity drops him like a rock.

While yes, the angle and early number makes it apparent that Benoit is going to win and he isn’t the only guy to win from such an early spot, Benoit is the only one to truly make this journey his own. Unlike Mysterio and – hard as it is to say – Ric Flair, Benoit is still firing on all cylinders through the match. He remains in the thick of things and still pulls off some great offense despite spending an hour in there.

The other thing is that a lot of us wrestling fans, especially the internet-loving crew, aren’t so sure that Benoit is going to make it. Not so much that Benoit is going to be able to last, but that the company would allow it. Benoit represents those who don’t have size, good looks or good speaking ability and still make a mark in the business because they’re great performers. That’s what makes the circumstances of his death sting worse for the fans. The fact that they would write Benoit as winning and eventually have him win the title at Wrestlemania is considered a huge step in the right direction and away from the cage of politics holding the little guys down.

Longest time: Chris Benoit (61:30)
Shortest time: The Hurricane (0:19)
Most eliminations: Chris Benoit (6)

Best elimination: Bradshaw comes into the ring and he just lariats EVERYONE. Everyone in there gets a Clothesline From Hell. Everyone but Benoit, who’s able to reverse it into a Crippler Crossface. Bradshaw powers through it by standing up with Benoit attached. Benoit leans his body over the top rope and rolls back into the ring, causing Bradshaw to fall out and hit the floor.

2) Royal Rumble 2001

The set-up: Stone Cold Steve Austin had recently returned from a neck injury brought on by being run over by a mystery driver. The driver turned out to be Rikishi, working under the orders of Triple H. This led to a big 6-man Hell in the Cell match at Armageddon, which was won by Kurt Angle. With Triple H going after Angle’s title, the other four men (Austin, Rikishi, Undertaker and the Rock) are delegated to being in the Royal Rumble to earn a future shot. There are also rumors going around that the Undertaker and Kane are on the same page and are planning to fight through the Rumble as a team. Due to a Fatal Four-way match, Rikishi gained the #30 spot.

The roster: Coming off that 6-man Hell in the Cell, there’s a lot of good coming into this match. Rock and Austin, who are both highly popular faces at the moment, the Undertaker, Rikishi, and Kane. The rest of the roster isn’t all too special, but between those five, it’s a real tough call to make. Well, maybe not Rikishi.

Guest entrants: Boy there’s a lot this time around. The Honky Tonk Man comes out to play a song for the crowd, but Kane breaks the guitar over his head and tosses him. The Big Show makes his big return and takes care of everyone in the ring until the Rock fights back and eliminates him with the quickness. Haku also makes his return, defecting from the dying WCW. For a brief period, he’d stay with the company and team with Rikishi.

The big story here is Drew Carey. Yes, that Drew Carey. Trying to get tips from Vince McMahon on how to promote his then-upcoming improv PPV, Drew is tricked into entering the Royal Rumble. He enters early on as the Hardy Boyz eliminate each other and leave him alone in the ring. Unfortunately for Drew, the next man in is Kane. Drew is saved by the next entrant, Raven, and gets going by hopping over the top rope and getting the hell out of Dodge.

The match: Jeff Hardy is #1 and Jim Ross says that people have compared him to Shawn Michaels, who has won at the same spot. Yeah, um, when they say that it’s usually as an insult to Matt “Marty Jannetty” Hardy.

Kane comes into the match at #5 and believe me, he has no intention of leaving any time soon. Usually the iron man of the Rumble match is someone small for the sake of having them hide in the corner for the hour. Not Kane. His performance here makes you want him to win it out of respect. At least he does break the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble with 11.

Raven and Al Snow, who are at the time bitter rivals, put aside their differences to pound on Kane with weapons. More mid-carders come out and everyone hits each other with chairs and trash cans until Kane remembers that he’s Kane and goes completely loco. He clears the ring just in time for #13, the Rock.

