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THE ROCKTAGON
W/ JAMES SWIFT

Well, before we get into this week's handful of nostalgic goodness, I suppose it's only fitting that we first discuss the news at hand: Barack Obama becoming the first black president in the history of the United States. This is without question a monumental step forward for not only the progression of America, but the world as well, as the last three hundred years of racism, elitism and xenophobia which have long been hallmarks of the American heritage have fundamentally been conquered in one display of electoral congregation.

And somewhere, Michael Hayes is dropping more "n" bombs than a cross- reference examination of "Chapelle's Show" and the first Wu-Tang album. I'm just glad to see that we, as a collective, have made such racial progress, because if we were utilizing the precedents set by the wrestling industry, Obama would've jobbed to a 'roided-up Jeb Bush back in May and sent to the House of Representatives (the legislative branch equivalent of ECW) for "developmental purposes".

Winner: Racial Equality, increased hopes for a Shelton Benjamin title run

Anyhoo, speaking of things that involve dashed hopes and dumping of massive bodies, let's talk about the Royal Rumble, shall we? As a wee young lad, I cared not for technically efficient bouts and individual work rate. Come on, I slept with a plush Stimpy facsimile that farted when you squeezed it. I wanted goofy characters, I wanted instant gratification, and I really wanted to combine my love of overweight people and counting down in two-minute intervals. Therefore, the annual January event (which, on more than one occasion, actually fell on my birthday), became my favorite wrestling gala of the year. Seriously, fuck Wrestlemania: How the hell can you not be enthralled by an event where even Saba freaking Simba has a chance of winning the World motherfucking Title?

In the long, studied annals of Rumble history, most historians will be quick to point out that the best individual Rumble of them all was the 1992 iteration. Apparently, all tapes and recorded history pertinent to the 2004 installment have been eradicated from human knowledge, so I guess I'll have to take their words for it.

Less chitchat, more WWF ROYAL RUMBLE 1992!

The show begins with Vince McMahon absolutely splooging his pants as he runs down tonight's participants in the Royal Rumble. The familiar Tecmo-Bowl like theme washes over the on-screen, COLOR-CODED snapshots of the entrants (Purple for asshole, Blue for babyface.just like in real life, right?). Vince then murders what easily could've been 100,000 babies as he ejaculates the show's title to get things going. You know that if you had a voice as cool as Vince's you would run around screaming nondescript things as well, just to hear the resonance of the tone. "So, Mr. McMahon, would you like fries with your order?" "NOOOOOOOO, I WANT SHICKENNN-NUGG-YETTSSSS!!" Eh, it sounded funny when I was thinking it.

Tonight's theme song is way better than anything the WWE has licensed this millennium, by the way. And that's coming from an actual, TRAINED musician. (The kazoo counts as an instrument, doesn't it?) Our hosts, perched upon their ivory announce desks, are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby The Brain Heenan. This is the absolute pinnacle of Heenan's career, so I'd advise you to check out the show SOLELY for his color commentary. Seriously, it's top-tier stuff. Right from the get-go, The Brain is selling for Flair. Tonight's Albany crowd is absolutely MOLTEN. Due to Albany's proximity to NYC, I assume living there is like dining at the same buffet as Louie Anderson, which means if you catch a morsel, you better damned enjoy it. On the undercard, we have Roddy Piper (prior to becoming the only person in history to actually GAIN weight while on chemo) challenging a recently crowned Canadian IC champ.whose name isn't Bret Hart. Well, fuck, I'm out. Also, the Legion Of Doom (where's Scarecrow?) defend their tag belts against the Natural Disasters. In other words, I have a whole shit load of deceased people to make fun of. Sometimes, it's just too easy, you know?

