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By Sean Carless.
[The Following was written whilst under the influence. Only spelling and grammar have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.]
Hey there, Rasslin' Nuts and those few enraged pay-per-view viewers still picking shards of TV glass from your knuckles as I type this, I am Sean Carless, and this is your Royal Rumble quick and dirty. Now 100% quicker and dirtier. Or Neither. Whatever. 
Anyway, there will be a full detailed Rant forthcoming by one Anvil's Swagbag, but for now, I thought, since you all seem like gluttons for punishment anyway, I would give you my two cents on the Rumblus Y2KVIII. Only not literally. You see, I can't spare them, because I rolled my last bit of change earlier this evening in a fledgling attempt to somehow purchase a dimebag with said currency. And yes, I might be the only man alive on Earth who's ever attempted to purchase marijuana with a series of rolled pennies. Ain't I something. The best part, though? If in fact I get busted, well, I can just use them 1980's evil-heel-style and just knock out the arresting officer. If it's good enough to take the title from Nick Bockwinkel, by gawd, it's good enough for John Law. That's what I say. While in Jail.
Anyhoo, as for the Rumble, it was a pretty good little card over all, with one definite surprise. That being the return of one John Cena. You read that right, John Cena, whose actual surname must be umm, Christ?, because I'll be damned if that wasn't the fastest recovery from a muscle tear in history. Who does he think he is? Vince McMahon? Hell, the real Jesus would probably say "holy shit, this guy was back from fucking grievous bodily injury fast!". Only you know, minus the blasphemic swearing. All I know is, Triple H could learn a serious lesson from this guy as it pertains to recovery time. Although, I heard the *real* reason Trips took 8 months to get back into the ring is because he made a point to go around and stick post-it reminder notes on all the people he had planned to pin upon his return. And well, ya, that took 8 months. You would too, if you had to track down everyone in the entire industry. True story.
The Rumble began in glorious HIGH DEFINITION. Things were crisper. Things were clearer.  For example, thanks to HD, you could actually see Jeff Hardy's broken spirit  through his omnipresent day-glo paint-covered wifebeater if you looked hard enough. You just can't witness the true anguish and pain of being deprived a deserved opportunity in favor of a painful status-quo in regular standard definition. I'm telling you.
We opened up with Ric Flair, who tells us that he remembers the *very first time* he was in this historic spot. It was the latter 1800's. He chopped Bill The Butcher in the chest and started an unfortunate turf war. Some people thought that a 60 year old man, back then, couldn't engage and hold his own in gang-warfare all while leading a ragtag group of disenfranchised Irishmen into battle, but he proved them wrong. In fact, beneath the historic Madison Square Garden, lays the bodies of many of those who paid the price. Well, until Vince dug them up, so he could have a place to bury all records and proof that Chris Benoit and Randy Savage ever existed. I'm just paraphrasing here.
MVP then interrupted Flair, wearing a sweet one-piece orange unitard, that was likely a throwback to the mandatory bathing suits men were forced to wear when Flair first broke into the business in the early 1920's. What a nice tribute. The two did battle, but the U.S. Title was not at stake. Because, as we've learned with the Intercontinental Title in the last year, it's much cooler and hipper to just wear it around like a badass shiny belt buckle, and never defend it on pay-per-view. I don't make the rules.
At one point MVP actually pinned Flair, after a MAFIA kick, but Flair had his foot on the ropes and the match was continued. I love the Mafia kick. The other day, I went up to some Wise Guys and called them out hoping they'd unload some of their patented running kicks on me, but instead, they just shot me, rolled me up in a carpet, bound it with chains, and dumped me in the Hudson river. Strange. "What kind of Mafia was this?", I thought. "Where were their famous kicks?", I asked. Wrestling would never lie.