Those two become sparring partners for most of the match. Soon after, Tazz comes in and I have to feel sorry for the guy. In 2000, he makes his WWF debut and defeats Kurt Angle. One year later, he jobs out of the Rumble in a brief moment. It’s like how King Kong Bundy main evented Wrestlemania 2, only to spend Wrestlemania 3 teaming up with midgets.

More guys run out to fill up the ring, only for the Big Show to come out and help clear it. Rock eliminates him, but Big Show takes his revenge by putting Rock through a table and keeping him out of the match for a while. As this is going on, Bradshaw holds down Kane and instructs the others left to put the boots to him. For once, the Big Red Machine is in trouble.

The Undertaker enters and saves his hide. Soon the only ones left in the ring are Undertaker and Kane, with Rock still knocked out outside. Scotty 2 Hotty comes out, which is priceless for his wide-eyed, horrified stare as he slinks closer and closer to the ring. He doesn’t last all too long.

Austin comes out, but Triple H blindsides him on the entrance ramp and beats him down. Covered in blood, he gets back up when it’s Rikishi’s turn to enter. Everyone’s entered, so it’s time to wrap it up. Rikishi actually gets Undertaker out of the ring cleanly, which is the only real rub he gets during his entire failure of a heel run.

The final four are Kane, Austin, Rock and Billy Gunn. Austin pretty much buries Billy Gunn by completely no-selling the Famouser and throwing Billy out. I can’t stand Billy Gunn, but even that sets off my bullshit-o-meter. Rock and Austin get some time in there to fight it out to the crowd’s delight, but when Rock tries to oust Austin, Kane sneaks up from behind and throws Rock out instead. That makes it Austin vs. Kane.

Austin ends up hitting the Stone Cold Stunner, but he doesn’t go for the simple toss out after that. He gets a chair and waits for Kane to stand back up. He brains Kane again and again with chair shots, causing Kane to only stagger. Then he drops the chair, runs back and hits him with a strong clothesline that finally makes Kane fall over the top rope. Austin wins his third Rumble and it’s easily his best.

It’s fitting that Wrestlemania 17, one of the best PPVs and the true climax of the Attitude era, has this as its prologue.

Longest time: Kane (54:49)
Shortest time: Tazz (0:19)
Most eliminations: Kane (11)

Best elimination: Kane tries to knock Steve Blackman out of the ring, but the martial artist grabs onto the ropes and gets ready to pull himself back in. With all the weapons scattered around the ring, Kane picks up a trashcan lid, walks over, slams it onto Blackman’s face and causes him to lose his grip.

Now, then. Let’s see who drew NUMBER ONE!

1) Royal Rumble 1990

The set-up: Hm… nothing really. There are a handful of feuds going on like Demolition vs. the Colossal Connection and Dusty Rhodes vs. Randy Savage, but that’s about it. Once again, this is before the days where Royal Rumbles led to immediate title shots. Especially since WWF champion Hulk Hogan was in the match.

The roster: The only real casualties to the undercard are Brutus Beefcake, Jim Duggan and Big Boss Man. That’s not the worst thing. Truth is, this is right in the thick of the Hogan era and you get most of the best names of the times. Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Roddy Piper, Earthquake, Bad News Brown, Mr. Perfect, Ted Dibiase, Tito Santana, Dusty Rhodes, Honky Tonk Man, the Hart Foundation, the Rockers, Demolition and so on. It’s a nostalgic dream match.

The match: #1 goes to Ted Dibiase, who is forced to deal with it despite his attempts to buy a better number. He dominates early on, throwing out Koko B. Ware and Marty Jannetty shortly after they enter. Then Jake “The Snake” Roberts enters. I’m sure they had to have had some kind of Roberts/Dibiase match or feud over the years, but the fact that I can’t think of any off the top of my head leads me to believe that it needed to be far higher profile.

Randy Savage comes out and helps Dibiase double-team Roberts. Then Roddy Piper enters and it becomes a whole new level of awesome. None of these four guys are involved in any angles or rivalries with each other. It’s just two awesome faces vs. two awesome heels and it’s crazy. Piper and Roberts literally fight them off back-to-back and only for a second tease the idea of maybe fighting each other before going back to beating up Savage and Dibiase. It’s so fun to watch this part.

