2004 Rumble

Look, I totally get the WWE pretending the 2004 Rumble doesn't exist, but why is everyone else?   I saw two lists of the best Rumbles ever, and neither put 04 in the top 10 let alone top 5, and let's face it, it's one of the greatest matches ever.  As a huge Benoit mark (not anymore) it was my favorite Rumble behind 92 and a fair equal to that one.  With 8 years now, can we the wrestling community still not give that match the credit it deserves or is the Benoit stain just forever impossible to get rid of?

​It was a great match, but I just have no desire to ever watch it again.  I'm pretty sure many people feel the same way.  ​

Royal Rumble Prize

Hi Scott,

Quick question, followed by some of my own ruminations on the answer if I may:

Q: Should the WWE remove the prize of an automatic Wrestlemania Main Event title match for winning the Royal Rumble (and will they ever)?

For me I think the time has come to de-couple the two. By and large they got away with it up until 2004, then they had the option of multiple belts and multiple brands in order to add intrigue to the story of how the Mania upper card would be booked, but since they went back to 1 title belt in 2013 they have clearly run into problems both years and it seems to me that the automatic prize of a Wrestlemania Main Event is a really damaging and limiting the booking options.

It affects the booking of the Rumble itself as it makes it pretty obvious who will win it, usually between 1 or 2 at the most which takes away hugely from the enjoyment of the Rumble match as they have to book in line with the storylines and it removes any element of surprise or giving the Rumble win to somebody to elevate them or give them the rub.

It also cheapens the build to Mania itself  as even though there is a PPV still to go, the main event is set in stone which leaves the champion and challenger in limbo, and gives an awfully long time for them to keep the interest alive.

Also, as seen in the last 2 years, if the public don't like the choice it gives the WWE a massive headache in terms of having to salvage Wrestlemania and re-work the card to save face.

All that could be solved, meaning the road to Wrestlemania is more fun and unpredictable, by simply saying that from next year the Rumble match does not carry the same prize, and merely the prize is to be the winner of the Rumble.

Your thoughts?

​Yeah, I agree with your take here.  We're also at two years in a row now where the Rumble winner failed in the main event of Wrestlemania, which hurts the stipulation even more.  Not to mention the years where they'd fuck around with the title match via the Elimination Chamber anyway.  The Rumble is prestigious enough as it is and with PPV being dead anyway, there's really no pressing reason to determine the Wrestlemania main event that way.  ​If someone is worthy, the booking should reflect it well in advance.  

WWF Royal Rumble: January 19, 1997

LIVE from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas – this is Everyone’s Formerly Favorite Pay-Per-View Of The Year Until That Daniel Bryan Stuff Started – the Royal Rumble! VINCE MCMAHONJIM ROSS, and JERRY LAWLER make up a horrifying trio that’ll leave me wanting for Tony Schiavone. Actually, ARTURO RIVERAHUGO SAVINOVICH, and CARLOS CABRERA are on Spanish duty, can we listen to them? They seem pretty amped. Where’s my retroactive SAP button? RAY ROUGEAU and JACQUES ROUGEAU SR. cover la commentaire en Francais.
Allegedly over 60,000 people are here, which isn’t a wild exaggeration. And, it’s entirely possible that as many as 5,000 of them PAID to be here!