Eventually, MVP tried for his "Play of the day" finish, but Ric was all like "You know, it's probably not the best idea in the world for me to just keep my head lowered like this whilst this guy awkwardly tries to balance on one leg while wrapping his other precariously around my head, before I ultimately roll with it and do all the work". So he instead just put MVP in the Figure Four and won the match. Good thinking. Beware Booker T. , with this revelation, wrestlers may soon figure out that staying bent over for 35 seconds while you bounce into the ropes is also a bad idea. You've been warned.
So, ya, Flair wins and carries on. Until Wrestlemania anyway. And it's not a moment too soon. Flair is really looking rough out there. He seems to be physically disintegrating as week's pass. Kind of like how Spock got all ravaged by radiation in that Chamber in Wrath of Khan. Maybe Naitch suffered that same fate? I can just picture him, in his last dying gasp, pressing the Horsemen hand-sign against the glass to a bewildered Arn Anderson. I'd mention the mind meld and the transferring of his essence to HHH, but Hunter kicked him off once it got to the part where Flair put people over and created new stars.
Vince McMahon gives his son,Hornswoggle, a pep-talk backstage. Come on. Seriously. As if a midget could ever win the Rumble. A masked midget? Definitely. Booyaka.
JBL and Chris Jericho was next. It ended in DQ. That's right, they both shared a delicious glazed chocolate ice cream cone, and wondered why they ever started fighting in the first place. Or maybe it was a disqualification. I can't remember. All I know is, it took Chris Jericho long enough to remember that the guy tried to strangle the life out of him and basically threatened his children. But why, I don't know, kill a guy like that, when you can just apply ARMBARS. Yes. That's the equivalent of Charles Bronson tracking down the guy that murdered his family in Death Wish, and challenging him to a game of Paper, Rock, Scissors. "PAPER COVERS YOUR ROCK! REVENGE IS MINE! FEEL MY WRATH!".
The match though was decent for what it was. Jericho got busted open. Possibly hard-way. That's right, JBL's fist warned him they could have done it the easy way, but his head just would not listen to reason. Now look at him. That said, God bless High Def. Now, you can conclusively prove to those annoying nay-saying family members that the blood is indeed real. And here they probably thought High Definition would FINALLY expose the random dude secretly scurrying to the ring and squishing a packet of ketchup on Jericho's forehead. SCORE ONE FOR REALITY IN WRESTLING! Well, until Khali wrestles later. Maybe try telling them that the reason people are *still* falling over despite his moves missing by a foot, is because since he's so big and stuff, the sheer velocity and trajectory behind the strikes causes people to just blow over. 60% of the time, it works all the time.
Anyway, Y2J gets disqualified for using a chair on JBL, then strangling him with a microphone cord, which the crowd popped for. Up until then, they were actually siding with JBL. Likely on the prospect that JBL pretends to be from New York City.
Jericho: "Come on, guys, what gives? I'm really from New York! I was born in Manhasset, remember?!"
NYC Crowd: "I think we know what a *real* New Yorker looks like, asshole! That cowboy hat? Those longhorns on the limo? The cool folksy sayings like "stacking people like they was cord-wood!" It don't get much more authentic than that! YEE-HAW!"
Jericho: "Jesus Christ".
In the back, Ashley tries to convince Maria to pose in Playboy. But Santino refuses on her behalf. Come on, Maria. It's "every little girls dream", if you believe the hyperbole. They just leave out the part where you then spend the next 3 years doing nothing but feverishly avoiding guys like Verne "Mini Me" Troyer trying to blow their load on your tits in the Grotto. Maybe that's for the best.
Edge and Rey Mysterio met next. Rey was wearing a little Centurion helmet. Huh. Maybe that's why there's no more Centurions. I mean, how hard would it be to vanquish any army of tiny mask wearing children? Just saying.
Before the match, Teddy Long wheels Vickie Guerrero to the ring. I could make a joke that I'd rather they wheel her out on one of those Hannibal Lecter platforms, complete with mask, so we wouldn't have to see her face, but oh shit I just did. I'm just kidding. Kind of. Ok, not really. I hope Edge and Vickie never have any children, because based on their respective teeth, that kid would be able to fully protract his mandibles like the creature in Alien.
