I’m a LOT later than I expected in getting this up, thanks to a bunch of forced OT…
Opening package highlights Hunter and Shawn Michaels, “7 years in the making”. We turn over to “a year and a half of his life” with Bob chasing Brock Lesnar, take a wild turn with a “family broken”, before ending with “the winner going to Wrestlemania”. You KNOW it has to be the Royal Rumble! “PHILADELPHIA…HERE WE COME!!!!” The road to Wrestlemania begins…tonight!
We have 17,982 fans LIVE from Philadelphia, PA! We have a mixed bag of hosts tonight… JIM ROSS, JERRY LAWLER, and JONATHAN COACHMAN make various noises, while MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ do the announcing. And of course, we cannot ignore HUGO SAVINOVICH and CARLOS CABRERA, who tear it up Latino style! I think they just said “gosh I hope no one goes through our table tonight”.
THE DUDLEY BOYZ vs. BATISTA and RIC FLAIR (in a tables match for the world tag-team titles)
Batista immediately decides to kill the music… “Hey Dudleys, what is it with you guys in championship matches? We whipped your asses at Armageddon… We kicked your asses all over RAW. We’re about to beat your asses again tonight… I mean, you guys are the biggest 3 time losers since the Philadelphia Eagles.” Hey, imagine that, the fans don’t like that. I would have never guessed. Everyone brawls outside the ring, with Ric Flair drawing the only heat. Bubba gets the table, and slides it full force across the ring to the other side where Batista apparently wasn’t paying attention, and takes it in the sternum. Ric Flair rolls in with D-Von in close persuit – and the bell rings to signify that the match has started. Flair begs off, and gets backdropped by the Dudleys. A table is set up, Flair is double suplexed, but Batista’s there to save the day. Bubba and D-Von choose to pound on Batista, getting in a double gutshot, and a neckbreaker from D-Von. A Cactus clothesline from D-Von drops Batista. Bubba sets up a table in the corner, but Flair pounces and chops away. Bubba comes back with a flip, flop, and fly – so Batista jumps in and clotheslines him to heaven. Flair chops at D-Von, but gets clotheslined. Batista attempts a shoulderblock onto Bubba in the corner, but hits the post, and takes a double neckbreaker from the Duds. D-Von charges Flair, but Flair gets in a back elbow getting his loudest “WOOOOOO”’s yet. Flair heads up, but of course, Bubba catches him. JONATHAN COACHMAN wanders over to ringside, so the Dudleys pull him in and set up a table. Wazzup drop is set, but Flair throws away Bubba Ray. D-Von flies off the top with a clothesline on Flair, but Batista spinebusters him through a table for the win. (4:22) 1/4* And THAT sucked it hard. Post-match, Flair rants and raves about Evolution.
To the back, where JOSH MATTHEWS is hanging out with former Philadelphia Phillie, JOHN CENA. Josh wonders who’s going to win the Rumble?
“The kid pumping up his shoes, that’s who you’ve got your money on
You bet on anybody else…yo, yo money gone
I’m the franchise, I don’t care if it’s Smackdown! or RAW
Keep it official, with the (SOMETHING) Tug McGraw
There’s 29 other dudes? They can’t see me!
And tonight, the Royal Rumble goes to…”
ROB VAN DAM wanders in…
Rob Van Dam wanders out…
“That dude’s a trip, looks like he’s been talking to Mary Jane
I’m gonna win the Rumble man… He thinks he’s beating me tonight? He can suck my candy cane
I’m cuttin’ through competition, your boy is sharp as a knife
Tonight I win the Royal Rumble, word mother frickin’ life”
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. JAMIE NOBLE (with blind Nidia) (for the WWE Cruiserweight Title)
Now that Nidia’s been faced with a vision impairment, should she apply for a referee license? The boys trade waistlocks, and Rey hits a rana, immediately trying to follow with a 619 – but gets hotshotted. Noble gets in some chops, so Rey comes back with body punches. Another hotshot sees Rey slingshot back in hard, and Noble gets 2. Kick to the back gets another 2. Rey comes back with a school boy, complete with handful of tights for 2. Noble goes into the rear chinlock, and works a ground abdominal stretch. Michael Cole weeps for poor, poor Nidia, and her abuse at the hands of the Raging Redneck. Rey hits a fameasser, a rana, and bulldog in that order for 2. A followup crossbody fails miserably, as Noble gets out a knee. Noble kicks at the head of Rey – bounces off the ropes, and Nidia accidently trips him up. Rey hits the 619, and drops the dime for the win???? (3:13) 1/4* WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT???????? They did a “Cruiserweight Countdown” match on Thunder like 3 years ago, and we got Rey vs. Knoble then as well – and despite them having like 10 guys to run through I STILL think they got like 4 minutes…. This is completely unacceptable to the Cruiserweight mark in me. The WWE fan in me however isn’t surprised, and simply sighs.
