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OOLD TYME RASSLIN' REVUE
WWE Royal Rumble 2004 Re-Revued
June 19, 2009

by Adam Gutschmidt
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Emanating from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your commentators are Jim Ross, Jerry “the King” Lawler, Michael Cole and Tazz
 

Tables Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Ric Flair and Batista (champs) vs. The Dudley Boyz [RAW match]

Batista has a mic and goes for the cheap heat by cutting down the Dudleyz and Philly. That prompts the Dudleyz to come out and brawl with the champs in the aisle. Bubba grabs a table and slides it all the way across the ring and into Batista. Neat spot. Inside, the Dudleyz try to suplex Flair through a table, but Batista gets it

out of the way. D-Von and Batista brawl outside while Flair chops away on Bubba, who’s propped against a table in the corner. Now we get some sloppy brawling out of all four men. Batista misses a charge and rams his shoulder into the post. Flair knocks down D-Von and goes up top, but Bubba slams him off. The Dudleyz prepare Flair for a 3-D through a table when Jonathan Coachman (who had been sitting with the RAW announce team) runs down to distract them. Bubba grabs Coach and brings him into the ring. The Dudleyz set him up for the Wassup Drop, but Flair breaks it up. Batista then runs in and delivers a spinebuster to D-Von through the table for the victory.

Postmatch: Coach announces Flair and Batista as the winners and interviews Flair.

Bottom Line: What a short, pathetic match that was. Everybody looked lethargic and unmotivated out there. I’m not sure what the point of that was. Table matches should make for good openers to get the crowd excited, but this one failed at that. Table matches are also good to avoid someone doing the job. Using that logic, why cheapen an already weak victory by having Batista and Flair get an assist from Coach? Terrible opener. ¾*

- Josh Matthews interviews John Cena about the Royal Rumble match and Cena responds with a rap. At one point when needing a word to rhyme with ‘me’, RVD pops in and says his initials. Cena then proceeds and ends his rap by saying ‘Word motherfrickin Life’. Because everyone loves a PG rapper.

- We pause while J.R. ponders whether or not Mick Foley will accept ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin’s invite to be at tonight’s show. Cue shot of empty chair to confirm wink wink he’s not here yet.

Cruiserweight Championship Match: Rey Mysterio (champ) vs. Jamie Noble [Smackdown match]

An early 619 attempt by Rey is avoided when Noble hurls him into the air and slams him down. Now Noble drops Rey across the top rope. That gets 2. Noble continues his attack on Rey’s midsection with an abdominal stretch. Rey comes back with a jumping ‘rana. A bulldog by Rey gets a nearfall. Noble takes back over with a knee to the gut. Noble runs to the ropes and accidentally gets tripped by his blind girlfriend Nidia. That allows Rey to hit the 619. He then connects with his top rope legdrop and covers Noble for 3.

Postmatch: Noble drags Nidia to the back and gives her the riot act.

BL: We’re not twenty minutes into the show and already two matches over with? They must be planning on having 60 men enter the Rumble this year with this much time conservation. The match was pretty much a big nothing, but at least they kept it light and peppy while out there. * ½

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero [Smackdown match]

This family feud stems from Los Guerreros losing the tag titles and Chavo feeling like Eddie had become too selfish. Chavo is being accompanied tonight by Chavo Guerrero Sr., who helped his son attack Eddie last week on Smackdown. The two begin with a lockup that ends in a stalemate, so Chavo goes and slaps Eddie. Oooh. We get a lot of nonaction to begin as they grapple, but don’t really hit any moves. Cole keeps harping on the fact that Eddie is trying to keep control of his temper and not punch Chavo. Yeah, because that always makes for compelling action. Finally, Chavo manages to get Eddie with a ‘rana that sends both of them over the top rope. As Eddie tries to go back into the ring, Chavo Sr. trips him on the steps. Like a shark to blood, Chavo goes after Eddie with a fury. Eddie manages to slow him down with an armbar. A back suplex by Chavo gets 2. Chavo follows that up with a Three Amigos attempt, but Eddie escapes the third one. Eddie blocks a tornado DDT and delivers some headbutts. Now Eddie hits the Three Amigos to show him how it’s done. Eddie then nails the frog splash and scores the pinfall.

Postmatch: Eddie beats up Chavo Sr. and then punches away on Chavo, leaving him a bloody mess.

BL: Yet another match severely hampered by time. This could have been nearly as epic as Bret and Owen back in ’94, but this was instead treated like a TV match. Given this was the first match of this feud, I’m surprised how easily and decisively Eddie won. I guess they didn’t care about giving off the pretense that these two were equal competitors. As much as an extended feud would have been nice, hindsight would show Eddie would soon be moving on to bigger and better things. They tried to tell a story here, but all we could get was the Cliff’s Notes version. Very disappointing. ** ¼

- Josh Matthews asks Chris Benoit about his chances in the Royal Rumble. Benoit is quickly interrupted by Flair, who gloats about his victory. Amongst all his jabber about how great Evolution is, he does make a valid point that Benoit has never and will never win the ‘big one’. Clearly it’s because Benoit has never enlisted the valuable aide of Jonathan Coachman to help him win those big ones.

WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (champ) vs. Hardcore Holly [Smackdown match]

So you may be asking how Holly managed to score a PPV title match. Well, it’s simply a matter of Holly wanting revenge on Brock for legitimately breaking his neck and doing it at a PPV where title matches are meaningless. Lucky for him; unfortunate for us. Holly knocks Brock off the apron and then attacks him on the floor. Brock goes for an F5, but Holly escapes and shoves him into the post. Holly goes up top, but Brock moves out of the way. Brock slows things down with a bearhug. Brock connects with a fisherman’s suplex and gets 2. Holly escapes another bearhug, only to be hit with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Holly tries to mount a comeback with a clothesline and dropkick. Holly hits the Alabama Slam, but instead of covering, he goes for a full nelson. Brock manages to escape and then quickly hits the F5. Brock covers and easily gets the win.

BL: If anything deserved a short amount of time, it was this and thankfully they didn’t try to drag it out. As brisk as it was, it still wasn’t very good. Instead of dwelling on it anymore, let’s just be glad it’s over with and Brock can move on to more worthy challengers. *

Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (champ) vs. Shawn Michaels [RAW match]

These two have such a history that you really don’t need a reason to have them fight. But just to help things out, Shawn has spent the last 6 months going through Evolution, so it makes sense that he gets this shot. These two guys’ entrances will probably take more time than the cruiserweight match. Neither guy wastes anytime slugging away on the other. A facebuster by HHH drops Shawn. HHH begins to give Shawn some rough turnbuckle treatment. Shawn gets a leg takedown and puts HHH in a figure four leglock. Shawn releases it and HHH is up at 4; so Shawn dropkicks him in the knee. Shawn goes for a crossbody, but HHH dumps him to the floor. HHH begins to clear off the announce tables. HHH tries to suplex Shawn through the announce table, but Shawn fights out of it and knocks HHH to the floor. Crowd boos the lack of a table spot. Shawn tries a move from the top rope, but HHH kicks him. HHH then tries for a Pedigree, but Shawn back bodydrops him back outside. Shawn attempts a springboard moonsault, but HHH ducks and Shawn only hits the table. Ouch. Shawn is busted open, but gets up at 7. HHH punches away on Shawn’s face. HHH remains on the attack, but Shawn keeps getting up before 10. Not only is he getting up, but he keeps asking HHH for more. The two slug it out before HHH drops Shawn with a spinebuster. Frustrated, HHH gets a chair and nails Shawn in the back with it. Shawn manages to get up at 9. HHH attempts to Pedigree Shawn on the chair, but Shawn blocks it and sends HHH into the post with a slingshot. Now Shawn delivers a big chair shot to HHH’s head. That busts HHH wide open. Shawn hits the flying forearm and kips up. Shawn knocks HHH down and then hits the big elbow. HHH blocks a Sweet Chin Music attempt with a lowblow . Both men get up at 8. Shawn locks on a sleeper that seemingly puts HHH out. However, HHH manages to get up at 8. HHH comes back and delivers a DDT. HHH whips Shawn to the corner and he does his flip, flop, and fly. HHH goes for a top rope back suplex, but Shawn lands on top of him in mid-air. Both men are back up and HHH manages to hit a Pedigree. Somehow Shawn is up at 9. HHH charges at Shawn and hits Sweet Chin Music. As the referee counts, Shawn begins to stir. However, he drops again and the ref’s count hits 10 to end the match in a draw.

Postmatch: Both men receive stretcher jobs, but Shawn ultimately gets off and walks to the back.

BL: What a surprise, a Last Man Standing match that ends in a draw. The beloved cop out finish. Still, up to that point, this was your typical great match between these two. Once again, Shawn brings the emotion to the match with another gutsy, bloody performance. These two were evenly matched and this was given enough time to properly tell the story, no matter how crappy the ending may be. ****

- Before we begin the Rumble, Eric Bischoff comes out saying RAW will win. That prompts Paul Heyman to come out and tackle him. As they fight, Austin comes out on his 4-wheeler. He stuns Bischoff and gives Heyman a beer, only to then stun him too. So glad we cut down on the times of those early matches to make room for this.

- Terri Runnels asks Goldberg about being #30, but he’s interrupted by Brock Lesnar, who brags about still being champ. Geez, can anyone get through an interview tonight without being interrupted?

- J.R. once again points out Mick Foley isn’t here and questions whether he might be a coward.

