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[2000-01-23-WWF-Royal Rumble] Royal Rumble


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A fairly replacement level Rumble. It has some neat highlights like Too Cool and Rikishi being over as all hell, a deep 20 minute Boss Man run, Bob Backlund with the surprise entry to a huge pop, and Rock winning. Beyond that though, there is a lot of dead weight here and it really showed the absence of Austin and Taker as it felt like an easy formality that Rock was winning or at worst Big Show if they wanted a big surprise. Anyone else wouldn't have made any sense at all. ***

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This really picked up when Rikishi entered the match and the audience came unglued. I loved the dancing with Too Cool and the "ooooh" reaction when Viscera came out -- that instinctive fan reaction when the bulls are about to lock up. Rikishi really comes across as a megastar (and a great worker) in this match. I am really high on him at this point. Test still has a lot of residual popularity from 1999 too, but as we know, that wouldn't last. There was a substantial difference in heat when Rikishi was eliminated and never really recovered until The Rock came in, and the match itself dragged during that time too. The final stretch with Rock and Big Show was electric. I had always heard that the finish was botched with Rock hitting the floor first and that's why they had to make an angle out of it and set up a match between Rock and Show at the next pay-per-view, but if that's the case, the camera sure didn't catch it unless the WWE Network has a cleaned up version of the match.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got kinda down-in-the-dumps watching Taz vs. Angle (thinking about how Angle apparently became a pain killer addict and how poorly Taz(z) was used after his huge debut) and Cactus vs. HHH (thinking about how many unnecessary risks these performers took and continue to take to entertain us) and it would have been easy to do the same here (just consider how many of these guys are no longer with us).




... I got a kick out of seeing guys I haven't thought about in years, like Test, Steve Blackman, and Too Cool. I got a kick out of how JR enunciated names like Grand master Sex-Ay and RAW-Kishi. I got a kick out of seeing all those dudes with really long hair. I enjoyed the whole Rikishi/Too Cool comedy spot. I got a kick out of Chyna eliminating Jericho. I enjoyed comparing this years Rumble with the 2000 Rumble and having to admit that WWE have gotten better over the years at making sure there is some story being told or some little entertaining spot going on at every stage of the Rumble. So, even this one dragging in the middle gave me something kind of interesting to think about.


I pretty much feel better now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

They play up the 1995 Rumble big in the pre-match to this where only one of Shawn Michaels’ feet touched the floor after the Bulldog threw him over the top rope. I didn’t pick up on it at the time, but if I was watching this for the first time I’d be thinking that there’s got to be a reason for showing this. Hmmm… while a new entrant will enter the match at 90 second intervals this year.


D-Lo Brown and Grandmaster Sexay are the first two participants, and Jerry Lawler has a look of disappointment on his face seeing the Grandmaster out so early. Jim Ross jokes that some say Grandmaster Sexay got a bad break at birth, but that’s only a rumour! Mosh is number three and Kaientai are out for their first unscheduled appearance of the evening but both quickly get dumped over the top rope and sent packing back to the dressing room. Christian and Rikishi are the next two entrants, and the crowd comes alive after being pretty dead for the opening few minutes. Rikishi dumps Mosh, Christian and then D-Lo (following a Rikishi Driver) and it’s just himself and the Grandmaster left. Sexay looks to be doing all he can to prevent Rikishi from going after him, telling him that they’re friends etc, but Rikishi seems to be remembering that it’s ‘everyman for himself in the Royal Rumble’ and there are no friends. Before anything can happen Scotty 2 Hotty is number six and he gets between the two of them. They hand Rikishi some shades, the lights go down, the music starts playing and the three of them dance with the Madison Square Garden crowd lapping it up. Rikishi eventually gives Too Cool a double clothesline and eliminates them both, however apologizes saying ‘it’s only business’. They forgive him and all is good in the Too Cool camp. Rikishi dances until the next participant enters who is Steve Blackman. Another ‘Rikishi Driver’ and he’s gone and Viscera, who although fairs better, doesn’t last much longer either. The Big Bossman is number nine but he wants no part of Rikishi and doesn’t even get in the ring, waiting outside for the full 90 seconds. Test is next and he gets the second biggest pop of the match so far and goes right for the Bossman. The two of them fight on the arena floor, including Test giving him a backdrop out there, before throwing him in the ring.


Davey Boy Smith, Gangrel and then Kaientai are back, but are again thrown out straightaway with Taka taking that awful looking bump right on his face which they replay several more times through the match. Edge is number thirteen and gets a good initial pop before the crowd dies almost immediately. Bob Backlund is a surprise entrant to another loud reaction, and everyone teams up to eliminate Rikishi. Chris Jericho is next and he puts an end to Backlund’s participation with a dropkick that sends him flying over the top rope. Crash Holly is followed out by Chyna and she doesn’t get anywhere near the response that you’d expect. She eliminates Jericho when she is stood on the apron and suplexes him from in the ring to the floor, however while she’s watching her handiwork the Bossman elbows her in the back and sends her tumbling to the floor too. Faarooq makes his entrance but the Mean Street Posse are on his tail and attack him. Once they’ve done their damage they quickly scarper, that though leaves him easy pickings for the Big Bossman who eliminates another. Road Dogg and then Al Snow enter the fray and we’re two thirds of the way there.


