WWE Royal Rumble - 01.25.04
by Scott Christ
Ah, the first event of the new year. The Road to Wrestlemania! The Royal
Rumble! The pleasure is all mine, gentlemen. And ladies, there are probably a
few of them. Sup.
--Live on January 25, 2004 from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.
--Our dueling hosts on Heat are Raw's THE COACH and AL SNOW, along with Smackdown's JOSH MATHEWS and RUE. Things covered on Heat: nothing, just video packages this time around. Well, Mark Henry wasn't thrilled with his draw, and Theodore R. Long said all the "crackas" were drinking "haterade," and he also called Funaki "oriential." So we'll just go into our Heat match.
--Your Raw commentators are JR and THE KING.
--NON-TITLE MATCH - MOLLY HOLLY (Women's champion, Forest Lake, MN) v. VICTORIA (homeless, with STEVEN RICHARDS): Victoria is a babyface now because Test wants to do her. And rightfully so, I suppose. Both ladies are looking sexually attractive. Collar-and-elbow Molly goes into a hammerlock, Victoria reverses and takes her down. Cover, one count. Side headlock from Victoria, Molly to a top wristlock, Victoria back to the headlock. Side headlock takeover, two count for Victoria. Molly bridges out of another pin attempt and backslides for two. Victoria goes face-first into the second turnbuckle. Molly in control with FISH HOOKS. Hey those are outlawed! Handspring elbow from Molly, two count. How come they aren't mentioning how Molly's cousin Hardcore has a chance to win the WWE title tonight? Molly with a neck crank, Victoria gets a roll-up for two. Victoria with two clotheslines and a right. Scoop slam, standing moonsault for two. That made me uncomfortable when she set for it. Ladies scare me when they wrestle like people. Molly up top, Victoria catches her and sets for a superplex. Molly shoves her off, Victoria catches her again, back down - Widow's Peak! 1, 2, 3. (04'55") Way better than the usual Heat opener.
--Final Rumble video package. Who wants to seize the moment? Kane? John Cena? Chris Jericho? Kurt Angle? Haas or Benjamin? Billy Gunn? Booker T? Test? Christian? Matt Morgan? Randy Orton? Rhyno? Big Show? Tajiri? Rene Dupree? A-Train? Benoit? Hurricane? RVD? Bradshaw? The Cat? Matt Hardy? Nunzio? Steiner? Mark Henry? Rikishi? Rico? Goldberger? Focus on Benoit's saga. Focus on Goldberg being the #30 entrant. This song is terrible. PHILADELPHIA HERE WE COME! The Road to Wrestlemania - starts now.
--Over to the PPV. Video package about life's decisions and fate and stuff. PHILADELPHIA HERE WE COME! Oh man. The Road to Wrestlemania DOES begin tonight.
--Raw, Smackdown and Playstation 2 present: WWE Royal Rumble. Pyro! Nice art-deco screen setup on the ramp, guys. 17,289 fans in attendance here, we're welcomed by JR and The King, but we saw them earlier. Also with them, The Coach, whom we also saw earlier. Coach picks Randy Orton in the Rumble, but he's here to see the Dudleys go down, so I guess that'll be the opener. Hopefully. Let's go down to MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ, as well as Spanish commentators CARLOS CABRERA and HUGO SAVINOVICH. Hugo seems excited about Shawn Michaels and HHH.
--WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE MATCH - THE DUDLEY BOYZ (challengers, 543, New York, NY) v. RIC FLAIR & BATISTA (champions, with mic): Batista does a nice stand-up bit about the Dudleys being the biggest three-time losers since the Philadelphia Eagles. Brawl outside to start, and JR lets us know that only one member of a team has to go through a table for this to end. Bubba gets a table right away, and slides it across the ring and into Batista's chest. That was pretty neat. Flair and D-Von roll in, and we're officially underway now. Dudleys go to suplex Flair through the table, but Batista throws it out of the way, and it bounces off the ropes and onto everyone. A slightly different angle on its landing, and it could've hurt somebody. That Batista is a reckless SOB. Flair with chops and punches in the corner with Bubba leaning against a table. Flair gets his head bounced off the table and Bubba plays Dusty. Batista in with a clothesline on Bubba, then takes D-Von down. Brawling with all four in and Evolution in control, and this is getting pretty sloppy and bad. Reverse 3D on Batista, who then rolls out. Flair stomps...on Bubba's heel? I guess? I mean that's cool but when does that happen? Flair up top, the idiot, and Bubba tosses him. Dudleys set the table up, and apparently Coach is on his way to the ring. Call for the 3D, and now Coach is on the apron, and NOW Coach is in the ring. Slam on Coach, D-Von up top for the headbutt, Flair shoves Bubba out, and D-Von gets a "flying clothesline. Batista in, spinebuster on D-Von through the table. It's over. (04'22") DUD
--Josh is with JOHN CENA. Throwback: Tug McGraw. Cena "raps." "These 29 other dudes? / They can't see me / And tonight, the Royal Rumble goes to" - "R. V. D. Sup, dude? Oh come on, that was cool." RVD leaves, Cena makes a marijuana joke, and finishes his "rap."
--CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH - REY MISTERIO JR. (champion, 175, San Diego, CA) v. JAMIE NOBLE (challenger, 200, Hanover, WV, with BLIND NIDIA): Waistlock trade to start, Rey backdropped to the apron, headscissors takeover, 619 attempt is a no-go and Rey is flapjacked. Noble with a chop in the corner and a stomp. Suplex onto the top rope, two count. Shot to the back, another near-fall. Misterio with a schoolboy, two count. Noble with a clothesline, two count. Noble with an abdominal stretch, Misterio out, off the ropes, dropkick. Misterio caught in the electric chair, but he spins out with a huracanrana. Bulldog, cover, two. Springboard crossbody, Noble catches him. Noble goes for the tiger driver, Misterio doesn't go. Nidia accidentally trips Noble up on a rope-run - 619! Droppin' the dime, three count. Really? That's it? (03'13") Jamie yells at Nidia after the match.
--Production foul-up leads into a WWE Originals feat. John Cena ad. Back to Cole and Tazz, and now we get a video package for the Guerrero Family Feud. Shoooow meeee HECTOR! Baaaaaaah.
--CHAVO GUERRERO JR. (213, El Paso, TX, with CHAVO GUERRERO SR.) v. EDDY GUERRERO (229, El Paso, TX): "Eddy" chants to start. Tazz suggests a "Chavo" chant, to which Cole responds, "Maybe Chavo'll get the 'Chavo sucks' chant, if you know what I mean." I assume he means that Chavo would get a "Chavo sucks" chant, but then maybe Michael Cole doesn't mean that at all. Maybe Michael Cole is stupid. Chavo plays some mindgames and Eddy gets more chants and shows little emotion. Eddy drives Chavo into the corner, clean break. Hammerlock and a drop toe-hold from Eddy, into a chinlock. Into the corner, Chavo DOESN'T break clean and gets a chop in. So the story so far is that Chavo is willing to cheat to win and be a dick but Eddy's more interested in hammerlocks. Into the corner again, Eddy doesn't give the break this time, big chop. Eddy's laughing and getting fired up now. Collar-and-elbow, Chavo off the ropes, shoulderblock. And again. Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! They both go for eyepokes, Eddy lands his because he's better. Chavo ranas Eddy, sending both of them to the floor. Chavo back in first, distracts Nick Patrick, and Chavo Sr. trips Eddy on the steps. Chavo pounces on the wounded Eddy and brings it back in. Here's some crappy crossface shots from Chavo. Up, takedown from Chavo, more shots. Eddy gets a cross armbreaker. Works for me. High back suplex from Chavo, cover, 2. Chavo rolls with the verticals, Eddy slips down on the third one. Charge into the corner, Chavo gets the elbow up. Chavo goes for the tornado DDT, Eddy blocks and hits some headbutts. Eddy with the rolling verticals, Chavo Sr. is distraught. May I just say that Eddy's hair is awful. Eddy heads up top - frog splash hits! 1, 2, 3? Uh. (08'03") Eddy lays Chavo Sr. out with a kick to the nuts and a right, then ties him to the bottom rope via his necktie. It seems like he could just undo the knot but what do I know. Eddy beats on Chavito some more, busting him open. Chavo Sr. is upset that Eddy would do that to his own family. This match was pretty cool but it seemed like they forgot a few important things, such as some of the parts where they wrestle each other, and the ending was a little sudden and pointless. Honestly, I don't get what the match does for either of them, and I think it kinda sucks that this is blown off in one match. 1/4
--Ric Flair DVD is still really good.
