WrestleMania XXX: The Feel-Good Story That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

April 12th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

Last Sunday, WWE brought us their 30th WrestleMania, which as you can guess, is kind of a big deal. It turned out to be a blast, unlike much of the last five years. WrestleMania 24 is my favorite, but the only one since that hasn’t been below average was WrestleMania 26, which wasn’t exactly spectacular. This year’s actually felt like something to be excited about going in. The writers did a great job of building up nearly all the matches, from John Cena fighting Bray Wyatt to a battle royal where the winner won a giant Andre the Giant trophy. Hell, that match had better build than this year’s Royal Rumble!

But the real story here was the undercard match of Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H where the winner got to be in the main event triple threat for the title against Randy Orton and Batista, ending in Bryan’s climactic double victory. On the surface of fiction, it’s a well-written storyline that’s been building since August. Hell, it’s one of the best main event builds we’ve seen for WrestleMania in a long time. The thing is, the real story of how this came to be is far more intriguing than what’s going on in front of the camera. This has been something built up for years between the wrestlers involved, the fans and some guys who wouldn’t be competing at WrestleMania 30.

Let’s break it up and look at some of the important players:


One of the major problems with WWE in the past few years is their inability to make new names. Writing isn’t long-term enough and Vince McMahon – having final say on everything – changes his mind every other minute. Wrestlers who seem like they’re catching steam all of the sudden get sidelined due to either bad storytelling or the need to feed them to John Cena. Cena is a wonderful performer and all-around good guy, but seeing him stapled to the top of the program at the expense of guys who could use a major win or two is what turns a lot of people off.

The best example is Ryback, who was getting pushed right up the card as an unstoppable and super popular face monster. They put him into the main event scene and had him compete for the title against CM Punk a few times, but they got cold feet. Sure, Ryback probably wasn’t ready to be champ, but WWE put themselves in a bad position by bringing him up so high so fast. So they had him lose. A lot. It kind of hurt his credibility, but he still had some juice. Then they turned him against John Cena, which got a great reaction from the crowd. They couldn’t have that, so they made him go out of his way to be an evil coward all of the sudden. Even though his character had a ton of legit reasoning for why he hated Cena, it was swept under the rug by Cena yelling a lot and by the end of the feud, Cena won decisively and removed what was left of Ryback’s momentum.

Last Sunday, Ryback was performing in a tag team during the PPV’s pre-show.

Other notable names to suffer from the start-stop booking style include Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder, Alberto Del Rio, the Miz, R-Truth, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Damien Sandow, John Morrison and Drew McIntyre.


For a while, Randy Orton was the secondary, more intense John Cena. He wasn’t quite as popular, but he was still a major deal. Since at the time, WWE had split Raw and Smackdown into two sort of exclusive shows with their own top belts, that meant that they basically had their own “Cena” for each show. Edge was the top name on Smackdown, but he had to retire due to injury. At the following PPV, they had his best friend Christian face Edge’s previous challenger Alberto Del Rio for the vacated title. Christian won, which was well-deserved and seen by many hardcore wrestling fans as a long time coming.

They taped the next Smackdown two days later. In it, Orton, who had just joined the Smackdown roster, was granted an immediate title match against Christian and beat him. Yes, not only did Christian’s feel-good title reign last two whole days (five in terms of kayfabe, since the show aired on Friday instead of Tuesday), but we weren’t supposed to feel bad about it because Randy Orton! Yay! In turn, they eventually made Christian turn heel over this and get his ass handed to him for his troubles.

While Orton lacked the charisma of Cena, he at least was more likely to put people over, which made him more likeable at times. Then his star started to slowly fizzle over time and he was no longer really on Cena’s level. He was still fairly popular, but just kind of there. He won the big Money in the Bank PPV match that earned him a title shot whenever he wanted, which led to the events of Summerslam…

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 18

January 24th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: January 14, 2008
Company: WWE
Show: Monday Night Raw
Rules: Elimination does not have to be over-the-top
Stipulation: None
Roster: Batista, the Great Khali, Hornswoggle, Kane, Mr. Kennedy, Mankind

I talked about how injuries have a tendency to change the course of wrestling history to a dramatic degree, but it isn’t just injuries. In late 2007, a list was released of wrestlers who had been using an online pharmacy for certain items that were against the wellness policy. All of these guys (except Randy Orton) were suspended for 30 to 60 days depending on previous suspension records.

