Throwback Thursday, Monday Memories Edition: Royal Rumble, Past, Present, Future

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This week on Throwback Thursday we will take a look back over several Royal Rumbles, along with a review of this year’s Royal Rumble!

 

The Royal Rumble has long been called the beginning of the “Road to Wrestlemania” and let’s face it, that’s exactly what it is. With the Royal Rumble winner earning a shot at the main event at Wrestlemania, the Royal Rumble match matters. So, now, let’s take a look back over the years at a few past Royal Rumbles, this year’s Royal Rumble and hopes for the future.

 

Royal Rumble 2000

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY.

Other matches/ moments:

  • Kaientai & The Mean Street Posse are denied entry to the Royal Rumble and, basically, throw hissy-fits.
  • Kurt Angle v. Tazz: after Angle runs his mouth, talking down on NY sports teams and his, at that time, unnamed opponent, Tazz makes his entrance (and WWF PPV debut.) Tazz applies the Tazzmission for the win, after Angle passes out in the hold. (Angle wakes up later, insisting that he didn’t really lose because he didn’t tap out, whining about his undefeated streak.)
  • Tag Team Tables Match, The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz: The first Tag Team Tables Match, with the rule that the team must put both their opponents through the table (via an offensive move) to win. This rule played a big part later because Jeff, aiming to hit D-Von with the senton bomb through the table, missed D-Von when he moved, however, since he’d done it to himself, the Hardyz were still in the match. With both Matt & Bubba Ray having gone through tables it was down to Jeff and D-Von, the match ending in the Hardyz favor when Jeff put D-Von through a table via a Swanton Bomb off the balcony. (A match highlight still looked at today.)
  • Miss Rumble 2000 Swimsuit Contest- In classic WWF fashion several Divas stripped down and showed off what God/ medical procedures had given them. Ivory, Terri, Jacqueline, Barbara Bush, Luna and The Kat,  with Mae Young coming out to join in (and scar the world in the process as she stripped down beyond her swimsuit.) The judges gave the win to Young and everyone walked away unhappy.
  • WWF Intercontinental Championship Match, Triple Threat, Hardcore Holly v. Chris Jericho v. Chyna –  After a lot of close calls (with each competitor gaining 2-counts on their rivals throughout the match) Jericho walked away with the title (but not after Chyna had used both the Pedigree and the Walls of Jericho on her opponents, showing her power and Holly proved his determination and lack of intimidation as he fought equally with both Chyna and Jericho, showing his strength and skill.)
  • WWF Tag Team Championship, New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) v. The Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq) – A good match until X-Pac came out and interfered, allowing Road Dogg & Billy Gunn to retain the titles.
  • WWF Championship, Street Fight, Triple H v. Cactus Jack – brutal and bloody from start to finish. Between the ring bell, two by fours, and thumbtacks being used the match ended with Triple H giving a Pedigree to Cactus Jack on the thumbtacks for the win and to retain his title.

The Royal Rumble- Main Event

Entrants:

  1. D’Lo Brown
  2. Grand Master Sexay
  3. Mosh
  4. Christian
  5. Rikishi
  6. Scotty 2 Hotty
  7. Steve Blackman
  8. Viscera
  9. Big Boss Man
  10. Test
  11. The British Bulldog
  12. Gangrel
  13. Edge
  14. Bob Backlund
  15. Chris Jericho
  16. Crash Holly
  17. Chyna
  18. Farrooq
  19. Road Dogg
  20. Al Snow
  21. Val Venis
  22. Prince Albert
  23. Hardcore Holly
  24. The Rock- winner
  25. Billy Gunn
  26. Big Show
  27. Bradshaw
  28. Kane
  29. The Godfather
  30. X-Pac

During the Royal Rumble match in 2000 a few odd/funny moments happened. Kaientai ran out and jumped into the fray of the rumble a few times since they were still upset at not being allowed in the Rumble officially. However, they were tossed out, unceremoniously, every time. Once all the members of Too Cool were in the ring the three friends danced until Rikishi threw both Scotty 2 Hotty and Gran Master Sexay over the top rope.

