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.

Royal Rumble Live Thread

The kickoff show starts at 7pm EST. Matches include:

The New Day vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd & Adam Rose in an Elimination Match
The Miz & Damien Mizdow vs. The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Titles
New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
Nikki & Brie Bella vs. Paige & Natalya
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
30 Man Royal Rumble Match
Talk all about the show here and lets hope we get something good and some direction heading into WrestleMania. And if this thread gets far too big, I will start a second one. 

BoD Royal Rumble Shoot Interview Contest Thread

The rules for this contest are as follows: These are the numbers that were chosen at random. They will match up with the actual WWE numbers and whatever number the entrant of the WWE Rumble winner has, that number will end up winning the contest. For instance, if the winner of the WWE Rumble was the #20 entrant, whoever has #20 in this contest will win and get to pick the shoot interview that I review for this Thursday. 

Here are the results of the drawing:

  1. Handleman 20
  2. Bulldog Bob Brown
  3. The Ricker
  4. Duthtys GoRilla
  5. theJawas
  6. robmck3898
  7. Biff Kensington III
  8. Ghost of Faffner Hall
  9. wpoc3
  10. Kyle Warne
  11. John Petuka
  12. Rodney Rankin
  13. Doctor_Ew
  14. Bob Patel
  15. Battle Kat Litter
  16. Jonathan Meisner
  17. Dean Andrews
  18. Vince
  19. Cultstatus
  20. Darren X
  21. Steveweiser
  22. Average Joe Everyman
  23. Biscuit!
  24. Adam Curry
  25. Fake Danimal Crossing
  26. Crikey Mate Down Under
  27. Logan Scisco
  28. Danimal Crossing (Real Bro)
  29. The Whispering Joker
  30. Grail Ron Swanson
Good luck to everyone involved. 

The Royal Rumble home to the best title matches?


Scott,

The Royal Rumble the most prestigious battle royal ever devised but what about the title matches that take place on the show, there have been some true classics.

Angle vs Benoit from 2003 and Cena vs Umaga from 2007 instantly spring to mind as being the best but do you have any other favourite title matches which took place at the Rumble?

Thanks.

​I'm pretty fond of the Randy Orton v. Jeff Harvey match where they got me to buy into the "Elevation of Jeffrey Nero" storyline and then were like "Psych! We're gonna keep pushing Orton instead for a while".  Even if the usual RKO Outta Nowhere finish was a letdown, it was still a good match.  I think there was also a hell of a World title match between Undertaker and Rey Mysterio on that show, featuring Taker ragdolling Rey all over the ring in what was actually a fresh matchup for once.  
Also, HHH v. Scott Steiner.  Duh.  ​

Place to Be Nation – Royal Rumble Week

Good afternoon everyone…it’s Royal Rumble weekend and over at PTBN, we had some Rumble related content as well as some other pieces we feel you would enjoy, so check ’em out!

Aaron George reviewed and ranked all of the Royal Rumble matches: The Definitive Ranking of Royal Rumble Matches

Matt Davis delivers 101 Facts you may or may not have known about the Royal Rumble: 101 Facts You May Not Know About the Royal Rumble

Scott, Justin & Graham Cawthon looked back at Royal Rumble 2004: Place to Be Podcast Episode 358: Royal Rumble 2004

Our Royal Rumble rewind series checked out the 1991 and 1997 installments: Royal Rumble Rewind Series

Dan McGinn previews this Sunday’s event: 2015 Royal Rumble Preview

Also…

Charles Williams is back with his weekly This Week in 90s Wrestling column: This Week In 90’s Wrestling: January 18th – 24th

Round Three of the Greatest Song of the 90s Tournament wraps this weekend, so get in and catch up on voting if you haven’t yet: PTBN Greatest Song of the 90s Tournament

Graham Cawthon debuted his History of Wrestling podcast with a look at wrestling memories from the Meadowlands: History of Wrestling Podcast #1: Remembering the Meadowlands

Scott Keith joined the PTB Podcast for another trip through the mailbag: Place to Be Podcast Episode 359: Mailbag with Scott Keith #5

The Best and Worst Royal Rumble Matches


There's a Royal Rumble on Sunday. Good time to look back on the past. Paste has ranked the best and worst Rumble matches. What do you think?