Royal Rumble Match

J.R. and Tazz are doing the announcing for this. Good. Per order by Paul Heyman, Chris Benoit has to enter #1. #2 is Evolution’s Randy Orton. Benoit begins by kicking Orton down in the corner. Orton tries to toss out Benoit, but he won’t budge. #3 is Mark Henry. Holla Holla Holla! He easily manhandles both men. As Henry works over Benoit, Tajiri comes out at #4. Tajiri lays some kicks into Orton and then hits the handspring elbow. Benoit comes over and hits Tajiri with a German suplex. Henry tosses Orton over, but he hangs on and comes back in. Bradshaw is the #5 entrant and he gives everyone a Clothesline from Hell. However, when he attempts it on Benoit, Chris blocks it and applies the Crossface. Bradshaw gets him up on his shoulders, but Benoit shifts his weight and tosses him to the floor. #6 is Rhyno and he goes after Benoit. Meanwhile, Tajiri somewhat gets Henry in the Tarantula. While in the hold, Rhyno gores Henry, which causes Tajiri to fall to the floor. Then Benoit is able to knock the woozy Henry over the top rope and to the floor. Rhyno and Orton team up against Benoit, but he won’t go out. A replay shows Tajiri had misted Henry before putting him in the Tarantula. After all that craziness, Matt Hardy comes out at #7. Hardy knocks down Rhyno and taunts, so Benoit throws him over the top rope; however he hangs on and reenters. We’re now paired off with Rhyno facing Hardy and Orton taking on Benoit. #8 is Scott Steiner and we can only hope this appearance is better than his last. He comes in and attacks everyone. Getting no response from the crowd is Matt Morgan at #9. Things have slowed down a lot with most of the guys lying down. Flying in at #10 is the Hurricane, who hits Hardy with a high crossbody. Hurricane goes after Morgan, but he grabs him and immediately tosses him to the floor. Morgan throws Hardy over, but he again hangs on.

Can you dig it? Because Booker T is out at #11. He comes in and attacks Steiner. A lot of punching and kicking right now. #12 is Kane, which should mean house cleaning time. Before he gets to the ring, Steiner is eliminated by Booker T. Kane enters and it’s chokeslams for everyone. The buzzer sounds and the Undertaker’s gong plays. Kane freaks out since he buried him at Survivor Series. Waiting to see who it is, Kane gets dumped out by Booker T. Now Spike Dudley comes out as apparently the #13 entrant. Kane grabs him and chokeslams him on the entrance ramp. That, in effect, ends his night before he even gets to the ring. We’ve paired off again as it’s Orton and Rhyno, Benoit and Hardy, and Booker and Morgan. As Rikishi comes in at #14, Benoit backdrops Rhyno out of the ring to eliminate him. Dancing his way out at #15 is Frenchman Rene Dupree. Dupree drops Hardy across the top rope and then knocks him to the floor. Dupree dances in celebration and then is eliminated himself via a superkick by Rikishi. Choo choo! It’s A-Train at #16 and he goes after Rikishi. Morgan misses a big boot on Benoit, who then tosses him to the floor. As most try to gang up on A-Train, Orton comes over and dumps out Rikishi. Now Orton shoves out Booker. As Shelton Benjamin makes his way on out at #17, Benoit is able to eliminate A-Train. Benjamin goes for a big kick on Orton, but he dodges it and throws him out. We’re down to the two men who started this thing. Shades of ’95! Benoit and Orton go at it and end up colliding with each other. With both men down, Lamont runs out to announce #18, Ernest ‘the Cat’ Miller. Those two dance as Tazz hilariously sings along. Somebody call my momma! Benoit and Orton get back up and toss out both of the dancing fools. Nice comedy spot. Orton goes after Benoit again as Kurt Angle enters at #19. I doubt he’s out here for comedy. Naturally, he goes after Benoit; picking up where they left off at last year’s Rumble. Orton gladly takes a break as they fight. Things just got a lot fruitier as #20 is Rico. As Orton gives Rico the RKO, Benoit gives Angle some German suplexes. With Rico out, Orton is easily able to dump him to the floor. Benoit goes for a diving headbutt, but Angle pops up top and hits him.