--Josh is with CHRIS BENOIT. Benoit starts to talk about his chances in the Rumble, but he's interrupted by EVOLUTION minus Triple H. Flair cuts a promo about Benoit always finishing second and Orton winning the Rumble, then gets champagne all over the place because he's Ric fucking Flair. After that, Tazz agrees that Benoit can't win the big one. Try not to give it away, fellas.
--WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH - HARDCORE HOLLY (challenger, 234, Mobile, AL) v. BROCK LESNAR (champion, 295, Minneapolis, MN): All I want out of this is for these guys to whip each others' ass. Holly jumps the gun, knocking Lesnar off the apron and beating on him at ringside. Lesnar fights back and goes for the F5 off the post, but Holly slips out and shoves Lesnar into it instead. Bell rings, we're underway. Holly up top, goes for...something but Lesnar moves. Lesnar stomps away. Outside, Lesnar continues his assault. Back in, gutwrench on the mat with a leg grapevine. Lesnar lets up and gets some shots to the back. Lesnar gets him up and drops him with a fisherman suplex. Kick to the head, two count. Gutwrench on the mat again. Up from that into a bearhug. Lesnar with an overhead belly-to-belly. Back on the mat, Lesnar traps the head and arm. The crowd is booing some, and I can't blame them. This is not quite the all-out slugfest they hyped it to be. Out of that, Holly gets the concrete crack, and goes for a full nelson. Holly grapevines it, and they roll to the floor with it still on. Lesnar snaps Holly's throat over the top rope, then Lesnar escapes another full nelson attempt. Right away - F5! 1, 2, 3. (06'30") Okay this is starting to get really annoying. Did they THINK about ANY of these matches? Tazz says it was a physical, smashmouth-style match. Bullshit. That match was for sissies, pussies and other assorted pissants, not for broken-necked Alabamians with nothing but revenge and physical injury on their mind. Goddamn. And just like the last one, I don't get what this does for anyone. Lesnar beat Hardcore Holly, big deal. And Hardcore Holly didn't even put up much of a fight so it's no feather in his stupid cap. This sucked. 1/2
--Backstage, TRIPLE H gets his fist taped up. Backstage, SHAWN MICHAELS prays. Video package.
--WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP LAST MAN STANDING MATCH - SHAWN MICHAELS (challenger, 225, San Antonio, TX) v. TRIPLE H (champion, 272, Greenwich, CT): The staredown shows us that HHH is taller and bulkier than Shawn Michaels, which is an important factor to be sure. Right as I typed that, JR notes that HHH is "bigger, stronger." Collar-and-elbow positioning and HHH unloads with some rights. Michaels with rights and apparently someone told him his chops suck because those aren't as bad as usual. Just fighting to start this off and I can feel that. Michaels telegraphs a back body drop~ and HHH hits the knee-to-face. HHH starts to work the back, being that he's smart. Shitty dragon screw from Shawn, followed with a figure-four. I can dig it. Michaels lets it go, HHH struggles up. Dropkick to the knee from Michaels. Michaels goes for a crossbody and gets dumped over to the floor. HHH clears both tables off, for the most part. Carlos and Hugo don't even move, which could be a sign. HHH goes to suplex Shawn table-to-table, but Shawn blocks. Shawn looks like he wants to hit a superkick but doesn't have the room, so they just fall off and get booed. Inside, Shawn heads up top, HHH cuts him off on the fly with a kick, goes for the pedigree, Shawn backdrops HHH out. Shawn goes for a springboard crossbody, misses, and takes the dive through the Spanish announce table. Michaels has bladed. Michaels is up at seven. Back in, HHH lays in some rights. This is already the longest match of the night, which is no surprise, but then again we aren't even ten minutes in. Shawn's got a pretty great juicer going. More beat-upage, Shawn is down again. Back up at six. Michaels tells HHH to BRING IT. More rights, count is back on. Back up, but HHH strikes a hilarious pose and yells, "STAY DOWN!" which I must have comically repeated about four times, and also did to my dog this morning. The dog didn't get it. Trade of rights, Michaels is throwing