Ruthless Aggression #14. Royal Rumble (Jan 28, 2007) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Brilliant Cena match. Fair play to the pair of them.

Backstage, Sandman interrupts Coach and the rest of them. Takes a number, takes a drink, busts himself open with his cane and leaves. Ric Flair comes in and Kelly Kelly mutters a line. The lights dim and Layla comes in and dances. Shite, shite, shite.

Back in the Arena we have Jerry, Cunt and Moustache and they are  – regrettably – announcing the Rumble.

Promo showing the last twenty years of the Royal Rumble, from Hogan and Warrior to Kane dominating, to Trips and Shawn winning, to The Rock’s fantastic win in 2000 and Stone Cold clearing house in 1997. We see Vince win, [REDACTED] Benoit win, Mysterio win. Apparently it’s a star-studded Rumble. I’ll be the judge of that. Shawn Michaels is in it. Edge is in it. Kenny is in it. Benoit, Khali, Kane, Booker, Taker, all participants.

Lillian Garcia looks like a car. She reminds us of the rules, but, c’mon, we know the rules, girl.

A question I have is… does the winner fight Cena or the champ in their own brand? That’s not explained.

Ric Flair’s music hits and out he comes, fresh from his dance twenty seconds ago. He was number 3 in 1992. He almost lasted an hour back then. Doubt he’s going to last that long.

Then Finlay’s music hits and the crowd go mild. Little Naitch tells him that he can’t have the shillelagh. The pair of them square off and the Rumble begins.

The 2007 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Ric Flair.

A Second Challenger Appears: Fit Finlay.

NOTE: The times given for each elimination are how long the competitor stayed in the ring.

Finlay tosses Flair to the ground and they get into the corner together. Finlay slaps Flair and the Nature Boy returns it, getting big “Woo!”s from the crowd. Flair gets a back body drop and Finlay lifts Flair up, tries to toss him out and gets a rake in the eye.

A Third Challenger Appears: Kenny Dykstra.

Twenty years old, it’s our boy Spirit Squad Kenny. Flair goes straight for him. Lots of slaps which Finlay stops. Kenny boots Flair and Finlay tries to get Kenny out. Kenny gets back in and there are more slaps and punches in the corner.

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Matt Hardy.

He’s in twice tonight! Fat Matt Hardy, holding the old jaw and going straight for Kenny, hitting the Side Effect and almost kicking Kenny out. Flair and Finlay in one corner and no eliminations yet. The competitors have paired off but once again, Kenny holds Flair and the partners swap as Finlay and Matt tussle. Lots more chops from Flair.

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Edge.

Here we go, a talented wrassler. Out he comes, sprinting to the ring, spearing Flair, spearing Finlay, goes for Matt who skips out of the way and hits the Twist of Fate. Flair is outside, he’s under the ring, he’s got a steel chair – legal but only as long as he introduces it during the match as opposed to before it. Edge grabs Flair and the crowd boo as he gets tossed out.

Ric Flair has been eliminated by Edge in 5:40.

Kenny and Edge high five and as Dykstra does the Flair dance, Edge tosses him out.

Kenny Dykstra has been eliminated by Edge in 4:05.

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Tommy Dreamer.

No time to mourn the Spirit Squad boy. It’s time for Tommy. He runs in, the crowd chant “ECW!” and he gets Edge in the tree of woe, baseball slides him and is knocked down by Finlay. Four men in the ring now. Both Tommy and Edge are about to be thrown out but no dice. We’re going to see lots of that shite.

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Sabu.

Oh fuck. Here’s Botchy McCan’tmanoeuver. He runs to the ring, grabs a table from below first, sets it up outside the ring, goes straight for Tommy. Sabu hits the springboard crossbody and does it again but Dreamer hits the weak punch and gets him mid-air. More “holding on the ring rope” spots.

An Eighty Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

He comes in, goes for Matt and Finlay is almost thrown out. Six men in, all in pairs, nothing exciting happening and none of them are winners, really. Sabu is getting chants and goes for Helms, ready to toss him out.

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Shelton Benjamin.

The World’s Greatest Tag Team member 1 is in. He tries to toss out Tommy and fails. He tries to toss out Matt and fails. People waste time here as Finlay tries to toss Shelton out. Both men hold on. Matt tries to help and fails. We have Sabu/Tommy and Greg/Edge. Matt is trying to suplex Shelton out.

A Tenth Challenger Appears: Kane.

Big pop for the pyro from Kane. He holds the record for knocking the most people out at 11 until Roman Reigns beat him. But fuck Reigns. Kane hits the tiltawhirl Bossman slam, chokeslams Edge and tosses Tommy out.

Tommy Dreamer has been eliminated by Kane in 6:41.

Tommy has the record for lasting the longest before being eliminated, but obviously that must be beaten tonight. Sabu has Kane on the ropes. He tries to clothesline him out, lands on the apron and Kane chokeslams him out, through the table.

Sabu has been eliminated by Kane in 5:28.

The announcers say that Kane is the favourite now.

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: CM Punk.

Out he comes! The up and comer! He goes straight for Edge and Cunt JBL calls him boring because he’s straight edge. Finlay almost tosses him out, but fails. CM Punk gives Edge a wee knee to the face. Finlay has been in for over fifteen minutes, which is fourteen minutes too long, being honest with you. Final lifts Punk over but fails.

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: King Booker.

