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!

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 6 of 6 (2013-2016)

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)

2013 – You know how you can sometimes pinpoint a specific moment in time when something important in wrestling happened?  Like Flair in 92, Benoit in 2004, Austin 3:16, the screwjob, “Bret screwed Bret”, Hogan turning heel, Punk’s pipebomb, etc are fine examples.  Well this is the night that set the WWE back significantly.  I know more people were upset at the 2014 Rumble, but I will touch on that in the 2014 section.  This is the year that WWE screwed CM Punk, YET AGAIN, and forced him to job to a part timer like the Rock, so that Punk couldn’t main event a Wrestlemania, so we could have one of the most obnoxious Mania main events ever, Cena vs Rock “Once in a Lifetime”….twice.  This is the sort of thing that really makes me hate being a wrestling fan.  Aside from that travesty, Big Show faced Alberto in a Last Man Standing match which ended stupidly.  Cody and Damien jobbed to Team Hell No and that was it.  Oh yeah, Be A Star!  No bullying damnit!  Presented to you by a show that half of it’s roster is made up of bullies.  Yeah, I’m annoyed.   

Man, I forgot about AJ with Dolph and Big E.  AJ was so awesome.  Dolph has the MitB briefcase, so he gets his greatest moment in less than 3 months.  At #2, Jericho returns!  This is one of those years where early guys last long.  Along with Dolph and Y2J, we get guys like Cody, Kofi, Santino, Drew, Titus, Goldust, and Heath.  Look at all of that potential that WWE had no idea how to utilize, and in Kofi, Dolph, and Titus’ situations, still don’t.  Man, Goldust debuted in 1991 in WWF at the Rumble.  Think about that.  Otunga, why did you steal Wade’s entrance?  Why are you still employed?  Lawler commenting on AJ: “Her nickname is Napkin because she’s been on so many men’s laps.”  Cody, with mustache, gets some good heat for eliminating his brother in a vicious way.  Wade and Otunga have the same entrance. Why was this allowed?  And along comes SuperCena who just took on 5 guys with no problem and starts eliminating guys.  

The second 10 guys definitely were an improvement with guys like: Sheamus, Tensai, Brodus, Rey, Wade, Cena, and Sandow.  Bo was in good shape here actually.    Orton comes out and decimates dudes.  Wow, Ryback was over huge here.  I think he turned heel the night after Mania.  WWE logic at it’s finest.  The highlights of the final 10 guys include: Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Khali, Kane, Zack Ryder, Orton, Miz, and Ryback.  Jericho got a chance to show off before finally being eliminated.  This was his and Ziggler’s year, with props to Cody, Sheamus,  and Bo as well.  Let the burial begin so SuperCena can win.  This was fun, well paced.  Good saves, lots of surprises, always full of talent, memorable stuff.  Lack of hoss showdowns and the inevitable ending really ruin an otherwise very good Rumble.  I will give this a 5.9 as I hated how predictable this was, with the wrong man winning.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi lands on Tensai after eliminating Kofi, and he ends up on the Spanish announce desk.  He takes JBL’s chair and pogostick’s his way back.to the ring, while Bo Dallas makes his debut.  Amazing!  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Godfather in like 3 seconds, haha.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Cody eliminating Goldust viciously, Kofi’s elimination after his amazing save,  Daniel eliminating Kne, then getting knocked off the apron and hangs on Kane, and Kane dumps him.  It was funny.  
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Bo by Wade
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown
  6.  Best Eliminator – Sheamus and Ryback with 5 each
  7.  Best Survivor – Dolph @ 49:47, Jericho @ 47:53, Sheamus @ 37:23, Cody, Kofi, Wade, Cena, and Bo all over 20 minutes.
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Jericho, Goldust, The Godfather
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2014 – A lot of things came from this particular Rumble, and if nothing else, it s incredibly memorable, not always for the right reasons.  The crowd wanted Daniel Bryan in the main event, they wanted him to win the Rumble.  They never got it, and this set in motion awhile issue of whiny millennials getting their way.  I loathe this particular year.  Batista was brought back to win the Rumble and main event Mania against Randy, and have the whole Evolution tie in.  Things went very differently.  Cena buried the hell out of Bray at Mania.  Oh, this would also be the last night in CM Punk’s pro wrestling career because he was also sick of this shit.  This would also be the last big event until the one holy and sacred thing in all of wrestling got ruined in New Orleans.  To say that I loathe everything about the WWE in 2014 is a huge understatement.  A year that they needed the presence of Punk, perhaps more than ever after Daniel’s injury.  So begins the year that the Shield would get shoved down our throats so much that we have yet to get the taste out of our mouths.  We, the real fans, we lost most of all.  The undercard featured Daniel vs Bray in a great match, Brock making Big Show his bitch, and Cena vs Orton for the millionth time.  The fucks that I didn’t give.  This would also be Batista and Rey Mysterio’s last Rumble.  Did I forget to mention that this is the year that they bastardized the record and gave Roman 12 eliminations and broke Kane’s great record?  When the crowd starts shitting all over this match, they may be justified.  Onto the Rumble.

Hey, CM Punk is #1 yet again.  Punk looks so tired and worn out at this point in his career.  He also had a terrible MIRSA growth on his back that WWE doctors refused to help him out with.  Yes, Punk has been guilty of being whiny at times, but in this case, he was 100% in the right.  #2 is Seth Rollins, which makes for a great start.  I miss Seth’s ring attire back then.  So much better than his current garb.  Cody and Sandow tussled briefly, and Kane come out and was eliminated by Punk, who he was feuding with.  Rusev makes his debut and really wowed the hell out of us.  Swagger is with Zeb and doing the We The People. Kofi is out and everybody is expecting something crazy from him at this point.  He delivered, big time between the barricade stunt and the hanging by his toes, good stuff. Nash came out and that was fun.  Unfortunately, Roman Reigns came out after that and this Rumble goes downhill so bad.  The record gets broken by him and it is garbage.  The second 10 guys included big names like: Dean, Dolph, Nash, Roman, Sheamus, Khali, and Miz.  That’s pretty loaded 3 years later, but at the time, it was middling.  The final 10 guys were decent, with names such as: Cesaro, Luke, Ryback, Del Rio, Batista, Big E, and Rey.  The crowd is so pissed when Rey comes out, they don’t stop booing the rest of the match.  When Rey is eliminated, fan favorite Rey Mysterio, the crowd cheers.  I believe they have edited the crowd quite a bit on the replay.  Dean had the right idea in trying to eliminate the scourge of the Earth known as Roman.  The Final Four is Punk, Roman, Batista, and Sheamus.  Kane comes out and just pulls Punk over  the top rope, eliminates him and puts him through a table.  Roman just broke the record.  I’ve seen enough.  Batista is blown up.  ROman is clueless.  I give this Rumble a 3.5, making it tied for the worst Rumble of all time.  It had some intrigue, but it was all a set up to hand Roman the record.  This Rumble was so dumb and bad when you consider everything.  They had so many talented guys and did what they did with it.  AT least the crowd was chanting Roman’s name to spite big Dave.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi went from the barricade, ran it and jumped back to the apron.  Unreal stuff.  Also, he pulls a Marty Janetty and hangs on my his toes, and takes off one of Swagger’s boots.  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – JBL’s was classy
  3.  Favorite Elimination Big Dave eliminating Roman at the end because it ended this shit.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Dean got it from Sheamus and Khali a bit
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Swagger vs Rusev was way better than you’d expect
  6.  Best Eliminator – Batista….he eliminated Roman…duh
  7.  Best Survivor – CM Punk @ 49:11, Seth @ 48:37, Dean @ 33:41, Roman @ 33:51, Sheamus @ 28:22, Cody over 21 minutes
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – JBL
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Batista

