Thanks to everyone who entered the PPV predictions game. If you want to see how you did, and where you stack up overall, here's the list.
So I have one of those good news bad news stories - at least from a personal standpoint. The good news is I have a new TV and VCR. The bad news is I was laid off on Friday. But that's okay - I have no doubt I'll be back and working in no time. And it gives me a little extra time when I'm not being worked 12 hours a day to review tapes.
Thank you to Weinerville for helping me survive the past few weeks at work when I thought I was losing my mind!
Just because I'm a nice guy, I'll recap the Kurt Angle interview on Sunday Night Heat.
"People...your Olympic hero would like to take this time to talk about habits. (What?) We all have our share of habits. (What?) Whether it be biting our nails, (What?) or anything else. (What?) Or acting like a total bunch of idiots by saying what every two seconds. (What?) People not only is that a bad habit, (What?) but it's disrespectful. (What?) It's idiotic! (What?) It's impolite! (What?) It's just damn plain rude! (What?) I said it's rude. (What?) But it doesn't bother me one bit. (What?) Your Olympic hero has a habit of his own. (What?) It's called being a winner. (What?) I said a winner. (What?) You know an opposite of a loser. (What?) Like what this crowd is full of. (Boooo!) Whether it be winning an Olympic gold medal in this very city, (What?) or winning numerous WWF Titles, (What?) or tonight winning the Royal Rumble, (What?) your Olympic hero always has a habit of coming out on top. (What?) And you know what? (What?) I want you people to do me a favor tonight. (What?) When I'm standing in this very ring all alone as the winner of the Royal Rumble, (What?) instead of chanting what, (What?) I want you people to chant hero. (Booooo!) I want you people to yell inspiration! (What?) I want you people to yell dominant! (What?) Or better yet, or better yet, main event at Wrestlemania. (What?) I said main event at Wrestlemania. (What?) What part of main event at Wrestlemania do you idiots not get? (What?) Because while you people are down here in Atlanta burying your cousins, that's exactly what I'll be doing. (Booooo!) You people want to chant what? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) What? (What?) You people in Atlanta are ungrateful idiotic bunch of hicks. Oh it's true! (What?) Oh it's damn true! (What?) What, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what?" Kurt slams down his microphone and storms off to the back as the fans chant "You Suck!" at Kurt. Jerry Lawler at this point hops in the ring, and declares that he is picking Kurt Angle to win the whole thing - due to his success over the past two years. And when the show is all over and Kurt is standing all alone, Lawler will lead the fans in an "Angle" chant!
ROYAL RUMBLE 2002
A video package remembers winners from Rumbles past, then focuses on the big names in this year's affair.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcome us LIVE to Atlanta, Georgia! Kid Rock meanwhile has people telling him he's Cocky.
THE DUDLEY BOYZ (with Stacy Keibler) vs. TAZZ and SPIKE DUDLEY (for the WWF World Tag-Team Titles)
Tazz has new music. It's nowhere near as good as his old theme.
All four men in the ring be a clubberin' to kick this one off. Spike gets tossed out right away while Tazz gets beaten on two on one outside. Spike is rolled in by Bubba. A 2-D drops Spike on his injured neck, and is followed by a neckbreaker by Bubba. Bubba yanks the neckbrace off Spike, and connects with another neckbreaker. Snap suplex has Spike writhing in pain, and D-Von is tagged in. Back elbow to the back of Spike's neck. Necksnap ala Curt Hennig (who we will be seeing later tonight), and Bubba is tagged back in. A brainbuster drops Spike hard. Bubba goes for another, but Spike kicks him in the stomach, and follows with a Dudley Dawg. Both men are down. D-Von is in, and the ref holds him back. Tazz tries to get in, and the ref holds HIM back - which lead to the Dudleys pulling Spike back to their corner. The Dudleys hit a double flapjack which looks awesome. Flying headbutt misses as Spike rolls out of the way. The Dudleys try to clothesline him from either end of the ring, but Spike ducks - and they hit eachother. Tazz is tagged in and goes crazy with clotheslines and suplexes. D-Von gets caught with a fisherman's suplex, 1, 2, kickout. Spike hits a crossbody on Bubba from the top. Tazz boots him in the face - which is followed by a Dudley Dawg. Stacy shakes her ass on the apron - and tries to slap Tazz. He slaps the Tazzmission on her, and she falls off the apron. Spike goes for a Dudley Dawg on D-Von, but gets thrown out. Tazz catches D-Von with a Tazzmission for the tapout. Well, Spike's big bump was pointless wasn't it?
