Good day to you. I was planning on writing an introductory column to say hello to everyone, but with the Royal Rumble around the corner, I thought I would try something a little out there and maybe fun. Since the Royal Rumble itself will probably be boring (I have hope, but recent Rumbles don’t inspire confidence), I started considering what would be an all-time Rumble match. Participants from all time periods and organizations would enter at their peak. Thirty men in, one left standing. Let me know what you think. Welcome to The Fantasy Book – Royal Rumble edition.
Today, we are coming live from Sherlock’s Mind Palace. There is a sold out crowd and pay-per-view orders were off the chart. Vince McMahon sits in the gorilla position backstage while former NWA champion Abraham Lincoln watches from a skybox. Gordon Solie and Jim Ross are handling the blow-by-blow while Jesse “the Body” Ventura and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan add analysis. Lance Russell is stationed backstage for interviews. An announcement is made reminding everyone that the participants are entering from their peak athletic, performance, and “popularity” time. Ninety second increments are in effect for this event.
The first entrant in this All-Star All-Time Royal Rumble is none other than Bret “the Hitman” Hart. The crowd goes wild as the second entrant comes through the curtain – “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels! Hart and Michaels go right after each other like the Montreal screwjob was just last week. Hart hits Michaels with a clothesline to knock him over the ropes, but Michaels hangs on and skins the cat back in to the cheers of the crowd. As they continue the battle, the third entrant sprints down to the ring – Jerry “the King” Lawler!
Lawler immediately drops the strap, shoots a look to Michaels, and both men attack Hart. Hart struggles to survive in the corner, but just as he seems doomed, the lights go out and the arena resounds in a deafening GONG! The Undertaker makes his way to the ring and Lawler makes a beeline towards him, laying in hard right hands. Michaels debates joining Lawler, but decides against it and turns back around into a dropkick from Hart. Undertaker gets his hands on Lawler and flings him to the corner and just unloads on him with huge bombs. As the clock ticks down to the next entrant, Undertaker grabs Lawler by the throat and chokeslams him over the top rope for the first elimination of the night.
When the countdown hits zero, Lou Thesz steps out. Jim Ross geeks out on commentary declaring this the best Royal Rumble since the Big Bang. Thesz gets to the ring and immediately hits a Thesz press on Hart and then hits a German suplex on Michaels. He attempts another Thesz press on the Undertaker, but Taker casually catches him, spins him over, and tombstone piledrives him in the middle of the ring. Before he can pick him up and dispose of him, the opening notes of “Real American” begin filling the air.
Both Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura sigh at the same time as Hulk Hogan is number 6, stepping right into Undertaker’s face. A big staredown continues for 30 seconds until Bret Hart clips the back of Hogan’s knee, sending him crumpling to the mat. Undertaker reaches down and grabs Hart by the throat and prepares for a chokeslam when Michaels charges and gets caught by Undertaker’s other hand. Repeating a brilliant spot from years ago, Undertaker chokeslams both Hart and Michaels at the same time. (If you look closely, you can see Hart and Michaels competing to see who can get higher and take the bump better. Those crazy kids.) Hogan and Thesz are now at the ropes trading blows. Undertaker grabs what’s left of Hogan’s hair and tosses him across the ring then pulls Thesz in, pulling him up for a Last Ride powerbomb, tossing him over the ropes to the floor, effectively killing him.
Brock Lesnar is entrant number 7 and he starts up the bus for Suplex City. First Hogan, then Michaels, then Hart get hit with a German suplex. After trading blows with Taker, Lesnar hits an F5 on the Deadman and stands tall in the ring. Triple H is entrant number 8, but doesn’t bother to wait for the countdown. Hunter goes straight after Lesnar and is joined by his Degeneration X buddy Michaels as they beat down the beast. Undertaker, Hogan, and Hart all wind up joining in the beatdown as Dusty Rhodes hits the ring next.
Hogan splits off and goes after Rhodes, but Big Dust gets the best of that interaction. Rhodes gets a bionic elbow, wobbling Hogan into the ropes. And then, from out of nowhere, Shawn Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music and Hulk Hogan has been eliminated! The crowd is stunned while Michaels and Triple H crotch chop towards Hogan as he throws a tantrum outside the ring.
Ric Flair is out next and he laughs at Hogan as they pass on the ramp. Hogan loses it and sucker punches Flair in the back of the head and then goes off to scream at Lance Russell in the back. Flair finally makes it to the ring and Dusty Rhodes attacks, thinking he can finally get the upper hand on Flair. Meanwhile, across the ring, Lesnar shoves off the mass of bodies trying to throw him out, charges Rhodes, and knocks The American Dream off balance and over the top rope.