I immediately note that the package to build up Chavo vs. Eddie runs (4:01). Let’s hope the match gets at least that…
CHAVO GUERRERO JR. (with Chavo Guerrero Sr.) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (with lowrider)
We get a massive “EDDIE” chant, because Philadelphia wants me to like them. Tazz leads the “CHAVO” chant…all alone. They lockup, and work their way around the ring for awhile, while Cole has the balls to start MAKING SHIT UP about their history. Something about Chavo Sr. always punishing Eddie when he was 6, but never Chavo Jr. There was this one time that Chavo Jr. stole Eddie’s allowance, and used it for hookers and blow – and before you knew it, he had genital warts – and Eddie was blamed since it was HIS allowance, and he should have known better, and all of this has caused Chavo Jr. great discomfort. All of this has lead to this very moment, where-by Eddie Guerrero will get revenge for these injustices! Chavo slaps Eddie for the warts. Eddie wants to nail Chavo, but remembers his promise not to beat up Chavo, but to win with wrestling (and cheating). Chavo chops at Eddie, while Tazz tells Cole to shut the fuck up with the stories of their childhood. Eddie gets in a chop and laughs. Chavo gets in a couple of shoulderblocks – and beats his chest like a gorilla. They trade chops, and Eddie thumbs the eye of Chavo. Again he goes to deck Chavo, but lays off. An armbar is applied to Chavo, and they fight over the hold, leading somehow to Chavo popping up and giving Eddie a rana over the top rope to the floor. Eddie heads back in, but Sr. pulls Eddie off the steps, and drops him face first onto the steel. Back in, Jr. lays in the cauliflowering forearms – but Eddie winds up back on top and threatens a punch…but doesn’t. Eddie gets in the Code Red cross armbreaker (an obvious salute to the great Craig Pittman, a man who Tony Schavione couldn’t kiss up to enough for having served our country), but Chavo gets up and hits the rolling vertical suplexes. He only gets 2 before Eddie shoves him off – so Chavo decides to go for the Tornado DDT. It’s blocked by Eddie, who hits the headbutts – and follows with his own rolling vertical suplex. Froggy Splash…hits??? 1, 2, 3???????? (8:03) *1/2 And once again, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY THINKING???? At the pace they were moving, they needed at LEAST 15 more minutes. Eddie, having won without snapping finally gets his revenge by kicking his brother in the nuts and pounds the shit out of Chavo until he bleeds. And I have to imagine that will end that feud…
The post match beating and celebration takes (3:32)… I’m just sayin’…
CHRIS BENOIT stands with JOSH MATTHEWS. Benoit can barely get a word in, before a “WOOOOOOOOO!” is heard. RIC FLAIR, RANDY ORTON, and BATISTA burst onto the scene with champagne in hands. Flair brags about having beaten the Dudleys in their hometown for to retain the Tag-Team Titles. It’s no WONDER he’s as sweaty as he is… He just had to get his ass all the way to Dudleyville, wrestle a match, and come back? The 60-minute man is getting quicker. Females around the world are welcome to cry about the passing of a true legend. From there, Flair declares Orton the winner of the Royal Rumble tonight, and laughs at Benoit for having always being second best. But being a true sportsman, he allows his champagne bottle to explode all over Josh and Chris. Benoit just stares on…
NEXT MONTH: The Cow Palace, February’s PPV…you KNOW it must be Superbrawl!!!!! (Or No Way Out…)
BOB HOLLY vs. BROCK LESNAR (for the WWE title)