The psychology in this match lead to nothing. Though it is really nice to see the WWF try something that's NOT the Dudley Boyz.
Edge is backstage with Lillian Garcia. He grabs a steel chair and promises to break Regal's nose for a second time if he wants to play dirty.
WILLIAM REGAL vs. EDGE (for the WWF Intercontinental Title)
Nick Patrick makes sure to check under each corner of the ring for a pair of brass knuckles. Only after sticking his hand down Regal's tights did he find the foreign object he was looking for.
Edge hammers away with a series of rights. Regal goes down. Whip into the corner - and a back bodydrop. Stomp away in the corner, and Edge chokes Willie with the boot. Two facebusters on the mat follow. Regal gets a boot to Edge's midsection, then comes off the ropes with a knee. European Uppercut misses and is moved into a backslide, 1, 2, Regal's out. Left hand to the face. Edge is in the ropes as Regal rakes the face of Edge. Enzuigiri from Edge drops Regal to the mat. Regal grabs Edge from behind and connects with a tilt-a-whirl German suplex (if there IS such a thing) which gets a two. He covers again, 1, 2, no. A third cover, 1, 2, Edge is out. Regal picks up Edge and connects with a double kneelift. 1, 2, no sir. Another 2 count follows. Edge is caught with a sleeper, and it's followed by a left hand. Regal tries a Tigerbomb, but that's countered by a double underhook bodydrop. 1, 2, Regal rolls out and hold onto the arms. Tigerbomb! 1, 2, Edge is up. Regal charges with the left from across the ring and nails Edge. Then he kicks the man off the apron. Regal sets up a Tigerbomb from the apron - but Edge counters with a DDT onto Regal's nose ON the apron! Edge covers with his feet under the ropes. 1, 2, Regal hooks the leg on the rope. Regal is whipped into the corner - comes out as Edge tries a spear but the bump heads and both go down. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, both men are up. Edge gets some rights in, hits a shoulderblock, and a spinning heel kick. Vertical suplex drops Regal, 1, 2, Regal kicks out. Back elbow from Regal, and a NASTY German suplex drops Edge on his head. Edge pops up and nails Regal with a clothesline. 1, 2, Regal gets a shoulder up. Boot to the midsection, but Regal reverses with a takedown and puts on the Regal Stretch! Edge hooks the bottom rope after a long crawl. Regal tries to pull him back out, but Edge hits a drop toe hold and puts on a lousy Regal Stretch. Regal gets the ropes. Dropkick from behind followed by a roll up, 1, 2, Regal's out. Edge heads to the top rope. Regal hits a series of lefts, climbs, and gets shoved off. Spinning heel kick from the top follows. Regal reaches into his tights, and pulls out some brass knucks? Edge comes for a spear - but Regal pulls the ref in front. Edge crawls over to Regal, and gets DECKED. He shoves the knucks back into his tights. Regal covers. 1.......2.......3! We have a NEW Intercontinental Champ!
Michael Cole runs out and asks Regal how he can justify his actions. "Michael, I've been blessed with a gift. The power of the punch. And it is a gift, it's a blessing. Thank you!"
Jacqueline makes her way out in a very revealing referee's outfit. She's pulled ref duty for the upcoming match.
JAZZ vs. TRISH STRATUS (for the WWF Women's Title)
Trish's hand is bandaged because Jazz slammed it in a suitcase on Smackdown!
Jazz is all over her right away. She beats the hell out of Trish with rights for awhile, then connects with the back bodydrop. Standing splash, 1, 2, Trish is up. She fires off some punches and hits a sunset flip. We go through a REALLY quick series of reversals all of which end at 1. Jazz hotshots Trish on the ropes. Legdrop, 1, 2, Trish kicks out. She nails Trish. Jazz hooks Trish's arm around the ropes, and Jackie orders a break. Jazz doesn't take well to that and shoves Jackie around. Jackie shoves back, and Trish tries a rollup. Jazz sits down on top, and Jackie won't count? Then she does, 1, 2, and Trish escapes. Trish gets a jawbreaker, goes for a DDT, but gets countered with an armdrag. Jazz tries a belly to back, which is countered into Stratusfaction, but Jazz rolls out a 2, 1, 2, NO! DDT from Jazz, 1, 2, Trish is up! Whip into the corner, and Jazz hits an avalanche. Into the other corner, Trish gets a boot up. Bulldog, 1, 2, 3!
