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By Sean Carless


Pat Patterson is known for a lot of things during his WWF tenure: Being named 1st ever Intercontinental Champion; being Mr. McMahon's right hand man for over twenty years; and of course, making sweet, sweet love to the Brooklyn Brawler anytime he pleases.... (sadly this is true; bringing about the question, if he was pushing Lombardi (as in his stools) in real life, then why wouldn’t he push him in the WWF? Some mysteries will never be solved.)


Anyway, always known for his creativity, Patterson's biggest claim to fame is no doubt the invention of the Royal Rumble. A concept that took a regular run-of-the-mill Battle Royal and added the intrigue of timed intervals to a match featuring 20-30 flailing guys, simultaneously appearing to push each other out of the ring, all while in reality holding them in so they don't accidentally fall out of the ring off cue. Good times.


For 17 years now, the Rumble has maintained being one of WWF/E’s most popular events; one that seems to even draw in non-fans, like most of my family for example, who scoff at technical wrestling matches, but always seem glued to the screen while 10 guys at a time basically hug each other for an hour. Go figure. Anyway, the Rumble’s inherent appeal, I think, is the fact that unlike most wrestling, it is in theory not as predictable due to its random nature. (Although in recent years the winner has been somewhat telegraphed.) I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about that timer counting down that you just mark out for; and it’s a feeling that continues each year, no matter how obvious the winner may be. The Royal Rumble is just something you really look forward to as a wrestling fan, even if you can’t explain why.


Anyway, with this said, with the 2005 Rumble looming this weekend, I thought I’d take it upon myself in true Wrestling Fan.com fashion, to take a look back at previous Rumbles, and try to attempt to give you some brief insight into this historic event. Ah, who am I kidding? Chances are I’m going to shit on the legacy of this fine event in an attempt to make a few juvenile jokes. But that’s why you love me. (That, and the way I spoon your balls)


Let’s get ready to Rumble!



This was of course the first Rumble, televised on the USA network, and one that holds a special place in my heart. First, it originated from my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario at the Copps Coliseum; and 2nd: I was there in all my eleven year old glory, huge foam Hulk Hogan hand encompassing my own, while wearing a tattered British Bulldogs t-shirt splattered with mustard from the hotdog I had consumed in the Jackson Square food court just a few hours prior to the event. What a pathetic loser I was.


The big story going into this one was whether Hulk would accept Andre the Giant’s challenge to a rematch on the now infamous February Main Event episode that saw Andre, Ted DiBiase, and the nefarious Hebner brothers pry the World title from Hulk Hogan’s big orange hands.


However, the Rumble was the event this evening, but first we had to sit through a slew of mediocre undercard matches that I won’t really get into; However, this all paled in comparison to witnessing a WORLD RECORD being set! Yes, friends, the late Dino Bravo along with “spotter” Jesse Ventura would “unofficially” break the world bench-press record, and if they had tag team rules in power lifting…they would have done it. Jesse gave Bravo an assist and as a result, Canada’s strongest man became the World’s strongest man. Sadly, Jesse could have further assisted Bravo by also giving him his Navy Seal bullet proof vest. Could have saved Dino a lot of grief in 1993 if he had….


As far as the Rumble itself went, first and foremost there were 20 participants, instead of 30, mostly due to the fact that half the roster was working another house show at the same time. However, I’m not sure how much the addition of Koko B. Ware truly would have added to the intrigue of this one. Anyway, the star of this show was Bret Hart who draws number 1 and lasts more than half way, becoming the Rumble’s first-ever “iron man.” In any event, Hacksaw Jim Duggan ends up winning the whole kit and caboodle, dumping out One Man Gang for the win…who was just months away from dawning a giant easter egg and becoming Akeem.


And if you think that’s it, you’re sadly mistaken, mister! We got the QUALITY main-event of The Islanders (sadly not the NHL franchise) vs. The Young Stallions …who were of course Paul Roma and Jim Powers, a team that collectively spent more time on their backs than Paris Hilton. Anyway, a 2/3 falls match closed this show, and The Stallions proved their worth… by losing two straight falls….


And that’s a wrap.



A year has passed and now there’s 30 superstars in the Rumble, in addition to it moving from Cable to Pay-per-view, making the grand total of WWF pay-per-views 4 per year, you know, as opposed to 3000 now.


As with the first Rumble; we had to suffer through a slew of meaningless undercard filler, including Jake Robert’s half sister Rockin’ Robin defend the Ladies Title; a homoerotic posedown between Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude, and a six-man tag featuring Jim Duggan & The Hart Foundation against Dino Bravo and the Rougeau Brothers, which was ironic because The Rougeaus had insisted  for two years that they were not evil French-Canadians like Dino Bravo (and Dave Gagnon )


Finally, The Rumble began, and immediately we got our first bit of intrigue: Ax & Smash of Demolition drew #’s 1 & 2 respectively. The irony of Demolition is that they were manufactured by Vince when he couldn’t steal the Road Warriors from the Crocketts. And even though we were all marks for the Demos, in retrospect their “bad ass” offense actually only consisted of gingerly tapping their opponents with axe-handles on their backs, and sticking their tongues out a lot. They were still cool though. Anyway, the two would only go at it for several minutes, until Andre came in at number 3 and broke up the party.


The big story in this one was the continuation of subtle dissension between the Mega-Powers (Hogan & Randy Savage.) Eventually, as Savage tangled with then main-rival Bad News Brown, Hogan dumped both men out, drawing the ire of Savage (and rightfully so.) Hogan was always doing this type of stuff, and then always seemed heart broken when his best-friend’s turned on him. Anyway, since there were no pinfalls, Hogan does a “job” and puts over the Twin Towers, (Big Bossman & Akeem) but illegally eliminates Bossman soon after (another Hogan Rumble trick.) Anyway, Ted Dibiase draws number 30…after buying the number from Slick earlier in the evening. This however is not enough to save Ted from the onslaught of eventual winner, Big John Studd who disposes of the final-two (Akeem and Ted) like they were his last two white blood cells. Ah, I’m kidding. R.I.P. Big John.