Sharmell is with him! Yo! He takes his time to come in, starts on Helms and beats him like a government mule, tossing him out.

Gregory Helms has been eliminated by King Booker in 6:50.

Well done, Hurrcicane, you beat Tommy by nine seconds. Seven men in the ring and all of them wasting time. Cole tells us of all the brands but fuck the brands.

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Super Crazy

It’s Super Crazy! He’s going in and goes after the tough guys and gets beaten down almost instantly. More wasting time here with everyone holding onto ropes. Finlay almost goes out and Shelton Benjamin is in trouble but survives.

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Jeff Hardy.

Both Hardys! They double team Finlay, they double team Edge! They double team Super Crazy! They botch that, though. They double Team Kane, but he gets them in the old double chokeslam and they hit back with Poetry in Motion.

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Sandman.

Here he is, coming down the crowd, spraying beer over someone who works there, like a goose. He comes in, Singapore cane in hang and busts both Hardys and Crazy before Booker tosses him out.

Sandman has been eliminated by Booker T in 13 seconds.

Good. Get rid of you and that shite theme music. Use Metallica. Fuck sake.

The crowd boo, though. They obviously like the talentless fuck. Finlay almost tosses out Jeff but he skins the can and jumps back in. Punk attempts it but fails.

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Randy Orton.

Both Hardys are in, both Rated-RKO are in. Both King Booker and Sir Finlay are in. Rated-RKO toss out Super Crazy.

Super Crazy has been eliminated by Rated-RKO in 4:32.

Randy hits Matt with a backbreaker. The Tag Team Champs try to toss him off but Jeff goes before Matt.

Jeff Hardy has been eliminated by Edge in 3:39.

Matt Hardy has been eliminated by Randy Orton in 18:55.

I’ll bet Matt said he didn’t want to be eliminated by Edge. Rated-RKO go for the others and more wasting time. No spots other than Sabu’s shite table spot. Finlay and Booker try to toss out Kane.

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: [REDACTED] Benoit.

The man that time forgot pops in, chopping Rated-RKO, goes for Booker, goes for Finlay, German suplexes him to the mat. Booker goes for the kick, gets a suplex. Shelton tries to grab Benoit, gets a suplex. What a guy. Cunt JBL calls him a cardio machine.

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: RVD.

The whole fucking show! Rob Van Dam comes in, knocks down Benoit, knocks down Edge, knocks down Shelton. Booker throws him into the corner and Kane throws Booker out.

King Booker T has been eliminated by Kane in 9:22.

Booker cannot believe it! He is upset and so is Cunt JBL. Booker comes back in, beats on Kane, hits the Scissors Kick, tosses Kane out.

Kane has been eliminated by Booker T in 13:21.

Is this legal? In 1997, I asked the same thing when Ahmed Johnson returned to the ring to hit Faarooq with the biggest 2×4 I had ever seen. This should not be legal and there should be rules against it, at least having Kane go back into the ring or restart the match. Alas, Booker and Kane start a feud outside.

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Viscera.

Big Daddy V walks down and the camera focuses on Kane. The announcers argue about whether or not Booker’s attack is legal or not. Cole tells us that it took seven men to eliminate Viscera (then called Mabel) in 1992. The announcers make fat jokes.

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Johnny Nitro.

Nice.

Nitro goes for RVD and does not get him out. Viscera squashes Punk in the corner. There are nine people in the ring and we have ten people left. Shelton Benjamin holds on, his feet hovering off the ground.

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Kevin Thorn.

Ariel is not with him. Disregard. Discount Gangrel beats on people and we see Shelton holding on tight to the bottom rope. Big Daddy V has RVD over the top rope but none can help. Viscera is on the ropes and RVD gets a great clothesline to knock him to the ground. The eleventh person in the ring is about to arrive.

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Hardcore Holly.

He can fuck off. Old Sparky Plugg.

Christ, there are a lot of men in this fucking ring. Bob Holly legit punches Viscera, the prick. Cole tells us that the ring is filling up. Good man. Six men are on Viscera. Come on, boys, you need at least one more there.

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Shawn Michael.

He enters to his fucking DX music. C’mon, Shawn. You can do better than that. The ring clears as Shawn goes on Finlay and knocks him out with a clothesline.

Finlay has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 32:33.

That is too long for Finlay to be anywhere. Viscera knocks everyone back, Shawn superkicks him and the lads go for the World’s Biggest Love Machine once again, getting him over the top rope. Eight men, apparently.

Viscera has been eliminated by Rob Van Dam, Edge, CM Punk, Chris Benoit, Johnny Nitro, Shelton Benjamin, Hardcore Holly and Kevin Thorn in 6:22.

Then Shawn tosses out Shelton Benjamin.

Shelton Benjamin has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 22:22.

He beats Viscera by sixteen minutes. Yeo.

Shawn beats on Bob Holly and then Holly beats on Michaels.

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Chris Masters.

Roidy Magoo rolls in and the ring is full again with ten men all up in it. Nitro goes top rope and Benoit knocks him down.

Johnny Nitro has been eliminated by [REDACTED] Benoit in 6:18.

Fair play to Johnny, actually. He lasted ages for a man who had a huge match earlier in the night. Edge is the longest-serving man in this Rumble.

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

He runs in and does a lovely roll, goes for Masters and Kevin Thorn is tossed out.

Kevin Thorn has been eliminated by [REDACTED] Benoit in 6:55.

