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What the World Was Reading: WOW Magazine - July 1999

by Logan Scisco


This week we leave the confines of Titan Towers and head over to Bill Apter’s side of the wrestling magazine universe.  Launched in 1999, WOW Magazine was an alternative to other wrestling magazines, which largely kept kayfabe alive.  WOW catered to smart fans, using the terminology of “face” and “heel,” and even tried to smarten up younger fans by providing a vocabulary list of “smart wrestling terms.”  WOW also featured more color photographs, had more pages, and was larger than traditional wrestling magazines.  Unfortunately, the magazine did not produce enough sales to remain profitable and it folded in the summer of 2001.


The magazine chosen for this week’s review is the July 1999 edition of WOW, just the third issue of the magazine to hit newsstands.  I remember buying this edition on a school field trip when we went to a mall for lunch.  Going over to one of the bookstores, I picked out the magazine.  I really enjoyed WOW since it was much more detailed and fun than WWF Magazine, but there was no way my parents were going to purchase a second wrestling magazine subscription for me.  So, the only time that I was able to buy WOW is when I cobbled together enough money on my own, made even harder by the fact that I did not receive an allowance.


 Looking back, I may have purchased this magazine (which the sticker says cost me $5.95 before tax) more for what is on the back than the cover.  I was a big Dawn Marie fan and loved her stuff in ECW.


 Immediately upon opening the magazine, which has a foldout cover, we get some of the colorful pictures of WOW.  One is of an unmasked Rey Mysterio, Jr., another of Sabu, and then of course the guy that helped destroy ECW


In his first editorial, Editor-in-Chief Bill Apter lets us know in his “Apter Thoughts” column that he is glad to be publishing a smart-style magazine.  He says that he is tired of “protecting the business.”  He also laments the death of Rick Rude, who had recently passed away from a heart attack.  We get quite the contrast of photos in the column as Nicole Bass chokes out Apter in one shot and a young Apter argues with Jesse Ventura in the image alongside it.  No word on whether Bass filed harassment charges against Apter at a future date.


Every magazine has to have a “Letters to the Editor” section and WOW was no different.  This month’s issue sees William Zariske criticize Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair for taking up the spotlight and not following other pursuits.  Another fan, Frank Recchia, says that he admires technical wrestlers like Dean Malenko and Curt Hennig, but they do not hold a candle to Lou Thesz and Bruno Sammartino.  He notes that Thesz and Bruno were superior because they “could hold a title for a year or more, which rarely happens today.”  And all those signs you used to see in the 1990s at wrestling events?  Well, James Reddyk of Peterborough, Ontario is angry about them because he was not able to see the action from his close seats at SkyDome for at a WWF event because of them.  He demands the WWF do something about this.  I am sure Mr. Reddyk loves attending live events these days, when there is hardly a sign to be seen.  There are also a few fans that praise the magazine for being different, especially because it had a website, which many other publications did not have in the late 1990s.  One fan comments that the Internet is the future of the sport because there are “thousands of e-feds and fantasy wrestling sites.”  Are there even more than 1,000 operating today?

Blake Norton’s column “The Welcome Mat” praises Diamond Dallas Page for becoming WCW World Champion, something I think was a sign of the company’s decline because Page was nowhere near as over as he was when he faced Goldberg at Halloween Havoc the previous year.  Norton blasts fans who fear that Kevin Nash is about to give himself another title run and sends a shout out to Davey Boy Smith, who was facing a career-ending back injury at the time after falling on a trap door at Fall Brawl.  He also criticizes the WWF for becoming more of a soap opera than a wrestling product.  Lord only knows what Norton would think the company has become today.

A review is provided of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Professional Wrestling.  The book is praised for providing some of wrestling’s history.  For example, it discusses how carnivals of the nineteenth century were the origins of the sport and how a champion wrestler would take on all comers.  This led to the rise of men such as Toots Mondt and Frank Gotch who knew various holds to submit all kinds of opponents in shoot fights.  The book ultimately receives a recommendation, but educated fans are told that they do not really need it.  An interesting tidbit?  Gorgeous George ran for president in 1952.


The cover story of this issue concerns the Rock’s rise to the top of the wrestling industry, or as Jim Varsallone calls it, “the sports entertainment business.”


The article recaps the Rock’s family history, which readers of this site are likely familiar with.  However, for a smart magazine this piece is still filled with kayfabe, as the Rock is quoted as saying that he initially turned heel over the “Rocky Sucks” chants and that he joined the Nation of Domination because he could “express himself.”  Varsallone even posits that the Nation collapsed because the Rock and Faarooq could not get along since they came from Miami and Florida State!  If you want some facts about the Rock’s football career, though, this piece has you covered, meaning that Jim Ross bought this issue when it hits newsstands.  It closes by saying that the Rock is not bothered by kids watching an adult-oriented RAW product because their parents have to monitor what they are doing.  I should also point out here that Apter mags traditionally never interviewed wrestlers and made up quotes (WWF Magazine did much of the same thing before Vince Russo came aboard), so whether the Rock was actually interviewed for this piece or not is open for debate.