GOLDUST (with Marlena) vs. HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY (with Curtis Hughes) (for the WWF Intercontinental title)
Our recap reminds us of a much more innocent time, when Jerry Lawler, on Network television, asked Goldust “aren’t you a queer?” This would be the lesser of the offensive words used by Lawler during that timeframe, and nobody batted an eye. THIS WAS LESS THAN 20 YEARS AGO. Did we grow up in the stone ages?!? “Bizarre!” and “Misunderstood!” are your shouting points du jour for Vinny Mac. Goldust attacks Hunter during his entrance, and hauls him back to the ring to start the contest. That lasts for about 2 seconds before they’re back on the floor, and Helmsley is dropped throat first across the guardrail. The fans pop for the first time when the camera finds Marlena. Goldust tries the 10-punch count-a-long, but Helmsley powers loose at 5 and hits an atomic drop. Pedigree attempt is countered with a slingshot, and the power of falling backwards is too much for Hunter to take, launching himself over the top rope and to the floor. Goldust slithers after him, and slams the ringsteps over Hunter’s back. By god, those are 900 pounds! How will Hunter recover? And Goldust benches 900 pounds? All stud. Vince cuts everything off with a big update: George and Adam have been thrown out of the building. “I don’t mind that humorous, what a terrible misunderstanding, maybe we’ll get it sorted out.” I’m all on board with getting this taken care of, if it means Vince abandoning his post for a short period of time. No more than 30-45 years, tops. Hunter has recovered, and throws Goldust face first into the ring post. Taking an eternity to set up his next move, it’s somehow a shock when he misses his running knee and hits the guardrail. Goldust slams the ring steps over Hunter’s knee again, and rolls him back in. Goldust drops a knee across the injury, and … seriously, psychology with these two? I’m shocked, in a good way. I was expecting no less than 15 minutes of Goldust rubbing himself, and both guys focusing their attacks on each other’s penises. Goldust applies a figure four to the delight of the Tejans, and Hunter nearly gets counted down a number of times. Helmsley escapes and hits the floor, where Goldust yells at a fallen Triple H “GET UP YOU PIECE OF SHIT!” That’s promptly ignored by Vince. I’m shocked he didn’t immediately erupt into disgust and apologize on behalf of the World Wrestling Federation (where ANYTHING can happen!). Goldust misses a crossbody attack, and the momentum keeps him rolling like a log all the way to the floor. Helmsley gimps after him, and gently eases Goldust into the steps. Back in, Hunter tries his curtsy, but fails due to his injured leg – but SOMEHOW he has the ability to throw a knee at Goldust on the floor. Helmsley grabs Marlena’s director’s chair, but it’s taken away before anything interesting comes of it.
In the crowd, TODD PETTENGILL is chatting with “country western superstar” COLLIN RAYE. Todd tells him “I listen to you” with all the sincerity of Sean O’Haire, while Raye gushes about the fact the WWF has somehow travelled all the way to Texas. This is the kind of important interview that could not have possibly waited for Superstars, and I’m glad they attended to that immediately.
Goldust starts a comeback in here somewhere, but I was too busy listening to Todd singing karaoke with his new friend. Going up to finish, Goldust shoves Earl Hebner backwards into the ropes, crotching Goldust HARD. Helmsley scales the ropes, but Goldust fights him off so he can hit his big spot – The Missed Elbow Drop. Curtis slides Helmsley the belt and distracts the referee. Hunter, realizing his chance to focus on the match and retain his title, starts French kissing Marlena like a sex deprived federal inmate. Once that ends (and only because Marlena got away; if she hadn’t moved, that might have been the last spot for the remainder of the Rumble), Helmsley has given Goldust plenty of time to recuperate and deliver an uppercut. He wallops Hunter with the belt, but Hughes pulls Triple H out of the ring before the count. As Goldust turns his attention to Curtis, Helmsley clotheslines him from behind and hits the Pedigree to retain at 16:53. That … took … forever. I mean, they tried, but neither guy (especially Hunter) was anywhere near ready for that kind of time. *
BRET HART refuses to Turn Back. MANKIND doesn’t want the World Title, he wants to hurt a lot of people he doesn’t like. Ok!
FAAROOQ (with PG-13, Clarence Mason, D’Lo Brown, Kona Crush, a Woman in a Cocktail Dress, and Several Well Dressed Men) vs. AHMED JOHNSON
Faarooq has an entourage that would make Floyd Mayweather swoon. I’m probably going to say this every single time that Ahmed fights, but watching the video package to build up this match just leaves me in a state of disbelief that he wasn’t one of the three biggest stars to come out of the Attitude Era. This guy could not MISS, with the intense Mr. T eyes, Hard Knock attitude, but love for the fans who supported him. I talked about characters in my last Superstars ‘cap – THIS guy had character. And sure enough, Faarooq gets a mansized beating right off the bell, and the fans are eating it up. He figures Faarooq is already so battered down the referee should “ring the bell”, but he doesn’t. Crush throws a belt to Faarooq, picked up quickly by Ahmed, who whips the tar out of Faarooq. Outside, Ahmed whips him from stairs to stairs, until Faarooq grabs a Nation member as a possum. Off the distraction, he clotheslines Ahmed and drops him kidney first (did I mention his allegedly destroyed kidneys? No? Consider them mentioned!) across the top of the chair in a spot that looks insanely dangerous with absolutely no upside. Faarooq folds the chair up and swats Ahmed across the kidney, which looks MUCH safer, sad as it is. Back in, Faarooq starts booting at the kidney area, and if it’s actually a target that could lead to a life threatening situation, it be fairly irresponsible of the WWF to continue letting him wrestle. But, then again, I should probably worry less about fake kidney problems when half the roster is going to be inflicted with various brain injuries in the coming years from untreated concussions. Faarooq puts on a camel clutch, while JC Ice flashes him Black Power. Crush stares on, showing off his lovely rosy cheeks that stand out amongst his allegedly rugged exterior. Faarooq orders Ahmed to stand up, and he appeases him, putting Faarooq in the electric chair and falling right back, taking them both out. Faarooq recovers first, but he goes upstairs and flies right into a powerslam. He goes to finish, but a spinebuster turns things around, allowing Faarooq time to remind us some more how bad he is. Ahmed uses the time to stand up, and hit a spinebuster of his own. Crush hits the ring now, and is tossed aside, but the whole Nation is right behind for the DQ at 8:47. Ahmed kills all of them and chases Faarooq right up the aisle. One of the tuxedo’ed dudes stops him, so Ahmed stalks him back to ringside and puts him through the French announce table with the Pearl River Plunge to a massive pop. All the same mistakes as the WWF’s booking of Goldberg were on display here. Too much selling from a guy who should have come in, killed Faarooq, and moved on. 1/2*
TERRY FUNK reminds us there’s a lot of younger wrestlers than himself in the Rumble.
FAAROOQ and THE NATION have moved on to spend time with TODD PETTENGILL. He rants and raves, promising to put down “Uncle Tom”. Poor Uncle Tom.
VADER vs. THE UNDERTAKER
Cornette isn’t with us because The Undertaker killed him on Superstars a couple of weeks ago in a very underreported story, all told. I mean, the announcers mention it here, but still, you would think the death of the legendary manager might warrant a little more than a passing thought. Vader attempts to attack before the bell, but apparently The Undertaker has eyes in the back of his head, so he sidesteps and Vader eats buckle. Big ol’ soupbones are delivered courtesy of Dead Man Inc, but Vader stops that with a clothesline. Taker sits up instantly, so Vader uses his “sizeable girth” according to Vince. Does that make Flash Funk the most likely man to win the Royal Rumble with those qualifications? Vader hits a jawbreaker across the top rope, which is enough to stun Taker temporarily. Of course, no follow up is death, and Vader takes a Fameasser! Big leg drop gets 2. That takes us directly into the Old School spot, and Vader uses his head by just moving forward, tripping Undertaker up and crotching him violently across the middle ropes. Vader goes low one more time, and Undertaker reminds us that he’s not as dead as we might believe, while a camera crew rushes over to the much more important …
TODD PETTENGILL, who is standing with SUMMER BISHOP, WWF Superfan. She saved her money all summer by babysitting just so she’d be able to follow Shawn Michaels to the Alamo Dome. She was one of the brilliant fans who appears to have shelled out $175 bones to sit in the front row, which is great and all, except the SECOND most expensive ticket in the house was … $18. I’m not kidding. And that’s before we get into the 13,000+ who were comped. Oh Summer … there’s a lesson to be learned here somewhere, but I’m not entirely sure what it is.
Vader Time remains the theme, and the big man heads up for some sort of belly to belly belly, getting 2. The fans start to make a little noise to rally the Undertaker, with Vince providing the updates. “He’s up, no he’s not!” Eventually a belly to back suplex takes them both out, and a zoom in to Vader reveals … he’s awake and telling the Undertaker what the next spot is? Is this a fix? Why would they be in cahoots? Was this a plan from the start to eliminate James E Cornette? Now I’m questioning EVERYTHING. Taker misses an elbow, and Vader goes up top, only to get powerslammed. Still, he catches Taker with a good looking powerbomb, but Taker kicks out after a pretty fast 2 count. Taker comes back with a clothesline, and goes for a second round of Old School. This time, Vader’s far too stupid than to move a half inch forward, and he gets hit with the move. This draws in PAUL BEARER, and perhaps they want to kill him too? Taker hits a Chokeslam and wants to finish, but he spies Paul so he dumps Vader to the outside instead. Casually, he moonwalks back to the ramp-side, and self-clotheslines to the outside, catching Bearer off guard and punching him. They wind up back in, but Vader’s back now, so Undertaker decks Bearer quickly and takes Vader to the outside with a Cactus clothesline. If there’s a storyline here, it’s a mess. Taker sets up the stairs for a running avalanche, but Bearer yanks Vader to safety and Taker nails the rail chest first. Those nurples gonna be purple tomorrow. Before Taker can get to his feet, Bearer whacks him in the face with the Urn, because it MUST be the focal point of every Undertaker moment through 1999, and a Vaderbomb gets the pin FINALLY at 13:21. Vader and Bearer head to the back together, arm in arm. Sexy. Honestly, we should have seen it coming, Mini Mankind and Mini Vader have been working together for weeks. *1/2
STEVE AUSTIN promises to throw 29 pieces of trash over the top rope tonight. If he focused on a couple of wrestlers too, he might have a chance. THE BRITISH BULLDOG vows to win the “Woil Whumble” because he’s “Bizaaaah!”
HEAVY METAL, FUERZA GUERRERA, and JERRY ESTRADA vs. HECTOR GARZA, PERRO AGUAYO, and CANEK
Awww dude, what the shit is this? You can tell Vince has absolutely no idea why he’s stooped to this level, because he starts promising a “REAL TREAT” with “THE GREATEST MEXICANS!” while having absolutely NO idea what anyone’s name is. About 15 years ago, this was amongst the first shows I ever recapped (atrociously – let us never speak of it again), and I was basically unable to tell you a bloody thing about the match because at NO point do the announcers distinguish any one wrestler from anyone else. 15 years later … Christ, what do YOU think, I’m older and can’t even remember to sign various paperwork with the year 2015 despite the fact it’s now February. Perro is identified as The Really Really Really Old Guy, not to be mistaken with the Really Old Guy, and the Pretty Old Guy. JR starts reading directly from whatever stats he was fed before the show, about one of the guys having won over 30 masks in his career. He fails to explain why this is a big deal. I’ll have you know, if I REALLY applied myself, I too could win over 30 masks, but it would take a lot of ring tossing at State Fairs, and I’m fairly sure my “triglycerides” would not agree with the volume of corn dogs needed to get me there. Oh, somehow I’ve forgotten to inform you that the referee is Spanish Terry Funk; an archaeological discovery wearing a purple headband. I have no doubt he’s an important part of some sort of history, but Vince McMahon is too busy guffawing at all the moves he’s incapable of calling by name. Certainly at least one of you were in the crowd that night, right? Can you articulate to me, exactly how long the lines to the bathroom were during this match? There are 60,000 people in attendance, and the only noise coming from any corner of the arena in McMahon’s insistence that anything can happen in the World Wrestling Federation. In one particularly exciting moment, at the 10:57 mark, one guy pins another. This was an embarrassment to Mexican wrestling, both on commentary, AND in the ring. I’m looking forward to TheCubsFan weighing in on this. DUD
THE ROYAL RUMBLE