I can’t even believe I typed that last title on a major PPV… Bob Holly… Bob fucking Holly… SPARKY PLUGG is being treated as a contender… I think the world just ended. I could have SWORN there was a darn good reason they didn’t go with the obvious Bob Holly/Kurt Angle matchup in the winter of 2000 when Bob returned from his broken arm, and I WISH whoever got into Vince’s head and convinced him this was a bad idea was still around. Bob leaps the top rope and beats up Brock all over the outside, whipping him HARD into the ringpost several times. Back in, Holly misses a crossbody, and Brock goes to work. He beats the hell out of Holly all over the place, and Bob has to roll outside. Brock runs him spine first into the side of the ring, giving Brock a 2 once they get back in. Brock decides to make this match even more exciting, by applying a bearhug on the mat. They give that up after about 30 seconds, and Brock hits a fisherman’s buster. And from there, we move right back into the bearhug on the mat. They stand, and Brock applies a bearhug standing – the move that once caused Hulk Hogan to pass out. But Bob is no Hulk Hogan, so Brock tosses his with a FAST overhead belly to belly. Back to the mat, and a rear naked choke is applied. Holly fights out of that – and gives Lesnar a couple of clotheslines to knock him down. Dropkick connects, and Holly follows with the Alabama Slam… From there, Bob moves into the full nelson, and drops Brock backwards on his neck. They roll to the outside, where Bob holds on tight. He does let go before the 10 count though – and allows Brock to get to the apron so he can put it on again. Brock counters with a neckbreaker, and the F5 ends this farce. (6:30) *1/4
I should note that the Royal Rumble is my favorite PPV of the year, so you can only imagine how I’m feeling at this point…
The video package building up the Last man Standing gets (3:14)… No, I’m NOT bitter about the chokehold applied to the Cruiserweight and Guerreros matches…
SHAWN MICHAELS vs. TRIPLE H (in a last man standing match for the world heavyweight title)
They slug it out to start, and Michaels gets in a couple of chops. Hunter goes for an early bridge pin, but Michaels bridges completely out of it and goes back to the chops. Triple H comes back with a facebuster and gets in some shoulderblocks. Michaels is whipped from pillar to pillar back first – and Triple H follows with a backbreaker. JR questions how Shawn’s back is holding up, but Lawler smartly points out that after awhile you have to stop questioning it, since he’s been fine ever since returning in 2002. Michaels comes back with a leg whip and slaps on a figure four! The referee starts his first count of the night, getting up to 3 on Hunter before he stands. Michaels follows with a dropkick to the knee of Triple H, and draws another 3. Michaels charges with the crossbody, but Triple H sees it coming, and pulls down the top rope, sending Shawn crashing to the floor. Hunter tears apart the Spanish announce table – and you can hear them groaning. The North American table also gets dismantled, and Shawn is positioned on top for a suplex. Michaels counters it and knocks Hunter off the table – drawing boos since nobody went through. Back in – Michaels goes up, but gets caught on his way down with a knee to the chest. Pedigree is set, but Michaels manages to backdrop Hunter over the top rope. Triple H stands, Shawn tries a crossbody block over the top, but Hunter moves, and Shawn crashes through the Spanish announce table. We have us a bleeder!!! The referee hits 7 before Michaels stands. Triple H pulls Shawn back into the middle of the ring, beats the crap out of him, and leaves him lying. Shawn gives the camera the sad puppy dog look through the crimson mask – and stands at 7. Another punch to the head gets a 6. Michaels calls over Triple H for more. Hunter hammers in 3 more punches, and draws another 6. Triple H screams at Shawn to stay down, and when he won’t, he punches some more. Michaels fires back, and walks right into a spinebuster. Shawn’s getting quicker, standing at 5. Triple H has about enough of that, and grabs a chair. Michaels takes a shot to the back, drawing 9 this time. Hunter’s irate, and prepares a Pedigree on the chair. Michaels counters into a slingshot – making sure to drop Triple H back first on the chair