At the time, WWE was in the midst of an exceptionally stupid and never-ending story where Vince McMahon found out that he had fathered an illegitimate child and said child was on the WWE roster. This was meant to set up an angle where Mr. Kennedy was going to be revealed as Vince Jr. and feud with his “brother-in-law” Triple H. That didn’t happen because not only was he on that pharmaceutical list, but he had just done a big interview talking up how competent the WWE’s wellness policy was. So on Raw, Kennedy tried to say that he was Vince’s kid, only to be shut down and suspended. They’d find out the real answer the week that followed.

Backed into a corner, they revealed Vince’s son to be Hornswoggle, the undercard comedy act leprechaun whose only crime so far was becoming the Cruiserweight Champion and destroying the last remnants of that division for the sake of comedy. I’ll say that I wasn’t too opposed to the idea. I suppose the possibility of Hornswoggle becoming a Mini-Me version of Vince and barking orders in the form of vocal nonsense could have worked in some kind of surreal way.

The main story they went with was that Vince was embarrassed by his tiny son and out of either spite or insane parenting wanted him tortured in the ring as “tough love”. This meant putting him in matches that Hornswoggle would somehow come out of unscathed, either due to luck, guile or the help of Finlay, who disagreed with Vince’s behavior. These matches led to one of the most annoying aspects about Hornswoggle’s character, being the weird double standards about him being a competitor that continues to this day. If he gets the best of someone, then good for him! Way to go! If he is in any way attacked, even if it means being shoved over, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler will act like they just watched a puppy get run over. How can they let this happen?! He’s just a defenseless child (who has a beard and is in his twenties). Of course, if Triple H murders him, that’s different. Haha, that Triple H! He sure taught Hornswoggle a lesson! That’s what you get for messing with DX!

With the Royal Rumble coming up, Vince decided to enter Hornswoggle into the big match. Backstage on Raw, he talked to his mute son and suggested a warm-up to get him ready. A “Mini Royal Rumble” that would feature a handful of guys scheduled for the PPV match. Hornswoggle went off to the ring, ready to prove himself.

Out comes Mr. Kennedy and… wait a minute. When Vince said it was a “Mini Royal Rumble”, he wasn’t kidding.

Yes, we’re about to get a Royal Rumble of vertically-challenged doppelgangers. Should I be offended? Maybe. Probably. Am I entertained? Probably. Definitely.

At the very least, it’s kind of a nice thing to do for Hornswoggle who himself is a trained wrestler who rarely gets the chance to wrestle guys his own size. The other guys are wrestlers who know what they’re getting into and they’re getting a payday for this, so it really isn’t the worst thing.

Mini Kennedy tries to do the intro bit where he announces himself from the middle of the ring, but the suspended microphone doesn’t reach that far down and he proceeds to jump up and down in a failed attempt to grab it. The bell rings and Kennedy gets a cheapshot in. They fight it out until Mini Mankind shows up.

He pulls out Mr. Socko and Hornswoggle saves himself by kicking Mini Mankind in his mini-er Mankind and throwing him through the ropes. Then Hornswoggle presses Kennedy over his head and throws him over the top.

Having cleared the ring, Hornswoggle awaits his next opponent, Mini Batista. Not only does Mini Batista perform the Batista entrance sequence…

…but his timing on the explosion is better than the actual Batista.

Mini Batista Spears Hornswoggle and shakes the ropes. He sets up the Batista Bomb, but Hornswoggle backdrops out of it. Soon after, Mini Kane enters. While he is the smallest man in the match, he certainly goes 100% into the gimmick by pulling off Kane’s uppercuts perfectly. Despite being the fresher one, he still fall prey to the Batista Bomb.

Hornswoggle again goes for a kick downstairs and flings Mini Batista out of there. Mini Kane starts to take him apart and does a jumping clothesline off the second rope. He goes for a chokeslam and we suddenly remember the size difference.

Hornswoggle hits the Celtic Cross and then slides Mini Kane out of the ring. I should note that probably the funniest part of this whole segment is how when Vince was suggesting it, he said that it would include Mr. Kennedy, Batista and maybe a mystery opponent. This is a subtle joke in how Kane has been the go-to mystery opponent for the past 15 years.

