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1/25 WWE Royal Rumble PPV review: Sowers's "Alt Perspective" detailed rundown

Jan 26, 2004 - 2:26:00 AM

By Kevin Sowers, Torch Team Contributor

WWE Royal Rumble "Alt Perspective" Review
January 25, 2004
Philadelphia, Pa. at Wachovia Center
By Kevin G Sowers, Torch Team Contributor

Hello once again, I'm your friendly once a month visitor, and the good news is, I'm not a bill. Why once a month? 'Cause the Torch is scared to put me in the Lounge. I'm like your Uncle Louie your parents don't want you hanging around with much, so it's monthly visits, nothing more, nothing less. (For those playing at home, that is what's known as a "work".) Before I begin, I would like to thank my dish refusing to place the order for me, for reasons I won't go into. However, like a good Team Contributor does, I found a way. Off to a local sports bar here in Jacksonville, Fla. I went. No shameless plug, but I would like to commend my waitress Misty, for tolerating the loud and obnoxious bunch that was on hand. If she's reading this, I would like to say thanks! On to the review!

(1) Ric Flair and Batista pinned the Dudleyz at 5:10 to retain the World Tag Titles. Hmm, nothing really to jump up and scream about here. Standard dry, boring table match that I don't recall the Dudleyz ever winning, as McNeil pointed out. Didn't take Miss Cleo to figure this one out. Flair gets in a few "Whoooo" chops to the chest, Dudleyz get in a little offense, and Batista monster slams D-Von into a table for the win. I'm sorry, did that bore you? Imagine watching the match. Oh waitress? Coffee, stat!

Cena is interviewed backstage, but is soon upstaged by the midnight toker, RVD. RVD referred to Cena as dude, and Cena assumed RVD's woman of choice is Mary Jane. Funny stuff.

(2) Rey Mysterio pinned Jamie Noble at 3:11 to retain the Cruiserweight Title. Noble had the early advantage with a little offense, but later in the match, Nidia grabbed the leg of Noble(intentional, or not?) ,which set up Rey Rey's 619, followed by a leap off the ropes and the threecount. Are you kidding me? All they got was 3 minutes?? Umm, hey Vince! You bitch and moan about slowing the pace down and selling the wear down holds more. This match was shorter than Zach Gowan'scareer. Well, maybe not that short, but sheesh. Give these guys more thanthree minutes. They deserve it, ten fold.

(3) Eddie Guerrero defeats Chavo Guerrero at 8:04. Ok, now this is more like it. The two started the match off, by sizing each other up. Most of the match, Eddie played the part of the reluctant relative not wanting to take his family member to the woodshed, but eventually gave in and pummeled Chavo. Later in the match,Eddie was on the outside of the ring and he was trying to get in the ring but Chavo,Sr. ran over and pulled him down to send him into the ring steps. Chavo,Jr. then got out of the ring andpunished Eddie with a number of right hands. Chavo gave Eddie a series of vertical suplexes and Eddie countered it and perched Chavo on the second rope and Chavo went for a tornado DDT but Eddie countered it.A few moments later, Eddie gave Chavo Guerrero a series of suplexes to return the favor and then he went to the to rope and for the frog splash and connected with it. Eddie then pinned Chavo for the win.

After the match,Chavo Guerrero, Sr. got in the ring and Eddie nailed him with a hard right hand to knock him down to the mat and then he started to get out of the ring. The fans heavily chanted "Eddie, Eddie!" and Eddie turned around and got back into the ring and gave Chavo Guerrero, Sr. a low blow and then a hard right hand to knock him down. Eddie then mounted Chavo and gave him a number of right hands, saying "you thought you were going to get away with this?" Eddie then choked Chavo, Sr., wrapping his tie to the bottom rope. Eddie laid into Chavo, Sr. with a couple more right hands and then he set his sights back on Chavo, Jr. who was noticeably busted opened at the forehead. Eddie backed Chavo into the corner and continued to lay into him with hard right hands in an attempt to teach him a lesson. Eddie dragged Chavo to the middle of the ring by his mouth and nose and Chavo, Sr. asked Eddie what he's doing? That's his nephew! Eddie mounted Chavo from behind and put his fingers in Chavo's eyes and raked away on him and then gave him one final right hand before leaving the ring.