This one was surreal if only to actually hear Tony Schiavone call the action with Jesse Ventura on a WWF pay-per-view. A few weeks later, Shiavone would be sent packing back to Turnerland. Guess he couldn’t “put any butts in the seats.”…


As with the previous two, we had to suffer through a HORRENDOUS undercard, featuring The Bushwhackers facing The Rougeaus (Jacques was sporting a beard here last seen capturing stray hitchhikers in the mountains of Appalachia.) Jim Duggan tangling with the Big Bossman, Brutus Beefcake battling The Genius (Lanny Poffo, real-life brother of Randy Savage) and the climax to a feud NO ONE cared about: Greg Valentine Vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin…you know, the guy nicknamed “hands of stone” even though he finished most of his opponents with a STOMP. This was a submission match. But someone apparently forgot to tell Ronnie this…as he spent 2/3rds of the bout trying to pin Valentine…. Eventually, Ronnie got the big win and avenged Valentine ending his in-ring career the previous summer by making him submit to a sharpshooter. With retribution, Ronnie Garvin was able to finally move forward… and never be seen in the WWF again. Valentine didn’t fair much better, as he would soon trade in his hammer-jammer and sequined robes for a bottle of Gresion 5, a stringless guitar, and the gentle lure of Country and Western music, as he became “Boxcar” in the team of “Rhythm and Blues” with Honky Tonk Man. 


The big story of this Rumble however, was Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior foreshadowing their Wrestlemania 6 match with a huge collision. Hogan would eventually  *accidentally* eliminate Warrior from the Battle Royal, drawing the ire of Warrior. That, or Warrior found out Hogan is a democrat, either/or. Anyway, the irony of this set-up is that originally Vince was banking on WrestleMania 6 being headlined by Hogan Vs. Zeus; with Vince hoping that “No Holds Barred”-Hogan’s big foray into movies, would translate big business into wrestling. Sadly it blew. However, thankfully, Vince at least learned his lesson about manufacturing cheesy B-movies for his wrestlers…Hey wait….


The final two here were Hulk Hogan and Mr. Perfect...who was originally booked to go over, well, until Hogan vetoed it, bruther. Perfect had been bad mouthing Hulk for months, and had hilariously doctored vignettes airing on WWF Television featuring himself excelling in various sports, finishing each one with the phrase: “Hulk Hogan… you can’t do that.”


Anyway, after an inexplicable Perfect-Plex by Hennig, Hogan “Hulked-up” and posted Perfect, sending him over for the big win.



This was the beginning of the end of WWF’s golden-age as Hulk had seemingly ran his course with Hulkamania, and Ultimate Warrior had been a bust as WWF champion. Vince had no choice but to turn to….Sgt. Slaughter?


The time is January of 1991, and “Operation Get us back some oil” was under way. Vince capitalized on this by putting the WWF title on Sarge, who turned his back on America, in one of the worst booking decisions ever. Sarge’s Title reign would crap out though, as Desert Storm would end about a week before Wrestlemania; but in hilarious WWF fashion, Gorilla Monsoon would only declare the war “over” after Hulk had “liberated” the Title from the Sarge at WM 7. Pure shit. In fact, this whole angle should be buried somewhere in the Iraqi desert along with those “weapons of mass destruction” no one seems to be able to find.


Anyway, one bright spot on this card was the opening tag team match between the Rockers and the Orient Express, KATO and Tanaka; these two teams gelled quite well, mainly because they were quite familiar with one another from their AWA days (The Express was then known as Bad Company.) Other matches included Future Goldust Dustin Rhodes, and “Old Dust” Dusty Rhodes taking on Ted DiBiase and Virgil…with Virgil finally turning on his evil employer (not Vince.) Barbarian against the Big Bossman who was hell-bent on running through the entire Heenan Family, and finally the aforementioned Warrior Vs. Slaughter Title match. Warrior had turned down Savage’s request of a WWF title match earlier that night, despite the fact that Sensational Sherri was apparently ready to fellate him; This brought out Savage during the match and he smashed a scepter over Warrior’s head allowing Slaughter to get the win and the title.


As for the Rumble itself, for the fourth year in a row, nothing was at stake. This was probably the least entertaining Rumble as nothing really came of it, other than the continuation of the Hulk Hogan and Earthquake feud. See, Earthquake had broken Hulk’s ribs…as every morbidly obese wrestler has always done, and Hulk spent the better part of 8 months chasing ‘Quake for retribution. He finally got his revenge this night by BODYSLAMMING Earthquake (Ok, we get it, Hulk, you can pick shit up) and eliminating him to win his 2nd Rumble. After the match, Hulk grabs an American Flag at ringside and waves it, because the WWF are whores who like exploit wars. Hey that rhymes, I’m pretty good.



This was by far the best Rumble ever at the time (and continued to be so until 2004, arguably) and the first one where winning actually mattered as the WWF Title was at stake for the winner.


The show opened up with The Orient Express against The New Foundation of ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart, each decked out in fashionable nipple-high balloon pants. Owen & Neidhart go over with a Rocket launcher...SWEET IRONY! Anyway, the New Foundation dissolve several weeks later when Jim Neidhart is fired from the WWF, forcing Owen to find solace in the ever-loving arms of Koko B. Ware as “High Energy.”


From there we get two abortions, as the Beverly Brothers best the Bushwhackers in a match that even at an age where I knew not of workrate, I still knew this stunk like a bag of broken assholes; and then the LOD defending their Tag team Titles against the Natural Disasters that ended with a cheesy count-out finish. The only saving grace so far was Roddy Piper, facing The Mountie for the Intercontinental Title; and in essence having the chance to win TWO titles in one night. Man, that’ll buy ya A LOT of coke, Roddy! Anyway, Roddy was substituting for Bret Hart who had lost the title to Mountie a couple of nights before because of the flu(?) and was so debilitated from umm, shitting a lot? he forfeited his spot to the Hot Rod, who won clean with a sleeper to win his only WWF belt.


It is now time for the rumble which was a one man show, featuring a guy who had a dream. And that man’s name was Mo Green. Sorry, I was watching Godfather earlier tonight. Of course, I mean Ric Flair who put in the single greatest performance in Rumble history, as he pretty much worked a spot with every WWF superstar in the match. Bobby Heenan was also at his career best here as he blatantly cheered Flair on. Flair survived multiple attempts at putting him out from a slew of former enemies like Kerry Von Erich and Roddy Piper, whom Flair hilariously sold an eye poke…by falling down. I still mark for that.


