The 2004 Swift(and Shaddax) Royal Rumble Report

THIS WAS THE GREATEST NIGHT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT. Chris Benoit won me two tapes, AND it’s something we’ve all been waiting for.


-- SS: The opening montage was rather silly, all told. But, Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble.

-- SS: Wow, the opening tag team match was terrible. DAVE gets all on the stick, and you know that can’t be good. Then, it was the usual table-match shite from two awful wrestlers, a totally decent wrestler, and Ric Flair stuck in the middle of all this. They kinda go through the motions, but at least we aren’t stuck with the seven zillionth Dudley Boyz Title Reign. (Ric Flair/Batista(win) beat Bubba Ray Dudley/D-Von Dudley, spinebuster through a table, 5:14)

Shaddax: It’s not a BAD match per se, but it’s so amazingly generic that three minutes post finish, you’ll have no idea what happened.

-- RVD’s talking to Mary Jane. Can I talk to her too? Please?

-- Rey Rey and Noble go out and have a pro wrestling match. Actually, the best way I could put it is that they have the best possible Velocity main event. The old WCW-style bulldog and the gutbuster from Noble were all that was notable, really. (Rey Mysterio Jr. beat Jamie Noble, Drop the Dime, 3:12). This was WAAAAAAY too short, but who cares? Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble.

Shaddax: Another of those matches that’s all kinds of perfectly acceptable for what it is, but coming into a PPV -- you kind of want a bit more. I enjoyed it as far as it went, but three minutes? Neeeh. At the time this went on, I was expecting the main event to redeem it. In the event, that happened, but still.

-- The Guerrero vs. Guerrero showdown was horribly disappointing. So, with five minutes of stalling in the beginning, you’d think they’d get the 20 minutes they deserve, right? No, of course not! Instead, it just kind of lurches right into trading the triple-suplex spot, and then ends extremely abruptly…and with very little Chavo Sr. to boot. If things hadn’t gone as they did later in the night, this would have pissed me RIGHT the fuck off. But hey, Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble. (Eddy Guerrero beat Chavo Guerrero Jr., Frog Splash, 8:03) The post-match beatdown was kinda fun, but this was a highly unsatisfying end to a feud that WAS only just getting interesting.

Shaddax: Only thing I can think of here is this was a transitional match, because as a blow-off it makes no darn sense. Either Eddy gets Brock at NWO, or they do Chavo vs. Eddy II where either Chavo wins, or it’s gimmicked to hell. Fine for what it was but…it wasn’t what I wanted. Waaaay too short.

-- After all that build-up, Hardcore Holly, the man who strikes fear into Brock Lesnar AND the Big Slow, gets killified in extremely short order. At the very least, the powers that be realized that this was a foregone conclusion, and didn’t try to jerk us off too much with regards to making this a 20-minute epic or anything. It was kinda-sorta fun and all, especially with the delayed fisherman’s suplex, but other than that….whatever. Goddamn, did that finish come out of nowhere or what, though? (Brock Lesnar beat Hardcore Holly, F-5, 7:02)

Shaddax: It’s not a bad match- but it felt like the first 7 minutes of a good match rather then a 7 minute match. I have no beef with it; but at best it feels like a lead-in to a second match, rather then a blow-off. Finish from no where, rest hold s that set of nothing…it’s not BAD; but….it’s not what I hoped for. Story of the undercard of a good PPV saved by the main event.

-- I didn’t pay much attention to the Last Man Standing match while it happened…it’s what happens when you get your drink on, after a long weekend of partying. But, what I do remember was that it was a halfway-decent brawl, highlighted by HBK hitting 0.5 Muta or so. Other than that, it was pretty good, though the finish absolutely licks my nuts. It’s a major PPV…unless you’re going BROADWAY~!, then I don’t wanna see any goddamn draws. (HHH draw HBK, neither man answered the bell, 22:44)

Shaddax: It’s the Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H match. It’s not bad at all. It’s a good match, and I enjoyed it, but where’s this going? I dunno. I have absolutely no complaints with it, but I am left somehow unfulfilled. One of those cases of excellent execution of a somewhat dubious initial concept.

-- BENOIT WINS~! BENOIT WINS~! BENOIT WINS~! Greatest Rumble since Flair winning, without a doubt. Other highlights: Randy Orton was awesome in his first Royal Rumble, Benoit taking out Bradshaw, Spike fooling Kane into getting eliminated, THE CAT~!, MICK~! FOLEY~!, Nunzio hanging out on the outside (intelligence!), Kurt eliminating The World’s Worst Wrestler, Big Slow tapping three times, and…did I mention? BENOIT WINS~! BENOIT WINS~! BENOIT WINS~! (Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble, 61:34)

Shaddax adds: Hey, that was all kinds of fun. Right guy won, natch, both in terms of absolute wrestling ability, and in terms of storyline progression. A lot of fun, made all the right guys look good, and generally didn’t do anything wrong a’tall except for the excessive Matt Morgan stay and the Big Show as second to last man out deal (and I drew him of all people in our board’s draw, so I say that with chagrin.) Saved a lot of the show in the end, and while I certainly don’t walk away from the whole thing with the warm fuzzies that the match list might have engendered, I regard it as a definite positive. Fun times, with or without the gathering of people.


-- SS: Nothing. Not a single fucking thing. Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble.


-- SS: Nothing. Not a single fucking thing. Except MAYBE Matt Hardy getting eliminated by that jerkoff Matt Morgan, but then again, Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble. It would be most churlish of me to complain about ANYTHING outside of that.


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