first. They’re both up at 4, and Michaels gets the chair. One swing later, and Hunter’s head is sitting 390 feet away from his body. Triple H still manages to stand from that, so Shawn drops him with a flying forearm. Both men are down – but Shawn nips up at 7. Triple H gets up at 8. Michaels gets an atomic drop and clothesline. With Hunter down, a flying elbow off the top seems appropriate, and Michaels delivers! Sweet Chin Music is prepped, but Triple H ducks it and lowblows Shawn. The referee gets to 8 before both men stand. Michaels puts on a sleeper hold, and knocks Hunter out. That gets an 8 count. With nothing left in either man, it’s Triple H who finds a move, nailing a DDT. Triple H is up at 5, while Shawn manages to get up at 8. Shawn goes back to the chops and heads up to crossbody Triple H from the top. Once again, both guys are up at the 8 count – and Hunter’s not playing anymore, hitting the Pedigree with style!!! Triple H stands at 5, and somehow, and Shawn actually manages to pull himself to his feet at a 9!!! Hunter weakly shakes his head, having NO idea what the hell to do now – and misses the foot flying at his head. SWEET…CHIN…MUSIC!!!!!! Shawn’s the first one to stir at 8, but can’t get up – and we have ourselves a BULLSHIT DRAW. (22:45) **** The match was awesome, but that finish can suck a dick as far as I’m concerned. Stretchers are brought down for each man, while the fans rightly chant “BULLSHIT!” at the ring. RIC FLAIR and BATISTA check on Triple H while he’s being stretchered out. Meanwhile, Shawn shrugs his off and walks out with the help from the referees.
Wrestlemania XX is in 49 days. Go mark a calendar.
The Royal Rumble video package, which we saw a hundred times over during Heat, runs (2:26)…
Our rumble hosts are JIM ROSS and TAZZ. That’s…interesting.
HOWARD FINKLE wants to start the Rumble, but ERIC BISCHOFF isn’t much interested in letting THAT happen. He’d rather gloat about the fact that a RAW superstar is going to win the Rumble – despite Paul Heyman running the other brand. The rundown Bingo Hall brings back fond memories for these fans, no doubt, but for whatever reason they boo at its mention. PAUL HEYMAN comes storming down to the ring, as I realize just how fucked up it is to have Vince McMahon, Paul E., and Eric Bischoff all in the same company… Paul attacks Bischoff without uttering a word, which leads to SHERIFF AUSTIN making an appearance. Austin tells them they’re both in violation of the law, and wants to know who started this mess? They point fingers, and Bischoff takes a Stunner. PLAY STEVE’S MUSIC! He drinks beer, and Paul stupidly accepts one… You know what happens next. Ugh, let’s move on, PLEASE… Go away Steve.
Backstage, GOLDBERG gets interviewed by TERRI, but can’t even get a word in before BROCK LESNAR happens over. “Who cares what number Bill Goldberg is in the Royal Rumble?” He reminds everyone that he just beat Hardcore Holly to retain the belt. “You done putting yourself over there Brock?” “No I’m not!” And he continues! He asks Goldberg what happened to HIS belt? “That’s in the past Brock… What matters is tonight!” He tells Brock that he’s on his way to “Mania” to regain his WWE Title, and ultimately that’s all anyone cares about. “Right Hardcore?” Brock jumps about 10 feet into the air and scans the room…revealing no one. He spins back around, and finds himself face to face with…Goldberg. “You know…some people, and I say some people have the nerve to call Mick Foley a coward? Ha ha ha…I don’t think so.”
Back on the farm, Tazz goads JR into calling Mick Foley a coward in one of the funniest moments of the night… “I feel better now, thank you!”
TAZZ’S KEYS TO VICTORY
1 – Out of sight, out of mind 2 – Conditioning 3 – Higher number is your best friend
But honestly, considering Tazz lasted 18 seconds before getting dumped by Kane in the long Rumble he was part of, does ANYONE truly give a damn what he thinks the keys to victory are?