Anyway, the final four was Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Flair, and Sid Justice who had just returned from a torn bicep. Savage got eliminated by Sid and Flair and as Ric looked to be finished by the Hulkster, Sid took a page from Hulk’s book and pitched Hogan out from behind, eliciting a monstrous pop from the live crowd. Hogan would then illegally pull Sid out as Flair dumped him to win the WWF Title. Anyway, the irony of this match is that the real reaction of the crowd and commentators has been lost to WWF revisionist history, as an angry Vince canned the video release to see Sid eliminate Hulk to “boos” and had Heenan and Monsoon re-record their ending commentary. Original Gorilla response: “Every man for himself!” “re-recorded: “What a creep Sid Justice turned out to be!”



Once 1993 rolled around, it was a far different WWF than anyone remembered. Most of WWF’s most notorious steroid users were released, Hulk Hogan was making history on TV (as in starring in the WORST show in cable history, “Thunder in Paradise.”) and Bret Hart was atop of the WWF. For the 1st time in about ten years, WWF belonged to the wrestlers again, and not the giants…until this night anyway….


This pay-per-view was all about change; with first Bret successfully defending his WWF Title against Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall in a match that saw his father stoically and almost robotically watch from ringside, only showing a hint of emotion when Bret countered Ramon in the sharpshooter from the mat.


The rest of the card was about introducing their new stars, most of which had quickly departed WCW in latter 1992 while it was under the ridiculous reign of Bill Watts….the same Bill Watts who banned all moves off the top rope the same month they pushed their light heavyweight Title division. Today Watts can be seen dreaming of the days of JYD, Doc, 1987, and thinking of new ways to out his son Erik as a pathetic loser. Anyway, some of these PPV debuts featured the celebrated Steiner brothers who proceeded to stiff the shit out of the Beverly Brothers, including Rick dumping Blake (Mike Enos) with a BRUTAL release German, and Scotty ending his life (or so it looked) with a stiff Frankensteiner.


From there, Shawn Michaels proceeds to defeat former Rocker partner Marty Jannetty with Sherri Martel in a “neutral” corner (It’s worth buying the coliseum video just to see “Lord” Alfred Hayes act hilariously creepy and perverted with Sherri in a backstage interview.) Funny story here: Jannetty was SUPPOSED to win, but showed up to the Arco arena in “no condition to compete” which of course is Scott Hall code for “completely fucking wasted.” The original plan was for Marty to take the title then drop at back to Shawn at WM 9, but everything went afoul and Jannetty was sent home after this match (he’d return in June to defeat HBK then switch back in time for KOTR 1993.) From there, Bam Bam Bigelow destroyed Big Bossman in Bossman’s WWF swan song after a 5 year tenure in the fed.


THEN, we had the unveiling of Narcissist Lex Luger, or “Narcissis” as Bobby Heenan called him. Basically, Luger posed in front of a mirror as Bobby orgasmically put over his muscle definition including a disturbingly homoerotic call of “MOST MUSCULAR!” during Luger’s poses. Finally, the melodious tones emanating from Lex’s mouth (and I’m quoting Bobby here) saw Lex challenge Mr. Perfect.


Ah, onto the Rumble. Going in, and if you didn’t read the dirtsheets back then, the three heavy favorites were Mr. Perfect, who was on an amazing roll, The Undertaker, and eventual winner Yokozuna who was amidst a monster push that up to this point (at least on TV) saw him yet to be taken off his feet.


Some interesting notes in a not very interesting Royal rumble: Bob Backlund, still undefeated in his comeback, is the iron man, setting what I believe was the all time record until last year. Sadly, Backlund’s inspiring heroic comeback would be somewhat deflated as the harsh New York crowds on Raw would taunt him with chants of “white bread.” This was also Ric Flair’s last PPV appearance, before jobbing to Mr. Perfect the next night and returning to WCW in February. And hilariously, this also featured Carlos Colon of Puerto Rico fame, and father of today’s Carlito Carribean Cool, coming out to silence but being put over by Gorilla as a “fiery youngster!” despite the fact he was in his fifties at the time.


And finally, the debut of arguably the worst wrestler in modern history: Giant Gonzalez, fresh from WCW and the Argentina basketball team. Gonzalez was hired by Turner for his size (He was originally contacted to play ball for the Atlanta Hawks.) Sadly Gonzalez’s wrestling left little to be desired, as his selling basically consisted of a lot of blinking and pretending to teeter over. Also, he was the recipient of the most RIDICULOUS wrestling attire ever, when WWF suited his boxy, lengthy frame in a spandex air brushed suit, covered in fur. Eventually Gonzalez would drop the real fur for a completely airbrushed version, in addition to an airbrushed ass crack that I’m confident was also Pat Patterson’s idea. Anyway, GIANT Gonzalez (in case there was any doubt that he was indeed a Giant) manhandled Undertaker, eliminating him, and clearing what was the last threat in the Rumble, allowing Yoko to steamroll through the remaining half and walk away the winner, after pitching out Randy “Ragdoll” Savage after Macho stupidly went for a PIN in the Rumble.


In a side note, as Harry pointed out in his “Rumble of the Damned!” piece, Yoko drew # 27 as did past winner, Big John Studd…and both are dead now. Coincidence? I think so, actually….



As WWF is finding out currently with Randy Orton, sometimes there’s a case where you give the Jesus push to a guy, only to find out half way through that the fans would much rather see someone else get it. This was the case with Lex Luger, who had since put down his mirror for Old Glory, and campaigned this fair land of ours in his Lex Express bus, in one of WWF’s truly stupid promotional ideas.


Going into this Rumble, storylines saw Owen & Bret have dissension (This angle was actually originally proposed to be for BRUCE HART….yes, the same Bruce who wore his bicycle shorts under his singlet at Survivor Series’93. Bret thankfully vetoed it, and Bruce instead continued being a teacher… and seducing his students…) Owen & Bret would team up against the Quebecers for the Tag Team Titles, but Bret injured his leg, and the match had to be stopped. Owen flipped out and attacked Bret. Yelling out that Bret was “selfish.” Although it sounded more like “Shellfish” which always made me laugh. Of course, it could make sense, 'cause Bret's wife did look like she was on the old "sea food ."diet (you know, eats all the food she sees...)