The World Title match has been moved to the main event slot (which they’ve experimented with a few times over the years), meaning one of two things: Shawn Michaels is getting the belt back in the Feel Good San Antonio Moment Of The Year, OR Vince is looking to pull the plug on his company at warp speed. KONA CRUSH draws #1, and is escorted by PG-13 and CLARENCE MASON. Before he even has a chance to get comfortable, AHMED JOHNSON’s music hits, and he burns a hole right through the entire Nation. Unbelievably, because the booking hasn’t been completely backwards enough tonight, it’s CRUSH who gets the early offense, stopping any potential crowd explosion they might have had left for Ahmed tonight. #3 is NOT RAZOR RAMON, coming out with no countdown. Come on, that’s the ONE guaranteed spot to have the crowd completely hooked every 2 minutes. Razor’s immediately dumped by Ahmed, leaving the first two again. FAAROOQ comes down to ringside, so Ahmed willingly jumps over the top rope to chase him to the back. Really? They’re bound and determined to keep him from getting anything tonight, to hell with the lot of you! PHINEAS GODWINN is #4, with HILLBILLY JIM in tow. Vince finally admits they’ve been Clock Blocked, and are working to fix it. STEVE AUSTIN draws #5, which probably wasn’t part of the plan; not that he seems to particularly care. Maybe Bret Hart can show up at ringside so he can jump over the top and eliminate himself, cuz that’s how we do. Austin nails Crush with a clothesline, letting Phineas send him packing, and Austin’s right behind him with a Stunner and a mouthful of shit talking. As he’s dumped, BART GUNN heads in with the clock back up and working. That lasts about 30 seconds before Austin clears him, and starts doing pushups. Unfortunately for him, JAKE ROBERTS is #7, snake in hand. The fans are begging for the DDT, as the referee pulls Damian(?) to safety. Austin continues to hold Jake’s number, tossing him just as THE BRITISH BULLDOG comes in. JR plays up Bulldog’s surprisingly stellar Rumble record, which is a reminder of how weak the roster was in the mid 90’s. Doc Hendrix’s pick, PIERROTH, is #9. He’s a “notorious rule breaker” in Mexico, and goes right for the Bulldog … trying to score pinfalls because apparently nobody explained to him how the Rumble works. THE SULTAN with the IRON SHEIK is #10, and changes nothing.
“The Legendary”, and future Hall of Famer, MIL MASCARAS is #11. This should be interesting, just to see how much he’s willing to sell. Sure enough, nothing the Sultan dishes out even results in a flinch, and Mascaras takes over with his stupid punches. He tries to dump the big man, but he doesn’t hold the book here so it doesn’t happen. #12 brings us HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY, while Bulldog takes out the Sultan. Austin nearly tosses Hunter, but it’s clear it’s not happening when Vince starts shouting “OH YES THERE GOES HUNTE… no, not so close.” OWEN HART with his Slammy is lucky #13, and he teams up with Bulldog to work on Austin. Unfortunately, as they have him on the ropes, Owen gives an extra shove and sends his brother-in-law over and out instead! Davey loses his mind, while Owen pleads total innocence. Elsewhere, Mil Mascaras stands around, trying to look championly. GOLDUST is #14, and he focuses on Triple H … allowing Austin a chance to rush over and take the fight to him instead. CIBERNETICO is #15, and if 1992 is the gold standard for Royal Rumbles, this lineup is basically the polar opposite. MARC MERO draws #16, while Pierroth and Cibernetico take their leave. Mascaras then drops a plancha on one of them, and pops back in the ring, apparently completely unaware he’s done. In fact, the referees are forced to explain it to him, and even then, he doesn’t seem to believe them. Goldust finishes off Hunter, and this would be the last time he’d basically be used as Rumble fodder. Hart drops Austin with a gorgeous enzuigiri, while LATIN LOVER is #17. He flattens Hart with a Superkick that draws a good reaction from the fans; the first of the Mexicans to do anything more than annoy the piss out of everyone in attendance for being a part of this. Goldust tries to finish Owen, but he skins the cat and eliminates Goldust instead! FAAROOQ is #18, having apparently managed to avoid Ahmed Johnson backstage. Vince: “Don’t tell me it’s going to be Faarooq and the Nation of Domination winning this thing!” Dude, there’s 12 guys to go! Latin Lover is tossed to no fanfare, but AHMED JOHNSON returns with a 2×4, and he beats the hell out of Faarooq to a MASSIVE pop – backing up everything I’ve been saying all night. Mero and Hart eliminate each other, and somehow, unbelievably, Austin is once again all alone in the ring. Keeping in the tradition of Austin’s old foes coming out of the woodwork, SAVIO VEGA is #19. And, like the rest, he’s gone quickly, and Austin, despite being down and out of energy, keeps calling for more. The fans are slowly turning in favor of the Austin show here. DOUBLE J draws #20, but during a Shake Rattle and Roll, he’s given a trip into the front row. Austin stands defiantly, and draws a super strong 50/50 reaction.
BRET HART comes out at #21, and Austin looks like he’s seen a ghost as the fans explode. Still, he readies himself, and the place is deafening as they trade punches. Bret locks on the Sharpshooter, as JERRY LAWLER leaves the commentary table at #22. He’s promptly returned. NOT DIESEL is #23, and ridiculously, he takes control of the match. TERRY FUNK jumps the gun, running down the ramp about 5 seconds early as #24. A group of SuperFans start parading a massive Funk banner around in the front row, as Bret saves him from near elimination. Funk thanks him by punching him in the face and piledriving him. ROCKY MAIVIA is #25, and he stares his future in the face by going after Austin. Lawler, still loopy, can’t wait for his number to be called. MANKIND is #26, and there’s starting to be a lot of bodies in there (and a fair bit of future star power). FLASH FUNK comes out just as Bret gives Austin a spike piledriver – and I cringed watching it even though I know he’s still 100% at this point. VADER returns at #28, while Lawler vows to enter the Rumble next year. HENRY GODWINN is #29, and Vince’s octaves climb to previously uncharted levels. THE UNDERTAKER draws #30. Vince declares him the winner of the Royal Rumble, so you can rule him out. He starts dishing out chokeslams to all the heels, while Lawler begs him to chokeslam Hart. Vader tosses Flash Funk with a fallaway slam and to the floor in a pretty sick spot. Everyone else sits around throwing punches like a normal boring battle royal, and the fans are ready for something to give now. Taker tosses Godwinn, but he holds on and comes back in because lord knows we need the Godwinns teasing eliminations now as opposed to moving this along. A couple of minutes later, Taker does it for real. Rock is put in the Mandable Claw, and the floor is his only safety, so he’s out. Mankind and Terry pair off, and a Cactus Clothesline looks to end both, but somehow they BOTH hang on. Mankind then finishes Funk for real with a vertical suplex, while hanging on to the ropes to save himself. A big boot from Taker while Mankind’s still on the apron finishes that. Mankind starts a fight with Funk, and then tries to get back in drawing all of the officials to that corner, and that coincides with Austin getting tossed by Bret as the entire arena explodes! But, the referees are busy with Mick, so Austin gets right back in unnoticed, and dumps Taker and Vader who are brawling by the ropes. Hart finishes Diesel, and Austin rushes in to dump HIM, securing the Royal Rumble win at 51:32!! The fans AND Hart are completely irate, while Austin is plenty proud to celebrate his win all the way to the locker room. Hart grabs McMahon by the tuxedo, and demands to know what the hell he’s going to do about Austin’s nonsense? “I THREW HIM OUT OF THE GODDAMN RING!” Vince, stunned, sits there in silence, only calling it “unsportsmanlike conduct” once Bret’s out of earshot. Rumble sucked, finish was fantastic. **
This is how it’s done. Whether they knew it or not, the WWF was witnessing their next big star explode on to the scene. A lot of people automatically credit the King of the Ring victory as the moment Austin came to form, but Austin was actually forgotten about for much of the summer, and didn’t even appear on several of the PPV’s. (This, despite the fact that the roster was pretty much made up of whoever showed up to the arena on any given day at this point.) However, during Bret Hart’s absence, Austin taunted the former champion until it became clear that during Bret’s return his only option was to shut the guy up. Of course, Bret won, but didn’t come close to succeeding the task because Austin was tough enough, AND crazy enough to come at a gun wielding Brian Pillman; a Canadian bred shooter wasn’t going to slow him down. Tonight, he not only capitalized by winning over the fans for a period of time with the Steve Austin show during the early stages, but poured gasoline on the fire of his Bret Hart feud by continuing to do whatever he could to make the old man crazy.
This was a guy just a year into his tenure with the company, who was getting the rocket strapped up his ass, and pushed to high hell. There was no scripting his promos, and lord knows Austin wouldn’t have remembered them anyway. They just instructed him to remind the world how much he hated Bret Hart (and everyone else, for that matter), and Austin made damn sure he did. The rest of the booking came into place naturally. There’s a whole lot of lessons the company could learn if they watched this back. You can’t force a star, you can only let it shine.
Of course, we have one more piece of business to attend to.
SHAWN MICHAELS (with Jose Lothario) vs. SYCHO SID (for the WWF world heavyweight title)
This should be a positive no-doubter now, but we’ll play along nevertheless. Shawn, realizing he is in front of family, friends, and fans, goes all out here, showing off a freshly groomed mat of chest hair. Lothario, quick on his feet, removes the studded chaps before Shawn can start flossing his ass. Sid, completely understanding his role as a heel, stops to pound fists with the fans in the front row and ask “WHO’S THE MAN?” Shawn gets face to face with Sid, appearing to breathe heavily all over the champ. Oh my god, he’s giving him the flu! WHATTAMANOOOOOVER! A crossbody drops Sid immediately, and Shawn pounds his head into the mat. He goes for what APPEARS to be Sweet Chin Music, but winds up missing a little low. Sid still sells like a gunshot, flying to the floor. Shawn follows him out, and nearly gets gorilla pressed, but a rake of the eyes saves him. Back in, Michaels bounces off the top, right into the awaiting arms of Sid, who delivers a powerslam for 2. PETE LOTHARIO has somehow acquired a front row seat, and gives Shawn Important Advice such as “get him”. Sid works a camel clutch, but the voices in his head take over and Sid starts freaking out, so he releases and drops down on Michaels instead. A second camel clutch draws those darn noises back, with Sid looking to the left and right for answers, before settling on the same drop down – but this time Shawn rolls and Sid hits canvas. Michaels goes on the attack, but gets whipped into the corner and sent to the floor hard. Sid slams Shawn’s back into the ring post a couple of times, and sends him in for 2. While Jose wills Michaels onwards, while looking like a jackass under Shawn’s cowboy hat, Sid hits a clothesline for 2. A bear hug is applied, while Jose leads a “SHAWN” chant amongst about 8 fans. Michaels escapes with a bear clap, and Sid is so stunned he immediately puts the bear hug back on. An atomic drop is his escape this time, which just serves to make Sid angrier when he re-applies the bear hug for a 3rd time. The camera brings us a close up of Pete, who continues to issue powerful words: “Come on Shawn!”. Sid drops a leg for 2, before applying a chinlock with his knee driving into Shawn’s back. Michaels fights to his feet and slams the big man, hits the flying jalapeno, and kips up. An elbow drop is the opening act, and the band starts to warm up, so Sid backdrops him to the outside and powerbombs Shawn on the floor, directly on the back of his head! If that’s not enough (and it’s not), Sid goes to chokeslam BOTH Lotharios (hey, arrest Pete, he’s just a fan!), but that never comes. Back in, Shawn is whipped to the corner, which ALSO happens to be the location of one Earl Hebner, who dies on contact. Sid his the chokeslam, and covers Shawn for about 150, but no referee. A second one runs down from the back, so Sid punches him in the face. Hah!! Turning his attention once more to Jose, Sid doesn’t see Shawn grab a TV camera from the guy at ringside, and he plants the big guy in the snout! Earl does his traditional slow count, but Sid kicks out at 2, and Shawn can’t believe it. He quickly loads the boot, and Earl rolls over for the slow count, with Sid kicking out JUST after the 3, and we have a new champion at 13:51. **1/2
ADAM and GEORGE pound on the back door, demanding to know who won the Royal Rumble. Eventually, they just settle on a Wrestlemania road trip. They have FAR too much energy considering they just got kicked out of the one thing they’d been camping out to do for the last 6 weeks, but it’s entirely possible they’re all about the chase (as opposed to the more likely scenario: mentally retarded).
Look, there was no way they were gonna run Austin vs. Sid in a heel / heel main event, and the road is clearly pointing to a Shawn / Bret rematch. The only question is how they wrestle the #1 contender slot away from Austin; but the obvious route sees Bret appeal the Rumble decision based on his obvious gripe, and do a #1 contender match at the next In Your House, where Bret wins to end the Austin feud.