his best punches in a damn long time. Spinebuster by HHH, count is on again. Up at whatever, I wasn't paying attention. HHH has a chair - shot to the back. Michaels up at nine, HHH sets the chair up for the pedigree. Michaels sweeps the legs and gets an ass-awful slingshot to the post. Both men down, back up, Shawn with a chairshot! HHH is bleeding now and this is bout it bout it, and I don't really like LMS matches. Flying burrito by Michaels, both down again. I think we all see what's coming...and...and...KIP-UP AT EIGHT. HHH up, right hands from Shawn. Inverted atomic drop! HHH down from a right hand again, but Shawn is headed up top. Elbow hits! Shawn stomps away to set up the kick, charges, kicks, HHH drops low and punches him...in the ass hole? HHH back in control, but Shawn's got a sleeper. Shawn lets it go, HHH is out -- or is he?? No, he's up at eight. Shawn with more rights, HHH shoves him a couple times. Roundhouse right misses, HHH nails him with a DDT. Both guys down, count is back on again. HHH is getting up pretty well, Shawn is just down. Up at eight. Staggered brawling in the corner, chop from Shawn. That's the shitty chops I know and hate. Michaels with the flip in the corner, up top, HHH follows - back superplex is reversed into a crossbody! Both down again. Up, brawling, PEDIGREE. Back up SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Both men down...and counted out. And it's a draw. It's a cocksucking draw. God, fuck you guys. (22'45") Big boos when the bell rings, and even more when they announce the decision. Then we get some "bullshit" chants. JR covers and says the crowd wanted Shawn to win, which some people say makes JR look like an ass, but what do you want him to say? Anyway, this was a pretty good match up until it was over. 1/4
--Announcing the Rumble match will be JR and Tazz, and that's just about the best news I heard all day. Before we can begin, ERIC BISCHOFF is out to declare that a Raw superstar will win the Rumble. He gets in a shot at his rival GM because he used to run shows in a bingo hall. So that brings out PAUL HEYMAN. Heyman seems just enraged by these comments. He says nothing, tackles Bischoff, and then here comes STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN on his ATV. Tazz: "People are nuts on Raw, what the hell's goin' on here, JR?!" Austin wants to know who started the fight, both plead innocence. Heyman begs to not be stunned and says he'll drink beer with Austin. Austin pauses - and stuns Bischoff. Austin and Heyman have some beer, then Austin stuns Heyman. So okay, now there's blood and beer in the ring, and by God, if someone comes in with mud on their boots, you know what that means - kickin' and a-gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
--Backstage, GOLDBERG is with TERRI, or vice versa. Whatever. As Goldberg's about to start talking, Lesnar interrupts. Lesnar and Goldberg have a brilliant trade of words, and Goldberg freaks Lesnar out by acting like Hardcore Holly is behind Lesnar. Lesnar turns around right into Goldberg. Goldberg says Mick Foley isn't a coward. Then he leaves. Bill Goldberg, what a talker.
--Back to ringside, there's the empty chair of Mick Foley. Tazz reminds JR that JR said he'd say Mick Foley is a coward if he didn't show up, and JR lives up to it. Tazz's Keys to Victory are lame as usual. Here we go.
--ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH: #1 is CHRIS BENOIT, and #2 is RANDY ORTON. 90-second intervals. Benoit with a snap suplex and he's controlling Orton. Orton fires back with some kicks and shitty european uppercuts. #3 is MARK HENRY, no wonder he was so upset. Henry attacks Benoit, then goes after Orton. Benoit fires some chops at Henry, but Henry is very strong, and let's be honest, the man is black and the whities really have no chance. #4 is TAJIRI, who will be at a distinct disadvantage being a loserweight and also being Japanese. Tajiri kicks Randy Orton and hits the handspring elbow. Benoit and Tajiri trade waistlocks and Benoit hits two Germans. Henry controls Orton and tries to dump him, but Orton hangs on. #5 is BRADSHAW. CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL ON: Orton, Henry, Tajiri, and Benoit counters into a