 Also, Yokozuna was faced with the challenge of The Undertaker for the WWF Title in a casket match….that saw everyone and his brother interfere to put Taker away…before his “ghost” rose from the Titan Tron to heaven (sadly, I am not kidding) and the climax of the IRS/Razor Ramon feud that made way for HBK and the historic Ladder match at WM X. Ramon was feuding with Irwin because IRS felt that Razor had not paid his taxes on his gold. Listen, dude’s portraying a Cuban druglord for all intents and purposes, so, I’m pretty sure there’s lot’s of “other” stuff he hasn’t paid taxes on….


Anyway, the main story here, as it now is custom, is that the winner would face the WWF Champion at Wrestlemania X; Lex Luger was the heavy favorite going in…so much so that Mr. Fuji brought in Tenryu and Greak Kabuki to stop him! First, Kabuki had to be close to sixty years old, and 2nd, Tenryu, a LEGEND in Japan had one of my personal favorite WWF bloopers when he and Kabuki viciously attacked Lex backstage, and Tenryu, thinking the camera was off, began smiling and laughing to himself. Solid GOLD. Anyway, in one of the sillier finishes (that they continue to push until this day, Lex Luger and hobbling Bret Hart tumbled over the top SIMULTANEOUSLY, and both referees declared the other victorious. Thankfully, President Tunney was awoken from his cryogenic chamber to make a decision. BOTH were winners! And Both would get a shot at the WWF Title at WM X, with a coin flip deciding whom would get first crack at Yoko, and whom would wrestle another opponent in the opening match first.


In a side note, this was the event where Diesel’s (Kevin Nash) push really began, as Vince heard the reaction the Providence crowd gave Big Daddy Cool, and decided to push him. (He had basically just been the same Vinnie Vegas up to this point only with a knock out punch)



Pam Anderson was the focal point of this PPV, as she was booked to walk the winner to the ring at Wrestlemania XI. However, a marriage to rocker Tommy Lee spoiled the whole deal as now, the desirable Pam was a crash pad for the gigantic loins of Tommy Lee, in essence making it not believable that she had any interest in the Rumble winner whatsoever.


This was the WWF’s darkest hour, and the booking here proved it. First, Diesel, then WWF Champion, faced Bret Hart, and came out to virtual silence in what would be the beginning of the least profitable WWF Title reign EVER (and yes, this does include JBL). The match, that was fairly decent, turned out to be a shmazz when both HBK and Owen Hart interfered multiple times.


Razor Ramon dropped the IC Title to Jeff Jarrett…and no this had nothing to do with the fact that Jerry Jarrett was now on the WWF booking committee. Ah, I’m kidding. This was “Double J” we’re talking about. You Know J-E…double F.. J-A- double R….-E-…double T.  You know, back when Jeff was actually entertaining or E-N-T-E-R-T…ah, you get the idea. From there, 123 Kid & Bob Holly won the WWF Tag team Title over Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka, in a match that was to begin a storyline between Bammer and Lawrence Taylor who was sitting at ringside. This was supposed to be the beginning of a HUGE push for Bigelow but ended up seeing him become the WWF’s highest profile jobber. It was also an angle partially responsible for seeing Steve “Mongo” McMichael’s first foray into Wrestling, and should be loathed for that very reason.


And finally The Undertaker Vs. IRS...who was miffed at Taker for having stopped paying his taxes…. regardless of the fact that he was a corpse, which I always assumed got you off the hook. However, it was a little hard to swallow Taker having trouble with Irwin, after he had dominated Yokozuna so handily several moths before. Just saying.


This year, the Rumble itself was 30 second intervals as Vince joyously put over the fact that this year’s would be the most fast and furious ever! And not that the roster was so painfully thin that they had to speed things up, so people wouldn’t notice that 25 out of the 30 guys were the likes of Ron Harris, Timothy Well and Kwang The Ninja….


Anyway, the real story in this Rumble was Michaels and Davey Boy Smith who drew numbers one and two respectively….and lasted the whole thing. As already mentioned, this was to camouflage the fact that this particular year’s Rumble was filled with so many no-hopers. And let’s be frank, was there anyone who wanted to see the brothers Blu (and boy did they!) win the whole kit and caboodle? Anyway, the final four came down to Bulldog, HBK, Lex Luger who was no doubt hoping to fall out of the ring with someone else again, and go back to Wrestlemania; and Crush… who returned to the WWF just in time to get charged with steroids, guns and marijuana just a few weeks later. Anyway, Michaels and Crush dumped Lex, and Davey eliminated Crush, leaving the two who started it all to finish it. Davey would then seemingly win the Rumble when he tossed Michaels out, but as it turns out, only ONE of Shawn’s feet touched the floor, and he scooted back in to officially dump Davey out to win the Rumble and the prize of Pamela Anderson… who showed absolutely no interest in him at all. And you know, when Shawn fucking Michaels is not sleazy enough to garner Pam Anderson’s attention, you know there’s something wrong…..


Anyway, Michaels went on to Wrestlemania XI and did the job to Kliq running buddy Diesel…who needed all the help he could get in the credibility department. Funny thing though, Michaels was actually originally supposed to go over at Mania, but it was vetoed at the last minute, as he was gaining in popularity and Vince instead decided to turn him babyface, marking one of the only times that Michaels himself didn’t get HIS WAY because of politics.


A year has passed and the Diesel experiment had completely failed, and as with every time some of Vince’s shit didn’t stick to the wall, he went back to Bret Hart as Champion. You see, in WWF lore, Bret is the loyal yet somewhat homely girlfriend that you always return to after flings with various tramps and whores go astray.


Anyway, even though Bret was WWF champion here (and successfully defended the title against Undertaker when Diesel caused a disqualification) the REAL star was again Shawn Michaels who in the midst of getting his biggest push, and was a lock to win the WWF Title. See, HBK was riding a sympathy wave and as a result “shworked” (equal parts shoot/work) the fans with a concussion. Shawn Michaels was really pulverized by a bunch of sailors outside a nightclub in Syracuse, reportedly pulled from his car while he slept, but the whole collapse on Raw with Owen Hart which was treated as “legit” was actually “bullshit” as the kids say these days. See, it was all a ploy to gain sympathy for babyfaced Michaels, and that way his inspiring Rumble win (which was his “return” to the ring) would be that much more impressive. And you know what? It worked. Everyone who didn’t subscribe to Da Meltz’s newsletter bought it hook, line and sinker. As was apparent by the countless swollen, tear-filled fat faces of so many obese teenage girls across the nation.