Earlier tonight, Flair's hot daughter Megan, and his snot nosed son Reid arrive at the building.
RIC FLAIR vs. VINCE MCMAHON (in a Street Fight)
Reid (who looks bored stiff) and Megan (taking pictures) are sitting ringside. Vince looks more buffed than usual - almost to the point where his arms looks like they belong on Hulk Hogan's body.
Big staredown and some trash talk. The two run about the ring and lock up. Vince is caught in the corner, and shoves Flair right across the ring. Lock up, side headlock by Vince. Flair shoves him off into the ropes, and Vince catches him with a hard shoulderblock. Vince poses with the muscles out more than before, (and looks positively scary), and struts. Lock up, Flair with a go behind, and takes him down. In the corner, Flair punches and stomps away. WHOOOOO! Vince gets a boot to the midsection, whips Flair to the corner, and attacks with shoulderblocks. Chop! Flair reverses, with a series of chops! Flair gets poked in the eyes by Vince. Come on Ric, you KNOW these dirty moves, USE 'EM! Vince catches Flair coming out of the corner with a clothesline. Flair flop! McMahon continues to attack with shoulderblocks. Whip across the ring - Flair flip and to the apron. Flair gets knocked off the apron and falls to the floor. Vince grabs a Keep Off sign (also used at Wrestlemania) and wallops Flair repeatedly to the head. Whip - and Flair goes into a bunch of junk next to the security wall. Vince heads under the ring and comes up with...a garbage can. Whack to Flair - and another Flair flop. And let the blood start to flow!!! Vince beats on Flair mercilessly at ringside, including a toss into the steps. Flair gets bodyslammed on the floor. Vince grabs the camera from Megan, and takes a picture on himself with a bloodied Flair. Megan eventually grabs it back. Vince rolls Flair in and drops him with a punch. Vince drops an elbow on Flair's leg, and puts on some legbar. Vince works it over with a couple of submission moves, and finally gets an anklelock on Flair with Flair on his back. 1, Flair gets out still in the hold. Vince wraps Flair's leg around the ringpost and whips it a few times. Vince finally drags Flair back to the middle of the ring, and slaps the figure four on Flair. Flair drops to the mat, 1, 2, he's up again. Flair falls back again, 1, 2, no! Flair with all his strength...turns Vince over! Vince escapes to the floor as fast as he can. Vince limps around at ringside. He heads towards the corner of ringside, and finds his lead pipe. He lifts Flair by the hair...and gets lowblowed! Chop outside, whoooo! Chop, chop, chop! Chop, chop, punch! Vince gets sent headfirst into the security wall. Flair now yanks the monitors off the announce table...and rams it right back into Flair's face. Flair puts Vince on the table and punches away at the new cut on Vince's forehead. Vince heads in the ring and begs for mercy. Flair drags him right back out towards his kids. He bites Vince's cut right in front of the camera. Flair starts strutting, and boots Vince in the stomach. A few more punches for fun, then he turns Vince around and kicks him with a reverse lowblow. Flair grabs the pipe and cracks Vince over the head!!! He picks up Vince's leg, and PUTS ON THE FIGURE FOUR!!!! Vince is SCREAMING! He taps out like crazy!
Excellent brawl considering the age of both men! Flair can still go!
Michael Cole stands with Nick Patrick and asks about the controversial finish earlier tonight. He doesn't get to answer before Stephanie butts in. She says the beating Flair just gave her father is nothing compared to what HHH is gonna do in the rumble. Blah, blah, blah. She wishes Debra was at ringside because she'd like to destroy her. Austin sneaks up on Stephanie. He says "What?" a whole lot before she screams and runs away. Insert generic "I'm gonna win" promo with pauses for "What?"
THE ROCK vs. CHRIS JERICHO (for the Undisputed Heavyweight Title)
JR notes that the World Title has changed hands 4 times at Royal Rumble events - and the last guy to do it was Rocky over Mankind at Royal Rumble 1999.
