The Best of the Royal Rumble – 9 Deuce Style

Today, I’d like to take a look back at the best of what the Royal Rumble has to offer us.  I have broken it down 9 Deuce style. I am joined by my after PPV podcast partner, Steve, for this particular venture.  Keri and Russ basically flipped me off.  So here you go, this is what we consider the best of the Rumble.  Both of us have seen every single year, so you know that you are getting legit perspectives.   

The 9

  1.  Best save from elimination, meaning the coolest way(s) people have saved themselves from being eliminated.  I don’t know if this should be the Shawn Michaels award or the Kofi Kingston award.

Steve:  John Morrison in 2011, when  he got knocked into the guardrail and hung on.

Kent:  Morrison is my pick as well, but props to Kofi for walking on his hands in 2012 I think it was.

  1.  Best quick elimination from the match.  Old school fans may recall one of the Bushwackers getting eliminated in record time, and then Santino set the standard.  We aren’t caring about who was quickest, but rather which one was the best. The Elimination should occur before the next participant comes out.

Steve:  I’m going to go with the Bushwackers, something about how he was just completely unfazed about being tossed out right away and kept doing his walk right to the back.

Kent:  Jerry Lawler back in 97 when he wa son commentary, enters the ring, goes out in seconds and returns to the announce desk like he never even entered.  There are a ton of good ones to choose.  Warlord, Titus, Santino, Bushwackers, JBL, etc.

  1.  Favorite elimination from the Rumble.  This one is self explanatory.

Steve:  Maven eliminating the Undertaker is my favorite, just because it was so unexpected.  Also Macho Man getting himself eliminated is a good one.

Kent:  Sid eliminating Hogan in 1992 was awesome, Muhammad Hassan’s elimination in 2005 was great, but I will go with Benoit eliminating Big Show in 2004 because it was a neat way at the time and I just wasn’t sure if WWE ever truly had faith in Benoit.

  1.  Best rookie hazing during the match.  There are obvious times when the veterans have some fun with the young guys with various chops and other old school moves.  Give me your favorite example.

Kent:  Well Steve alluded to Maven eliminating Taker, and after that, he got his ass handed to him.  Still, Daniel Puder in 2005 was absolutely brutal with Eddie, Benoit, and Hardcore Holly.

  1.  Best Hoss showdown in the rumble.  In the Rumble, it’s inevitable for 2 big boys to square off and all of the focus on them.  What one was the best or your favorite?

Kent:  Giant Gonzales vs Taker in 1993 for all of the wrong reasons.  It’s still hilariously bad.  

  1.  Best Eliminator, or the Kane award, goes to your favorite wrestler who has his fair share of eliminations.  Something about the way that he does it, just pleases you.

Kent:  I really enjoyed Punk in 2010 holding his ground for a long time and owning that ring.

  1.  Best Survivor is for those guys that always seem to last long and entertain you doing so.  Maybe they have won the whole thing, maybe they have come up short.  This isn’t for just one year, it’s a sign of overall appreciation through the years, or maybe you just love what Ric Flair did in in 1992.  Woooooooo!

Kent:  Jericho is probably my pick with a nod to Rey, Cody, and Backlund in 93.

  1.  Worst Rumble of all time.  Yeah, this one is self explanatory.  Do you focus on the in ring work, the lack of stars, the terrible eliminations, the bad storyline leading in, the outcome of the match, or maybe everything was just too obvious from the get go.  Don’t let your hatred of Bluetista sway your pick.  Seriously…..don’t. .

Kent:  1993, look at the participants. They get rid of Flair, Perfect, and Dibiase so early and have nothing left.  Absolute trash.   

  1.  Best Rumble of all time.  Take everything I just said above in #8 and pretend it’s opposite day.  You probably still aren’t picking 2014, but you can.  Tell us why you chose this one.

Steve:  1992 should be everyone’s best.  It was for the title, Flair came in at 3 and won it, Heenan and Monsoon were great the entire night on commentary.  The after Rumble interview with Mean Gene telling someone off camera to put the cigarette out.

Kent:  I’ll go 2008, despite that being Cena’s year.  That Rumble had everything that you want in a rumble.  It had great stars, some returns and legends, and Cena coming back was actually incredible at the time, and still is today.  1992 finished second for me.

Bonus Deuce

  1.  Best surprise entrant in the Rumble.  Please, don’t get this confused with a returning wrestler, say somebody from injury.  No, this should be a big surprise that the average fan wouldn’t have known about.  Let’s call this the AJ Styles award to ruin anybody’s thunder if they try to pick him and make their pick seem obvious and stupid.  A female entrant would fall under this category if you wanted to be historic.

Steve:  Does Diesel in 2011 count? I believe it got Matt Striker fired so he has that going for him.

Kent:  Jericho in 2013 and to hold his own for so long was incredible to me.  I loved it.  Also, AJ Styles has to be mentioned.

  1.  Best returning entrant in the Rumble.  This should be a superstar that has been with the company and probably has just been injured.  They didn’t defect from ECW or WCW, they were already with the WWF/WWE.  Think of it as the HHH while listening to Creed’s “My Sacrifice”.

Steve:  John Cena in 2008.  Although it’s cool to hate him, and say everything he does is terrible, he came back from shoulder surgery way sooner than anyone should…which makes me think he has mutant healing powers, or took HGH.  It also had the crowd cheering him when his music hit, which for John Cena to have 100% of the crowd cheering is amazing.