But first, there was the undercard. First things first we saw Jeff Jarrett return just long enough to go head to head with Ahmed Johnson,  the Pearl River Powerhouse (Porterhouse now. Dude got HUGE) who surely would have been a huge star if not for the fact that he made Mr. Glass from Unbreakable look like fucking Superman. Jarrett smashed a guitar over Ahmed’s head causing a DQ, then packed his bags for WCW soon after. From there, we saw the ONLY two teams in the WWF, The Smokin Gunns defeat Sunny’s (Tammy Sytch) Bodydonnas who had a work out gimmick ala Simon Dean (made hilariously ironic considering her shape these days. Then again, her fitno-powder was inhaled…)


From there, we had Razor Ramon defending the Intercontinental Title against Goldust, who was flanked by his then-wife Terri Runnels, who was then known as Marlena. Goldust would use “machinations” as Vince would describe, to throw off his opponents. And by “machinations” he meant groping his opponents and coming onto them. But then again, it is par for the course, really. It was only a matter of time before Dustin, a guy who has wrestled men with an erection for 15 years would be booked as a homosexual. Just saying. In any event, 123 Kid gets involved, and costs Razor the strap when he delivers a top rope spinkick.


Onto the Rumble itself, which unlike the previous year actually had a bit more intrigue to it as far as certain performers debuting/returning went. Also, in a trivial side note, this was the first year every wrestler who came down after the buzzer sounded got a snippet of their theme music played as they ran to the ring. (In previous years only the first two entrants had musical entrances.)


HHH draws number one (after losing via DQ to Duke Droese earlier that night. Yes that’s right, RVD, Booker T. and Jericho can’t beat HHH, but The Dumpster can.) Helsmsley was in the midst of a push that would be curtailed after the whole MSG incident in May but was the iron-man this night. Anyway, there was quite a few special entrants that year, including Doug Gilbert of USWA fame! Which is the equivalent of being announced as Joe nobody. Sorry it’s true. Also getting special slots were the Headhunters (picture twin Abdullah the Butchers…if they could moonsault) Japan’s Omori best known for…something, I’m sure, a returning Jake The Snake Roberts, who must’ve stopped drinking light beer, and a youngster named the Ringmaster that I’m sure never amounted to anything…


Also debuting this night was The Man they call Vader, despite Vince never telling us just who “they” were supposed to be. Vader had just finished up a stint in WCW, until he left the fold, as Paul Orndorff’s flip-flopped feet booted his ass out the door. Vader did some major damage in there, until he and Yokozuna butted heads. This was somewhat of a “dream match” because Vader and Yokozuna dominated their respective brands in 1993. HBK however, made his way out, and eliminated BOTH men. Nothing would stop HBK this night, be it fake knee injuries, or lost smiles, as he pitched out one man after another, before eliminating good friend/better enemy Diesel with a well timed superkick to win the whole thing and go onto to Wrestlemania 12 where he’d become WWF Champion. Michaels would then celebrate his monumental accomplishment by taking his trunks off (I wish I was kidding). WWE never explained who exactly this was supposed to appeal to. And if it was teenage girls, shame on you, Shawn. Every time I take my pants off for 16 year old girls I get arrested. Tough world.



This Rumble was unique because it was the first and only housed in a large arena (the Alamo Dome.) The downside though was that they had to give away half the tickets to fill the arena….


They say everything is bigger in Texas, and they’re right if they meant a steaming nugget of shit, which this pay-per-view certainly was, bar the rumble itself.


On the undercard, they  had Vader squash a very fat Undertaker; a six man “Lucha style” match that I guess was supposed to launch WWF’s Lucha/cruiserweight hopes. (I’d get into Vince’s whole Super Astros debacle but it’s long and it’s boring. But let’s just say, Warrior isn’t the only guy who hates Mexicans now….)


From there we had reformed homosexual Goldust losing to HHH who was accompanied by a coked-out Mr. Hughes; Hughes would soon be replaced with a clean and sober Chyna (tee hee) and the rest would be history.


And finally, we had HBK regaining the WWF title from Sycho (get the “p” out) Sid. HBK would then forfeit the Title rather than job it back to Sid a month later after losing his “smile.” This abortion also caused Michaels to sit out Wrestlemania 13 where he was to return the favor for Bret Hart. Things worked out better though as we got Austin/Bret as a consolation.


Anyway, onto the rumble itself. Since the roster was pretty thin, almost everyone involved in the undercard participated in the Rumble match itself, but regardless this was a spotlight for one man: Stone Cold Steve Austin. The man of the hour, and certainly a far cry from the Ringmaster that floundered just one year before. Austin was hilarious as he systematically eliminated everyone in his path, then sat on the top rope and counted the clock down, awaiting his next victim. Well, until Bret Hart came in. Anyway, the final five in the ring ended up being Vader, Undertaker, Bret, Austin and New Diesel who is better known today as Kane. It was at this point that Bret dumped out Austin, while the referees argued with Terry Funk and Mankind who had just been eliminated. HOWEVER, the referees failed to see Austin get eliminated, and he re-entered, tipping out BOTH Vader and Taker, then eliminating Bret from behind right after Bret had dumped Diesel (and legitimately won the Rumble.) The referees then declared Austin the winner and Bret went crazy. This whole debacle would spawn a Final four Battle Royal match between Austin/Vader/Taker & Bret at the next In Your House PPV that was supposed to decide the number one contender to the Title at WM 13; However because of Michaels, it became a Title match which Bret won before dropping it right back to Sid the next night.


In retrospect it’s actually kind of hard to watch the way the Bret character was treated, especially when you consider everything he said was TRUE, yet, commentators branded him a crybaby anyway. This was especially frustrating after years of on-camera Vince crying over any injustice Hulk Hogan would befall.



The WWF was a very different place just a year later, as the company was on the door-step of the soon-to-be-mega-successful Attitude era. Bret was off to WCW after being screwed worse then a prostitute with a metal snapper, and WWF as a result put all their eggs in Austin and Shawn Michaels respective baskets.