Of course, logical paths aren’t always the roads we’ll travel, and as Vince will remind us … ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION. A live RAW tomorrow night will answer some of the lingering questions (and it’s a doozy you’ll want to check out if they EVER upload it to the Network). ‘Til then. 

Sporting News: Post Royal Rumble Mailbag Part One!

I felt like the "Wrestlemania location announced" post last week was so lame that I owed people a mailbag to make up for it.  
Also, because angry nerds = PAGEVIEWS.  Apparently this thing is hitting a nerve with people.  Who could have foreseen THAT?

BoD Rumble

This has nothing to do with the WWE

BoD Tag Team Title Match
Midcard Mafia vs. Upper Midcard Express (Champions)

After a year of driving around in a Toyota Yaris they can barely afford and staying at the Red Roof Inn without the free WiFi, because they are poor. Piers is back in action and this time with Magoonie as Steve Ferrari, his regular partner has been stuck in heavy traffic after spending a grueling two weeks covering the Albany Medical Center 6th Floor Surgical Unit Connect Four Tournament. And the match starts with the Midcard Mafia going right after their enemies. They clear the ring of the UMX as the crowd goes wild. As the UMX regroup, Piers and Magoonie fly out with topes and take them down. They are now pummeling the UMX as the months of pent up anger are being unleashed. Piers, who was taken out of action by these men, is now going after the knee of kbjone. The action heads back inside as the Midcard Mafia works over kbjone. Petuka then cheapshots Piers behind the referee’s back. kbjone tags as the UMX are now in control. kbjone is choking out Piers behind the referee’s back and after Ferrari finally gets off of his phone he runs over and backs kbjone off. Petuka hits a shinbreaker then tags kbjone, who grapevines the leg. Magoonie rallies the crowd behind his partner, who is in agony. Petuka tags and hits a backbreaker and looks to set up for the………………………PETUKA BAZOOKA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He picks up Piers, who floats over then ducks a clothesline before hitting a jumping back elbow smash as both men are down. Piers slowly moves closer to his corner and extends his arm for a tag but kbjone runs in and boots Magoonie off of the apron then drags Piers to the middle of the ring. As the referee backs kbjone to his corner, Magoonie quickly pops up and trips up Petuka as he is now down again. Both men meet as they struggle to reach their partners. Petuka tries a punch but that gets blocked as Piers hits him with a forearm smash. They slug it out briefly until Piers hits a wheelbarrow suplex and both men are down again. The crowd is cheering for Piers as he uses everything he has and makes the tag. Magoonie slingshots into the ring and runs wild on the UMX. He uses backdrops, clotheslines, and dropkicks. The crowd is going nuts as Magoonie sends kbjone to the floor. Piers now climbs up on the top rope and flies out with a senton!!!!!!! In the ring, Petuka digs into his trunks to pull out a foreign object. Magoonie does not see that and heads over to him then gets decked. Magoonie might be out cold. Petuka now looks to be setting up Magoonie for the PETUKA BAZOOKA!!!!!!!!! He picks him up but Piers gets in the ring  after making a blind tag to break that up. Piers now fires away on Petuka. He whips him against the ropes but that gets reversed and Piers gets kneed by kbjone from the apron. The UMX are now looking to set up Piers for the slingshot suplex. They hit the move but Magoonie stops that in midair. Piers is down as Magoonie leaps with a forearm that Petuka ducks but nails kbjone as they both spill outside. In the ring, Petuka signals once again for the Petuka Bazooka as the crowd is almost deflated. He picks up Piers and looks to hit the move but Pier counters with a victory roll! The referee gets down on the mat and counts…………..one…………….two………………………THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE MIDCARD MAFIA HAVE DONE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE MIDCARD MAFIA ARE THE NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Magoonie gets to his feet and celebrates with his partner as the crowd gives them a well deserved standing ovation.

Backstage, Wade Michael Meltzer tries to get a word in with the newest team in the BoD, Marv Cresto & Art Vandelay, now known as Streaming Options. As Wade asks them about what they think about the show they sit there and discuss “It’s Always Sunny……” instead of the show at hand. Wade tries to ask and they just switch the topic to “Parks and Recs” as Wade opts for his iPad to watch the NJPW Network as all three men are streaming shows on portable devices.

As the Midcard Mafia celebrate backstage, Steve Ferrari comes in as he was back from assignment. Piers & Magoonie let him know they won as he is shocked and appears to be bit irritated but instead joins in on the celebration.

BoD Heavyweight Championship Match
Abeyance vs. Jobber (Champion)


Jobber, who has spent the past month training on a diet consisting of marijuana, cocaine, and oxycontin, gets carried out Weekend at Bernie’s style by both Zanatude and Stuart Chartock. Abeyance comes out solo, which is what you expect from a man with 40,000 posts. Jobber channels Shane Douglas to start as he pukes on the mat. Chartock gives him a sip from a bottle with what ace reporter Wade Michael Meltzer describes as Bud Ice. Wow. Abeyance starts off the match looking at an ungodly hungover Jobber on the mat. He then goes to work as he pins him for a two count. Abeyance seems tentative to hurt our strung-out champion. Zanatude and Chartock start taunting Abeyance for his act of kindness as Jobber rolls himself out to the floor. As Chartock distracts the referee, Zanatude trips up Abeyance then denies the act. He stalls Abeyance as Jobber ever so slowly crawls back inside and knocks down Abeyance from behind. Jobber looks to have a bit more spring in his step and I think its due to a gimmick or two. Hell, who are we kidding, its about five. Jobber stomps on Abeyance then rolls him outside and distracts the ref so Chartock and Zanatude can inflict more punishment. They roll Abeyance inside as Jobber immediately covers for two. Jobber then hits Abeyance with a gutbuster as he is warming up. Jobber then beats on Abeyance in the corner before he tosses him down. Jobber gets up on the middle rope and drops an elbow for a nearfall. Zanatude is dope-slaping Abeyance while Jobber starts laughing. Jobber nonchalantly heads over to Abeyance as he places him on the top turnbuckle. He take his time as the Job Mob start laughing then tries to climb up but Abeyance kicks him! Jobber goes back up and gets sent back down. The crowd gets into the match as Abeyance is powering up. Zanatude and Chartock get up on the apron and Abeyance takes them both down!!!!!! Jobber gets back up and charges but Abeyance sidesteps that as Jobber rams the post. Abeyance then shoves Jobber through the ropes! The Job Mob are all on the floor as Abeyance looks at the crowd then runs and dives outside to take out all three men with a plancha!!!!!! Look out!!!!! Guns don’t kill people, ABEYANCE KILLS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He rolls Jobber back inside and starts wailing away. The Job Mob are out on the floor as Abeyance has taken control of the match. He picks up the champ and hits a brainbuster that gets two. Chartock and Zanatude are up now and try to distract the ref but it doesnt work as Abeyance runs over and chases them away. Jobber tries to get up but Abeyance sends him right down with a Mafia Kick. Abeyance is setting up Jobber for the Zig Zag now as the crowd goes nuts. As this happens, Zanatude slides something to Jobber from the Job Mob Gimmick Bag (available on BoD Shopzone) as the camera zooms in on a bullet that is most likely filled with Cocaine. Chartock starts yelling at Abeyance as Jobber snorts teh contents in the bullet and peps right up! Abeyance finally goes back over to Jobber but gets hit with a low blow that the ref missed due to Zanatude mocking him with the Six-Man Titles. Jobber then picks up Abeyance and hits the Razor’s Edge and covers for the win. God Damnit, Abeyance was robbed!  ROBBED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And now, the BoD Rumble Danimal Report with your host, Danimal Crossing:

“Hey bros, loving the positive vibes tonight. Next is the big 30 man BoD Rumble match. Havent been this excited since my Hot Dogs and Dynamite luncheon. I blew up a ton of shit that night. Speaking of blowing up, my mailman Gus has been calling me all day telling me who will win the match. I am not going to spoil that because it is fun and the winner is not a cocksucker. Go watch it!!!!”