Jericho talks trash to Rocky while Rocky just stares him down. Jericho does NOT seem worried. Rocky starts to talk back and Jericho tells him to talk to the hand. Rocky doesn't approve of that and bitch slaps him. Samoan drop! 1, 2, Jericho's out. Whip into the ropes, and Jericho scoots out to the floor. Rocky chases him around the ring, and Jericho gets back in. He's caught with a tackle, and Rocky whales away with punches. Jericho sent off the ropes - ducks a clothesline, and meets Rocky with a flying jalapeno! Punches to Rocky. Whip across the ring, and Jericho runs a clothesline into the corner. Whip again, but Rocky moves and Jericho meets post. They meet in the middle of the ring and Jericho gets his face slammed in the middle of the ring. Rocky charges but gets hotshotted onto the top rope. Boot to the ribs. Jericho places Rocky in the corner and chops away. Rocky ducks a chop - Jericho whips him across the ring, meets a back elbow, but connects with a spinning heel kick. 1, 2, Rocky's out. Jericho hits a vertical suplex, and covers with the "yeah baby" pose. 1, 2, Rocky gets up. Jericho goes to the corner and unties the turnbuckle. Rocky gets to his feet, connects with a few rights, but Jericho goes to the Walls Of Jericho. Rocky whips him away with his leg strength. Back elbow from Jericho followed by a baseball slide dropkick. He leaps on Rocky and hammers away. Jericho to the top - missile dropkick! 1, 2, Rocky kicks out. Jericho puts on a rear chinlock with stress on Rocky's back. Rocky's fading fast. Arm drops once....arm drops twice....arm stays up! Rocky gets to his feet and fights Jericho off. He comes off the ropes, and gets met with a back elbow. Jericho heads to the top rope, but Rocky shakes the ropes and down goes Jericho hard! Rocky chops Jericho while he's on the top rope. Superplex!! Both men are down. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jericho gets up. Rocky blocks Jericho's punches and comes through with his own. Belly to belly throw off the ropes, 1, 2, no! Whip, reversed, bulldog from Jericho! Lionsault! He makes the "I want the belt" motion with his hands, and hits a SECOND Lionsault! 1, 2, Rocky kicks out! Jericho can't believe it! He throws a fit and gets into a shoving match with Earl Hebner. Jericho goes to the second rope - jumps, but hits canvas and is put in the Sharpshooter! Lance Storm and Christian make their appearance at ringside to distract the ref while Jericho taps. Christian tries to waffle Rocky with a belt, but Rocky ducks and sends him flying. Jericho grabs Rocky and hits a Rock Bottom! 1, 2, NO! Jericho comes off the ropes with a whoopee cushion. Jericho sets Rocky and stars the People's Elbow. Rocky nips up though and sends Jericho flying out to the floor! Jericho sent face first into the steps. Rocky starts to rip apart the announce table. Lawler: "No Rocky, over there, that's the Spanish announce table!" So the two fight over on the Spanish announce table. Jericho rips it apart and sets Rocky on top. Rock Bottom is setup, but Rocky elbows out, and drives Jericho through the English table!!! Jericho is slowly dragged back into the ring. He covers, 1, 2, Jericho JUST ESCAPES! Rocky sees the elbow pad, and sets in the Rock Bottom position waiting for Jericho. He grabs hold, but Jericho escapes and tries to put on the Walls! He gets it on!!! Rocky is crawling, crawling, crawling! Slowly...and he GRABS the bottom rope! Jericho pulls him back to the middle, but is caught with an inside cradle, 1, 2, NO! Jericho starts to throw a fit. He pulls Rocky up. Whip, Rocky tries a clothesline, but Jericho ducks and Rocky nails Earl Hebner! Jericho gets the belt and nails Rocky. Nick Patrick comes down, 1, 2, ROCKY KICKS OUT!!! Jericho can't believe this! He pulls Rocky to his feet, and is caught with a DDT! Cover, Nick Patrick has something in his eye. No count! Rocky gets his buggy eye freaked out look. Rock Bottom for Nick Patrick! Spinebuster for Jericho! People's Elbow coming up - and it hits dead on. No count - since Nick Patrick is out as is Earl Hebner! Jericho with a lowblow! Face to the open turnbuckle, feet on the ropes, 1, 2, 3!!!!!!!!!!! JERICHO RETAINS!