Speaking of Michaels, he and Taker would conclude their surprisingly awesome rivalry with a casket match which of course is secret WWE code for “way to job Taker out with really putting anyone over.”) The irony though is that one year prior Michaels lost his smile after the Rumble, another smile cost him everything….his vertical smile that is, as HBK takes an awkward choke-slam onto the casket, hitting his ass, tailbone and lower back, injuring himself severely, and in essence prematurely ending his WWF career( well, until 2002)


Anyway, Michaels retained his WWF Title against Taker on this night when Kane “turned” on his brother after a brief alliance. After the match, Kane lit the casket on fire. I too try this all the time, and surprisingly I never seem to get many invites to funerals anymore.


From there, Vader bested The Artist formerly known as Goldust; The LOD defeated New Age outlaws by DQ, seeking revenge for the Outlaws and DX shaving Hawk’s Mohawk!? The humanity! Shaving a bald man? How’d you ever live that down? Also, Rock used a big bag of monkeyshines to overcome Ken Shamrock and retain his intercontinental Title when the referee reversed the decision after catching Shamrock with brass knux (That were actually Rock’s) And to round things off there was a minis match.


But, the big story was the Rumble itself, and every participant gunning for Stone Cold (back when WWE actually knew when to let someone (in this case Austin) remain a tweener to keep their character fresh. cough*CENA*cough)


Other footnotes of this Rumble were Mick Foley portraying all three Faces of Foley in one match (Cactus Jack, Dude Love & Mankind), Mike Tyson sitting in the skybox with Vince cheering on “Cold Stone” (He’s apparently a HUGE fan of ice cream) and Austin sneaking through the crowd to enter the rumble while everyone’s back was turned.


Anyway, the finale sees Faarooq (who was technically the leader of Nation of Domination) get dumped out by fellow nation member, The Rock, leaving only Rocky & Austin. Austin then hands Rock his ass and eliminates him to move onto Wrestlemania 14 and his 1st WWF Title. Mike Tyson  looks on and applauds Austin in his victory. The two later trade tips on the proper way to knock a wife completely unconscious. Ok, I may have made that last part up….



Ah, 1999, Attitude is in full swing, and Vince Russo is booking angles so tastelessly shitty that even giving his heart to the Lord earlier last year likely won’t be enough to get his ass through the pearly gates.


Anyway, this particular Rumble was infamous for one match: The “I Quit” match for the WWF championship, featuring The Rock and Mankind, immortalized in the film Beyond the Mat for its brutality. The huge story here was not so much the finish (Mankind knocked unconscious, “submits” but in reality it’s a pre-recorded “I quit” from an earlier spoken promo) but the 10 consecutive unprotected chair shots Mick took from an overzealous Rock.


The undercard however left little to be desired. First Big Bossman defeated Road Dogg in a meaningless match. Ken Shamrock then kept the Corporation roll going by besting Billy Gunn during his 1st aborted singles push. Val Venis also got involved in this match because of a silly side program that saw Val bed Shamrock’s “sister” Ryan. The funny part however was the fact that in real life, Ken Shamrock himself was dating Ryan. And even more surprising is that Vince Russo didn’t somehow spin that into an angle. From there Xpac successfully defended the European Title against Gangrel. Sadly, Gangrel could have spared us the indignity of having to watch Xpac make that porn video if only he had drained all the blood from Waltman’s body. And finally, we had a “strap match” between Luna and Sable, but I soon lost all interest when I found out they would be strapping on leather belts, and not rubber penises.


And now, the Rumble itself. This year had only one frontrunner, Stone Cold Steve Austin whom Vince decreed would enter at number one, however, Vince McMahon himself was entered in the fracas at number two, thanks to off and on commissioner, Shawn Michaels and a battle royale won by Chyna who received the coveted # 30 spot. But in a side note; for all the hoopla that goes with getting number 30, not one man who’s drawn that number has ever won the match.


The funniest thing about Vince in this deal was the Rocky-esque work out videos where Shane pushed Vinnie Mac to the limit. Lot of good it did Vince though, as Austin destroyed him and chased him backstage where the Corporation waiting and beat down Austin leaving the audience to believe Austin was eliminated (neither he nor Vince were) The match carried on, and Vince eventually made his way back down to the commentator’s desk. One funny note that still breaks me up to this day, featured HHH quite obviously audibly yelling to Val Venis: “If I throw you over can you hold on?” Anyway, Austin eventually makes his way out and McMahon avoids his wrath until he dumps out Big Bossman, leaving only Vince and Austin. Stone Cold destroyed Vince until New WWF Champion, The Rock interfered, distracting Austin long enough that Vince dumped Austin out and won the Rumble! Rock gets the $100,000 bounty as a result. Oh, did I mention there was a $100,000 bounty on Austin? Fucking Russo and his overbooking.



This was arguably the greatest over-all WWF PPV of the Attitude era until Wrestlemania 17 rolled around.


Unlike most years, the undercard was incredibly solid, as Tazz defeats Kurt Angle in his WWF debut with the Tazzmission. Ah, Tazz, you’ll at least always have this moment. From there, The Hardys defeat the Dudleys in the companies first ever Tables match...you know, back when the concept was fresh. The match was SO good that it catapulted the two teams (plus Edge and Christian) into a three way rivalry that saw the best tag team wrestling since the Harts and The Bulldogs 14 years before. From there, Chris Jericho managed to regain the Intercontinental Title over Chyna and Bob Holly. Jericho and Chyna were actually co-champions for about a month leading into this before Y2J thankfully ended the ridiculousness. And in retrospect how ridiculous is the Chyna push, anyway? I can picture at least half the locker room cringing watching Joey Buttafuoco undo all their hard work in one 3 round boxing match. Also, in a filler match, New Age Outlaws defeated The Acolytes who had just discovered the joys of protecting people for money but had yet to officially label themselves the A.P.A.  And of course there was the Royal Rumble swimsuit competition, featuring a ring full of women with more plastic parts than my entire vintage 1982 He-Man set. Well, except Mae Young who pulled a page from the movie “There’s something about Mary” and had prosthetics over her exposed breasts (thank God).Thankfully, this was where the “Mary” homage ended, as I’m glad they didn’t follow suit and have someone come out with a blob of cum in their hair. (Although with guys like Bradshaw running around, you can’t tell me it’s never happened...)


