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The Must-See Grand Finale of the Billy Gunn Countdown: The Royal Rumble
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[quote][i]Originally posted by borntorun[/i] I was fortunate enough to attend Sunday night’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, and it certainly was an incredible evening. An ending that the wrestling world will never forget compounded the unexpected twists, returns and debuts that came about during the battle royal. Now, some of the pics may be a bit blurry due to the fast-paced nature of the event, but hopefully you’ll feel the same excitement that all of us in attendance experienced. By the way, for some reason they used a WCW ring. Don’t ask me why. Now, I present Borntorun’s photos from the 2004 Royal Rumble match! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR1.jpg[/img] As anticipated, Chris Benoit walks to the ring as the #1 entrant. Can he make it through 29 other competitors and head straight to Wrestlemania? Who cares, because… [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR2.jpg[/img] After all these months, Billy Gunn is back as the second entrant! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR3.jpg[/img] For 90 seconds, the two technical artists grapple back and forth in an effort to get the other over the ropes. Benoit somehow gets the best of Billy, and is about to toss him when… [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR4.jpg[/img] Rob Van Dam enters the ring at #3, wielding a cheese puff! Apparently, he didn’t get to finish his munchies before coming out and takes out his frustration with a devastating puff shot to Benoit's head. This interference allows Billy to acrobatically cling to the ring ropes and barely avoid elimination. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR5.jpg[/img] Scott Steiner enters at #4, obviously not caring about the other wrestlers as he immediately starts some sort of push-up routine. After determining that Steiner isn’t a threat, RVD looks to finish off Benoit with an innovative maneuver known as the VanCheesinater, which is more insidious than it sounds. After pointing to himself not once, not twice, but thrice, he is about to leap when entrant #5 Kane’s music envelopes the arena. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR6.jpg[/img] Unable to avoid the ringpost pyrotechnics, Van Dam is catapulted out of the ring and thus eliminated by the firework explosion. He also suffered severe burns on his twig and berries. Talk about a firecrotch! Oh, I kill me. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR7.jpg[/img] Kane unnsuccesfully tries to chokeslam Steiner out of the ring; Steiner is just too agile and quick and escapes to the ropes. Benoit, now out of harm’s way, sneaks up on entrant #6 Christian, who inexplicably comes out in his outfit from 1999. From the crowd’s reaction, I don’t think the peeps approved of the costume change. Or maybe they just don’t care about Christian. Eh, whatever. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR8.jpg[/img] Benoit, though, is a SUPLEX MACHINE and instinctively sets up for his famous German Suplex. He is about to deliver the first of 26 Germans when… [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR9.jpg[/img] Kurt Angle comes in at #7, with not only a will to win but also a brand new, immaculate head of hair! Looking good: oh yes, it’s true. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR10.jpg[/img] Benoit and Angle quickly have a match of the year while the other wrestlers enthusiastically watch. Kane finds RVD’s cheese puff and wonders how he is going to eat it now that he has to wear the mask again. Angle Slam! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR11.jpg[/img] Rey Misterio, competitor #8, is next and immediately delivers a crowd-popping 619 to Christian! Meanwhile, Benoit reaches for the ropes while Angle applies the Anklelock, Steiner and Billy debate on who is more winded, and Kane ponders whether or not he should light the cheese puff on fire. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR12.jpg[/img] He does. It just smolders and Kane doesn’t like the taste of ash. Or ass. But especially ash. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR13.jpg[/img] While Kane debates whether or not he should just ignite himself, Shawn Michaels comes in at #9! Fresh off of his Last Man Standing Match defeat vs. Triple H, he exacts his revenge on Christian because there can be only 1 true favorite son of Jesus in the WWE. Benoit and Angle continue their ***** classic, with the Crossface the next applied maneuver. Oh, and Steiner proves that he is the most winded, collapsing and gasping like a fish out of water. Billy’s boots look spectacular. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR14.jpg[/img] In the first of many returns, Saturn steps into the ring at #10. Shawn Michaels takes out his frustration by immediately tossing Saturn out of the ring and screaming “Get out of here, you idol-worshipping Pagan! The Roman Gods were not real!” An enraged Kane throws a hissy fit over the burnt cheesy puff, and hurls it like a javelin right into Rey Rey’s spleen. Benoit locks Angle into a side suplex with a bridge, which would be really spectacular except that there are no pinfalls. But it’s a SUPLEX so their match now gets ******. Steiner regains consciousness through the power of Billy’s Ass. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR15.jpg[/img] Tazzzzz returns to wrestling, coming in at #11 and attacking the Big Red Machine without hesitation. HBK tries to get Scott Steiner to convert from his moon-speak to the Bible, and Benoit earns another ˝ * by landing a flying headbutt. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR16.jpg[/img] X-Pac makes his surprising comeback at #12, sticking out his tongue as the former DeGeneration X members pound on the former WCW champion. HBK taunts Steiner with verses from the book of Matthew. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR17.jpg[/img] The profusely bleeding Ric Flair tries to come in at #13, but in his excitement to be busted open he bladed backstage. Although the crimson mask looks good, he doesn’t have enough blood to enter the match and passes out before he makes it to the ring. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR18.jpg[/img] Saturn and Tazzzzz are eliminated at the same time that Angle hits his picture-perfect moonsault on Benoit. The match now stands at *********1/2. The reunited DX celebrates in the adjacent corner, back together at last! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR19.jpg[/img] Well, at least until Billy tosses them both, proving his physical dominance and charisma. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR20.jpg[/img] Then, out of nowhere, the Man Known As Sting appears! The greatest wrestler to never work for Vince McMahon is finally in the WWF! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR21.jpg[/img] But wait! Another Sting comes forth, dressed in his vintage Wolfpac outfit. The two stand face to face as the crowd wonders, “Who is the real Sting?” [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR22.jpg[/img] 20,000 people look to the ceiling as a third Sting descends from the rafters! Will this be the true Stinger? [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR23.jpg[/img] Upon landing in the ring, Trenchcoat Sting unleashes his trademark tenacity as he performs a double Stinger Splash on the two frauds! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR24.jpg[/img] A Scorpion Death Drop is next, as the star of Shutterspeed is quite the picture of perfection at the Royal Rumble. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR25.jpg[/img] Kane, distracted by the shinyness of Billy’s derriere, attempts to rub it like a nickel. The fake Stings are eliminated, and the crowd wonders what surprises are next. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR26.jpg[/img] #17 (after the 3 Stings) is an even gianter Big Show! Standing at 9ft, this behometh literally casts a shadow over the rest of the ring. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR27.jpg[/img] The two legends stand eye to eye. Can anyone get the Big Show over the top rope? [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR28.jpg[/img] Yep! With a Herculean effort that seemed as effortless as a flick of the wrists, Billy Gunn launches the 800 lb. Big Show out of the ring. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR29.jpg[/img] He’s Got it All! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR30.jpg[/img] In another electrifying return, Raven comes out at #18 and decides to use his words instead of his fists. He, Kane, and Sting debate on who is the most “Goth” wrestler. Personally, I think it’s Vampiro, but he wasn’t invited. Benoit has Angle in the Tarantula, and my * button on my keyboard may be broken. I’ll let it cool off for a while, even though these guys are just heating up. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR31.jpg[/img] Meanwhile, Raven gets sick of arguing who the most depressed band is and decides that he likes a track off of Pearl Jam’s 10th album. Kane disagrees, but has to hear it anyway. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR32.jpg[/img] Billy Gunn feels like showing off his gold trunks, and Sting is about to lock in the Scorpion Deathlock when… [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR33.jpg[/img] Stone Cold! Stone Cold! He’s here to kick ass and take names! Or…is he? Somehow, he couldn’t get the glass to shatter and without the Kee-Rash! he can’t enter the ring. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR34.jpg[/img] Next at #20 is…Triple H? But, he’s still champion! He can’t be in the Royal Rumble! Does he have some sort of backstage influence? [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR35.jpg[/img] Before Trips enters the ring, he walks up to Austin and apologizes for the glass thing. “I’m sorry, I thought Chris Jericho was coming out. I didn’t mean to give you this portable glass ceiling.” A simple tap of the sledgehammer shatters the barrier into 316 shards and the two legends enter the ring. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR36.jpg[/img] Within seconds, they show their superiority by executing their finishers on Sting and Raven. Business has certainly picked up! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR37.jpg[/img] In the weirdest turn of events yet, the 21st entrant is…the old WWF logo? The ominous image slowly floats toward the ring, the menacing metal glittering in the arena lights. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR38.jpg[/img] Austin doesn’t give a $hit about what the logo is up to, and yells “Get the ‘F out!” as he delivers another stunner. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR39.jpg[/img] Ric Flair regains consciousness and slowly climbs back in the ring, joining the greatest collection of superstars in wrestling history: Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Triple H, Steve Austin, Kane, and Billy Freakin’ Gunn. They all lock eyes with one another and there is no question that chaos is to ensue. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR40.jpg[/img] Ooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhh! The most surprising return yet comes in at #22, as Bonesaw is back! Everyone stares at him, wondering if Tobey MaGuire will be out next. He's dreamy! Billy Gunn, being a cowboy, especially loved Seabiscuit. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR41.jpg[/img] Let’s get it on! Everybody finds a partner or two and commences the beatdowns. Benoit and Angle are bored with the rest of the wrestlers and they lock up in the most technical “stand in the corner of the ring and punch” sequence of all time! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR42.jpg[/img] What’s this? An army of M.U.S.C.L.E.S are in at 23! How can the WWE Superstars defeat a squadron of tiny wrestlers with spikes and helmets? [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR43.jpg[/img] The legends cower in fear as the M.U.S.C.L.E.S. creep in the ring and set their sights on winning the match. However, before they can attack, a trumpet echoes throughout the arena. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR44.jpg[/img] It’s the U.S. Military, coming in at #24! Oh my God, the U.S. Military! Apparently, the M.U.S.C.L.E.S are Al-Queda soldiers, and the good guys are after justice. They're here for our freedom! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR45.jpg[/img] The infantry opens fire, and with pinpoint accuracy all of the muscles are shot over the top rope. It’s a good day for America. USA! USA! USA! USA! We all pause for the national anthem, the soldiers leave, and the action resumes as if this never happened. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR46.jpg[/img] Before the next wrestler comes out, an ambulance comes to pick up the casualties and help the wounded. What a nice gesture. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR47.jpg[/img] Wait, that’s not an ambulance…it’s a robot in disguise! Some crappy little Transformer is in at 25, and although it’s small, it has a lot of firepower. Is anybody a match for the robot? [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR48.jpg[/img] Billy Gunn has had enough of these shenanigans and punts the Transformer out of the ring. It’s up, and it’s good! Just like Billy. Except he’s more than good, he’s exceptional. Hooray for Billy! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR49.jpg[/img] Hulkamania is back! Hulk Hogan is the next super return, and although he knows everybody says their prayers and keeps in shape, he’s here to make sure we’re all Flinstone kids. We all know Betty is the hottest, especially when she's one of the orange ones. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR50.jpg[/img] Hogan decides that there is too much talent in the ring, and literally throws Kane, Flair, and Macho Man at the same time. Nothing new there. The Vitamins look on in approval, keeping us strong and growing. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR51.jpg[/img] Hollywood superstar Rocky Maivia is #27. Apparently, the studios didn’t like his current hardass look and wanted a kindler, gentler, babyface Duane Johnson. The crowd cheers in approval in memory of the last real goodguy. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR52.jpg[/img] In another electrifying moment, Rock/Hogan III looks to be next. Will this confrontation match the levels of Wrestlemania X-8? The icons stand toe to toe, knowing that the first one to break the gaze is done for. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR53.jpg[/img] The lights go out! What happened? Is there a new ref in the ring? [i]Are You Afraid of the Dark?[/i] on Nickelodeon was a great SNICK show, by the way. I liked how it was scary but not too scary, you know? Anyway... [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR54.jpg[/img] Someone gets the lights back on, and amid a sea of fallen heroes stands the Undertaker! And he has one leg. This is truly the scariest man that could ever come to the WWE. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR55.jpg[/img] Except for Jason Vorhees! He slit Spike Dudley’s throat in the back and comes in at #29, on the hunt for skinny-dipping teenagers and drug-using coeds. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR56.jpg[/img] Instead, he finds half-naked men and beer-swilling bastards. A slash of Austin’s Smoking Skull takes him out, and Rock and Hogan soon fall to the Undead monster. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR57.jpg[/img] Triple H sneaks under the bottom rope as Billy Gunn nonchalantly relaxes in the corner. Angle and Benoit are locked in a German Suplex when Jason skewers both of them simultaneously. The double-sell gives their match a final rating of ****************!!!!!1111!!!!****OMG. Undertaker also disappears without a trace. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR58.jpg[/img] With HHH out of the ring, it’s just Billy and Jason. Can the Assman beat the Crystal Lake Slasher? Jason raises his machete, seconds away from ending Billy forever. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR59.jpg[/img] With cat-like reflexes, Billy unleashes wrestlings most dangerous maneuver—the FameAsser. One of those puts Vorhees down for the count faster than you can say "Chucky." [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR60.jpg[/img] The audience finds out entrant #30, Bill Goldberg, is stuck in a utility closet and can’t get out. So we’re left with the moment we’ve all been waiting for: The Cerebral Assassin vs. The plain ASSassin. Will HHH win and face himself at Wrestlemania? Would he job to his mirror image? [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR61.jpg[/img] During the staredown, Triple H injures all of his leg muscles, bones, and tendons at the same time. The quads, hamstrings, ankles, acls, and everything else falls apart as The Game screams in agony. [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR62.jpg[/img] Billy, not knowing what else to do, flaunts his rear. His glorious ass sends a heavenly beam of energy to HHH, knocking Trips over the top rope. Billy Gunn is the winner of the Royal Rumble! My, God, Billy Gunn is the last man standing! [img]http://www.corybharris.com/RR63.jpg[/img] The show fades to black as Billy taunts Triple H with the title belt. “At Wrestlemania, I’ve got two waaaaards for ya: New Champion!” [i]I'd like to thank my friends Tim and Dustin for helping me pose and capture the photos. I would especially like to thank my buddy Justin (XFactor) for all the editing work and giving me ideas for a lot of the shots. Justin is cool, and he and Tim let me borrow/have many of the figures. And thanks to all of you for inspiring me to talk about my Billy admiration. If you haven't seen the rest of the countdown, go [url=http://www.onlineonslaught.com/OOForums/viewthread.php?tid=6962]here.[/url] I hope you enjoyed every minute of it as thoroughly as I have. [/i] [Edited on 5-5-2005 by borntorun] [/quote]
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The Must-See Grand Finale of the Billy Gunn Countdown: The Royal Rumble
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