Kent:  Cena for all of the reasons that Steve suggested.  I don’t care if he was on something like HGH, he was possibly missing Wrestlemania, and yet he returns for the Rumble.  Unreal!  Way better than HHH’s return, which was crammed down our gullet like a Women’s Revolution.


Finally, I would like to give you some interesting facts that I dug up on Wikipedia that I feel may interest you in the Rumble.  These are numbers and statistics that don’t get much love from commentary on WWE.

Longest Cumulative Time Spent in the Royal Rumble

HHH @ 3:59:37
Chris Jericho @ 3:55:59
HBK @ 3:42:30
Kane @ 3:38:46
Rey Mysterio @ 3:20:01
Cody Rhodes @ 3:08:30

Honestly, I’m surprised by Cody.  He’s only been in 7 or 8 of them while Shawn has been in 12, and HHH with 9.  Rey has been in at #1, 2, 4, and 8 in the past, and he always did well, except 2014.

Most Royal Rumble Appearances

Kane with 19
HBK with 12
Goldust and Big Show with 11
Taker and Rikishi with 10
Viscera, Mark Henry, Miz, HHH, Jericho,  and R Truth with 9

Basically, Kane should have this record for many years to come.  If he participates this Sunday, that will be 20 out of 30 Rumbles, or two thirds of all Rumbles.  Shawn’s #’s would be higher if he wasn’t out for 4 and a half years, obviously.  Taker and Mark Henry should be higher but injuries to big men is a hell of a thing.  Big Show has been involved in lots of singles matches or he would be higher.  Miz has a shot at Kane’s record in my opinion.

Most Cumulative Eliminations in the Rumble

Kane with 44
HBK with 39
Stone Cold with 36
Taker with 35
HHH with 33
Big Show with 31
Hulk Hogan with 27
Roman with 23
Cena with 22

I absolutely loathe this Roman Reigns bullshit.  He should have to prove himself before being handed all of these things.  Kane had to be Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel before given his push.  Roman, well he’s Dwayne’s cousin with really moist hair.  I’m surprised that HHH doesn’t have more, and Big Show’s numbers are a travesty.  Big Show actually has a higher elimination average per Rumble than Kane.  Of course Roman is almost averaging 8 a year.  Yeah, would you look at that.Austina averaged 6, Hogan with 6.75, but Roman has 7.67 average.  Stupid WWE!!!


With that being said, don’t expect any records broke this year, but lots of fun….hopefully.  Enjoy!

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The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 2 of 6 (1993-1997)

Welcome to the 9 Deuce exclusive, The Royal Rumble Retrospective.  This has long been the most beloved match of the year for a huge portion of wrestling fans.  Every year, I tend to watch a few of these and have a great time.  This year, I wanted to go back and revisit each and every Rumble from the beginning and find out what each Rumble brought to the table and try to determine my personal favorite.  I’m not going to say the best, as your criteria is probably very different, and incorrect, from mine. This has been an arduous task, but I hope you enjoy this project which will have taken about 35-40 hours when all is said and done.  I will provide links to all of these in each edition for easier navigating. A new part will be added daily until completion. I have also linked each Rumble to it’s Wikipedia page so you can see all the info that I didn’t provide.

Part 1 (1988-1992)
Part 2 (1993-1997)
Part 3 (1998-2002)
Part 4 (2003-2007)
Part 5 (2008-2012)
Part 6 (2013-2016)


1993 – One of, if not, THE all time worst Royal Rumbles from all perspectives.  Here’s what you have to work with. You have Hogan out because of an injury, I think he may have been filming, and same with Beefcake.  There was no Shawn Michaels, therefore no Diesel.  Hall and Bret were in a singles match, as was Bam Bam and Boss Man.  So you are left with Ric Flair who was on his way out, Ted Dibiase who was close to being done wrestling, Mr Perfect who was almost done wrestling for WWF, 44 year old Backlund, Macho Man who was on his way out at #30, a dominant Yokozuna, and the Undertaker who was taken out by this terrible creation known as Giant Gonzalez.  Yeah, this was a fuckery of epic proportions. So many dull points of midcarders at best.  Hell, Lawler even looked adequate here, and I never say that. I will give it a 2.5 for Mr. Perfect randomly punching Million Dollar Man in the arm after getting eliminated, and for the debut of Giant Gonzalez.  At least Savage didn’t eliminate himself.

  1.  Best Save – Owen skinning the cat
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Papa Shango
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Perfect
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Giant Gonzalez vs Taker, Yokozuna vs Earthquake
  6.  Best Eliminator – Yokozuna with 7 
  7.  Best Survivor – Bob Backlund @ 1:01:10
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Tenru, Carlos Colon
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Bob Backlund

