I was playing WWE Champions, and saw news that this weekend’s contest was to acquire a completely revamped Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw for the low low cost of hundreds of your dollars, if you are lucky. Of course, you’re much more likely to wind up with 72 duplicates of Yokozuna. “It’s like the reverse of a Saudi Arabian show, you pay for Bradshaw and you get Yokozuna!” I quipped to my wife, who did NOT fall over laughing from my obviously brilliant wit, largely because she has no idea what the hell I am talking about.
It reminded me of simpler times. I never recapped the original Saudi pay-per-view for a number of reasons;
a) Saudi Arabia was a fine, respected kingdom who had not yet notoriously murdered any journalists that had been talked about on the media circle for days on end. All their murders had been kept Low Ki.
b) While there was definite train wreck appeal, it hadn’t quite reached the fever pitch of Crown Jewel.
c) I was living in Manila. Do you have any idea what trying to stream shows in Manila is like? I’d have had a faster time downloading a full adult movie on dialup over Napster than trying to watch this show, and would have been every bit as disappointed as the time my download was just a one hour loop of the Star Wars kid.
But here we are, in a bright new year of 2021, with no potential Saudi Arabia in our future due to the continued travel restrictions that plagued all 9 years of 2020. So today, I take us on a blast to the past, where we explore the earliest days of crooked capitalism as we look at the Greatest Royal Rumble!
The WWE Network shows that this runs for 4 hours and 59 minutes. What the hell?!? I’m 38 years old, it takes me nearly that long just to roll out of bed in the morning. How do I back out of this arrangement? Scott, I quit.
It gets worse. I almost never use my laptop, and I forgot that I had a VPN kill switch, so we just wasted another 20 minutes trying to figure out why I couldn’t connect to the Internet. I may as well be in Manila.
I am delighted to discover I can “Skip Intro” so I DID save 20 seconds. It’s shortcuts like this that allow Tommy Hall to recap 10 shows a day without burnout.
LIVE from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this is the GREATEST Royal Rumble EVER! SHOTS FIRED, RIC FLAIR! Probably literally.
MICHAEL COLE excitedly welcomes us to this extravaganza. BYRON SAXTON and COREY GRAVES are ringside, as Graves just DRIPS propaganda about progression. We also take a long, loving shot at the trophy for winning the Rumble later. This country loves its trophies. Between this, the WWE World Cup, the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy, and Jamal Khashoggi’s head, there’s a lot of prizes to be won just by coming here. Mansoor’s got each of them mounted on his wall.
TRIPLE H vs. JOHN CENA
Both guys get Austin-like pops upon arrival from the entire crowd, save the front row which is already wandering back and forth aimlessly. Triple H overpowers Cena to start, and get a load of this look. “Yeah, I knocked you down, and I’ll fuck your wife too.”
Cena returns the favor and gives him the “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” with some vigor, and Triple H smirks the whole thing off. Into a test of strength, because HHH doesn’t just remember the 80’s, he’s damn near in his 80’s. Then he cheats like a mofo by punting Cena in the pooter, and gives him a gentle “you can’t see me”. The crowd gives them an “oh no you DIDN’T”, except the front row, who are currently in deep negotiations to purchase Kuwait. In fact, they’re so pissy that Triple H just mocks THEM with a “you can’t see me”, allowing Cena to school boy him for 2. Triple H takes his head off in response; not literally, I feel I need to be clear. Cena tries to get something going, but gets locked in a sleeper. Hunter releases too early (we’ve all been there), and Cena throws a couple of clotheslines. The pair start to slug it out, but Triple H stops that nonsense with a facebuster for 2. A Pedigree is countered into an FU attempt, but Triple H makes the ropes to block it. Five Knuckle Shuffle is attempted, but Triple H is on his feet and dodges it with a backdrop suplex. Cena is told to Suck It, before Triple H performs the Five Knuckle Shuffle when Cena fails to comply. That reads like a Tinder date. Cena dumps Triple H to the floor, and they gingerly brawl on the outside. Back in, Cena comes off the top with a dropkick, but Triple H turns it into a powerbomb and gets 2! Triple H pounds on Cena, but a drop toe hold sets up the STFU. Triple H gets close to the ropes, so Cena re-adjusts, allowing Triple H back to his feet to nail a spinebuster for 2. We get our first Twitter plug, cuz we be trending! #WWEGRR? U mad bro?