The final four were The Rock, The Big Show, Kane and X-Pac. The New Age Outlaws pulled Kane out and attacked him, drawing the referee’s attention as they tried to break up the brawl outside the ring. With the referees occupied X-Pac was able to re-enter the match, despite having been eliminated by the Rock. X-Pac would eliminate Kane with a spinning heel kick, only to be eliminated by The Big Show. Finally it was down to two, The Rock and The Big Show.

With a spinebuster and a People’s Elbow everyone thought The Rock would win but The Big Show chokeslammed him. After getting The Rock on his shoulders it appeared The Big Show would win until Rock held onto the ropes and pulled The Big Show over instead, leading to the Rock being named as the winner. (After this, The Big Show and The Rock feuded, The Big Show claiming that The Rock’s feet hit the floor first.)

Royal Rumble 2005

Location: Save Mart Center at Fresno State, Fresno, CA.

Other matches/ moments:

  • Edge v. Shawn Michaels – Edge, now on his solo career track and with a super-cocky attitude (even more than before) taunted Michaels throughout the match and, ultimately, cheated to win by using the ropes.
  • Casket Match, Heidenrich v. The Undertaker – a back and forth match, with a lot of power struggled and moments where it looked like Heidenrich might win (and avoid the casket he feared so much) until Undertaker took complete control. With a chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver before rolling Heidenrich in the casket and slamming it shut.
  • WWE Championship, Triple Threat Match, JBL v. Big Show v. Kurt Angle – Angle avoided the match, and his opponents, until he needed to break up a pin attempt, but even with Angle in the mix Big Show had the advantage until he was smashed in the head with a TV monitor courtesy of Angle.  A back and forth continued until Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, Doug, and Danny Basham attacked Big Show, and Orlando Jordan helped JBL back into the ring. JBL then executed a Clothesline from Hell on Angle. JBL then pinned Angle to retain the title.
  • World Heavyweight Championship, Triple H v. Randy Orton – With the remaining members of Evolution (Ric Flair and Batista) banned from ringside it appeared that Orton may get a fair fight after all. However, after a missed DDT Orton suffered a kayfabe concussion. Triple H knocked both Orton and the referee down before bringing a sledgehammer into the mix which never made contact with Orton. However, Triple H was able to hit Orton with a clothesline and a Pedigree to win the match and retain his title.

 

The Royal Rumble- Main Event

Entrants:

  1.  Eddie Guerrero
  2. Chris Benoit
  3. Daniel Puder
  4. Hardcore Holly
  5. The Hurricane
  6. Kenzo Suzuki
  7. Edge
  8. Rey Mysterio
  9. Shelton Benjamin
  10. Booker T
  11. Chris Jericho
  12. Luther Reigns
  13. Muhammad Hassan
  14. Orlando Jordan
  15. Scotty 2 Hotty
  16. Charlie Haas
  17. René Duprée
  18. Simon Dean
  19. Shawn Michaels
  20. Kurt Angle
  21. Jonathan Coachman
  22. Mark Jindrak
  23. Viscera
  24. Paul London
  25. John Cena
  26. Snitsky
  27. Kane
  28. Batista- winner
  29. Christian
  30. Ric Flair

This year’s Royal Rumble match was during the time of brand separation so there was a lot of back and forth with Raw superstars only attacking Smackdown superstars (except for Hassan who everyone attacked). When both John Cena and Batista’s feet hit the ground at the same time, Mr. McMahon came out and demanded the match continue with the final two entrants. Batista eventually put Cena over the top rope to win.

Royal Rumble 2010

Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA.