2015 – It’s 2015, the Shield have been main eventing since Mania, with no slowing down.  Daniel has been hurt.  Del RIo has left, Punk has left, Rey has left, and the fans are just getting a small taste of the future.  The undercard features The Ascension vs The New Age Outlaws, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd defeated the New Day, The Usos beat Miz and Sandow, The Bellas beat Natalya and Paige, and Brock beat Seth and Cena in a really great match.   This year starts off with The Miz at #1 and Truth at #2.  Why?  Why wouldn’t you have Sandow in at #2?  What a terrible way to start it.# was Bubba Ray, and he got a huge pop and well deserved.  It made sense to have Truth so that Bubba could work with a black dude.  I am convinced that was the only reason.  Luke was in @ 4, and he was fresh off a great ladder match against Dolph the previous month.  Bray is out next, and business has picked up.  Bray was in great shape here, and would soon go on to get buried by Taker.  At this point, the Wyatt family had disbanded.  At #6 is Curtis Axel, but then Eric Rowan came out and beat up Curtis and stole his spot.  The Wyatts all start fighting and this crowd is dog shit.  They should be going crazy.  Bray just got rid of both guys.  This is Bray’s Rumble as far as I’m concerned.  Ugh, the Eater of Worms vs the Eater of Worlds.  Terrible.  Bray should have won this one.  So the first 10 round out with Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, and Daniel Bryan.  Daniel Bryan in the past 2 years were his own worst enemy.  He should have fully healed himself, but he failed to, rushed back, hurt again, bye bye in ring career.  There’s a sign that says “Mr Small Package”.

This is a boring year so far, aside from the Wyatt stuff and DDP’s return.  Haha, Bray just eliminated Daniel Bryan, and the crowd is PISSED!  Would the WWE have ever treated Hogan, Austin, Rock, HHH, or HBK with such little respect?  Nope.  I do love the Rhodes brother fighting for like the 4th year in a row.  The crowd is still chanting for Bryan and booing.  Seriously, you couldn’t have had him last til the end?  Maybe give him a late entry.  I admit it, I miss Adam Rose.  Oh yay, Roman Reigns.  Highlights from the second third of the competitors include: Stardust, DDP, Rusev, Kofi, Goldust, Roman, and Big E.Sandow was so over at this point.  Like top 5 most over guys, and he’s gone in 18 seconds.  Wow, the WWE hate their fans.  Here comes the boo’s again.  Lex Luger is the only Royal RUmble winner to never win a WWE World Championship.  Wow.  The crowd wants CM Punk.  Good luck with that.  You get Ryback.  I believe that they were trying to break Santino’s record, but Titus botched his flip.  Haha.  Really, let’s tout how great Reigns is for lasting 15 minutes.  Bray and Rusev have been in soooooo much longer.  Fuck you WWE.  They just had Kane and Big Show eliminate all of the best competitors, minus Dean.  Dean will be next I am sure.  The final 10 guys had some names like Show, Kane, Dolph, Dean, Ryback, Cesaro, and Sandow.  So Show and Kane have taken out all of these huge front runners, but can’t put away a guy who’s been in for 27 minutes.  Oh, the fans are just chanting bullshit.  Were they right to do so?  Hell yeah they were.  You wonder why fans hijack shows, or you wonder why they chant for Punk..  Well this is why.  The fans are fed up.  Curtis Axel was never eliminated, fact.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi knocked off into the Rosebuds, who carry him back.  Good stuff.
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Titus due to the botch.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – I don’t have one.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – The Wyatts showdown, Bray vs Boogeyman, Big Show vs Kane
  6.  Best Eliminator – Bray, Rusev, and Roman with 6 each
  7.  Best Survivor – Bray @ 47:29, Rusev @ 35:40, Roman @ 27:29
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Bubba Ray Dudley, The Boogeyman, DDP
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2016 – This night’s Rumble was for the championship, just like 1992, minus the talent and quality.  The matches on the undercard were: Dean vs KO, Usos vs New Day, Kalisto vs Alberto, and Becky vs Charlotte.  The Dean match was really good.  On to the Rumble.  Roman is #1 and Rusev is #2.  Makes sense to me.  Oh cool, Roman eliminated Rusev.  Then the big surprise, AJ Styles makes his debut!  The crowd is crazed!  Poor Tyler Breeze had no chance of getting over following up AJ.  Jericho is out at 6, so that’s another big name.  Kane is out at #7, and he holds so many records in Rumbles. Goldust, Ryback and Kofi round out the first 10.  That’s a hell of a lineup for early on.  This is a year where you have guys who last long.  Ryback doing the running knee lifts in the corner to guys was a way to mock Punk I feel.  I think Ryback is kind of a prick, but who knows.  R Truth at #12, immediately grabs a ladder, climbs it, and thinks that it is a ladder match.  That was fantastic.  Luke Harper at #13, I love it!  Now the League of Nations, remember them, are out there beating Roman.  It’s Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto.  This was a way to give Roman plenty of rest, and it was stupid.  Make that fucker earn his spot.  Man, Rusev running across the desks and crashing through Roman was pretty awesome actually.    Rusev hugging Vince,….man.  The League leave and Rusev has a souvenir monitor.  Too funny.  Stardust @ #14 and Big Show @ #15.  The ring now has Luke, Kane, Big Show, and Baun.  That’s a lot of hoss.

Braun was #17 followed by KO, Dean, and Sami Zayn is a good run. Rowan is #21, so there’s 3 of the 4 Wyatt Family members, minus Bray.  Mark Henry came out, and got got by the Wyatt’s. Well, here comes the pain, as Brock lesnar comes out to fight the WYatt boys.  Man, it’s really good that Swagger and Mark Henry won that tag match earlier to earn spots in the Rumble.  They lasted a combined minute and 2 seconds.  Good booking WWE!  I loved when Bray came out, all the family got up and attacked Brock.  That would have been a solid Mania match.  Awww, see ya Brock, haha.  So we get Bray, Dolph, Sheamus, and HHH at the end.  Roman returns after missing the majority of the match.  I will not be giving him credit for the full 59:48.  That’s a bullshit number.  The crowd was stoked for HHH.  Bray vs HHH needs to happen by next year.  It’s  amoney match up that the crowd wants.  This was Dean, Bray, and Jericho’s night, but mainly AJ’s.  Sheamus is out, Roman is out.  It’s down to Dean vs HHH.  That was pretty sweet for the final 2.  It could have gone either way, but that gave HHH his 14th title win.  He’s one away from Cena.  

  1.  Best Save – Kofi caught by Big E, rides him around the ring, has a drink, and so on.
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Kane eliminating poor R Truth.  
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Roman getting his dumbass tossed
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Braun vs Big Show
  6.  Best Eliminator – Braun with 5
  7.  Best Survivor – Jericho @ 51:20, Dean @ 29:57, AJ Styles @ 28:58, Luke Harper @ 24:16
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – HHH
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 5 of 6 (2008-2012)

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)

2008 – Here we are at MSG in NYC.  They even got Michael Buffer to announce the rules.  This night had some solid matches like Flair vs MVP, Edge vs Rey, JBL vs Y2J, and RKO vs Jeff Hardy.  This one is definitely memorable as it set the standard for various things.  There is a guy by the entrance that is really pumped and may or may not have developmental issues.  Well, they start right off with Taker at #1 and HBK #2, the final 2 from the previous year.  Man, that’s crazy.   Aside from Taker and HBK, you got Khali, John Morrison and Batista in the first 10.  That’s more star power than 93, 94, and 95.  The second third was absolutely stacked with CM Punk, Cody, Umaga, Snitsky, Miz, Shelton, Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Kane.  WOW!  The NYC crowd is doing things right.  They aren’t trying to takeover the show, just amplify it.  HHH and Foley brawling was great.  Lots of great matchups here.  The final 10 include: Carlito, Mick Foley, Mr Kennedy, Viscera, Mark Henry, Finlay, HHH, and finally Cena.  Cena wasn’t supposed to be back for like 3 more months after injury.  The crowd went apeshit.  HHH’s face was the best.  The final 3 showdown with batista, HHH, and Cena was great, with each guy mocking the others. As much as I have hated Cena’s run, by and large, he obviously needed a Rumble win, and he came back in such a way, I am struggling to be too pissed off.  This gets an 8.5, one of the all time best rumbles due to pacing and star power, hoss match up, returning superstars, legends, everything you could ask for.