I've hoped all along this will end the feud, as I don't think Chavo is main event material, but Eddie is. The only way Chavo belongs in the same ring as Eddie, is if they're tag partners, and since that is over, adios Chavo! Move along to the Cruiserweight Three Minute Division. Maybe you can sway the powers that be to give the cruiserweights the time they richly deserve. Eddie, here's hoping a World Title reign is in your near future.

Benoit is interviewed backstage, but is interrupted by Evolution minus Triple H, with champagne flowing. Flair told Benoit that he seems to always grab the brass ring, only to let it slip from his hands. Hmm, could tonight be the night Chris finally wins a big one?

(4) Brock Lesnar defeats Hardcore Holly at 6:30to retain the WWE Title. Although these two did have a slower paced match, with mostly wear down moves in the middle of the ring, it was just missing something. I really think Holly brought the caliber of the match down, as Lesnar is still too new at this to carry an entire match on his own. A mediocre match at best, as later, Hardcore Holly lifted Brockup on his back and gave him the Alabama Slam and then he put Lesnar in a full nelson in an attempt to break his neck. Brock got to the ropes but Holly pulled him back and then Holly grapevined Brock and pulled him down to the mat and to the outside of the ring, holding onto the full nelson. Holly released the hold and got back in the ring, showing that he's in it to win the gold. Lesnar got to the ring apron and Holly locked in the full nelson once again but Brock dropped down and pulled Holly's head onto the top rope.Brock got in the ring and took Holly down to the mat with a waist lock and then he gave Holly the F5 and then a pin to retain the title.

I want to thank Holly for proving to me what I've known all along. He is not, and never has been more than a mid-card talent at best. Wait. Did you hear that? Velocity just called, and they want Hardcore Holly back.

Backstage, Triple H and Shawn Michaels are seen in separate locker rooms, both with their game faces on, ready to do this!

(5) Triple H and Shawn Michaels battled to a draw in 22:48, in a Last Man Standing match, and as a result, Triple H kept the World Title. Triple H and Shawn Michaels stood face to face and briefly exchanged words and then the two backed off and locked it up in the center of the ring. Triple H and Michaels backed each other into the corner and the referee wanted a break and they wouldn't break it up. Triple H finally got out of the tie up and gave Shawn a few right hands and Shawn fought back with some right hands of his own followed by a few knife edge chops.

Shawn Michaels took Triple H down with a leg lace take down and then he put him in the figure four leg lock and Triple H reached towards the ropes but couldn't grasp them. Shawn held onto the hold as long as he could and then he finally broke it and told the referee to start the count and he did just that. Triple H got up and Shawn knocked him down once again with a drop kick to the knee to knock him right back down.

Triple H got up once again and Shawn charged at him with a cross body but Triple H ducked it and Shawn leapt right over the top rope, crashing down to the arena floor. Triple H got out of the ring with Shawn Michaels and he cleared off the announcer's table and slammed the top of the table right into Howard Finkel. Triple H pulled Michaels onto the announcer's table and he went for a suplex on Michaels but Michaels got out of it and he nailed Triple H with a series of right hands to knock him down to the arena floor. Shawn rolled Triple H into the ring and then he went to the top rope and came off with a double ax handle but Triple H kicked Shawn in the gut and went for the Pedigree but Shawn gave Triple H a back body drop to the outside of the ring.

Shawn Michaels went for a springboard cross body on Triple H on the outside of the ring but Triple H moved and Shawn went crashing through the table. The referee then started the count after he sent Triple H back into the ring. Triple H beat on Shawn Michaels and tried to keep him down but just couldn't as Shawn continued to hobble back to his feet. Michaels fought back on Triple H with hard right hands and Shawn was losing a lot of blood and getting weak as his face was abloody mess.

Triple H got out of the ring and grabbed a steel chair and brought it into the ring and nailed Michaels in the back with it. The referee then started the count on Michaels and Michaels was somehow able to get up at the count of 9. Triple H then laid the chair in the middle of the ring and went for the Pedigree on Michaels to end it but Shawn got out of it by pulling Triple H down to the mat and then he gave him a slingshot into the turnbuckle. Shawn Michaels then lifted the steel chair up and smacked Triple H in the head with it to send him down to the mat and as a result, Triple H was also busted open.

Michaels plowed through Triple H with a flying forearm and both men went down for the count of 8 and Shawn got up with a nip up and went back to work on Triple H. Shawn then knocked Triple H back down to the mat and then he went to the top rope for the elbow drop and connected with it.Michaels went to the corner and geared up for the super kick but Triple H gave Shawn a low blow to stop it.