crossface when Bradshaw tries him. Bradshaw ignores selling it at all but gets thrown out. Haha fuck you. (05'22" - BRADSHAW by BENOIT) Henry/Orton and Benoit/Tajiri are your pairs. So much for brand integration. #6 is RHYNO, and he heads after Benoit. Tajiri kicks Henry a lot, then goes for the fattest tarantula ever. Benoit avoids a gore, which hits the tarantula'd Henry and knocks Tajiri out. (06'51" - TAJIRI by RHYNO) Benoit knocks Henry out to a big pop. (07'00" - HENRY by BENOIT) On a replay, we see that Tajiri green misted Henry, which is pretty great. #7 is MATT HARDY V ONE-AH. Side Effect on Rhyno! HE'S V ONE-AH! Benoit tries to throw Hardy out, but he hangs on. Rhyno gores Matt in the corner. Hardy and Benoit get possible elimination rests. #8 is SCOTT STEINER. Steiner with clotheslines for all and a t-bone suplex on Orton. Spinning belly-to-belly on Benoit. T-bone...ish suplex on Rhyno. Benoit with two Germans on Steiner. #9 is MATT MORGAN, who gives a shit. I bet he does moves to people. Sit-out powerbomb on Benoit. Big boot for Hardy. Steiner with a suplex on Rhyno, those two seem to be getting along famously. Now I want to see Steiner-Rhyno, which is making me feel weird. Morgan has the worst goddamn punches. I mean holy crap. No, that one was better. Nevermind, sorry Matt Morgan. #10 is THE HURRICANE. Hurricane flies in with a crossbody on Hardy, then runs into Morgan. STAND BACK - SEE YA LATER, HURRICANE. (13'29" - HURRICANE by MORGAN) Morgan goes for Hardy next, but Hardy hangs on. Steiner and Orton are freaking wrestling on the mat with Steiner controlling the back and shit. #11 is BOOKER T, decent pop there. Steiner goes after Booker because they hate each other, which JR talks about. #12 is KANE. (16'41" - STEINER by BOOKER T) Chokeslam on Benoit! Matt Morgan goes to get him some, but Kane backdrops out of a powerbomb attempt. Chokeslam on Morgan. Matt Hardy sets for the Side Effect - NO. Gore isn't happening, RKO isn't either. Chokeslam on Orton! #13 is...BONG. BONG. Oh shit. Kane is very upset. BOOKER T ELIMINATES KANE! JUST LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD! (18'23" - KANE by BOOKER T) #13 is ACTUALLY SPIKE DUDLEY. Kane chokeslams Spike on the ramp, and he never gets in. (18'58" - SPIKE by NOBODY, REALLY) #14 is RIKISHI, who cares. There goes Rhyno. (20'22" - RHYNO by BENOIT) Rikishi cleans house like everyone else has in this match when they came in. Morgan gets a STINKYFACE. #15 is RENE DUPREE, who cares. Quite unfortunately, Dupree eliminates Matt Hardy. (22'22" - HARDY by DUPREE) Dupree dances, Rikishi takes offense. (22'31" - DUPREE by RIKISHI) #16 is BABY A-TRAIN. A-Train goes after Rikishi, and Benoit dumps Morgan finally. (23'42" - MORGAN by BENOIT) Orton sneaks in for his first elimination. (24'09" - RIKISHI by ORTON) (24'14" - BOOKER T by ORTON) #17 is SHELTON BENJAMIN. (25'02" - A-TRAIN by BENOIT) Benjamin is a house of fire. Well, he was. (25'37" - BENJAMIN by ORTON) Benoit and Orton are the only ones in the ring. Meeting of the minds! #18 is ERNEST THE CAT MILLER. The Cat dances, Lamont dances, Tazz sings, Benoit isn't amused. Neither is Orton. (27'42" - CAT by ORTON) #19 is KURT ANGLE, good pop. "YOU SUCK" sticks around three times after the music is stopped. Benoit and Angle go at it, Randy Orton sits down and watches, wisely. Angle goes to dump Benoit, but Benoit hangs on. #20 is RICO. Triple Germans on Angle. RKO on Rico, he's gone. (31'07" - RICO by ORTON) #21 is TEST...but Test doesn't show. RKO on Angle, we go backstage, and Test is laid out. Austin yells at someone that they're No. 21 now. #21 is now...MICK FOLEY!!! Randy Orton is less-than-thrilled. "Fo Ley" chants and this is awesome with Foley beating the shit out of the little prick. There both of them go. (33'43" - ORTON and FOLEY) Foley and Orton brawl more at ringside while Angle and Benoit wrestle in the ring. #22 is CHRISTIAN. Foley drills an official with the ringsteps, then takes two chairshots, the second one particularly and vintagely nasty, and they brawl up the ramp. Socko is out, and there's the claw...on NUNZIO, who is #23. Orton cheapshots and gets out of Dodge. Nunzio hides at ringside and doesn't get in the ring. Angle with a German on