Cena hits a side suplex to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and we have an FU in the center of the ring, but Triple H kicks out JUST barely! Cena starts pounding his stomach like an angry Kamala Harris, but a second FU is blocked by the Pedigree – which Cena kicks out of! Another Pedigree is attempted, Cena blocks with an FU attempt, but Triple H slides out, so Cena locks on the STFU one more time! Triple H counters, and puts on the Crippler Crossface. John gets loose, and hits the FU to set up a slingshot into the buckle, followed by ANOTHER FU, and THAT does it at 15:45! Well that was a swanky little sequence to make sure he stayed down. It was a little slow at times, but this was just a couple of crafty old vets knowing how to milk a great crowd reaction, and I dug it. ***1/2
Post-match, Cena tells us that he wasn’t going to miss this event for anything in the world, and thanks Saudi Arabia for their hospitality. I don’t judge; I’d say the same thing in exchange for a fraction of his payday.
Here’s an ad for the Network, featuring scantily dressed divas like Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Dolph Ziggler. This did NOT go over well with the Saudi Royalty, who are the kind of crowd that probably replaced my porn with the Star Wars kid. WWE was forced to apologize for Carmella’s ass, and unbelievably, this is not a joke.
KALISTO vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER (for the WWE Cruiserweight title)
Corey hypes up the achievement it would be for Cedric to pin Kalisto, who he has never defeated. God I wish this kind of stuff extended to everyone. “Hulk Hogan, you’ve defeated legends, hall of famers, fat guys, but you’ve never beaten ME, and my magic hat …. SUPER CALO!” Speaking of sloppy luchas, Kalisto slips and trips his way through these first few minutes, before Alexander kicks him in the face and hits a beautiful tope con hilo to the floor! Cole notes that no one has defended the Cruiserweight title “on this continent” since Funaki in 2005, though he says it with the kind of conviction that reeks of “I have no idea if we’re in Africa, Europe, or Antarctica”. Now we move on to talking about the front row, which is made up of Saudi Royalty, aka (and I’m not making this up), The House Of Saud! Alexander hits a beautiful dropkick, and Cole foreshadows “I have no idea how Kalisto got out of that alive!” We’re reminded that Kalisto is a former US champion, and that sounds made up. I’m not researching that, nor do I care what Wiki says, that’s a total lie. Kalisto tries to convince me he’s US title material by hitting a brilliant swinging DDT, but Alexander comes right back with a Juvi Driver for 2! Cedric heads to the top rope, and Kalisto hits him with an enzuigiri to stop the attack. Saxton touches on Kalisto’s notoriously poor manners on a first date: “Kalisto will make you pay!” Take note, ladies. He hits a Spanish Fly for 2, and with that failing, Kalisto moves into his Bruce Lee routine. Alexander stops that dead with the Lumbar Check, and the title is retained at 10:15. This was every Cruiserweight title match you’ve seen for the last 10 years; lots of moves, absolutely no rhythm or selling. *1/2
“WOKEN” MATT HARDY and BRAY WYATT vs. THE BAR (for the vacant RAW world tag-team titles)
The defending champions were Braun Strowman and a 10-year old named Nicholas, but they had to relinquish the belts when the kid
had an unfortunate run-in with Chris Benoit had to go to school. To hell with this, with like 4 hours left in this show, I’m turning it over to a guest recapper.
The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING is back, produced and written exclusively by yours truly, Mr. Tito. Thank you for having me. I’ve been doing this for TWENTY YEARS, and I don’t do it for the money. There has never been a dime for me, no sir. People who take money from TONY KHAN aren’t OBJECTIVE, and for that you get a FINGER OF SHAME SCOTT KEITH! No, I write because I am the only one who is prepared to tell the HARSH TRUTH that you need to hear. If I was on the WWE writing team, I’d start by firing Vince McMahon, that’s right I said it. I wouldn’t be some yes man. It gets people mad, but they know it is nothing but the TRUTH.
