Author Topic: CXF RumbleRank: #3  (Read 195 times)


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CXF RumbleRank: #3
« on: February 01, 2020, 03:53:38 AM »
3. Royal Rumble 2004 (74 points)

I wasn't aware this guy even existed, let alone won a Rumble!  Let's get going.

Chris Benoit and Randy Orton start the match.  At this point, the brand extension was still being taken somewhat serious, so this is actually a pretty compelling matchup to start.  Benoit's spot was forced on him by then-SD GM Paul Heyman.  Goldberg also earned #30 I believe by winning a battle royal.  I know this a real petty complaint, but I'm not a fan of the set for this show.  It just looks like they're having the Rumble on an episode of RAW.  Benoit quickly stomps Orton to the mat, and controls most of the 90-second period, until Mark Henry makes his way out, managed by Teddy Long.  Henry goes after Benoit, working him over in the corner, as Orton stands back and waits on the next entrant, which is Tajiri.  Orton ambushes him, but Tajiri fights back with some kicks and a handspring elbow.  Benoit, however, catches him from behind and delivers the rolling Germans.  Henry almost eliminates Orton, but Orton hangs on and nails him with a dropkick.  Bradshaw, still in his APA gimmick but with the JBL hairdo, is #5, and drills everyone with Clotheslines from Hell, except Benoit, who counters into a crossface attempt.  Bradshaw is able to block, and powers Benoit up and over the ropes, but Benoit reverses and Bradshaw is out.  Well that was...something.  And to think he would be WWE champion just 5 months after this.

Rhyno is in next, and he goes after Benoit, as Tajiri mists Henry on the far side of the ring, missed by the announcers.  He then attempts the Tarantula, which is pretty dumb in a battle royal.  Rhyno gores Henry as he's in the hold, causing Tajiri to drop to the floor.  Benoit then gains a head of steam and knocks Henry over the top to the floor.  Rhyno then ambushes Benoit and attempts to eliminate him, as Matt Hardy hits the ring.  He hits a Side Effect on Rhyno, but Rhyno recovers quickly and tackles him in the corner.  Scott Steiner is #8, in what I believe is his last WWE appearance.  Steinerlines and suplexes for all, but Benoit eventually gives him a taste of his own medicine with rolling Germans.  Hardy almost has Orton out, but Benoit stops him, as Matt Morgan is the next entrant.  Random note here, I think Morgan is using the same theme that Jindrak used the following year.  He delivers a sitout powerbomb to Benoit, then flattens Hardy with a big boot.  I'm surprised Vince never gave this guy a main event run.  He seems to have every physical quality that Vince likes.  He then pummels Orton in the corner, as Hardy and Rhyno try to dump Steiner.  The Hurricane in next, flying off the top onto Hardy, but gets stopped in his tracks by Morgan and dumped to the floor.

Booker T is #11, and he and Steiner go at it immediately as their WCW wars are referenced.  He then delievers a scissor kick to Orton, as Morgan pummels Benoit in the corner.  Next up is Kane, as Booker dumps Steiner during his entrance.  Chokeslam for Benoit, then Morgan tries his powerbomb, but Kane backdrops out and delivers a chokeslam.  Side slam for Hardy, then Rhyno goes for a Gore, but it's blocked with a boot to the face.   RKO is blocked too and Orton eats a chokeslam.  #13 comes up, and the Undertaker's gong sounds, throwing Kane totally off his game and allowing Booker to knock him to the floor from behind.  Turns out it's actually Spike Dudley, but Kane assaults him and chokeslams him on the ramp.  I'd say he's not going to make it.  Rikishi is in next, and gets no reaction whatsoever.  Which is crazy when you remember how over he was in 2000.  Benoit eliminates Rhyno, as Rikishi hands out superkicks, and delivers a Stinkface to Morgan.  Rene Dupree is in next, but Hardy catches him right away and sets up the Twist of Fate.  Dupree counters, hanging Hardy up on the apron and then dropkicking him to the floor.  He does his dance, but Rikishi is waiting, and superkicks him to the floor.  The camera quickly cuts to a wide shot in the edited version, as the kick was visibly short of connecting.