Howard Finkel reminds us that this is early 90s WWF, because we have a blatantly racist tag gimmick in tonight's curtain jerker. Evil Mr. Fuji and his "Orient Express" (Jesus C...) consisting of Tanaka and Kato are taking on the "New Foundation" of Jim Neidhart and Owen H. I've said this time and time before, but it needs perpetual addressing: I think the biggest claim for atheism is the notion that Owen is dead and Dane Cook isn't. The newfangled iteration of the Hart Foundation has ditched the gaudy hot pink and black color scheme for the only set-up more eye searing, the juxtaposition of checkerboard and neon green.

The bout begins with Owen, dressed as the bastard amalgamation of Sabu and a My Buddy doll, working the arm of Kato. Kato, by the way, is wearing the absolute crappiest mask in wrestling history. Time to play leapfrog! Let's go back to the arm drag, shall we? Test of strength, on the mat? Now it's time for Owen to do some cool flippy looking stuff, which was essentially unheard of in the WWF at the time, including the breakout of the OWEN- canranna! More arm-work, tag for Jimmy. Awesome Heenan quote of the night #1: "He's as goofy as a bed bug!" Jimmy whoops that ass, then it's a tag for Tanaka. Tanaka makes a few kamikaze dives at Neidhart, but the Anvil shakes it off. Shit, they should've built the WTC out of whatever Neidhart is made of.

Tag for Owen. Tandem Alabama Slam / Elbow drop for Tanaka. More flip-floppy neatness from Owen, concluding with the industry-best enziguri. Double team from the Express, Neidhart makes them eat clothesline. Very ropey flavor, I'm assuming. Meanwhile, Gorilla explains how The Mountie beat Bret for the IC strap two nights earlier (Bret, AGAINST DOCTOR'S ORDERS, fought with a temperature of 104 degrees). Heenan claims to have once wrestled with a temp of 113. Abridged, Heenan rules beyond ruling. "Double noggin knocker" (Thanks, Monsoon!) and a flying body press on both opponents for a two. Shit, no wonder the Japanese lost WWII; they never get any offense in! Spinning heel, supplex, and Owen tries to yank off Kato's mask. Kato (egg) rolls to the outside. Yeah, I know, that's a Chinese dish, but I don't care. Asian stereotypes are interchangeable. Fuji pokes Owen right in the throat with his cane. Just like they did at Pearl Harbor.

The Express take turns blatantly choking Owen like.you know, you can make your own Benoit joke at this point. More throat punching and Karate kicking from the Rock N Rorr Express. Get it, because the Japanese have a difficult time pronouncing the "l" sound! Eh, f you. Funny as shit double team move comes up as the Express situate Owen on the ropes and wedge him up and down like a railroad pump. That made me giggle. Now it's Owen's turn to pay for our sins as he proceeds to get stomped by the Express. Heenan continues to shill for Flair's Rumble campaign nonstop. It's great, trust me. Hart gets cut off for about five minutes. You know the drill. "Just like the Midnight Express, the Orient Express will be tough to derail," states Monsoon. Hmm.so should I make a joke about cocaine consumption or Hiroshima? Your call, Internet! Feigned comeback, the ref gets distracted, Owen makes the tag, but would you believe it? The ref didn't see it! I am aghast at such lackluster officiating! Fuji sets his cane in the corner, and instead of just, I don't know, HITTING him with it, the Express decides to throw him THORUGH it. OK. Owen sells the cane spot as if he were to fall from the raft. shit, not even I'm low enough to take that route. Foot on the ropes, Owen is saved. More ass kicking for Owen. I've counted three "Will you be serious!" quips from Gorilla so far. That means if you're playing the official Early 90s WWF PPV drinking game, you're probably shit-faced already. Tanaka yells "Bonsai" as he jumps on Owen's back. Sadly, he didn't throw rice into the crowd and insert goofy teeth into his mouth before the spot to complete the caricature. Double drop kick, time for the drama spot. Anvil gets the hot tag, and slingshots the Express. "He's like a bull in a China closet!" states Monsoon. Anybody want to pick that one up for me? The Rocket takes out Kato with a dive, Rocket Launcher for the 1,2,3. "Sayonara, baby!" says Monsoon. It must've been fun before political correctness.