  1.  Best Save – Mr Kennedy somehow just hanging in there after Cody’s headscissors Finlay coming out hit Mark Henry and Big Daddy V with a shillelagh.  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination Santino at #3 gets got by Taker and HBK
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Taker eliminates Snitsky, HBK eliminates Taker, Mr Kennedy eliminates HBK, Taker puts Snitsky through a table.  That whole sequence.  Also, Hornswoggle on Miz was ridiculous. Kane punting Morrison was also good.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Punk by Taker with a bad ass clothesline after Punk knee’d HBK in the face
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Snuka vs Piper everybody in the ring just stopped and gave them the ring.  Cena vs HHH was also huge, plus we had Khali, Taker, Kane, Viscera, Mark Henry, Snitsky, Umaga, and Batista.  This is Hoss paradise.
  6.  Best Eliminator -HHH with 6
  7.  Best Survivor -Batista @ 37:40, HBK @ 32:39, Taker @ 32:33, Morrison @ 29:33, Hornswoggle, Cody, & Umaga all over 20
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – John Cena

2009 – The main storyline here is that Randy Orton is pissed at Steph and then punted Vince in the head.  Good shit.  This one stayed loaded throughout.  No huge ring clearings.  Tons of talent, with a great mix of old, current, and new stars.  It did get a tad congested at times.  All in all, it was still very good and kept you captivated throughout, in my opinion.  The old guys put on a show.while Punk, Knox, and Johnny Abs got a chance to shine along with Cody and Ted.  Lack of big spots hurt, to a degree.  Still, this is one of the better ones.  7.7 seems fair.

  1.  Best Save – Rey landing on Miz and stepping on Morrison, hanging upside down on corner post
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – HHH eliminates THE Brian Kendrick, Kane eliminates Dolph even faster, and then the Santino elimination
  3.  Favorite Elimination – HHH eliminates Miz and Morrison
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Mike Knox
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Khali vs Kozlov, HHH vs Kozlov, Big Show vs Taker
  6.  Best Eliminator – Big Show & HHH with 6 apiece
  7.  Best Survivor – HHH @ 49:58, Rey @ 49:24, Randy @ 48:27, Ted @ 45:11, Jericho @ 37:17, Cody @ 37:01, Mike Knox @ 32:42, Taker @ 32:29…wow
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – RVD, Hacksaw Jim Duggan
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2010 – The undercard had it’s ups and downs.  We had Sheamus vs Randy, which is one of those feuds that happened far too often.  We had the conclusion of the awful Piggie James feud between Mickie and Laycool.  The real gem here is Taker vs Rey Mysterio.  Now it’s Rumble time, and we start off with Dolph vs Evan Bourne.  Well, nobody gives a damn here.  Considering where these guys were in their career at the time, is this the worst first 2 of all time?  I think it has to be considered.   Thankfully Punk comes out to help this riff raff.  Serena has a great rack, that needs to be said.  This is when Punk was the leader of the Straight Edge Society, a great gimmick.  “Great Khali, I can make you greater.” – CM Punk.  Punk owns the first 7, but then HHH’s music and I would say that maybe the Rumble finally begins.  Punk vs HHH is quite interesting knowing what we know now.  The first 10 was not very good aside from HHH and Punk.  Dolph, Zack Ryder, Drew MacIntyre, and Ted Dibiase were the other “name” guys.  So far, so unimpressive.  I gotta say, this is a time when Kofi, Carlito, Morrison, Miz, MVP, Drew, Shelton, Cody, Dibiase and a few others were stuck in midcard purgatory and should be main eventers now.  WWE dropped the ball big time in failing to elevate those guys.Morrison should have been a world champ as should Cody, Drew, and Carlito in my opinion.  Not 15 runs of Cena. DX clears out the ring and then Cena comes out at #19.  

So the second set of 10 included: Morrison, Kane, Cody, MVP, Carlito, Miz, HBK, Cena, and Shelton.That;s a significant improvement.  I gotta say, the most impressive performance aside from HBK and Punk was Kofi.  Really innovative stuff.  Final four are Cena, HBK, Edge, and Batista.  Great picks here.  Batista is getting some heat for eliminating HBK who wanted that one last match with Taker, and Shawn is selling it, and is pissed.  Batista goes out next and Cena is out about 30 seconds later.  Edge truly deserved one Rumble win during his career.  It was a tad anti-climatic in all fairness. The last 10 guys included: Mark Henry, Big Show, Kofi, Swagger, R Truth, Batista, Jericho, and Edge.  It was a solid roster, no doubt about it.  The thing this one missed was more of a flow, longer survivors.  I loved the Shawn story, but other than that, there wasn’t much going on.  This was light on hoss matchups and survivors.  This is fun, but I gotta be real.  This gets a 6.7 as it was more pretty but without the substance.

  1.  Best Save – Edge and HBK going over simultaneously
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Matt Hardy’s dumbass getting eliminated in 20 seconds
  3.  Favorite Elimination – HBK kicking HHH out.  R Truth gets Big Show and Mark Henry out simultaneously.  WTF?
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown Big Show vs Mark Henry
  6.  Best Eliminator – Shawn with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Cena @ 22:11
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Edge

2011 – Ugh, the 40 man Rumble.  The most obnoxious Rumble obviously takes place in the most obnoxious place on Earth, Boston.  I want out already.  On the plus side, they are using Paralyzer as the theme song and I love that song.  The undercard features Edge vs Dolph, Miz vs Randy, and Eve Torres beating 3 legitimate women’s wrestlers.  So bad.  Oh no, the anonymous RAW GM thing.  No, just no.  This Rumble is almost 80 minutes long.  They put CM Punk in at #1 and he is now the leader of the new Nexus.  Out comes Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel,Michael McGillicutty (Curtis Axel) and Heath Slater.  That in turn causes Otunga, Mason Ryan (Batista Jr.) and Husky Harris (Bray Wyatt) to all come out.  What a clusterfuck.  Everybody aside from Punk was ordered to the back or else be DQ’d.  #2 would turn out to be Daniel Bryan.  Wow, that’s how you start a Rumble!  No facial hair, it’s weird, and Punk’s hair is short and lighter.  I don’t dig the hair game her for either guy.  Michael Cole is killing it on commentary making fun of internet fans.  What I am seeing is a bunch of guys who should be the main event scene in Dolph, Punk, Daniel, Wade, Zack, Dibiase, Cody, and John Morrison, and well that’s just not the case 6 years later, sadly.  Zack Ryder has Nasty Boys trunks on, and was a #1 contender around this time. So the highlights from the first 10 guys were Punk, Daniel, Punk, Regal, Morrison, and tubby Bray.  The story around the teens is that Punk, Husky, Axel, and Otunga are working together and clearing the ring of everybody.    Khali eliminated Husky, but then Mason Ryan came out and got rid of Khali.  Superman at the height of his burial powers has to be due out soon I fear.  The second 10 guys were incredibly not noteworthy aside from Mark Henry and Khali.  I’m sick of Lawler whining about how this isn’t what the Rumble is about.  