A-Train is #16, going straight for Rikishi, as Benoit avoids a charge from Morgan and dumps him.  Booker and Rikishi team up to try to get A-Train out, but Orton dumps Rikishi, then Booker after A-Train hammers him from behind.  A-Train hammers Benoit in the corner as Orton rests.  Shelton Benjamin comes in and pounces Orton, as Benoit manages to dump A-Train to the floor.  Benjamin misses a superkick and gets hung up on the ropes, allowing Orton to push him to the floor, putting us back to 1 and 2.  Next up is Ernest Miller, introduced by Lamont.  He slides in and dances as Lamont cheers him on, until Benoit and Orton recover.  Benoit tosses Lamont to the floor, on a second attempt, after first tossing just his wig over the ropes, then Orton tosses Miller.  Kurt Angle is next.  I believe Angle is actually a babyface here, but the crowd still chants "you suck", only now it's sold as a sign of respect.  He goes at it with Benoit, as Orton lays back and watches.  Orton finally joins the battle, as Rico makes his way out.  He wins a slugfest with Orton, and nails a big kick in the corner.  Orton looks to be out, and Rico tries to dump him, but Orton escapes and hits the RKO, then dumps him to the floor as Benoit hits rolling Germans on Angle.

Test's music hits next, but he doesn't appear.  Orton hits Angle with an RKO, as the camera cuts to the back to show Test unconscious.  Sheriff Austin shows up and is pissed off as the EMTs inform him that Test can't make it to the Rumble.  Austin orders someone to the ring in his place, who apparently was responsible for Test's state.  And it turns out to be Mick Foley, as the crowd goes apeshit.  Foley and Orton had a budding feud at this time, and Foley wipes the mat with Orton, eliminating him with a Cactus clothesline.  The battle continues on the floor, as Christian makes his way to the ring, with a significantly less cool theme than "At Last".  Foley goes for the steps, but officials stop him, which allows Orton to grab a chair and hammer Foley.  They battle up the ramp, where Foley pulls out Socko as Nunzio comes through the curtains.  Foley uses the sock on Nunzio, allowing Orton to punt him below the belt and escape backstage.  Christian hammers on Benoit in the ring, but Angle drops both guys with Germans as Nunzio is shown sitting outside the ring cheering him on.  The Big Show is next, and of course dominates the ring, chopping the shit out of guys until Chris Jericho comes down.  Jericho and Christian double team Angle, until Show intervenes with headbutts, from his "typewriter-like head" according to Tazz.  All four guys then gang up on Show, but it's still not enough.

#26 is Charlie Haas, and he comes in a house afire, but falls prey to a double team from Jericho and Christian.  Christian then tries to toss Jericho, but it backfires, as Jericho dumps him to the floor from the apron.  Billy Gunn is in next, with the Mr. Ass gimmick again, delivering a Fame-Asser to Angle and Show.  Benoit hits a German on Jericho, and John Cena is in next.  The Big Show awaits, as Cena grabs Nunzio on his way in, but Show cuts him off, stomping away, as Nunzio joins in.  Show chops away in the corner, then Nunzio decides to turn on Show and grab a leg, and Show delivers a HARD slap to the back.  #29 is Rob Van Dam, who of course is over big in Philly.  He goes to work on Show, and staggers him on the ropes with a big kick.  Cena delivers an FU to Angle, and it's Goldberg time.  Spear for Show, spear for Gunn, right hands taking everyone down,  Powerslam for Hass, then Nunzio jumps on his back  Goldberg still somehow manages to toss Haas, then flings Nunzio to the mat.  RVD hits a nice-looking kick to the face, but Goldberg recovers quickly and flattens Nunzio with probably one of his best-looking spears ever.  He then clotheslines Gunn out, and press-slams Nunzio out right after him.

He then sets up a Jackhammer on Show, but Brock Lesnar runs in and flattens him with an F5, which pops the crowd big time.  Goldberg and Brock have a staredown as Brock is in the aisle, and Goldberg informs Brock that he's next.  Angle springs into action and dumps Goldberg to the floor.  Angle, Benoit, RVD, Jericho and Cena then gang up on Show, but he shoves all of them off.  Show then starts going to work, but Angle takes his knee out.  Lionsault, Five-Star Frog Splash, Five-Knuckle Shuffle, Flying Headbutt, and then they try it again.  In the live version, you can hear Show tell the others the order in which he'll eliminate them.  It's in one of the Botchamania videos.  And indeed, Show fights out, and eliminates Cena, who lands VERY awkwardly on his left leg, holding his knee.  Imagine the ripple effect that one could have had.  RVD goes for a monkey flip, but Show catches him and lifts him over the top to the floor, leaving a Final Four of Benoit, Angle, Show, and Jericho.