Shawn Michaels put Triple H in a sleeper hold to wear him down and possibly get him down for the ten count but Triple H was able to get up at the count of 8 and a half. Michaels and Triple H then fired away on each other with hard right hands and Triple H planted Shawn with a DDT and the referee started the count with Triple H getting up at the count of 6 and Michaels getting up at the count of 8.

Triple H hookedMichaels in the Pedigree and planted him with it and Triple H fell down to the mat and the referee started the count and Triple H got up at the count of 6 and Shawn Michaels somehow got up at the count of 9. As Shawngot up, he nailed Triple H with the super kick and then fell right back down to the mat and the referee counted to ten, counting both men out of the match.

It was announced that since it was a draw, Triple H retains and is still the World Champion. Very solid match, its just a shame that when Triple H isn't involved in a match, you get 5 minutes tops.Can we let someone else play, too?

Afterwards, Triple H is carted off on a stretcher, as is HBK, but he gets up and hobbles his way out of the arena, as we can tell he'll have the bragging rights tomorrow night as he was the true last man standing.

Steve Austin (photo by Wade Keller, PWTorch)

Eric Bischoff prances down to the ring, and makes reference of Raw being better than Smackdown (Umm, hate to interrupt, but which Raw are we talking about?) . Heyman storms the ring and attacks Easy E, until Stone Cold drives his little ATV up to the ring and asks whostarted it? All fingers point to Erica, and he is rewarded with aStunner. Heyman is given a beer, but gets to chase his beer down with a stunner. Stone Cold salutes the crowd, downs some beer, and drives off inhis ATV.Would that classify as a DUI? Just wondering...

Goldberg is interviewed backstage, but is joined by Brock Lesnar. The two exchange some stares and words. The funniest thing is when Goldberg acts like Hardcore Holly is standing behind Lesnar, which Lesnar ducks and looks behind him, and a sigh of relief when Holly is NOT there. Hey Brock, newsflash. Holly only likes to beat up on Tough Enough contestants. You can take him any day, anywhere, shoot fight or not.

(6) Chris Benoit wins the Royal Rumble at 61:38. Wow! Mad props to Benoit for taking it above and beyond the limit. Anyone that can stay in the ring over an hour deserves any and all respect given.

(1) Benoit and (2) Randy Orton are the first two to enter the Rumble, and square things off. It looks as though it will be 90 seconds between entrances as opposed to the usual2 minutes we've seen in the past. After these two exchange blows, (3) Mark Henry comes down to the ring to try and stake his claim to fame. Nothing of note really happened as (4) Tajiri comes down next(yeah, as if) . Tajiri attacks Orton, but is greeted by two consecutive German Suplexes by Benoit for is efforts.

(5) Bradshaw storms the ring next and delivers clotheslines Orton, Henry, and Tajiri. He tries the same with Benoit, butChris counters with a Crippler Crossface. Bradshawthrows Benoit over the top rope, but Benoit landed safely on the apron, and tosses Bradshaw over the top rope. Bradshaw is eliminated (6) Rhyno is the next onein, asTajiri applies the Tarantula on Henry. Rhyno bumps into Tajiri sending him home. Tajiri is eliminated (7) Matt Hardy is next followed by (8) Scott Steiner. Nothing much happened between the last two entrances,and nothing really until (9) Matt Morgan hit the ring. Six men are now in the ring, and it became a bit messy and muddled to call all the action, until (10) Hurricane comes in next, and is sent flying over the top rope courtesy Matt Morgan, almost as quickly as he came in, as Hurricane is eliminated.

(11) Booker T hits the ring next, as JR calls him the favorite to win. Booker went after his old WCW buddy Steiner, but then shifted his focus on Orton. (12) Kane is next one in, asScott Steiner is eliminated by Booker T. A few moments later, while Kane is in the ring, we hear the ever so familiar first note of the old music for the Undertaker, Kane looked scared shaking his head no, as Booker T hits Kane from behind, sending Kane over the top rope. Kane is eliminated.

(13) Spike Dudley is out next, but is slammed on the rampway by Kane before Spike can even hit the ring. So, I guess Spike is eliminated? (14) Rikishi comes out to silence, no crowd reaction at all. Maybe its time to back that ass up to a new gimmick? Benoit backdrops Rhyno over the top, thus Rhyno is eliminated. Rikishi gives his tired stinkface move to Matt Morgan, as Mark Henry is eliminated by Benoit.