And in case the Ultimate Warrior’s odd comic books were not enough for you, you could have bought some $3 comic books about the Undertaker in 1999!


The next piece provides a career recap of “Ravishing” Rick Rude, who passed away on April 20, 1999 at the age of forty.


At the time, Rude was training for an in-ring comeback, presumably to return to the WWF since he was trying to get out of his contract with WCW.  Written by Dave Meltzer, it is a fine article that recaps Rude’s Tough Man days and his eventual wrestling career in the major promotions.  These articles are where I learned wrestling terminology as terms such as “booker,” “heat,” and “promo” are thrown in.  We can laugh now at fans not knowing those terms, but back then Meltzer might as well have been speaking Latin to me.  One of the sad things about these magazines is you come across pictures of people no longer with us, such as this one, where Ric Flair is the only person in it that is still alive:


WOW was also really good about following non-major promotions in North America and Richard Berger’s article talks about the relaunch of Stampede Wrestling in Calgary in early April 1999. 


Bruce and Ross Hart were behind the idea and the relaunched product lasted until 2008.  The first card documented here drew nearly 2,000 fans and there is some unintentional humor when it documents the statements fans were making before the opening bell such as “Tatanka is in the main event!”  For some reason I think that fan probably said that without much enthusiasm.  The show was indeed headlined by Tatanka, the North American Heavyweight Champion, who went on to defeat Jason “The Sledgehammer” Neidhart in a two-out-of-three falls match.

Since Steve Austin was also on the cover, he is also profiled in an article with some nice art.  It just recaps Austin’s career, but does have some words of wisdom:  “…make sure to enjoy [Steve Austin] while he is around, because no matter how many people try to copy him, they will never even come close to the main himself.”  Hence, the WWE’s inability to recreate the magic of Austin-McMahon despite rotating various people out of Austin’s role over the last two decades.


We then get some WCW news, which includes results from TV tapings and house shows.


There is a discussion of the severity of the British Bulldog’s back injury, which is reported as career ending per the orders of his doctors.  The Bulldog had recently been fired from WCW.  It would have been better for the Bulldog’s health to stay retired, as his 1999 run back in the WWF did very little for him or his career legacy.  Bischoff is commented as making an allusion to the Bulldog’s drug problems, quoted in a “WCW Live” report on WCW.com as saying that prior to his termination that the Bulldog “has had problems in a number of different areas in his life.”  It is also reported that WCW is looking into creating a Hardcore division, which it eventually did.  I always saw that as a poor move since it came off as WCW blatantly copying a WWF idea.  At least it gave us Screamin’ Norman Smiley.  Oh, and at a house show in Tampa, Florida, Jimmy Hart beat Bubba the Love Sponge by disqualification when Randy Savage accidentally hit Hart.

Konnan is the subject of an interview piece in this issue of the magazine.


He takes a dig at WCW, saying that guaranteed income makes guys reluctant to work while injured or put on good matches.  He also criticizes the politics of the company, which he feels are holding him back.  One of the best points of the interview, which is of a shoot style, is Konnan referencing how spending time at basketball courts, youth hangouts, and watching television made him aware of pop culture phenomenon and helped him stay current.  It is a vision that is sorely lacking in today’s wrestling product. 

And what would an Apter mag be like without rankings?  Here are WOW’s rankings of WCW for the spring of 1999.  It simply evaluates the top ten men on the roster, with no regard for their championship status.  I have a hard time buying Rey Mysterio as #1 at this time, but his defeat of Kidman, who is ranked #2, is the justification given for him having the top spot.  The rankings are critical of the WCW’s booking of Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, saying that the confusion over whether they “were heels or faces killed their momentum.”


Blake Norton’s next column highlights some of the concerns pervading WCW in 1999 and boy is it spot-on. 


It talks of Eric Bischoff’s tenuous position in the company and how the booking power of Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash spells trouble.  Also highlighted are WCW’s declining ratings relative to the WWF.  The resurrection of the tag division is criticized for only creating “makeshift tag teams” such as Kidman and Chavo Guerrero and Bobby Duncum and Mike Enos as is the company’s decision to make Barry Windham and Curt Hennig their new champions instead of Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit.  However, some bright spots are highlighted, such as the cruiserweight division having better matches and the spotlight going less to authority angles.

The great thing about 1999 was that you had three prominent wrestling promotions getting coverage, so ECW gets a section of the magazine, albeit smaller than WCW and the WWF.  We are told that Chris Candido may have reinjured his neck against Taz at Cyberslam 1999 and that Nova has returned to the tag team ranks with Chris Chetti.  Here are the ECW rankings:


Hard to say that Taz was not the #1 ECW wrestler in early 1999 with Rob Van Dam as the clear #2.  They would eventually fight at November to Remember when Taz was headed out of the company.  We are told that Taz puts fans into ‘mark’ mode when he makes his entrance.

The ECW Insider column discusses how other companies are trying to imitate ECW’s hardcore style.  In one of my favorite digs in the magazine it says that “In the G-rated WCW, somewhere in between ‘Days of NWO Lives,’ Nash-friendly-booking, and the 5,278,189th showing of Konnan’s video, Bam Bam Bigelow calls himself the ‘king of hardcore.’”  It laments that if WCW gets a Hardcore title that it will just put it on the Booty Man.  It also predicts that imitations of ECW will not hurt the company’s viewership, which might have been true, but it was never able to use its hardcore status to overtake the other big two wrestling promotions.


