We're doing a small jump into the future since the last review I wrote, as I brought my DVD copy of the '04 Royal Rumble with me to work tonight. It's another one of those events where I remember loving the Rumble, but not really caring much for most of the other matches. I guess we'll see if that attitude has changed any since I last viewed this one. Let's get to it.
WWE Royal Rumble '04 |
Posted by the Accelerator, February 19th, 2007
- The first thing I always notice with this DVD is that John Cena is the only person displayed on the cover. Bear in mind that Brock Lesnar and Triple H were the current Heavyweight Champions, while Cena, who had only recently turned from a Vanilla Ice heel to a fan favorite at the Survivor Series, was barely even considered a minor challenger in the Rumble (the favorites were Angle, Benoit, Goldberg, & the Big Show). Heck, Cena hadn't even won a title in WWE yet! He wouldn't get that until Wrestlemania 20, when he took down the Big Show. Yet he's the sole wrestler on the cover of the DVD case. *shrugs* Don't ask me to explain it. It was definitely foreshadowing, I have to admit.
- The opening video is pretty cool, although it's a pretty plain voice for the voiceover. Basically, it talks about the different roads in life, showcasing the feuds between Triple H & Shawn Michaels, Brock Lesnar & Hardcore Holly, and Eddie & Chavo Guerrrero. It's also a symbolism for the Road to Wrestlemania. It gets you a little energized for the event.
- The announcers are Jim Ross, Jerry "The King" Lawler, & Jonathan Coachman for Raw, Michael Cole & Tazz for Smackdown, and Carlos Cabrera & Hugo Savinovich at the Spanish Announce Table. That's a lot of voices. Sadly, I speak very little Spanish, despite being married to a beautiful Latina, so I have no idea what Hugo's saying.
Evolution (Ric Flair & Batista)(c) vs. the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley), WWE Raw World Tag-Team Titles Tables Match:
Batista insults the Philadelphia Eagles before the match, which shows more that the Dudleyz have lost a lot of favor in the main ECW city than anything else. Why else would the cheap heat be needed? Batista still pays for his comments, getting thrown into the ringpost before the match even starts. The table is quickly set up, but Batista saves Flair from a double suplex through it. The fight continues, with Bubba Ray punching away on Flair, but then getting nailed by a clothesline from Batista. This is long before Batista had the momentum of the fans behind him, so it's pretty quiet in there. Batista also looks very raw in there, messing up a D-Von flying clothesline (he just sort of stumbles off towards Bubba Ray), then doing a very obvious run into the post on a charge. Flair gets slammed off the turnbuckle, leaving him in deep trouble from a table shot. But Coachman, who had gotten attacked earlier in the week (and put through a table) by the Dudleyz, opts to charge the ring. Not surprisingly, Coach gets beat up. The Wazzup Drop attempt, though, gets interrupted by Flair, who throws Bubba Ray out of the ring. D-Von clotheslines Flair, but Batista comes in and sends D-Von through the set-up table for the anticlimactic win after only 4 1/2 minutes. The Coach painfully announces Evolution as the winners, with Flair giving a short interview on the ramp.
Ace Thoughts: This wasn't that exciting a match, that's for sure. It barely even got started, with only one or two teases with the table before D-Von took the trip. The fans were certainly not that inspired with the ending.
- Josh Mathews interviewed John Cena, who gives a quick rap. Unfortunately for him, it gets interrupted right at the end by another fan favorite.
Bet on anybody else, yo, your money's gone!
I'm the franchise, I don't care if it's Smackdown or Raw.
Keep it official, with the Mitchell and Tug McGraw.
These 29 other dudes? They can't see me!
And tonight, the Royal Rumble goes to...:
Rob Van Dam: (steps into picture) "R - V - D!"
Cena and RVD exchange pleasantries, with Cena making sure to say that Van Dam can suck his candy cane. Well, heck, it rhymed.
Rey Mysterio(c) vs. Jamie Noble, WWE World Cruiserweight Title Match:
At this point in time, Noble is a redneck millionaire with a blinded girlfriend in Nidia. Noble also used Nidia as an advantage in his matches. Not much of an angle, I admit. I just wish he had stayed in Ring of Honor. But that's a column for another day. We quickly go for speed, as Mysterio comes back in from a toss and tries for the 619, but Noble manages to avoid it and faceplant the champ. Noble dominates for a short time, with Rey trying to sneak in a roll-up for 2. We're about a minute in, and Noble's already going for rest holds. Mysterio fights free and gets a high dropkick on Noble, followed by a spinning Hurricanrana and a Bulldog for 2. After a few more exchanges, Noble runs to the ropes, and gets tripped by his blind girlfriend. An angry Noble is distracted enough to get nailed with the 619 and the Drop of the Dime. Mysterio retains the gold. What was that, 3 minutes? Matches are short tonight.