Kevin Von Erich is entrant 11 and he goes right after Flair as well. Michaels and Triple H go back to Lesnar, Undertaker and Hart pair off and Von Erich and Flair do battle. Antonio Inoki is in next and has his own unique strategy. Apeing what he did to Muhammad Ali, Inoki hits the mat and works on the legs of the rest of the competitors, effectively nullifying everyone’s strengths.
John Cena’s horrific music hits and he is out next, but before he gets in the ring, his music cuts off and a spotlight shines up to the skyboxes. President Lincoln stands up with a microphone and lays the most epic verbal beatdown of John Cena ever. Using his amazing oratory skills, he tears apart Cena with what can only be described as a presidental-level promo. Cena tries to respond, but is drowned out by the boos of the crowd. (Perhaps this is setting up a Fantasy Wrestlemania match?)
Bruno Sammartino is next and he just grabs Cena and throws him into the ring with no fuss. The ring is really starting to fill up with legends now when Terry Funk charges the ring. Funk is his typical crazed self as everyone else is starting to tire out a bit. Everyone sort of lays around, trying to get an advantage, when power chords hit and the Ultimate Warrior bursts out from the back at number 16 to begin the second half of the Rumble.
Warrior immediately knocks Bret Hart and Kevin Von Erich out of the match with a double clothesline over the top. The Undertaker goes after the Ultimate Warrior to try to finish what he started with the casket years ago. But Triple H, ever the Cerebral Assassin, grabs Undertaker by the hair and tosses him to thunderous boos from the crowd. But before Hunter can celebrate, Brock Lesnar shoulderblocks him from behind and over the ropes.
The Rock’s music hits The People’s Champ hits the ring to lay the smack down on everyone in the ring. Rock raises the People’s Eyebrow at everyone as he is surrounded. But before anyone makes a move, Gorgeous George comes out to tremendous fanfare. Bruno Sammartino appears to be confused at George’s entrance and Rock takes advantage to dump him quickly.
Heenan and Ventura take turns mocking the remaining contenders, as they seem to know what is about to happen. The 19th entrant is the man, the myth, the GIANT, Andre the Giant! Remember, this isn’t the Andre of the late 80s/early 90s who could barely move, but the Andre the Giant of the late 70s/early 80s who was freakishly fast, strong, and huge. Everyone in the ring realizes that things just got real and you can just see the plans being formulated in everyone’s heads. The sold-out crowd chants “Andre! Andre!” and it is just deafening. In fact, you can’t even hear the next entrant’s music over the chants.
So in the middle of the crowd preparing to obey Andre’s every move, Sting enters the Rumble match. Sting slides into the ring next to his old Blade Runner partner Ultimate Warrior and shakes his hand. But apparently Sting has learned something from being naively attacked by The Four Horsemen for years, turns on Warrior, and eliminates him from the match, to the surprise of many, but the cheers of Jesse Ventura.
Antonio Inoki and Terry Funk attack Andre the Giant and try to eliminate him, but Andre casually headbutts both men into submission. Andre then tosses Funk over the ringpost onto the steps and the floor in a crazy spot (what did you expect?). As Andre reaches for Inoki, Flair sneaks up behind him and lands a low blow. Andre falls to one knee, but Flair reaches over, grabs Inoki, and tosses the Japanese legend out of the match.
Jake “the Snake” Roberts is in at number 21, and he hits a vicious DDT on Shawn Michaels, who had been hiding for most of the middle of the match. Everyone then turns back towards Andre the Giant, but can not get him over the ropes. Eventually, the beating drops Andre to the mat and The Rock drops a People’s Elbow on the Eighth Wonder of the World. The Rock, Cena, and Sting starts trading punches in the round captivating the attention of the crowd as the clock counts down again.
Entrant number 22 is Buddy Rogers. Rogers climbs into the ring and walks right up to Ric Flair. The two Nature Boys eye each other carefully while the crowd begins a “This is awesome” chant. The awesomeness does not last long though, as Flair and Rogers lock up and tumble, with Jake Roberts pulling down the top rope, causing both men to careen to the floor.
Kurt Angle is next, followed by Roddy Piper, who is followed by Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Angle and Roberts pair off in a corner, with each man throwing punches, eye gouges, anything they can land. Piper attacked Snuka right away, because Piper is the man and is all out of chewing gum. The action is slowing down some, but the crowd is still hot.
The Great Muta enters at number 26. After some moves which still look ahead of their time, Muta makes his way over to Piper and Snuka. Piper ducks and before you know it, Snuka has his face covered in green mist. Muta and Piper both push Snuka backwards over the top rope for the elimmination.