THE ROYAL RUMBLE
CHRIS BENOIT is of course #1, and the announcers once again start talking about going coast-to-coast, and Shawn Michaels being the only one to do it, once again IGNORING Vince’s drawing of #2 which is the SAME DAMN THING… RANDY ORTON is lucky #Vince. Just like last year, we’re starting out with 2 of the favorites. Apparently it’s 90 second intervals this year, but they’ve said that a few times and lied… Orton and Benoit do the lockup thing, and Benoit gets medieval on Randy’s ass. A snap suplex seems to give Benoit the advantage, but Orton isn’t swayed and comes back with a European uppercut. Benoit gets in a knee to the midsection that drops Orton like a rock, and we call upon the awesome power of SEXUAL CHOCOLATE at #3, with TEDDY LONG at his side. Benoit has Orton on the ropes, but Henry gets into it and breaks that up… I should note that yes, it was 90 seconds on the button. Henry takes out everyone, while Tazz announces his pick is The Big Show. Let’s see if he changes it 25 times. YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI is #4, and appears to have a mouthful of something. I can’t IMAGINE what. Tajiri kicks the hell out of Orton and nails a handspring elbow. Benoit comes in with 2 Germans on Tajiri while Orton, like an idiot, tries to dump Henry. It fails, of course. Henry tosses Orton, but he hangs on, and scoots back in with a dropkick. THERAPIST BRADSHAW joins our friends, and he’s #5. He mouths the words “I miss you Spanky” before taking out everyone, save Benoit, with Clotheslines From Hell! Seeing Benoit standing makes Bradshaw ANGRY, so he tries another clothesline, but it’s countered into the Crossface. Bradshaw stands up out of the move, and goes to dump Benoit, but Benoit hooks an arm, and grabs the ropes with the other, and uses the momentum to carry Mr. Hawk up and out to the floor. (5:24) Nice knowing ya! Bradshaw shoves a ref and yells “SEE YOU IN THE SHOWERS, CHRIS!” Benoit hits a baseball slide dropkick on Tajiri while Orton hits a missile shoulderblock on Henry. It’s time for another competitor, and we call on RHYNO. Tajiri slaps a Tarantula on Henry, because LORD KNOWS in the Royal Rumble the best place to be is dangling upside down over the top rope. Rhyno goes straight to Benoit and gives him a spinebuster! GORE is set…but misses, and hits Henry, which sends Tajiri flying! (6:53) Henry seems blinded? He’s holding his eyes on the ropes, and Benoit clotheslines him over the top… The hell??? (7:02) A replay is aired, and reveals that Tajiri actually misted Henry RIGHT before putting on the Tarantula – completely missed by everyone. That sneaky little bastard… Hey, it ain’t cheating if no one sees it. Rhyno takes out Orton and Benoit single handedly, but can’t dump ‘em. MATT HARDY, NO. 7.0 is here, and goes after Rhyno with a Side Effect. Benoit quickly grabs Hardy and dumps him, but Hardy hangs on to the apron, and remains in. Rhyno hangs Hardy on the top, but can’t get the pesky bugger over. SCOTT STEINER grabs #8, while JR reminds us that in the 17-year history of the Rumble, only 4 guys have drawn a single digit number and won. Steiner cleans house with Steinerlines, and t-bones Orton. Benoit takes a belly to belly while Rhyno chops at Hardy. Rhyno takes a t-bone from the angry Steiner, before finally Benoit tames him with 2 German suplexes. JR again takes the time to interestingly note that there are NO former Rumble winners in here tonight, which means we’ll be crowning a new champ for sure. Did getting rid of Lawler suddenly make him smarter? Hardy has Orton on the ropes, but Benoit saves him by accident when choosing to give Hardy a belly to back. MATT MORGAN is #9. Morgan, like everyone else, goes after Benoit, and hits a rotating sitdown powerbomb. Yowch. Matt Hardy eats Mogan’s big boot while Steiner gives Rhyno a vertical suplex. Hardy attempts to dump Steiner, and Rhyno decides to lend a hand. They can’t get it done. THE HURRICANE draws #10. Stand back, there’s some deadweight coming through… Tazz accuses JR of having picked The Hurricane, which he denies vehemently. I find that greatly amusing for some reason. He hits a flying crossbody on Hardy. Rhyno stomps at Benoit, while Morgan throws Hurricane about 10 feet, and out. (13:32) Thanks for coming out. Morgan goes to do the same thing to Hardy, but Hardy hangs on for dear life, and avoids