30 Man BoD Rumble Match


And here it is, folks. Lets see who drew the first two numbers. At #1 is…………Parallax. Wow, if anyone has a chance to go the distance, it is probably him. And at #2 is…………………………Curtis Williams, one half of Curtzerker. Parallax does not look pleased and when does he anyway? He welcomes Williams with a kick to the face then shoves him down and measures for the curbstomp but Williams avoids that. He then whips Parallax but that gets reversed and Williams gets bounced back with a clothesline as the buzzer signals the #3 entrant, “Mr. WCW” Chris F-B. This entrance was brought to you by the December 21 ,1996 edition of “WCW Saturday Night.” Then again, what isn’t in the BoD? Parallax welcomes Mr. WCW with a kneelift as he destroys him in the corner. Williams chop blocks Parallax. He goes to work on him as the #4 entrant is……………….The Brazilian Kid. The youngster comes in and starts trading blows with Mr. WCW. Williams charges at Parallax but gets backdropped over the ropes and onto the floor as has become the first elimination. Parallax now goes over to the other two entrants and starts beating the shit out of them. The buzzer sounds off as #5 is Hoss!! Uh, oh. Hoss’s freezer gauge busted and his ice cream has melted, making him even angrier than usual. Hoss enters and immediately chokeslams everyone. Hoss then picks up TBK and tosses him to the floor as he is now eliminated. Hoss then picks up Mr. WCW and yells “FUCK WCW, I WANT ICE CREAM” before picking him up and dumping him outside. The buzzer goes off again as #6 entrant is……………………………….The Berzerker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The HUSS! section is going out of their minds as Biff Kensington III is at a loss as the last two men in his stable are standing in the ring. Hoss is angry that someone is getting attention without offering any ice cream as The Berzerker looks over at him and yells “HUSS!!!!!!!” Hoss looks angry and points at his chest and yells “HOSS!!!!!!!”  The non-HUSS!! Section start to chant with Hoss as the arena has broken into a dueling HUSS/HOSS chant!!!!!!!!! This ends when the #7 entrant, Kaptain Kiwi, comes to the ring. Parallax gets up and throws a forearm at Hoss as BKIII yells at The Berzerker to intervene but he just yells “HUSS” while staring at the HUSS section. Kiwi also joins in with Parallax as they work together to team up on Hoss. #8 is Joe Dust as he also joins in on the attack on Hoss, who finally has the help from The Berzerker. #9 is kbjone, fresh off of losing the Tag Team Championship. He does not look happy as he heads after Kaptain Kiwi. Parallax and Hoss are beating on each other as they continue their feud. #10 is……………………………………..Paul Meekin!!!!!! Sir Meeks-A-Lot makes his return to the BoD and goes right after Parallax.

Lots of brawling as #11 Mar Solo comes flying out on a jet plane made of caffeine!!!!!! He runs around and pumps his fist as he is literally too fast for anyone to catch right now. Kiwi and Joe Dust are in the corner brawling as Solo tries repeatedly to give them a leaping high-five. Parallax breaks free from Hoss then the #12 entrant is announced and awwwwwwwwwww shit………Ladies and Gentleman, let me welcome you all to the Left Coast Leg-Spreader, the Social Assassin and CEO of Fat Buff, here is the man the myth, Caliber Winfield!!!!!!!! The BoD faithful boo as Winfield comes into the ring and stares down Meekin!!!!!!  They get closer and closer but then smile as they both waddle run over and both take out the Berzerker. Good god, who books shit like this? Dumping the hot act in the middle of the match? kbjone and Mar Solo are going at it as is Parallax and Joe Dust. Hoss has Kaptain Kiwi halfway out of the ring as #13 comes in and that is The Top Canadian of the BoD, PrimeTime Ten. He runs in and immediately dumps Joe Dust. He then prouldy boasts how he is god’s gift to Canada. Caliber and Meekin are teaming up and head after Parallax. They both toss Parallax into the corner and set up for an Avalanche but Meekin rams into the corner then gets tossed by Parallax. Caliber heads over to Lax but Hoss gets up and hits him in the face, then yells at Caliber for hurting his ice cream eatin’ hand and promptly hits him with the Pants-Shitter before clotheslining him over the top rope. #14 comes out and that is John Petuka. He immediately comes in and teams up with his partner as they work over Kaptain Kiwi. Petuka now tries to grab Mar Solo but he is too amped up on coffee to sit still. #15 comes out and its Bill Ray, the crown jewel of the Administration. The UMX have just eliminated Mar Solo, whose caffeine high has seemingly worn off. The UMX now target Kiwi as Petuka holds him up for a super kick but Kiwi ducked as kbjone accidentally drills his partner with a kick so vicious that it eliminates Petuka from the match. He is pissed as he yells at his partner and as that happens, Kiwi tosses kbjone over the top rope as the UMX are now arguing on the floor. #16 comes out and that is The Fuj. He comes in and get jumped by Hoss and PrimeTime Ten. They beat on the Fuj, who fights right back. He battles them both as #17 comes out and is the C-List Champion himself, DBSM, accompanied by Jamiroquai and the guy who played Waldo on “Family Matters.” Bill Ray has Kiwi on the apron but gets hit. Kiwi tries to come back in but PrimeTime knocks him off and takes him out of the match. As PrimeTime once again gloats about being the pride of Canada, the buzzer for #18 goes off but no one comes out. Everyone is confused as the lights dim and the spotlight shines on the table that holds 116 trophies as peeking out from behind is Mister E Mahn. I didnt know timekeeper’s could wrestle? Apprentice timekeeper Blake Littlehand fills in but is too excited and now breathing into a paper bag while sitting on the floor. Mahn goes in and targets PrimeTime, the man who angers him by proclaiming that he is the pride of Canada. Mahn fires away and takes him down. He goes after Bill Ray and gives him a dropkick. PTT catches him from behind and whips him in the corner. He charges but Mahn catches him with a back elbow then clotheslines him over the top rope and eliminates him!!!!!! PTT is outraged as the crowd taunts him.  #19 is Andy PG and he heads after Bill Ray. Hoss and Parallax are going at in again. Parallax is on the top rope and tries for a curb stomp but gets caught by Hoss. Parallax is almost over the top rope but is able to land on the apron. DBSM tries to kick him off but that fails as The Fuj tosses DBSM to the floor as Harvey Grant escorts him to the back. #20 is out now and it is…………….Cultstatus. He immediately goes after Fuj as they brawl. Ray and Andy stay at it as Mahn and Hoss are going at it. Hoss needs an ice cream break about now. Parallax is on the apron as he slides beneath the legs of Hoss. Parallax has been in the match the whole time and shows no sign of slowing down.

At #21 is GM Bayless. He comes in and immediately tosses Mister E Mahn. Hoss is still up and pissed as Cult is wailing away. Parallax now comes over and even teams up with Cult to try to rid of the big man. Now, Fuj comes over as all three men eliminate Hoss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BKIII is out if his mind as Hoss starts tossing around the 1,566 lbs stairs. #22 enters as Big Dirty Murph runs out to the ring. He goes after Parallax, who fights right back. Fuj breaks that up and shoves Murph…….then turns and boots Parallax right in the face. Murph then pulls out a bottle as he now hands it to Fuj, who smashes it over the head of Parallax!!!! I know the hatred Fuj and Lax have runs deep but why is he teaming up with Murph here? Fuj smirks then Murph comes over and they both eliminate Parallax. #23 is up next and that is WWF1987. He goes right after Cultstatus, who was laughing at the elimination of Parallax. Bill Ray and Andy PG are against the ropes as GM Bayless runs over and dumps them both!!!!!#24 is Jef Vinson and he comes out to go right after Murph. Fuj and Cult resume their beef as GM Bayless tells Ray that he is sorry. Bayless and WWF1987 are facing off as #25 is announced and it is……….Adam Curry. He runs right after Murph and just pummels him. The crowd goes nuts as medical personnel attend to Parallax, who pushes them out of the way. White Coat Security run down and form a wall so Lax cannot interfere as Cult flips him off from the ring. #26 comes out and it is the Midwest Mauler himself, Biscuit! As he comes in, GM Bayless dumps WWF1987. Murph tries to eliminate Curry but that backfires and he gets dumped himself. Curry is standing there from behind but GM Bayless runs over and dumps him over the top rope. The buzzer for #27 sounds as the arena goes dark. When the light comes back on everyone is down on the mat with the exception of the GM. A table is set up outside as the Riverdale Covenant have surrounded the ring, lead by Robert Davis. The GM looks mortified as they have surrounded the ring. The lights go back on again as Archie Stackhouse is in the ring!!!!!!! GM Bayless backs up into the corner. Bayless then slides underneath the bottom rope and attempts to run away but gets caught by the Covenant. Archie then steps over the top rope and eliminates himself as he does not care about winning, only inflicting pain. The other competitors start to get up and as #28 enters and it is Hart Killer 09. Bayless gets caught as Stackhouse goes over to him. He lunges forward but a fan in a hood jumps the railing and nails Stackhouse in the face with a fireball!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!! Stackhouse is down as the Covenant take care of their leader. The fan unmasks and it is……………………………JESSE BAKER!!!!!!!!!!! My god!!!!!!!!!!!! Bayless looks shocked then heads back inside right before #29 enters and it is Matt Indeed. Fuj just tossed Adam Curry from the match, who then gets attacked by the Job Mob. Kyle Warne and cabspaitnedyellow come out to even the score as the final entrant at #30 is revealed as “Marvelous” Matt Perri. Indeed takes up too much time removing his windbreaker and that allows Cultstatus to eliminate him. Biscuit goes after the Fuj and he gets dumped. Hart Killer and Perri team up against Vinson but that backfires and they both get tossed as the Final Four has been set.