Hornswoggle awaits his final opponent and Great Khali’s music begins playing. Unfortunately for the leprechaun, it isn’t Mini Khali. It’s the actual Khali. He steps into the ring, ready to crush the little guy, but then Finlay appears with his shillelagh and goes to town on the giant. Like I said a couple days ago, Finlay beating the shit out of Khali with his shillelagh is a wonderful thing to watch. It’s like watching a lumberjack going to town on a tree with an axe before, during and after it falls. Khali ends up rolling out of the ring to evade the punishment, meaning that Hornswoggle wins the match. Also, Finlay gets a piece of Ranjin Singh, but lets him off easy with a simple clothesline.

The angle came to a head prior to Wrestlemania, where JBL helped Vince beat Hornswoggle to the point of hospitalization while Finlay was handcuffed and could only watch. JBL revealed to Vince that Hornswoggle was never his son after all, but was Finlay’s. JBL ended up going over Finlay at Wrestlemania in a Bellfast Brawl and Hornswoggle proceeded to star in some terrible, terrible storylines in the years that followed.

Way to go, Kennedy.

Tomorrow we return to the past to build for the future.

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 15

January 21st, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: July 17, 2007 (aired on July 20, 2007)
Company: WWE
Show: Smackdown
Rules: Normal
Stipulation: Winner becomes World Heavyweight Champion
Roster (20): Batista, Deuce, Domino, Kenny Dykstra, Eugene, Fit Finlay, Sho Funaki, the Great Khali, Chavo Guerrero, Matt Hardy, Mark Henry, Kane, Jamie Knoble, Brett Major, Brian Major, Chris Masters, Shannon Moore, Montel Vontavious Porter, Dave Taylor, Jimmy Wang Yang

I wouldn’t wish injury on an active wrestler, but it’s hard not to admit that injuries make things interesting in the long run. By-the-numbers storylines are suddenly shaken up and the writers scramble to make sense of things and make a show worth watching. As intriguing as it can be, it doesn’t always work out for the better. Today’s entry, for example.

Recently, World Heavyweight Champion Edge had defeated eternal #1 contender Batista in a match where if Batista lost, he wouldn’t be allowed to challenge Edge for the title again. Edge moved on to starting a feud with Kane while Batista answered an open challenge from heavily-pushed and still fresh monster the Great Khali. Two matches set up for the upcoming Great American Bash. Unfortunately, Edge got injured about a week before the PPV. Teddy Long had no choice but to strip him of the title and being that this is Teddy Long, he decided to put the vacated title on the line with a battle royal, playa.

The battle royal has only a few viable names in it, which explains the winner. All in all, it’s a pretty entertaining set of segments.

Once the bell rings, Batista goes right for Khali, then gets distracted by fighting Mark Henry. Everyone just kind of wanders around getting into fights and our first elimination comes a minute in when Henry does away with both Major Brothers.

Goodbye, pre-Ryder.

Henry and Khali both go to town on their opponents, laying waste to the entire ring. Soon there are only two left standing.

So much for that showdown. Most of the wrestlers team up to hoist Henry out of the ring. They even celebrate, which JBL points out is a stupid idea because they still have Batista, Kane and Khali to contend with.

Batista shows off his own impressive strength when being attacked by Deuce and Domino. They have him choked into the second rope, but he grabs them by the heads and is able to throw them both over the top rope from his unfortunate position. Not bad.

Batista and Kane have a showdown, not unlike Henry vs. Khali in the sense that it doesn’t go down. Instead of having everyone rush them, it’s just Jamie Knoble, whose angry strikes are rewarded with a swift elimination. Eugene thinks this is awesome, but his enthusiasm doesn’t help him.

At the time of the match, Chavo and Jimmy Wang Yang are feuding over the Cruiserweight Championship. They have a cool moment where they save each other from the wrath of Chris Masters and eliminate him together. Chavo turns on Yang, but gets eliminated by the Asian cowboy in response. Yang ends up lasting quite a while until being pulled out of the ring by Hornswoggle. Yet again, Hornswoggle ruins everything.