Who is left to come out? Who really cares?

Michaels beats on Randy. Punk and RVD hug each other. Masters beats on Chavo. Edge hangs out on the floor. The crowd are quite dead. Ohhhhh, the timer comes back up!

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: MVP.

Montel Vontavious Porter! It’s himself! He slides in, burns and all, goes for Benoit. Ten men are in the ring again. Masters falls out. Derp.

Chris Masters has been eliminated by RVD  in 3:32.

RVD is very pleased with himself. Punk is almost out on one corner, Holly almost out on t’other. Punk is holding on but the timer is coming up!

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Carlito.

Ohhhhh, the boy himself is in. Brilliant. I love Carlito. Tenner says he lasts two minutes. The ring is very full, eleven men in the ring and only three men left. Shawn Michaels almost goes over the top rope. He’s holding, he’s teetering, he’s tottering, but he stays in. Fair play. Rated-RKO attack Carlito and the timer comes up again.

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: The Great Khali.

The crowd groan. Who cares about this shitehawk? No one. The crowd die and the wrasslers stop, watch. Edge and RVD get tossed. Orton goes, Benoit goes, MVP goes, Shawn goes, RVD again, Chavo. The crowd boo. Everyone is on the floor. They’re all getting chops and they’re all sitting down.

Just before the timer hits zero, Bob Holly is tossed out by Khali. Good. Shove it up ye.

Hardcore Holly has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 10:21.

Ten boys still in and we reach our penultimate challenger!

A Twenty-Ninth Challenger Appears: The Miz.

Wow. He can go fuck himself. Khali tosses him right out.

The Miz has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 7 seconds.

Good.

Khali then throws out RVD.

RVD has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 16:28.

Then he throws out Punk!

CM Punk has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 27:16.

Then he almost throws out Carlito. Then he does toss out Carlito.

Carlito has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 3:19.

Then he throws out Chavo!

Chavo has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 6:24.

Jerry says, “Somebody dropped the ugly bomb on him.” Bit harsh, the lad has a disease. Either way, he also has been given a push and one that he, like many before him, simply does not deserve.

At some point during this, Benoit gets eliminated too.

[REDACTED] Benoit has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 17:52.

Shawn is up and chops Khali. Khali grabs Michaels and the crowd boo. He takes a chokebomb as number 30 comes in. Cole has a lovely soundbite, “Who can beat Khali?”

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

Just like ten years before, Taker is number thirty! Khali looks worried. The pair batter in the middle of the ring and Taker fights back, finally tossing the cunt out.

The Great Khali has been eliminated by the Undertaker in 3:45

Undertaker raises hell in the middle of the ring. No one else will join these five men. We have MVP, Orton, Edge, Michaels, Taker. He knocks everyone down, hits Old School on MVP. Balls on him. Undertaker tosses MVP out.

MVP has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 7:32.

Taker hits Edge with the jumping clothesline. MVP takes a chair into the ring and Taker almost throws Edge out as Randy Orton busts Taker in the head with the chair. Taker is up, though and Edge is calling for Orton to turn around. Randy sees it, though and the pair shout at each other mid-ring. Randy hits the RKO on Shawn and he rolls out. Rated-RKO chat and they both turn on Taker. Taker is bust open and the two men beat on the Phenom without mercy. Taker fights back and rains fists on the Tag Team Champs, running into the corners. Taker is about to hit the double chokeslam but they fight out, give him the Irish whip and he hits the double clothesline, hits Snake Eyes and Big Boot on Edge. He goes for the Chokeslam on Orton but Edge Spears him before he can do it. Edge has the chair in his hand, cracks Taker on the head for the second time.

Edge rolls out, gets another chair and they get ready for the Conchairto, which is a stupid name. Shawn’s up, though! And he tosses Orton out!

Randy Orton has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 27:15.

Then he tosses Edge out!

Edge has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 44:02.

Both men are lying on the ground. The crowd is going wild. Taker sits up first. Shawn kip-ups. They both get ready, put their dukes up and Shawn has Taker in the corner, going for the ten-punch but Taker pushes him off twice and chokeslams him into the corner. Taker punches Shawn and he damn near flies out of the ring.

Shawn gets back in and there are chops from Shawn. Taker reverses an Irish whip and Shawn is damn near turned inside out. Taker goes for the big boot but Taker falls onto the apron. Shawn attempts to knock him off but fails. Taker goes to back body drop Shawn but gets a swinging neckbreaker instead. Big punches. “HBK!” chants rise. Taker gives Michaels the Big Boot. The San Antonian crowd is silent. Taker lifts up Shawn, tries to toss him off but Shawn holds on, throws him into the turnbuckle. Shawn goes up top and is almost thrown off. Undertaker goes for the superplex. They headbutt each other. Taker goes to toss Michaels onto the mat but Michaels fights back. Taker is in the ring. Shawn is on the turnbuckle. He hits the elbow, jumps up and leans against the corner. He starts to tune up the band. The crowd are baying for Sweet Chin Music and count with the stomps. Taker catches the boot! Taker hits a thunderous chokeslam. He runs his thumb over his throat and lifts up Shawn, is about to hit the Tombstone but Shawn escapes and hits Sweet Chin Music!

Both men are down. Both men are fucked. They’ve been the last two men for ages. Shawn is getting the superkick ready but Taker tosses him over the top rope!

Shawn Michaels has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 24:11.