Other matches/ moments:

  • ECW Championship, Christian v. Ezekial Jackson – With William Regal accompanying Jackson it looked like Regal was going to help Jackson win until a referee sent him to the back. Jackson was still able to gain control of the match, and nearly pin the champion, Christian hit the Killswitch and retained his title.
  • WWE United States Championship, The Miz v.  Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP)-Miz was controlled the match until MVP hit the Playmaker. The Miz, however, would roll out of the ring to recover, drawing MVP out as well. Miz slid back into the ring real quick before rolling MVP up with the small package to retain the title.
  • WWE Championship, Sheamus v. Randy Orton – The match was back and forth, with Sheamus injuring Orton’s arm and Orton nearly punting Sheamus. Then, Cody Rhodes jumped in and attacked Sheamus, causing Orton to lose via DQ. Orton would attack Rhodes, and then Ted Dibiase who came out to stop the fight. Sheamus would Brogue Kick Orton and celebrate his win and his retaining the title, even if it was by DQ.
  • WWE Women’s Championship, Michelle McCool v. Mickie James – McCool was accompanied by Layla who taunted Mickie James until she was hit with a clothesline. The match began and McCool, who was trying to hit Mickie with a big boot, hit Layla instead. This lead to Mickie hitting a DDT (Mickie DT) for the pin, winning the title for the fifth time.

The Royal Rumble- Main Event

Entrants:

  1.  Dolph Ziggler
  2. Evan Bourne
  3. CM Punk
  4. JTG
  5. The Great Khali
  6. Beth Phoenix
  7. Zack Ryder
  8. Triple H
  9. Drew McIntyre
  10. Ted DiBiase
  11. John Morrison
  12. Kane
  13. Cody Rhodes
  14. Montel Vontavious Porter
  15. Carlito
  16. The Miz
  17. Matt Hardy
  18. Shawn Michaels
  19. John Cena
  20. Shelton Benjamin
  21. Yoshi Tatsu
  22. Big Show
  23. Mark Henry
  24. Chris Masters
  25. R-Truth
  26. Jack Swagger
  27. Kofi Kingston
  28. Chris Jericho
  29. Edge- winner
  30. Batista

2010’s Royal Rumble was filled with a ton of ego trips. CM Punk eliminated Evan Bourne and Dolph Ziggler and then wasted time talking on the microphone about how he was guaranteeing to win the match. JTG ran out, interrupting the rant, but was soon eliminated. Khali entered the match, as did Beth Phoenix (only the second female to ever be in a Royal Rumble.) Phoenix eliminated Khali (kissing him to distract him) before Punk eliminated her. Zack Ryder came out, only to be hit with a microphone by Punk and eliminated as well.

Triple H came out to dominate Punk and throw him over the rope. Other entrants joined forces to eliminate their competitors, (i.e. Cody Rhdoes and Ted DiBiase focusing on Kane, but not eliminating him.) MVP was attacked by The Miz and never entered the match.  Matt Hardy entered, only to be eliminated by Kane who was then tossed out by Triple H. Soon it was Triple H and Shawn Michaels alone in the ring.

John Cena joined the fray, just before Triple H was superkicked by Michaels and eliminated. Shelton Benjamin was tossed out by Cena as was Yoshi Tatsu. The Big Show and Mark Henry entered,  Chris Masters close behind (then eliminated by Big Show.) There was a power struggle between Big Show and Mark Henry, who were trying to eliminate each other, until R-Truth came in and eliminated them both from behind.

The match continued, with Kofi Kingston walking on his hands to avoid elimination before officially being tossed out. Edge, number 29, came out after six months due to injury, and speared everyone in sight. Batista came out and eliminated Michaels. Finally, Cena eliminated Batista and Edge eliminated Cena to win the match.