The truth is this, Bray Wyatt can’t draw. I have done a deep dive on the ANALYTICS by using TRIED AND TRUE financial methods in my REAL LIFE JOB, and what it says, is that 400,000 people turned the channel to Cobra Kai… now what, you’re probably saying to me, how can you measure changing channel to a Netflix show? Hey, the numbers don’t lie kids, just see for yourselves. If you can’t put in the EFFORTS I do, then that’s TOUGH!!!
When I look at Sheamus, you can tell Jim Ross isn’t around anymore. Just look at the OVW Class of 2002. There was no Sheamus’ in that group, that’s for sure. And that’s because Jim Ross developed them himself, from embryos. Jim Ross has forty years in the wrestling business, and he was just discarded like trash!!! That’s Vince for you. Who I’d fire, on behalf of the stock holders!!!
Cesaro, more like CesaBORE. This guy has as much charisma as TRIPLE H, who thinks he is going to take over the company someday. But I have news for him, it won’t happen. The board of directors will never allow it. Without Vince’s NEPOTISM, they won’t be able to make it happen, and he will get a vote of NO CONFIDENCE… just like this match!!!
So Hardy and Wyatt are the tag-team champions? D- RATING, and that is GENEROUS! Hardy should go to AEW! He is exactly what they need. His talents are wasted here, and you can BET as soon as they really let his broken character go wild instead of relying on lines from a bunch of writers who think poop jokes are funny then he will be back on top. Don’t believe me? Just check my PAGE CLICKS… I watch that number carefully, and I know people keep coming back because I am always right!!! HOW ABOUT THEM APPLES?
So just chill… Until the next episode!
JEFF HARDY vs. JINDER MAHAL (with Sunil Singh) (for the WWE United States title)
Mahal apparently won the US title at Wrestlemania, in a match I don’t remember at all. I assume he won it from Kalisto. Jinder’s more jacked than a peak HHH here. He whips Hardy all over the ring and drops a knee for 2. Cole starts explaining that Jinder is the hometown favorite here, and uses math so questionable to show his work that I suspect his pen name is “Mr. Tito”. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate, drops a leg on Jinder’s little maharaja, and starts selling a ringing in his ears. I’m not going to speculate on that one.
Now, in a moment I definitely remember from the first time I watched this, Hardy misses the Whisper In The Wind by about 35 feet, and about 4 seconds after Hardy crashes into the mat, Jinder flops backwards, selling the hit in a move with more cartoon flair than Damian Mizdow. Zero pride here, and forget the fact he’s not over, THIS is why Jinder will never be World Champion again. With Jinder stunned, Hardy removes his clothing. Sunil hops on the apron to remind Hardy where we are and to PLEASE not drop trou, so Hardy keeps his belt on and hits the Twist of Fate! Swanton is good enough for the retention at 6:10. *
BYRON SAXTON joins an All-Star panel featuring JERRY LAWLER, JIM ROSS, and BOOKER T to discuss the show so far. Ross says there’s “extra sauce” in those ribs tonight, showing appreciation and understanding for the country he’s in.
Here’s a video showing how progressive Saudi Arabia is, including a chess playing royalty, an old man on a street corner, and a prince on a skateboard.
Back to the panel, they gush over how awesome the stay has been.
Booker T: “And the food!”
Ross (dead inside): “Oh, yeah, the food.”
Backstage, CHRIS JERICHO is excited to be back in the WWE, looking old and sad, and puts everyone on The List. If you haven’t seen this segment, you can just wait until 2023 when he comes back and does it again.
Jim Ross makes his prediction: “Braun Strowman should win this or look out if not.” Glad he’s here.
DANIEL BRYAN tells us how much he loves wrestling!