1994 – Talk about a bad time to be a WWF fan.  We are in a place where Hogan is gone.  They are trying their best to make stars in Razor Ramon, Bret Bart, Lex Luger, Tatanka, Owen Hart, and Diesel, but it got them nowhere.  Half of those guys would be gone in a little more than 2 years, to WCW.  This is also not a year of putting in great talent early on, as the Steiner Brothers, Samu, Kwang, Owen, Bart Gunn, Diesel, Bob Backlund, Billy Gunn, and Virgil are the first 10.  That is so bad.  The sad part is that it never feels like it gets much better.  I did enjoy the dominant hoss clearing the ring, in Diesel, but he got rid of Backlund, which is just ironic considering that Bob would be the world champ that Nash beats in November. Bad planning.  Was Macho Man wearing pink and black a wink to the audience about who he liked?  Times when Diesel, Bam Bam, and Crush are fighting each other just failed because the crowd had nobody to cheer on, and then they toss in Mabel.  Wow, so bad.  The final four consisted of Bret,Lex Luger, HBK, and Fatu (Rikishi). Which doesn’t sound so bad, and in 3-5 years, this would have been amazing.  At the time, Lex wasn’t doing great, Bret was still iffy as a main eventer, and Shawn hadn’t quite made it yet.  Fatu was just a tag team wrestler.  Yeah, the modern day comparison would be Cesaro, Ambrose, Baron Corbin, and Jey Uso or Luke Gallows, only somehow less impressive.  With the double elimination finish, it’s hilarious watching Earl Hebner fighting for Bret to be the winner.  God, this is only slightly better than 93’s.  I’d give this a 4.4 due to the unique finish.

  1.  Best Save –
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Billy Gunn was fastest, but Virgil’s made me laugh more, as did Backlund’s.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Bret and Lex both being losers
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Mabel and Diesel but not really
  6.  Best Eliminator – Diesel with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – Bam Bam Bigelow @ 30:12
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Virgil???
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

1995 – Well, the WWE lured Pamela Anderson at her peak, to attend the Royal Rumble, which was smart.  She was magnificent at the time.  Hell, it may have been the highlight of the event.  I don’t say this as a perv.  This was another year in a terrible, boring doldrum.  Shawn drew #1, British Bulldog drew #2.  They are the first 2 and last 2 participants in the rumble.  Everything else is beyond pointless.  This was just milking Shawn for all he was worth, and Bulldog was one of the few guys that could hang with him.  Fortunately, entrants came out every 60 seconds, making this the shortest Royal Rumble I think.  Good decision as this is just terrible.  Other notable entrants were Owen Hart, King Kong Bundy, Lex Luger, Mabel, and Bob Backlund.  Seriously, look it up.  This is just beyond awful.  7 guys lasted under 24 seconds, including Owen Hart, both Buswhackers, and Backlund.  Like, what the hell were they thinking?  Honestly?  This was the best that they had to offer?  You had IRS, Taker, Razor, Jeff Jarrett, Bret, and Diesel.  Perhaps you should have double booked some guys to make appearances to add star power.  .  The washed up stars plus the young guys that they couldn’t make into stars.  I mean, Crus was big as was Doink at the time.  That’s the hell that we are dealing with.  This was all about getting Shawn over and it worked, to an extent.  Overall, I give this a 4.6 because it’s so short so not as grueling.  That’s the only plus.  Also, Vince proclaimed that 2 men will never go out simultaneously ever again.  Yeah.  That ending is friggin good, it’s a really well done ending.

  1.  Best Save – Shawn at the end for obvious reason
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Seriously, take your pick.  Mo running down to the ring, gets in, runs to King Kong Bundy who back body drops him out.  Hilarious!
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Duke the dumpster Drose took out a ref, I think Earl Hebner
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Mabel vs King Kong Bundy which was really good
  6.  Best Eliminator – Shawn with 8
  7.  Best Survivor – Shawn & Bulldog @ 38:41
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Dick Murdoch
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

1996 – Well, this is the end of the awful “New Generation” era and we start transitioning to the Attitude era.  There’s still another bad year, but you can start seeing the seeds planted.  Until then, we get this sort of nonsense.  Even Wikipedia has the most barebones explanation for this, so that may help you figure out how mediocre this is.  On the plus side, they finally play the wrestler’s entrance music when they come out.  Yay.  It’s all downhill from here.  When you think stars have you ever once thought about Henry O Godwin, the hog farmer?  How about Bob ‘Sparkplug’ Holly, the racecar driver?  Old ass Jerry lawler?  Old ass, but slightly younger than Lawler by a few months Bob Backlund?  Mabel….I mean, he has been around for how long and accomplished what exactly?  Way past his prime and our of shape Jake the snake Roberts?  You get the point.  Aside from HHH, who was still pretty green, you simply had talent that was too young/green, or too old to make this feel exciting.  It really doesn’t get much better either.  55 year old Dory Funk Jr is #8. How you doing?  We finally have a highlight!  Lawler is hiding under the ring.  We get Yokozuna out, and he was the best guy in 93, so he should logically kill everybody.  Guess what happens?  He doesn’t.  We round out our first 10 with the 1-2-3 Kid, who got chased off by Razor Ramon for a bit.  Wow, so bad.  Why did Owen Hart have such bad music, considering his character, it never fit.  I feel that Savio Vega was criminally misused during this time period.  HBK enters and works HHH, then X Pac, then Owen while Vader and Yoko duke it out, which is awesome.  Then Shawn gets to eliminate both guys simultaneously in the fakest elimination ever.  I have now checked out. Vader gets back in the ring, eliminates Shawn, HHH, and Holly, and they say that those don’t count.  REALLY?  This fucking match and it’s bullshit inconsistencies.  Why does it count every other time that it happens?  I may have to score this even lower than anticipated.   Shawn wins, nothing interesting happens aside from Diesel and Isaac Yankem, who is now Kane.  I give this one a 3.0 and I advise against watching this one. Kama, better known as the Godfather, had one of, if not his best Rumble, lasting over 15 minutes.  Also, Austin made his debut in the Rumble, as The Ringmaster.  Man, this is wretched.