Christian, and one on Benoit. #24 is BIG SHOW. Big Show dominates everyone for a bit. #25 is CHRIS JERICHO, who comes to Christian's aid by attacking Angle. Now all four guys try to dump Big Show, which is always fun. Big Show fights them all off, also fun. #26 is CHARLIE HAAS. Jericho tries to dump Benoit, but he hangs on. Christian tries to eliminate Jericho who hangs on and successfully returns the favor. (42'33" - CHRISTIAN by JERICHO) #27 is BILLY GUNN. Fameassers on Angle and Jericho, then on Big Show. Benoit with a German on Jericho. #28 is JOHN CENA, way hyped up. Cena spots Nunzio - in goes Nunzio. Nunzio helps Big Show attack Cena. Nunzio then turns on Big Show and tries to lift him, which doesn't work. #29 is ROB VAN DAM. Van Dam with rights and a jumpkick on Big Show. Nunzio goes after Van Dam. FU on Angle! #30 is GOLDBERG, and we're all out of beer. SPEAR ON BIG SHOW! SPEAR ON GUNN! Right hand for Angle! Jericho! Van Dam! Cena! Haas gets slammed! Nunzio jumps on Goldberg! Man, Nunzio has balls. Charlie Haas apparently decides it's just not his year and jumps out. (48'32" - HAAS by GOLDBERG?) Van Dam kicks Goldberg, but gets nailed with a straight left. SPEAR ON NUNZIO! (48'55" - GUNN by GOLDBERG) (49'07" - NUNZIO by GOLDBERG) Jackhammer on Big Show? NO HERE'S BROCK LESNAR! F5 ON GOLDBERG! Big face pop for that. Goldberg recovers and stares Lesnar down on the ramp - "You're next, you son of a bitch!" Goldberg isn't focused, and there he goes! (50'12" - GOLDBERG by ANGLE) Everyone tries to get rid of Big Show again. Show knocks all those meesters on their keisters. Lionsault on Big Show! Five Star on Big Show! Cena pumps his shoes! Five knuckle shuffle on Big Show (ew)! Flying headbutt on Big Show! This is great. Angle directs traffic - his idea is to dump the fat guy. It doesn't work, Big Show is again too big. (52'57" - CENA by BIG SHOW) Cena lands funny but on second viewing it wasn't that bad. (53'15" - RVD by BIG SHOW) Big Show tries to throw Jericho out, Jericho skins the cat. Big Show is too big for Jericho to throw out by himself, but goddamn if he doesn't try. Final four is Jericho, Big Show, Benoit and Angle, by the way. Walls of Jericho on Big Show, who taps, but that doesn't matter. Angle and Jericho go at it, Benoit gets slammed by Show. Jericho is in trouble - he's chokeslammed out. (55'06" - JERICHO by BIG SHOW) Chokeslam on Benoit! Tazz writes Benoit off, giving nothing away again. Angle tries for a German on Big Show, but Show ass-thrusts his way out. That's it. Big Show wins. Big Show is going to Wrestlemania. Just get rid of these two little chumps. Angle Slam on Big Show! Straps are down - chokeslam on Angle? No, roll through and an ankle lock. Show taps again. Show pulls himself up on the ropes, then flips over onto the apron and eliminates Angle. (57'34" - ANGLE by BIG SHOW) Down to two! Angle is mad. Show leans over the top rope, and Benoit flies in with a headbutt. Show falls back into the ring. Benoit is caught, but the chokeslam is countered into the crossface! Big Show taps for the third time. Big Show stands up and drops Benoit out of the hold. Big Show's up and he's dropped his strap. Big Show presses Benoit, who fights down into a front facelock. Big Show drops him to the apron, but Benoit hangs on. Benoit awesomely and deliberately positions his feet to drop down and pull Show over, and he does it! BENOIT! BENOIT! BENOIT HAS DONE IT! BENOIT WINS SOMETHING! (63'32" - BIG SHOW by BENOIT) The only thing that really hurt this was a lack of heat, which was there all night. Benoit celebrates. Good for him. Good for me. Good for us. Good for the world.
This show was not a good start to the year, really. The first hour was completely worthless, the only good non-Rumble match had a shitty ending, but the Rumble itself capped things off brilliantly. They did a great job with a lot of things story-wise. Lesnar/Goldberg is set up tremendously, Benoit's hunt for glory is on, Cena/Big Show is furthered, Booker T eliminated Kane like he said he would, Foley returned with some piss and vinegar. The wrestling wasn't there, certainly not on the level I expected going in, but all's well that ends well, I reckon. See you for UFC, then Pride, then No Way Out.