THE USOS vs. THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS (for the Smackdown world tag-team titles)
This was in the brief window where the Bludgeons were just wrecking fools, which as you are no doubt aware of, is my preferred method of tag-team wrestling. Just the idea of these guys trading punches with the Faces of Fear has me so excited I might need to watch the Star Wars kid just to calm down. Rowan tries squeezing Jey’s brains out of his skull, a move learned locally. Harper misses a big boot and falls to the floor, allowing Jey to tag out and for Jimmy to run wild. A crossbody on Harper gets 1, and he pops up with a violent discus lariat that just misses! Jimmy decides it’s a smart idea to dance, and he gets destroyed by Harper. Jimmy tags out, and the pair hit superkicks on anything Bludgeon, and a top rope splash on Harper gets 2. They head up to try it again, but Rowan knocks one of them off and kicks him in the face. Jimmy is left alone in the ring, and Harper uppercuts his buddy just to give him some energy to set up a double powerbomb has the champs retain with ease at 5:05. If Ciampa / Gargano reset the scale at seven stars, this was eight or nine easily.
SETH ROLLINS vs. SAMOA JOE vs. THE MISS vs. FINN BALOR (in a ladder match for the WWE intercontinental title)
This was in the midst of “Seth Rollins is the most over guy in the company” era that lasted until we read his tweets. Finn, as usual, should have been the man at this point, but wasn’t and I’m not prepared to let up that this was a HUGE miss. Granted, he can’t go over here, he looks far too good in underwear and that won’t do. Joe takes a blockbuster and hits the floor to take a well deserved nap. He looks like E Honda, but moves like an 84 Honda. Miz and Seth go get a ladder, but Balor hits them with a senton to make them drop it. Joe goes to set up the ladder, but that proves to be far too much work. Instead, he stares at his chest and wonders if he needs better support.
Finn uses a bold strategy and stomps on Joe’s tits, and he ricochets off like a goddamn trampoline and is almost able to grab the titles as a result. Seth and Finn both climb for the ladder, but Joe’s belly pushes it over and they’re done for awhile. Miz offers Joe an alliance, but Miz fails to have any Chick Fil A nuggets in his tights, so Joe tells him to get lost. Joe tries to set a ladder in the corner, but his weight causes it to fall forward, so he just slams Balor on it instead. Balor recovers quickly, and dropkicks Joe into a ladder. He heads up for Cut The Grass, but Seth catches him, then Joe catches HIM, and a three-way superplex is delivered. Joe goes to get a ladder, but takes a Skull Crushing Finale that allows him to take a break and balance his hypertension. Miz climbs quickly for a nice change, but Seth rushes him to stop that. Miz shakes it off, but Balor is there to cut him off. They brawl, and Rollins makes a play at the belt, but Miz knocks him off and drops a DDT. Fans chant “This is Awesome”, because “This is Alright” doesn’t roll as easily. Cut The Grass stops the run from Miz, but Joe comes back in. Balor hits the Pele kick, so Joe tries to stop Balor by pulling down his pants. With the front row royalty absolutely conflicted, Joe’s Coquina Clutch is blocked, but the uranage is NOT. Joe starts to climb, and 12 minutes later he’s on the third rung, by which point Balor has recovered and shoves it over. Balor heads up, but Seth flies up the ladder out of nowhere and snags the belt for the win at 15:05. Balor is bleeding from the eyeball, and I’m not ruling out a warning shot from the cheap seats as a reminder to keep his goddamn pants on. ***
Earlier this week, LORD TENSAI came looking for new wrestlers!
From those tryouts comes 4 potential future superstars. NASSAR, HUSSEIN, MONSOOUR, and FISAL. Monsoour is of course Mansoor, future hometown hero. Then, in the ballsiest act you’ll ever see, THE DAIVARI BROTHERS show up waving the Iranian flag. The heat is so intense for these guys that even the front-row Royalty go one handed on their cell phones to give them the THUMBS DOWN!