The WWF news and notes makes us aware that a whole lot of people were given their pink slips on April 13.  This included Golga, Blue Meanie, and Gillberg.  Evidently, Meanie was rehired back a day later because of an online “Save the Meanie” campaign, which I vaguely remember.  There are also rumors that Steve Blackman is going to get a more Attitude-style gimmick and that the Legion of Doom are hankering for one last run.  Thank god that did not happen.  A Triple H-Rock feud is discussed for the summer, as well as yet another Austin-Undertaker feud.  So, WOW will bash WCW at will, but no jabs at the WWF for returning to that feud?  Ken Shamrock is also rumored to be a possible contender for Austin’s title, but he was shunted down the card throughout 1999.
Here are the WWF rankings:


Owen Hart makes his last appearance in the rankings at #6.  His excerpt talks about how he and Jarrett are going to go “full heel” soon by splitting with Debra.  The Undertaker receives some criticism for “uninspiring” matches recently against the Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock.  It questions whether the WWF will shelve the Undertaker persona for good, which ended up coming to fruition at Judgment Day the following year when the Undertaker appeared in his American Badass gimmick.

Backlash and Spring Stampede are given smark-style recaps by Blake Norton.  They do not provide star ratings, but it does break down the story each match tried to tell and crowd reaction.  Backlash is criticized for being mediocre, while Spring Stampede is called “a terrific pay-per-view event.”  I liked these recaps much more than WWF Magazine, which really stopped caring about them at this point



A summary of ECW’s Cyberslam is provided, especially its event for fans at the Holiday Inn. 


Justin Credible tells author Brad Perkins that he loves ECW because “there’s no one better to book Justin Credible than Paul Heyman.”  I cannot say that I disagree, especially when the alternative is Aldo Montoya.  Taz has some good foreshadowing, telling a fan that even though the WWF or WCW would give him a fresh start they would not push him as hard as ECW has.

Another interview piece is provided in the magazine, this time with New Jack


New Jack lets us know that he never had any professional training and discusses his former career as a bounty hunter.  Teaming New Jack and Steve Blackman up to rope in criminals would be quite the show for WWE Network.  He also has some stories of giving back to fans, such as calling fans who give him their number or meeting kids after shows.  He also trashes parts of ECW, saying that it is just as corrupt and political as the WWF and WCW.  New Jack indicates his desire to get into movies, thereby ending his wrestling career, but that never came to fruition.

In happier news, we are told of Hacksaw Jim Duggan recovering from kidney cancer.  A simple career recap is provided for fans who may not be aware of his football prowess and wrestling accomplishments in the 1980s.


WOW also had a regular trivia feature.  If you click on the image it should magnify it for you and you can see how many you can get correct.  The answers are on the bottom (upside down) of each section of the quiz.


Other random news and rumors are provided, letting us know that Torrie Wilson is leaving WCW due to the fact that she was not given more creative control over her character.  It also informs us that Shawn Michaels has married the Nitro Girl Whisper.  It questions whether that marriage will last, but thankfully for both of them it did and it was probably a big part in why Michaels did not die of a drug overdose in this period.  Kevin Nash is also identified for bringing Madusa back to WCW.

We get an interview with Frye of the Nitro Girls.  If you have no idea who this is, here’s a photo:


We are told that the Nitro Girls were not professional dancers and selected from different backgrounds.  Frye was just “athletic” when she was picked out for the team.  She says she was not a wrestling fan before coming to WCW.  She is also excited about the Nitro Girls possibly being in some storylines in 2000.  Skepticism is expressed about the Shawn Michaels-Whisper marriage because they knew each other for only thirty days before getting married.  Frye’s dream is for the Nitro Girls to “explode like the Spice Girls.”

The magazine also provided lots of “Bombshell photos.”  I remember when I saw the one of Tammy Sytch in this magazine that she was in bad shape contrary to a slogan that says she is getting better:


The “Indies and International” section informs us that Vader recently won the 19th Champion Carnival on April 16, defeating Kenta Kobashi.  This made Vader the first American to win the tournament since Stan Hansen in 1993.  It also lets us know that Mitsuharu Misawa is taking over the booking for All Japan following the death of Giant Baba.  All Pro Wrestling, run by Roland Alexander, is profiled, with stars such as Vic Grimes and Michael Modest profiled.  APW was featured in Beyond the Mat.  Grimes is dubbed as a “future WWF star.”  If you can find his tryout match on YouTube it worth a look as he and a smaller opponent tear the house down.


WOW could also have some fun.  Its “Ring-Zingers” column highlighted some of the funnier parodies about wrestling from ScoopTHIS.com.


The best story is how Sting has taken a vow of poverty after finding religion.  Little did WOW know that Sting would find religion and enact his vow of poverty by wrestling in front of high school gyms and empty baseball stadiums more than a decade later.  The piece says that Sting has given his fortune away to the less fortunate “beginning with the Disco Inferno, who has since put away his run-down 1970s clothing in favor of the more contemporary khaki cargo pants and loose-fitting shirt.”