Bayless and Cult team up and attack Vinson until Fuj makes the save. Bayless and Vinson go back at it again as Bayless nearly has him over the top rope. Vinson fights back as Bayless charges and almost gets dumped but is able to skin the cat. Bayless then tries to take out Vinson with a headscissors but that gets blocked. Cult and Fuj trade chops then after missing a corner splash, Cult nearly gets tossed by the Fuj. GM Bayless heads over and dropkicks Cult and that sends him over the top rope as we are down to three guys. Bayless is left standing but a bandaged Archie Stackhouse has come down the aisle, with the GM unaware. Stackhouse is in the ring then the GM turns around and looks mortified. The blood oozes out of the bandaged face of Stackhouse, who picks up Bayless and places him up top. He then picks Bayless up on his shoulders and turns around as he signals towards the table outside of the ring!!!!! DEAR GOD DO NOT DO THIS !!!!!! DO NOT DO THIS!!!!! Stackhouse hoists up the GM then flies outside as he puts the GM Through the table with a sitout powerbomb!!!!! EMT’s rush out as the match is down to two guys: Fuj and Vinson. Fuj starts aggressively chopping Vinson in the corner. Fuj slams him down then starts stomping away as he is one elimination away from winning a title shot at BoD Mania. Vinson is able to roll away from a leg drop as the GM and Stackhouse are carried away on a stretcher. Vinson fights back as he and the Fuj fight back and forth. Fuj floats over on a TKO attempt but gets caught with a kick then clotheslined over the ropes but lands on the apron. Fuj is on the apron as Vinson throws a punch but that is ducked as Fuj now yanks Vinson over the ropes as he is hanging by his two hands. Fuj goes to kick Vinson, who swings back up on the apron then sweeps the legs of the Fuj as he falls to the floor as JEF VINSON WILL BE GOING TO BoD MANIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fuj kicks a chair on the floor then looks at Vinson. He heads back over and looks mad but instead raises his hand as Vinson celebrates as he is one step closer to becoming the BoD World Heavyweight Championship.

The SmarK Rant for Royal Rumble 2015

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Live from Philadelphia, PA, home of ECW and King of the Ring 95. Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler The New Age Outlaws v. The Ascension The circle of life continues, as the Outlaws originally got themselves over by busting on the LOD, and now they’re the old fogies defending the honor of the previous fogies. On the bright side, the Ascension can always say they lasted longer than the Public Enemy. Apparently we’re supposed to use “#tagteamtitles” for this match, which probably earned Cole a stern yelling. The crowd lets the NAO know that they’ve still got it, which is a very generous assessment of their talents. The Outlaws work Konor over and Dogg drops the knee while JBL tells the tale of Bob Armstrong v. Buddy Colt. Bradshaw is so fucking old now. Dogg gets caught in the corner and pounded as we’re already well over the point of exposure for these clowns. Speaking of exposure, closeups of Billy Gunn’s face in HD in 2015 is a BAD IDEA. We get some chinlocks on Dogg until he fights them off and gets the hot tag to Billy, but the fameasser misses and the Fall of Man finishes at 5:22. Shit match to start the show and really the supposed world-beating monsters should have obliterated the old geezers. ½* Meanwhile, after two commercials and a RAW recap, HHH and Stephanie ponder the whereabouts of Sting. Apparently the crap he got away with in WCW won’t fly here. I bet he used to rappel in and just use ice packs WHENEVER HE WANTED. Fucker. Paul Heyman interrupts and offers Brock as the solution to their problems. WWE tag titles: The Usos v. The Miz & Mizdow Finally, a fresh matchup! Mizdow is of course over huge as a babyface. The Usos double-team Miz to start and we get the wacky Mizdow stuff, which Cole makes sure to explain in detail to kill the joke. Miz necks Jimmy on the middle rope to take over and goes to the chinlock while teasing a tag with Mizdow. Backbreaker gets two. It’s really weird that they’ve actually corrupted the original joke so much, in that Miz was originally trying to avoid doing any work and has now shifted to doing ALL the work himself, which is a point they’ve never made for some reason. Miz showboats and allows Jimmy to tag out to Jey, but Miz rolls him up for two. Short DDT gets two. Jey comes back with an enzuigiri to put Miz on the floor, but Miz sacrifices Mizdow to block a dive. Back in, Jey misses the flying splash and Miz gets two. Jey superkicks him and hits another splash, but Mizdow saves. Skull Crushing Finale gets two, although Mizdow hit the move so it might not have had all the impact it should. Miz and Jey fight on the top, which results in a top rope powerbomb and splash to retain at 9:23. Finish was really flat, as the match built weird with the Miz-Mizdow stuff screwing up the tag formula. Good action otherwise. **3/4 Meanwhile, J&J Security play video games in the back like a couple of lazy millennials, annoying Seth Rollins. The Bella Twins v. Paige & Natalya Apparently this is stemming from something on Total Divas. I’m guessing Paige turned babyface at some point? Because reasons? Frankly I’m still not even clear on why the Bellas are back together in the first place. The Bellas work Nat over as the commentary is already getting derailed into stupidity, before the match even has a chance to die. Paige and Natalya with a double suplex on Brie for two and then the crowd gets bored and starts chanting for Sami Zayn. Nattie gets worked over in the corner while Cole recaps the thrilling storyline on Total Divas. Because I’m sure all the 40 year old housewives watching that show decided to order Royal Rumble. Not to mention they basically ignore 90% of the show anyway. We get a whole bunch of chinlocks on Nattie and a sad spot with Brie yelling “Brie mode!” before hitting a running knee for two, as no one cares about what Brie Mode is. More chinlocks and Nikki misses a blind charge, but Brie trips Paige off the apron and Nikki pins Nattie off a forearm at 8:18. THAT was the finish? * Yay, more commercials. WWE World title: Brock Lesnar v. John Cena v. Seth Rollins The crowd gloriously resurrects singing “John Cena sucks” in time with his music and then gives Brock a hero’s welcome by contrast. Brock immediately suplexes Cena and then takes out J&J to get at Rollins. So everyone gets suplexed multiple times and Brock tries the kimura on Cena, but Cena powers out. FU on Brock and Rollins gets one off that, but Brock just dumps both guys and we head to the floor. Back in, Cena comes back on Rollins, but sadly Lesnar is in fact able to see John and kills him with another suplex. Rollins dumps Brock and Cena slams Rollins for two, but Seth comes back with a Blockbuster for two. Rollins gets rid of Cena, but dives at Brock and gets caught in an F5 for two. Well that was ill-advised. Brock preps the table, but walks into three straight FUs, which gets two for Cena. Rollins with the curbstomp for two on Lesnar. Brock takes a breather and Cena tackles him through the barricade and then sends him into the stairs. Come on, you have to freeze him and then dump him in molten metal to really finish him off. So Rollins puts him on the announce table and drops an elbow from the top rope onto him as this match turns into a complete video game. In the best way, of course. Back in, Rollins cradles Cena for two and superkicks him for two. Cena comes back with a powerbomb for two while Heyman screams for a doctor. Cena and Rollins fight on the top, and Seth brings him down with a powerbomb into the opposite turnbuckles, for two. Cena reverses the curbstomp into the STF, but J&J make the save. Triple powerbomb on Cena gets two. Cena gets rid of Rollins and does his customary beating on J&J while Brock gets put on a stretcher, and the FU gets two on Rollins. Slugfest and Rollins gets an enzuigiri and curbstomp for two. And then Brock makes a miracle comeback, destroys both guys with suplexes, and F5s Rollins to retain at 22:40. So yeah, I guess we’re getting Brock v. Reigns. Thankfully the match delivered what the crowd wanted and showed Seth could hang on the main event stage. ****1/2 Royal Rumble: Miz is #1 and R-Truth is #2. Oh man, the final explosion of Awesome Truth! They fight on the apron early and Truth gets a leg lariat, but goes up and gets crotched…and Bubba Ray Dudley is #3. He’s looking a bit fatter than his TNA run. Bubba and Truth debut the What’s Up Drop and Bubba sends Truth to get the tables. And then they hit Miz with 3D and toss him at 4:00. Luke Harper is #4 as Bubba tosses Truth at 4:15. Bray Wyatt is #5 and thankfully cuts his entrance short, and the Wyatt Family reunites to beat up Bubba. The crowd wants D-Von, but Bubba is thrown out at 6:57. Well so much for that. Bray and Luke decide to team up as Curtis Axel is #6. And Rowan emerges to destroy him and take his place, and we get a three-way Wyatt fight. You have to be pretty low on the totem pole to get punked out by Rowan. Bray tosses both Wyatt geeks at 8:50 anyway to clear the ring. Boogeyman is #7. Really? This is the bottom of the barrel we’re scraping for surprise appearances now? So Bray quickly tosses this loser at 11:05. Sin Cara is #8 as the parade of jobbers continues. Cara gets some offense but walks into Sister Abigail and gets tossed at 12:18. Bray stops to preach to us and Zack Ryder is #9. Apparently Zack has been out with surgery for months. How would we ever know the difference? Zack gets his sad offensive flurry and then gets tossed at 14:01. Daniel Bryan is #10 as we finally get star power here. Bryan immediately runs wild on Bray with dropkicks in the corner and goes up with a rana as Fandango is #11. The New and Improved Fandango! Or is that a thing still? Bryan headkicks him into an airplane spin, but can’t get him out. Tyson Kidd is #12 and gets to run wild on everyone, but collides with Bryan and everyone is out. Stardust is #13 and they’re acting like it’s Cody’s Rumble debut. What? Bryan suplexes Tyson out at 21:06 and then dumps Bray through the ropes before following with a dive. DDP returns to the WWE at #14 and Stardust immediately punks him out. And that results in a Diamond Cutter. Fandango goes up and gets crotched and DDP hits a Diamond Cutter from the top on him. Bray also takes one and Rusev is #15. Rusev casually blocks the Cutter and tosses DDP at 24:31. Fandango at 24:38. Bryan hits both heels with a missile dropkick and throws kicks, but Rusev puts him down and Bray tosses him at 25:35. Uh oh. This is gonna get ugly. Goldust is #16 and you can tell they’ve deflated the crowd like Tom Brady’s football. Stardust tries to toss his brother and the crowd just ignores the match and chants for Daniel Bryan, booing EVERYONE. Kofi Kingston is #17 and they boo him too. This is some awesome sour grapes. YOU’RE GONNA GET ROMAN REIGNS AND LIKE IT, PHILLY! Adam Rose is #18 and the Rosebuds catch a flying Kofi and save him. And then they ignore Rose flying out at 30:33. And then Rusev eliminates Kofi at 30:49 anyway. I’m glad they at least did the crowd surf spot before killing the Rose character off. Roman Reigns is #19 and the crowd is PISSED. They are NOT buying in on this one. This man is being sent out there to die. Reigns cleans house and dumps Goldust at 32:37 and Stardust at 32:38. It’s Bootista time as the crowd turns on the match. Big E is #20 and the crowd can’t even be bothered to boo him. No, wait, they can. Everyone stands around punching each other and Mizdow is #21 and he’s the one guy who at least the crowd spares. And then Miz sends him back and takes his spot, so Roman shoves him out and Mizdow goes in after all. And then Rusev tosses him right away at 36:03. So the crowd turns on the match again. Jack Swagger is #22 and no one cares about that either. Swaggerbomb on Reigns and then it’s back to standing around and kicking. Ryback is #23 and goes after Rusev, but can’t put him out. Now the crowd wants CM Punk. Kane is #24 as the ring piles up with stiffs with nothing going on. Dean Ambrose is #25 and we’ll see what stupid way he eliminates himself. Philly is willing to back him in his quest to make this match not suck. Titus O’Neil is #26. Well that won’t help. The Shield reunites to dump him at 43:38. Bad News Barrett is lucky #27. So that leaves Big Show, Dolph Ziggler and someone else. More nothing going on with dead weight piled up. The match basically died off with Reigns. Cesaro is #28 and he gets some offense on Ambrose and Big gets Rusev’d at 48:23. Big Show is #29 and he dumps Ryback at 49:33. Swagger at 49:40. And Dolph Ziggler is #30, so we’re getting Reigns winning this dog. Dolph tosses Barrett at 51:01, but walks into the Giant Swing. Cesaro can’t put him out, however. They slug it out on the apron and Ziggler supkerkicks him out at 52:01. And then Show just punches him out and tosses him at 52:47. Kane and Show dump Bray at 53:17, leaving a Final Four of Show, Kane, Ambrose and Reigns. We do the big slugfest and the crowd shits all over it. Superman Punch for Show, but Reigns runs into a big boot from Kane. Dean gets dumped at 55:13 like a geek, leaving Reigns alone. And the crowd just SAVAGELY turns on the match, booing Reigns’ comeback. Kane and Big Show turn on each other and the crowd is just booing this whole mess with a wall of white noise, and Reigns dumps both to win at 57:15. And the crowd BOOS HIM OUT OF THE BUILDING! Holy fuck. There was literally zero reaction to him winning. Kane and Show beat on him afterwards, but The Rock makes the save, momentarily redeeming this mess, before the crowd goes back to booing Reigns again. And then Rusev returns, having never been eliminated, and Reigns tosses him out to win for real at 59:48. And the crowd still boos him. WORST RUMBLE EVER. At least 1999 had trainwreck appeal. This was just boring. ** The Pulse This show is gonna be legendary for all the wrong reasons. Thumbs way down.