  1.  Best Save – Lawler hiding under the ring
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Both members of the Squat team were great.  The highlight of this year, aside from watching Vader work a great match.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Vader eliminating HBK despite it not counting because I loathed Shawn at this point.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Vader vs Yokozuna
  6.  Best Eliminator – Shawn Michaels with 8
  7.  Best Survivor – Hunter Hearst Helmsley @ 48:01
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Dory Funk???
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

1997 – This was a shitty year.  WCW had raided the WWF’s talent roster.  They had to re-utilize 6 guys from previous matches including HHH, Goldust, Vader, Taker, Faarooq, and Ahmed Johnson.  So that only left a handful of guys to work the match and they just weren’t up to snuff, except Stone Cold, and so this is the night that Austin really carried a whole PPV.  Bret did his job.  Alas, Mankind, Rocky, and Diesel (Kane) were all too green to hold their own, the Mexicans were simply cannon fodder, and then the legends like Jake and Terry were just too old to do much.  As much as I loved the finish, this was a bad Rumble.  I would avoid this unless you are a hardcore Austin or Bret fan.  I give this a 4.1.  Just not enough talent at the moment.  They probably did the best that they could all things considering.

  1.  Best Save – Austin being eliminated and then returning to the ring and eliminating Bret, Taker, and Vader and winning
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – “Razor Ramon”, Bart Gunn, Jake the Snake Roberts
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Ahmed Johnson eliminating himself for no reason whatsoever, Mil Mascaras eliminating himself and not understanding what he did
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown Taker vs Vader or Austin vs Bret
  6.  Best Eliminator – Stone Cold with 10
  7.  Best Survivor – Stone Cold @ 45:07
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Mil Maascaras?
  9.  Best Returning Superstar


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The Wrestling Mount Rushmore

I assume you know what this is gonna be about, but if not, that is why we have introductory paragraphs. The idea is, what 4 wrestler belong on the Mount Rushmore of wrestling.  One has to think about the criteria. First of all, let’s establish a time frame. Whether this is fair or not, I am starting at 1985, the year of Wrestlemania 1.This eliminates a lot of truly great legends. this also eliminates me trying to guess what crowd reactions were, how they impacted ratings, tickets, sponsors, championships, just so many things to take into consideration. I know going into this, the choices are going to seem obvious, but half of the fun is the elimination process, right? So let’s start throwing names out there and see where we end up.

Andre the Giant

Why he’s being considered: He’s the first inductee into the WWF Hall of Fame. He may be the only wrestler who’s name was just as big as Hulk Hogan’s. He went into acting and did an honest to God great movie in the Princess Bride. Helped cement Hogan as face of the company and passed the torch at WM 3. Legitimate once in a lifetime performer.

Why he doesn’t make it: He started in WWF in 73, the bulk of his work came prior to the cut off date. Had he been born 10-15 years later, my god, things would have been so different. His timeframe simply doesn’t fit the criteria, otherwise he makes a hell of a claim. Points for knocking out Warrior when Warrior wouldn’t follow Andre’s instructions during a match.

Macho Man Randy Savage

Why he’s being considered: To this day, almost 20 years after his pinnacle in the business, I literally just heard the crowd in Boston cheering his name when CM Punk hit the elbow off the top rope. He’s still relevant. WWF world champ twice, one of the all time greatest IC champs, 4 time WCW world champ, World War 3 winner, headlined 4 of the first 5 Summerslams, main evented WM 4, 5, & 8 and stole WM 3 with Ricky Steamboat and WM 7 with Warrior in the career match. Perfected and may have originated the jealous boyfriend in wrestling with Miss Elizabeth. Allowed a snake to bite him. Epic slim jim commercials that people still remember. Every guy has tried to impersonate him at some point in their life. He made a rap album and called Hulk Hogan a coward. He got a role in Spiderman.

Why he doesn’t make it:  He’s probably top 10 material, but he doesn’t make the cut as he was never given the ball to run with it enough times for long enough periods. That, and the rap album. His appearance in TNA was terrible and an absolute abomination. Also, he may have fucked Stephanie McMahon. Not sure whether that belonged in this segment or second segment.

Ric Flair

Why he’s being considered: 16 time world champion, the jet flying, limousine riding nature boy, one of the most charismatic wrestlers of all time, could wrestle for an hour, made Sting among others, 4 horseman, Evolution, actually lived his gimmick, won the 92 Royal Rumble that I attended

Why he doesn’t make it: Way too much time spent in WCW, never had that proper Hogan feud in WWF, one of the toughest omissions

Hulk Hogan

Why he’s being considered: He’s Hulk Hogan, he headlined Wrestlemania 1-9 & 18. He made wrestling cool in the 80’s, Vince built a company around this guy. He is considered the icon of wrestling. He left WWF, goes to WCW, makes them relevent, they start up Nitro, gets stale, takes the chance of a lifetime, goes heel with NWO, reinvents himself and gets a second life in his career. You go to a wrestling event, you most likely see somebody dressed as Hogan.

Why he doesn’t make it: ……..He makes it, this is obvious.


Why he’s being considered: Has done damn near everything there is to do in wrestling in WCW and TNA, like Hogan, his career became stagnant and was revitalized by NWO when he became the Crow version of Sting. He was for all intents and purposes WCW’s version of the Undertaker as far as being their mainstay, they guy they could put in any feud and it would still feel important.