Other funny stories talk about ECW wrestlers nearly revolting at Paul Heyman’s Philadelphia office after they found out wrestling was fake on NBC and how hundreds of WWF fans were injured “in what’s been called the worst wrestling disaster since the return of the Ultimate Warrior” in a fire in San Francisco.  Evidently, a fan’s sign that said “Debra Has Tasty Cakes” caught on fire after Kane’s pyro and spread through the sea of other signs in the arena.  During the fire, Mick Foley and Terry Funk jumped into the flames and rolled around in glee, each suffering a third degree burn.  Ron Simmons also turned in his resignation after the Undertaker’s symbol caught on fire.  After Steve Austin could not douse the flames with beer, Jeff Jarrett and Tiger Ali came down to the ring, which really cooled things down.

Another parody piece pits a “fantasy match” of the Ultimate Warrior against Mankind, simulated with a Dude Love and Rey Mysterio, Jr. action figure.


Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone do the commentary on the pages of the magazine and the Warrior keeps disappearing during the match, frustrating Mankind.  Mr. Socko turns on Mankind, sporting its own “One Warrior Nation” t-shirt, but Mankind rebounds by pulling out a can of Chef Boyardee and shoving it in the Warrior’s face.  The newly fattened Warrior cannot make it through the trap door anymore and the Undertaker proceeds to do a run-in, although he takes his time and Ross and Schiavone argue over whether the Undertaker’s symbol is a cross, even after Mankind is nailed to it.  This read like a fantasy booking scenario gone awry.

Finally, Dutch Mantel’s column “The World According to Dutch” closes out the magazine.  He shills his Dirty Dutch’s Little Handbook for Wrestling Junkies, which will be autographed and have some “special clip art of wrestlers” for $20.  You have to pay with a money order, though.  He also gives his list of the top five bleeders in professional wrestling.  It is no surprise who is #1 on the list:



Overall, this was a very detailed and fun magazine.  It did a much better job shedding light on what was happening in the wrestling world in the spring of 1999 than any other wrestling magazine on the market.  For next time, I will review the first edition of RAW Magazine.  I figured that during this cold winter we could all use some “Sunny days.”

Comments

  1. Vince stays current and watches tv too. Just last week he watched an episode of Looney Tunes.

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  2. I remember this magazine, but I found Power Slam magazine, which was another smarkish magazine to be better as they outright said that Sunny was getting uglier in one of their issues during that period.

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  3. Jesus I totally forgot about this magazine! I think I bought every issue for about a year (using money I stole from my mom's purse...) and stored them in my locker at school. I remember giving them all away at the end of the school year (spring 2000), which I regret now.


    So glossy.

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  4. That was just a fun rumble period. It was Jericho's year but there were worse choices than Sheamus.

    All the times they scream about having fun, the 2012 rumble was the only appropriate time.

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  5. 07 is the missing member of the top 5.

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  6. Really? punchy-kick rumbles seem like an awful choice to convince someone wrestling is cool. 1 v 1 match means they can get to know the characters during the match, Rumble fun is based on you knowing who these guys are

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  7. Modern rumbles you get that 30 seconds to establish each guy. It's like speed dating for non fans.

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  8. That's the thing. I don't think non fans will be interested in watching ***** matches or caring about ring psychology. Wrestling is all about characters. I got into wrestling originally because I loved the Warrior. The thing that works about the Rumble is that non fans can choose up to 30 characters they like. The problem with normal matches is that the non fans are basically stuck with only 2 or 4 characters to like.

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  9. Oh man, I remember this magazine so fondly. I bought all of the issues in 2000 and 2001. It was strange when they were no longer produced and I didn't find out until years after the fact that it folded (the way it did).

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  10. The two best Rumble matches, in my view, are 1990 and 1992, both of whom are in my top 10 favorite matches of all time.

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  11. A few of us watched that one a couple weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing that Rumble was. ****1/2 stars, easily.

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  12. 92 was insane. Heenan and Monsoon were at their apex.

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  13. I think if they kept costs low and didn't use really good paper to print on and maybe limit the amount of columns they had they could have stayed in business awhile longer.

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  14. I had to look up the 2010 rumble as they all blend together in recent years, except last years boofest, but yeah best one of them once I work out the difference between them. Punk, Edge returning and HBK/Taker story are the only things that differentiate between any others since the last MSG one.

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  15. I still would've purchased it too.

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  16. 96 is one of the worst Rumbles of all time, there's no way the last 4 were worse than that.

    I actually thought 13 was really good despite the fact everyone knew Cena was winning.

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  17. The Ghost of Matt_INDEED!!!January 23, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Heenan's greatest commentary night, and maybe the best heel work of all-time.

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  18. I gonna watch it right now on the network and see how it is.

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  19. Yep. It'd be top 5 if certain things hadn't gone down.

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  20. That was a great show.

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  21. Surprised there;s no love for the 2004 one. All of Abeyance's years of hard work finally paid off in a hard fought victory . Even Big Show didn't dare fight him as he toppled over the top rope to get away from him.

