Sunday, June 26, 2016

Top 5 Royal Rumble Matches

5) 2002 Royal Rumble: I had a very tough time choosing my fifth selection. The other four were clear favorites but it was hard to narrow this down. In the end, I went with 2002. Now, it was a fairly long Rumble clocking in at just under 70 minutes. It was a ton of fun with plenty of memorable moments. I enjoyed seeing Godfather and Val Venis return but I loved Goldust and Mr. Perfect returning. Another memorable moment came when Maven eliminated the Undertaker and then got beat down around the entire arena. My only issue with this Rumble was that the winner was pretty obvious, but it is still an enjoyable watch to this day.

4) 2004 Royal Rumble: The single best performance by a guy entering at one or two happened on this night. Chris Benoit, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, put on an outstanding performance in this year. He entered at number one, followed by the Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton which was great foreshadowing to their SummerSlam match later that year. They would end up alone in the ring around the midway point where we got some comic relief from Ernest "The Cat" Miller. The talent level in this Rumble is high with Benoit, Orton, Chris Jericho, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam and more. Benoit would be in at the end against Big Show and he eliminated him by himself, in a great moment that would be remembered more if he hadn't done what he did.

3) 2010 Royal Rumble: I remember watching the 2010 Royal Rumble with a group of friends and I don't think I've ever had this much fun. When Edge made his surprise return at #29, my friend Elvis and I completely lost it. Seeing him eliminate John Cena last was incredibly satisfying and we loved every minute of it. But back to the beginning, we start with two very talented guys in Dolph Ziggler and Evan Bourne. CM Punk, during his great run with the Straight Edge Society came out next and dominated the early stages, even cutting promos in the middle of elimination. Beth Phoenix became the second woman to ever enter the Rumble and eliminated Great Khali. DX exploded a bit as Shawn Michaels, desperate to earn a rematch with the Undertaker at WrestleMania, superkicked Triple H out of the ring. He was eventually eliminated by Batista and his panic stricken grasps for the ropes as he fell told a story. All in all, one hell of an underrated Rumble.

2) 2001 Royal Rumble: The start of 2001 was a fantastic time with three phenomenal Pay Per Views in a row. It all started with the Royal Rumble, which was capped by an awesome Rumble match itself. This has everything you could want. The Hardy Boyz teamed up, Drew Carey made a comedic appearance, we had a section devoted to the Hardcore division, top stars like the Rock, Undertaker, Kane, Big Show and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Kane and Undertaker formed an alliance in the middle that dominated. Austin was attacked by Triple H and was bloodied before even entering the match. He overcame the odds though and eliminated Kane to win his third Rumble leading to Austin/Rock at WrestleMania X-Seven. Kane was the MVP here by lasting 56 minutes and eliminating a then record 11 Superstars.

1) 1992 Royal Rumble: There could be no other top choice. The 1992 Royal Rumble is the perfect Royal Rumble. First of all, it remains the only Rumble to ever be contested for the WWF Championship. Not only that, but it was booked fantastically. You start hot with British Bulldog and Ted Dibiase before Ric Flair enters at number three. What follows is not only the best Rumble performance in history, but the greatest commentary job I've ever heard as Bobby Heenan goes from worried, to excited, to panic, to nearly having a stroke and everything in between as his emotions are high and take center stage. Flair wins from number 3, the earliest someone had won from at that point and takes home the gold, leading to his infamous "with a tear in my eye" promo. Perfection.