Entrant number thirty, The Undertaker is the winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble in 56:18 after surviving for 13:15.

2017 comments:

Very, very good finish. Everything up to that was filler.

1997 comments:

I like how they just put a Shawn vs. Taker match on the end of this disappointing battle royale.

Grade: B

Taker stands centre stage, looks out at Shawn, nods and the camera focuses on both men, showing the emotion behind the match. Fair play to the pair of yis. Taker looks at the Wrestlemania 23 sign, checks out the hard cam and points at Shawn. Cunt JBL says that they don’t know what title he is going to go after… so presumably he can choose any. He kneels mid-ring and big pyro hits.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: Good God Almighty, I have to give it to either Shawn, Cena or Umaga. I’m going to go with Shawn Michaels.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV other than backstage bimbos.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Shawn Michaels.

Best Spot: There were none, really, but I’d say Taker’s sit up followed by Shawn’s kip up was brilliant.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Bobby Lashley retained his ECW World Championship belt; Batista retained his World Heavyweight Championship belt and John Cena retained his WWE Championship belt.

Dispatches: Sadly, this is the last we will see of Roidy Magoo Test.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV. Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, [REDACTED] Benoit.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: CM Punk, Joey Mercury, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Joey Mercury for busting his face and returning!

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell, Trish Stratus.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Ariel, Queen Sharmell, Victoria, No one.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Victoria!

The Year in Reviews

Each Royal Rumble, I will give you some information of the past year of reviews for you stat-heads out there.

In 2006, the biggest movie at the time was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which made $1,066,179,725 worldwide, followed by The Da Vinci Code and Ice Age: The Meltdown. There were a lot of things going on in the world of music but the top best-selling album was… The High School Musical Soundtrack? What the fuck?

There was the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, a Jackson Pollock painting sold and people cared for some reason, North Korea conducted its first-ever Nuclear Test and Steve Irwin died.

In wrasslin’ news, the WWE Championship was brought into 2006 by Cena for 280 days since April 3 2005 until Edge held it for 21 days from Jan 8 2006 to Jan 29 where Cena held it for 133 days until June 11 at ECW One Night Stand where RVD took it. He held it for 22 days until July 3 when Edge took it back, then it passed to Cena after 76 days at Unforgiven on September 17 and he would take it into the New Year.

Batista had the WWE World Heavyweight belt from April 3, 2005, brought it into 2006 but lost it after 282 days when he had a triceps injury. Kurt Angle took it, held it for 82 days, Dropped it at WrestleMania 22 to Rey Mysterio (winner of the Royal Rumble 2006) and he held it for 112 days until Booker T won it at The Great American Bash on July 23. He lost it Batista after 126 days at Survivor Series and he would bring it into 2007.

Ric Flair held the Intercontinental Championship for 155 days from Sept 18 2005 to Feb 20 2006 when he dropped it to Shelton Benjamin. He had it for 69 days, dropping it to RVD at Backlash who held it for a measly 15 days until Shelton got it back on May 15. After 41 days, Jonny Nitro took it at Vengeance and he had it for 99 days before dropping it to Jeff who gave it back to Johnny after 35 days who dropped it again to Jeff after a week. Jeff would bring it into the New Year.

Booker T had the United States Championship at the beginning of 2006 and held it for 40 days, dropping it to Benoit on Feb 19th, who would drop it to JBL on April 2 after 42 dats, who gave it to Bobby Lashley after 51 days and then to Finlay. They both held it for 49 days each. Mr Kennedy won it on August 29 and dropped it to Benoit 42 days later on October 10, 2006. He would take it into 2007.

Kid Kash was the Cruiserweight Champion at the start of 2006 but he dropped it to Gregory Helms who held it into the New Year.

Rob Van Dam won the reactivated ECW World Heavyweight Championship on June 13, 2006 and held it for 21 days until July 4 when The Big Show beat him to win it. He held it for 152 days until Bobby Lashley won it at December to Dismember and took it into the New Year.

MNM were the Tag Team Champions at the start of 2006 and dropped it to Paul London and Brian Kendrick after 145 days on May 21. They held it into 2007.

Kane and The Big Show were World Tag Team Champs at the beginning of 2006 but they dropped it to the Spirit Squad after 153 days on April 3. They then let Ric Flair and Roddy Piper take it from them on Cyber Sunday and eight days later, Rated-RKO got it from them on Nov 13. They brought it into 2007.

Finally, Trish Stratus was the WWE Women’s Champion at the beginning of 2006 and dropped it to Mickie James at WrestleMania 22 on April 2 after 448 days as champion. Mickie held it for 134 days until Lita took it from her on August 14. Trish won it back at Unforgiven and retired, vacating the title. Lita would win it on November 5 at Cyber Sunday and then Mickie won it 21 days later in Lita’s last match. Mickie would be Women’s Champ into 2007.

2006 was the last full year of separate PPVs for separate WWE brands until it happened again ten years later and it was the last year of the Ruthless Aggression Era as the PG Era came into play shortly after the Benoit Tragedy. The roster was thick and so was the blood.

Closing Statements: A good PPV, more spectacle than actual wrestling but the matches were fun and the end of the Rumble was fantastic.

On the Card will return on February 18 2017 with the Smackdown PPV No Way Out 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #14. Royal Rumble (Jan 28, 2007) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Good opener and crappy Test match.