WINNER: Technically, nobody, because Owen was NOT the legal man when he made the pinfall. See, I pay attention to this shit.

Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage, recapping The Mountie's IC title win from two days prior. This leads to Hayes throwing it to, OH YES, Sean "My Savior and Yours" MOONEY whom is with both The Mountie and Jimmy Hart. Erstwhile, Mean Gene is chatting it up with Roddy Piper. Piper just about kills the 90s when he states, eloquently, that the Mountie has wet dreams about him. Go watch the tape yourself, it's there.

The Mountie makes his way ringside first, and Piper gets the patented Gorilla Monsoon notified "standing ovation". Basic Piper match, with lots of scuffling to begin. It's all Piper on offense. This is the archetypical early 90s WWF bout: a minute move set, lots of standstills, rest spots galore, outside interference, a gimmicked ending, etcetera. Not only is the banter between Heenan and Monsoon more entertaining than the actual bout, it's probably more athletic, to boot. Time for the world's absolute slowest sunset flip. Heenan claims that he alleviated his 113 fever by taking half a children's aspirin tablet. The full tablet cured his cancer, I believe. Punches? Check. Outside tosses? Yeah. Outlandish finale? You bet. Piper gets The Mountain to pass out from the sleeper hold, and in runs Jimmy Hart with the "Shock Stick". Piper celebrates his newfound IC belt win by electrocuting The Mountie's butt hole, which somehow brings him back to consciousness. So the next time your friend passes out, just jam electricity up his ass and he'll be up and moving in no time.

Winner: Roddy Piper, who came into the match to chew bubblegum and sodomize his adversary with electricity.and he's all out of of gum.

Up next, we have some bullshit involving The Beverly Brothers and The Bushwhackers, and truth be told, life is too short for such things. I mean, what if I were to die at this exact moment due to an undiagnosed congenital heart defect? Do I really want my life to be summed up by a paramedic stating "We found him dead watching two Australian guys lick each other"? Better play it safe and hit fast forward.

Mean Gene is chatting it up with the tag champs. Hawk makes a funny: "The Natural Disasters like to throw their weight around. That's OK, we like to throw their weight around, too!" And then he kills himself. Earthquake and Typhoon make their way to the ring first, accompanied to perhaps the most genius theme music in wrestling history. Remember back in kindergarten, when the fat kid would walk your way and you made the "dinosaur footstep" sound as he or she approached? Well, that's basically what their theme music is. Childhood cruelty FTW! MATT FACT: I once made out with a dame that had a forehead equivalent to Earthquake's. And no, she didn't squash my pet snake with her massive cheeks afterward. Or did she? (Cue Saved By The Bell ooOOOOO!)

Paging the Albany crowd: something about a rush of some kind? Here come the (tag) champ(s).

Wow, this is the most boring thing I've ever seen. Eight minutes in, and not ONE noteworthy spot has occurred. The closest we've gotten to something athletic was a spot in which Hawk ran into Earthquake at a mildly brisker pace than usual. Immovable object versus an unstoppable force? This bout is like watching lard float in a jar of molasses. Ninety-four bear hugs later, we get some nonsense on the outside that leads to the Disasters securing a count-out victory. Post-bout, the LOD make the Disasters eat the weakest chair shots you've ever seen. Hey, they'll eat everything else!

Winner: The decision to place a fast-forward feature on the VCR

Sean Mooney shoots the breeze with the winning-losers post bout. The Disasters, for some peculiar reason, are upset. And also, fat. Mean Gene is in the back area. Time for half of the roster to fellate themselves before the Rumble. Macho Man has a two-fold agenda; first kick the Jake the Snake's ass, second win the Rumble, and thusly, the belt.