Number 27 is Goldberg and Bobby Heenan loses his mind! Jesse, Jim Ross, and Gordon Solie all try to calm Heenan down, but The Brain continues to scream and yell about how Goldberg is going to be the winner and how he will never lose. Goldberg and Lesnar make eye contact but don’t approach each other. Jake the Snake grabs Goldberg by the shoulder, which was a mistake. Goldberg spears Roberts and then tosses him out of the match. Goldberg immediately locks his gaze of Lesnar again. In turn, Lesnar grabs Gorgeous George, hits an F5, and then casually throws him out of the ring. Again, Lesnar and Goldberg stare at each other from across the ring when Shawn Michaels attempts a superkick to Goldberg’s face. Goldberg just grabs Michaels’ foot, slams it down, clotheslines Michaels, and then flings him across the ring at Lesnar. Lesnar picks up Michaels, hits a huge German suplex and throws him back over towards Goldberg. Halfway across the ring though, Andre the Giant snatches up Michaels and eliminates him from the match.
Mick Foley comes out as the next participant while Goldberg and Lesnar attack Andre from opposite sides, beating the big man down. Foley, however, starts running wild in the ring and winds up bumping into The Rock. The two just hi-five and Foley whips out Mr. Socko. In a flash, Foley saves The Rock, pushing him aside and putting the Mandible Claw on Sting who was attempting to jump The Rock from behind. After Sting is out of it, Foley steps aside and The Rock eliminates Sting. The Rock and Sock Connection look ready to kick ass and go after Brock Lesnar. With Lesnar on the ropes, Foley hits a suicide clothesline and knocks Lesnar out of the match. Foley winds up on the ring apron and struggles to pull himself up. Suddenly, Goldberg charges The Rock, but The Rock sidesteps him and Goldberg lays a spear right to Foley’s chest. Mick takes a Nestea plunge hard to the floor.
Just then, glass statters, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin hits the ring. The crowd is going nuts now as Austin lays into everyone in the ring. Cena and Muta were fighting in the corner, when Austin spins Cena around and hits a stunner. Muta staggers out of the corner then and Austin hits a stunner on him, sending him bouncing over the top rope and out of the match. Goldberg and The Rock also eat stunners before entrant number 30 appears at the top of the ramp – Randy “Macho Man” Savage!
As he enters, Savage hits a top rope double axe sledge onto John Cena. Kurt Angle then goes after Savage and Austin goes after Angle. Cena and Goldberg also charge and in rapid succession Savage eliminates Cena and Austin eliminates Angle. Austin turns to go after Goldberg, but forgot that Roddy Piper was still there, waiting in the wings. Piper attacks Austin and throws him over the top rope in a minor surprise. Goldberg shakes the cobwebs from his head and charges Piper but Piper hits him with a kick to the groin, knocking Goldberg down. Andre then casually walks over, picks Goldberg up over his head, and throws him out of the ring onto Cena, Angle, and Austin.
This leaves the final four participants as The Rock, Andre the Giant, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and Randy Savage. Each man backs into a corner as Jim Ross calls this match a slobberknocker for the ages. Piper, being a bit touched in the head, goes after Andre first while The Rock and Savage square off. Andre gets the best of Piper in short order, and the Hot Rod is eliminated. Meanwhile, Savage and Rock have a short confrontation no one ever imagined, so Andre steps back and watches them go at it. After five or so minutes of a dream interaction, Rock hits Savage with the Rock Bottom in the middle of the ring.
As Rock gets up and prepares a People’s Elbow, Andre comes out from the corner and levels Rock with a giant boot to the face. Savage starts to stir and rolls to the corner. Andre picks up The Rock and then plants him with a huge body slam. Andre looks and sees Savage climbing to the top rope. Savage dives and drops the Savage elbow on The Rock in impressive fashion. However, as he gets to his feet, Andre grabs him by the hair and three head butts later, Savage is over the top rope and to the floor.
With only Andre and Rock in the ring, the noise level in the arena is at world-record levels. The Rock struggles to get up, grabbing onto Andre for balance. Andre grabs Rock by the head and goes to hit a head butt, but Rock finds a third wind and begins throwing wild haymakers at Andre. Andre is reeling, stumbling back towards the ropes. The Rock runs across the ring and flings his body into Andre in an attempt to knock him out of the ring. It doesn’t work. The Rock tries again. And again. It still is not working. Finally, The Rock realizes he needs to go high on the giant to topple him over the ropes and charges again with all of his strength. Andre, suffering from the effects of being a main target of so many amazing wrestlers for a large portion of the match, falls at the last moment, hooking the top rope with his arm and The Rock goes flying out to the floor, ending the match!
Vince McMahon and all the competitors make an appearance from backstage to show their respect. And Andre the Giant stands alone in the middle of the ring, victorious in the first and only All-Everything Royal Rumble!
Leave a comment and let me know what you think. And if boredom sets in on Sunday, close your eyes and lose yourself in the Fantasy Book!