​Swap out 1998's desperation booking of three Mick Foley aliases and a bunch of tag teams and swap in 2010's CM Punk storytelling and you've got a winning list.  I'd maybe go with 2007 over 2008 just because the last 10 minutes with Shawn v. Undertaker were nearly a ****1/2 classic on their own, but it's a fair opinion.  Nothing touches 1992 regardless, and 95/96 are clearly two of the worst.  ​

Other Royal Rumble stuff

Hi Scott,
I have reserved myself to the fact that Roman is going to win the Rumble match and become the next undisputed Bootista. Now I'm trying to find some silver linings to the rest of the show:
1) Sadly, we won't be seeing Kharma as a surprise entrant since she is back in TNA. Is there ANYONE you see showing up unexpectedly and get a huge pop? I'm not talking about Orton, Jericho, RVD, or any of the announce team, but someone who fans would want to see.
2) The New Day has a match scheduled but what is a Rumble without Kofi's annual crazy spot to avoid elimination? What do you think Kofi will pull out this year? I had a vision of him being in the ring at the same time as Adam Rose, where Kofi gets tossed out but is caught by the Rosebuds/Exotic Express (or whatever) and they crowd surf him back into the ring.
3) And lastly, is there any point to the Ascension/ NAO match? Is it just a matter of time before they are sent back to NXT to be repackaged?

​1. I've heard the Dudleyz as the biggest name, which would be fun and get a huge pop in Philly.  Really, using them to destroy the Ascension as a mystery team opponent would have been even better, but apparently no one in WWE actually watches wrestling and remembers that kind of thing anyway.
2.  Yeah, the body surf spot basically writes itself.  I've heard another awesome theory, which is that Daniel Bryan will get "injured" and taken out of the Rumble by the Authority earlier in the show and the fans get all pissed off at Reigns seeming to be the winner, until the Bunny enters at #30, gets the surprise win, and then unmasks himself as Bryan.  ​

​3.  Ain't no repackaging for the Ascension.  Much like Adam Rose, if this doesn't work, they're looking for other work.  They're too old to send down again and WWE would just save money by cutting them loose.  And no, I have no idea what the point is supposed to be.  ​

INFOGRAPHIC: WWE Royal Rumble Stats & Records! OH YEAH.


Hi Scott,   My name is MaDonna and I’m at HalloweenCostumes. And, boy, do I have an infographic for you.   With this year’s Royal Rumble happening on Sunday, we needed to be ready. Ready with stats, facts, trivia, and cute, cuuuute pictures of past rumblers. See our “Over The Top” infographic here: http://www.halloweencostumes.com/blog/p-636-WWE-royal-rumble-infographic.aspx.   Along with the sharable image (there’s an embed code right in the blog post!), we also include even more information underneath on all the winners, their entry number, and the Wrestlemania result. Seriously, it’s a statistic-dream.   If you want to share this with your readers, that would be awesome! Let me know if you have any questions.   Thanks! MaDonna Sheehy HalloweenCostumes.com    

Very cool, thanks!

Does Bryan “Need” to Win the Rumble?


Dear Scott,

Two long questions…

Although you recently said you think Roman Reigns will win the Rumble, how much do you agree with the notion that Daniel Bryan "needs" to win the Rumble (and win the title back at 'Mania) to be established as a top guy?  I can understand (many) fans wanting him to get his title back at 'Mania but think he's already popular enough that winning the Rumble wouldn't be as helpful to him in the crowd's eyes as someone like Reigns or Rollins or even Rusev, none of whom are generally viewed as main eventers.  And WWE reluctantly booking Bryan to win the Rumble isn't going to make corporate believe in him any more than 'Mania last year did.

Additionally, while Bryan winning back the title he never lost (even if it's not from the person who took it from him) is a good story, how much confidence do you have in WWE Creative telling that story given how badly they've booked the three biggest babyfaces in Bryan's absence: Cena (hero avenging Summerslam slaughter who gets into a #1 Contender's match by losing and is impotent when his allies are fired), Reigns (up-and-comer establishing himself by beating the big bad champ who is given Looney Tunes and fairy tale promos), and Ambrose (psychotic hellbent on revenge becoming a prop comic who loses to holograms and exploding TVs)?

I don't think he NEEDS to win it as far as his character or standing or whatever goes.  I think that WWE kind of owes it to the fanbase as an apology for last year and it would go a long way towards building goodwill.  Really, if he's booked in a strong Wrestlemania program (hint:  NOT KANE) with a direction that makes fans get invested in him again, he'll be OK.  Now, that being said, if they didn't want him winning the Rumble, he shouldn't be in it.  It's only going to hurt Reigns just by virtue of not being Daniel Bryan.  
Like, Bryan can be the guy to dethrone Rusev and that's an easy one to book and build sympathy and such.  The Brock match is of course the fireworks factory that we're unfortunately never going to arrive at, but that's another one that literally books itself.  It doesn't HAVE to be the story of "Bryan wins the Rumble and then gets the title", but it just happens that it's the only story they know how to book this time of year and the only one they really get behind.  