We cut away as he starts texting “have those men kil…”, and focus on the ring. In a gruesome series of insults, the Daivari’s call them wannabes, and worst of all, TRAINEES! That’s all Mansoor can stands, he can stands no more, and he leads a TRAINEE ATTACK! We get all their best moves, including a SHOVE and a SCOOP SLAM! If these guys are ever taught an Irish Whip, Brock Lesnar best be put on notice.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. AJ STYLES (for the WWE world heavyweight title)
Michael Cole calls Nakamura “Shin”, which I assume is to give Jim Ross a name he can pronounce. AJ dropkicks Nakamura in the face, and works him over with soccer (mom) kicks. Nakamura turns the tide by kicking AJ in the back on the leg, and stomps on his face. “SHIN IN THE CHIN” screams Cole, who is grating on me so much he needs to visit a local embassy. Good vibrations always makes me smile, and Shinsuke drops a knee for 2. AJ comes back with a wheelbarrow facebuster, dropkicks Nak in the face, and delivers a shoulderbreaker for 2! AJ goes for the Styles Clash, but that’s blocked, and he eats a spinning heel kick. A front suplex has Styles woozy, but the Kinshasa is ducked and AJ locks on the Calf Crusher! Nakamura makes the ropes, and after a kick to the ear, they wind up on the top rope. AJ slips loose and pulls Nakamura face first to the buckle. They start trading the YAY BOO punches, which AJ looks to have won, but it’s just Nak playing possum and he goes for an armbreaker. Styles holds his hands together, and rolls backwards, forcing a break, and the Pele kick rocks Nakamura! AJ goes for a phenomenal forearm, but Nakamura ducks, and AJ pulls up so as not to kill the ref who turtles. In this mayham, Nakamura nails the Peenshasa … for 2, because AJ gets to the ropes! The king of Bone Style is foiled again. Nakamura has a seizure, and AJ rocks him in the head, which goes against all first aid advice I’ve ever been given. They head to the floor, and are counted out in about 2 and a half seconds at 14:25. My 3 year old often stops me to share “watch how fast I can count to 10”, and even he takes about 4 times longer than the ref just did. **1/2
This was such a weird booking decision, because it basically halted the re-momentum Nakamura had found from his heel turn, and Smackdown was so weak otherwise that AJ just trotted through defenses against second tier opposition like Rusev and Joe, with no one else to transition the belt to. I’d like to say with hindsight this wasn’t a great decision, but Nakamura hasn’t exactly done anything to prove them wrong for not having put the belt on him, so it’s basically a wash.
I’m only halfway through the show, and effectively dying. Not to worry, I have the Canadian starter pack on hand!
RUSEV (with Aiden English) vs. THE UNDERTAKER (in a casket match)
Cole is taken in by the incredible mystique of Taker’s entrance, and even the hair of the back of Corey’s neck is standing up – which is more than Taker can say, who barely has hair on the top of his head. Taker’s hat appears to have been on a little too tight, he’s got a bright red hat band mark around his forehead. He must be banking on a fedora star match. You don’t really need me doing play by play here, it’s the Undertaker against Monster Du Jour, and NO I don’t care how great you thought Rusev Day was, because if he was truly that great he’d have claimed to have been born in Saudi Arabia like Mansoor. Graves suggests Rusev break Undertaker in half and put him into the casket in two pieces. “5 or 6 pieces works better” shouts someone from the crowd. Taker eventually throws both Rusev and English in to win at 9:40 without breaking a sweat. One has to imagine that Taker loves coming to Saudi, because like them, he’d also like people to forget about the ways he’s disfigured a neck.