Cut to backstage where John Cena is getting the once over from a tuxedo doctor. He winces in pain. Vince comes in to look at John and tries to get him to step down. Vince makes fun of John and says that they cannot see each other and Vince certainly can’t see John as WWE champion. Closeup on John looking concerned.

Cut to outside, showing the AT&T centre. Cunt JBL and Cole big up the Batista vs. Kennedy match. Cunt JBL says that Smackdown is headlining… which they are not.

Promo for this match where Kennedy took part in a Beat the Clock challenge and fucked it up for everyone else, including Taker, who lost by one second. Kennedy attacks Batista and as Taker attempts revenge, Kennedy ducks and the Phenom hits the Animal. Old Drax gets a boot in the face.

Kennedy comes out, ready to say his name because that’s a fun gimmick. Not live we’ve ever seen that shite before. Say what you want about him, though, he puts his hand right up to catch the mic. He doesn’t miss. He says his name on the turnbuckle. Good man yourself, Kennedy. Mind the last time you fought Batista though? He bust your head open pretty bad. Kennedy says his name twice. Cunt JBL says that Kennedy is like New York – you have to say it twice.

Batista’s music hits and the pop is enormous. Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph. He comes out, goes left, goes right, hops in a corner and hits the machine gun pyro. Sign Guy has a “Bombs Away” sign with Batista’s face all up on it. Crazy. Kenny can’t wait to get a hold of him, though. Calm down, brother. Wait until the match starts, Christ. Kennedy won’t take his eyes off the belt. He’s in lurve.

World Heavyweight Championship match: Batista (c) def Mr. Kennedy via pin in 10:29.

The two men circle the ring together and Batista actually hissy slaps Kennedy. He does. Batista throws Kennedy about for a bit and the two men go into the corner together. Kennedy goes for the knee, tries to take Batista down, fails and throws Kennedy into the corner. He pinches Kennedy’s face and then gets an elbow in the face for his efforts. Big boot and bad suplex where Kennedy falls on his arse. Pin attempt. Pin fail, brawl to outside. Both men bounce about, hitting the steel steps and Batista has a go at the back of Kennedy’s head and then the front of his head and then both men are back in the ring.

Batista gives Kennedy some chops and… he hurts his knee? Kennedy gives it a dropkick and gives Batista a big boot in the hole. Kennedy works the knee for a while and Kennedy goes for a pin, but a kickout before even one. Kennedy attempts… some weird figure four move… it looks odd, I tell you what. Batista is having a bad time and Kennedy uses the rope for leverage because he’s a heeling cunt. Batista is in the corner and Kennedy works his knee for a while. Kennedy has a bust nose and I can’t tell how he took the shot to do that. What happened, Kennedy? C’mon, brother, you’re always bleeding. See a doctor.

Kennedy gets the half-Boston crab and these two boys have spent half the match sitting and selling… badly. Batista is starting his slow, laborious crawl towards the ropes but Kennedy pulls him back. Batista knocks him off and tries for the roll-up, fails, attempts to lift Kennedy, fails, gets hit on the knee and gets a great-looking spinebuster in but then rolls about holding his knee, in great pain. Kennedy goes for the punches but Batista blocks him, hits the clothesline, a great back-body drop that seems like a botch, lifts Kennedy for the Samoan drop, chucks him, hits a rolling senton, goes for the Batista bomb but is thwarted and there’s a ref bump.

Kennedy hits the neckbreaker, goes for the pin, gets up, gets the referee up and goes for another pin but Batista kicks out. “What in the hell?” Cunt JBL asks. The crowd bay for Kennedy. Batista jumps up, hits Kennedy as he goes for an axe-handle-nothing. Batista hits the Batista Bomb, gets the pin in 10:29.

2017 comments:

Batista is really showing his lack of ability here. Lots of botches. Lots of problems on his end. Kennedy tried his hardest, but it wasn’t good enough to salvage this match. Kennedy is showing that he’s a bit like Alberto Del Rio – not amazing, but consistent and eager to please. If only Batista were there to help him.

2007 comments:

That boy Kennedy does nothing but bleed.

Grade: C

Batista celebrates. He (finally) sells his injuries. About time. Looks legit, actually.

Backstage, we have Kevin Thorn, an awkward Coach and Booby LaRue herself, Ariel. They go to take Mr. Thorn’s number from the Rumble Tumbler. Then Little Bastard comes in and causes trouble. He attacks Coach. It’s a terrible segment made worse by Khali entering and taking his number… but he takes three. Coach tells him he should only take one and so he drops them. Kelly picks them up, says that they’re the biggest balls she’s ever held and then Ron Simmons appears and says, “Damn.”

I’m not even making this up.

Saliva are in the crowd. Very exciting. Cut to Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler as they introduce the semi-main event of the Last Man Standing match betwixt Cena and Umaga.

Promo for the match, showing Cena getting his arse handed to him by the big Samoan. We see Cena beating Umaga at New Year’s Revolution only a few weeks previous. Coach introduces Estrada, who reveals that it’s a Last Man Standing match and tells us the rules – the only way to win is by beating someone so badly that they cannot stand after a count of ten. Cena signs the contract, attacks Umaga and the two scrap for a while. Umaga splashes Cena through a table. This will surely come into play this evening, I guarantee it.

Back in the arena, Lillian Garcia introduces the match. She is wearing… an odd top with flames. She looks like a hot rod. But not the Hot Rod of either Rowdy or Autobots fame.