More enter the ring. It’s pretty funny when Ventura talks about how this match was made for Bad News Brown, as he’s a man with no friends and likes it that way. Brown is eliminated by Piper, but Brown grabs him and pulled him down over the top rope after the fact. The two brawl and start off their Wrestlemania feud. This is the only shady elimination the entire night.

Really, the eliminations here are top notch. Nobody gets a cheap toss-out for the sake of protecting their spots, but every time somebody major does get thrown out, there’s strong emphasis on it. And if you’re wondering, Jake Roberts tries to DDT Dibiase and gets clotheslined over the top rope by Randy Savage. Savage is eliminated by Dusty Rhodes shortly after, having done nothing more in the match. In one fell swoop we have DDT Blueballs and another example as how Randy Savage is worthless in the Royal Rumble! Good job!

Having come in after Andre is eliminated, Earthquake is treated as an absolute monster. There’s one part where he’s hopping up and down, violently shaking the ring and Haku gives him a look as if to say, “Shit, I really don’t want to have to fight this guy.” Earthquake is eliminated by the first gang-up elimination in Rumble history as everyone in the ring heaves him over the top. All but Dino Bravo, who tries his damnedest to save his big buddy, but to no avail.

The Ultimate Warrior is in at #21. He’s an exciting personality and fun to watch sometimes, but boy, he just can’t sell. I don’t mean the sense of pretending to be hurt. After all, he’s supposed to be invincible. But at least Undertaker, Kane and Hogan can act like they just got punched before shrugging it off. You’d see Smash hitting Warrior from behind a couple times and Warrior would be too dense to realize it’s happening, so he doesn’t even react to it. What a meathead.

Hogan is at #25 and within minutes, he and the Warrior have cleared the entire ring. It’s only the two of them and sweet mercy is it electric.

See, these days we’re a little bit spoiled. It’s okay to have good guys fight good guys and bad guys fight bad guys from time to time. Wrestling is supposed to be a competition. Of course friends are supposed to fight every now and again. It wasn’t like this back in those days. Good guys just couldn’t fight with their own kind. That’s why Hogan would always be put in feuds like the ones against Andre, Mr. Wonderful and Savage. They were all shown to be his friends, but rather than simply put them in a match that way, they had to turn them all against him to make their matches good vs. evil. This is the Royal Rumble where it’s every man for himself. The plot armor is gone. It’s the top two faces and they’re forced to go at it. The crowd is deafening.

You even have Bobby Heenan standing outside the ring watching this. He has no reason to still be there storywise, but he’s still in awe because this is awesome.

They test their strength against each other and after a couple shoulderblocks, they criss-cross through the ring, missing again and again until hitting each other with clotheslines. They both go down as the Barbarian comes out to reap the rewards. Ravishing Rick Rude is in such a hurry to take advantage of the two fallen faces that he gets in there before they even start the countdown. Rude and Barbarian try to push out the Warrior. Hogan gets up and attempts to throw Rude and Barbarian out. They each hold on, but Warrior isn’t so lucky.

In response, Warrior runs back in and clotheslines everyone before running off into the back like a mad man. Consider your Wrestlemania main event set up.

Hercules comes to help out Hogan and we then get Mr. Perfect with “the perfect number” #30. The final three has Hogan at the mercy of Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect. Obviously, Hogan is going to win. Like in 91, you expect to see him pull off his usual crowd-pleasing voodoo to defeat both of these guys at the same time and bury them in the process.

Not exactly. Perfect holds up Hogan as Rude goes for a clothesline. Hogan moves and Rude ends up knocking Perfect through the ropes and onto the ring apron. Hogan throws Rude across the ropes, but as that’s happening, Perfect pulls down the top rope in an attempt to stand back up. Rude goes flying over and Perfect realizes he’s messed up.

Hogan brings Perfect back in the ring, but Perfect regains the advantage. He beats Hogan down and hits the Perfect Plex. That’s when Hogan finally starts to Hulk Up. He beats on Perfect, gives him a slingshot into the corner, clotheslines him and then rockets him out of the ring for the decisive victory.