WAIT, THERE'S A MATCH GOING ON HERE. The Edgeheads get ejected from ringside. Wait. What? Vickie is the G.M., couldn't she just overrule the Referee? Man. This is as bad as Heel special referees not just ringing the bell right away, and insisting on counting full 3 counts, then getting mad when the babyface kicks out.
In the end, Rey has Edge set up for the 619, but Vickie sacrifices herself and eats the move, and likely a few other things if her shape is any evidence, and Edge eventually counters a Rey springboard into the dreaded and feared, but mostly by his family because it feels like dying, VAUNTED FLYING HUG. Spooning has never been more dangerous.
Edge wins. And Rey gets what he deserves. I mean, doesn't he remember the solid Vickie did him in 2005 where she held down Eddie so Rey could scale a ladder and regain his non-biological son that Eddie ever-so-graciously provided the sperm for so Rey Mysterio Jr., could have a Rey Mysterio Junior, junior of his very own? You forgot about that, didn't you? And here we thought a Leprechaun paternity suit was fucking clown shoes. 
Ric Flair is seen getting out of the shower. You read that right. Thankfully, unlike the Stewardesses aboard the Flight From Hell, we didn't get an eyeful of the non-Charles Robinson "Little Naitch". "What an amateur this guy is when it comes to not accidentally exposing his genitals on national TV!" said William Regal. Maybe. I don't know. Truth is, there was a lot of dudes randomly showing up, all hovering around this semi-nude 60 year old. It was like the opening scene to the most horrifying porn film ever.
Maria comes out next for a Kiss Cam. Holy shit, a *pay-per-view exclusive* Kiss Cam?!!! Man, I bet all you fools who didn't order this are kicking yourself now! These are PERKS only allotted to those of us paying money to watch ugly strangers make out. Ahem. Ashley then comes to the ring, to surprising apathy. And she's from New York! Although, 2/3rds of her reconstructed plastic body were likely molded and created overseas, hence the disdain. Or something. All I know is, Ashley does not really translate well to High Definition. She kind of looks like someone put a pair of those gummy red candy lips on a mannequin. I find that hot. They can't move or talk! My perfect woman. She once again tries to convince Maria to pose in Playboy, stating that Hef gave her the call. Ya, that's what happened. You see, Ashley holds so much stroke (instead of just being hired so you can), that when companies want new models to promote their magazine, they call HER FIRST to see if it's okay. "Hi, random plastic whore we were forced to shoot nude by WWE last year, this is Playboy magazine calling. We need more bare titties. Make it happen. I'm Hef by the way. Bye." That's exactly how it happened.
Santino however comes out and saves the segment by being awesome. Then it gets ruined again by Big Dick Johnson and Ashley fighting over a Rubber Chicken. I think. Truth is, it's kind of hazy for me. Probably because I beat my head against my coffee table until I drew blood. HAHA, a fat guy in a thong is dancing! And now that girl is hitting him with a rubber chicken. That's so funny. It's as if Sports and Entertainment are coming together in perfect harmony to create something this is like totally irreverent and hilarious and worth money. Someone should have dropped shit on him too or called him a fag. That's the only thing that could have improved it. My sides would have definitely split as in the famous example of things being that funny, you see. I hate everybody.
Up next was Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton. Excuse me, JEFF HARVEY, as called by new announcer Mike Adamle of AMERICAN GLADIATORS fame. (Good thing Bobby Lindsay and Bret Clark aren't here to see this travesty!). Maybe if Jeff had a really cool name like "FYRE", "ICE" or "NITRO" Mike would have remembered it. Quick, someone grab some fucking giant rubber Q-Tips and start hitting each other. Let's shell-shock this poor bastard.