Why he doesn’t make it: He never wrestled in WWF. Now even if he has a run, the time has passed. Had he signed when WCW got bought out, the argument could have been made for Sting honestly. Still, tough omission.


Why he’s being considered: It’s Vadar time, was one of the most gifted big men of all time, akin to Bam Bam, but main evented more, main evented WCW and WWF

Why he doesn’t make it: A really bad video.

Bret Hart

Why he’s being considered: Along with HBK, he helped bridge the gap between Rock N Wrestling era to Attitude Era. In a way makes a more compelling argument than HBK despite me liking HBK more and I like HBK a lot more. Bret helped make so many people. He gave Bulldog his best match. He gave HBK his first championship. He made Austin. He made Owen. He had teh awesome figure four around the ring post on the outside. Most importantly though, when he left WWF, that gave us the Montreal Screwjob, he gave WCW too much false hope and they utterly squandered his greatness, and helped create the greatest heel of all time in Mr McMahon which was the most important aspect in the turnaround in the Monday night wars.

Why he doesn’t make it: His time at the top as “The Man” is only a couple of years, always seemingly overshadowed. Kind of a whiny bitch for quite a few years.

Shawn Micheals

Why he’s being considered: So you just read the Bret stuff. HBK wasn’t as great a technician as Bret, but he was so charismatic. He was and still is a great cocky prick. Degeneration X pushed the boundaries. DX was instrumental in getting fans to switch from WCW, whether it was lewd comments or getting girls to flash. He taught HHH a lot in how to work a crowd. Put Austin over before retiring for years. He comes back, steals the show, acts like he never missed a beat and becomes champ again, has some of the best feuds including against HHH, Jericho, Flair, and of course stealing the show against Taker in back to back Wrestlemania’s. HHH tried doing the same and it paled in comparison.

Why he doesn’t make it: That 4 and a half year lay off honestly. If he stays healthy, he puts himself really high on this list.


Why he’s being considered: Greatest gimmick wrestler of all time. Greatest big man wrestler of all time. Capable of taking the shittiest storylines and often makes them watchable. Everybody wants to call HBK Mr. Wrestlemania, Taker deserves that nickname just as much. HBK ain’t ever had to work with Giant Gonzalez. Never left WWE during the rough years, one of the most loyal and respected guys in the locker room. More important than anything else, I think he is the icon of WWE, and his streak shall never be broken.

Why he doesn’t make it: He makes it, when you have the most important streak in wrestling history, more so than Backlund, Sammartino, and Goldberg.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Why he’s being considered: Was the face of the company at it’s peak during the attitude era. The guy who rebelled against his boss and got away with it. He drank beer, gave the middle finger, did his own thing, and looked like a bad ass while doing it. And he could work a hell of a match when he wanted to, his promo skills were top notch, had tons of charisma, a great mind for the business, and sold a ton of merchandise.

Why he doesn’t make it: ………

Mick Foley

Why he’s being considered: Because he’s the hardcore legend. Because of Hell in the Cell. Because he is genuinely one of the nicest guys in the business and is very approachable and sincere. He brought hardcore wrestling to the warped minds of Americans. He is one of the few guys who had prominent feuds in WCW, ECW, WWF, and TNA. Amazing at promos and master of the cheap pop.

Why he doesn’t make it: Never truly considered “the man” at any point in his career.

The Rock

Why he’s being considered: The most electrifying man in sports entertainment, multitime everything champion in WWF. Willing to put people over moreso than most big names. Considered by most to be top 3 all time on the mic, cut some of the funniest, most scathing promos in history. Not the greatest wrestler, but had a good sense of timing.Gave back to the industry. Along with Austin was the face of the attitude era.

Why he doesn’t make it: ……….


Why he’s being considered:  He had a hell of a run on top as the man in the main event. Was at the helm of DX and Evolution, member of the Corporation, married Stephanie McMahon, so just involved in upper card matches for a long period of time. 10 time world champ now I think. Puts up great matches usually, especially in brawls or specialty environments. Works well with any type of wrestler, underated trait, good if not great promo. Was a great heel. Helped make quite a few wrestlers.

Why he doesn’t make it:  Honestly, just barely misses the cut. He was much closer than most people would probably like, but it’s true if you really want the truth. 7 or 8th probably.


Why he’s being considered: Because if I left him off some jackass would say, “What about Goldberg?” he looked intense, had a good entrance song and was strong and very popular due to his streak.

Why he doesn’t make it: Whisker Biscuit was a prima donna bitch. I don’t like him at all.

Kurt Angle

Why he’s being considered: Probably the best wrestler I have ever watched. Yeah, he’s that damn good. Not only that, he was amazing on the mic, both serious and comedic. On top of that, the only wrestler I have met twice and a very nice dude. Can still go. Probably the most impressive rookie ever. Bald.

Why he doesn’t make it:  He doesn’t have enough time as the man in the big leagues. His insistence in pushing his body too far was such a concern that he ended up getting released and going to TNA because Vince feared for his safety. Fuck, that is scary. And Vince was right for doing so. All the potential and talent in the world, but he needed to slow down, and never did.