Ace Thoughts: Sadly, especially for a major PPV, this was simply a set-up match for the next Smackdown, where Nidia revealed that she actually wasn't blind anymore, and that she was getting revenge on Noble using her as a shield. Noble and Nidia would also go on to wrestle, but that's better forgotten. I wouldn't have even liked this match on television, although Noble and Mysterio each got a few moves that showed that they could have had a good one. No time, man, no time.
- A commercial runs for the WWE Originals CD. To let you know how bad this one was, I didn't bother to pick it up. And I pick up almost everything!
- We get a video montage explaining the break-up of Los Guerreros, due to the jealously of Chavo. It also includes the involvement of Kurt Angle to try and patch things up between the family members, with Chavo Sr (later known as Chavo Classic) also turning on Eddie.
Chavo Guerrero w/ Chavo Sr vs. Eddie Guerrero(RIP):
- Eddie Guerrero is completely serious, even when driving out a fire-painted black truck. Still stylish, just seriously stylish. The fans are chanting Eddie's name. Tazz tries to rally a "Chavo" chant, but Michael Cole wants a slightly different one: "Chavo Sucks, if you know what I mean". Ok, then. Chavo slaps Eddie early on, trying to cost Eddie his focus and bring that Latino Heat to the surface. Eddie drives Chavo to the corner, but does the clean break. The two wrestle back-and-forth and exchange "Whoooo" chops. There are a lot of rest holds here, considering the pedigree of the two wrestlers. Then again, it's certainly setting up for the later story, so I'll let it slide. Eddie works the arm, with Chavo finding a way to escape by Hurricanran'ing both men to the outside! Chavo gets up first and distracts the ref, allowing Chavo Sr to take Eddie off the stairs. Chavo Jr then hits Eddie off the announce table and brings Eddie back into the ring. But Eddie comes back, only to ignore the urge to punch Chavo in the face. He's still not sure about fighting his nephew. Of course, they beat the hell out of each other back in WCW, but we're not going to worry about that. Chavo gets a nice backdrop suplex to nearly win the match, then uses Eddie's own Triple Suplexes against him, at least until the third one, as Eddie reverses. The Triple Suplexes land on Chavo, soon followed by the Frog Splash for the victory. The crowd is luke-warm, but still loves Eddie.
After the match, Eddie suddenly loses the cool that he had during the match, punching Chavo Sr and getting a low blow on his brother. Eddie then starts punching Chavo Jr like crazy, before tying Chavo Sr to the bottom rope with his own tie. That's why you don't wear ties around a wrestling ring. Eddie pounds Chavo Jr into a bloody pulp, with Chavo Sr screaming at him, "What did you do?? That's your kin!!" The fans actually are a little shocked, although they still cheer for Eddie when his music starts.
Ace Thoughts: This was another match that really never got going as well as it could have. It really needed more than just 8 minutes, especially since a lot of that was telling the story of Eddie's growing inability to control his rage. I think a longer match, with more interference from Chavo Sr, would have really woken the crowd up. The ending definitely was dramatic, though, nearly saving the match. Nearly.
- A commerical runs for the Mick Foley DVD. Already have it, thanks.
- Chris Benoit gets interviewed by Josh Mathews, but it gets interrupted by Ric Flair & Evolution (sans Triple H), as they celebrate Evolution's win over the Dudleyz. Randy Orton just stands there with his belt, as Flair does all the talking for the rookies. The announcers talk again about Benoit never winning the big one. We get it, he's a favorite.
- We get another video, talking about Hardcore Holly's broken neck, thanks to Brock Lesnar. The shot of his neck bending after the powerslam is still scary. Watching this promo, you could actually believe that this was an exciting feud. Too bad the fans never got behind Holly and his quest to get revenge for his broken neck. He'd been a mid-carder for too long for the fans to see him as major competition for the Smackdown Champion.
Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Hardcore Holly, WWE Smackdown Heavyweight Title Match:
Holly can't wait for Lesnar, as he knocks Lesnar off the apron. The two fight on the outside, avoiding an F5 into the post and sending Lesnar there instead. They finally enter the ring and start the match, with Holly missing a Flying Elbow off the top. More brawling, with Lesnar dominating by focusing on Holly's back. In fact, back in the ring, Lesnar goes to a bearhug on the mat. After, again, maybe a minute or so of action. Rest holds are everywhere tonight. The fans aren't happy with how long they stay, just laying, on the mat. Finally, Brock gets up and gets a nice Fisherman's Suplex on Holly for 2, but then, with the fans getting a little excited, Lesnar returns to the Bearhug. Sigh. A Suplex opens things back up, and then we AGAIN go back to the Bearhug. Was someone injured here or something? This is an old-OLD-school match. Holly finally escapes and gets some clotheslines, his favorite dropkick, and the Alabama Slam. But Holly doesn't want the pin; he wants to break Lesnar's neck. He locks in the Full Nelson, with Lesnar fighting to the outside, where he seems to tap. Of course, it doesn't matter. We go back to the ring, with Lesnar snapping Holly's neck off the ropes, then getting the F-5 to take out Holly and get the victory, retaining the title.
Ace Thoughts: Ok, so far, we've had matches lasting 4 1/2, 3, 8, and now 6 1/2 minutes. We're going for a record! Either that, or all the time is saved for the Last Man Standing Match and the Rumble. This was another terrible match, as no one really believed that Holly had a shot, and he clearly didn't, getting beaten the way he did. Many still consider Lesnar vs. Holly one of the biggest jokes in WWE history, although it's really not the fault of the two wrestlers. The match itself could have been good, but for some reason, they went with rest holds for most of it. Considering how good a wrestler Lesnar showed himself to be in different match-ups, his match here was simply embarrassing.
- Triple H is shown taping up his hands in the back, while Shawn Michaels is having a prayer moment.
- A long promo talked about the Triple H/Shawn Michaels feud, including their old friendship in D-Generation X, the title changes, and Steve Austin announcing their Last Man Standing Match. I know this was the second main event of the Rumble (behind the Rumble match itself), and it was a pretty good history, but this was a little excessive. I opted to time the promo, and I came out with 3:15. That means that it was a few seconds longer than the Mysterio/Noble match. Think how much better at least one of the earlier matches could have been with that 3 minutes added on!
Triple H(c) vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE Raw World Heavyweight Title Last Man Standing Match:
Speaking of wasting time, both intros eat up another 3:40 before the opening bell and staredown. Again, this PPV could have been so much better with better time distribution. Anyhow, let's get to the match. Triple H powers Michaels into the corner, punching away at Michaels, who comes back with his own punches and chops. The punches continue between the two men, followed by a slow reverse sequence on the mat. The crowd is dying quickly. Triple H goes after HBK's back, but Micahels manages to reverse a corner throw and got HHH into the Figure Four, a snub at Flair, obviously. The trend continues, as we have a 'rest hold' only a short time into the match. Triple H's legs get punished, as the announcers talk about how 'standing' is very important in Last Man Standing Matches. No, really? Despite the crushing pain, Triple H gets up (with Earl Hebner stopping his count rather early, but oh well). Michaels dropkicks the leg to start another count, with Triple H using the ropes to get up. As Michaels then went for a Crossbody, Triple H yanks down the ropes, and Michaels takes a bad plunge!
The announce tables are brought into play on the outside, but neither man goes into them, prompting some boos from the crowd. Back in the ring, Triple H catches Michaels coming off the turnbuckle and went for the Pedigree, but got backdropped to the outside. Michaels then flies high with a Springboard Crossbody, way too high, as he easily misses Triple H and hits the Spanish Announce Table. Michaels is busted open badly, with blood pouring from his wound. Ouch. Michaels is on the defensive for a while, with Triple H getting several counts in by knocking Michaels down with punches, as well as a Spinebuster. Michaels just keeps getting up and calling for more. A chairshot from Triple H (perfectly legal, mind you) nearly puts Shawn out, but he gets up at 9. Michaels then blocks another Pedigree attempt and sends Triple H into the post (very weakly, really), thus somehow busting Helmsley open. We've got blood everywhere!