 

Royal Rumble 2015

Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Other matches/ moments:

  • The Pre-Show: Panel makes Predictions- The panel, made up of Renee Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton talked about the matches coming up tonight and a few made predictions for the the big rumble match. Corey Graves- Roman Reigns, Booker T- Rusev, Renee Young- Daniel Bryan. The rest of the panel was full of discussions about other upcoming matches and we saw a clip of Booker T interview Shawn Michaels about the importance of the Royal Rumble. Shawn Michaels made a point to say that Daniel Bryan will have a big mountain to climb as will other guys in the match, if they want the main spot at Wrestlemania.
  • Tyson Kidd & Cesaro v. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Big E – This match was a way for both teams to show how well they work together and for their strong men to show off a bit. This match had a lot of back and forth in it, with both teams gaining near falls but in the end, while the referee was distracted by Adam Rose on one side, Cesaro was able to sneak a huge uppercut in on Big E before Tyson Kidd hits a swinging neck breaker for the win.
  • A brief moment in the Social Media Lounge showed Eric Rowan, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler answering fan questions. When the interviewer asked Rowan about past rumbles and how he won’t be in this year’s rumble Rowan made a cryptically sad statement and walked away which left Ryback and Ziggler looking at the interviewer with expressions that could only mean “Why would you ask him that?” A brief showing of camaraderie among the recently rehired superstars was a nice bit to see.
  • New Age Outlaws v. The Ascension – The New Age Outlaws came out and did their normal speech. The Ascension entered and we saw a pretty decent tag match (when you consider one team is WWE Alumni and getting up there in age and the other team is still pretty green by company standards.) The Ascension was able to hit Billy Gunn with The Fall of Man and pick up the win. It was probably their only significant win to date since coming to the main roster.
  • Tag Team Championship, The Usos v. The Miz & Mizdow – This match had it’s predictable moments but was all around solid. Predictable in that Mizdow would be cheered, Miz would be booed and that Miz would refuse to tag in Mizdow. However, Mizdow gets in the ring and hits a few solid moves in an attempt to help win the match, including using Miz’s Skull Crushing Finale which lead to a near fall. The Usos were, in the end, victorious after a kick to the chin and a Samoan splash for the the three count.
  • The Bella Twins v. Natalya & Paige – In the begining this match looked like it would be decent. The Bella’s win was well done, despite the fact that the synchronicity between the twins made Paige & Natalya look like fumbling idiots. (I mean, Paige is still new and her and Natalya are just starting out in the ring together, the Bella’s have come up together, like the commentators said, the twins know what the other is thinking.) I wanted the Bella’s knocked down a peg but I guess corporate wanted to make it look like Nikki actually deserves the title. A strong forearm from Nikki to Natalya did just that, at least for the moment.
  • WWE Championship, Triple Threat, John Cena v. Seth Rollins v. Brock Lesnar – This match officially stole the show. If you say you weren’t sitting on the edge of your seat I might think you’re a liar.
    It started off with a silly moment of Rollins essentially running away from Lesnar and Cena before trying to sneak back in and sneak attack him before being saved by J&J Security. Eventually the actual match got underway as the stadium filled up with ECW chants for Paul Heyman.
    However, when Lesnar was laid out on the announce table before having a rib broken by Seth Rollins who jumped from the ring to the Spanish announce table and put Brock through it I thought the match was over, or at the very least, Lesnar’s part in it was over. As EMTs and doctors came to the ring I’m sure everyone thought the same thing, Lesnar was done. However, after Cena does a double AA with both members of J&J security on his back we see Seth Rollins receive an AA as well. Rollins then went for the Phoenix Splash on Cena and nearly pinned him Lesnar came back in to toss Rollins off of Cena.
    After suplexing Cena Lesnar turned his attention to Rollins who came at him with the briefcase, hitting him twice before going to curb stomp Lesnar on top of the breifcase. Lesnar jumps up and does and F-5 on Rollins for the win. To say Lesnar’s return to the match was a shock is an understatement.
    The ending was great with Lesnar coming back into the ring and picking up the win, a great way for him to win without fans being bored of him/ counting down the days for wanting him gone.