Brock Lesnar

Why he’s being considered: If Kurt isn’t the greatest rookie of all time, then this guy is. The best natural athlete ever in wrestling quite possibly. Nah, he just is. If he doesn’t have diverticulitis, my god, he goes on to be a legend in fighting as well as wrestling.

Why he doesn’t make it: His heart was never in it totally, still isn’t, it;s just not his personality. Unlike other guys who eat, sleep, and breathe wrestling, Brock is a farm boy at heart who is a dad and husband and those are his priorities, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Chris Jericho

Why he’s being considered: First ever undisputed champion. Never injured. Great promo and in ring work. Still finds ways to reinvent himself and be entertaining. Still somehow underrated.

Why he doesn’t make it: Never enough time as the full fledged man, held down too much in his prime by HHH, sorry but it’s the truth.

John Cena

Why he’s being considered: Whether us adults like it or not, this guy has been a main eventer for almost a decade now. His brand is worth almost 100 million. He now has his own clothing line at KMart. He’s not going heel any time soon. He is what he is. He will break Flair’s record. He is to kids nowadays what Hogan was to us 20 years ago. Interestingly enough, kids started rebelling against Hogan towards the end and he went to WCW and when that fell flat, he had to go heel to remain relevant. Let’s hope history eventually repeats itself. Everybody involved deserves it. They need to build up some new stars now though. That is a blog for later.

Why he doesn’t make it: Unfortunately, he has to make it, he’s too important to wrestling. I don’t hate Cena, I admire him, I like him. I respect the hell out of the guy and all the charity work and make a wish work he does, that stuff is tremendous, I’m just sick of his on screen character.

Ultimate Warrior

Why he’s being considered: I have to, I have a pair of testicles and grew up in the 80’s. Remember me just mentioning getting sick of Hogan and how the tide started turning? You know why? Because there was a cool alternative and it was the ultimate Warrior. Unfortunately, he was a fuckhead and didn’t do what was best for business. He had strong runs as the man though, insanely popular. Most males in their 30’s know who he is. Not as recognizable as Macho man, but damn close surprisingly.

Why he doesn’t make it: He’s a fuckhead. Really, just a complete dumbass that didn’t do right by the business and was almost as dumb as Goldberg. Too full of himself. Would just quit. Cut the craziest promos ever (part of his appeal as well). Terrible worker. Just can’t, but he had to be in this blog.


Why he’s being considered: Edge deserves a lot more respect than he is often given. While Cena was given so much, Edge busted his ass. Edge became one half of the greatest tag team in WWE history. I still say Dudleys are greatest in all of wrestling, but E&C in WWE only. Edge is 14 time tag team champ, 5 time IC champ, 1 time US, 1 time King of the Ring, Triple Crown winner, royal Rumble winner, 2 time Money in the Bank winner, 2 time slammy award winner, 11 time world heavyweight/WWE champion, and hall of famer. Who on this list has a better resume statistically speaking? Flair and Jericho are the only comparable I would think. He was a good face, but a great chickenshit heel with a great viscous streak. He could be hilarious, rude, lewd, and downright mean when needed. On a personal note, I was there in Albany when he retired, and it was a genuinely sad night, not gonna lie. I wish he had 3-5 more years. He seemed like a well liked hard working guy that gave back to the business.

Why he doesn’t make it: He wrestled in the same era as Cena, so unless he was wrestling Cena or Taker, the spotlight never shined brightly enough on him, plain and simple. During the time frame, he performed in probably more great matches than Cena, but they weren’t always the main event. It sucks, but he may well go down as the Macho Man to Cena’s Hogan. Or maybe Randy Orton will be Macho.  Hmmm.

So with that being said, the final say on the wrestling Mount Rushmore are these 4.

1. Hulk Hogan – OBVIOUS

2. John Cena – Modern day Hogan sadly

3. Undertaker – In 20 years, people will still remember the streak, Hell in a cell, his confrontation with Kane. They will remember his 20+ years of greatness.

4. Stone Cold Steve Austin – He was the face of the Attitude era, the best era in wrestling history.

Honestly, I know a lot of people think the Rock belongs, but he doesn’t belong anymore than Bret, Flair, HHH, or HBK to be honest. Had Rock not gone to do movies, you’d be correct, but I am sorry, his run as a wrestler is not THAT impressive. While he did it, sure, he was amazing for awhile. But he road the coat tails of Austin.and Vince. Let’s not forget, HHH was very instrumental in the Rock’s ascension as they went up the rankings together basically, and were awesome. In the late 90’s, if you went in a mall, you was likely to see a few Austin 3:16 shirts, not always guaranteed to see even one rock shirt. And Taker over the Rock is a no brainer in my opinion for longevity and what he has meant to the industry. Look at when I posted on FB, damn near everybody mentioned Taker. that tells me something.

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WWE Payback 2016 Preview

In order to move forward, you oftentimes have to look to the past. In this particular case, I cannot talk about this PPV without at least acknowledging Wrestlemania 32. Do you remember how Ryback and Kalisto had a US title match at Mania, and Kalisto won cleanly? Do you remember how Zack Ryder won the Intercontinental Title? Remember how Jericho beat AJ Styles cleanly? Remember how Brock and Dean underwhelmed us and Dean lost very, very cleanly? Remember how Shane lost to the Undertaker and therefore would have no control of RAW? Do you remember the Wyatts or League of Nations? Remember when The New Day was a big deal because they were tag team champions? Remember how the Diva’s Revolution happened, but the following night, it became the Women’s division, and the prestige was brought back? Do you remember the awesome crowd friendly reaction that Roman Reigns received after pinning HHH cleanly in one of the most boring main events in Mania history? Keep ALL of this in mind because when you look at the card to Payback, we are used to having some fallout from Mania and the night after Mania.