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  22. Nothing touches 1992 regardless

    2004 did.

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  23. That's why when I've bothered to get people interested in wrestling I go straight to promos.

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  24. Did Bill Apter ever return to PWI when WOW went belly up? I quite enjoyed WOW and agree that if they scaled back on the size and glossy printing they easily could have survived.


    PWI is still chugging along even though i haven't read an issue in ages, have they dropped kayfabe by now i wonder.

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  25. I forgot this magazine was produced by Bill Apter as I figured Apter had better business sense than that. For a long time it seemed PWI was being produced on a shoestring budget as they couldn't even afford a color printer, but I still brought PWI regardless.

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  26. I used to get my cousins hooked with the old TLC matches from 00-02. Worked like a charm.

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  27. They should do a 6 man with Taker, Kane, and Diesel vs Underfaker, Fake Kane, and Fake Diesel.

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  28. I mean..fine but I don't think what he did included time travel to go back and make the match worse

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  29. I like 01 better too because Austin/Rock > Flair for me.

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  30. 2007 is an exception to this

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  31. I've skimread one of the issues a year back and it seems they try to keep it both kayfabe and smart at the same time. They did an article on Eric Young winning the TNA title and the first half of the article was how Young's years of hard work paid off and they were putting him over etc... but then in the second half, they admit what a joke of a champion he is.

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  32. Watching the '07 Rumble and what the fuck happened with Kenny Dykstra and his career? I don't even remember a single thing from it beyond the Spirit Squad stuff.

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  33. I thought 1999 was awful. It was essentially an Austin/McMahon match with 28 other guys and way too many outside bullshit to really count it as a Rumble match. It's like Russo's unfiltered brain matter spilling all over the arena.

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  34. John Cena banging Mickie James happened.

    ...Allegedly.

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  35. Yeah TLC matches are a good choice too.

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  36. It's a contest between 99 and 06 for the worst rumble.

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  37. I remember he beat Ric Flair. That was weird.

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  38. Cena made himself a roast beef sandwich and that was that.

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  39. Most of ex girlfriends loved promos done by The Rock.

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  40. WOW was so awesome circa 2000 that I broke down and got a subscription. When it folded they just sent me copies of PWI instead. WOW was really fun while it lasted.

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  41. Lol "you know this great magazine you were subscribing to? Here's PWI instead"

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  42. They ate that shit up.

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  43. MikeyMike, JuggernautJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    How can 93 be bad with youngsters like Carlos Colon?

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  44. ECW was a good alternative too back in the days when non fans would think that wrestling was all about Hulkamania and wrestling clowns.

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  45. Ironic that Edge eliminated him from the Rumble

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  46. I actually think 2014 could be in the running too. Not just because of the whole Bryan thing, but it just generally sucks.

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  47. How old was he in comparison to Monsoon?

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  48. My Top 5: 2001, 2004, 2010, 2007, 2012


    Bottom 5: 1999, 2006, 1998, two others I can't think of.

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  49. Meh, think the 'best' list is pretty weak. I'd say 1998 is obviously one of the worst Rumbles - the roster is thinner than Karen Carpenter and it shows, way too many patches where the ring is overfull with guys and nothing's going on...the closing portion is decent, but the bulk is boring as fuck. 2007 was great and should be on there. 2000 is very overrated. 2008 doesn't really rate highly for me at all. 2010 should fucking be in there, too.

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  50. 1992, Flair wins the title. Question answered.

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  51. Would be awesome if Monsoon said that as an inside joke because one of the agents thought Carlos was a young guy or something.

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  52. Best:92, 01, 04, 07, 10
    Worst: 88, 95, 96, 99, 06

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  53. He's near the end of Leave it to Beaver and about to start up on Gilligan's Island and then the Brady Bunch!

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  54. 08 is one fantastic moment.

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  55. I think 2001 is better. I like 92 but don't think it's the best.

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  56. Totally forgot Sabu was in the 07' Rumble too, botch-a-rific fun for all.

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  57. Adam "Colorado" CurryJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    I think he meant 97 judging by the rest of what he wrote.

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  58. Best use of Sandman in his WWE career in that rumble.

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  59. People were crapping on the 2010 Rumble? That...baffled is the perfect word.

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  60. 98 would probably not hold up as a good match if I went back and watched it now, but I get such a warm feeling thinking about 1) the three faces of Foley and 2) "STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD IS GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!"

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  61. I love how the 2007 has spots and guys hitting moves and keeping the crowd entertained and delivering more than just punches and clotheslines.

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  62. Adam "Colorado" CurryJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    The constant dead spots where there's either no one in the ring or one guy by himself standing there with his dick in his hand don't help matters. That's not just the worst Rumble, it's one of the worst matches of any kind. It's right up there with Hogan/Sting as far as shitty booking goes.

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  63. Adam "Colorado" CurryJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    I like the commentary better than the match, and it's a fucking great match.

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  64. Adam "Colorado" CurryJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Hey, the 95 Rumble is what got me into wrestling, so it works on some level.