The Royal Rumble- Main Event

Entrants:

  1. The Miz
  2. R-Truth
  3. Bubba Dudley
  4. Luke Harper
  5. Bray Wyatt
  6. Curtis Axel (does not officially enter)
  7. Boogeyman
  8. Sin Cara
  9. Zack Ryder
  10. Daniel Bryan
  11. Fandango
  12. Tyson Kidd
  13. Stardust
  14. DDP
  15. Rusev
  16. Gold Dust
  17. Kofi Kingston
  18. Adam Rose
  19. Roman Reigns- winner
  20. Big E Langston
  21. Mizdow
  22. Jack Swagger
  23. Ryback
  24. Kane
  25. Dean Ambros
  26. Titus O’Neil
  27. Bad News Barrett
  28. Cesaro
  29. Big Show
  30. Dolph Ziggler

The 2015 Royal Rumble match was, for a lot people, a disappointment. The obvious booking of Reigns to win left a bitter taste in a lot of fan’s mouths but, what’s done as done so for now, we should look at the great moments in this match.

First of all, the surprise entrants: Bubba Dudley, the Boogeyman, a returning Zack Ryder and DDP.

Second of all, the fun moments:

  • Bubba Dudley and R-Truth working together like Bubba and D-Von used to years ago with R-Truth diving off the top rope to head butt to the Miz. This was followed by “Truth, get the tables!” which the entire place would’ve loved to see but never happened. A 3-D on Miz made him easy to eliminate.
  • Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt come out and, when it is Curtis Axel is supposed to enter, Eric Rowan comes out and takes him out, effectively but not officially taking his place. It looked, for a moment, that Harper and Rowan would tag team Wyatt but soon Rowas was double teamed. Eventually Harper & Rowan were both out.
  • Next The Boogeyman and Bray Wyatt faced off, “The Eater of Worlds v. The Eater of Worms” and tried to “out-weird each other.”
  • Bray Wyatt got on the mic and said “This is Bray Wyatt’s year” before singing.
  • Zack Ryder appeared and made his return, getting a few hits in on Wyatt before being eliminated.
  • Daniel Bryan entered to a huge crowd pop.
  • Stardust & Fandango both play skin the cat.
  • DDP shows up and begins delivering the Diamond cutter to everyone.
  • Rusev arrives and throws out DDP & Fandango.
  • Daniel Bryan is tossed out (and this is where the crowd turned ugly.)
  • A brief Gold Dust & Stardust “brother v. brother ” moment.
  • Kofi is tossed over to be caught by the rosebuds, who failed to catch Adam Rose.
  • Roman comes in and begins using his power to stay in it and avoid being double teamed.
  • Mizdow comes out and, when Miz tries to take his place, Mizdow refuses and enters the ring. Eliminated shortly after but it’ll definitely lead to a split.
  • Swagger, Ryback and Kane all come out and throw their weight around.
  • Dean Ambrose comes in, goes after Kane, Wyatt the Rusev, seemingly enjoying the hit from Rusev and adding to his “I’m crazy, I like pain” shtick.
  • Dean and Roman Reigns team up to get rid of Titus O’Neil.
  • Big Show comes in, only to have everyone try to toss him out. Like always he battles out.
  • Ziggler comes in and starts taking shots at everyone before going off the top rope only to be KO punched by The Big Show.
  • The supposed Final Four of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Kane and Big Show got some big cheers for fans before Dean is choke slammed and tossed out.
  • Big Show tries to dump Kane over the rope while Kane is trying to eliminate Roman. We see a brief fight between Kane & Big Show before Roman eliminates them both.
  • The Big Show and Kane come back in to beat on Roman Reigns. The Rock’s music hits and he runs out to help Reigns, delivering a People’s elbow to Kane and a Rock Bottom to the Big Show.
  • Rusev re-enters since he never went over the top rope. Roman eliminates Rusev and officially wins, the crowd not too happy about it.

The only thing I have to say about this Rumble match is that Roman Reigns has 63 days to prove he is worthy of the shot at Wrestlemania.

Future Hopes 

Hopefully Roman Reigns can get it together before Wrestlemania and hopefully the WWE corporate straightens out it’s processes before the next Pay Per View.

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