(15) Renee Dupree is next one in, and promptly send Matt Hardy onto the floor, as Matt Hardy is eliminated. Dupree does his silly dance, and is kicked out of the ring by Rikishi, thus Renee Dupree is eliminated. (16) A-Train is next one out, and goes after Rikishi.Matt Morgan is eliminated by Benoit, andRikishi and Booker T are eliminated by Randy Orton, leaving A-Train, Orton, and Benoit the only men left in the ring at the moment.

(17) Shelton Benjamin is next, as A-Train is eliminated by Benoit, and Orton turns around and sends Shelton packing, as Shelton Benjamin is eliminated. Benoit and Orton are the only two men in the ring, and they look like they were the ones in that Last Man Standing Match, as both are on their backs exhausted, and I doubt that was even a work. (18) Ernest "The Cat" Miller dances into the ring as the next man in, but Orton will have none of that as Ernest Miller is eliminated.

(19) Kurt Angle is out next, and goes after Benoit as Orton takes a timeout and sits in one corner resting up. This would be a fitting end to the many great Angle/Benoit matches if these two are facing each other for the last time, if the rumored Benoit jump to Raw holds true. (20) Rico is in the ring next, and is out as Orton eliminates Rico. Test's music hits, but no sign of him can be seen, but in his place is, (21) Mick Foley! Foley goes after the scared Orton right away, and eventually eliminates
Himself and Randy Orton
with a falling clothesline that send both men to the floor. The two brawl to the back, as (22) Christian is the next man in.

(23) Nunzio is next, but is greeted by Mr. Socko, courtesy of Foley. As Christian and Benoit try unsuccessfully to eliminate Angle, Nunzio parks it outside the ring, not wanting to get in just yet. (24) Big Show is next, followed by (25) Chris Jericho. Show attacked everyone in the ring, and all four men tried to lift Show up out of the ring, but to no avail.

(26) Charlie Haas is out next, asChristian is eliminated by Jericho, all the while Nunzio ischilling outside the ring. (27) Billy Gunn struts out to the ring(oh joy) , followed by (28) John Cena. Cena notices Nunzio sitting at ringside, and not letting him gain anymore advantageof the situation, throws Nunziointo the ring with him.

(29) RVD is next one out, thus giving us only Goldberg the only one left to come down to thering. (30) Goldberg promptly eliminates Haas, RVD, and Nunzio in that order to leave just seven men left to fill a main event slot at Wrestlemania XX. Brock Lesnar runs in and F5's Goldberg, and as Goldberg mouths off to Lesnar that "He's Next!", Angle dumps him over the top rope as Goldberg is eliminated. Wow! All five men tried to throw Show out of the ring, but nothing doing there.

Show shoves all five men off, and eliminates John Cena and RVD in that order. Cena grabbed his knee, and looked as if he landed wrong. I think I caught a glimpse of a ref giving the "X sign" to the back, indicating a legit injury occurred. Here's hoping Cena comes out of this ok.

The Final Four are Angle, Benoit,Big Show, and Jericho. Jericho applied theWalls of Jericho on Big Show, and Show tapped out, to no result. Show eventually flippedJericho over the top rope, thus Chris Jericho is eliminated. Angle executes the Angle Slam on Show and Benoit, goes for the anklelock on Show, but Show flips our Olympic Hero over the top, thus Kurt Angle is eliminated.

Big Show went for the choke slam onBenoit and Chriscountered it into the Crippler Crossface and Big Show countered it with a sidewalk slam. The Big Show then pressed Chris Benoit over his head andBenoit fought down and put Big Show in a front face lock. Big Show perched Benoit on the ring apron and Benoit held onto his head like a pit bull and Benoit pulled Big Show over the top rope and Benoit maneuvered himself under the bottom rope back into the ring as he dumped Big Show to the arena floor to win the Royal Rumble.

A very solid Rumble match. A few surprises here and there, with a lot of storylines coming together, and perhaps a few new ones to emerge. Time will only tell. I won't ramble much more, as I'm sure by now you're thinking, "I can't believe I read the whole thing!"

MVP: Chris Benoit. Period. Now, if we can somehow finally get a World Title around his waist, all is good with the wrestling world.

Match Of The Night: The Rumble itself. As I described above, very solid and told a great story, with Benoit coming out on top.

Whew! Oxygen please! I think I'll need the full three weeks until No Way Out to recover from all the action tonight. Thanks to all those who send me feedback, and for those who read and say nothing at all. See ya!

Feedback is greatly welcome and appreciated, good or bad:

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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