That was the best in their series of matches to date. Awesome, awesome, awesome brawl! God I hope this feud never ends.
Shawn Michaels is in WWF New York. He picks Steve Austin or The Undertaker to win it because they're from Texas. He naturally ignores Bradshaw, Goldust, and Booker T. My LORD does he look like a member of The Smokin' Gunns tonight.
Next PPV, No Way Out. They completely re-use the logo from Breakdown in September 1998.
THE ROYAL RUMBLE
Rikishi draws #1 this year, sucker! Well, maybe he'll fare better than last year. (And last year he had #30) #2 is Goldust, making his federation return. JR: "This son of a gun is weird." No kidding. Goldust crawls around the ring. Dustin's chin appears to have doubled in size, but the rest of him looks fit and trim - figure THAT out! Rikishi attacks from behind. Goldust tries a sunset flip, but is threatened with a Banzai and gets away. Goldust is almost tossed over the top - but he hangs on to the bottom rope. Goldust for a second time almost gets tossed, but again stays on the apron. He gets back in as we start the countdown. The Big Bossman is #3. Everyone in the ring has been in the fed less than 2 months, or for a very long time, depending on what you're looking at. Goldust sits perched on the top rope for a long time while Bossman beats down Rikishi. The two work over Rikishi and have him nearly going over the top. Goldust gets tired of pushing the fat man and turns on Bossman. Start the countdown. #4 this year is Bradshaw, who cleans house. Goldust is the first to reverse a whip, but gets shoulderblocked to the mat. Rikishi meanwhile pairs off with Bossman. Stinkface for Bossman. Ugh. Goldust is on the top rope. Rikishi gets a kick on Bossman, and clotheslines him over and out! See ya! Heh, instead of running fast this year, the clock seems a little slow. I can certainly live with that. Lance Storm is #5. He's "a helluva wrestler" according to JR. Well, I wouldn't know, since he NEVER WINS A MATCH. Goldust and Storm pair off, while Rikishi and Bradshaw play "teased elimination" in the other corner. Lots of nothing happens for awhile. Here comes #6 Al Snow. He has the same tights as Lance Storm (sorta). Now wouldn't that make a fun tag-team? (I'm serious) Bradshaw clotheslines Storm to hell. Good LORD I wouldn't want one of those. The countdown starts again...and Lucky #7 is Billy. He immediately eats a big boot from Bradshaw. Storm hits a jawbreaker on Snow, yet somehow ends up on the apron. They trade punches and elbows, but eventually Snow wins out with a superkick, so we can say goodbye to Storm! Bradshaw gets dumped unceremoniously while trying to dump Goldust. He doesn't seem particularly thrilled. Next up....uh oh. The Undertaker is #8 and he's looking for respect. Taker chokeslams Billy! Snow gets sent into the corner! Big boot for Snow. Goldust is chokeslammed out and to the floor!! Snow is tossed like a ragdoll. Rikishi takes a big boot, and clothesline. That leaves Billy. He follows right behind. #9 is a returning Matt Hardy, and he has Lita with him. He kisses her on the way to the ring. His vacation taught him to think with his balls and not his head I guess. Taker goes to chokeslam the cheating whore, but she cheats (with the lowblow) and it's followed by a lowblow. Matt tries to eliminate Taker, but he seems amused by it. They fight until the countdown starts up again. #10 is...Jeff Hardy, oooh that's a shocker. Do those two come as a package in the drawing or something? JR swears it's random. They stomp on Taker, and hug. Taker joins in the celebration, by clotheslining their heads off. Twist Of Fate, Swanton Bomb combo, followed by the removal of shirts sends Taker down. Poetry In Motion is stopped. Goodnight Jeff! Matt Hardy is given his Last Ride. Lita makes faces. He's easy enough to toss from there. Who's unlucky victim #11? It's Maven! He tries to hide his excitement to be in the rumble by pretending to be afraid. Sorry dude, you're having fun, it's ALL OVER YOUR FACE. Lita tries to interfere again, and gets thrown off the apron. The Hardys get back in and try to "get retribution" says JR. I call it "CHEATING!" They get tossed again. He yells at them, and MAVEN DROPKICKS UNDERTAKER OUT OF THE RING! He jumps around like crazy and poses on the turnbuckle. Then he sees the look on Taker's face and freaks out. "No, no, no, you don't understand. It's