Fair warning, none of what I am about to tell you is going to be logical.


U.S. Title Match

Kalisto vs. Ryback

So Kalisto beat Ryback cleanly at Mania, correct? Since then, they have had no contact on RAW in the 4 week build up. Sooooo why is this match taking place? I see no rhyme or reason for Kalisto to lose it. He should be a big star, and on every RAW. The dude is incredibly talented. When in doubt, go against logic.

Winner: Ryback as the new US champion because fuck logic


Vince chooses who is running RAW

Sooo Shane lost to Taker, and he should have been gone, that is what we were led to believe prior to Mania. Since then, I believe Shane has run every RAW. Why? Because fuck logic! Seriously, they don’t even have a game plan long term. This much is fairly fucking obvious. Shane has been incredibly over, so they are taking advantage of that. BUT, did you see how hot Steph was this week? Mmm mmm mmm. Let me be perfectly honest here, I don’t care. I want to see more Shane, and more of Steph looking hot, and more HHH with a sledgehammer. Can we make this happen? No? Then I don’t care.

“Winner”: Shane because he’s going to inevitably turn heel by Summerslam


Baron Corbin vs. Dog Ziggler

I like calling him Dog Ziggler because Rusev is a funny dude. Remember how last year, Rusev was in a top of the card match with Cena? Yeah. What does Dolph gain by beating Baron? Nothing. What does Baron gain by beating Dolph? A nice rub from a guy who bumps his ass off and is consistently under-appreciated.  am absolutely expecting a nice post match beat down from Baron to Dolph. And yes, these guys would make a nice tag team in the same vein as HBK and Diesel.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler because logic be damned, and then post match beat down leading to a re-match at Extreme Rules with maybe a street fight stipulation, or last man standing would be even better


#1 Contender for the Tag Team Titles

Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains

This tag tournament has been the best booked thing this past month. Enzo and Cass are already among the top 5 most over acts, and the Vaudevillains are going to win. Yeah. Why? Well, The Dudleys nor the New Day have a match on this card. The Dudleys are going to feud with Enzo and Cass, so that’s probably how this match ends. New Day should feud with heels anyway, and this would be a nice fresh match up. I actually like everything that I just wrote. Save the Enzo and Cass vs New Day match for Summerslam in Brooklyn. They can’t fuck this up, right? This is the most obvious outcome on the card, right? Do I dare predict a match with logic?

Winners: The Vaudevillains thanks to help from the Dudley Boys


Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

Well, Y2J beat AJ Styles, and the internet got pissed off. According to internet logic, Jericho should lose every big match, and then still allow the fans to complain that beating Jericho means nothing. Internet logic is the fucking worst. Funny though, Y2J beats AJ at Mania, and then the next night, AJ becomes the number one contender to Roman’s Empire. Life is funny. Meanwhile, these 2 guys have feuded over a talk show and yet, it has stole the show at various points. Sometimes, you need to let new talent work with old talent and watch magic. That’s what we are witnessing.Oddly enough, I don’t know what logic dictates here. Dean hasn’t won a PPV match since Royal Rumble. Technically, I would suggest that Dean needs the win more. I would suggest giving it to Jericho. Follow my logic. We have no fucking clue about where AJ Styles goes after tonight. Roman needs credible opponents for a few months. Dean still shines somehow no matter how bad his PPV record is. I’m an Ambrose guy, but I actually think that he should eat some more losses IF the WWE refuses to make him their next Austin. I don’t think that they will. I would keep having Dean lose, and have him snap at some point, and turn on Roman. I’d have Dean almost win Money in the Bank, just to get screwed over, and have Roman try to console him, and there’s your big Summerslam main event. On top of that, Jericho helps elevate Roman after the AJ feud. This is all so simple. They need credible heels for Roman. With that being said…..

Winner: Dean Ambrose because fuck logic


Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Does the outcome even matter? Seriously, does it matter? I’ll tell you how it should be booked, and I will tell you right now, it will not be booked this way.  Owens should win. Owens shouldn’t ever lose to Sami. ECW fans may remember Tommy Dreamer vs Raven, and how Dreamer could never beat Raven. It became cliche, until one fateful day, Dreamer finally won, and it was a huge moment for ECW. Replicate that story. Maybe next year, have Zayn win Money in the Bank and have Owens eventually win the title, and Zayn finally win like the Royal Rumble in 2 years. Owens should be as cocky and dismissive as possible while Zayn shines as the babyface who never gives up, but just falls short. Wrestlemania 34, headlined by Owens vs Zayn would be money.  Zayn is that good, and I have to say, Owens may be the most complete package in WWE right now, and by may, I mean that he is. He can work the mic great, he can do flippy shit, and he can brawl, and his offense looks believable. He’s the future, no matter how much I tout Baron Corbin as the future, that’s just me having fun. KO is the real deal. Sami is too. It’s a long road, but the pay off would be epic.

Winner: Sami Zayn because my story makes wayyyy too much sense.