Matt’s Royal Rumble Recap – 1/25/2015

It’s unreal that we’re already at the Rumble.

 

Last
year, Batista entered late and won the thing much to the chagrin of the
WWE Universe. This year, I’m not quite sure WWE is ready to make
another stupid mistake.
Then again, they just might.
My predictions for this year:
  • Team Cesaro defeats New Day.
  • The Usos SHOULD beat Team Miz. I’m tired of this angle. We’ve seen it.
  • The Ascension beats the New Age Outlaws and I cannot believe we’re having that match. 
  • John
    Cena beats Lesnar and Rollins. Heyman turns on Lesnar, screwing Lesnar
    over. Lesnar attacks Cena and Rollins gets the strap with the MITB
    case…tho, I’d prefer it if Rollins won the next night on RAW, but
    we’ll see.
  • Nattie and Paige should win this thing.
  • Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble because WWE just sucks balls.

Also, The Rock is here — and that’s added some drama to this thing.

Let’s see what happens…

We start with a bunch of Superstars telling us what the Royal Rumble means to them.

We are LIVE(!!!) from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia!!!

JBL, Cole and King are on the mics.

MATCH #1: New Age Outlaws (“Road Dogg” Jesse James & “Badass” Billy Gunn) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
James
and Viktor start and the fact that this match isn’t over yet is
aggravating. James hip tosses Viktor after a series of counters. Tag to
Dogg. Viktor tags Konnor but Dogg does his series of goofy moves.
FINALLY, the new guys beat up on Dogg and Viktor gets a tag. Headlock by
Viktor. Dogg fights out but gets thrown to the mat. Viktor drops an
elbow and Konnor is tagged in and he works over Dogg as JBL tries to
tell us that “a win over The Outlaws will mean a step up the ladder for
these guys.” Dogg eventually makes a tag to Gunn and he takes both
members, tossing Konnor outside. Gut Wrench on Viktor, but Gunn misses
a Fame-Asser. The Ascension hits The Fall of Man at 5:27 and the crowd
just hates it.
WINNERS: The Ascension via Push Prank
RATING: *1/2. Why this couldn’t have been on the pre-show is beyond me.

Cole runs us through last Monday when Sting appeared on RAW.

Triple
H and Steph are backstage. Steph is worried about Sting. She asks where
he hides all the time. Wasn’t he in the dressing room? Triple H doesn’t
get it: everyone was talking about Nikolai Volkoff being here but Sting
is mentioned and nobody cares. Triple H says it doesn’t matter — he’s
gonna destroy Sting. Paul Heyman shows up. Steph says she never invited
him in here. Heyman says he can go and take his problems with him but
he’s here to solve their problems. Heyman says he has the solution to Sting: Brock Lesnar.

#VOLKOFFWINSTHERUMBLE – let’s get that trending.

MATCH
#2: The Miz & Damien Miz-dow (challengers) vs. The Usos (Jimmy
& Jey) (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

Jey
and Miz start this out. Crowd chants for Miz-dow but Miz isn’t having
it and chews them out. Jey chops at Miz, then they botch a Demolition
Decapitation. Two count. Jimmy chops at Miz and ends up in the corner.
Miz hits a Miz-line. Jimmy attacks and puts Miz on the buckle. Miz-dow
imitates this. Miz gets hit coming off the buckle and Miz-dow imitates
that too. Jimmy hits a kneelift on Miz but Miz sends Jimmy into the
ropes, neck-first. Crowd still wants Miz-dow but Miz won’t tag. Miz hits
the Back and Neckbreaker and gets two. Miz-dow wants a tag again and
Miz puts his hand out. Miz-dow goes for the tag but Miz moves his hand.
Hot tag to Jey and he’s all over Miz. Samoan Drop and Rikishi Splash.
Series of roll-ups get two each and Miz hits a quick DDT for two.
Miz-dow comes in and gets dumped outside. Miz does too. It’s a Flying
Uso by Jimmy and Jey and there are Bodies Everywhere™. Back in the ring,
Jey misses the Superfly Splash. Miz hits the SCF — but only gets two.
Crowd is hot for Miz-dow but Miz just beats Jey in the corner. Miz goes
for a Miz-Line but Jey hits a Supkick and Superfly Splash. TWO COUNT as
Miz-dow makes a save. Jimmy attacks but Miz-dow dumps him, then hits the
SCF on Jey…Miz crawls over — and NEARLY gets the fall. Miz-dow
cannot believe it. Miz pulls Jey up on the buckle for a Superplex but
Jey fights out of it. Miz-dow goes after Jey but Jey kicks him. Jimmy
suddenly gets up and tags himself in. Jey tries a Powerbomb but Miz
won’t let go of the ropes. Jimmy Superkicks Miz, then hits the Superfly
Splash and the Usos retain at 9:25.
WINNERS: The Usos
RATING:
**3/4. Barely passable. Look, use Miz-dow or have him turn already.
This gimmick and feud are like beating the bones of a dead horse.

We get a status recap from the WWE CNN News Desk of Doom.

Joey
Mercury is playing Immortals: The Game Which Takes WWE Superstars Into a
Supernatural Realm in a Mortal Kombat Rip-Off. Jamie Noble tells him to
stop. Rollins comes in and tells them that he wants them focused. He’s
not “The Future”. He’s “The Right Now”. TRENDING!!!