(7:25 and 9:03 of this video)

Show tries to toss Jericho next, but Jericho skins the cat, then staggers Show on the ropes with a dropkick.  He takes him down with a dropkick, then puts him in the Walls of Jericho.  Show taps, but Angle breaks it up for some reason.  Show gets back to his feet, and chokeslams Jericho to the floor.  Angle hammers Show, but gets caught in a side slam.  Show then chokeslams Benoit, and works on Angle, but gets dropped with the Angle Slam, as does Benoit.  Angle then asks the crowd who to focus on, and they say go after Show, so he does.  Show tries for a chokeslam, but Angle counters to the ankle lock.  Show starts tapping again, but it means nothing.  Show's screams of pain here are hilarious, BTW.  He climbs up the ropes and falls over the top, which drags Angle over the top to the floor. 

Benoit tries a headbutt as Show is on the apron, but unfortunately it brings Show back inside.  Benoit gets Show in the crossface, and Show taps again.  If nothing else, you can't say Show isn't a giver.  Show manages to lift Benoit up and deliver a sideslam, then pulls the strap down.  He lifts Benoit overhead, but Benoit counters with a front facelock.  Show forces Benoit to the apron, but Benoit holds on, and eventually Show succumbs to the hold, slowly falling over the ropes to the floor to give Benoit the win.

Final thoughts:  Great Rumble.  I've long been of the opinion that this one was a bit overrated by the IWC because of the fact that Benoit won it, but I'm willing to dial that take back a bit.  I still don't know that I'd rate it ahead of 1990, but I can understand why it's so highly rated.  Incredibly dramatic, star-studded ending, nice story development with Taker/Kane, Foley/Orton, and Brock/Goldberg, and Benoit finally is solidified as a main-event guy.  I was always a fan of The Cat's heel character in WCW, and it was disappointing to see that when he finally got to the WWE it was as a comedic spot.  The spot where Show was eliminated was really clever (and if I'm not mistaken was actually Show's idea), but it has become way overused now, IMO.  I might have this one a spot or 2 lower on my personal list, but I have no problem with its placement.
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Online Joyful & Soyful

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Re: CXF RumbleRank: #3
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2020, 04:59:12 AM »
I had this at 2. I see some fans labeling it not good or ignoring it because Benoit and that's fine, but there's way more about it that's good than Benoit. It had all the hallmarks of a great Rumble with the booking being great and setting up a lot of WM matches, tons of starpower, fun little mini storylines in the match, multiple guys getting to look strong, and a hell of a finishing sequence.

Offline Thrasher

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Re: CXF RumbleRank: #3
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2020, 05:15:46 AM »
There was a lot in it like Foley taking out Orton and Kane panicking. I think I had this as number 2.
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Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: CXF RumbleRank: #3
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2020, 06:53:17 AM »
It still holds up pretty well. Goldberg's stuff is great, the Big Show sequence stuff is fine for what it is, and the end run was solid. As has been pointed out, lots of good star power and Benoit shined when he had to throughout without being really overshadowed much by anybody else outside of the brief Foley/Orton stuff.

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: CXF RumbleRank: #3
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2020, 12:25:02 PM »
Easy Top 5, but I also had it below 1990 (and 2010 as well).

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Re: CXF RumbleRank: #3
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 12:01:02 AM »
I had this at #5 or 6. I thought it was mildly overrated even before the Benoit ickiness. Not to say that it isn't a very good if not great Rumble with some very memorable moments but I think it's more filler heavy than '90, '08, and '10 (let alone my top two of '92 and '01)

I also think Benoit's performance in the match is mildly to moderately overrated. There's a few stretches of the match where he's not doing anything. Anyone who thinks it's in the same league as Flair's '92 run is out of their mind.

That being said...certainly a lot to enjoy here. The finish itself is fantastic, the Foley/Orton confrontation, star power at the end is great. I don't know if any Rumbles did more to set up the following WrestleMania than this one.

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Re: CXF RumbleRank: #3
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 12:03:40 PM »
This one has a number of memorable moments, but as a whole it is just a notch below the truly great Rumbles.  Benoit had the run, but he is not the major focus of the match and disappears at times.  #3 is probably the best spot for this one.