Shawn returns the chairshot to Triple H, but the champ gets up. Michaels has all the momentum, as shown by his Flying Forearm/Kip Up maneuver. Both men now have "Crimson Masks", with Michaels, in particular, looking pretty bad. Love them or hate them, you have to love the dedication to the craft. What other 'sport' would continue with this much blood loss? Triple H manages to recover enough to block Sweet Chin Music with a low blow, sending both to the mat. Both slowly get up near the end of the count, with Michaels getting some punches and a sleeper hold. Sleepers don't work anymore, though, as Triple H manages to get up. Remember when the sleeper would knock people completely out? Triple H comes back with a DDT, and both are down again. The two men continue to battle it out, with Triple H surprising Michaels and getting the Pedigree! That's it, right? In any other match, yep. In this one, nope. Michaels is up at 9. As Triple H comes back in, Michaels nails him with Sweet Chin Music, and the crowd goes crazy... until neither man answers the count, ending things in a Draw. The fans are rightfully pissed off. Afterwards, both men are helped out, with Flair & Batista out to help their boss. Michaels jumps off the stretcher afterwards and walks out.
Ace Thoughts: Unlike many, I liked the psychology early on in this one. I know the pace was kind of slow, but being a fan of classic 70s and 80s matches, I liked it. But the ending? Wow, that destroyed the whole match. Michaels survives the Pedigree, but the energy of using Sweet Chin Music keeps him from even stirring afterwards, at least until he's put on the stretcher? After so many short matches earlier, the fans really wanted their money's worth here, and I don't think they got it. Of course, it was a set-up, in a way, to arrange for the Wrestlemania Main Event, which truly paid off. But we'll get to that later.
- Video talks about the Rumble, showing off all the big wrestlers. Pretty good music video, er, promo.
- Eric Bischoff (Raw GM) and Paul Heyman (Smackdown GM) have a confrontation, with Bischoff bad-mouthing Phily and Smackdown, and Heyman simply slugging Bischoff. Steve Austin then comes down and gets involved, giving Stunners to both men. This was simply to put something between the last match and the Rumble. It also helps get some momentum back, which was sorely needed.
- Bill Goldberg is interviewed in the back about being #30, with Brock Lesnar interrupting by bragging about beating Holly. Goldberg gets a little revenge by tricking Lesnar into thinking that Holly was behind him.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match:
Tazz and JR are the announcers for the Rumble, putting together one of the best combos since Heenan/Monsoon. Ok, not as good, but not bad, either. #1 is Chris Benoit, who got put in the #1 spot by Paul Heyman. #2 is Randy Orton, setting up a nice match-up to begin with. We're going with 90-second intervals, which means that this one's going to go faster than normal. The two athletic wrestlers go at it hard, with stomps, kicks, and attempts at elimination. Things quickly slow down, though, as #3 Mark Henry comes out w/ Theodore Long (back before he was even thinking about being a GM). Henry pounds on both men, basically dominating early on and forcing the two to work together against him. #4 is Tajiri, who quickly goes at it with Orton, getting kicks and his handspring elbow on the Legend Killer. Benoit then attacks, giving Tajiri some big German suplexes. Orton nearly goes out from Henry, but grabs the rope to come back in. #5 is Bradshaw, who immediately goes for his finishers, landing Clotheslines From Hell on Orton, Henry, and Tajiri. Benoit, however, blocks his and gets the Crossface. Bradshaw powers out of it, but gets flipped out by Benoit, showing that it's still really risky to use your finisher in a Rumble, because you're probably going soon after.
#6 is "The Man-Beast" Rhyno, who attacks his rival, Benoit. Meanwhile, for some reason, Tajiri, after getting his Green Mist on Henry, goes for his Tarantula on the big man. Rhyno, missing Benoit, then Gores Henry, sending Tajiri out. Seconds later, Benoit sends the blinded Henry out as well, taking the numbers back down. #7 is Matt Hardy, who nails Rhyno with the Side Effect. A lot of quick finishers in this one. The curse strikes again, as Benoit nearly tossed Hardy, but he manages to save himself. The fighting continues as "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner comes in at #8. Suplexes for everyone! Once again, though, Benoit is the exception, suplexing Steiner instead. JR mentions that there are no former winners in the Royal Rumble this year, meaning that we're getting a first-time winner. Cool fact. #9 is Matt Morgan, pre stuttering days. Morgan crushes Benoit with a Sit-Down Powerbomb, and then beats the heck out of everyone. I'm still surprised that Morgan never did well in WWE. #10 is the Hurricane, who flies, with cape, into Hardy, then decides to use his superpowers to go after the big man. Not a great plan, as Morgan tosses Hurricane shortly thereafter (landing badly outside). But then, the Hurricane doesn't exactly have a great track record in Rumbles anyway. Morgan also almost tosses Hardy, who amazingly grabs the ropes and stops himself inches from the mat.
