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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Royal Rumble Ramblings
January 26, 2004 by Jasper


I gotta admit, this is by far my favorite pay per view I have seen, mainly because of the result at the end of the night. Let's go over the results now, shall we? I can't exactly remember the order of the promos, but i'll try my best.

Well, first off we have Heat with a fairly decent non title women's match between Molly Holly and Victoria. I liked, it had a lot of wrestling instead of the usual slapfest that the women's matches tend to be. The two women do the move signifigant of Jericho and HBK at Wrestlmania where they both lift up while one is grappling the other underneath. They did a good job and it ended with an especially vicious Widow's Peak by Victoria. The slow mo made it look as if Molly's back had snapped as she was falling. On a side note, it's always pleasing to see a wrestler change his costume from a pink eyed tights to Stevie Night Heat!

Now we finally delve into the Pay Per View itself. The first match of the night was the World Tagteam championship: Dudleyz vs. Evolution. I predicted the titles to remain with Evolution, I was right. It ended with what appeared to be some type of spinebuster from Batista to D-von. I'm not actually sure what it was, it might have been his finisher the demon bomb, but I'm not sure. It was a slow match in my opinion but the results were good. The finish definitely took me by surprise; the match took a total of about 10 minutes, maybe a bit less. I thought that this match could have gone a lot better. It might have been tight time schedule that pushed the quality down. So, Evolution retained.

Next up was the Cruiserweight championship, which I predicted to be in favor of Noble, I was wrong, really wrong. I guessed at a future storyline where Nidia is no longer blind and knows what Jamie Noble is doing, this may be the beginning. If that sentence doesn't give you an inkling as to what happened, then here it is. The match started off very nice, Jamie Noble's moves were sharp and made a huge impact and Rey Mysterio was his usual high flying self. As Noble is irish-whipped off the robes, all of a sudden Nidia whisks out her hand and grabs his foot to trip him. Jamie Noble falls which lets Rey get the finishing pin (via West Coast Pop?). As they leave,Jamie Noble berates Nidia for grabbing the wrong person, however Nidia does not look too shocked and sorry. This match was a quality match for cruiserweights that used a lot more moves requiring power than speed.

Ah yes, this match I longed to see. Guerrero vs. Guerrero. I predicted Guerrero would win, I was right. Oh, first name? Eddie. Chavo came down to the ringside with Chavo Senior so some type of interference was bound to happen. This was a very different match than what we usually expected from Eddie. I don't mean that it was a bad match, quite the contrary. There was no showboating from latino heat in the match. However, the whole match he refused to let his temper get the best of him. Throughout the match he outwrestled Chavo and refused to strike him with his fists. Chavo Senior did interfere, but to no avail. It ended with a 5 star frogsplash from Eddie. However, after the match, eddie snapped. He beat up on Chavo, then on Chavo senior. he then took Chavo Sr.'s tie and tied it to the ring rope and then beat him up. He eventually drew blood from Chavo and left the ring with no showboating.

This was the big hype for Smackdown: Hardcore Holly vs. Brock Lesnar. I will mention that I have never seen Hardcore Holly this trim and muscular. I predicted Lesnar would retain. He did retain. This was a rather short match, but with lots of action. There are a few minutes in the match where Lesnar keeps on putting on a bearhug like hold on Holly in order to keep him from moving. Hardcore Holly got all his moves in early and somewhere around 8 minutes into the match, he does the Alabama Slam. However, instead of going for the pin, he moved into a full nelson hold in order to break Brock's neck. From that point on, Hardcore continued to put the move on Brock until Brock was able to get Hardcore's neck on the ropes and then hit the f-5 for the pin.

After the match, we go to a promo with Goldberg talking about plowing through the wrestlers. bleh. Being at position 30 makes it pretty easy for a storyline titan. Then Brock interferes thankfully. He comes in and says that they should be interviewing the next big thing because he still has a title. Goldberg then mentions Hardcore Holly and Brock turns around and begins to eye the area cautiously then turns around again and walks into Goldberg. A little match build up for Wrestlemania? That would indeed, be great.

The Championship match on RAW, HBK vs. HHH. We've seen this match-up before and they always turn out in my opinion, great. This match was no exception. For storyline purposes and with Evolution existing, I said that HHH retained the title, and i was right. I really didn't mind that HHH retained this time around because he actually wrestled for it. This was an intense match. It may have been full of punching, but it was drama at its best. The two wrestlers were covered in blood at the end. In some point in the match, HBK does a jump off the ropes towards HHH but instead totally is off by a good 5 feet and slams/slides into and onto the spanish announcer's table. (poor announcers, no one seems to respect their position..hehe). Anyways, it was two wrestlers using all the skill they had. In the beginning HBK held the advantage but then HHH got the best of him and began to pound away at him. At the end, HHH got the pedigree but Shawn didn't go down at the 10 count. He got back up and then superkicked HHH. Both fell down and the ref counted the 10-count. Neither was the victor. As you can guess, in the case of a tie, the title is retained by the current champion. So via a great match, HHH retained. After the match, both wrestlers were carried out on stretchers, HHH first. As HBK's ramp was going up the ring, he fought to stand back up and instead of being carried out, he walked out as the real last man standing. (dramatic, no?)

I believe after this match, there was a promo with John Cena rapping away as usual. pretty funny this time because RVD stuck his head into it and John Cena made fun of him about drug innuendo.

Eric Bischoff interupted before the match began and said that Raw had superior wrestlers and that Heyman sucked. Heyman came out and was at a loss of words, tossed the mic back to Bischoff and then tackled him and began beating him. Stone Cold drove out and told both of them they were breaking the law and asked who started it. Eric got placed with the blame and got a stunner. Austin asked for some beers and tossed one to Heyman who foolishly toasted with him. Austin drank and then gave Heyman a stunner and left.