Philly Rumble

Hey Scott,
How much do you think Vince & company are going to take the location of this years rumble into consideration when booking the event?  Considering how quickly the Pittsburgh crowd crapped on last years show, it stands to reason that the Philly crowd will be damn near riotous if the show is booked in a stupid, out of touch way (i.e. Roman Reigns winning).  Add to the fact that the Philly crowd (which I will be part of) will already be looking to "out hijack" our rival city of Pittsburgh and I feel like it would be insane to book anyone other than D-Bry to win.  If the intention was to not give him the rumble win they would have been better served to wait until the night after the Rumble to announce his return.

​I think if they get all worked up about trying to overthink the Philly crowd, it'll only make things worse.  Just have a plan, do what you're gonna do, and worry about dealing with the consequences later.  If the matches are good, they'll win the crowd over anyway.  ​

Rumble 97

Reading The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume 4 and in it it says that Bret was gonna win the 1997 Rumble but Russo, as Vic Venom, said on Live Wire that Bret was the only reasonable person who could win the Rumble, and in the authors words, broke kayfabe. So Vince changed it to the Austin.

Now I wasn't reading the Torch or Observer back then but I read every website like Tidbits, Micasa, Online Onslaught etc, which I assume got all its news from Meltzer and Keller and remember nothing ever being reported like that.

True? False? And was Bret supposed to beat Austin at what ended up being IYH Final Four to get his title shot back? If so, what becomes of Austin at Mania? Austin/Vader?

​The Rumble one is correct, the Final Four one was a bullshit online rumor that ended up getting spread by myself among others.
From the Observer:
"The attendance was the story of the show and the saving of the show, which saw Shawn Michaels capture the WWF title from Sid in the main event and Steve Austin win the Royal Rumble in a late swerve. Those at Titan believed too many fans knew the original plan of Bret Hart winning and were concerned, perhaps overly so, that Vic Venum (Vince Russo) had "given it away" (he predicted it ala a Mark Madden gimmick where he knows a planned finish and then predicts it to get himself over) to make himself look smart on their own Live Wire television in the early days of the promotion of this show (Venum later came back the next week after getting heat and said nobody could predict a winner of a bout like a Royal Rumble). It was the classic case of reactive booking instead of pro-active booking. The problem with reactive booking means those who are supposed to be in control are no longer in control and they are reacting to forces rather than creating and controlling the forces. This is not meant as a knock on it because if the end result is still Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at Wrestlemania, the long-term battle plan has changed along the way but has the same ultimate destination. The change in Rumble plans changed the four corners match on the 2/16 Chattanooga PPV from having the supposed top four in the WWF–Sid, Shawn Michaels, Austin and Bret Hart, to the final four in the Rumble–Bret Hart, Austin, Vader and Undertaker with the title shot at Michaels at Wrestlemania being at stake to the winner." ​

New E-Book: History of the Royal Rumble

Back in late 1987, the WWF started messing with the NWA’s pay per view
schedule by airing Survivor Series 1987 on the same night as Starrcade
1987. This worked so well that they decided to do it again in January
1988 but as a free special on the USA network. Nearly thirty years
later, the show has become one of the biggest events of the year and
contains one of the most important matches on the Road to Wrestlemania:
the Royal Rumble.

For twenty seven years, the Royal
Rumble has given us the biggest battle royal of the year and some of the
best matches of all time. Ranging from Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
in a ladder match to Triple H vs. Cactus Jack in a street fight to Chris
Benoit vs. Kurt Angle in a technical masterpiece, you’re almost
guaranteed to get a solid title match in addition to the Royal Rumble
itself.

In this book, we’ll look at every edition of the Royal
Rumble starting in 1988 and break down every show, segment and match as
WWE starts their Road to Wrestlemania. The book contains twenty seven
pay per view reviews and looks at everything that has taken place at the
first major show of the year on the WWE calendar. As usual I’ll be
providing play by play, historical context and analysis of every show.

The
books runs about 350 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the
equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book
reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search KB Rumble and my book will be the first thing that pop up.

Also
you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship,
Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-97, In Your
House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views and Clash of the
Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

Royal Rumble


Scott,
   Who are the best WWE wrestlers to never win a Royal Rumble?

Well the most glaring omission would have to be Kurt Angle.  He was on the hot streak of a lifetime around those times, but just never ended up being the guy to win.  Second choice would probably be Chris Jericho.  And I'm always surprised that post-comeback Shawn Michaels never won it, although he had two of them from the previous version of his career.  

Total Divas Season 3 Recap: Episode 3 – “Roadside Rumble”

In our last episode, “Mo’ Marriage, Mo’
Problems”, we saw what happened when some of our Divas were pushed to
their personal limits.