Batista and Kane briefly team up to get Khali out of there, but they’re out of luck and he powers through, shoving both across the ring. He takes apart both mega-faces, but then the only other competitor left in the match, Finlay, shows up with his shillelagh. 2007/2008 was an awesome time when it came to this. Back during the Finlay/McMahon angle about Hornswoggle being Vince’s son, Smackdown was filled with matches that ended with Finlay beating the everloving shit out of Khali with that shillelagh. It ruled every single time.

Kane puts an end to this by choking him. As he lifts him up for the slam, Batista rushes out of nowhere and Spears Kane down. Batista flings Finlay out of there and continues his duel with Kane. The two grapple while leaning against the ropes, Khali comes by and takes them both out in one go. The Great Khali, the immobile man given a push because he’s really tall, is the World Heavyweight Champion.

Um… You’re… You’re holding it upside-down. Khali? You’re—eh, forget it.

I suppose it makes sense. They couldn’t give it to Batista after spending all that effort on that “no more title shots against Edge” stipulation. They couldn’t give it to Kane because injuring the champ and suddenly becoming champ in his place is really not face behavior. Mark Henry wasn’t as over as a top heel, Finlay was never going to reach that plateau and Matt Hardy was feuding for a lesser title. Khali at least gave Batista something to chase after.

And chase he did. Batista and Kane had a #1 contender’s match later that night. There was a draw, so they had a Triple Threat against Khali at the Great American Bash (two days after this battle royal aired, remember). Khali retained and had a celebration on Smackdown. It was a strange segment, as Khali danced around with some Indian women and Batista showed up to angrily annihilate everything and attack Khali. If you showed it to someone who didn’t follow WWE and didn’t listen to the crowd reaction, you’d swear that Khali was the good guy with Batista out to destroy fun.

A couple months later, Batista defeated Khali in another Triple Threat Match, this time with Rey Mysterio as the third man. They had a rematch in the infamously silly Punjabi Prison Match, where Batista finally won the feud.

Khali is a unique one. While I don’t like that he became champ, I don’t hate him as much as everyone else. I consider him to be a challenge for people to put on decent matches. Khali can only do so much in terms of mobility and variety, but it is possible to carry him into something watchable. Hell, Sheamus got a good match out of him once, if you believe that. He’s not so much a wrestler as he is a human obstacle course.

Plus whenever I hear that one song by Blondie, I always like to pretend she’s singing about the Punjabi Playboy.

Khali! (Khali!) On the line
Khali, Khali, any, anytime
Khali! (Khali!) My love
When you’re ready we can share the wine

Anyone else do this? Can you start so I can feel less awkward about it?

Tomorrow is keeping it in 2007. In fact, we’re just going to hang out in 2007 for a while if you don’t mind.

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Ten

November 21st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

With this series winding down, I thought I should take a second to discuss my thoughts on the Survivor Series concept in general. I’ve found through watching these 23 shows that it would benefit the WWE to go back to the earlier concept from the first ten years. Nearly, if not every match should be an elimination tag. If you really need to fit in a title match, go ahead. The thing is, forcing your champions into these tag matches both gives even the most invincible face champion an excuse to lose for once and it keeps things from getting stale. It’s optimal to have your money feud spread out with a high-profile tag match such as this, rather than wearing out the luster with rematch after rematch in a singles setting.

Survivor Series is an awful lot like the Royal Rumble. It’s a who’s who of the roster. We get mystery wrestlers, replacements, good eliminations, bad eliminations, chaotic guessing games of who’s going to win, current feuds developed, new feuds created and old feuds rekindled. While the elimination tag matches aren’t as fun as the Royal Rumbles, they do have the advantage that there doesn’t have to simply be one winner that night. As much as I love the Royal Rumble, it’s a pain knowing that sometimes only two or three guys involved have anything resembling a chance at winning. At Survivor Series, we have multiple matches with potentially multiple winners. If somebody loses, a lot of the time, it doesn’t hurt their status. Sometimes a win can make you look great.

It is silly that this year’s Survivor Series has only one of these matches. In the past couple months, we had a 7-on-7 elimination tag at Summerslam and another one at Bragging Rights. Both were a lot more important than Rey Mysterio’s team vs. Del Rio’s team. How strange that the company insists on shoving different gimmick PPVs in our faces month after month, but doesn’t want to give any service to their original gimmick PPV.

