As for the Final 4 stats, Austin has the most with 5, but that includes 3 wins. Michaels has 4, but that's with 2 wins. Kane has 4 with no wins. Maybe we should start calling him Ben Howland ... ouch, I am such a bitch.
I have to say I don't have either of those Rumbles in my top 10. 2000 just doesn't stand out. As for 2007, before the awesome ending, I remember thinking "This is one of the worst Rumbles ever," due in large part to the Khali fiasco.
Well, the NCAA has it's final 4, and so do I. Now the Rumble who drew #4:
Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Final 4: Austin, The Rock, Farrooq, Dude Love
#1 & 2: Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
This Rumble was a lot of fun, beginning with Cactus and Chainsaw getting all sorts of hardcore, there was also apperances by all 3 faces of Foley (what a cheater) and the ongoing storyline of when Austin was going to show up. The only problem I have with it is that you knew Austin was going to win that Rumble before it started. I mean some people might have thought Mark Henry or Owen Hart would come out on top, but those people would have just been completely idiotic, I mean, out and out morons.
But I know you've got this one higher, so what do you have to say about it?
Yeah that was my #2 ranked Rumble. All the things you mentioned, plus as you noted about Austin in a pick earlier, this was a match where the Rock quite possibly made the leap to being a main eventer. But there’s a list of some great little things in this Rumble that really push it towards the top for me, and this is… is that list:
- “WHAT IS UP WITH D-LO?!?”
- Kurgan fan
- Austin on Goldust clothesline
- And the mess that is Ahmed Johnson.
Ahmed stumbles to ring half drunk and half asleep. He gets a giant wedgie mid way through his appearance that he never fixes. Then he just gets dumped out and tires to kick a guy when he’s leaving only he falls down like a pathetic lump of shit. Then! The icing on the cake! As he’s leaving to the back, just before he makes it behind the curtain, Kama enters the Rumble and violently shoves Ahmed out of the way. Ahmed’s response? Nothing. He gives a half-assed attempt at going after for him for about, oh, a second. Then he leaves. Probably passed out backstage while Dink dropped a Cleveland steamer on his chest.
Anyway, that’s #4 and this is #3…
Winner: Ric Flair
Final Four: Ric Flair, Sid Justice, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man
1 & 2: Bulldog and Dibiase
It was for the title!!! Flair goes almost the distance coming in at 3. There’s the classic Bossman elimination, and an epic final group of Hall of Famers: those guys above, and Slaughter and Piper (also IRS and Martel). Not to mention Piper finally making IRS pay for wearing that tie.
But what makes this Rumble for me was Bobby Heenan’s commentary. He was great throughout the Rumble, but two of my favorite lines were the “DAMNIT” when he saw Flair had entered at #3, and when Flair was left alone in the ring mid-Rumble and Heenan went nuts like he had won: “Flair’s done it! He’s won!!!”
Anyway, I’m sure this one is on your list at some point, so… care to comment?
Yes, I had 1992 in my number 1 slot. Obviously the fact that it was for the title makes it the most important Rumble ever. Everything you mentioned was basically what I had to say. One thing I wanted to add was that I seem to remember Flair actually taking the fight to people repeatedly in that match. That's pretty unheard of for the type of heel he was, so that's cool.
Also, I think you short-changed the Bossman elimination. This was more than classic, it defined a generation of botched Rumble spots. For every other bad elimination you can say, "Well, at least it wasn't as bad as Bossman's." Not to mention the flurry of action that led-up to it, including the Bossman's roundhouse whiff kick while his shirt gave new meaning to the term unbuttoned. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I knew wrestling was choreographed by 1992. I was 6 years old and I think you guys had let me in on the secret. But I'm sure somewhere in the back of my mind, I still thought it might be real. Well, if I did, this elimination sealed the deal for me. I realized right then and there, as Bossman leaped into the ropes fell back towards the ring and jumped back over and out, that wrestling was fake.
Anyway, as for my #3 we've already discussed it, it was 1997.
And my #2 is what I'm sure you're #1 is (confused yet everyone?) so I'll give you the honors of getting the first crack at it.
Alrighty! That leaves us with just one missing Rumble, my # 1 and your # 2…
Just kidding. That Rumble is the worst ever. Shouldn’t even have been mentioned in our rundown… but before we unveil the last one I thought we could drop some notes on the remaining Rumbles. Any other fond memories?
Like, 1988, the first one ever… and a jobber named Hacksaw won! Or how about, the worst Rumble elimination of all time (not to mention it was for the win) when Yokozuna threw Randy Savage out FROM THE MAT after Randy tried to pin him. Or there’s one of the greatest Rumble lines of all time in 1996 when Vince asks Mr. Perfect who he thinks is coming in at # 2: “Uhhhh… (Henry Godwin’s music hits)… HOGMAN!”. Classic. The stuff graduation tributes are made of.
Don’t really have any comments on the later ones that weren’t already mentioned. Probably why they didn’t make the list. But I felt those few above at least needed SOME recognition.
Anyway got any other final comments that don’t involve our last Rumble? Or should I just go on?
I think at some point we have to mention Rick Martel, a truly great Rumble performer who would always stick around for a solid amount of time.
A couple of other notes:
1996: Shawn Michaels wins, then moons the crowd, pulling his pants so far down in the front that it revealed his pubes.
1991: A kid in the crowd correctly predicts the next entrant when he shouts: "It's Hulk Hogan!"
Not Sure which Rumble: A spot is supposed to remain empty, but you can see that one of the L.O.D. is about to come through the curtain. As if he was thinking, "Well, looks like someone fucked up, guess I gotta save the Rumble." Then Bruce Pritchard or someone pulls him back.
And lastly, the recurring quotes from every one of the first 10 or so Rumbles:
-When tag teamers would inevitably fight: "It's every man for himself in the Royal Rumble."
-After #30 would come out: "The numbers game is over."
-The aforementioned: "Well the NCAA's got their Final 4, and we've got ours."
-Any of us watching an undercard match where a guy gets thrown over the top rope: "Ya know, if this were the Rumble, he'd be outta here."
-And finally, when the countdown is going for #30 and the announcers say something like:
"Only one man left now, and I think we both know who it is ...."
#30 finally comes out before the announcer can say anything, proving that they had no idea who was left.
"Yes, it's the Warlord. Only one person it could have been, and it's the Warlord."
YES! Classics!!! I love Animal's inner monologue. "Better fix this. FAST!" BTW (it's short for the By the way... little blogger (blogger not booger, Hugh) lingo I've picked up along the way), Animal was coming in because Macho no showed. First time that ever happened.
(Sorry everyone! Couldn't find quick clips for 1998, and there was no good Flair winning clip... plus I had to hustle in preparation for Lost)