Did I mention that tonight's Rumble is FOR the WWF Championship? Well, remember how Flair was supposed to win the belt at Survivor Series, but Hogan rolled a +100 POLITICAL CLOUT and found a way to get out of doing the job? Well, this is how they finally ended up getting the belt on..SPOILER. The Nature Boy. By the way, if you didn't know that Ric wins this bout by now, you might also want to avoid any plane rides circa September 2001. Just a heads up.

More shameless self-fellatio. Sid says he's going to win because he speaks in a whispering manner with his teeth clenched. Well, actually, he doesn't, but that's the impression that I got. The Repo Man.doesn't have a shot at winning this thing. He does look a lot like Chavo Guerrero, though. Davey Boy Smith will win the Rumble because he's BIZAARE! Oops, wrong Rumble quote. Jake The Snake continues to be awesome. CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK! Ric Flair will win the Rumble BECAUSE he's Ric Flair. The Undertaker will win the Rumble because he's already dead.and possibly seniority. Hulk Hogan says he will win because he can yank his political cock out and change the finish. That's about the gist of it, I suppose.

Let us make no bones of the sort.we are here exclusively for the main course. Yeah, the opening bread sticks were OK, but the garbage we've had shoveled down our gullets this far has been a horrendous, misappropriated tease of our combination lobster \ steak \ caviar \ turkey mega-plate for the evening.

Wheel out the Turducken, mother fucker!

Howard Finkel reminds us of the Royal Rumble rules. Because "throwing some guy over a rope" is such a difficult, multifaceted concept to wrap one's mind around.

The British Bulldog draws lucky number one.

At two, we have The Million Dollar Man. A few Rumbles prior, Dibiase attempted to buy the entry slots of the other wrestlers to better his circumstances. I guess whichever economic sector Dibiase made his fortune in must've tanked in the 1991 Q4. Come to think of it, what was the exposition behind the character's wealth, anyway? The fan that e-mails me the best response wins.something.

To all the female smarks out there: the next time you're in the sack and your other of significance churns out a * * performance, just tell him that he lasts about as long as Bushwhacker Luke in bed.

About a minute in, and Ted Dibiase gets dumped like a chubby chick in favor of a cheerleader. This gives Davey Boy a few moments to recollect his wits. He only needed about a millisecond to gather his. And at #3. Ric Flair. Cue the greatest performance of a lifetime. No, not the Nature Boy's. Heenan's.

Remember how earlier, I said Davey Boy wasn't quite the sharpest knife in the drawer? Well, ponder this: he has Flair in a Gorilla Press Slam, of which Ric is helpless to escape. The object of the Rumble is to throw your opponent over the top rope. Where would you toss your prey? The correct answer is: Fucking anywhere but the middle of the ring. Guess where The Bulldog throws him?

At number four, we have one of the Nasty Boys. Which one, you may ask? The one that hasn't had his lips superglued to Hogan's inner ass muscles. AKA, the one that doesn't have a job now.

Any way, Jerry is in for all of a minute, and a Bulldog dropkick sends him packing. Back to the Davey Boy / Ric Flair saga.

At five, it's Haku. Now if this was a shoot, I'd have to say he'd be the odds on favorite to kill everyone in the ring. But alas, this be scripted, so NYAH.

Hold on: so you can exit the ring at the behest of your own jurisdiction as long as you roll under the lowest rope? Well, why the fuck wouldn't you just wait outside the entire bout, sneak in and dump out the final guy in mid- celebration to pick up the victory? There's a reason why TWO former ECW Heavyweight Champions are working at Target now, people.

Haku gets eliminated just as the freshly heel Shawn Michaels enters the fray at number six. Michaels nails a crescent kick on Flair. I wonder if they felt a strange precognitive sensation at that point in time? Davey Boy does the gorilla press slam AGAIN. Shit.

At number seven, it's El Matador. Poor Tito. In the ring with three bona fide legends.and he's dressed like a bullfighter. Tsk and tsk. Bobby Heenan allots his time to make several Hispanic jokes at Santana's expense. Sorry folks, but if you can't laugh at the statement "Shawn Michaels is making guacamole out of El Matador!", you might as well slit your wrists now.