Umaga comes out and JR wonders why Armanda Alejandro Estrada got to choose the stipulation for the match. Sign Guy has a “Last Man Eating” sign and Umaga almost actually bites him. Jerry says that Umaga’s music is like King Kong’s music. Hmmm.

Cena’s music hits and there is a thunderous applause from the crowd. He enters, looking concerned, steel-jawed and does not run but instead walks down to the ring. Umaga watches him, snarl upon his face. Jerry says that Cena looks worried and is clearly in pain. He lifts the belt, though. The ref does, too, but the spinny WWE logo is upside down. Cena has bandages on his belly.

WWE Championship match: John Cena (c) def Umaga (w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada) via staying down for ten seconds in 23:09.

Down, let me rap with you real quick. I put the results and timings for the matches before the match begins for a good reason: wrestling isn’t really about the results, it is more about the journey to the results. It’s about the process, not necessarily the product. Yes, we all want our favourites to win, but we’ve all watched a match and thought, “The best man won,” even if the best man is someone you hate. Equally, we have all watched a match and thought, “That was a shit ending.” Wrestling is about a story and I know that as a reader of this blog, you are not concerned about spoilers; likely you have seen the PPV already and want to read some analysis on the matches. If I ruin results for you, whoops, but it is always interesting to walk into a match knowing the outcome and not watching it for the spectacle of the sport, but the thrill of the story and how the winner makes his journey through the match, following the highs and lows and emotions towards the eventual end.

That being said, with a twenty-three-minute match ahead of me, I am apprehensive especially knowing that we have SuperCena here vs. Once-was-tough-but-then-lost-lol-foreigner. I am a firm believer that any result, no matter how screwy, can be saved with good booking and talented wrestlers. I know that a Last Man Standing match must last some time otherwise it’s a squash. There are no roll-ups of DQs here, the only way to end is by the loser staying down for ten seconds. Although I know that these twenty-three minutes will justify the match ending… I do not think that it’s going to be a great match considering the competitors, their characters and the storyline thusfar. Cena is going to win and Umaga will lose his credibility. End of.

Both men square off mid-ring and Umage pushes Cena but he punches back. Lovely moving around, jawbreaker and Umaga punches Cena right in the gut. He falls out of the ring and the ref starts his count. There are no countouts, so why doesn’t Cena just walk off? Umaga throws Cena into the steel steps and Estrada speaks to Umaga, telling him what to be up to. The crowd cheer of Cena and the two men go for a walk up the aisle. Cena punches back, forgets to sell his ribs and Cena gives Umaga a toss into the apron. Umaga fights back and Cena jumps into the ring, hits him with a headbutt and kicks him in the tummy again. Poor Cena tummy.

Cena is on the ropes and Umaga punches him. Cena rolls as much as he can and gets a foot up in the corner but as he jumps out, Umaga knocks him right back down. Another ref count and he gets to seven before Cena is on his feet. Body slam from Umaga and he goes to get the steel steps. Estrada asks him to stop to see if Cena stirs. He does and the steps come in. As Umaga is getting to the apron, he hits the guillotine and chucks the steel steps out to hit Umaga in the beak. The crowd count along with referee Mike Chioda but the Samoan is up. Cena is on him quickly and has a head of steam but a spinning heel kick sends the champ to the ground. More tummy punches and a bear hug attempt that Cena blocks. No submissions here. Belly to belly finishes the hug. Umaga goes outside, gets the other part of the steps, gets them in and Cena is on his feet at eight. The crowd is chanting something unintelligible.

Umage sets the steps up in the corner and leans Cena up against them, punching him down. The crowd cheer. Umaga smiles. He builds up to the Ho Train, Cena moves, Umaga batters the steps. Cena picks the steps up and runs into Umaga with them in his hands. Ref and crowd count as one. Umaga gets to six and Cena goes top rope but Umaga predictably catches him and gives a lovely tiltawhirl sidewalk slam. Just great. Ref starts counting but Umaga almost helps him to his feet and then stomps him down, going for a big sit. He does it twice! Twice! On the third, Cena gets the knees up and becomes Supercena, hitting the facebuster to the steps and follows it up with a sit-out powerbomb on the steps. Ref counts both men and Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle but the ref had stopped the count. He goes for the FU but drops Umaga halfway through. They both hit the steps. Another count by the ref and it reaches eight as Cena blades himself. Umaga batters him as the crowd tell Cena he sucks. He does not suck. Man’s a hero.

Umaga shouts at Cena in Samoan and stands back to let Cena stand up. The ref gets to eight once again and a “Let’s go, Cena! Cena sucks!” chant rises. Umaga slaps and chops Cena and big John actually punches himself in the head to bleed more. He jumps off the ropes and Umaga hits a Samoan Drop, calls for the Samoan Spike but stops the thumb on the way down, getting a headbutt instead, yo. Umaga sets him up for the tree of woe that makes the bladejob bleed more. Cena sits up as Umaga does for the flying headbutt and hits a wonderful fucking leg drop that legit made me go, “Oooooooh!” as he fell. Some elevation on it, good man John. Cena tosses Umaga into the ring post, gets a monitor and tosses Estrada away.