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Two

November 12th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Now that I’ve gotten settled into this list, I thought I should explain the review and ranking process. Over the past several months, I’ve watched all 23 Survivor Series shows, many of which for the first time. I graded each match as well as “The Atmosphere”, which is the term I use for the non-wrestling aspects of the show. Promos, backstage happenings, intro videos, packages, even the arena layouts if they’re anything of note. The Atmosphere counts as one match. Back when I did the Wrestlemania Countdown, I weighed it as two matches, since those segments felt more important than they do here.

Then everything is averaged out. Main events and world title matches count for double. If less than half the matches are elimination style, the elimination tag matches also count for double. I figured that would be fair, since it adds to the importance of the show’s main gimmick. If you’re only going to do the match once or twice this year, you better make it count.

With that boring explanation out of the way, let’s continue with the countdown.

Today’s episode: Shawn Michaels and His Amazing Friends Will Bury You.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Nine

March 25th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

For today’s Tales of Wrestlemania, we’ll do a double. First, King Kong Bundy.

Wrestlemania 1: Bundy appears in the second match and annihilates Special Delivery Jones in seconds. Obviously, this guy has momentum.

Wrestlemania 2: That momentum has brought him to the main event against Hulk Hogan for the title. Bundy loses the match and has nowhere to go but down.

Wrestlemania 3: He’s fallen so far that he’s now in a comedy mixed tag match featuring four midgets and Hillbilly Jim. That’s like hitting rock bottom.

Wrestlemania 11: He returns and is used as a threat of the week against the Undertaker. He’s handily beaten. But hey, at least your Wrestlemania career still looks better than SD Jones!

Here’s a quick one for Yokozuna.

Wrestlemania 9: Yokozuna’s Wrestlemania debut has him win the main event against Bret Hart through cheating. He gets the title, but foolishly challenges Hulk Hogan and loses the belt. It’s not too bad. He’s still the top heel of the company.

Wrestlemania 10: After Bret loses to Owen in the opening bout, Yokozuna is able to get past his first round match with Lex Luger thanks to a crooked referee. It takes a year, but Bret Hart finally avenges his loss from the previous show. There goes Yokozuna’s belt.

Wrestlemania 11: Yokozuna falls down the card, but who better to team with than Bret’s other opponent from last year, Owen Hart? The two win the tag titles off the Smoking Gunns. This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Wrestlemania 12: Got bad news, Yokozuna. First, you and Owen are now enemies. Second, we’re feeding you to Vader, so you’re yesterday’s news. And third, you really, really need to do something about that nasty pube beard of yours. Don’t you own a mirror?

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Seven

March 23rd, 2010 Posted by Gavok

It’s Tuesday, meaning NXT is on tonight. If you are a wrestling fan and you aren’t watching NXT then you’re doing it wrong. You should fix that immediately. It’s the best show the WWE’s put on in years.

For the remaining days of this countdown, I’m going to do something called Tales of Wrestlemania. The events of consecutive Wrestlemanias have a way of telling an abridged story of some wrestlers’ careers. Their matches act like stepping stones to greatness and links to a higher profile. Or perhaps they show a decline in one’s career. Let’s start it off with Tito Santana‘s profile.

Wrestlemania 1: Not only does Tito Santana open the show, but he wins the very first Wrestlemania match. Later in the night, he helps out Junkyard Dog by convincing the referee to reverse his decision in the JYD/Valentine match. Valentine keeps the Intercontinental Championship, which will allow Tito to eventually win it from him. Things are looking good.

Wrestlemania 2: Tito and his good friend Junkyard Dog are now working together as a tag team against the Funks. Junkyard Dog gets clobbered by a megaphone to the head and gets pinned. Oh well. At least Tito wasn’t the one pinned.

Wrestlemania 3: Tito finds himself in another tag match. He and the British Bulldogs are up against the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis. Davis? He should be easy pickings. Unfortunately, Hart’s megaphone gets used again, this time on Dynamite Kid. Crap, another loss. Still, Tito didn’t take the fall. There’s still that.

Wrestlemania 4: Tito’s found a better partner in Rick Martel. They’re even the champions! They lose those titles to Demolition because YET AGAIN, Tito’s partner gets hit with the heel manager’s weapon. Goddamn it.