#11 is Booker T, who goes after his old WCW rival, Steiner. Amazing to think these two were on top of the WCW, then both struggled in the mid-card for the longest time in WWE. At least "King Booker" got back to the top. #12 is "The Big Red Machine" Kane, complete with the scary fire. As we focus on Kane, Booker T gets rid of Steiner (we see it in the replay afterwards). Kane destroys everyone with Chokeslams and Sidewalk Slams. With everyone down, #13 gets ready to come out... as a bell tolls. The crowd explodes, everyone thinking that the Undertaker is coming back. He doesn't appear, though, as Kane, distracted, gets tossed out by Booker T. #13, instead, is Spike Dudley, who never makes it to the ring, as Kane destroys him on the ramp in revenge. The fighting continues with no eliminations, as #14 Rikishi comes out. While Rikishi comes in, Benoit backdrops Rhyno out of the match. Some people just never learn not to charge! Rikishi opts to give the Stinkface to Morgan, showing the rookie what's up. #15 is Rene Dupree, who does the Fifi dance on the ramp. Dupree actually does do something, as he dropkicks Hardy out of the match. Of course, a few seconds later, Rikishi Superkicks Dupree out, ending his Wrestlemania dreams.
#16 is A-Train, who goes after the biggest guy there, Rikishi. At least, that's according to JR & Tazz. I guess Morgan doesn't count. Speaking of, Morgan does the "I think I'll just charge" maneuver, and Benoit gets himself another elimination. Rikishi and Booker T try to toss A-Train, but Orton sneaks in, first tossing Rikishi, then, seconds later, sending out Booker T. #17 is Shelton Benjamin, who jogs to the ring. Seconds after he comes out, Benoit gets rid of A-Train. I think that's five for Benoit. Meanwhile, Orton sends Benjamin out after a missed kick, and I believe that's Orton's third. Both men ko each other, as Lamont runs out and announces #18 Ernest "The Cat" Miller. Miller and Lamont dance until Benoit & Orton recover to toss both men out (as well as Lamont's wig). #19 is Kurt Angle, putting three major competitors in the ring. Angle goes at it with Orton, then Benoit, showcasing some good wrestling skill. The announcers mention Angle's promise to win for the troops, the first time I can remember where the promise was made, but didn't come through. #20 is Rico, who definitely looks out of place with these three, although he gives a good showing against Orton. At least until Orton gives Rico the RKO, taking him out and throwing him over the ropes. Bye-bye, Rico.
#21 is scheduled to be Test, but he's down in the back thanks to a sneak-attack. A pissed off Steve Austin orders the attacker to replace Test in the Rumble. That makes #21 the returning Mick Foley! Orton is completely freaked out, as his missing rival goes crazy on him. Foley eliminates Orton, as well as himself, with the Cactus Jack Clothesline, and the two brawl to the back, using weapons along the way. The Rumble is temporarily forgotten about, even after #22 Christian comes down. Orton gets control thanks to a steel chair, but Foley comes back with Mr. Socko on the ramp. #23 is Nunzio, who comes at the worst time and gets a taste of Socko. Orton gives Foley a low blow, then heads to the back, with Foley chasing him away. Meanwhile, Nunzio stays on the outside, and can you blame him? He just had a Foley sock that came from Foley's pants in his mouth!
#24 is a major favorite in the Big Show, causing the three in the ring to immediately focus on him. Unfortunately, they don't have much success, as the giant dominates. Help comes in the form of #25 Chris Jericho, but Jericho opts to go after Angle instead, uniting with Christian. The Big Show, apparently annoyed at being ignored, attacks both men, staying the dominator. This seems to unify everyone in the ring, as they all go after the giant, at least for a few minutes. #26 is Charlie Haas, who immediately gets in trouble against the Jericho/Christian tandam. Nunzio's still outside the ring, not getting involved. Jericho & Christian try to toss Benoit, with no success. Christian then turns on Jericho, sending him over, but Jericho hangs on, then hits Christian from the apron and throws him out instead!
#27 is the returning Ass Man, Billy Gunn, who immediately runs to the ring and gives the Fame-Asser to Angle, Benoit, and, most surprisingly, the Big Show. I guess they were planning a push for him upon his return. That didn't work out too well, did it? #28 is "The Doctor of Thuganomics" John Cena, who takes his time coming to the ring and notices Nunzio sitting at ringside. He tosses the FBI member into the ring, but then gets stomped on by the Big Show as soon as he comes in. Nunzio then tries to toss the Big Show, and, uh, doesn't get far. #29 is Rob Van Dam, who attacks the Big Show with some kicks. For some reason, Jericho then attacks Jericho, rather than helping against the Big Show. Eight in the ring, with one remaining. Cena catches Angle with the FU, but still can't toss the Olympic Hero.