Booker at 21 and the crowd is marking out big time.  Great sign that says “Wrestlemania, we coming for you N”.  If you don’t get why that is great, look it up.  Here comes Cena at 22.  Get the shovels out.  3 guys out in a minute, way to go Cena.  I hate Cena in this timeframe.  F*$& you Cena for eliminating Punk.  tyson Kidd having to take a beating  from Hornswoggle is ridiculous but funny too.  Suddenly Lawler isn’t complaining about how this isn’t what the Rumble is about.  Great.  Kofi and Cena had a nice moment, ya know, before Kofi gets buried.  Man, prior to this, Rey had been #1, 2, 4 & 8 in Rumbles.  Impressive. OK, the 3rd round of 10 was really good.  It involved the likes of: Booker, Cena, Rey, Wade, Sheamus, Swagger, Kofi, and Hornswoggle.  Just guessing that this may be better than the last 10 guys, but time will tell.  Man, as soon as Alex Riley enters, Cena clocked him.  I am starting to wonder if rumors are true that Cena held him back.  We know that Cena held Wade back.  Did you know that Alberto is the only person to win at #38?  Sorry, I had to.  Randy got rid of Kofi and Shaemus, and now looks at Cena.  If HHH was in there, that would be his 4 most opponents I feel.  Gotta look at the Mania sign like morons.  Kane at #40 is great.  In the ring, we have Kane, Wade, Cena, RKO, Rey, and Alberto.  Good choices.  Kane and Rey are out.  Riley comes out, distracts Cena, and miz eliminates him.  New favorite elimination.  Randy dumps out Wade, Alberto dumps Randy.  But wait, there’s still one more guy!  Santino never got eliminated!  The crowd was buying it.  COBRA followed by the trombone playing, and then Del Rio dumped him.  I honestly haven’t wanted a guy to win so badly in years and years.  We have long needed a surprise winner, and that would have really made Mania feel special.  Instead, Del Rio would win, then lose to Dolph the next night in one of the biggest moments in WWE history in my mind.  I loved it.  This match, took too long.  Pacing was a huge issue.  Half of these guys were not at all special.  The ending was great at the very least.  Also, they brought back 2 legends in Booker and Diesel, which is clutch.  Morrison had the great save.  Lack of hoss matchups hurt.  If it was just 30 guys, they could have actually had a better match in my opinion.  I will remember the night for Diesel, Santino, Morrison, and Miz eliminating Cena.  Still, I am giving this a 5.7 as it was a grueling match to watch.

  1.  Best Save – John Morrison with the Spiderman save.  That is still unbelievable.  
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Zack Ryder because Vince hates young stars
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Sheamus Brogue kicking Hornswoggle out, Miz dumping Cena out
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Alex Riley thanks to Cena’s shovel
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Big Show and Diesel on the entrance ramp
  6.  Best Eliminator – CM Punk with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – CM Punk @ 35:17
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Booker T & Diesel blew the roof off the place
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Great Khali

2012 – Aside from Punk and Bryan being champ, this is a brutal year.  Neither man got to main event Wrestlemania.  Instead, Cena vs Rock Once…..Twice in a Lifetime main evented 2 years in a row.  So bad.  If you want to know why I, along with numerous hardcore fans are cynical, this era really sticks out.  The guys who deserved the main spots got shoved away for the part timers.  End rant……for now.  The Miz is #1 and Alex Riley is #2.  This was a neat idea I suppose.  Eh, I lied.  This sucked.  I want some Fruity Pebbles.  Doo doodoo doooooo.  Can we please stop looking at the Wrestlemania sign?  I can’t be the only person sick of that balderdash.  Primo and Epico were tag team champions at the time.  That should tell you everything.  Foley came in at #7 and the crowd was pumped.  Nothing has happened so far, so of course they’re pumped.  My doppelganger is in the front row.  Ricardo came out at 8, and this was actually a great entrance.  The crowd is very much behind him.  Holy hell, Ricardo is killing it.  Santino comes out at 9 and let the comedy begin.  Foley and Santino have a showdown of socko vs cobra.  Tremendous.  Foley has now eliminated the tag champs and Gabriel.  

Out of the first 10 guys, I’d say that Miz, Foley, Santino, and Cody mattered.  Seriously, that’s such a bad list in 2012. The second 10 guys are highlighted by retired Hacksaw, Lawler, Booker T, and Dolph ZIggler.  I forgot how bad this year was.  Michael Cole at #20, and his song is Burn It To The Ground by Nickelback.  Yeah.  Kharma tosses out Hunico.  I think Kharma may have been one of my 10 favorite females.  Orton is over huge, and it’s his hometown, so there’s that.  We get Jericho and Big Show to finish it off and toss in Sheamus, Swagger, and Wade for the last 10, and therefore the best 10.  This was not a good year.  Sheamus wins.  I would say that this is like 4.4 territory based on the over reliance on old guys, and the fact that Miz and Cody were not exciting guys as survivors.  Sheamus was a boring choice for winner.  Jericho would have been a better choice as he feuded with Punk anyway. Geez, more sign gazing between Jericho and sheamus really irritated me.

  1.  Best Save – Kofi walking on his hands, spectacular!!!!
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – I would say Ricardo as it was short, but Lawler’s was shorter.  
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Big Show simultaneously taking out Miz and Cody
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown
  6.  Best Eliminator – Cody with 5….slow year
  7.  Best Survivor – The Miz @ 45:39, Cody @ 41:55
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Mick Foley, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Michael Cole, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kharma, Road Dogg
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

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The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 4 of 6 (2003-2007)

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)

 

2003 – Big Show vs Brock, HHH vs Scott Steiner, and then Kurt vs Benoit all before the Royal Rumble match.  Talk about having a mountain to overcome.  So they start off with HBK and Y2J, and you say why not.  Stacy Kiebler was absolutely F’N stunning here.  My God.  Best looking diva ever in my opinion along with prime Sunny, prime Trish, Dawn Marie, and a few others.  Man….Cena’s rap was vulgar and tremendous.  Jericho’s face looks awful thanks to the stray kendo stick from Dreamer I believe.   I forgot about Jamal, who ended up being Umaga, one of the all time best unfulfilled potentials.  Test and Cena fight a lot in this one.  The last 3 guys are Batista, Brock, and Taker.  Wow.  That’s insane.  Taker first eliminates Cena.  Then Maven goes for the dropkick from behind in a hilarious spot, a continuation from the previous year. The final four are Kane, Taker, Brock, and Batista.  Holy crap!  This is just hoss heaven.  I think I was cheering on Batista when this aired live.  If this happened this year, I’d be cheering on Batista or Kane.  The ending was good, really good.  This is actually a great overall PPV plus a great Rumble.  This was interesting all the way through and had stars the whole time, plus a great final 4.  I’d give this an 8.3.

  1.  Best Save – Edge was so close twice, once thanks to Rey.  Matt Hardy also saved by Shannon Moore propping him up by his legs.
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Bull Buchanan
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Christian doing Jericho’s entrance which caused HBK to be distracted, and was quickly eliminated.  Jericho with a huge knot on his face, eliminating Edge and Christian.before #12.  Jeff Hardy goes to the top rope and gets shoved off by RVD was awesome.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Rikishi vs Rosey
  6.  Best Eliminator – Chris Jericho with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Chris Jericho @ 38:54
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Taker

 