Finally, on the undercard side, there was the match that made HHH a star, as he and Cactus Jack battled in a street fight. Brutal stuff, with both men at their absolute best. Ending sees HHH retain his WWF title by pedigreeing Foley face first on thumbtacks. A total rub by Mick here, and the official point where Trips went from lame duck champion to credible.


Then we had the Rumble itself. Everyone knew The Rock was going over, but the card was so good, we didn’t care. Anyway, a lot of filler in here, but eventually, the final two are Big Show and The Rock. Rock of course eliminates Show to *officially* win the rumble, but footage shown on Raw would show that Rock’s feet actually touched the floor first, giving Show an out to eventually get into the Wrestlemania main event (along with Hunter, Foley and Rock.)



Another solid offering here; Not quite as good as 2000 overall (in my opinion at least) but VERY close.


Here was yet another case where the undercard RULED all kinds of ass. First, The Dudleys cleanly regained the Tag team Titles by defeating E & C. From there, Chris Jericho won the IC title from Chris Benoit in probably the most unheralded ladder match ever; and one that brought the concept back to actual believable psychology, as opposed to just the insane bumping it had became synonymous with. Chyna then worked a match with then-women’s champion, Ivory. This was at the point where Chyna was desperately trying to be sexy, and had even done a spread in Playboy…and not penthouse, thankfully, because let’s just say, “the man in Chyna’s boat” must have a case of gigantism if you know what I mean *shudder* Anyway, Chyna dominated, but miffed a handspring elbow and was “paralyzed” and pinned by Ivory. Ross and Lawler use their Owen Hart voices soon after to convince us this was not a work.


The WWF championship match was unique, if only because both Angle (the Champion) and HHH were both heels. HHH had Stephanie in his corner and Angle countered with Trish. This was a very good match, but the crowd didn’t really know who to cheer for (although they leaned more towards Trips) the finish saw the obligatory ref bump, and Steve Austin runs in and stuns Trips allowing Kurt to win the match and retain the Title.


Anyway, the rumble itself for the 1st time since arguably 1990 wasn’t predictable, as TWO men had an equal shot to take it all, and those two men were Steve Austin & The Rock. Everyone else were just plot devices in their way. However, one of those “plot devices”, Kane, got quite the little monster push here, setting the all time elimination record in the process. The final four ends up being Kane, Austin, Rock and BILLY GUNN, but he had no chance here, ‘cause who in their right mind would ever PUSH Billy Gunn??…oh wait. Anyway, Kane surprisingly eliminates Rock but eats Austin’s wrath of overbooked chair shots and one clothesline later... Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold! [/JR Voice]


Other notes: Undertaker and Kane reunited for the millionth time after feuding for the millionth time, and the Austin and Kurt Angle *wins* here made people believe that WWF had changed their Wrestlemania booking plans altogether (they didn’t). Rock would defeat Angle one month later and the two would meet at WM 17 where Austin would turn heel. And although it marked Austin’s renaissance as an interesting character, it may have been the catalyst for WWF’s eventual downturn.




With the Invasion angle now in the proverbial shitter, Vince and company attempt to move forward. However, their first order of business is to cut the legs out from Undisputed Champion, Chris Jericho, which was terrible idea because he’s only about 5’8” anyway. All kidding, aside, Jericho’s reign was treated as a joke from the word “go”, and even though he had an excellent match with Rock here (Jericho retained by pinning Rocky with his feet on the ropes), he still felt like a lame duck champion. Of course the worst was still yet to come….


The undercard was mediocre at best, but had its moments. First, Tazz & Spike Dudley successfully defended their Tag team Titles against the Dudleys when Tazz choked out D-Von. I liked this team of Tazz & Spike, and used to always equate them to the speech Jerry & George had on Seinfeld about uniting to create the perfect boyfriend: “We don't have it. But maybe the two of us, working together at full capacity, could do the job of one normal man. ...”


From there Trish Stratus continued her transition from really hot manager to really hot wrestler, successfully defending her Women’s title against Jazz. William Regal utilized the power of the punch to unseat Edge of his Intercontinental Title, and finally, Ric Flair utilized the power of the paunch to defeat fellow co-owner (at the time, Flair “owned” 50% of the WWF) Vince McMahon. However, the funniest part of this feud was seeing Vince dress up in full Nature Boy attire in the promo package, complete with wig. The match held up surprisingly well, but it was Ric Flair we’re talking about, the same man who once made El Gigante look like he could actual move his body. Vince too can always be counted on to put on an at least entertaining, albeit not technically masterful performance.


The Rumble itself was entirely HHH’s baby, as the returning cerebral assassin was odds on favorite to take the whole thing. However, there were still several markout moments. First the priceless look on Undertaker’s face after Maven dropkicked him out, followed by Hurricane’s attempt to double chokeslam Hunter and Austin simultaneously, with HHH and Austin just looking at one another with a perplexed look before dumping Hurricane. The last for me was the return of MR. PERFECT, who got a HUGE pop. I just can’t tell you how much I marked out when he caught Kurt Angle with a perfect-plex. Anyway, the final four came down to Austin, HHH, PERFECT(~!) and Kurt Angle who vowed to win the Rumble to add to his list of career accomplishments. Anyway, Austin gets dumped by Angle, and Perfect was next by HHH, as I picture Hennig muttering  “But...I helped you win your first ever title!…and even gave you your name!”  This just left HHH and Angle to battle, and after teasing the Shawn Michaels finish (no not threatening to walk out if you don’t win) HHH dumps Angle to win the Rumble and go onto Wrestlemania 18 where he captured the Undisputed Title. Lucy the Dog would be so proud.



They used to always say you can remember where you were the day Kennedy was shot, but since I wasn’t even sperm yet, I’ll retort with this. You’ll always remember where you were the day Scott Steiner and HHH battled in the WORST World title match in WWE history. And where I was, was right in front of my TV, thinking of whether a blunt shot to my skull with my All in one remote could end my life and stop the pain. However, thankfully, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit much like Anakin Skywalker, were there to bring back balance to the force. The two would put on a 5 star classic that still ranks in my all-time top 5 matches ever. (Kurt retained via submission),


However, if catch as catch can wrestling was not your bag, or you didn’t exactly rally behind HHH and Scott Steiner out-gaying each other in a slew of homoerotic posing contests designed to prove who the bigger man was… by convincing us that they were the complete opposite of that… then there was the undercard:


First, to even get into the Rumble match, Brock Lesnar had to get past Big Show…the same man who handed him his first defeat and took his WWE title in the process. Brock would defeat Show, who wore a pair of his best slacks for the occasion, with an F-5. But seriously, what was the reason Show briefly switched to pants? Maybe it’s the equivalent of the fat girl in a pool with a t-shirt? I don’t know.