#30 is Bill Goldberg. Let's see the bodies fly! Goldberg immediately Spears the Big Show, then Gunn. Everyone attacks Da Man one by one, and it doesn't work. Goldberg, with Nunzio on his back, sends out Haas, followed by Billy Gunn. Nunzio gets press-slammed out of the ring. Goldberg then sets up to give the Big Show the Jackhammer Suplex (like he did in WCW all the time), but Brock Lesnar predictably shows up and gives Goldberg the F-5, stopping his momentum. Goldberg basically no-sells the F-5, pulling himself up on the ropes and glaring at Lesnar. But this allows Angle to toss Goldberg out, ending his run, as Lesnar looks on with a cocky smile. This would lead to the epic Goldberg/Lesnar battle at Wrestlemania. Ok, epic's not the word, I suppose. Anyway, back to the Rumble.
We're down to Angle, Benoit, the Big Show, Cena, Jericho, and Van Dam. Everyone else goes after the Big Show, knowing who the main threat is. The Big Show really takes a beating, getting hit with the Lionsault, Five Star Frog Splash, Five Knuckle Shuffle, the Flying Headbutt, and the Angle Slam. Angle rallies the troops to try and pick up the Big Show to toss him, but they can't do it, as the Big Show throws everyone off. He grabs Cena and sends him over the ropes, with Cena landing badly on his knee on the outside. Van Dam attacks, but he gets thrown out after trying a monkey flip for some reason on the giant. The Big Show then launches out Jericho, but Jericho skins the cat, then beats repeatedly on the Big Show. The Big Show gives him a shoulder, sending Jericho to the apron again, but he again stays in. Angle and Benoit are just resting at this point. Jericho gets the Bulldog on the giant and puts on the Walls of Jericho, causing the Big Show to tap out. Of course, it doesn't matter, because this is the Rumble.
Jericho opts to go after Angle, but the Big Show, after taking out Benoit, decides to finally finish Y2J, grabbing him and Chokeslamming him out of the ring! The Big Show then Chokeslams the exhausted Benoit, then gives Angle a Butt-Bump to get out of a Suplex attempt. But Angle comes back, getting the Angle Slam to put the giant down. Angle and Benoit go at it, with Benoit getting his own Angle Slam. Angle drops the straps and lets the crowd choose who he should attack, and he goes after the Big Show's leg, getting the Ankle Lock to force another tap out by the big man. The Big Show fights to the ropes after tapping out, screaming in pain. But he's able to use the ropes for leverage, throwing Angle out over the ropes and making the final two as Benoit and the Big Show!
Benoit catches the Big Show with a Flying Headbutt, unfortunately bringing the Big Show back into the ring. The Rabid Wolverine then manages to avoid a Chokeslam and countered in the Crippler Crossface. Again, the Big Show taps out, and again, it means didly-squat. The Big Show then powers out with a Sideslam, leaving both men on the mat. Benoit has gone over an hour in the ring now. The Big Show gets up first, prepared to end things. He taunts Benoit, then lifts him up in a Press Slam. But Benoit manages to get a Guillotine Choke, hanging on. The Big Show tries to get free with some elbows, sending Benoit to the apron. But Benoit still hangs on, yanking like crazy on the Big Show and raising him into the air. Finally, the Big Show falls to the outside, dramatically giving Benoit the Royal Rumble victory!
Ace Thoughts: The way they orchestrated the ending of this match was incredible. You had the Big Show, a man that no one could stop, who was tossing out everyone in sight. You had Benoit, the exhausted #1 entry, who didn't seem to have a chance. And you had the slow, deliberate elimination to end things that was totally believable. The crowd just starting roaring, realizing what was happening, as the Big Show inevitably went over the ropes. I rate this Rumble match right near the top, only behind the '92 Rumble, and that one just barely. It was an incredible ending. Too bad the rest of the PPV isn't worth your time. If they ever put out a Rumble Match collection, I'd say get that, and avoid the rest of this PPV. But if that doesn't work, then go ahead and take a look at this one, if only for the Rumble. Because, really, it's miles above anything else on the card.