2004 – This Royal Rumble is rated TV-MA. Shiiiiiiiit.  Well after that HHH vs HBK bloodbath, I can see why.  Anyway, for all you stupid idiots that were in the YES movement in 2014, pretending like it was the most important thing, 10 years prior, there was a man that was every bit as good, and probably better than Daniel.  The crowd loved this man.  The crowd didn’t act like a bunch of whiny millennials and whine and protest.  No, they just hoped with every ounce of hope that a man who had busted his ass for years, a man who may be a little shorter and not the prettiest face in the room, but perhaps the most talented guy, would finally get his chance.  That man was ‘The Crippler’ Chris Benoit.  Yes, it was obvious that he was winning it, and it was totally worth it.  Now, I can look back with less bias and actually judge the whole match.  Benoit was #1 and a young Randy Orton was #2, oddly enough, the man that would take the belt off of Benoit that summer, in a terrible mistake.  Thankfully, this is an every 90 seconds Rumble.  I like how Benoit is saving himself and is only doing 2 consecutive Geman suplexes as opposed to his usual 3.  Early on, the star power is lacking aside from Randy and Benoit.  Steiner, Bradshaw, Matt Hardy, Rhyno, Matt Morgan, Mark Henry, Tajiri, and The Hurricane don’t move the needle much.  But They were all good talents that weren’t total jobbers so it held a middling level of interest.  The second third is far more entertaining, featuring Kane, Booker T, Shelton Benjamin, Albert, Rikishi, Ernest the Cat Miller, and Kurt Angle.  Wow, so much better.  Of course Benoit just unleashed the triple German’s on Kurt.  Test was due out at 21, which got me pumped momentarily, but then I got more pumped at his replacement, Mick Foley, which was a huge story at the time, for Foley and Randy.  Holy crap, Randy just cranked Mick with 2 of the most vicious chair shots that you’ll ever see. Nunzio gets the Mandible Claw then refuses to get in the ring.  Awesome.  The final 10 include Foley, Christian, Big Show, Jericho, Goldberg, RVD, Billy Gunn, and John Cena.  This is a loaded third.  This is when Cena was just turning face and he got over, and then he finds Nunzio.  Brock attacked Goldberg and F5’d him.  That may happen this year.  Final 6 are Benoit, Cena, Y2J, Kurt, and RVD.  That’s loaded!  Cena, then RVD, Jericho, Kurt, and finally Big Show.  I think Cena tweaked his knee and/or ankle upon elimination.  That Angle elimination was great.  I love how much damage Big Show took.  It told a great story, and showed that he had been weakened for the proper ending.  He had the Walls of Jericho, Angle Lock, and Crossface, plus other stuff.  That final elimination was iconic as well, well until they stopped showing it.  Man, this Rumble was friggin great.  I gotta give this an 8.5 based on the storytelling.  Would be a 9, but the first 10 participants lacked one more star or if we had a bonafide hoss showdown.  They set up so many great angles for Mania though and that’s the whole point.  Kudos!  

  1.  Best Save – Jericho had a few close ones
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Randy and Benoit eliminate Ernest and Lamont who were dancing to “Somebody Better Call My Momma”.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Foley eliminates himself and Randy was huge for their rivalry.  The winner is Big Show’s flipping elimination on Angle.  It was amazing.  One of the all time greatest and most overlooked.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Scott Steiner on Orton, it’s ridiculous, after Hurricane’s elimination.  Matt Morgan also got some hazing by Rikishi.  
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Randy vs Foley
  6.  Best Eliminator – Benoit with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Benoit @ 1:01:35
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Mick Foley
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Billy Gunn

 

2005 – This is when WWE was in the midst of making Orton and Batista into stars while Edge was becoming a superstar.  The older established guys like HHH, HBK, Jericho, Taker, Eddie, Benoit, and such were doing what they could.  Cena was in full SuperCena mode, and was pissing off the everyday common fan.  This is one of my personal favorite Rumbles.  Aside from the Rumble, we get Edge vs HBK, Taker vs Heidenreich, Big Show vs JBL vs Kurt, and HHH vs Orton.  Yeah, a lot of star power is used up in matches instead of pawning it off on tag team and women’s matches, like they should.  Eddie pickpocketing Flair’s number backstage was great.  Also Snitsky and Heidenreich backstage….B movie grade stuff there.  Wow, the shit that JBL got away with saying to Teddy Long….wow.  Eddie drew #1 and this is his last Rumble, sadly.  Fortunately, he gets to start against his good friend, Chris Benoit.  This is the year of hazing, and Daniel Puder was a douchebag to Kurt, and he paid for it.  This was absolutely intentional in who would come out.  As bad as Maven’s hazing was, this was way worse.  The first 10 was pretty damn stacked with Benoit, Eddie, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Shelton, and Booker T.  Good start to a memorable evening.  At one point, we have 4 RAW guys (Edge, Y2J, Benoit, & Shelton) and 4 Smackdown guys (Booker T, Eddie, Rey, and Luther Reigns) and they have a rumble, which leads to Muhammad Hassan, and one of those unforgettable moments where everybody teams up on him.  He gets the 619 and then unanimously dumped.

 “Orlando is the new Virgil” sign held by Rappaport.  Love it.  Rumble-roonie by Booker T, and immediately eliminated by Rey and Eddie, haha.  Edge gets ride of Eddie and immediately mocks him while Simon Dean is outside “warming up”.  The second set of 10 guys was incredibly underwhelming for the most part, but it did include Jericho at 11, HBK at 19, and Kurt at 20.  The rest of them…..yikes. The Kurt getting eliminated by Shawn and then coming back in and eliminating Shawn and busting him open was memorable.  Jericho doing the French Tickler dance after eliminating Rene was smart.  Cena was very over, as the fans weren’t sick of him yet. Jesus, Snitsky eliminating Paul London resulted in a concussion I believe.  It was brutal.  Haha, Coach has attacked Benoit and Kane from behind, both with hilarious results.  Cena just randomly elbowed Coach while resting in the corner.  The final third is the hoss third with Viscera, Snitsky, Kane, Batista, Cena, Christian, and Ric Flair.  That’s a solid lineup.  Christian’s song was probably my favorite at the time, and I still listen to it.  It’s called “Just Close Your Eyes” by Waterproof Blond.  The remake of his song with the dude singer sucked.  The final 8 are Flair, Batista, Cena, Edge, Christian, Rey, Benoit, and Coach.  Yes, Coach.  Batista is way too tired too early in his match.  The final four are Cena, Rey, Bats, and Edge.  Clearly Batista’s second foot first, but it was a well done spot, especially with 2 power guys.  It was smart.  The crowd was crazed.  Vince is so pissed as he comes out, he runs and slides in the ring, tears both quads at the same time.  He is in so much pain, and he just sits there feeling like a fool.  Batista is clearly looking concerned.  What an ending, and poor Vince.  In the end, we get a restart and Batista wins it.  If it wasn’t for the poor middle third, this would be an easy favorite.  Alas, despite it probably being my favorite, there are flaws, lack of hoss matchups also hurt.  This scores incredibly high on eliminations and memorable moments and star power.  I give this an 8.2 on those merits alone.  It’s so good.

  1.  Best Save – Rey had a decent save before Edge speared him
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Muhammad Hassan was incredibly memorable.  Then of course there was the Kurt getting eliminated by HBK in like a minute which led to one of the all time great Mania matches, so that holds up well.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Kurt getting Shawn back and busting him open, or Batista and Cena tossing each other after Vince comes out.  Jericho eliminating Rene and then mocking, also classy.  Shit, Edge spearing Rey off the apron wins it.
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Daniel Puder in chop city courtesy of Eddie, Benoit, & Hardcore Holly. Kenzo Suzuki had a bad time as well with Eddie and Benoit.  
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Kane vs Snitsky
  6.  Best Eliminator – Edge and Batista with 5 each
  7.  Best Survivor – Benoit @ 47:26, Edge @ 40:19, Rey @ 38:25, Y2J and Eddie both over 28 minutes
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Does Angle count?
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

 

2006 – This is the Royal Rumble after Eddie’s death.  Lots of Eddie armbands.  Basically, Rey and HHH last the whole damn way.  They wasted the momentum, and while I felt others were more deserving than Rey, but Rey was the greatest Cruiserweight that I have ever seen so kudos to him.  HHH also wanted some glory, I know, I know, that’s hard to believe.  It wasn’t a great Rumble, but 3 great jobs by HHH, Rey, and Carlito.  I’d give this one a 6.2.