  • Told she would no longer be in The Funkadactyls as a tag team
    wrestler, and would instead be Naomi’s valet, Cameron decided to return
    to NXT to gather more skills and come back stronger. She made rational
    arguments, she cried, and even though it might mean losing Naomi as a
    friend and tag team partner forever, she’s going for it.
  • Nikki was forced to tell John Cena she was freezing her eggs (when
    he found her syringes). His first guess was that she was using illegal
    drugs, which says a lot about he sees her. She told him she would stop
    the procedure if he wanted her to, he passive aggressively said he
    didn’t but made jokes about her the procedure all week, and then after
    spending time with her cute nieces and nephews (to fully drive home the
    point with viewers), she decided to do the procedure even though she
    will have to give up wrestling, alcohol and sex for that time. Really, I
    don’t know which of the three will be harder for her to give up.
  • Brie and Daniel Bryan argued about their new house. Basically they
    bought a house they liked and wanted to turn it into one they loved by
    changing everything about it practically. They both wanted many things
    added, but different and expensive things. Brie pouted, and went table
    shopping without him, but when she was forced to confront the fact that
    due to his neck injury and surgery he would be out of wrestling for a
    while and might lose the Championship Title, she decided to compromise
    about things for and in the house (ironically advice given to her by
    Nikki who probably had to Google the word to give this advice).

This episode is billed as showing “why coworkers shouldn’t
carpool”. Considering Matt and I have both been in carpools together, at
one point in the same one with someone else — and our mutual
experiences have shown they can be out of control — we both can’t wait
to see what happens with the Divas carpooling together. Limits will be
reached for sure on this episode!

CHICAGO, IL

WWE Payback 2014 – Ringside
Stephanie’s
music plays and she comes out and invites Daniel Bryan to return. He
has the belts, but is wearing a neck brace over his Cesar
Chavez-inspired YES shirt. Brie joins him and tells the camera that the
best thing about the show is that they can incorporate some of their
real lives in, like his surgery. It’s the whole bit where Steph asks
Bryan to surrender the title or Brie gets canned. As if The Authority
couldn’t just strip him of them? (MATT: Yeah, I think we all said the same.)
Brie says she can’t be fired because she quits and then slaps
Stephanie. Initially, when I saw this episode, I thought that Brie would
announce she was preggers. Apparently, this didn’t happen.

Backstage 
Brie (who is there with Bryan) tells Nikki that, with her absence, she will have the time to nurse Daniel Bryan back to help. (MATT: There’s a lot of talk about the Bellas “nursing” their guys. We never see this happening. I feel profoundly ripped off.) Guess they spent so much on his solar panels, they can’t afford a real nurse. (MATT: Hi-yoooo!)
She admits, to the camera, that she quit on camera to as part of the
storyline to help him in real life. Nikki tells them that the rumors are
that she’s pregnant and that’s why she’s taking time off. Bryan says
he’s “trying to get it done”. Brie says they’re having fun “trying”.
Yes, because the best time to
start a family is when you have one breadwinner out with a disability on
a job that probably doesn’t even give disability benefits and the
other just quit their job. (MATT: If Brie was preggers, wouldn’t she tell Nikki before she had to ask?) 

Total Divas Titles.

PHOENIX, AZ

Noca (Restaurant)
“This place is cute,” Brie says as they (MATT: …plug…) enter
“Noca”. Brie, Bryan, Kathy (Brie’s mom), JJ and Lauren are getting
together to have dinner. Brie is wearing a white seedbead headband,
something, I guess she supposes makes her look like a bride. (MATT: But makes her look Yuppie-Hippy instead.)
Kathy gives Bryan a copy of the book, “Walk Away Wealthy”. He agrees
the plan is to leave the business wealthy. The cameras flash to two days
ago where they agreed they have no backup plan. In fact, Bryan says he
doesn’t have any skills. I disagree. He can rally the crowd like few
wrestlers can do. (MATT: Let me just put “Excels at rallying crowds” on my resume and see how far that gets me…)
When his career ends, he has the charisma to do something with
motivating people either in large groups or one on one. Kathy suggests
they come into JBN (Kathy’s recruiting firm) the next day and find what
they are passionate about. Brie asks if they have to dress up. Kathy
says they should dress to make an impression. Bryan jokes he should go
in tie dye but “people might hit me up for drugs.” (MATT: Ok,
forgiving the fact that they’ve been out of wrestling for all of two
minutes and they’re considering temp work that wouldn’t pay a credit
card bill, Nikki and Brie dress fancy to get a Slurpee at 7-11 and she’s
asking if she needs to dress fancy for a job interview?)