Test’s music plays, but nobody shows up. Suddenly, we cut backstage and see Test lying on the floor. Austin sees he can’t compete and yells at the unseen assailant that he now has to go out as the #21 entrant. We hear the tires screech and Mick Foley comes out. He naturally goes right after Orton. The two slug it out with Foley winning the exchange. Foley hits a running clothesline that eliminates both men. Despite that, Foley continues attacking him on the floor. With all the action, we nearly miss Christian entering at #22. Foley grabs the steps and lays out WWE official, Fit Finlay. He turns around and Orton waffles him with a wicked chair shot. Foley recovers and pulls out Mr. Socko. However, he applies it to Nunzio, who’s the #23 entrant. Now Foley and Orton brawl all the way to the back. Meanwhile, Christian and Benoit attempt to eliminate Angle. As the action continues in the ring, Nunzio sits on the outside and watches. #24 is the Big Show, which is a good number for a man his size. He comes in and beats up everyone. Chris Jericho comes out at #25 and immediately helps his friend Christian against Kurt Angle. Everyone gangs up on Show, but can’t eliminate him. The ring begins to fill up again as Charlie Haas enters at #26. Jericho and Christian throw Benoit over the top rope, but he manages to hang on. Now Christian tries to toss Jericho, but he hangs on as well. When Christian sees this, he comes over and Jericho manages to backdrop him to the floor. So much for that friendship. Making his ‘glorious’ (only in his mind) return is Billy Gunn at #27. He enters and hits Fameassers on Angle, Jericho and Show. Whoopee. #28 is John Cena and Show is waiting for him. But before he enters, Cena spots Nunzio still sitting on the floor and throws him into the ring. Cena then enters and gets jumped by Show. People gang up on Show again as RVD comes out at #29. Everyone kind of mills around waiting to hit the big finish. Rounding out this year’s field is Goldberg at #30. He comes in and delivers a few spears. Nunzio hops on Goldberg’s back, but he still manages to throw Hass out. Goldberg then flips Nunzio off of him and gives him a spear. He then clotheslines Gunn to eliminate him. Good! Goldberg picks up Nunzio and press slams him to the floor. That took care of all the dead weight. As Goldberg goes to jackhammer Show, Brock Lesnar runs out and nails Goldberg with an F5. Sweet! Goldberg yells at Brock, which allows Angle to come up from behind and throw him out. Even better! Everyone goes after Show, but to no avail. Show fends then all off until Jericho chopblocks him. Now everyone hits a finisher on Show. The remaining guys try to pick him up, but aren’t successful. Suddenly Show grabs Cena and throws him to the floor. RVD hops on Show in the corner, but he gets toosed to the floor too. Our Final Four are Benoit, Angle, Jericho, and Show. I’m definitely cool with that. Show tosses Jericho, but he skins the cat. Jericho goes after Show some more. Again, he gets tossed and again he holds on. Now Jericho hits Show with a top rope bulldog. Jericho puts Show in the Walls of Jericho and he taps. Does no good here. Angle breaks up the hold and brawls with Jericho. Show grabs Jericho and then chokeslams him out of the ring. Angle manages to hit Show with the Angle Slam and then gives one to Benoit too. Angle pulls Show in the ankle lock and again Show taps. Show manages to get to the ropes and leverages himself to eliminate Angle using his legs. Wow! As Show tries to reenter, Benoit hits him with a diving headbutt. Benoit charges, but Show grabs him. Benoit escapes the chokeslam attempt and applies the Crossface. Once again, Show taps. Show gets out and hits Benoit with a sidewalk slam. At this point, Benoit has the longevity record, besting Ric Flair’s time from ’92. Show presses Benoit, but he manages to shift and get Show in a headlock. Benoit goes over the top rope and starts dragging Show with him. Slowly Benoit keeps tugging and eventually pulls Show to the floor to win it. Benoit has gone coast to coast to win the Rumble!

BL: Benoit finally won the big one and while recent events have marred this accomplishment, there’s no denying that this was a feel good moment at the time. Even if you ignore Benoit’s victory, this ends up being a pretty fantastic Rumble. There were hardly any slow spots. You also had a few surprises and a few laughs. They also did a nice job at having a large number of stars still in it at the end who could have legitimately won it. Perhaps most important of all, this Rumble did a great job of setting up key feuds that would develop until Wrestlemanaia. That’s always a good mark of decent storytelling. This is a solid Rumble through and through. **** ¾

Final Thoughts: Things were looking pretty grim early on. They were flying through matches like they were going out of business. Some deserved the shaft, while others could have used better development. But just when this appeared to be an easy thumbs down, the show is saved by the last two matches. As usual, HHH and HBK deliver the goods and then, you get one of the best Rumbles ever. Before the Benoit incident, this was an easy must see, based on the last two matches. Now, it depends on your feelings towards him as to whether or not you should seek out this show. It’s truly a shame, but I understand why that’s the way it has to be now.

Next time, the WWE gives fans the wrong impression of what their rights are when they purchase a ticket for a show.

Until then, thanks for stopping by the OOld Tyme Rasslin Revue.

E-MAIL ADAM
BROWSE THE OOLD TYME ARCHIVES

Originally from Cleveland, Adam is now a graduate student at the University of Dayton who is looking to make a couple extra bucks writing this column. What do you mean Rick doesn't pay his columnists?


  
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