Anyway, the crowd seems to be behind Jeff Harvey here in his attempt to take the title. But alas, nothing. In a gamble between the fuck up who fails drug tests and blows booking plans and the other guy who FITS THE EXACT SAME DESCRIPTION, they chose to stick with the devil they know, Randy Orton. And yes, if Hell truly is about punishment, the Devil would be Randy Orton. Unending Chinlocks > burning sulphur and torture. HELL IS REPETITION. And chinlocks.
Anyway, Hardy looked to have things well in hand, but Randy countered a Twist of Fate into a fantastic RKO and got the clean pin. Poor Jeff Harvey. He can break through tables but not glass ceilings. I can just picture HHH looking down on him, spit-shining the roof, and then blowing him a raspberry.
Just then, Joey Styles & Tazz materialize at ringside and put the Rumble over. Well, that was definitely worth the airfare it cost them.
Rumble package filled with cool little Rumbley statistics airs. 1: the number HBK drew when he won the Rumble in 1995. 3: the number of Rumbles Steve Austin won. 2: The number of black-eyes Steve dealt out in a solitary evening to Debra. 0: The amount of charisma Bobby Lashley has. 27: The luckiest Rumble number of them all. Discounting all the dying, strokes and personal tragedy. Some of these I may have made up. Maybe.
It's now time for the Royal Rumble, and holy shit, here's Michael Buffer! WWE really is turning into WCW, after all. This truly is the greatest night in the history of our sport. Until the next one.
Undertaker and HBK draw number 1 and 2 respectively. That's awesome. We get to start with the same great Tête-à-Huge Receding-Tête that finished last year. And we're off in the Forehead 500. If only we could add Sinister Minister to this thing, we'd truly have a horse race. I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.
Anyway, I could go through every single elimination, as I know you're just dying to know how The Miz and Default Man CAWdy Rhodes fared, but umm, too bad? That's right. If I really wanted to write a recap, I'd... write a recap? This was supposed to sound a hell of a lot more poetic. Anyway, all you need to know is it was a great Royal Rumble. Hell, they even carted out RODDY PIPER and JIMMY SNUKA for this thing. Although, if the stupid fucking lucha mask wasn't covering his tear ducts, I'm pretty sure someone like Charlie Haas would be crying at his misfortune of being left off the card in honor of the corpse of Jimmy Snuka and Rowdy Roddy Piper who's FUCKING GIGANTIC NOW. Hey, I thought you were supposed to get thinner when you get cancer? Just when you think you have all the answers, Piper eats the questions. And then washes it down with a bagpipe filled entirely with heavy chicken gravy. He sucks it through the pipe nozzle like a straw. But hey, I still marked out. What can I say. Even though it looked like your Fat Dad was tackling somebody's ethnic grandmother in her bathing suit. CM Punk must have noticed, too, because he was laughing his ass off on the mat. Maybe he should get Roddy addicted to that competition instead of whatever it is that's made Roddy look like he stepped on a jelly fish whilst simultaneously being stung by 10,000 bees. Dear god, Motherfucker's built now like Optimus Prime.
Batista was this year's Iron Man. Seriously. Despite, you know, him physically being the complete opposite of that. (zinc man?) Hey, you get these labels when you trip and tear all your muscles while jogging (that's why he only walks now) through a pit of danger. But it was impressive nonetheless. The only thing that could have made his performance more memorable is if a BASKETBALL drew number 30, then ominously rolled down the Aisle. Big Dave would then rub his eyes in disbelief, leap over the top rope, and reevaluate his entire stance on whether sporting goods are forgiving.
There was also a lot of people who hung on for a long time. People like John Morrison, who was out there for almost a half hour. My theory is that he saw everyone moving in slow motion bullet-time, and thus was able to easily avoid their attacks. I'm sticking with that.