GREENSBOROUGH, WI

Friday Night Smackdown – Ringside
Adam
Rose and the Exotic Express make an appearance and come out to his
music. This is one wrestler and gimmick Matt and I don’t agree on. (MATT: This.) Matt
and I went to different colleges with vastly different party scenes (or
lack thereof). I think the gimmick is hysterical, something in some
ways not too far away from a frat party or two I attended. Matt thinks
the whole lot of them need to grow up and the bunny especially needs to
go. (MATT: I went to school in San Luis Obispo and saw my fair share
of parties. Save for costume parties, I don’t remember the students
dancing around like idiots, looking like a costume shop threw up on
them. This is WWE not having one clue about these things, imagining what
they think a party would look like. On top of that, the
character sucks. There’s nothing to latch on to and there’s no feud that
would work to get him higher than a comedy wrestler.)

Ringside/Backstage (Alternating)
Backstage,
Natalya, Eva Marie and Nikki arbitrarily stop in a small storage room
to watch the match on a randomly-placed HD screen. (MATT: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wandered backstage and walked into a storage room so that I can watch stuff.)

Layla is shown, briefly, outside the ring and the show helpfully identifies her as Fandango’s “New Valet”. Fandango loses (MATT: LOL) as Adam Rose and the whole Exotic Express group celebrates…except for the somebody in a chicken costume.

(MATT: “Bawk, bawk, bawk…happy nightmares, kids!”)

The chicken takes off her mask and, wouldn’t you know it: it’s Summer Rae. (MATT: The chicken suit was more attractive.) She declares (to the camera) that she’s back. In the ring, she starts pummeling Layla.

Natalya
doesn’t look at all happy and tells the camera that Summer is a drama
queen and they show us flashbacks from previous episodes where nobody
likes Summer. Natalya compares Summer’s presence to “having sand in your
bikini”. (MATT: Summer’s like bikini sand, Rosa’s like Hitler,
watching Rosa is like cleaning a toilet…Nattie should have been a beat
poet.)

PHOENIX, AZ

Bryan and Brie’s House
Brie
and Bryan get dressed for their interview and we’re asked to suspend
our disbelief as they go Full Retard and pretend to not know anything
about dressing up at all. Daniel Bryan pulls on socks that look like
they belong to Ronald McDonald’s gay cousin and Brie’s especially
nervous…

(MATT: Spoiler Alert – Brie’s probably not getting a job.)

JBN & Associates, LLC
Bryan and Brie meet their adviser, Vanessa. He admits that he was dressed by Brie. (MATT: Excellent start to this interview.) Vanessa
asks if they have resumes. They sit in stunned silence. She asks what
skills they have. Bryan says he has his resume “on his brain” and says
he’s WWE Champion. Brie says she hates routine while Bryan says he isn’t
a people person. Then he brags that he has 1.4 million Twitter
followers (MATT: Being the non-people person he is.) as well as
the YES chant. Vanessa sits there, looking constipated. She asks Bryan
if he seriously thinks he can feed a family with the YES chant. Brie
tells the camera that this isn’t going well and expresses disappointment
that they couldn’t just get a job and that they actually need to “dig
down deep”. (MATT: Repeating First Grade English might be a start.)

TAMPA, FL

Gym Workout
Nattie and (MATT: Hitler…) Rosa (MATT: Same thing.)
are working out. The girls compare asses. Rosa tells the camera she
feels more confident with Nattie taking her under her wing. Summer Rae
shows up and hugs Rosa. She’s been shooting “The Marine 4” with The Miz.
Apparently, it’s one of the largest WWE film franchises and a cash cow
for the company. Nattie is not pleased to see Summer and says that she’s
surprised Summer didn’t hook up with any of the hot actors. Nattie
already shows fangs and tells Summer that Layla is “killing it” as
Fandango’s valet because “she’s actually a dancer” and doesn’t need to
seduce somebody to get what she wants. Summer looks incredulous. Summer
builds herself up and says she had fun. Rosa says the girls will be
jealous of her because of the movie shoot. Nattie begs to differ and
says that the Bellas did The Flintstones and AJ got to put her voice in
the Scooby Doo animated film. Summer tries to rebut this but Nattie
simply interrupts and says, “We’re trying to work out.”

Nattie
excuses herself to lift her little 5 pound weights. Rosa and Nattie say
good-bye — but not before Rosa makes her feel her abs and boobs. (MATT: This is all well and good…but nobody’s said “vagina” yet, so this episode doesn’t feel “official”…)
After she’s gone, Rosa asks Nattie what that was about. Nattie says she
can’t stand Summer and she’s trying to get to Nattie by getting close
to Rosa. (MATT: Wait…Nattie doesn’t care about Rosa either…this makes WWE booking look well-nuanced.)
Rosa pretty much says that this is all in Nattie’s head. Nattie says
Rosa has no concept of what Summer is all about because Summer hasn’t
burned her yet.