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  65. LOVE the shots of Austin as he checks his watch, then Bret's music hits and they zoom in on Austin's "OH SHIT" face

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  66. Also looking back that Rumble match was chock full of star power. Bret, Stone Cold, Rock, Undertaker, Kane (as fake Diesel), Mankind, Vader, Triple H, Owen, Bulldog, Lawler, etc.

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  67. Adam "Colorado" CurryJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Wrestlecrap just inducted it, and rightly so. Something like a third of the guys in it weren't even on the active roster.

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  68. Yeah, making fun of all the jobbers and how Edge had no muscle tone and shit. It was perplexing.

    Some only wish to hate.

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  69. Shawn hated winning anything in his comeback run other than the tag belts. I'm sure he had the opportunity to win that Rumble in his hometown but probably turned it down.

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  70. 2011 is a pretty fun Rumble match despite some major stupidity (building up a Corre vs Nexus feud and then having Cena and Hornswoggle eliminate the entire Nexus before the Corre even enters). Diesel and Booker jumping from TNA were cool moments, and the ending with Santino was legit shocking and fun.

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  71. I loved the 1990 Royal Rumble match as a kid. Wore the damn tape out watching it so much, and I had to rent it to get it! Loaded with starpower, Andre has one last motivated match as alluded to by someone here the other day, the commentary is on point, and the Hulk/Warrior showdown is epic.

    With the hindsight of knowing that Warrior would beat Hogan cleanly, it was the right call to have Hulk win the thing.

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  72. Loses points for Alex Riley fucking up the WM main event setting up Cena elimination.

    Cena just sat there for like ten minutes figuring out what to do afterwards.

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  73. 50/50 Booking happened in 1990 too!

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  74. What exactly happened with Santino at the end of that match? Did Alberto think he was eliminated, only for Santino to sneak up from behind and try to dump him?

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  75. Kevin Thorne another guy who came and went is in the 07 Rumble, you wouldn't guess it was 2007 though being a vampire and all.

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  76. Three Worst: 96, 99, 2012 Three Best: 92, 05, 2010. Honorable mentions: 90, 04.

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  77. That picture of Sunny is the real WOW. As in, wow how did Sunny go from that to what she looks like today?!

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  78. Scott Keith thought the 2012 one was ****1/2 or maybe Sheamus bribed the Netcop with potatoes.

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  79. I know we're not supposed to say/think it, but other than the 1992 Rumble, the 2004 Rumble blows all the rest away - hands down. I agree with Scott, Punk (well...and HBK) made the 2010 Rumble pretty awesome as well.

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  80. I love the 2012 Rumble and agree with Scott.

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  81. It was good, just not MOTYC worthy.

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  82. "Ron Simmons also turned in his
    resignation after the Undertaker’s symbol caught on fire."


    Damn! It took me a second to get this, but once I did I couldn't stop laughing.

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  83. Cena was thinking Arby's

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  84. Holy shit I had this issue. Completely forgot about this mag until now.

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  85. He was knocked out outside and everybody forgot about him.

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  86. 96 is nowhere close to the bottom of the list. That one gets a bad rap.

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  87. The first 15 minutes of the 1990 Rumble s both star-studded and unpredictable. Dibiase does his mini Diesel push, and then it's Jake, Savage and Piper! Awesome! Crowd was going nuts!

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  88. '06 has to be in the bottom three. Rey wins for lying on the mat for an hour and the rest of the roster is weak. HBK could have saved it but he's dumped too quickly to start a pointless feud with Vince.

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  89. Haven't seen it in a while - maybe I should!

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  90. Do you think Shawn hates having his two Rumble wins come in two of the weaker Rumbles? Or do you think he loves the fact that his wins are the only thing people remember about those Rumbles?

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  91. One of the few epic Cena moments. That was when he was officially "made for life."

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  92. That was funny.

    I like a lot about that Rumble. The way the Nexus builds in numbers and then dominates is great. But then SuperCena eliminates them all by himself and teams with Hornswoggles. Ruins the Rumble, and the last portion is a drag until the great Santino ending.

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  93. If they have Perfect win that Rumble instead, does that improve or degrade that Rumble?

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  94. I didn't mind Cena. It was the logical payoff. But fuck that Hornswoggle shit.

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  95. You can imagine Russo thinking that would be good because it'd never been done before, without realising why it had never been done before.

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  96. It never told a story and the only good portion was the stuff with Vader.

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  97. '06 is really awful but I had to put in a special fuck you to '12. Jericho needed that Rumble for his legacy and it was a god awful comedy Rumble anyway.

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  98. It was awful wrestlecrap WWE fail comedy in my book, and Sheamus winning was a horrendous choice.

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  99. You know. I really don't know to be sure. But I do tend to side with the view that Perfect's ceiling was "unbelievable upper mid carder who could credibly hold the IC title forever" and not "credible main eventer".

    His look and gimmick are perfect for the upper mid card, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. I miss the days when the mid card mattered too.

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  100. I feel like Rumbles are kind of only compared against other Rumbles as far as star ratings go, especially considering that otherwise Scott doesn't rate battle royales. It's hard to say a 4+ star Royal Rumble match is just as good as a 4+ star Flair match. It's apples and blowjobs.