Also Hornswoggle hid under the ring, but was eventually saved by Finlay when Mark Henry and Big Daddy V looked to assault him. We then learn that Finlay and Horny are thus DISQUALIFIED from the Rumble. Who's booking this thing, Vince Russo? Hey, let's make up some more rules in mid-match. Let's stick a pole in this thing. Or electrify the ropes. Or have everyone throw each other from the floor over the top. Hell, maybe Hunter should come in and just start fucking pinning people out of nowhere. Actually, I'm going to shut up now. I don't want to give them any ideas.
Speaking of the aforementioned Big Daddy & Henry. They seem to be working as a tandem here. Which surprises me. I always assumed that since V looks like one big half-digested milk dud, that Henry would forget he's a human and try and consume him. Normally he'd cook him first, but Henry ruined all the frying pans backstage by bending them in half because, damn it, that's what world's strongest people do! Need to make a phone call? Fuck you. He tore the book in half. How dare it be all dense and thick and not ripped in half. Weaklings make phone-calls. It had it coming.
Hey, look, there's CHAVO GUERRERO, the ECW World Champion entering the Rumble~! Holy shit, I'd love it if he won this thing then challenged for his own World Title. Imagine the promo: "Chavo, we've got the belt. Well, we want it.  And we're coming for it at Wrestlemania. Tell me to bring my A game, because we promise a show we won't soon forget. At Wrestlemania, we promise us, this will our last night as champion, and our first."
Makes total sense to me. And the irony is, it's still a more credible title program than Lashley vs. Vince last year.
But seriously, this should be the death knell for ANY of the apologists out there who desperately think that this company cares about the ECW title. I'm sure right now, if he was watching, Shane Douglas would be crying. You know, if he wasn't already busy re-stacking lawn-chairs at Target. "CUT THE FUCKING MUZAC. I've got to do a price-check. Be right back. Kthanx."
Oh, and for the record, Punk was eliminated by Chavo. So, CM Punxsutawney's chance of finally ESCAPING the perpetual Groundhog Day that is ECW has gone up in smoke. Marijuana smoke. You know, because he's straight edge and that'd be like annoying to him or something.
By the way, Mick Foley was also in there, and came in to a HUGE pop but was ultimately obliterated by Triple H. I however marked out more for his sweet leopard print vest. It looked like something a horny 45 year old woman who wears way too much make-up would wear whilst prowling for 20 year old men at a club. It was awesome and terrifying at the same time. Maybe next time I'm at the bar, some cougar will choke me out with a sock then ravage my unconscious body whilst I slumber, just to create a karmic balance.
Undertaker and HBK go out one after the other, soon after. HBK super-kicked Undertaker out. Taker was then all like "Good one, dude!" Then remembered who he was, and then was like "Umm, I mean, REST IN PEACE or something!". It happened exactly as I said, minus the lies. Immediately after though, Mr. Kennedy snuck up behind HBK and dumped him out. If *I* was Shawn, I'd have just gone and amputated one of my legs at the knee backstage, that way I'd have had to win by proxy. I mean, why not? It's not like the thing isn't going to probably fall off anyway. Eventually, he'll be wearing knee braces so fucking big it'll necessitate some custom made HBK Hammer pants just hide them. The bright side though, is that one day, when he's being chased by bad-guys, the braces will suddenly fly off and he'll be able to run incredibly fast. RUN, HBK! RUNNNNNN!
HHH is in at number 29. I think he should just piggy back Lemmy to the ring whilst he sings his theme song. That's how fucking cool this guy is. Once Triple H got to the ring, he obliterated everything that stood in his path. The first victim was CAWdy Rhodes. But not before yelling out "You need to unlock a new move-set and costume already! You can do so by purchasing experience points in your custom locker room!". It was hard to hear, sure, but my HDTV caught it.
Number 30 was of course the returning John Cena. Turns out he wasn't injured, but rather on a whim, he flew to the original destination of his destroyed hometown of Krypton Massachusetts to see if it was still there, but alas nothing. He was then tentative about returning at all after that, because he feared fan backlash, but his nameless father, Mr. Cena actually convinced him otherwise....