Intercontinental Championship Match

The Miz vs. Cesaro

I just gave KO some huge praise. I need to say that nobody, and I mean nobody, has been better than The Miz the past 4 weeks. Miz is reminding everybody that his World Title run wasn’t a fluke. He was finally given something to work with, and he nailed it. That sums up the Miz though, in the same vein as his good buddy Dolph. Both guys, when given the chance to shine, they steal the show. Unfortunately, it feels that too often, WWE would rather sabotage them to push their new flavor of the day, like Ryback, AJ, or Roman. Bringing Maryse back was a stroke of genius. Giving Zack Ryder a 24 title reign, fucking genius. I mean, in hindsight, it meant so much to give a low card NXT guy the IC title at your biggest event of the year, right? I mean, at least Zack bounced back and is in a meaningful feud for ……… oh wait, he just jobs now. Fuck. Where the fuck was the logic again? I haven’t even mention 007 Cesaro. Yes, he should be more like Jason Statham. Thank you for the hundreds of people who keep pointing that out online. I am stupid and did not notice it, so thank you for clearing that up for me. Fuckheads. Cesaro is a superstar. Cesaro should be in the main event. Let him lose and challenge Roman or at least right below the world title. Him and KO need more matches. Cesaro is a guy that should be a tweener, meaning he doesn’t give a fuck who he fights. Now, now is the time to showcase this man before Seth, Bray, Luke, Cena, Randy, Neville, and Tyson Kidd return. Pull the trigger now, and let him get a taste of the main event, even if it’s in a clusterfuck 4 man main event. He deserves it. If he don’t get over now, he will fall back down the card, as is tradition. Still, he should lose here, because the Miz with the belt is the right call. Miz should hve a 6 month reign and make people loathe him. I hate this, but I am using logic here. Let Miz screw over Cesaro, whatever works.

Winner: The Miz via fuckery with Maryse


WWE Women’s Title Match

Natalya w/Bret Hart vs. Charlotte w/Ric Flair

This match actually should get 15-20 minutes as these 2 work really well together, and Natalya deserves it. The big question is perhaps not so obvious. We’re going to be in Chicago, and Natalya, and more importantly Bret, are going to walk away triumphantly. The question is: will they have the belt, or just have a post match bullshit thing to make fans smile? That is a tough question. If Natalya wins, who does she feud with? The heels are Charlotte, big booty bitch Naomi, Tamina, Emma, and Summer Rae. So basically Charlotte and Emma as the only credible ones, although Summer can be a good heel. If Charlotte retains, she won’t go back to Becky, and I feel that Sasha is just waiting for her big night at Summerslam. That would leave Paige as the Bellas are gone. Alicia is around, she can be either heel or face, but WWE hates her and refuse to give her a meaningful run. I’d have Charlotte vs. Alicia because that’s a great match up as well. We all suspect Bayley is due up some time, but I think that is much farther off than people realize. Sasha needs her moment first. Unless Sasha gets it and then we have Bayley vs Sasha at Summerslam. Everything is obviously just filler until Summerslam. I don’t know who to pick, and Ric Flair may or may not be in trouble with WWE, but I suspect that he is not.

Winner: Charlotte, and then some post match stuff where Bret gets to do something cool. Also, Bret screwed Bret.


WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles

I am shocked to say this, but a match with Roman Reigns is by far the most interesting one on the card. Before we go into speculation mode, let’s lay down what we know. AJ Styles now has 2 buddies on the main roster in Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They were members of the Bullet Club along with Finn Balor, and I believe Shinsuke Nakamura (Maybe??). We know that Finn Balor has dropped the NXT title to Samoa Joe. We know that WWE specifically went out of their way to show Roman granting a wish for a Make a Wish kid on RAW. So let me just state the obvious. Much like Negan isn’t killing Rick or Carl, WWE is not turning Roman heel tonight. That is not happening, no matter how great it would be to see. It would be awesome to have Gallows and Anderson fuck over AJ and align with Roman. That isn’t happening. I will bet my let testicle on that. We know that they will play a part in tonight’s match, as could the Usos. The boring prediction is that G & A interfere, and the Usos help out, and Roman hits the spear, and then either on RAW, or the next PPV, we get a 6 man main event match. That is the boring way of booking. Others predict that G & A turn on their good buddy AJ. Or a twist on that is that they accidentally cost him the match. While others are speculating that Finn Balor makes his main roster debut tonight. I think that is fool’s gold right there. I think that Finn’s main roster debut has to come when somebody issues an open challenge, like Cena’s US Open. I think Bray with some momentum would be good, as would Taker, HHH, Y2J, or even Roman. I don’t think I would even involve Finn in a bullet club thing immediately. I know, you want to strike while the iron is hot, but I think that is a mistake with Finn. He’s special, and he can push merchandise. They need to make his debut epic, with lights down, the paint and every thing. That don’t happen mid match tonight in a throwaway PPV, so stop deluding yourself. I feel that people are over thinking things and wishing for what they feel is better booking when it is incredibly short sighted. Just have G & A stay good with AJ, let the Usos come out after G & A, have AJ distracted just enough to lose the match. Let his anger build slowly.This is actually really good booking for long term. No need to blow your load tonight.

Winner: Roman Reigns via Spear after AJ is distracted

I expect this to be about a 7.5 tonight. It has a much better card than Mania does, and it features full time people in all matches, like it should.  Damn shame that we don’t get the Wyatts in a match, and who knows when they come back, but when they do, I hope that he finally gets the push that he deserves, same for Luke.


All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and