elimination. Replays reveal his feet were INCHES from the floor. Hardy throws chop blocks at Morgan, and BOOKER T joins us at #11, nearly 2 minutes since the last entrant. That’s not a bad strategy actually, to have it fast paced at the start, and slow it down once there’s lots of guys in the ring when people are less likely to notice the delays. He and Steiner pick right back up where they left off, and Booker chops away. Those guys have been feuding since what, 1993 now? Orton takes an axekick which Morgan slaps Benoit around. Booker takes a high knee from Morgan. #12 is KANE, and it might be safe to assume bodies are flying. We’re reminded that he once dumped 11 guys in a single Rumble, which was 2001. Steiner gets dumped, off camera, by Booker. (16:39) Kane comes in and chokeslams Booker, Benoit, and Morgan in the order, before giving Hardy a side slam, Rhyno a big boot, and Orton a chokeslam. I think that covers everyone. Kane stands alone and gives Hardy a STIFF uppercut. We’re ready for the next entrant…and we get…a gong??? Kane FLIPS OUT, screaming “NO WAY, YOU’RE DEAD!” and allows Booker a chance to dump him! (18:25) And it’s not the Undertaker at all, but SPIKE DUDLEY at #13. Kane does NOT take kindly to that tease, and chokeslams Spike on the ramp HARD! I’m guessing that Spike isn’t coming to fight today. Orton gets Hardy on the ropes, but Benoit breaks that up by knocking down Orton, and goes after Hardy himself. RIKISHI is #14 to ZERO heat. On his way down, Benoit dumps Rhyno out of the blue. (20:24) Rikishi kicks everyone and gives Morgan a stinkface. THIS ISN’T 2000 ANYMORE, AND THUS IT IS NO LONGER FUNNY. Rikishi chokes out Morgan, while JR wonders how it’s possible to dump Rikishi. RENE DUPREE dances his way to the ring, at #15. Hardy tries a Twist Of Fate on Dupree, but it’s blocked, and Dupree dropkicks Hardy over and out! (22:24) Rene does his absolutely HILARIOUS French dance, and walks right into a superkick from Rikishi that sends him over the top. (22:33) Booker tries to dump Rikishi, but can’t due to the weight behind that one. A-TRAIN powers his way in at #16, and goes for Rikishi. I DON’T want to rekindle that 2-year old feud. Benoit dumps Morgan, clearing out some space. (23:44) A-Train dangles on the ropes, from Rikishi and Booker’s double team. Seeing a wide open ass, Orton dumps Rikishi while he has the chance! (24:12) From there, he dumps Booker with ease! (24:19) Tazz decides it’s going to be an all-Evolution Royal Rumble. We’re down to 3, Benoit, Orton, and Train. SHELTON BENJAMIN joins the fray at #17, and goes after Orton – but not before Benoit dumps A-Train! (25:04) Orton gives Benjamin a European uppercut. Shelton tries to come back with a Harlem sidekick, but it misses, and he crotches himself, allowing Orton to dump him with ease. (25:40) Not as fruitful a Rumble for Benjamin as last year was. So we’re back down to #1 and #2. Benoit gives Orton a belly to back suplex. They both charge eachother, and coconuts collide. Both guys are down. LAMONT rushes the ring as the timer ticks down, and introduces THE GREATEST! Miller dances all over the place with both guys down, while Tazz sings along with Cat’s theme song! This RULES!!!!! Benoit gets up, and looks REALLY annoyed. He launches Lamont’s hair about 15 rows into the crowd, and then launches Lamont about as far. Meanwhile, Orton dumps The Cat on the other side. (27:45) Once again, we’re back to Benoit and Orton. Orton takes out Benoit, and poses. KURT ANGLE should liven things up, and comes in at #19. Kurt takes out Orton, and Benoit takes out Kurt with a series of forearms. Benoit chops away. Orton smartly lies back in the corner, and allows the guys to beat the shit out of eachother, and a series of suplexes are thrown around. Kurt NEARLY eliminates Benoit, but he hangs on to the ropes. Orton decides to jump on Kurt now, while RICO enters at #20, with MISS JACKIE not very far behind. Rico and Orton trade punches while Angle and Benoit go back to their thing. Rico tries dumping Orton, but Orton comes back with an RKO while Benoit gives Kurt the rolling Germans. Orton easily dumps Rico. (31:10) Benoit goes for the flying headbutt, but Kurt was playing possum and cuts him off, crotching him hard and trying to dump him. TEST is #21…but he’s nowhere to be seen. Orton hits Kurt with an RKO, and he’s the only man standing.