MATCH #3: The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) vs. Natalya & Paige
Nikki
and Paige start out. Nikki hits uppercuts. Paige comes back with a kick
to the gut. Tag to Nattie and the two double team Nikki, tossing her to
the mat. Nikki gets to Brie to make the tag but Nattie lifts her up and
tags Paige and they hit a delayed standing double suplex. Paige goes
for Dry Hump Pin and gets a one count. Paige smashes Brie in the face
with some knees and tags Nattie. Kinda. Nobody knows what the fuck is
going on. Paige is the legal woman in the ring. In any case, Paige
Superkicks Brie and gets a one count. The crowd starts doing Euro
Football chants as Brie seems to botch a side suplex. Tag to Nikki who
puts a headlock on Nattie. Nattie escapes but Nikki puts her to the mat
for two, then struts around the ring. Tag to Brie who hits a running
lariat. Two count. Brie applies the Chinlock of Doom. Nattie fights out
but gets hung up on the ropes for the Brie Mode Knee Smash. Tag to Nikki
and it’s a double team and a nice body toss using their legs. Nikki
goes for Head Scissors but Nattie gets to her feet and drops Nikki
backwards. Nikki tries for a leglock but Nattie reverses for the
Sharpshooter. Nikki kicks out and misses a corner splash. Nattie tries a
tag but Brie yanks Paige off the mat. Nikki just levels Nattie with a
forearm. Pin at 8:04.
WINNERS: The Bella Twins
RATING:
**. This was uninteresting from the start and remained so. No Bella
Twin turn, no Paige/Nattie friction. Nothing doing. Just filler. 

We get a nice shot of the Wells Fargo Center. 

Superstars
like Roman Reigns, Stardust, Goldust, Rusev, Miz, Miz-dow, Big Show,
Fandango, and Daniel Bryan. They’re all ready to win. Dammit, we still
have four minutes until 6 PM. Let’s hear from the 72 other superstars in
WWE and NXT…

We get the build-up for the Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

MATCH
#4: John Cena (challenger) vs. Seth Rollins (challenger) (w/ Jamie
Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Brock Lesnar (champions) (w/ Paul Heyman)
in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

#BIGFIGHTFEELMIGGAL
– trending! Cena and Lesnar go right after Rollins. He bails and Lesnar
hits a German on Cena, then goads Rollins to come into the ring.
Another German on Cena and Rollins runs into the ring. Lesnar grabs him
for an F5 but J&J come into the ring. J&J get a German each.
Rollins gets one. Cena gets #3. Heyman just smiles. Lesnar hits a
suplex, then turns to Rollins. German #2. Lesnar just suplexes Cena and
Rollins. Rollins rolls out of the ring, so Lesnar turns to Cena and
locks in the Kimura. Cena gets to his knees, then to his feet. Rollins
hits a Springboard kneedrop from the outside, knocking both men down,
then goes to work on Lesnar, kicking at him. Lesnar fights back. Cena
attacks Lesnar. Double Suplex to Lesnar by Rollins and Cena. Cena hits a
quick AA on Lesnar but Rollins dumps him outside. One count by Rollins.
And the fight spills outside. The crowd loves it.

Cena
chases Rollins back in and it’s Moves 1 through 3. He tries the 5KS but
Rollins kicks at him. Series of counters and it’s #3 again by Cena.
Lesnar comes in and hits German #4 and #5 on Cena. Rollins superkicks
Lesnar in the head to stop the massacre, then hits a knee to Lesnar.
Cena hits a Falling Powerbomb to Rollins and nearly gets a fall. Rollins
hits a nice Reverse Neckbreaker off the ropes for two. Lesnar gets back
into the ring, works over Rollins, then dumps him. Cena attacks Lesnar
and hits a nice clothesline, knocking Lesnar down. Rollins pulls him out
of the ring and leaps at Lesnar who hits an F5 out of nowhere. He
NEARLY gets a fall but Cena saves the match. Lesnar hits German #6 to
Cena, then looks around the ring. He goes outside and takes apart the
Spanish desk, then goes for Cena who hits THREE AA’s and NEARLY gets the
fall. Rollins pulls him out of the ring.

Rollins
gets into the ring and hits a Curb Stomp! NEAR fall. Cena saves it.
Lesnar rolls out of the ring and gets to his feet. Cena comes running
over and knocks him into the Timekeeper’s pit. Cena gets to his feet and
tosses Lesnar into the steel steps. Lesnar gets to his feet and Cena
clocks him in the head with the steps. Rollins kicks at Cena from inside
the ring. Lesnar ends up on the Spanish Table…ho boy. Rollins goes
top rope and hits Lesnar with an elbow into the table. Cena gets to
Rollins as the crowd is at THIS IS AWESOME levels. Cena rolls Rollins
into the ring as Lesnar is dead outside. Cena goes to pick him up but
Rollins rolls him up for a close fall. Rollins flies at Cena who catches
him for an AA. Rollins breaks it and tries a Frankensteiner — but Cena
reverses into a Powerbomb! TWO COUNT. Holy shit.

Doctors
tend to Lesnar as Cena puts Rollins up for a Superplex. Rollins rakes
Cena’s eyes and hits a Turnbuckle Powerbomb for two. Cena kicks out of
his pin and locks in the STF — and J&J come running in to take out
Cena. Triple Powerbomb by the three guys and it’s a two-count. Rollins
gets the MITB case but misses his swing. He goes flying from the ring.
J&J enter the ring and Cena hits a Double AA, then hits an AA for a
CLOSE FALL. Wow. Both men get up and Cole tells us that Lesnar “has a
broken rib”. Cena tries an AA but Rollins hits an Enzuguri and Curb
Stomp. Two count. Rollins gets to his feet and goes top rope with a 450
Splash! Lesnar bolts into the ring and it’s Germans to both men. He
tries another but Rollins lands on his feet and clocks Lesnar with the
MITB case — twice. He puts Lesnar’s head on the case and goes for a
Curb Stomp but Lesnar stands up and hits the F5 to retain at 22:45.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Brock Lesnar via F5.
RATING: ****. Not bad at all. ‘Cept, now Lesnar still has the title. 

Post-match, everyone is out of it. Rollins can’t believe it and holds onto the case. Lesnar staggers off.

We get the Royal-Rumble-By-the-Numbers montage.

MATCH #5: Royal Rumble
I didn’t think it was
possible to produce a worse Rumble than last year. This year, I have
been proven horribly, unfortunately wrong. Daniel Bryan was in the
Rumble less than a half hour and was eliminated halfway through the
match. WWE had about two more shots to get it right with Dolph Ziggler
or Dean Ambrose — and went with Roman Reigns, the safe, predictable
choice. We had a swerve where The Rock helped Reigns win the Rumble —
who had one more guy to beat ANYHOW because “Rusev was never actually
eliminated”. Of course, neither was Curtis Axel — but who gives a shit
about Axel, right? Anyhow, Reigns wins the match after the Rock’s
interference which makes no sense whatsoever except that The Rock “was
reported to be here”. The crowd booed louder than when Batista won it
last year — and they were already pissed after Bryan exited. On top of
that, the roster is SO dried up, they scraped the barrel for some of
these people: I don’t know about you, but The Boogeyman, Zack Ryder,
Curtis Axel, Sin Cara and Adam Rose don’t get me going. DDP and Bubba
Ray belong here. The forementioned do not. The results (followed by the
person who dumped them) are below.

  1. The Miz (Bubba Ray)
  2. R-Truth (Bubba Ray)
  3. Bubba Ray Dudley (Bray Wyatt)
  4. Luke Harper (Bray Wyatt)
  5. Bray Wyatt (Big Show/Kane)
  6. Curtis Axel (Erick Rowan, I guess)
  7. The Boogeyman (Bray Wyatt)
  8. Sin Cara (Bray Wyatt)
  9. Zack Ryder (Bray Wyatt)
  10. Daniel Bryan (Bray Wyatt)
  11. Fandango (Rusev)
  12. Tyson Kidd (Daniel Bryan)
  13. Stardust (Roman Reigns)
  14. Diamond Dallas Page (Rusev)
  15. Rusev (Roman Reigns)
  16. Goldust (Roman Reigns)
  17. Kofi Kingston (Rusev)
  18. Adam Rose (Rusev)
  19. Roman Reigns (WINNER)
  20. Big E (Rusev)
  21. Damien Miz-dow (Rusev)
  22. Jack Swagger (Big Show)
  23. Ryback (Big Show/Kane)
  24. Kane (Roman Reigns)
  25. Dean Ambrose (Big Show/Kane)
  26. Titus O’Neil (Rusev/Ambrose)
  27. Bad News Barrett (Dolph Ziggler)
  28. Cesaro (Dolph Ziggler)
  29. Big Show (Roman Reigns)
  30. Dolph Ziggler (Kane/Big Show)

RATING:
*. This show is an absolute example of the bullshit WWE has pulled in
the last year. They had ONE job to do — and they failed miserably.

Reigns celebrates as Triple H and Steph come out to watch. 

OVERALL:
**. Not even the title match saves this. Not when you consider that the
title will be on a guy who won’t be on TV after tomorrow night. My
advice: have Rollins cash in that case ASAP.



Er, that’s it.