Del ocho, es El Barbarian. Can't complain, this match needs more "hoss" anyway.

Number nine, it's The Texas Tornado. So.where do I begin on Kerry Von Erich? You know, he was The Ultimate Warrior, right? And also, something about drunk driving a motorcycle and losing a leg for being a dumbass. Some targets are too easy even for I.

We're starting to get a crowded house now. We also get our first Flair flop of the evening following a discus punch from Ole Horse Face.

Repo Man at ten. But Emilio Estevez is nowhere to be seen!

#11, it's Greg Valentine, whom is now currently available for birthday parties. The best part is, you don't even have to pay in cash; slip him some brownies and a free cup of juice and YOU, too, can pin a former IC champion!

At 12, it's Nikola Volkoff, whom is now.Lithuanian? The blue hell?

Over twenty minutes have passed, and we have ten guys in the ring. I smell the bulldozer fumes a-brewing.

In-ring Valentine places Flair in the figure-four. Flair to Valentine: "Enjoy it while it lasts, I'll be the one that gets to eat food 18 years down the line."

Exit Volkoff. He will be missed.

Thirteen is the Big Boss Man. I'm actually not living all that far from Cobb County, Georgia at the moment. Well, anyway, since he's dead, I'm not going to read the signs OR respect the law and order when I'm there.

Farewell, Hammer. You inspired a generation.to save their money.

To our departed Repo Man, your smile shall give us a lifetime to rejoice.

Davey Boy gets dumped by Flair. That's what he gets for making out with that skank Beth Neuhauser before third period chem.

On a hot streak is Flair, whom proceeds to toss The Tornado from contention. Audible on camera "Nah, I'm OK to drive. I've only had a few. What's that? I should wear a shirt? Well, fuck you."

The rest is history.

Haku is bounced. Michaels and El Matador make a double-pact and eliminate themselves because their parents just don't understand what they share.

The fourteenth entrant is Hercules. Where are the chains, man?

Herc and The Barbarian can't tell one another apart, so a double dump remedies their identity quagmire.

It's one on one betwixt Flair and the Bossman. An overzealous cop decides his morally vague occupation has tainted his convictions, so he does the only thing agreeable: He eliminates himself from contention. The contention. of life.

Flair stands the lone survivor as Heenan absolutely creams his pants in joy. And Flair Flop #2.

Number 15 is Rowdy Roddy. Cue the absolutely awesome ass kicking.

16, Jake The Snake. Business is about to pick up. As Ric Flair lie choked out on the mat, Jake sits aloof in the corner, beckoning Piper to take a shot at him. Short arm clothesline for Ric, as Bobby turns on Jake. Here's Heenan at his best:

When Piper saves Ric: "It's a kilt Roddy, not a skirt!"
After Piper attacks Ric: "You skirt wearing freak!"

Seventeen is for Hacksaw Duggan. The fans chant "USA!" even though all four competitors are American born. What stigma about wrestling fans being retards?

More insight from The Brain:

"We were jobbed! It's a conspiracy! Hogan has something to do with this!"

And for the first time in history, someone shoots on a WWF show.

18, I.R.S. You know, there are a lot of accounting puns one can utilize here. That being said, I have very little interest in his character.

At nineteen, it's Jimmy Snuka. He makes women feel as if they are floating on air. Right before they hit the pavement, any way.

The Undertaker is out at number 20. Snuka is sent sailing like one of his ex- girlfriends from a hotel balcony.

21 is The Macho Man, and he's making a B-line for Jake. The Snake gets dumped, and Macho Man eliminates himself to continue Roberts' ass beating on the outside. For some reason, The Undertaker tries to bring Randy back into the ring? Folks, I cannot express this enough, garbage goes in a garbage BAG, and you're supposed to FOLLOW the Allah-damned script, PEOPLE!

Alzheimer's is kicking in early: When did El Matador get tossed? And why is the toaster laughing at me?

