February 6, 2005
Frank Koenen

2005 ROYAL RUMBLE

-Okay we’re live from The Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA and it has a nice big loud crowd, which must be a big improvement for the Smackdown guys seeing as the last time they were on PPV, they drew less than 5000 to a city that drew about five 25,000+ crowds to the Georgia Dome. Nevertheless.

-Hosts are JR and King for Raw Matches. Michael Cole and Tazz for Smackdown Matches. JR and Tazz for the Rumble itself.

-Shawn Michaels vs. Edge
Shawn beats on Edge to begin and then takes off his entrance attire. Edge goes back in and they lock up. Michaels dominates the opening portion of the match. They go outside for some brawling, and Edge drops Michaels on his head. Back in the ring, Edge takes control with pretty much punches, kicks, and chops. Shawn makes a brief comeback through a series of chops, then goes for a hurricanrana, but Edge turns it into a powerbomb in a nice spot. Edge locks in a body scissors and chin lock combo. HBK fights back, but Edge knocks him down. Edge continues to dictate the pace. Edge goes up top and misses whatever, and Shawn gets an Oklahoma roll off that for two. Edge goes for a suplex, but Shawn counters. However, Edge gets a arm lock on Shawn. Shawn chops some and gets things going his way until Edge bails. Shawn follows and drags Edge back towards ring. Edge however gets a spear on the outside, and HBK sells it like he’s dead. He gets in at the count of nine. Edge then hits a spear on the inside for only two. They fight up top, and Edge gets shoved down. HBK hits an elbow, then pulls himself up and tunes up the band. Edge catches his foot and lifts him up for an electric chair which gets 2.999 count. Edge gets on his submission hold (Edgucution) and Michael barely makes it to the ropes. Edge gets his hold on again, but Shawn gets a reversal for two. Shawn goes for a rollup, but Edge counters, pulls the tights and holds the ropes for the win at 18:32. Everyone seemed disappoint by this match, but I liked it. I also think it went a long way in establishing Edge as a big player. ****

-In a backstage skit, Ric Flair and Eddie Guerrero both draw numbers. Flair draws first and is very happy with his number. Eddie draws, and doesn’t seem so happy. So he hugs Flair and pick pockets his number. When Flair realizes Guerrero switched numbers with him, he’s not too happy. This was a great skit.

-On the other side of the spectrum, Gene Sh*tsky errrr....Snitsky comes into John Heidenreich's locker room (likely he was trying to sneak a peak). They both say the like each other while breathing heavily. They then watch the sunset together and Snitsky gives John a peck on the cheek, before going home. John runs home ecstatic about this, but when he arrives at home he meets up his alcoholic father who beats him. Ok the last two sentences were pretty much lies, but they easily could have gone the way of those cheesy teen coming of age flicks. Anyway, Snitsky says he has a plan for later tonight. We don’t get to learn exactly what that plan was, but I have a feeling it involved a hot tub, rubbing oils, and a bottle of wine.

-Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. John Heidenreich
The casket gets it’s own entrance, and it’s still is more over than Heidenreich. Heidenreich’s entrance theme is really weird as it sounds like he’s saying “I am Heidenreich “ right as he’s climaxing. Hey, I’m just saying. I just noticed, they screw up the Undertaker’s entrances now. Before there would either be two or three bongs, and the lights would go out. Now they just shut off the lights before the bongs, much like how Kane’s music used to be. The match begins with Taker grabbing a hold of a headlock, and trying to drag Heidenreich towards the casket. That’s actually some pretty good psychology. Taker controls for the first bit. They trade some headlocks and shoulder blocks. Undertaker, in another bit of good psychology puts Heidenreich in a Boston Crab, so that Heidenreich has to drag himself towards the casket to get out of it. Heidenreich goes to leave, but Taker chases after him. Heidenreich whips Taker into the casket. Heidenreich suddenly loses his fear of caskets, and feels like bashing Taker’s head into the casket. He fears the casket on and off for the rest of the match, thus ruining a lot of the psychology. In the ring, Heidenreich pounds on Taker. Undertaker is set up on the top rope. When there he gets a triangle choke, and they fall to the mat. Snitsky runs in and breaks it up. He and Heidenreich double team Undertaker. Michael Cole asks if this was their plan, which means even he thinks that they’re plan was a little get together in Snitsky’s hotel room (and Cole would know). Snitsky and Heidenreich give Undertaker the worst double suplex in the history of mankind. I mean it was terrible. They drag him to the casket where Kane is hiding. So does he, like, pay off the druids or something? I mean why did he wait in there? Did he really need to be the center of attention? I think were going to get a depth and poetic monologue about from Kane about his self esteem issues. That or he’ll pound on Snitsky as they go through the crowd. So Kane pounds on Snitsky as they go through the crowd. Back in the ring, Heidenreich moves the casket away from ringside cautiously, and in a funny spot looks in to see if anyone else is in there. Through this whole match the announcers and the audience laugh at Heidenreich, when really someone with Heidenreich’s size shouldn’t be used as comedy wrestler. Then again someone with Heidenreich’s skill shouldn’t be used as a wrestler. BA DA DUM. Taker comes from behind and bashes Heidenreich’s head into the casket, they head back to ringside. Taker goes for an Irish whip, but it’s reversed, and he hits his knees hard. John uses the casket as a battering ram in a nice spot, if it wasn’t for the fact that Taker didn’t seem to get hit by the casket, and Heidenreich is suppose to be afraid of caskets. They head back in the ring, where Heidenreich tries putting a cobra clutch on Undertaker, like a nervous Teenage Boy tries to take a bra off a girl. Then again, when Heidenreich is around, heterosexual metaphors aren’t probably the apt to use. Taker is out, and Heidenreich rolls him into the casket. He goes to close it, but Taker is a zombie so that doesn’t work. Taker puts the top of half of Heidenreich in the casket, and then drops a leg on top of him in a neat spot. Taker goes for a chokeslam, but John headbutts out of it. Heidenreich seems to botch a rock bottom type maneuver. Taker is rolled in again, but he rallies back. Fist fight in the middle of the ring leads to a Taker DDT. This is followed by the usual chokeslam, tombstone combo, and finally Heidenreich is rolled into the casket for the win.

My poem on this match:
This match, on the star scale was really low
I mean it was really bad, did it blow
Undertaker is a legend, he didn’t deserve this
Because Heidenreich’s matches smell like piss
This match was goofy, this match was whack
This match felt like, a kick to my sack

Or maybe this would have been better for the rap off later tonight.

*1/2 for Undertaker’s psychology towards the beginning. Years ago, I felt bad for guys who had to face Undertaker & Kane, now I feel bad for the Undertaker & Kane. They actually deserve much better than this. So either they’ve improved or talent has gotten a lot worse (truth be told, they wrestle better than they did a few years ago).

-Long wants Eddie to give Flair his number back. He of course has no idea what he’s talking about. Evolution comes in and demand Flair’s number back. So Eddie gives it back, and Flair’s wallet too. Flair goes spastic, in this awesome skit. However afterwards there is tension between Evolution whether Batista should get his number or they should talk about the Triple H match.

-Christian (with Tomko) comes in to draw, and seems to get a good number. Cena then comes in, and Christian says he’s not impressed (hey, neither am I). Christian then challenges Cena to a rap off. “Tomko give me a beat” “No”, and busts out lame lyrics “Just like Dracula comes from Transylvania/I’m winning the Rumble and going to WrestleMania.” Cena busts out and equally corny rap, but apparently this is one is suppose to be cool. Really take out the gay jokes from Cena’s and you can’t even defend it as not being lame. (Just like how Frank Koenen’s reviews are equally as lame as Scott Keith’s without all the Heidenreich gay jokes, hey wait...).