PHOENIX, AZ

Bryan and Brie’s house
Byran
is on Insider Monkey looking for the most profitable businesses to
start but isn’t sure he should trust a site called “Insider Monkey”. He
says they could be property owners and lease their buildings out to
dentists. Brie says that they can’t be dentists. Bryan has to explain
the light bulb above his head: “We wouldn’t be dentists…we’d have offices for the dentists.”

(MATT: Brie’s had enough of your shit, Bryan.)

Brie suggests having a bed and breakfast with a
“green” focus and tells the camera that they’ve always wanted to retire
in Flagstaff and do something like this. They’re all in until Bryan
finds out that a ten-acre lot costs about $3 million bucks. Bryan finds a
house for nearly a million. She wants a business with good energy and
sex. He suggest opening a B&B catering to swingers. Brie’s not
having that.

MEANWHILE, IN…

(MATT: Home of cable cars, MUNI, and the Golden Gate!)

Eva & John’s car
Eva Marie, Bollywood Star, and her husband, Not John Cena, drive in her car.

(MATT: “Chamma Chamma…Chamma Chamma…Chamma Chamma…Baaje Reee…”)

Eva asks if John likes her headpiece. Considering
Brie was wearing one at one point, WWE must be doing some advertising.
Either that or it’s Arbitrary Headpiece Day on the show. Eva wants a
stress-free day: no getting into the planning and no talk about the
religion aspect of things. John says he’ll just say they’re discussing
it. Eva’s a bit hesitant about that. John says that they’re not talking
about it “Ad naseum”. Eva: “OMG…stop using your big words.” (MATT: All review, I’ve been resisting using my Stupid Nikki pic…I’m barely able to hold back that urge…)

PHOENIX, AZ

Abineau Lodge 
Bryan
and Brie are checking out their next new potential career as B&B
owners. They meet with Sharon Conte, a realtor, and Wendy White, the
owner. They look at the different rooms and find out that each one is decorated just slightly different, with cute patchwork quilts and oak beds and paneling. (MATT: It falls somewhere between your parents’ 60’s cabin in Tahoe and a place where a serial killer would hide the bodies.) Their
dog, Josie, is there because they want to see if Josie is comfy with
the place. Brie’s stoked with the place. Bryan loves it, too, but he
says they’ll go into debt if they have to take out a loan to pay for it.

MEANWHILE, BACK IN…

(MATT: Home of Castro Street, Alcatraz and your two-time World Champion San Francisco Giants!)

Eva Marie’s Parent’s House
Eva Marie is
having a BBQ with her family and friends, which includes her
bridesmaids. Though pushed to join in, john refused to be in their
“Horseshoe Tournament” as he “doesn’t want to beat them on their own
turf”. (MATT: Ah, Horseshoes. Beer Pong’s macho hick predecessor.) Her
brothers ask about the conversion thing. Eva tries to get them to drop
the topic but they surround Jon like L.A. gang members and push it. Then
Jon takes it from her parents. Her Dad says he was raised Catholic and
raised his kids that way. He asks Eva that if it was up to her, would
they have Catholic wedding. Eva she says she would. Jon says she’s
throwing him under the bus. He excuses himself maturely and walks away
from the table and even the house.

When we come back from break, it’s Big Trouble in Little Concord.

Eva
follows Jon out to the street. He tells her to stay away from him for a
few minutes because he just needs to decompress. He says he’s being
thrown under the bus because she won’t stand up to her family. He tells
her that he understands the passion she has to not disappoint her family
but that he’s also family now and that he deserves the same passion —
only more so. She says she feels so much pressure to not disappoint,
especially as the only girl and with her Dad so sick. She wants the
wedding to be the happiest day of everyone’s life. He gets that…but he
says the request to have him be somebody he’s not is ridiculous. (MATT: Let’s stretch this angle out over four more episodes. It really shouldn’t be this hard to figure out.)

SAN DIEGO, CA

The Wood (Restaurant)
Nikki
and Brie are dressed like a Nautica ad and they’re having drinks.
Because of Brie’s out-of-the-blue invite and insistence on seeing her,
Nikki asks if Brie is pregnant — then realizes that Brie ordered a
drink, so that can’t be it.

(MATT: “I’s so smart!”)

Brie explains her “back-up plan”. Nikki mocks Brie
for failing the career assessment test to which Brie replies,
“Yeah…bitch…anyway…”. She proposes her B&B idea and explains
the benefits: sustainable, good clientele, etc. She says that the only
problem is financing this so that they can get started…so, what if she
could borrow from her and John. Nikki’s stunned. Brie continues to
explain that they can manage about $50K but is asking Nikki and John for
the rest: $100K. Nikki thinks Cena will let them have an interest-free
loan, then says that Brie and Bryan could pay back $2K a month. Brie’s
all good with this…despite the fact that it isn’t Nikki’s money. Nikki
explains that she doesn’t wanna let her sister down and that she
doesn’t know if it’s the Vodka that’s making the hotel proposal sound
good or if it’s because this is two people living their dream — but she
wants in.