  1.  Best Save – Rey as HHH tosses him, Rey gets under the rope and latches on to the bottom rope ala Rick Martel
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Simon Dean, Sylvan, Coach, Booker T
  3.  Favorite Elimination – HHH eliminating Big Show and Kane simultaneously, HHH knocking Chavo off top rope, HBK Sweet Chin Music on Shelton
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Joey Mercury and Johnny Abs (Morrison)
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Lashley vs Big Show, Kane vs Lashley, Kane vs Big Show
  6.  Best Eliminator – Rey with 6
  7.  Best Survivor – Rey @ 1:02:12 and HHH @ 1:00:15 obviously
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Tatanka, Goldust
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

 

2007 – This is one of the all time great ones.  The matches were fine, but the real treat was the Rumble match.  Finlay turned back the clock and stayed in for a long time.  We got Rated RKO kicking lots of ass.   This was CM Punk’s first Rumble and Benoit and Flair’s last, for 2 completely different reasons, obviously.  The pacing was smart, plenty of good spots.  Not huge on the saves until the end.  But the end, that’s where this one really shines.  It is without a doubt, the greatest final 2 showdown of all time with Taker and HBK.  Those 2 stole the show and set the bar for how to end a Rumble.  Taker eliminating Khali was a thing of beauty as Khali prematurely jumped.  That left Taker to will Khali over with pure strength, and Khali was not much help.  It just showed how incredible Taker was.  I give this one an 8.3 and I don’t know which one is better between this one and 2002.

  1.  Best Save – Shelton with feet inches away from floor
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – The Miz
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Rated RKO eliminates the Hardy Boys, Taker powering Khali after Khali F’d up his elimination
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – CM Punk
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Khali vs Taker
  6.  Best Eliminator – The Great Khali with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – Finlay @ 32:33
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

The Royal Rumble Retrospective – Part 3 of 6 (1998-2002)

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)

 

1998 – My senior year in high school.  Yup, I am old.  This is the night that would set the stage for the impending Attitude era in a lot of ways.  Austin is on a roll, and Shawn is killing it in DX.  Mike Tyson is in the house as well.  This is the night that Shawn would hurt his back against Undertaker in a casket match and would cost him the prime of his career.  As we all know, Austin would win and go on to defeat Shawn Michaels and get things moving along with Vince as the best heel in the business.  I think that this match loses some importance due to Austin’s performance the year before, just my opinion.  Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) would start off against Chainsaw Charlie (Terry Funk).  Yeah, this is a hell of a way to start things off.   Owen Hart as a face is weird, just weird hearing the crowd pop for him.  I think they dropped the ball with Marc Mero.  He could have been huge, especially with Sable.  Man, Shamrock was over.  This match isn’t boring, and that’s due to having great early guys who last long enough until you get other big names in.  So you have your Foley, Funk, Rock, and JBL to keep you going until Austin and whoever else enters.  Bradshaw is clobbering everyone.  At #16, Foley comes out as Mankind and eliminates Chainsaw Charlie.  Yup, that happened and it was awesome.  Goldust was in bad shape at this point in his career.  Weird seeing HHH with Chyna beating up Owen Hart, and yet Terry Funk is still alive..  Ahmed Johnson had no stamina.  Phineas knocked a ref down when getting eliminated and Ahmed just attacks while Phineas checks on the ref.  No wonder Ahmed bombed.  Smart story that Austin got attacked and nobody came out at 22 to add intrigue.  EVery once in awhile, this story works, but also gives away the winner in my opinion.  At 24 Austin’s music hits, the guys are all looking at the entrance and he hits them from behind.  Good stuff.  Austin and Rock brawling on the outside was a look into the future.  Hahaha, Dude Love at 28, that’s ridiculous and great.  Mark Henry was pretty awful in ring, just saying, despite my love for the guy.  The final four guys are Austin, Dude Love, Faaooq, and the Rock.  Good choice for what was coming up.  Dude is gone and The Rock lets Farooq do all of the work, then eliminates him.  Rock vs Austin at the end and this is great.  Jim Ross just screamed Stone Cold 4 times.  Really great Rumble with no lulls despite all the new faces.  The pacing was smart as hell and they always had guys in there that could keep things interesting.  One of the all time best ones.  I’ll say it’s an 8.4.  Also, Mike Tyson said Cold Stone after the match.   Man this DX vs Taker and Kane story was truly amazing.  Kane turned on Taker, then him and Paul Bearer lock Taker in the casket, and then set it on fire.  What a great ending!  It was almost epic.  

  1.  Best Save – The Rock at the end before getting stunned
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Tom Brandi eliminated by Foley and Funk.
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Farooq getting eliminated by Rock
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Bradshaw hazing Kurrgan.  Bradshaw on a lot of these young guys.
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Austin vs Rock, duh
  6.  Best Eliminator – Austin with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – The Rock @ 51:32, Bradshaw @ 35:45, D-Lo @ 32:21, 8 Ball @ 30:43, plus Phineas, Funk, and Goldust made it past 25 minutes, which is a record I think.
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Honky Tonk Man
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

1999 – This year, Vince had put a $100,000 bounty on Austin’s head as he was #1 and Vince was #2.  This was such a huge and hot angle.  WWF was flying high at this point.  DX, The Brood, The Corporation, the Ministry, The Oddities were all around.  The story was the Vince would do anything to assure that Austin lost, including setting a trap in the ladies bathroom.  It never got dull in the ring as you had a constant flow of good to very good guys  in the ring, although the greats were largely left out.  Most of the legends at this point were in the beginning of their rise, like HHH, Edge, Test, Kane, and others.  This was actually a huge night in the career of the Big Bossman and as far as I’m concerned the Bossman Royal Rumble.  I rate this one a 7.5.  In ring was lacking but the story and continuity and crowd was all top notch.

  1.  Best Save – Edge
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Gilberg, Golga
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Mabel via Ministry abduction, Kane eliminates himself chasing the white coats
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Blue Meanie
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Mabel with Taker, APA, and Mideon I suppose
  6.  Best Eliminator – Stone Cold Steve Austin with 8
  7.  Best Survivor – Big Bossman was awesome @ 18:53.  Vince and Austin @ 58:36
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – None
  9.  Best Returning Superstar – Mabel

2000 – The year that Austin was hurt.  The year that HHH and Foley had one of the greatest championship matches of all time  The night that Kurt’s undefeated streak came to end at the hands of a debuting Tazz.  The tag division was ridiculous, the Dudleys and Hardys had one of the matches of the year in a tables match. Chyna was fighting for the IC title with Hardcore Holly and Jericho.    Great show prior to the rumble,.  The year that Too Cool all danced together mid Royal Rumble in what was absolutely cheesy, but is incredibly memorable.  Kaentai interfered 4 times, well Funaki 4 times, Taka only 2 times because he broke his face.  The Mean Street Posse cost both Faarooq and Bradshaw in ridiculous run ins.  X Pac got eliminated, but the refs never saw it.  Kane hit an enziguri followed by a bodyslam on Big Show.  The Road Dogg spent almost 20 minutes hugging the bottom rope.  The 3 longest survivors were Bossman, Gangrel, and Test, yes Test.  The night ended with The Rock being victorious, leading to a terrible Wrestlemania 2000 main event.  Great overall show, fun Rumble, memorable as hell, but not great.  6.3 seems right.