-No-DQ Match: WWE Champion JBL vs. The Big Show vs. Kurt Angle
Angle stays on the outside to begin. JBL digs into the Big Show to begin, but that doesn’t work, and JBL ends up in the corner as the recipient of some nasty chops from Show. Show remains in control leading up to a leg drop for two, which is broken up by Angle making it his first interaction of the match. JBL ignorantly tries a suplex on Show, which obviously goes nowhere as Angle runs into a big boot. Show then hits a double clothesline on his opponents, sending them outside. A brawl at ringside which has Show still dominating. Show goes for a chokeslam from on top of the steps to the Smackdown announce table, but Angle hits a low blow, and hits Show with a TV monitor which sends him in to the table. Angle & JBL brawl on the outside, and Angle lays it into JBL. Back in JBL gets the advantage on Angle for a little. Angle gets in an armbar. Out of the armbar Angle continues to control. He eventually goes for an Angle slam, but gets hit by a big boot from JBL. Show makes his way back in and hits a double clothesline and a couple of headbutts. He slams JBL, then Angle ONTO JBL. Neat. He whips Angle into the corner, then JBL into Angle, then a butt splash on both. JBL and Angle hit a variation of Total Elimination on Show. Angle goes for an Angle slam on Show, but JBL breaks it up. JBL throws Angle out. Show hits a chokeslam on JBL which only gets two when JBL puts his leg on the rope. They leave the ring and Show hits JBL with a spear through the barricade. Show goes back in, and Angle is hiding a chair, which he hits Show with. Then in another neat spot Show flapjacks Angle onto his own chair. This gets two, when Reigns and Jindrak run in. Show goes out to brawl with Reigns and Jindrak. Meanwhile, the jWo (JBL’s Cabinet) who had been helping him, drag him back into the ring. JBL hits a clothesline from hell on Angle and wins the match. Good match. ***˝

-In the back, Batista is walking, and he meets up with Carlito. Carlito asks Big Dave to sign his petition, but Dave passes. Carlito takes a bite of his apple, then Batista reminds him of how he shoved a flagpole up La Resistance’s ass last week. Carlito swallows his apple. Batista goes into the drawing room, where Long and Bischoff are arguing about the WWE Championship match. Long says that he knows there will be just as much interference in the World Championship match. Bischoff says ‘no there won’t’, and now Evolution is barred from ringside. Batista volunteers to tell Trips the good news.

-A WrestleMania commercial with Eugene. In it he acts like Forrest Gump, where he says he thinks life is not like a box of chocolates, but like WrestleMania, and accidentally punches out some old lady. Regal then follows this up with “RUN EUGENE RUN.” Great stuff.

-World Champion HHH vs. Randy Orton
Some quick action to begin and Orton get a backslide for two. Orton goes for the RKO immediately and HHH bails. Orton follows brining him back to the ring. Orton goes for another RKO, but Triple H throws him over the top rope, in a pretty nice spot. HHH tries a countout win, but Orton makes it back in. HHH stomps away at Orton as he’s laying on his belly. Orton fights back for a short offensive control, but HHH clips his knee. HHH drags Orton over to the corner post and wraps his knee around it. HHH works on Orton’s leg for a long time. The Game goes for a figure four, but Orton reverses it into a small package for two. Triple H then finally gets the figure four and they stay in there for a little until Lex....I mean Sting...I mean Orton reverses it. Seriously, Triple H’s matches have changed drastically since he was on top in 2000 and 2001. Now he’s an young child playing wrestling in his backyard, and he always has to play Ric Flair. Same with a lot of Triple H’s angles. Not saying that he’s a bad worker, but sometimes it deters from what I feel he could do better. Anyway, HHH gets back on the knee, using the ring apron, but Orton uses his LEG STRENGTH to push Triple H into the Spanish announce table. IT’S A MIRACLE ORTON’S KNEE IS HEALED. I guess Triple H really is god. Back in Orton hits a back breaker and indeed the knee injury is forgotten about. Orton throws some fists at HHH in the corner. Orton continues to dominate until the clichéd face punching in the corner on the second rope, which Triple H gets an atomic drop. Flair goes up top and gets slammed off. Steamboat then goes up top for a high crossbody on Flair. HHH gets a face buster (ahhhhh, vintage HHH) and goes for the pedigree, but Orton catapults the Game. Orton sets HHH up for the RKO, but the Game shoves him into the ropes. HHH hits a high knee for a near fall, then goes for a pedigree, but Orton gets out and hits a clothesline. They go to the ringside area and brawl. Back in Orton hammers on HHH in the corner. Orton goes for a DDT, but HHH holds on the ropes making Orton hit his head on the mat. Orton then does a great sell job acting dazed and confused. Orton has got the tools, he just got to put himself together to become a really great wrestler. Anyway, Orton rolls out, Hebner starts his count, but stops and tells Orton he has to get in. While they’re talking in the corner, Triple H runs in and sandwiches Orton between him and the referee, knocking Orton and the referee down. Orton rolls out, while Triple H gets his handy dandy sledgehammer. HHH goes to hit Orton, but Orton pulls Triple H’s tights sending him into the corner post. Orton keeps his glassy eyed look and gets sledgehammer. He goes for Triple H, but gets hit with a ferocious clothesline. HHH hits the pedigree, and since Orton’s not the Ultimate Warrior, it’s over. It was okay, but I felt could have been a lot better. **˝ Anyway, Orton’s push is over, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m sure the WWE is glad they replaced Lesnar’s previous record in the process.