SAMOAN JOE vs. BROCK LESNAR (with Paul Heyman) (in a steel cage for the WWE Universal title)
Corey calls this an absolute must win for Roman, because he’s never defeated Brock Lesnar. Cole thickens the air by telling us Lesnar has never lost inside a steel cage. The word was that they’d had Brock retain at Mania because Saudi had allegedly paid for the big title change. All the ground work was laid. And right off the word go … Reigns walks ass backwards into three quick German suplexes. He’s given time to recover, and hit with a fourth, which sets up the F5! The crowd is silent, having no idea what to make of this. A second F5 is set up, but Roman slips off and throws three Superman punches. Roman goes for a spear … and is caught in a fireman’s carry! Roman grabs the cage and quickly scales up, but Lesnar’s hot on his ass and drags him back in. Lesnar goes to escape, but looks deeply uncomfortable up top, giving Reigns the time he needs to catch him. A powerbomb knocks the champ into a stupor, and backstage SAMOA JOE nods for some reason. Roman hits three spears, and says a LOT of bad words! Four letters … two count. Roman asks for the door to be open, which Heyman slams in his face, and Lesnar hits an F5 for 2! “Heyman pays dividends!” screams Cole. Marginally true; he does, but they bounce. Lesnar gets a chair, but Roman hits a fourth spear for 2! At this point, Roman pulls his hair out, something even chemotherapy couldn’t do, and he hits Lesnar with the chair for awhile. When that fails to get anything accomplished, he spears Brock so hard the cage explodes, where Lesnar hits the floor first and retains AGAIN at 9:15! ***** for the ending alone, Lesnar owning Roman in every facet is a trope that NEVER gets old for me. I’m on an island wanting Lesnar to come back at Mania and take Roman’s seat at the head of the table, and I’m comfortable with my position. Unfriend me if you have to. I’m here for the trolling.
Meanwhile, at next week’s Backlash event, Daniel Ryan takes on Big Ass!
THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE
DANIEL BRYAN draws the number 1 slot, with DOLPH ZIGGLER working as a very appropriate number 2. Cole: “Imagine if one of these guys went wire to wire!” The Saudis would quit paying for wrestling if Dolph had that honor. We’re reminded that only 4 stars have ever won from the 1 or 2 slot, including Michaels, Mysterio, and Vince McMahon, and NO ONE ELSE. SIN CARA is in the 3 hole, doing about as well as you might imagine for Sin Cara, where he hits as many as 4 moves before Ziggler takes him out. CURTIS AXEL is number 4. In a run that sums up his career; nothing happens. MARK HENRY comes in at number 5, coming out of retirement for one more shot. He takes out Axel, and fights off Ziggler and Bryan working in tandem. MIKE KANELLIS, holding an invisible Maria’s hand, is in at 6, and eliminated immediately. HIROKI SUMI is number 7.
Who is this hefty sum? Well, as Corey Graves explains: “he trained in the same dojo at Akebono!” Hey, I once ate at Ben’s Chili Bowl, I guess that makes me Bill Cosby. Henry dumps him instantly, and then Ziggler and Bryan do the same to Henry. VIKTOR is number 8, and I legit don’t remember who this is, even though I’ve probably recapped matches he’s been involved in before. He’s taken out by Bryan, and I appreciate that we’re keeping the waste to a minimum. GOFI GHANA is number 9, less than a year away from an unexpected world title run. Bryan kicks his ass, while someone named TONY NESE is our 10th entrant.
Nese tries to eliminate Kofi, but he hangs on. More nothing happens, followed by DASH WILDER at 11, and I don’t expect him to be the guy to mix things up. HORNSWOGGLE is here at number 12, which both serves to piss me off, and pop the crowd. He eliminates Dash Wilder which is fine by me. Kofi takes a Samoan Drop from Hornswoggle, setting up the tadpole splash, but Dolph superkicks him off the top. Nese sends him packing a couple seconds later. PRIMO, who I could swear has been gone from the company since like 2012, is number 13. XAVIER WOODS (with trombone) is in at number 14, in perhaps the first match I’ve ever actually seen him compete in. Primo almost dumps Kofi, but he lands on Xavier’s back. Primo tries to pry his fingers loose, but Kofi fights him off and they survive. Back in, the New Day dances with new honorary member Tony Nese, who stupidly agrees to ride in their arms … all the way to being tossed out. Bravo, stupid. BO DALLAS is 15, and no one cares. However, KURT ANGLE gets a nice pop at 16, fresh off his comeback at Mania with Ronda. Kurt dishes out some shockingly good suplexes, and he’s looking far better than I remember him at any other point in his WWE return. He dumps Bo, Primo, and then draws a man-sized pop for getting rid of Ziggler. Saudi knows the score. New Day try to take out Kurt, but we’re not dealing with the sad muppet version tonight, this guy’s taken his Perc’s, and he fights them off. SCOTT DAWSON is 17, blah. GOLDUST is 18, and gets a nice “old guy” cheer. Cole: “You have to applaud the versatility of Goldust!” NO NO, that’s NOT legal here. KONNOR is 19. ELIAS is number 20, and Cole just loses his mind. Am I missing something? He starts to sing, but he spies an opportunity to eliminate Konnor AND the New Day in one shot!