Cena busts Umaga with the edge of the monitor and dents the fucker. Ref starts the count and Umaga is up by seven. Cena pushes Umaga outside, goes for an axe-handle nothing and Umaga catches him, hits him against the ring post and bends him over the table. Sexy. All three announce tables are stripped and Umaga gets on one, runs across, gives it the big splash but Cena dodges, destroying the table. Luckily, he misses the monitor. Ref starts the count but Umaga is up at nine. Wonderful. Estrada is by a turnbuckle, fucking with it and unscrewing it. Estrada tells Umaga to lift it and beat Cena with it as a super Samoan Spike. But Cena is up! He hits the FU! He beats Umaga with it! He wraps the ring rope around Umaga! He chokes him out, looks legit painful, though Umaga is still breathing. The crowd go silent. Umaga gets up almost instantly and Cena is right back to choking him again. The crowd die again, thinking that this is pretty bad taste. Cena is up and the crowd chant away. JR reminds us that they’re looking for ten numbers. The ref reaches it and Cena wins in 23:09.

2017 comments:

I stand by my words up there but by Christ I am happy that match lasted that long. Not a minute was wasted. What a fucking great match.

2007 comments:

Whelp there goes Umaga’s winning streak.

Grade: A

Supercena wins again! But it’s a justified win. We see replays of that horrible choke spot. Cena walks down the aisle, walks backstage, salutes, ends his match.

On the Card will return on February 11 2017 with the third and final part of Royal Rumble 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #14. Royal Rumble (Jan 28, 2007) Part 1

Ruthless Aggression #14: Royal Rumble – January 28, 2007.

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on January 28, 2007, twentieth Royal Rumble aired. It was a WWE PPV with superstars from its Raw, Smackdown and ECW brands, the first of its kind since Survivor Series in November 2006. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

Royal Rumble 2007

No tagline this time either, though the poster did show lots of WWE superstars photoshopped in doing all their different finishing manoeuvres and hulking up for the camera.

The opening shows a bit of a flashback of the last twenty years of Rumbles, with big winners like Rock, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and Trrrrriple H. The announcers remind us that the winner of the Rumble goes to headline Wrasslemania. We see all the competitors having a bit of a fight. Kennedy vs Batista is involved, as well as… Bobby Lashley vs. Test? In what universe would anyone want to watch that? And Cena vs. Umaga for a Last Man Standing match? Didn’t Cena just beat Umaga at New Year’s Revolution? Where could this feud possibly go from here? And who cares? Oh, we saw Umaga beatdown Cena with the help of two other men. So that’s why it’s happening, because Umaga mercilessly hit Cena when he was down.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring JTG (with his Cryme Tyme ally, Shad Gaspard defeat Lance Cade (who was with his partner, Trevor Murdoch). Very exciting.)

Bad CGI’d road to show that it is the Road to Wrasslemania. Big pyro goes off and the arena fills with smoke and signs. Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler invite us to the AT&T Centre in San Antonio, Texas. Ten years previous, the Royal Rumble was in the Alamodome for Rumble ’96 (and they will return there this year – tomorrow night, in fact – for the Royal Rumble 2017. We have 13,500 people in attendance tonight (less than the 16,000 the year previous) and 491,000 PPV buys at home (less than the 550,000 the year previous). Jerry can’t wait but I can because Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL are infroduced as the announcers for Smackdown and Tazz and Joey Styles announce for ECW. Tazz says, “Notwithstanding that,” and wears sunglasses inside because he is an idiot. We don’t get introduced to any foreign announcers because fuck ‘em.

The red carpet! The fur coats! The exposed cleavage! It’s MNM, showing Joey Mercury’s face from the attack at Armageddon, back in December 2006. Melina enters and shows her bottom. They reshow the attack that bust open Joey’s face in super sexy slow motion and-

Wait. Is Joey wearing a tongue piercing? You idiot! Keep all the things that can hurt your face away from your face!

Matt and Jeff enter and we see that Johnny Nitro took down Matt Hardy after he won a match against Joey. Absolute bastards, the lot of them. JR tells us that this match is unique because Matt and Joey are on Smackdown while Jeff and Johnny are on Raw so this is an inter-brand tag team match.

The Hardy Boyz def MNM (w/ Melina) via pin in 15:27.

No titles on the line here and both teams aren’t even in the ring before the bell goes. Woah woah woah, WWE, calm the beans, brother. The crowd bay for the Hardys and Matt and Joey attempt to enter but Johnny jumps in first before tagging in Joey. Matt apparently dislocated his jaw back at the attack on Smackdown, which is dumb of him to come into the ring then, huh? But then again, the Hardys aren’t the smartest boys. MNM work over Matt for a bit but he takes over for a second and tags in Jeffrey who does a little dropkick and attempts a pin from it. Joey knocks him into the corner and Johnny tags in. Jeff does an atomic drop followed by a double leg drop and attempts another pin. Calm down. Jeff tags in Matt.

Double clothesline and JR gets Jeff and Matt mixed up. Matt hits a lovely suplex to Joey and Johnny gets his head bounced off the turnbuckle followed by a swinging neckbreaker from Matthew. Johnny escapes, punches Matt who sells the jaw and tags in Joey. Joey looks great in that mask, better than normal anyways. Joey punches Matt, hurts his hand, tags himself out and Johnny works over Matt with weak and safe offence. Johnny attempts the pin and gets only a two. Johnny and Matt have a chat for a moment as we see a replay of Joey kicking Matt in the head. Joey is tagged back in and hit a double knee-shot as Melina screeches. Another pin attempt, another fail followed by a second of each. Joey beats mercilessly on Matt and follows it up with a clothesline that Joey sells as Matt’s jaw actually hurt him. I like that. Chinlock city for a while. Melina is squinting and needs glasses.