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  101. That's one of the few times the comedy was actually good. Ricardo's Datsun was awesome!

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  102. heh, it always bothered me too. glad for the explanation.

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  103. That is an amazing moment.

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  104. That's the thing, great royal rumble matches always tell a good story, but 12 never told any kind of a story.

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  105. That Ric Flair photo is eerie. It was like the photographer wanted to throw Flair in a picture with a veritable who's who of people he knew would be dead within the next ten years.

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  106. I think it's a very underrated rumble. Not without its problems, of course, and it isn't up there with the best, but it's fun.

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  107. If you have a match where one of your biggest stars qualifies to get into the rumble later in the show, doesn't that completely telegram that he's winning it? Speaking to 2003 here.

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  108. 2010 is an incredible Rumble. The Punk sermon, the Beth Phoenix spot, Triple H getting eliminated mid way through, and a breathless last 10-12 minutes where everyone sprints in (literally, even Big Show is running) with unpredictable eliminations happening left and right. Then the HBK elimination which is just perfect. Only let down is the final elimination which is uninspired.

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  109. While I tend to agree with your assessment, the Rumble had yet to be established as needing a main eventer to win given that Studd won the previous year. You could have had Perfect win without pushing him into the main event scene.

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  110. I remember at the time, Brock was the obvious winner. Much like Triple H the year before, nothing would convince me he wasn't winning

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  111. No it didn't, although we have until October 21st to see if Christopher Lloyd can make that happen for us. Until then, some people don't want to talk about Benoit in wrestling articles and that's fine.

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  112. I had the Royal Rumble collection. I can confidently say the red box (93-97) got watched the least.

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  113. Some real duds in there too. Dory Funk, The "Squat Team", Omari and Doug Gilbert.

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  114. It's 'telegraph'. They didn't send you something in the mail indicating the rumble winner, did they?

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  115. Kind of a letdown that Stevie Richards won.

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  116. I didn't mind the Squat Team because I did love that spot where Vader and Yoko threw both of them out.

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  117. This guys gets it.

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  118. Agree about the comedy. A bit of comedy in a Rumble is fine, but there was waaaaaaay too much in this one.

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  119. That one sequence of lines is his finest moment as a commentator, nevermind the gold in the rest of the match.

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  120. I watched 94/95 a ton. The Rumble match that I watched the most would have to be 92 though.

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  121. Having hbk eliminate diesel at the end was pretty cool thiugh

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  122. Knowing HBK, he doesn't even remember those Rumbles himself.

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  123. Also they did the marathon thing with The Miz and Cody Rhodes. Like - really? Who wants to see The Miz go 45 minutes?

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  124. It was, but much like the 07 Rumble where HBK and Taker had a ****1/2 match at the end, I feel the 96 match should have gone on longer as they would do a mini HBK/Diesel match and if they did that, it may have saved the match from being remembered as a bad Rumble match.

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  125. Agreed about the characters - a new fan will gravitate towards personalities. I've shown parts of NXT Takeover to so many friends who are casual or non-fans just because the video packages and commentary do such a great job explaining who everyone is and what motivates them. Rumbles are pretty good for that too, especially from the years where the roster has depth and really distinct personalities.

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  126. Shawn's a total mark for himself, so probably.

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  127. I'm sorry, but 1993's ending wasn't that bad. Yokozuna and Savage have what is probably one of the best final two sequences in Rumble history. Savage takes a shit kicking, finds a hope spot, and instinctively goes for a pin because that's what he does... and then Yoko just powers him out of the ring from the ground to sell how strong he is. Taking away Savage doing all the work (because he HAS to. No one can dead throw someone from their back, over the ropes), there's absolutely nothing wrong with that story.

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  128. Hogan/Sting 1997 or Hogan/Sting 2011? I'm assuming both. As a huge Hogan mark, I can say those are among his 2 worst matches.

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  129. 2004 is the perfectly-booked Rumble for me. 1992 is a close second.

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  130. "Other funny stories talk about ECWwrestlers nearly revolting at Paul Heyman's Philadelphia office after they found out wrestling was fake on NBC."

    Ah, the days when people actually watched NBC. Funny how the Jay Leno 10:00 show looks like a roaring success now compared to the ratings of the current primetime lineup.

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  131. The question is though what it COULD'VE been. Imagine Savage pulling every trick he had out of the book trying to beat Yokozuna -- having a mini-match like Taker and Shawn had at the end of the Rumble that year -- but failing and then gets eliminated in a heartbreaker. It would've put Yoko over even bigger

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  132. 1992 takes the cake for because it has the best commentary performance in the history of wrestling.

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  133. I hated the kickout ending because it looked so fake and hokey.

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  134. Just watched it a couple weeks ago and I have to disagree. It was dull as dirt and chock full of jobbers.

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  135. Where's time traveling Daniel Bryan to tell us where 2015 and 2016 Rumbles rank?

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  136. Because Vince always changes his mind, time can be rewritten.

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  137. No doubt the 07 one was cooler. Just saying 96 gets a bad rap but the ending and the vader studd wasn't terrible.

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  138. 1993 is decent. People who hate it just hate who won it.