LUKE GALLOWS is 21, while Kurt almost throws Bryan into next week with a violent suplex. Who the hell is this Kurt Angle???? I haven’t seen him in years. Down come the straps, oh christ, you know he’s done. Sure enough, Elias tosses him. Damn it, NEVER drop the straps, come on Kurt, you’re a vet! RHYNO is 22, and Corey sells him out for sleeping on the floor backstage before the show. DREW GULAK is 23, begging the question: who is Drew Gulak? TUCKER KNIGHT from Heavy Machinery is 24, and he smartly goes after the smallest guy in the ring, Gulak. The big man wins, and Gulak is history. BOBBY ROODE wastes more space at 25. Get out, TNA scrub. Goldust is unceremoniously tossed, and Roode catapults Dawson out. FANDANGO is 26, and because of WWE Champions, I legit hate this guy. If you face off with him in a showdown match, he’s unbeatable, and it’s maddening. CHAD GABLE, who is not yet a G, is 27. He puts Tucker on his shoulders to show off his freakish strength. REY MYSTERIO JR. returns at 28, and he gets a heroes welcome! Gable is planted with a DDT from Rey, and otherwise, we all keep standing around. MOJO RAWLEY is 29, and he immediately eliminates Fandango. TYLER BREEZE is 30, and we should be getting near the end of this … but we’re barely over halfway there. Mojo eliminates Breeze, but Fandago catches him. He’s gently placed back on the ring, where Rawley instantly does it again.
BIG E is number 31, with pancakes in his pants. Tucker takes the Big Ending and is subsequently turfed, with pancakes in tow. KARL ANDERSON is 32, and Roode takes a spinebuster. E tries to toss Anderson, but he hangs on, and the ring is getting mighty full. Roode takes a 619 as APOLLO CREWS joins us at 33. He throws out Gable who hits his head on the way down, that didn’t look good! RODERICK STRONG is 34, part of the Undisputed Era, who I can’t believe have been around 3 years. Roddy has backbreakers for everyone, and Rhyno is gone. RANDY ORTON is 35, and the fans lose their collective shit. Apollo takes an RKO, and he says goodnight alongside Mojo Rawley and Karl Anderson. THE HEATH SLATER is 36, and he almost takes out Elias with Michael Cole having a heart attack at ringside. BABATUNDE is 37???
Look, I know we need filler, but are you seriously telling me that Norman Smiley wasn’t willing to leave the Performance Center for $500 and a free trip to a forward thinking progressive fascist kingdom? BARON CORBIN, with hair, throws Elias into the stairs, but he’s still in the match. Saxton reminds us that Corbin’s blown an opportunity or two along the way. Not to worry, he’s got dozens more on the way. He takes out Roode and Strong, and heads after the monster Babatunde. TITUS O’NEAL is on his way …. and disappears? The announcers start choking on their own vomit, and go to the replay, where Titus TRIPS ON HIS WAY DOWN, and SLIPS UNDER THE RING! Cole can’t keep it together, slather butter on him, he’s toast. DAN MATHA is number 40, but he doesn’t slide under the ring so to hell with him.