God damn it, I think Hulk Hogan is a walking, talking piece of garbage and I still think that only puts a cap on the best Royal Rumble ever.

Longest time: “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (44:47)
Shortest time: Shawn Michaels (0:12)
Most eliminations: The Ultimate Warrior (6)

Best elimination: The Royal Rumble is considered to be the supreme form of the battle royal. More than World War 3 or the Reverse Battle Royal or what have you. At least, that’s how I see it. Andre the Giant is the true king of the battle royal. In his extensive career, he appeared in many, many battle royals and always came out as the winner. I’m pretty sure he never lost a single one.

Now, with the Royal Rumble, Andre had only appeared in one prior. It was the 1989 one where he was eliminated because he ran out of the ring. Nobody really beat him. Plus, early in the match, he’s able to fight off both members of Demolition. Fast forward a year later, to the 90 Rumble. Andre and his tag partner Haku are feuding with Demolition. As fate would have it, all four men are in the ring.

Demolition pound down on Andre and are able to knock him onto his stomach. Commentator Jesse Ventura says it doesn’t matter, as they need to get Andre out. With Andre struggling to get back to his feet, Ax and Smash quickly double-team Haku and knock him down. He’ll be out of their way for at least a moment. Now Andre is getting back to his feet, though he’s a bit out of it. Demolition run forward with their hands locked in a double-clothesline. They collide with Andre from behind and force him to roll over the top rope and hit the outside.

Not only do Demolition redeem themselves, but they cleanly get a battle royal victory over the man who owned the very essence of the match.

Hope you enjoyed the list. It was a blast to write.

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10 comments to “Royal Rumble Week: Day 7”

  1. Having watched it again recently, the 2001 one Rumble had a creepy, coincidental foreshadowing moment. After Kane had fought off all the ex-ECW/hardcore style wrestlers, I recall JR saying something like, “it’s as though a hurricane passed through New Orleans!” Damn.

    Surprised that the 1992 one or ’94 one didn’t take the top spot, but at least, now I have a reason to look for and watch the ’90 Rumble now. :D


  2. Not counting ECW crowds I have NEVER seen a crowd shit all over a match like they did for Goldberg v. Lesnar. And man did that match deserve it…

    Also I’m trying to figure out how I ended up seeing the ’01 Rumble. I remember seeing the Drew Carey bit, but I’ve never ordered or had someone order the Rumble…


  3. “Then he delivers the move to Shelton Benjamin, whose wide-eyed scream before impact is something that will haunt my dreams.”

    I need to see a youtube clip of this now.


  4. And on the seventh day of Rumbles Gavok gave to me…
    2 DDT blueballs and Savage sucking in the ring.

    It’s been a fun ride.


  5. @Photon: Ha! I can do you one worse. Earlier in the night they have Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit. Michale Cole says “Chris Benoit has given everything for his career! He’s sacrificed his family! He’s sacrificed his own life!”

    @John: You’re in luck. You can find the entire Smackdown Royal Rumble here, followed by here. The commentary is in Italian, I’m afraid. And for some reason they’re missing Shelton’s reaction shot. Bastards.


  6. How does Big Show count as a Rumble Winner?


  7. Thank you for the post! and even more thanks for the clip after that im going to rent the rumble right now! Hilarious


  8. @MisterVader: The Rock’s win at Royal Rumble 2000 was overturned because Big Show had video proof that both of Rock’s feet hit the floor before Big Show went over. Ergo, Big Show won the Rumble.


  9. “Also interesting is that unless you count the Big Show, nobody in this match has won a previous Rumble.” Eh? Great read throughout tho and very entertaining, I look forward to Wrestlemanias in the future!


  10. Woops I’m late to the party you already cleared up the Big Show comment.

    http://video.aol.com/video-detail/wwe-smackdown-royal-rumble-2004-part-2-dwin187/982823287

    5:20 mark is when the Rikishi hilarity ensues.