Mr. Cena: "They can be a great people, John, if they wish to be. They only lack the light to guide the way".
John Cena: "WORD."
That's how it went down. Trust me. Anyway, Cena, The Mariniest Marine ever with otherworldly powers, immediately tosses Carlito, who once again doesn't somehow utilize his spongy hair to catapult back into the ring and avoid elimination. That fool. Chavo goes next. And right now, there's probably somebody on a message-board I won't mention that is saying "I hope Cena goes and challenges Chavo for the ECW title!!!!!11 That proves right there he can beat him!!!!". That person then goes right back to being spoon-fed pureed vegetables by a nurse for their own protection. 
From there, to make it a hat-trick, a hat likely turned on a jaunty angle so to please the throngs of white kiddies who think they are black, Cena tosses out the Silverback, Mark Henry. GORILLA WARFARE~! I always promised I'd use that line one day, and that day is today.
From there, Kennedy goes out, and Batista and HHH dump out Umaga, and his horrifyingly bright red tights. A pair for the record that even had his name "Umaga" embroidered on the ass. I guess, so he knows which pair in the back are his. Which is hilarious. Isn't he a savage? Do they even pack luggage? And how'd he even know what it said? What's the point? I'd prefer if it was just "Ah Blah Blah Fa Samoa!" written on there instead. I've at least heard him say that...
HHH then tosses Batista out after he tried a Batista bomb on Cena. So much for the EVOLUTION reunion. HHH must have decided on Intelligent-Design instead. I can't say I blame him. Batista's living proof that Evolution is a falsehood. He is after all still the same shitty wrestler he was 5 years ago. Shouldn't he have evolved by now? Natural selection should have upped his move-set to at least 3 holds by now. Ah, I kid. I just wanted to use an Evolution joke and the only other one I had involved the coincidence of HHH naming his bulldog Lucy. What do you want.
So, this just leaves Triple H and John Cena. It's just like Warrior and Hogan in 1990, only involving people you hate and are not at all interested in seeing clog up the main event scene. Other than that? Identical. The two circle each other, and HHH points up at the Wrestlemania sign. Cena nods accordingly. Then HHH says, "Of course, even if I lose here, I'm still going to be in the main event. Did you forget where I put my dick?". John Cena's then all like "You mean, Shawn Michaels? I saw him in the back". They then laugh and laugh. I know this, you see, because I'm a lip reader.
The two then put on a pretty good little short counter-fest, but Cena ultimately prevails, by flying quickly through MSG's roof, and through Earth's atmosphere, just enough to soak in the rich rays of the yellow sun of the earth, then he quickly flies back, and throws Triple H out with an FU. Truth, Justice, Hustle, Loyalty, Respect and the All American Way, yo. And he did it all with a broken freakin' pec.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Never eat a Meatball sub after you've drank and smoked up for 3 hours straight. Trust me.
Oh, and a GREAT Rumble. Some of the booking was suspect, but I was entertained. At least the guy who went over gets pushed because of reaction, and not because his penis could give you an eye-witness account of what Steph's vital internal organs look like. So, I'm good. Normally, I'd further endorse it with a hearty two thumbs up, but my extremities are too numb and I've apparently lost most movement in my body. Will you settle for some blinking and then me falling asleep fully clothed where I sit? Good enough.
I'm Sean.
And hopefully, Anvil writes a Recap that doesn't leave you saying "What the fuck just happened here?!". You know, like this one just did.

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Sean Carless is a man of many hats. And he wears those hats to cover an ever-increasing bald spot. Sean's various scribblings have been read at Live Audio Wrestling, 411 Mania, Honky Tonk Man.com, The Toronto Star.com, Wrestlecrap, and Lethal Wrestling. He has also cured AIDS.

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November 2006


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.).