The announcers continue to beat the Titus clip into the ground, showing it from different angles, and dissecting it from every angle. Hey, I’m bored stupid, I’d be doing the same. “Steve Austin won 3 rumbles, top that Stone Cold!” Cole is in his element now. BRAUN STROWMAN is 41, and he manages to get into the ring unscathed. He goes right for Babatunde, who’s bigger than Strowman, but Braun tosses him like a bag of garbage. Dan Matha’s done, as is Big E. Slater comes off the top, but he’s caught and launched. Everyone left teams up on Braun, including Titus who basically needs to win this. TYE DILLINGER is 42, joining everyone to throw out Strowman, but he fights off all of them and throws out Titus. That deflates the crowd. Dillinger is next, but Rey manages to fight off Braun and hits a 619 to set up an RKO from Orton and the fans are jazzed! Rey drops the dime on Orton, but there’s Corbin to catch Rey and send him packing. Orton then throws Corbin out, and Elias tosses Orton! That leaves Elias alone with Braun, who immedately slaughters Elias. CURT HAWKINS is 43, and rather than face Braun, he decides to run away. Braun chases him up the entrance way, and throws him back in, taking a second to destroy Daniel Bryan at ringside who I completely forgot was still in this. BOBBY LASHLEY is 44. Lashley goes after Elias, and almost kills him blowing a sidewalk slam. He gets rid of him anyway, and a suddenly revived Daniel Bryan has running knees for both Elias and Strowman. THE GREAT KHALI, who moves like a goddamn marionette, is number 45. His arms only move in straight lines, and everyone’s selling his laughable hits like they’ve been shot … which, let’s be honest, is always a possibility. Khali is tossed, and shatters into 100 pieces like a porcelain doll, or Greg Oden. KEVIN OWENS is 46, and “he’s fresh” says Graves. How fresh? “Look at those Saudi guys in the front row, lounging like a day on the beach.” Ooooh that’s fresh. Owens gives Bryan a popup powerbomb, and Cole declares this the end of his night. SHANE MCMAHON is 47, and Owens stops to stare him down. I remember on first viewing I was sure we were headed to a McMahon win somehow. He didn’t, and then they caught me off guard that fall with their much bigger and much more hilarious plan. Oops, spoiler. Elsewhere, Daniel Bryan looks like he’s been in a fight with a jungle cat.
Working in tandem with Shane, both guys drop YES kicks all over Owens. SHELTON BENJAMIN is 48, but looks 25. He beats the piss out of Shane which cracks me up. Owens stops to remind everyone Strowman is still there, and needs to go. Everyone tries to work together, but they do it one at a time and just fly off him like a pinball machine. BIG CASS is 49, and he beelines for Daniel Bryan. Then they go after Strowman again, and Shane hits him Coast to Coast, only after Braun leans forward about nine and a half feet like a hairy Inspector Gadget. He rolls to the outside, which does them no good. CHRIS JERICHO is 50, complete with flashing scarf, and otherwise looking like Ron Jeremy.
Big Cass kicks Pornstar Ron in the face, then Lashley goes after Cass with a vertical suplex that somehow turns into a half jackhammer, but more of a Jackbuster. Ooooof, Cass can’t be feeling great after that. Shane heads up again, but Braun has come back to life, and he launches McMahon off the ring and through the announce table! Mother of god, that looked like it hurt! I mean, Cass is probably like “yooooo, way worse, over here”, but it didn’t LOOK as impressive. Braun then unsafely throws Lashley over the top, and Jericho is right behind. Owens goes too, and Bryan sneaks in to try and get Braun, but he can’t get it done. A second attempt has Braun almost gone, but Cass wakes up and flattens Bryan with a boot, then eliminates the crowd favorite to MAJOR heat. “I’M THE BIG MAN AROUND HERE! GO TAKE OUT MY TRASH!” What does THAT mean? And down to 2, Cass throws a bunch of clotheslines, but Braun is hanging on to the ropes for dear life, and on a third charge, Braun crotches him and effectively destroys his balls until Cass falls out at 1:17:20. I guess that’s why we call him Big Ass; Crushed Balls sounds a lot less intimidating.
VINCE MCMAHON hits the ring, and fails to tear his quads – pfffft, and they call this the greatest Rumble. He presents Braun with a trophy, and some sort of belt that has never been seen since. Konnan’s probably defending it in Mexico as we speak.
Fireworks galore to celebrate. This certainly was a show alright. Peace – I’ll see you when international travel is as legal as playing Pokemon in Saudi Arabia. Wait, that’s illegal? I give up.