Finally, my personal favorite of the night, the very Royal Rumble itself. 30 men toe to toe. Since I am a rabid Chris Benoit fan and he is my favorite wrestler, I was hoping that he would be the winner of the rumble. The match started off with my favorite, the Rabid Wolverine Chris Benoit and Randy Orton. They duke it out for a bit pulling out different moves, but neither attempts to go for a toss out. Unfortunately, I was at a local place and couldn't take notes on who entered where, but there are quite a few memorable moments. One was Rene Dupree', this kid will go places. He comes out doing his little dance and then automatically eliminates someone. He starts dancing again, however Rikishi is right behind him getting ready to superkick him and Rikishi also dances in motion with him and then eliminates him. The greatest was the fact that Kane came out and chokeslammed everyone. Then the whole place goes dark and we hear three dark church bell notes. Kane stops and stares at the entrance and appears to be yelling that Undertaker is dead. (ominous foreshadowing, how can you kill the dead man?...aw hell, like you guys actually needed me to explain that for you. I now feel all the more stupid for doing so.) As Kane is distracted, someone kicks Kane out of the ring and he is eliminated. He had barely stayed in there and eliminated nobody. Then Spike's music hits in place of Undertaker's and Kane goes out to attack Spike. Spike is eliminated without even entering the ring.

For those of you wondering about Mick Foley, well here it is. Test's music hits at number 21 but no one comes out. We flash to backstage and we discover that someone has knocked out Test and cannot perform. Stone Cold then yells at someone off to the side to go wrestle or he'll kick his ass. Out comes Mick Foley. Orton, who had been doing a good job and remained in the ring immediantly begins to fear the coming of the Hardcore Legend. Mick Foley in his Cactus Jack clothing comes in and begins to pound away at Orton. Then he eliminated Orton and himself at the same time. As the match continues, Foley starts to do some hardcore wrestling with Orton on the outside. He wraps a wire around him and the fight goes to the ramp. He pulls out Mr.Socko and then Nunzio's music hits. Foley ignores Orton on the ground and does the mandible claw to Nunzio who eventually gets away and scampers to the side of the ring and hides there for a good portion of the match. Orton gets in a cheap hit and runs to the backstage. Eventually Foley gets up and goes to follow Orton and thats the last we see of both of them. Foley has redeemed himself.

Back to humorous moments and tidbits. Nunzio who has decided to play it smart attempts to remain on the outside until Cena comes down, sees him and throws him in the ring. at that point Nunzio beings to cling to Big Show like a child until the Show slaps Nunzio off. Nunzio is eventually eliminated by just being tossed out. Hurricane was also an amusing entry. He runs in and attempts to take on Mark Henry (I think), mark henry punches him. Hurricane goes to the top rope and is caught and thrown to the outside. Ernest Miller was also quite funny. He ran in with his sidekick and its only Benoit and Orton in the ring. The Cat starts dancing along with his side kick for a good minute or so which is pretty funny to watch, but obvious that they will be thrown out. At that point Orton and Benoit stand up and eliminate both of them. Many good moments in this match, one being Goldberg. Goldberg comes in and takes down everyone but eliminates no one. Out of the blue, Lesnar slides into the ring and F-5's Goldberg. Goldberg is really pissed off and mouths off to Lesnar and Angle eliminates him while he's not paying attention. At the end, it was down to Jericho, Big Show, Angle, Benoit, RVD, and John Cena. Everyone begins to focus on Big Show but to no avail. Soon, everyone does their finishers or favored moves on him. Jericho does an amazing Lionsault about 3/4 across the ring (he slides the last foot or slow on Show). Angle does an ankle lock, RVD hits a frog splash, Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle, Benoit hits the flying headbutt. Then all go to pick him but Big Show breaks free again. Eventually they all start elminating each other out.

Finally, down to the best part of the night. It was Angle, Show, Benoit left in the ring and Angle began to work on the Big Show while Benoit rested up in the corner. Big Show and Angle really go at it with minor interruptions by Benoit until Angle is tossed out of the ring by Show. At this point the current announcers (Tazz and J.R) are even saying that Benoit may have lasted through every wrestler but this will be his probable end to the big show. Show begins to put multiple chokes on Benoit with Benoit breaking out of some and taking one. Benoit puts on a cross face, Show gets up and chokeslams him. He then stand Benoit up and goes to toss him out, but Benoit somehow locks onto Big Show's upperback. At that point, Benoit puts on a modified Cross face of Show and Benoit is on the otherside of the ropes on the very edge. He begins to pull Show over and you see Big Show leaning on the ropes, half in, half out and Benoit still locking on that modified crossface. All of a sudden Benoit really begins to pull and Show starts to edge out more and more until you see Big Show's head touching the edge of the mat also. Benoit gives one last yank and the Big Show totally flips out of the ring and onto the ground thus making Benoit the winner of the Royal Rumble. Oh yes, his time has finally come.

It seems Benoit is finally getting his credit that he deserves, especially with winning the Royal Rumble from position number 1. As far as I'm concerned, I don't care if the rumors are true and he jumps from Smackdown to Raw (though i'd prefer if he took the title from Lesnar), he is headlining Wrestlemania 20. The writers of WWE can do some good after all. I give them compliments on a job well done. Go Benoit! It was nice to see signs for him aside from "Toothless Agression". I saw signs that said "Chris Benoit to Wrestlemania 20" and "Respect the Crippler".

Anyways, that's what I saw, what I remembered, and my two cents.

by Jasper..


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