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  139. It was made even worse because they hyped up the longevity thing with those guys and then had Big Show dump them both out like it was no big deal. God forbid we don't keep the fucking Big Show strong again.

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  140. Royal Rumble 94 is great.

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  141. 06 is worse than 99 in my opinion - you can debate the 99 booking all you want, but at least stuff happened. 06 at one point had like 15 guys in the ring doing nothing, like they just stopped booking it a quarter of the way through.

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  142. Nothing much happens after the diesel run

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  143. Cocaine is a hell of a drug

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  144. I never thought so, but I like a lot of the workers in that match.

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  145. Tenryu chopping the red, white and blue out of Lex Luger is pretty fun.

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  146. 2007 was a shit Rumble, but it had the best Final Four-to-Finish in history.

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  147. Gorilla is really underrated in that match too, from needling Heenan about Flair's number and the unlikelihood that he'd be there at the end, to keeping Bobby from leaving the announce position.


    "I'm going to go check on Ric!"
    "YOU STAY RIGHT HERE!"

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  148. Be fair to Flair!

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  149. I love 90 and rank it the highest. Probably nostalgia putting it just over 04 and 92.

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  150. LOVE that part of it. And yes, that crowd was something else.

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  151. You non-good creep. You skirt-wearing freak

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  152. 100% agree on the final four

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  153. 1990 deserves way more love, for sure!

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  154. I don't hate 1993. But as soon as I think 1993 Rumble I think Giant Gonzalez :/

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  155. Heenan: (Calling Santana vs. Michaels) Santana's making guacamole out of him...
    Monsoon: WILL YOU STOP?!!!

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  156. Fair point. But at least it introduced a new performer and led to an angle. I'll take that over a Rumble that stops dead for Triple H's three-minute entrance.

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  157. Yes indeed. It's great (of course)!

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  158. You win some JBL points for that Carpenters reference. What a relic they are.

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  159. I just can't seem to grow tired of that sumbitch, no matter how often I watch it. Magic.

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  160. I know I'm in the minority here but I kinda like the '98 Rumble. I love the opening sequence with Funk and Cactus. It's really a breakthrough performance for Rock. And I like the three Foley appearances. My only real beef is having to hear the Nation of Domination theme like 5 times.

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  161. That's one of the definitions of a great match!

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  162. I don't like spots where guys go for pins and do dumb things. I mean, they're pros, they should know the match. Sort of like when guys pick guys up for powerslams and don't throw them over the ropes - why bother? I think Bulldog did that to Shawn in the 95 one IIRC

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  163. I felt the same way about the Nexus theme in 2011. I remember originally liking that tune, but hearing that theme five times during the Rumble was torture.

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  164. I thought it was fine, but the heat really died down when The Undertaker was eliminated. Furthermore, that Savage elbow finish just ruins it for me. All believability is killed when he goes for the pin.

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  165. "Barbarian doesn't like Flair!"
    "When I managed him, he barely liked me!"

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  166. It's definitely flat. But at least it made Yokozuna look strong (literally). I'd have had him no-sell the elbow, then superkick Savage over the top.

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  167. I think Apter did return to PWI after WOW folded.

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  168. Yep, he could totally move out of the way of the elbow, and Super Kick him over. That'd totally work. My opinion of this Rumble would be improved.

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  169. That line and the "Why do you think they call him the Barbarian...he's not a hair dresser on his day off!" are two of the best Heenan lines from 92.

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  170. Vince McMahon really should be evil future Biff in Back to the Future Part II.

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  171. His first Rumble win was a good one IMO. The quality of the guys in it was eh, but the story of he and Bulldog going that long was cool and the skin the cat was bad ass. I'm like Shawn on the second -- no idea what happened. I know I watched it several times...but I got nothing on it.

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  172. Even in history packages, WWE always show Shawn's 95 win and not his 96 win.

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  173. Winner aside, the 2004 Rumble not being in that list is a crock of shit. On top of Benoit's win, there was Nunzio hiding out at ringside, Brock screwing over Goldberg and - the best moment of the bunch - Randy Orton looking like he's about to crap his pants when Mick Foley's music hits.

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  174. I just looked at the Wiki page on it...and jeez that line-up looks atrocious even with 10 former or future World champs (including Aldo's ECW win) in it. Problem was the former champs were way washed up (Yoko, Backlund, Funk, etc) and the future guys were largely some way off being anything of note. Trips was still boring, Austin was the Ringmaster, etc. So really only HBK, Diesel and Vader meant jackshit. No wonder why I forgot all about it! Sort of like HBK's "historic" European title reign...

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  175. 2001 is my favorite from top to bottom.

    Hardys have their mini match
    Drew Carey
    Kane kicks ass
    Honky Tonk Man
    Kane kicks more ass

    Rock and Undertaker come in
    Kane still kicking ass
    Kane and Austin at the end
    55 minutes later Kane eats a stunner and sits up anyways

    Needs a bunch of chairshots to finally knock him out.


    Almost no dead spots, good action throughout, got the comedy stuff in and out painlessly and the guy who went long actually DID something instead of laying on his back for 45 minutes.


    I can barely remember the sequences from any of the modern rumbles but this one is seared in my head.

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