And we go to the back! Test is out cold, and STEVE AUSTIN starts yelling at someone off camera. “That’s my #21 entrant you son of a bitch. Alright, fine, now you’re 21! Get your ass to the ring. NOW! GET TO THE DAMN RING!”
Meanwhile, Orton’s still stomping at Benoit, and some familiar music hits… Orton shits his pants, because #21 is MICK FOLEY!!!! Foley goes STRAIGHT to Orton and pounds the crap out of him. A Cactus clothesline spells the end for both (33:48), but the damage is done, and Foley’s done what he was here to do. Well…not quite, because the fight continues, with Orton being sent face first into the steps. CHRISTIAN joins the partay at #22, but the focus remains on Orton and Foley, or if you’re JR “Oley and Forton!” Orton grabs a chair and smacks Foley HARD in the skull. They fight onto the ramp, and Orton slams Mick head first into the ramp. Foley fights back though and levels Orton with a series of punches, and grabs Socko! NUNZIO heads out at #23, and winds up in the wrong place, taking Socko!!!! Orton kicks Foley in the nuts, which breaks the hold, and Orton runs backstage. Foley chases, while Nunzio decides to sit on the outside of the ring, hidden around the corner so no one can see him. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Christian’s taking the fight to Benoit. Kurt hits Christian with a German, and follows with one for Benoit. Nunzio excitedly cheers people on from the outside! Kurt tries to dump Christian, but Christian hooks the ropes with his legs and isn’t about to let go. THE BIG SHOW draws a lucky #24. Show slaps everyone down, and headbutts Christian for fun. Not much else happens before CHRIS JERICHO enters at #25, and goes right after Kurt Angle. The Sexy Beasts double team Kurt, but Show headbutts them both. Christian jumps on the back of Show and attempts to dump him, and EVERYONE then gangs up on Show. Benoit, Jericho, Angle, and Christian all hook any body part they can, but Show fights them ALL off. CHARLIES HAAS is #26, and the camera shot reveals that Nunzio is still sitting outside of the ring, looking on. Jericho dumps Benoit, but Benoit hangs on. Christian then tries to dump Jericho, but he lands on the apron, and then catapults Christian out! (42:36) I smell trouble between the two… BILLY GUNN is #27 and gives Kurt the Fameasser right away. Jericho takes one as well, as does Big Show. Tazz reminds us that Gunn was married to a guy, which completely shoots Gunn’s credibility out of the gate just based on HOW the comment was dropped. Jericho gives Kurt a belly to back suplex, and turns his attention to Big Show. Benoit gives Jericho a German, and we welcome #28, JOHN CENA. Cena spies Nunzio at ringside. Nunzio flips him off, and tells him to get his ass into the ring and leave him alone. Cena chooses otherwise, and rolls Nunzio in. Big Show jumps on Cena right away, and Nunzio helpfully pounds away. When Show stands close to the ropes though, Nunzio chooses to try to dump HIM, drawing laughs. I never thought I’d see NUNZIO steal the show at the Rumble, but he’s doing a damn fine job… Cena tries to dump Show, but he can’t do it alone. ROB VAN DAM is #29, and gives Show a spinkick, but can’t dump him. Nunzio attempts to dump RVD, and comes close – especially when Benoit decides to help! Kurt takes an FU from Cena! The clock starts counting, and there’s only one guy left… The crowd ERUPTS at the sound of GOLDBERG’s music, and he IMMEDIATELY rekindles hard feelings with The Giant, and spears him! Everyone takes punches and slams, except Nunzio who jumps right on Bill’s back and applies a sleeper! GO NUNZIO! Haas is dumped by Goldberg, with Nunzio on his back. (48:35) Goldberg slams Nunzio over his head, and gives him a spear he will NOT be forgetting anytime soon. Gunn is dumped by Goldberg. (48:59) Goldberg launches Nunzio over and out. (49:13) He calls for a Jackhammer on Show, but BROCK LESNAR hits the ring and F5’s Goldberg!!!!!!!!! Lesnar slides out and