just business." "You're dead you little shit." I may have been putting words in their mouths. Maven is tossed to the floor and sent into the security wall. NASTY chairshot busts Maven wide open!!! Taker shoves a cameraman to the floor. The referees can't do anything, because it's The Undertaker. Lawler: "Why don't you go ask The Undertaker politely to please stop." #12 is Scotty Too Hotty. Poor bastard. This is the second year in a row he's come to the ring with a mad Undertaker nearby. He dances and gets clocked. Maven is thrown over the top - but it doesn't count because Taker's not legal. Taker drags him through the crowd and beats the hell out of him. JR mumbles something about Taker not caring about fans. I dunno - he's not hurting THEM. They make their way to the concession area as Christian is announced at #13. Maven is sent through a popcorn machine while security holds fans back. Taker eats a handful of bloody Maven popcorn. Christian's in the ring by himself - mostly because Maven's dead, and Scotty's knocked silly. Christian lies on the ropes in a hammock position. Scotty stumbles into the ring and they trade punches. Reverse DDT plants Scotty. #14 is Diamond Dallas Page - a favorite among the crowd watching the PPV with me. Christian is almost run out of the ring, but blocks just at the ropes. Christian tries to toss him, but fails. Diamond Cutter!! BANG! Scotty attacks, and kicks DDP through the middle rope. Scotty gets a crazy look on his face. Bulldog. W O R M - hoo hoo hoo, whoo, whoo, whoo, see ya! DDP eliminates Scotty. The countdown's on, and here comes Chuck at #15. Chuck chokes DDP in the corner. He looks REALLY weird with his hair straightened out. DDP is whipped into Christian who clotheslines him. Here comes #16, The Godfather. He's got four women with him, so I guess he's still pimpin' hoes nationwide. Oops, Lawler just said he's gone legit now. Meaning it's LEGAL to sell sex? I don't think so! He heads back, and grabs four more women. And he goes back again for another foursome. Then they dance. JR says he's down from 320 to 265. I don't believe him. Godfather looks good - but 55 pounds? DDP gets eliminated without a camera watching. *sigh* It's hard to watch Page like this. I'd rather he wasn't around at all. Godfather gets all serious now and heads to the ring. And it's time for another person. #17 is Albert. I know I stopped doing my column on a regular basis - so I'll say it now. Hip Hop Hippo is the dumbest name I think I've ever heard for a wrestler. Albert is promptly dumped. He slams the apron to show how upset he is. Christian and Chuck are set in the corner, but they both avoid the Ho Train. Both guys dump him with a double clothesline. Christian offer his hand...and kicks Chuck in the gut. HAHA! Christian rules! #18 is Saturn. He's a former Army Ranger don't ya know? If you don't, JR will hammer it home repeatedly here. Of course, we never heard about this while he was fucking a mop. Christian almost falls to the floor, but hangs on to the bottom rope. #19 is Steve Austin. Fans chant "What?" with every stomp, punch, etc. he throws. You know, they've sacrificed the whole fed on that stupid word to help get Austin even more over. Yuck. Everyone in the ring is eliminated in a hurry. Austin talks to his watch, decides there's lots of time, and goes to get Christian again. Christian is eliminated a second time. Chuck is pulled back in. HE gets eliminated a second time. I guess Saturn is lucky? Val Venis draws #20. Val looks in GREAT shape. You know, I SWEAR I heard JR promise up and down that Val would NOT be a porn star upon his return. Austin's all over him. Then Val surprisingly gets some offence in on Austin! At this point we're ready to count down the next guy. #21 is Test. He won the Immunity Battle Royal at Survivor Series - but he can still lose THIS match. THANKS JR! I thought there was NO WAY he could lose since he's immune to being fired! Double back elbows for Austin. Test rushes Austin, misses and nails Val. Val is tossed by Austin. Stunner for Test. See ya Test! And once again the ring is empty. The countdown stars....and it's time to play The Game!!!! Hunter Hearst Helmsley draws #22! I get goosebumps watching the entrance and knowing what's coming. HHH looks like an action figure when he's not moving. Austin's suddenly not playing around. The two square off in the middle