  1.  Best Save
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Viscera, Blackman, Scotty, but Kaentai kept coming out and it was hilarious, until Taka smashed his face, Bossman elbowing Chyna out is the best,  Mean Street Posse follow Faarooq out beat him down and Bossman eliminates him
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Bossman on Chyna
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Rikishi vs Viscera
  6.  Best Eliminator – Rikishi with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – Road Dogg for doing the Martel and Bossman for being awesome, Test @ 26:17
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Bob Backlund
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2001 – This was another big Steve Austin push.  Honestly, in the moment, I was getting sick of the megapush.  Yup, we can look back on it with rose tinted glasses, that’s fine.  You can say that it was what was best for business.  I can’t even argue that one.  As a fan, I wanted variety in my main event, and I felt that they blew their load so many times with Austin previously, which was unfortunate because this one was well worth it.  I loved that he worked with the crimson mask.  Make no mistake, this was the night that Kane earned everyone’s respect and will always be Kane’s night.  Don’t try to suggest otherwise.  He went 53:46, and that is unheard of for a big man, but he did it, and he dominated, and it was refreshing.  I loved a lot of guys in here, but the reality is that a lot of it was made up of midcarders. I give this one a 6.1 mainly for Kane.

  1.  Best Save – Taker saving Kane
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Tazz
  3.  Favorite ELimination – Drew Carey, Blackman by Kane,
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – K Kwik
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – None really, Kane vs Rock is the closest thing
  6.  Best Eliminator – Kane with 11
  7.  Best Survivor – Kane @ 53:46
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Haku, Honky Tonk Man
  9.  Best Returning Superstar

2002 – A month before Vince would go crazy and bring back the NWO, this event took place. The Austin era is coming to a close, The Rock will be making movies soon enough.  It’s now the time of the WCW and ECW guys to get in some main events before WWE takes back over.  HHH was coming back from his infamous quad injury, and was heavily advertised for this.  Believe it or not, he won it.  That really wasn’t the biggest story, despite the WWE’s insistence that it was.  Vince and Flair were having a feud over the ownership of the WWE.  Maven was the first ever winner of Tough Enough and was gifted the elimination of Taker after he destroyed the Hardy boys.  Taker would proceed to destroy Maven, but what a great memorable moment.  Austin coming in mid way, getting rid of people, doing the watch gimmick and then HHH arrived.  They had a few comedy spots.  We ever got Big Show and Kane out there, and Kane picked up and eliminated Big Show.  At the end, it came down to Austin, Perfect, Angle, and HHH.  Austin went out, so he hit them all with chairs. Then Perfect and then finally Kurt.  It had a really great pace to the whole show.  Nothing boring.  Really fun night.  Hurricane trying to dual chokeslam HHH and Austin was great.  My only complaint was how heavily WWE foreshadowed HHH’s win, kinda made it anti-climatic.  Still, I would give this Rumble an 8.  

  1.  Best Save – Perfect at the end was decent
  2.  Best Quick Elimination – Maven for all intents and purposes, but also Jeff Hardy, Albert was quickest but not as funny, and Godfather lasted under 2 mins excluding entrance, Hurricane was funniest though, Faarooq in under a minute, Kane, Booker T
  3.  Favorite Elimination – Maven eliminating Taker
  4.  Best Rookie Hazing – Taker on Maven
  5.  Best Hoss Showdown – Austin vs HHH, Kane vs Big Show
  6.  Best Eliminator – Austin with 7
  7.  Best Survivor – Austin @ 26:46
  8.  Best Surprise Entrant – Godfather
  9. Best Returning Superstar – HHH, Mr Perfect?

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

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

 

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog or on Twitter @official9deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

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

Wrestlemania 32 Review – Golden Shower Edition

Wrestlemania 32 is in the books, as is the night after Wrestlemania RAW. That means I am going to put out 2 blogs. The first one is going to be only about the show, and any feelings that I may have had after the show without knowing what happened the following night. The next blog will provide results from RAW and how I feel about the current direction from my perspective. I am a wrestling fan, I have been since 1989. I don’t to bitch and moan about every last little detail like most internet fans, but simultaneously, I choose not to slurp up every single thing that Vince and company serves us.

Why is this the Golden Shower edition since Rachel wasn’t involved? Did you notice how many wrestlers had gold in their attire? It was at least 75% it felt like. It would have made sense if gold was in the theme or Mania logo, but the colors for this year were black, red, and blue. Odd, right?

Pre-Show

Kalisto vs Ryback

I fully admit to having not paid a lot of attention to this. Ryback hit a few power spots, Kalisto used his speed. At one point, there was an exposed turnbuckle and Kalisto used that in the end with his Salida Del Sol. I like Kalisto, but this match simply didn’t interest me. At the time, I was far more worried about whether my extra cheese pizza was better than my chicken wing pizza.

Winner: Kalisto 3 out of 10 as they tried and didn’t botch

Total Divas vs. BAD and Blonde

I know that you are expecting me to shit all over this match, but this wasn’t bad all things considering. All the ladies had a chance to get some moves in. The highlight obviously was Natalya and Paige hitting the Hart Attach as an homage to her dad and Bret’s Hart Foundation finisher. Paige actually got a nice chunk of time it felt. In the end, naturally Brie went into Brie mode, my penis shriveled up inside of me, and then made Naomi tap out. Supposedly, Brie is retiring, and I couldn’t be happier. She has the worst entrance music, worst voice, makes a lot of stupid noise, isn’t very good in the ring, and steals from her husband and tries to ride his coattails. I legitimately have very little in the way of positivity towards her. I suppose that if she was nude and never spoke, she may be tolerable. If she makes Brian happy, that’s what counts though, right?

Winners: Total Dicklicks 4 out of 10, better than the first, but only marginally

The Usos vs. The Dudley Boys

This had to be one of the most uninspiring matches that I have seen at a Wrestlemania. I love the Dudleys, but I was just so bored. This combination simply doesn’t click for me. The Dudleys need to be out on the mic and given a little more free reign to do real heel-ish stuff, and the Usos….well fuck the Usos.

Winners: The Usos 2 out of 10 because I have seen worst, but I was terribly uninterested

Intercontinental Title Ladder Match

Now we’re talking! I felt bad for Cody and Sin Cara as they didn’t get much of a reaction from the crowd. I loved that Stardust had a black and yellow polka dotted ladder as an homage to his daddy, the American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Unfortunately, Stardust also probably took the biggest bump of the night thanks to Sin Cara, and I don’t know if Cody was selling it well, but to me, I think that he was in some legit pain after getting folded in half laying on the ladder. It honestly looked more painful for Sin Cara though. Zach Ryder hit a really nice looking elbow from almost the top of a big ladder, and he got some height on it too. I thought that was a great Wrestlemania moment for a guy who has long deserved one. Stardust also took a skull crushing finale from the Miz onto a ladder. Cody took the most damage, and it wasn’t even close. Owens and Zayn had some nice interaction. In the end, Miz appeared to have the belt won, he was all alone. then Zach shoves him off and wins the belt, and the crowd is beyond confused. Really, heading into the match, who would have thought that Zach, Stardust, and Sin Cara would play a bigger and better role in the match as opposed to Dolph, Sami, and Miz? OK, so the WWE really pulled an odd one there, but I liked it.

Winner: Zach Ryder 6 out of 10 I probably bumped it up one point because of the ending

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho

I really thought that this match would steal the show. It wasn’t a bad match by no means, but I feel that we have seen better matches between the 2 guys. It lacked that extra level of personal viciousness to really get itself over. Simultaneously, it was very good, but far from great sadly. I expected more at Mania. Oh, and then Jericho pulled out the win. Nope, didn’t see that one coming at all. We have entered Bizarro-mania.