-In the back, Angle steals Nunzio’s number.

-Eric Bischoff gloats about the Raw Title match (should he really be doing that?). Teddy Long agrees, as the jWo comes in. Teddy Long says because of all the outside interference, next month at No Way Out will be a barbed wire steel cage match between JBL and The Big Show. Huge mistake IMO. First, I thought you were trying to tone down the product, since all the Mick Foleys “set the bar too high.” Second, if you are going to have a match like this, wouldn’t you want to guys who could actually put on a classic, since this is the first. Hopefully they’ll go the Onita route where they’re scared as hell of being thrown into the cage, instead of the retard Indy way and play a game of hurting themselves more.

-Royal Rumble 2005
Eddie Guerrero is #1, Chris Benoit is #2. They circle each other, and lock up. Guerrero backs Benoit in the corner and they break up. Another couple of lock ups followed by some mat wrestling and wrestling holds. Daniel Puder is #3. He cuts a heel promo before entering the ring, and then proceeds the best shitkicking I’ve ever seen in wrestling. Great stuff, Guerrero hits the three amigos as the period ends. #4 is Hardcore Holly. Now Hardcore takes his turn hazing Puder. It was this or drinking the gallon of the hard stuff. They all take turns chopping Puder, and when it’s Eddie’s turn he gets a HUGE chant. #5 is Hurricane. Puder is thrown out by Holly as Hurricane comes out. Then Holly gets tossed out by Benoit & Guerrero. Hurricane gets taken to the woodshed as Benoit & Guerrero beat the crap out of him while I mark out like a twelve year old girl in Texas after patting Kerry Von Erich on the back. Guerrero goes to throw Benoit out. Benoit blocks and Benoit is pissed. It now goes into a brawl between all three. Hurricane goes out by Guerrero after a backdrop. #6 is Kenzo Suzuki. Back to the woodshed routine, Kenzo takes a beating. Benoit tries to throw Guerrero out during this as revenge for the last period. #7 is Edge. He goes for everyone. It’s pretty much Edge-Eddie on the ropes and Benoit-Kenzo in the corner for the rest of the period. #8 is Rey Mysterio Jr. He comes in and really gets into things. Rey with a head scissors on Kenzo, and is able to dump him out. #9 is Shelton Benjamin. The good workers begin to pile up. #10 is Booker T. The work rate continues to go up. Eric Bischoff comes out to support the Raw side. #11 is Chris Jericho. The good worker streak continues. Teddy Long then comes out. #12 is Luther Reigns. Suddenly everyone stops brawling. The Raw & Smackdown guys go on opposite sides on of the ring. They then rush at each other and brawl in a great segment. #13 is Mohammad Hassan. The action stops. Hassan enters the ring, and then the other guys all create a circle around him. The entire Rumble beats down Hassan and Mysterio hits a 619 on him. They all pick up Hassan as if he was a jerk drunk being thrown out of the bar, and so Hassan exits the Rumble. #14 is Orlando Jordan. Bischoff & Long disappear from ringside. #15 is Scotty 2 Hotty. I’m surprised Scotty is still with the company, I thought he was going to appear in Memphis a few weeks ago (then again Lawler does do the Memphis stuff so it’s not like he’s going to TNA). Hassan attacks Scotty, and puts him in a camel clutch. Scotty is carried back. #16 is Charlie Haas. Booker T eliminates Luther Reigns and Orlando Jordan. Booker T does a spinaroonie, but Mysterio dropkicks Booker and Eddie pulls the top rope down and Booker T gets sent out. #17 is Rene Dupree. Shelton & Hass (the former members of The World’s Greatest Tag-Team) double team both Dupree and Edge. Shelton however lands on the top rope after missing a Stinger Splash and Edge just shoves him out. #18 is Simon Dean. He stays out this whole period as he warms up. Guerrero gets eliminated by Edge drawing huge boos from the crowd. Dean enters the ring just as the period ends. #19 is Shawn Michaels. Shawn clotheslines Dean out. The crowd chants for Eddie AS HE LEAVES. Right now I think Eddie is nuts for wanting to turn heel, as are the bookers for letting him (then again the bookers are nuts for more reasons than that). Right now the Eddie Guerrero situation reminds me of something Pat Patterson said to Ricky Steamboat about turning heel, “You could take a chainsaw to Hulk Hogan and the fans would still love you.” That’s pretty much where Eddie is, unless he stops lying, cheating, and stealing. THAT would draw some major heel heat. Back to the match, Shawn eliminates Haas. #20 is Kurt Angle. Angle suplexes and slams everyone but HBK. Angle tries to get an Angle slam, which HBK gets out of and goes for a superkick, which is caught and turned into an ankle lock. Shawn uses his leg strength to get out of it and superkicks Angle out. Mysterio & Shawn fight in the corner, in what would have been a pretty good match in 1997. #21 is Coach. He comes in for some good comic relief and hits Benoit, but then runs away and hugs the bottom rope. #22 is Mark Jindrak. Angle re enters the Rumble, and throws out HBK. He then takes the steel stairs to Shawn, followed by an ankle lock. Finally enough officials pulls him off. Wait shouldn’t Shawn be back in the match? Back in 1996 when he was eliminated by Vader (after he eliminated Vader), the match was restarted. #23 is Viscera. #24 is Paul London. Dupree does the French Tickler, and not learning from last year gets thrown out by Chris Jericho. #25 is John Cena. Cena comes in and eliminates Viscera. #26 is Gene Snitsky. Snitsky beats on everyone. London jumps on him and locks in a sleeper, but Snitsky puts him on the apron. Then clotheslines him and London somersaults out. It was an elimination, but a SPECTACULAR elimination. I think he’s earned his job for the year, even if he’s not a musclehead. #27 is Kane. Snitsky and Kane of course go at each other. Kane hands out chokeslam to everyone. Kane throws Jindrak out. Coach attacks Kane from behind, showing he’s no smarter than Eugene. Kane gets a goozle on Coach, but Snitsky attacks saving Coach. #28 is Batista. He gets a huge pop. Batista throws Snitsky out. The two mastodons in Kane & Batista go at each other in a nice spot. Jericho is out by Batista. #29 is Christian. Cena FUs Kane out. #30 is Ric Flair.