Wrestlemania 5: Okay, Strike Force has been on the shelf for a few months, but things are back to normal. They’re going to beat the Brainbusters and… where is Martel going? Well, great. Not only is Tito alone, but he has to be the one who gets pinned. This tag team stuff is for the birds.

Wrestlemania 6: All right! Singles match! Against the Barbarian, who has also broken away from the tag world to do singles matches. Maybe Tito has a chance– nope. Clothesline off the top rope turns him into an accordion.

Wrestlemania 7: Okay, certainly Tito can defeat the Mountie, right? Nope. Taser to the gut after about a minute in.

Wrestlemania 8: Tito’s back with a revitalized gimmick. Maybe that will help him beat this Shawn Michaels guy. Nope. Not only does he lose, but it’s a stinker of a match. Seven losses in a row at this point.

Wrestlemania 9: Yes! Tito Santana finally gets a win again! It’s against Papa Shango! …Unfortunately, nobody sees this, since it’s delegated to a dark match. Sorry, Tito.

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WWE Heroes and the Emotional Spectrum

December 6th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

I’ve been asked to comment on the recent announcement about the new WWE Heroes comic on its way. For those who haven’t heard, 20 issues will be released by Titan Publishing, depicting the WWE wrestlers as fighting zombies and leopard men and stuff. I don’t know.

The press release mentions the inclusion of these wrestlers and personalities: Triple H, Undertaker, Randy Orton, Batista, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, John Cena, CM Punk, Kane, Edge, Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Carlito, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Kelly Kelly. Wait, Roddy Piper?! What? Why?

Another thing that bothers me is that why are they going to go through the trouble of doing a WWE comic book and NOT include the Hurricane, who is a wrestling superhero? He was born for this role! What is up with that?

I’ve followed the history of licensed wrestling comics. First we had WWF Battlemania in 1991, which I covered in two parts. It was doofy and kiddy, but not overly offensive in the grand scheme of things. A year later, Marvel released World Championship Wrestling, which I reviewed in three different parts. That one was both poorly written and showed the reasons for why doing a month-by-month story based on wrestling that’s written and drawn long in advance is a recipe for failure. At the end of the decade, we were given WWF comics by Chaos. This included comics based on Steve Austin, Mankind, the Rock, Chyna and the Undertaker. I recently reviewed Undertaker in two parts.

So I think I have enough authority to say that this is going to be bad on an epic scale. I can’t wait. I just feel sorry for writer Keith Champagne, who already took a hit for being assigned the job of writing Countdown: Arena. God, what a mess that was.

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Royal Rumble Week: Day 6

January 25th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Here’s a pointless little experiment. During the 2007 Rumble, they made a big deal about it being the most star-studded Rumble yet. That got me thinking about the different Rumble rosters and which one had the best pedigree to it. So I scoured each list and counted how many world champions it featured. I counted the top titles for WWF, WCW, both WWE titles, ECW, TNA and NWA.

88: 3
89: 6
90: 8
91: 6
92: 10
93: 7
94: 9
95: 4
96: 10
97: 10
98: 10
99: 9
00: 9
01: 12
02: 14
03: 17
04: 17
05: 13
06: 14
07: 17
08: 13

Hm. Well, I guess they were onto something after all. Speaking of that match…

7) Royal Rumble 2007

“Everyone back in the pile!”



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Royal Rumble Week: Day 5

January 24th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

My apologies for the slight lateness. I blame sickness and temporary lack of internet connection.

If I were to come up with a list of the best use of the Royal Rumble in a videogame, it wouldn’t even be fair. We all know that WWF Wrestlefest would be #1. That’s as good excuse to post these gifs I made. Feel free to use them as avatars on your favorite message board.

Damn. 5 of those guys are dead.

I do recall having fun in WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain and the way they used the Royal Rumble in career mode. They base it on the Rock/Big Show feud so that whoever you eliminate last has proof that your feet have touched the floor and that he deserves the Wrestlemania title shot. This leads to a match at No Way Out where you wrestle for the title shot. I remember fixing it up so that D-Von Dudley was my last victim, leading to an incredibly easy No Way Out match.

Then again, neither of the two main Dudleys have been in the Royal Rumble. Maybe I’m selling him short.

Let’s get to the top ten. So far the Rumble matches have been from okay to pretty good. The following ten are very much awesome. They’re just in different degrees of awesome.

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