Road Dogg eliminates the Bulldog, and Val Venis is out to a bit of a pop. Funaki returns for a third time, although it’s the same result as the previous two. No Taka as Jim Ross informs us he’s been taken to the hospital after what happened earlier, and of course that gives them a reason to show that bump again. Prince Albert is number twenty two, and Edge is eliminated after he charges at Al Snow and Val Venis who duck and backdrop him over the top rope to the floor. Bob Holly is followed by The Rock, who comfortably gets the largest reaction of anyone, and he eliminates the Bossman. Billy Gunn is next and he goes straight for The Rock who is now the focus of the Rumble. The Rock eliminates Crash and the Big Show is number twenty six and he starts to clear the ring getting rid of Test and Gangrel. Bradshaw is twenty seven, but just like Faarooq he is followed by the Mean Street Posse (look out for Pete Gas’ epic fail as he attempts to slide in the ring!). Bradshaw handles all three of them quite comfortably, but the distraction of the Posse allows him to be eliminated by the Outlaws. Faarooq is back out to help his partner and the Acolytes beat the MSP all the way to the back. Kane is next and like all the ‘big names’ he makes quick elimination, his being Val Venis. The Godfather is the penultimate entrant, but while he and his ho’s are making their way around ringside Kane eliminates Prince Albert. Funaki is back out for the final time (no need to guess what happens here), before X-Pac at number thirty is the last participant.


With everyone now entered they quickly get rid of the dead wood; Al Snow eliminates Bob Holly, Big Show eliminates The Godfather, The Rock eliminates Snow, Billy Gunn eliminates his New Age Outlaw partner the Road Dogg, Kane eliminates Gunn and The Rock eliminates X-Pac with him sailing over the top rope and taking a hellacious flat back bump on the floor. It transpires that the referees were distracted by the New Age Outlaws and Kane fighting though. The Outlaws pulled Kane from the ring after they were eliminated, and while the officials were trying to separate them and get the Outlaws to the dressing room, they missed X-Pac’s elimination and he snuck back into the ring unnoticed. Kane with an enziguiri and bodyslam to the Big Show, however a leg lariat from X-Pac sees him eliminated and we’re down to three. Bronco Buster on Show but it has zero effect and he just gets to his feet, grabs X-Pac, presses him over his head and drops him over the top rope and straight to the floor. The final two and the crowd seem more into the match than at any point previously. The Rock with a ‘People’s Elbow’ and Show with a chokeslam. He puts Rock over his shoulder and goes to dump him outside, but Rock grabs hold of the top rope and Show’s momentum sends him over and The Rock is the winner of the 2000 Royal Rumble.


This Rumble is really carried on the back of Rikishi and The Rock. If it were a graph there would be a peak when Rikishi enters a drop off after he is eliminated and a second peak when The Rock enters. I was surprised how dead the crowd were for the majority of this as well. Were they just burned out after the HHH vs Cactus match? A number of wrestlers get pretty decent initial pops (Edge, Backlund, Venis for example) but the crowd dies by the time they’ve got in the ring. Chyna especially got next to no reaction when I was expecting her to be over pretty strong. With the likes of Mosh, the Bulldog, Gangrel in this you realise how little depth there is in the WWF at the moment (although that will be rectified shortly with the soon to be arriving Radicalz). Rikishi and Too Cool were over huge and I got a kick out of Kaientai and the Posse’s involvement in the match. Props to X-Pac for that bump he took on the false elimination, but you only really need to watch this from the final four onwards.

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  • 1 month later...

My biggest memory of this Rumble was the Rikishi/2 Cool segment. And it's still my favorite segment on this watch.


I had forgotten just how dead the crowd was for most of these guys. Part of it is that three of your most over guys - Angle, Foley, and Haitch - all wrestled earlier on the show. Plus, Tazz had already been revealed. Today, they likely would have surprise entered him in the Rumble instead of giving him his own match. Having Angle eliminate him could have set up a feud with them.


And probably the crowd was burned out after the Foley/HHH match.


The January Raw and SD I have seen has already been very good. The matches on this show are good to great. And IIRC, the post-Mania PPVs are quite good. So we're moving in a very good direction, even if the RR match itself is middling.

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I can't see myself rewatching this, even for the project, but I have to mention Pete Gas smashing his face on the bottom rope. I remember showing that clip to so many friends. At some point, I ended up memorizing the exact timestamp from the DVD. We would watch that bit over and over. One of the most underrated Rumble moments for sure, and maybe my favorite botch of all-time. Bless you, Pete Gas.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-01-23-WWF-Royal Rumble] Royal Rumble

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