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IT'S TIME TO RUMBLE: A Look Back At Royal Rumbles' Past (Part V)


2004


Winner: Chris Benoit
(Entry: 1st | Lasted: 61:30 | Eliminations 6)



Bridesmaid: The Big Show
(Entry: 24th | Lasted: 22:48 | Eliminations: 4)



Iron Man: Chris Benoit (61:30)



Eliminator: Chris Benoit (6)
(MAN that's a really fucked up award to give him in context...)



First To Fall: Bradshaw
(Entry: 5th | Lasted: 0:38)



Loser: The Hurricane
(Entry: 10th | Lasted: 0:19 | Dumped: 4th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 61:30
Billed Interval between Entries: 90 seconds

  • Chris Benoit breaks Bob Backlund's endurance mark of 61:10 set in 1993.
  • Test was supposed to be #21, but Mick Foley beat his ass and took his place.

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

Triple H was in a BLOODY Last Man Standing match with Shawn Michaels, and neither man answered the ten count.  In case of a draw, the champion retains.

Brock Lesnar disposed of Bob Holly (who wanted revenge for a legit injury he received at the hands of Lesnar), but was upset by Eddie Guerrero for the WWE title at No Way Out in February.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes.  The moment was supposed to be one of the greatest, most replayable moments of triumph in WWE history, going back again and again to illustrate that 18 years of hard work, determination and never giving up can get you to the top.  Unfortunately, the scene where Chris Benoit celebrates with his wife, his son and his best friend and fellow World Champion Eddie Guerrero is now a picture of utter tragedy.  Eddie Guerrero died November 13, 2005 of an enlarged heart.  Chris Benoit, of course, murdered his wife (Nancy, aka wrestling manager "Woman") and son (Daniel, 7) before hanging himself.  All four of the people celebrating in that ring are dead (and have been for almost nine years).  This was after what was the best Wrestlemania main event of all time, a match that is really hard to watch because Benoit was always one of my favorites, but I can't root for him anymore.  This moment of triumph is now ashes in everybody's mouth.



2005



Winner: Batista
(Entry: 28th | Lasted: 10:54 | Eliminations: 5)



Bridesmaid: John Cena
(Entry: 25th | Lasted: 15:28 | Eliminations: 3)



Iron Man: Chris Benoit
(Entry: 2nd | Lasted: 47:26 | Eliminations: 3)



Eliminator: Batista (5)



First To Fall: Daniel Puder
(Entry: 3rd | Lasted: 4:09)



Loser: Simon Dean
(Entry: 18th | Lasted: 0:20 | Dumped: 12th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 51:27
Billed Interval between Entries: 90 seconds

  • The end of this match is noteworthy because John Cena and Batista redid the ending of the 1994 Royal Rumble, and more convincingly, but there was one problem.  THEY WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO.  Batista fell out with Cena by accident, but recovered on his way down, making it look like a tie.  Vince McMahon came running down the aisle in a rage, and when he got into the ring, tore BOTH of his quadriceps, rendering him unable to stand on his own power.  He then had the ref help him up and cut a fiery promo, not giving away that he was in pain at all, restarted the match, and got the right outcome.  He was then somehow able to walk to the back with assistance.  This is anatomically impossible.  Of course, McMahon's medical records have not been made public on this manor, so we may never know if this is indeed true or one of the biggest lies Vince has ever told.

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

Triple H and John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL).  Bradshaw beat Kurt Angle and The Big Show in a triple threat match and Triple H beat former protégé Randy Orton.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes.  As a matter of fact, Batista and John Cena went on to win both World Titles at Wrestlemania 21.  It was one of those moments where WWE looked forward instead of backward.  Maybe one of the last.



2006



Winner: Rey Mysterio
(Entry: 2nd | Lasted: 62:12 | Eliminations: 5)



Bridesmaid: Randy Orton
(Entry: 30th | Lasted: 13:04 | Eliminations: 2)



Iron Man: Rey Mysterio (62:12)



Eliminator: Rey Mysterio (5)



First To Fall: Simon Dean
(Entry: 3rd | Lasted: 0:45)



Loser: TIE

Sylvan Grenier
(Entry: 10th | Lasted: 0:18 | Dumped: 5th)

Booker T
(Entry: 13th | Lasted: 0:18 | Dumped: 9th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 62:12
Billed Interval between Entries: 90 Seconds

  • [A correction from the 1993 entry:] Triple H is the second man to go one hour in a Royal Rumble and not win.  Edged it out by nine seconds.
  • This is the only time Back-To-Back Royal Rumbles have had someone in the #1 or #2 slot win.  Neither spot has won since.
  • Rey Mysterio was "playing the part of his friend Eddie Guerrero".  Rumor and speculation is that Eddie was booked to have the run up to Wrestlemania that Rey did, but died before they could carry it out.  I think this is far too dismissive of Rey Mysterio as a wrestler.  Rey deserved to have that Wrestlemania moment; he deserved to be World Heavyweight Champion.  And he deserved a better title reign than the one they booked for him.

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

John Cena took his WWE Title back from Edge (let's face it: in storyline he designed the spinner belt, and he was the one that had a death grip on the thing for most of the next decade; it was "his") and Kurt Angle fended off the challenge of the "World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes.  He beat Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a triple threat match (that in spite of being nine minutes long was the second best match on the card, and one of only two good ones).  He then went on to lose practically every match but not for the title, as he was booked against men that had single legs bigger than his entire body for about four months straight.  Way to make your Champion look deserving, WWE!



2007



Winner: The Undertaker
(Entry: 30th | Lasted: | Eliminations: 3)



Bridesmaid: Shawn Michaels
(Entry: 23rd | Lasted: 24:11 | Eliminations: 4)



Iron Man: Edge
(Entry: 5th | Lasted: 44:02 | Eliminations: 6)



Eliminator: The Great Khali
(Entry: 28th | Lasted: 3:45 | Eliminations: 7 | Dumped: 25th)



First To Fall: Ric Flair
(Entry: 1st | Lasted: 5:08)



Loser: The Miz
(Entry: 29th | Lasted: 0:07)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 56:18
Billed Interval between Entries: 90 seconds

  • 2002 was the last year that had two minute intervals.  Just figured that out now.
  • The Undertaker is the first person EVER to win the Royal Rumble match from the #30 position.
  • It took a record eight men to eliminate Viscera.  This broke a previous record of seven men that it took to eliminate Mabel in 1994.  (Who then changed his name to Viscera in 1999.)
  • Willing to go out on a limb and say The Great Khali has the best Elimination-to-Time percentage of anyone in Royal Rumble history.  He usually isn't in the ring for five minutes, and in later years he was more of a joke entry than a threat, but even factoring that in, he probably has the greatest Eliminations per minute ratio of all time.

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

John Cena beat Umaga in a Last Man Standing match and Batista laid Mr. Kennedy out for the victory.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes.  The Undertaker's streak was most in jeopardy here because we weren't sure if they'd put the belt on him again (at the time), and a Wrestlemania World Title Match has to have a conclusion, so they went out there and had a really good match.  Of course, Taker, Batista, Money In The Bank winner Mr. Kennedy AND Edge all got injured within three months, comPLETELY fucking up the title picture for SmackDown.


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