smiles. Goldberg sits up, no selling the move with a REALLY pissed off look on his face. The grunting starts… “YOU’RE NEXT YOU SON OF A BITCH!” And with that, Kurt Angle dumps Goldberg! (50:19) The crowd boos THAT. So we’re down to 6. Cena, Kurt, Benoit, RVD, Jericho, and Show. The 5 non-large men go after Big Show, and all attempt to dump him over the top again. With one arm movement though, Show throws them all aside. Jericho takes a headbutt, and Cena’s set for a slam, but Kurt chops him at the knees. RVD drops a leg, Jericho hits a Lionsault, RVD hits the 5-star Frogsplash, Cena does his 5 Knuckle Shuffle, Benoit hits a flying headbutt, and Kurt puts a plan together. They all grab a body part and attempt to dry lift him off the mat. You can hear Big Show telling the guys off while they’re trying to lift him, specifically RVD. Show once again manages to shove them all off, and dumps Cena seconds later. (53:00) Cena lands HARD on the back of his knee, and could have blown it out… The fans aren’t happy campers. Van Dam hits his shoulderblocks, and tries a monkey flip, but Show shrugs it off and sends Van Dam flying. (53:18) Jericho is sent over the top, but he skins the cat and re-enters. He dropkicks Show and has him on the ropes!! Show shoves him off, but Jericho’s persistant and comes back. He charges, and gets backdropped, landing on the apron. Jericho’s back in, rakes the eyes, and dropkicks the knee. Bulldog off the top drops Show, and Jericho slaps on the Walls! Show taps like mad – but Kurt breaks it up. Jericho tries to dump Kurt, while Show chokeslams Benoit. Jericho takes a Chokeslam next…over the top, and out! (55:10) Kurt takes a side slam, while Benoit takes ANOTHER Chokeslam. Kurt attempts a German, but he can’t pick up Show. Show chokes Kurt out on the ropes, but Kurt fires back and hits an Olympic Slam!!!!! Benoit also takes an Olympic Slam – and asks the fans which guy he should dump? The fans roar their approval for Big Show. Show stands, and Kurt rolls him right into an Anklelock…and Show taps again! Show’s in pain, and crawls to the ropes. Show nearly jumps over, and Kurt thinks he’s got him – but it’s all a ploy on Show’s part!!!! Show uses his leg strength to proper Kurt over the top to the floor!!!! (57:37) And we have two guys left! Angle throws a tantrum outside of the ring, while Show climbs back to the apron. Benoit sees Show dangling on the apron, and his chance! He dives with the headbutt at Show, but that accidently propels Show BACK into the ring. Show stands, and goes for a Chokeslam, which is turned into a Crossface in mid-air – and Show once again is tapping!!!! Benoit hangs on, refusing to let go. Show manages to stand, with the move on, and backdrops Benoit. Show stands, and makes REALLY angry faces. “COME TO ME BENOIT! IT’S ALL OVER! YOU HEAR ME? IT’S ALL OVER!” He picks Benoit over his head, and goes to dump him, but Benoit slips off and applies a front facelock from mid-air. Show starts to fall asleep – and places Benoit on the apron. Benoit hangs on to the hold, and Show passes out further, and further, now dangling on the top rope… And he’s falling…falling…and FINALLY falls over the top!!! (1:01:35) ****1/4 And our winner of the 2004 Royal Rumble is Chris Benoit – who now gets a title shot at Wrestlemania!!! Benoit gets back into the ring to celebrate – and soaks up the cheers of the fans. We get our celebration as the show slowly fades, with nothing but Benoit’s music, and cheers!
Too bad the CW and Eddy/Chavo matches got cut waaay too short.
And naturally, the WWE had a steel toed boot lined up and ready to kick me in the NetherRegions on SD! by giving Rey and Noble about 9 minutes when I'd paid $35 to see JUST THAT on Sunday. (Well...okay, I wanted 20 but I'm realistic)
I thought that those who actually read my TotI3 recap, but haven't got around to saying anything yet, might be interested in the following feedback that I DID get from IWS wrestler (& Quebec champ) TNT.