Winner: Chris Jericho 5 out of 10 I felt that there were some sloppy bits, I think on Y2J’s behalf

The League of Nations vs The New Day

I admit, I believed the hype that New Day would have some magical entrance. Instead, we get a large box of Booty-O’s cereal, the guys coming out with some Dragon Ball Z foolishness, and like that, it took me out of the Mania state of mind. What a shitty, shitty, fucking God awful ring entrance. It was booty. I was hoping that the League would have a great entrance, but instead we got Rusev kicking some of the over-sized pieces of cereal. Yeah. This match was incredibly forgettable. Remember when this was advertised as a 4 on 3 handicap match? Yeah, well it became a 3 on 3, and Barrett didn’t wrestle. The match had no time to get into a groove, and despite New Day being over, the League just weren’t the right opponents, duh. A 4 team match on the pre-show to determine number one contenders for New Day would have been a better move. Sheamus got the win. After that, the League acted all tough, cut a promo, and this prompted HBK, Mick Foley, and Stone Cold Steve Austin to come out a whip some ass. This was a very cool moment, and Shawn was in great shape. As I was watching this, I gotta tell you, I really wanted an HBK vs Del Rio match, that would be amazing. As you can guess, the legends beat them down. Then Kofi got HBK to twerk a bit, and Xavier tried interacting with Austin, so he got the stunner, and everybody drank while Austin spilled beer all over himself.

Winners: League of Nations 3 out of 10 for the match alone, the after match stuff was great

Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose

I admit, I was really looking forward to this match, probably the second most anticipated match for me. I was pumped, we would get weapons. We know that Brock and Dean like to bleed. I was absolutely expecting Dean to get his ass kicked but keep fighting and getting the respect by the end for being a never say die, tenacious mother fucker. And 12 minutes and 13 suplexes, and no real cuts or great weapon shots later, Brock hit an F5 on Dean on a pile of chairs and won. Rumor has it that Dean and Brock wanted to use more weapons but was not allowed. This match was a huge, huge disappointment. I expected an 8 out of 10 and possibly more. It didn’t even feel like a big match. This is Brock fucking Lesnar. Dean has been built very nicely since the Royal Rumble. This match should have solidified Dean’s placement in the hierarchy of WWE. Instead, I just don’t see where he goes from here. I may as well note now, Dean wasn’t even on RAW. I am so confused. They just can’t seem to wrap their heads around how to properly push him. Brock needs to move on. He needs matches with KO, Rusev, Sheamus, Orton, Rollins, and Cesaro. Those guys would look infinitely more credible against Brock. Oh, and Samoa Joe.

Winner: Brock Lesnar 5 out of 10 sadly. It needed 5 more minutes, more weapons, more drama

Charlotte vs. Becky vs. Sasha

Sasha’s entrance should have been great with Snoop, but whoever that bitch was that joined them, she could not sing at all. It was so fucking bad, like Thursday night, I’ve had 6 drinks karaoke night bad. Charlotte had a nice entrance and Becky’s was good but should have been better. These ladies pulled out a lot of nice moves. The match flowed nicely. They even hit some big dives outside that worked incredibly well. Probably the spot of the night was Sasha and then Becky’s dive. These girls busted their asses, tried not to work outside of their capabilities, and put on what would end up being the match of the night, and it wasn’t even close. My biggest gripe is Charlotte winning via Ric’s interference. I love Ric, but I fully believe that he played some backstage politics to get this win, and it should have gone to Becky or Sasha. The ending took some of the wind out of the sails for me.

Winner: Charlotte 7.5 out of 10 as it flowed really nicely the whole way through and made sense

Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon

What was I thinking that the match with the biggest stipulations would main event when HHH was in a match for the World title? My bad. This was the other match I had been looking forward to. We got no Wyatt interference in the Brock match, so this match was ripe for some crazy shenanigans. Nope, none of that. They eventually went outside the cell thanks to some bolt cutters. Shane then got Taker on top of one of the announce tables, and then jumped from the top of the cell onto Taker, well he missed, but still. Yes, it looked incredibly cool and dangerous. That is, until you noticed the mat or bag deflating under the desk. Wrestling is like magic, and you don’t want to give your tricks away. It really ruined the magic of that moment. I am glad they had something there for Shane, there’s no doubt, as his safety is incredibly important, but they did a piss poor job hiding this. It ruined teh moment. There wasn’t even a holy shit chant. How the fuck is that possible? Then Taker brings Shane in, hits the tombstone, and wins. That was that.

Winner: Taker 5 out of 10 as I can’t go any higher for a match predicated on one big spot. I love both guys, but this was not the match it should have been. You can’t put 2 guys their age, with their athleticism, and ring rust, and not have some interference or blood to mask the poor quality. Totally bummed out by this one.

The Andre the Giant Battle Royal

Baron Corbin came, Baron Corbin saw, Baron Corbin conquered. Also DDP and Shaq were involved. This was the night that Baron Corbin put his stamp on the WWE and looked pretty damn good all things considering. This was my personal favorite match as it exceeded expectation, and you can read about it in this blog. It wasn’t the best match, but my favorite, huge difference.

Winner: The future of the company, Baron Corbin  4 out of 10, it had it’s moments

Then out comes the Rock, with a flamethrower, and lights up this sign with his name on it. Then he talks and talks and talks, and bores the fuck out of us. Out come the Wyatts, and maybe we have something. Bray and Rock did their talks, some better than others. The Rock should have been funnier, but he got in  a few funny lines. We get a match, Eric Rowan vs. The Rock, and a Rock Bottom later, and it was a 6 second match. Seriously, that happened. The Wyatts come in, John Cena runs down for the save. Everybody is wondering where the last 15-20 minutes of their life just went.

Winner: The Rock 1 out of 10, but at least Eric Rowan can say that he had a Mania match against the Rock. You can’t tell me that he wasn’t pumped to find out that, no matter hwo short it was, he can say that.

Roman Reigns vs. HHH

Well, the pre-show started at 5. It’s 11, and the match hasn’t even started. Fuck my life. Stephanie does this whole speech and shes like Evilyn from He-Man, but it wasn’t too sexy. I liked the guys in the masks for HHH’s entrance, but the entrance sucked compared to last year’s. Roman’s entrance was beyond laughable with him punching the ground. Oh, and let’s not discount the boos. Then the match finally started, and I wanted to be turned on by Steph, but I just couldn’t be. This was the match that never ends, yes it went on and on my friend. I looked over, and Russ’ eyes were shut. We were just mentally drained. by 11:30 I was begging for them to end it any way they saw fit, just to fucking end the god damn match. HHH missed all of his sledgehammer shots, ALL of them, and then Roman won. The crowd was booing so loudly, that they had to mute the crowd a bit and utilize fireworks to drown them out. I sat there feeling sorry for Roman because it’s not his fault, but I don’t forsee him ever recovering from the past year’s awful booking. That’s on WWE, not Roman. He seems like a good guy.

Winner: Roman Reigns 3 out of 10, I can’t recall a single spot beyond the missed sledgehammer shots and Steph accidentally getting speared. The main event should have memorable spots. Remember how much of a bad ass Roman and Dean used to be? I don’t think those guys will ever be as over as they were in the Shield.

the_shield_as_face_2014

Now, if I take all of the match ratings and do an average, we come up with a 4.04 average thanks to the extra point 5 for the women. The pre show averaged a 3, the main show averaged a 4.4, and if you get rid of the Rock’s match, which I refuse to, you get a 4.8. Those are shit averages no matter how you look at it. I am sure some of you would have rated it a little higher, but try to be realistic. What did you see here that you couldn’t see on RAW? There was very little that was special.

On a more disgruntled note, where the fuck were the crazy run ins that help formulate story lines for the next ppv? Where were the betrayals? No real surprises aside from the 4 legends who had already been pretty much confirmed to be there in some capacity. None altered any story whatsoever. In the end, they did a very bad thing. They weren’t very imaginative. They didn’t seem to try to go for it with the exception of Zach and Baron. The status quo was in full effect, and when the outcome is logical and progresses a story, that’s awesome. Change for the sake of change is stupid. It’s on the writers to make changes that make sense and make story progress. That is where they failed more than anything else, and that’s a damn shame. I would have utilized this night to elevate some young talent with all of the injuries. Yeah, some may not have worked, but you could have made some new stars. They made Baron, and……hmmmm, they made Baron. Good job.

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