Mercury goes for a Bret’s rope elbow but fails and Jeff jumps in as Nitro follows and the pace speeds up. Hardy hits a lovely top-rope Whisper in the Wind and Joey breaks it up. Matt pops in, hitting a lovely suplex on Joey and a double suplex on Johnny. Both men go for the stereo top-rope attack with Johnny lifting his knees to foil Jeff’s splash, but takes Matt’s leg drop on the throat. Joey is tagged in and Jeff is hurt. A pin attempt fails mid-ring as Joey elbows him and JR gets Nitro and Mercury mixed up! C’mon, bro, get your names right!

Nitro and Jeff are in now, and Joey is tagged in as they do a double leg drop on Jeff. Melina tries to get them going and the crowd chant to raise Jeff to his knees and he goes for a lovely inside cradle, getting only a two but Mercury is angry about it and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. MNM hit the double gut-buster and Matt jumps in for some reason. Nitro and Jeff have some rest mid-ring as Johnny hits the scissors on Jeff to allow both men to relax and take some air in. The pair get into a scrum as Jeff aims for Matt, building up to the hot tag. Jeff gives Johnny a back body drop and tags Matt in but the ref doesn’t see it. MNM jump in when the ref is distracted and beat on him in their corner. JR reminds us of the rules, “Break on four, disqualified on five.”

Tag has been made but Jeff fights back, causing MNM to hit each other. Hot tag to Fat Matt who cleans house, lovely back body drop on Nitro and Matt bulldog-clotheslines the pair of them. Close pin attempt and Matt goes to Bret’s rope for a weak elbow. Two count. Jeff intervenes and the pair his Poetry in Motion twice. The second time, Nitro escapes and rolls up Matt for a close two-count. Matt hits the Side Effect, Twist of Fate on Nitro, Mercury runs Matt out but on the way through the ropes, he tags Jeff who hits the Swanton Bomb and gets the win by pin in 15:27.

2017 comments:

Once again, a fantastic curtain jerker by MNM and the Hardys.

2007 comments:

Not enough blood this time around, boys. Also, Nitro looks like Batman.

Grade: A

Cut to Teddy Long and The Coach as they pick numbers for the Rumble. Edge comes in, meets Kelly Kelly who tries to rock her way through her six lines. Edge slags her off, asking if her parents named her twice so she wouldn’t forget. Randy Orton comes in, Edge’s Rated-RKO teammate, who says he will not hesitate to toss Edge over the top rope. They draw their numbers and Edge says he will show Randy his if Randy will show Edge his. Booker T comes in and asks if they actually said that. No laughs.

Tazz and Styles introduce the next match: Test versus Bobby.

Cut to promo for the match where Test looks like every inch the Roidy Magoo that he is. He struts about with his big roidy belly and kicks people in the face for a bit and says he’s better than Lashley and RVD and all the rest. He see Lashley his arse and win a match, winning a title, though Test steals the belt because apparently that’s how championships are won in ECW. Fuck the rules, wha?

Back in the Arena, Test comes out, looking awful. C’mon, man. At least try to hide your illegal drugs. Even Jeff did a better job than that.

Bobby’s music hits and here is a man who hides his anabolics. Big pyro hits with Bobby in the middle of it. Isn’t that cute? He thinks that he’s the Undertaker. He is not. And he does a vertical jump. Christ, he thinks that he’s the Brock Lesnar too. Very cute. Big dude with an afro in the front row on the hard cam, by the way. Looks great, big man. Fair play.

ECW World Championship match: Bobby Lashley (c) def Test via pin in 7:18.

Test and Bobby lock up and go for a wee walk around the ring. Test pins bobby into the corner, slaps at him and Bobby spears him in return. Test grabs the ropes and drops Bobby, laying into him and dealing elbows in the corner. Bobby hits Test with a great T-bone suplex and follows it up with a stalling suplex, throwing Test down so hard he needs to have a wee lie down outside the ring. Tazz tells us that, “It is well documented that Test always has something underneath his sleeve,” and that “something” is “throwing Bobby into the turnbuckle from the apron.” Pin attempt and fail.

Test and Bobby have a wee sit down and Test is super gassed. He tells Bobby to shut up. Lashley is fighting to his feet and gets Test in the shoulder but Roidy Magoo fights back and stunners Bobby’s arm in response. Tazz says, “rotator cuff,” like a dope. Test works the shoulder. More sitting. Armbar City over here. Lashley finally breaks out, charges Test, gets an elbow, gives the Canuch a huge back-body drop and charges him in the corner over and over. Lashley gives Test a gorilla press but drops him because of damage to his arm. Test hits the big boot, fails to get a pin and huffs. Test lifts Lashley up for the Fireman Slam but is tossed out. Test then takes the countout to big boos, walking away from Lashley. The bell rings.

2017 comments:

Awful.

2007 comments:

Poor Test. He’s not long for this world.

Grade: D

The crowd chant “ECW!” as Bobby pulls Test back in, beats him up and raises his hands in the air. Boo, the pair of yis.

We see a replay of what caused the countout – a clothesline. Depressing. Sign Guy is there, though, so that’s nice, I suppose. Bobby is pissing with sweat.

On the Card will return on February 4 2017 with the second part of Royal Rumble 2007.