CONCORD, CA
(MATT: Home of Pier 39! The Embarcadero! Ghiradelli Squ–!)
(DANIELLE: They get it already! Fuck!)

Eva Marie’s Parents’ House
Eva starts baby-talking to her Dad. (MATT: *Shudder*…)
She fights back tears, saying that she has to have her husband’s back.
She wants a Catholic wedding so as not to disappoint her Dad…but Jon
won’t convert. That’s that. Eva’s Dad says that it’s their life and
that’s their decision and he’ll support her even if it’s not a Catholic
wedding. Eva’s Dad (MATT: …suddenly channeling a wide-eyed, shouty Al Pacino for some reason…) declares that they’ll be happy if his kids are happy.

(MATT: “Hoo-ah!”)

They hug it out and you can’t tell where Eva went because her hair is the same color as her Dad’s shirt. (MATT: Which is either a weird metaphor for past incestual contact or a goofy coincidence.) Eva’s
happy and tells the camera that she’s so happy that her Dad is happy.
Eva Marie tells Jon that she is so in love with him. She says this whole
ordeal has made them stronger.

SAN DIEGO, CA

The Promiscuous Fork (Restaurant)
Nikki (MATT: Suddenly dubbed “Nicole” because this part is real important…)
and John are having lunch. Nikki drops the B&B thing on Cena,
saying they’re gonna do it. Cena’s not thrilled about their plans,
contending that it’s a risk. She tells the camera that she thinks John
will go for the loan idea as he has great business sense. She drops the
loan idea on Cena. Nikki proposes that they could pay him back in 6 1/2
years at 2K a year. John does not look happy at all and just says, “No.”
Nikki looks shocked and says, “This didn’t go as planned.” (MATT: Oh, that crazy Nikki!) Cena
asks Nikki if she’s serious, saying that he would be coughing up $100K
at a start-up business, owned by two people with no experience at
running a B&B or any sort of similar establishment. He says he can’t
do something like that. He lost money on every friend and family member
who borrowed money from him to start a business. He says he is
sympathetic to Brie and Bryan’s plight and that Nikki’s intentions are
good…but he can’t take a risk like that. Cena says he’ll even tell
Brie why he can’t do it and he’ll do it nicely. Their food arrives and
he says, “I like hamburgers…doesn’t mean that I wanna open up a burger
joint.” (MATT: Yeah, just because he likes wrestling doesn’t mean he can wrestle either.)

PHOENIX, AZ

Brie and Bryan’s house
Bryan
asks if Brie asked John for a loan. Brie denies doing so. Bryan says
Cena just called about it. Brie smirks, giving away the game. Bryan
tells Brie that this isn’t funny and that Brie shouldn’t have even asked
him for the money. He says they’re married and every decision they make
is one that is made together, with communication. Bryan says this makes
him look like crap and that he’s unable to support his family. Brie
says, “You’re acting like this is serious.” Bryan: “It IS!” Bryan’s
pissed and walks out of the room. Brie says he’s being “rude”. (MATT: The Bellas ain’t never getting out of the “Annoying Divas” realm, are they?)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Backstage at the Target Center – Monday Night RAW
Rosa invited Summer to ride with her and Natalya. (MATT: Because plot contrivance.) As both Rosa and Natty each paid half of the rental car, Rosa figured she’s entitled to invite others to ride. (MATT:
Flashback here shows Summer complaining to Rosa that when she drives,
the “drive is really long”. I couldn’t make this up if I were pounding
12 beers a minute.)
Summer offers to drive and Nattie denies that
request. Nattie says that if she knew Summer was coming, she would have
gotten a bigger car. (MATT: Not letting us down in the Hyperbole
department, Nattie says that inviting Summer to ride in the same car is
like “Allowing somebody to bring a deadly rattlesnake to ride along.”)