From there, The Dudleys regained the Tag team Titles by defeating William Regal & Lance Storm, and Torrie defeated her “mother in-law,” who fucked her father to death, Dawn Marie. We can all only hope to go the same way.


Anyway, the Rumble was next, and the big story here (besides Lesnar earning his spot) was HBK and Jericho starting at positions one and two respectively. However, Jericho in hilarious fashion, screwed HBK over and attacked him with a chair from behind, quickly eliminating him. Jericho surprisingly would start to get the fans behind him, until Test of all people eliminated him. What happened to Canadian unity, eh? Anyway, everyone knew Lesnar was bringing this thing home, and that’s exactly what he did, at the expense of Undertaker, who manages to lose at virtually every Rumble PPV, yet never really put anyone over. Genius.


Anyway, this was a PPV that simultaneously displayed how, and how not to book a pay-per-view. Unfortunately, WWE progressed with the opposite build, curtailing Benoit’s push, even though the Bean town crowd giving him a standing-O. While HHH and Scott Steiner got to get another ppv payoff, despite the fact that their match stunk and the crowd turned on it faster than a guy wearing an “All you need is Cock” t-shirt to a feminist rally. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.



2004 was a year where things were finally looking up. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were being elevated, and the old guard was seemingly passing the torch. But, whew, what a difference a year makes, eh? We’re right back to where we started. I kinda feel like a guy who survived cancer but gets hit by car as he’s leaving the hospital. We just can’t win.


Anyway, regardless of how things ultimately turned out, we’ll always have the 2004 Royal Rumble…the best booked Rumble EVER.


First things first, Batista & Ric Flair successfully defend their Tag team championship against the Dudleys in a Tables match. And as much as Big Dave has improved today to the point where he’s the darling of the internet, last year he was more wooden than a medieval dildo, as his stiff work earned himself the nickname “Pseudo Sid” from many writers online. The match was surprisingly short to boot, but we’d find out why soon enough.


Rey Mysterio defeated Jamie By Gawd Noble…back when he still wore pants…and had a job… to retain the cruiserweight Title, when Blind Nidia’s “interference” backfired.  And yes you heard right. Blind Nidia. You remember,right? She was visually impaired by Tajiri’s “mist?” (I think I saw this same thing on a porno bloopers video.) Anyway, Noble would use her blindness to his benefit MANY times, before Nidia began *accidentally* costing him matches. But who needs that? As far as I’m concerned, the only useful blind person is "Daredevil", and even he's imaginary.


Eddie Guerrero squashed Chavo Guerrero/accompanied by CHAVO CLASSIC(~!) clean with a frog splash in another short match. Not much to this one, which was disappointing, but marked for Chavo Classic anyway because he reminded me of Cheech Marin….only he could moonsault! Who says pot makes you lethargic!


And then…there was arguably the WORST World Title program in WWE history. (Brock Lesnar Vs. Hardcore Holly)This entire throw away program was built around Bob Holly seeking revenge on Lesnar for breaking his neck. To me, they always had the roles reversed in this one, as it was Holly’s own fault it happened in the first place when his stubborn ass sand-bagged on a powerbomb and Lesnar basically said “fuck it.” I never understood why we were supposed to feel sorry for him. I always compared it to a guy who kicked a pit bull in the balls then complained later when he got mauled. But more than anything else, this feud was stupid because it was BOB FUCKING HOLLY WRESTLING FOR THE WWE TITLE. What, they couldn’t suit Kwang up, or get Frankie through customs fast enough so Koko B. Ware could finally get his shot? The sad fact is that no one in history has been more of a lame duck challenger to a World Champion EVER in PPV history, and this includes the Patriot. In fact, the only way Lesnar could have logically been in ANY trouble is if Bob got behind the wheel of his Talladega race car and ran over Brock with it. Even then, it’d only buy Holly about 30 seconds before Lesnar dusted himself off and murdered “Spark Plugg.”  Ya, Lesnar won. But he also left the WWE a month and a half later. Thanks WWE.


Then we had the REAL main-event, and the real reason  why the matches required more shaving than an Italian girl in the Summer time: HHH and HBK NEEDED all the time to tell their story… which is the best one in the EVAR!!!11 in case you didn’t know. Anyway, I remember a time when Shawn Vs. Hunter was a dream match that I thought we’d never see. That was about 6 pay-per-view matches ago. Still, the match at the Rumble under “last man standing” rules was quite good, but it had one of the worst finishes in recent history when neither man could answer the count, calling the bout a “draw.” However as hollow as this cop-out finish was, it in part at least allowed us to see a five-star match at Wrestlemania XX (along with Benoit) so I’m not complaining.


Ah, then, the Rumble match itself. And one of the least predictable in recent history. We all had a hunch Benoit would win, but none of us really knew if WWE had the balls to really go through with it. And this is what set this Rumble apart from others in recent years, as there were several probable choices to choose from. For one, we knew Lesnar and Brock would be meeting at Wrestlemania, but we didn’t know how the company would go about it. Lesnar was still WWE champion, so could Goldberg win the Rumble and jump to SD to challenge Brock? Also, after weeks of tormenting Kane, we all thought Undertaker would show up (he didn’t) but the intrigue was still there. And finally, the surprise entrance of Mick Foley and his subsequent elimination of arch-rival Randy Orton was one of the year’s true markout moments. All in all this was the greatest, most emotional Rumble match ever (just barely edging out ’92) as Benoit would ultimately prevail, using his leverage on the apron to choke Show out of the ring and go onto make history at Wrestlemania. AWESOME stuff.



Anyway, this takes us to this year’s event. This year, I think it’s safe to assume that the bulk of fans out there are pulling for Batista to get the job done and go on to Wrestlemania 21 and HHH. But what surprises are in store for us tomorrow, if any? Will there be any surprise entrants? Will the WWE  go with another darkhorse choice? Or will they stick with a safe bet? This is what makes the Rumble a time-tested winning formula. I for one am stoked.


I’m Sean.

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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.).