Flair stomps at Coach, and then he and Batista eliminate Coach. So it took two people to take out the Coach, and he lasted longer than half the rumble including Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Gene Snitsky, Viscera, and Kurt Angle. I think we’re going to have Backlash headlined by Coach-Batista as it’s obvious they’re really building Coach as their next monster heel. Anyway, Batista throws Christian out ONTO Tomko. Benoit chops at Flair, but Batista comes in and gives a spinebuster to Benoit, and they throw him out. Flair goes to eliminate Batista, but doesn’t even move him and Flair falls down. Batista looks at Flair who begs him off, and this distraction works as Edge & Rey double dropkick Batista. Some chops by Edge to Flair and The Nature Boy goes out. The final four are Batista, Edge, Rey and Cena. Some good action as everyone brawls with one another. Edge gets a couple of spears then he and Mysterio fight, ending with Mysterio going out. Edge gets dumped by Batista & Cena. Cena gets a fireman’s carry on Batista, but Big Dave fights back. Batista goes for a Batista bomb, but they get too close to the ropes and both fall out. Raw refs say Batista is the winner, and Smackdown refs say Cena is the winner. Back in the ring, there is a big argument. Batista just attacks Cena and throws him over. Cena then does the same. McMahon runs in, and bumps his knee on the apron, he then falls down and can’t get up. McMahon orders a restart. Batista & Cena have another fist fight then Batista just sort of throws him over for the win. This was probably one of the best Rumbles, although the ending was rushed. ****˝

Final Though: Good show start to finish. Even Taker-Heidenreich was watchable. Get this when it comes on DVD if you didn’t see it. Thumbs up.

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