So.The Macho Man is still in the bout? Apparently, he is.

Twenty Two, The Berserker. None of the wrestlers in the ring are piloting pizza trucks, so he should be in relatively safe conditions.

23 is the recently emancipated Virgil. And what's the first thing he does? He goes after the Internal Revenue Service. Real classy, WWF. Real classy.

24, it's Colonel Mustafa. Sure, I could drudge up some archaic "You will be humbled!" line, and maybe after that, I can relay a GIF of the Hamster Dance. I hate Internet Memes more than Skinner hates baths, and by the looks of it, Skinner REALLY hates baths.

Monsoon calls Flair "Martel" several times. It's a good thing Morton, Derringer, and Springfield weren't on the WWF payroll at the time, or else things could've gotten really fucky.

Speak of the devil, number 25 is Rick "The Model" Martel. Mustafa gets eliminated. "USA!" chant. For what? The fans might as well be chanting "GRAV- I-TY! GRAV-I-TY!" By the way, next show I'm at, I'm totally getting a "Gravity" chant started.

26. Heenan screams "Oh, God no!" So should we, for the Orange Menace has entered the Rumble. There goes Martel. Adios, Taker. Au revoir, Berserker. Don't let the door hit you on the asses, Hacksaw and Virgil. Martel is back in the ring. Hu-wazzuh?

27 belongs to our unofficial mascot, Skinner. Make us proud, young lion! Where the hell did IRS obtain that scarf?

Sgt. Slaughter at 28. The Rocktagon solemnly weeps as Skinner gets tossed. We shan't forget you.

Sid Justice at 29. And to make things anticlimactic, The Warlord is number 30. Bobby The Brain disestablishes his credibility by saying that he may be the next WWF champion. And suddenly, WCW just gained a whole shit load of more viewers.

Flair and Hogan roll to the outside and brawl. Sid launches Slaughter out of the ring in the Rumble's biggest bump. Come to think of it, Sarge wasn't afraid to take an ass beating in the F, was he? I mean, shit, he almost had his wife and kids blown up in a trailer for the sake of headlining WM 7. What a guy.

Rowdy Roddy tugs IRS over the top rope by grabbing his tie. Sid and Hogan double dump the Warlord, and Sidward Scissorhands eliminates Martel and Piper by his lonesome. That leaves us with the final four of Flair, Hogan, Sid and Savage. Randy gets sent packing first, as Flair teases elimination at the hands of the Orange One. Ever the opportunist, Sid decides to chunk Hogan while he's stomping away on Flair. As Hogan and Sid jaw, Flair dumps Curly McAndersonStabber to the floor to win the WWF Championship.

Heenan almost floods his shorts as he ecstatically cries over Flair's victory. As part of the "Nobody outshines Hogan" clause in all WWF contracts dated from 1985 to 1992, Hogan usurps Flair's ceremony solely for the sake of instigating a program with Sid that would, undoubtedly, lead to a most shitty match at some point in the future. By the way, the official date of the future was WM 8, if anybody's counting. The show concludes with the trifecta of awesome (Flair, Heenan and Mr. Perfect) celebrating the world title win. Flair cuts an awesome promo that is marred, just slightly, by Mean Gene audibly telling some asshole off camera to not smoke. Cartoon Land, in deed.

This show is remembered by many as being the best Rumble ever contested. Granted, the under card is unbelievably crappy, but the main course is pretty damn delectable, and for my money, IS the greatest RR of them all. For some reason, I can't seem to find existence of the 2004 installment, so I'll just take that as face value that the overall show was non-important and in no way, shape or form the best edition ever that subsequently fell victim to revisionist history because the winner, I don't know, slaughtered an entire household. Nope, not at all.

As always, feel free to hit me up at the Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/xxjswxx , and please do your part for the globe: Recycle. Just kidding, recycling sucks.

SEND FEEDBACK TO JAMES SWIFT

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).