When
we come back from break, it’s night time in the car. Everyone’s quiet.
Suddenly, Natalya feels the need to start talking about their recent
live events and complains about having a cold. Nattie mentions that she
can’t smell things or taste food because of a nasal issue she has.
Summer tries to ask if it’s a condition she’s had for a while. Nattie
says it isn’t. Summer tells the camera that Nattie is blaming her nose
issues on her because of last season, when she slapped Nattie in the
face and hit her nose. Summer finally asks if it’s because of the slap.
Nattie says she heard rumors that Summer says she’s been faking the
issues with her nose. Summer denies this and Nattie talks over her. Rosa
tries to be the peacemaker to no avail. The two exchange insults.
Summer’s a stripper, Nattie’s a drama queen, etc. Finally, Summer fires
the first big missile and asks if Nattie treats TJ this way and, maybe,
that’s why they have issues. Nattie’s had it. She yanks the car to the
side of the road and pulls Summer’s bags out of the car. The two argue
even more. Nattie calls her “a piece of crap” with “no responsibility”.
Summer says that Nattie is crazy. Nattie returns fire, calling Summer
“fake”. Summer says, “ME?! Every hair on my head is REAL, honey. You’re
the one with the mullet.”

That’s all she wrote. Nattie
tests Summer’s hair cliam and pulls Summer out of the car, grabbing a
bunch of it. Summer screams and tells Nattie to get off of her. Rosa
gets between the women and tells Nattie to knock off the violent stuff.
Summer says Nattie is crazy…

(MATT: …and Rosa’s reaping the benefits…)

Natalya
takes her luggage out and starts walking. Summer says she will call the
police and starts to do so. Rosa begs Nattie to return to the car.
Summer continues to shoot her mouth off and Nattie attacks Summer again,
then tells Summer that her legs “have cellulite”. Rosa tells them both
that she got out of rehab and is trying to be stress-free and that this
isn’t helping. Rosa says that she will drive and nobody will talk and
that will be that. All the girls reluctantly agree.


INDIANAPOLIS, IN


Backstage at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Monday Night RAW
Nattie
needs to talk to Rosa. Nattie says that what happened in the car was
not necessary. Nattie says that nobody has Rosa’s back more than she
does. Rosa apologizes and says that she “didn’t know” that the two women
would be like that. (MATT: A whole season, Nattie’s stories about Summer, Summer’s whining about Nattie, the slap…nah, Rosa didn’t know of any danger.) Nattie
says that Summer’s words hurt. Rosa says it won’t happen again after
saying she didn’t like what she saw in Summer. The two hug it out. (MATT: And a new, sneaky alliance is born.)

PHILADELPHIA, PA


Wizard World ComicCon
The
Bellas do a photo shoot and say hello to a bunch of four year old girls
who look at the Bellas in awe. Nikki and Brie say hi to them as they
pass by. (MATT: Work hard, kids, and you could have a plastic body to make up for a horrifying lack of talent, too.) A
security guard escorts them and asks how Bryan is. Brie says his neck
is doing all right. Brie claims that Nikki is stressing Bryan out. Nikki
smirks and says, “Yeah – I don’t give out handouts.” Nikki says that
Brie needs a Marriage 101 instruction book. The twins argue at the booth
as they sign autographs. Nikki says that Brie has to share things with
Bryan and not keep things with him. Nikki says that Brie should get a
staging license and come work with her in real estate. Brie balks,
saying that Nikki would be her boss. Nikki tells her that Brie needs to
make money and that’s the key.

FLAGSTAFF, AZ

Brie and Bryan’s house
Bryan
comes home and Brie apologizes to him for going behind his back. He
says her heart was in the right place, but they need to talk about big
decisions. Bryan says that they need to make an agreement about money —
anything over $100 dollars needs to be agreed on. Brie’s not quite
happy, but agrees.

DANIELLE
 
THIS WEEK’S HUG GOES TO…BRIE:
Though it was crazy to think John would lend them money, she really is
looking out for their future. A bed and breakfast sounds like a fun idea
and, while it would be more work than she can imagine, her idea of
having one that was green and would support Daniel’s ideas was
beautiful.

THIS WEEK’S PUNCH GOES TO…SUMMER: She went crazy, egging Natalya on, basically was spoiling for the fight that could have been more intense.

MATT

THIS WEEK’S HUG GOES TO…ROSA: The
“hug” category really comes down to the lesser of the Honey Bunches of
Evil that roam this show like angry demons on Speed. Rosa seems happier
and more sane. Except, of course, for when she put two idiots in a car
together.

THIS WEEK’S ANNOYING DIVA IS…ALL THE OTHER DIVAS: What
else is new? Brie asks for a loan. Nikki practically promises her one,
then Cena denies the request. Brie acts like an ass to Danielson when he
finds out, then lashes out at Nikki who deflects blame (even though she
was part of it) and they continue to be the same materialistic morons
they play on TV. Meanwhile, Nattie’s fucking annoying, starts a
meaningless fight and Summer bites, and all hell breaks loose. This is
the kinda stuff we wait to see on reality TV. It’s also shit I actively
try to avoid because it’s such a pathetic attempt at getting ratings.

Er, that’s it.