of the ring and talk trash. Austin throws the first punch. HHH battles back, and we've wasted so much time the next guy is coming in now. #23 is The Hurricane. He sizes up both men, and decides to set up HHH for a chokeslam. In fact, that was so easy, Austin can come too. Both guys take one look at Hurricane, and toss him over the top. They get back to fighting like school children...if school children were built like monsters and used moves like the spinebuster. Faarooq is #24. He fights, and gets tossed. Next. They keep going at it until the next guy comes in. And that person is Mr. Perfect at #25! For a guy midway through his 40's, he looks GOOD! JR says Perfect made his first Rumble appearance in 1993. So we'll pretend his drawing of the Perfect Position in 1990 never happened. Austin and HHH try like crazy to get Hennig up and over the top - so he spits out his gum while being attacked and swats it. That spot ruled! #26 is Kurt Angle. Oh man what I would give for a Hennig / Angle feud. Or a Hennig / Angle tag-team. Austin chops at Perfect while Angle works over HHH. The Big Show enters at #27. What's with the booking here? Other than Taker, they've saved ALL the big stars for last! Perfect is chokeslammed. HHH saves Kurt by low blowing The Big Show. Show takes off Austin's head with a clothesline. Chokeslam for HHH. Kane joins us at #28. Kane and Show square off while everyone else lies on the mat. Big boot to the head of Kane. They both go for chokeslams - but Show is more powerful and Kane drops the hold. So Kane goes low. He lifts up Show, and throws him over the top rope. THAT is impressive!!! Stunner on Kane from Austin. Olympic Slam to the outside from Angle!!! Nice to see ya Kane! We're at #29 now - and that guy is Rob Van Dam! Angle is down, and he takes a Five Star Frogsplash right away! HHH gets kicked. Austin takes a spin kick. RVD counters Perfect's enzuigiri with a spin kick of his own. Rolling Thunder on Austin! Boot by HHH on RVD - Pedigree! There's only one guy left, meaning #30 must be Booker T. Booker runs in and throws RVD out with ease. Ummm, okay? That was strange. Even stranger, Austin hits a Stunner on Booker which sends HIM out. My GOD that was weird! So we have our final four. Kurt attacks Austin, but the Olympic Slam is blocked. Stunner is blocked. HHH grabs Austin, and the Pedigree is stopped and turned into a catapult to the turnbuckle, who in turn is caught by Kurt and given an Olympic Slam. Nice sequence! Austin takes three German suplexes from Angle. Angle and Perfect work Austin on the ropes and almost have him out. Austin hangs on for dear life though. Austin tries dumping Perfect, and Kurt Angle rushes to dump Austin!!!!! Perfect is STILL in there!!! Austin drags Perfect out, so Angle follows and tosses Austin to the steps. Both guys get in. HHH beats on Angle. Angle fights back and has HHH on his ass in the corner. Austin grabs a chair and comes back in. Angle and Perfect take shots to the face. Austin then turns and LEVELS HHH! He heads off to the back and the fans cheer him on. Perfect holds HHH near the ropes. Angle charges, HHH ducks, Perfect goes over the ropes, AND HANGS ON! I've NEVER seen that spot before where the guy hangs on! Hennig gets in, grabs Kurt, and hits the Perfectplex! That's followed by a necksnap! So HHH easily dumps Perfect. *grumble* So we're down to everyone's pick HHH, and my pick, Kurt Angle. Kurt catches HHH with a belly to belly overhead suplex. He tries to dump HHH, but HHH stays on the apron. He gets back in the ring, and chokes Kurt midring. The fans give Hennig a standing ovation. HHH charges a woozy Kurt, Kurt ducks, bodydrops HHH over the top, and celebrates. But HHH has hung on. He comes back in, and gives HHH a facebuster to the knee. Angle again is on the ropes, and this time the charge doesn't miss. HHH wins the rumble!
HHH poses for the fans and we go off the air.
Total Matches: 6
You know, it's funny - on the night of the show, I suggested it was the best show since SummerSlam. But looking at it again, my guess is I was simply caught up in the whole Mr. Perfect thing to fairly judge a show. Honestly, the returns were fantastic - but probably don't mean a whole lot in the long run. I would still suggest getting a copy of it however, as the World Title match was the best of the Rocky / Jericho series, and Flair vs. McMahon was a lot of fun.