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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2005

January 17, 2017 | Posted by Rob Stewart
2005 Royal Rumble
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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2005  

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2005: The Sit-Down

So 2004 came and went; Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit had their respective runs as WWE and World Heavyweight champions, and the company was moving on. WWE’s hot new toys at the time were the young men that had been groomed under Triple-H and Ric Flair in Evolution. In 2004, Randy Orton had a shot as world champion, and he left Flair, Hunter, and Batista behind.

The Participants

1. Eddie Guerrero
2. Chris Benoit
3. Daniel Puder
4. Hardcore Holly
5. The Hurricane
6. Kenzo Suzuki
7. Edge
8. Rey Misterio
9. Shelton Benjamin
10. Booker T
11. Chris Jericho
12. Luther Reigns
13. Muhammud Hassan (Oh, THIS guy.)
14. Orland Jordan
15. Scotty 2 Hotty (Way to hang in there way past your Best By Date, Scotty!)
16. Charlie Haas
17. Rene Dupree
18. Simon Dean
19. Shawn Michaels
20. Kurt Angle
21. Coach (which, in my sloppy handwriting, I misread as Crush when I went back to write this and thought “I don’t remember this Rumble being THAT good”)
22. Mark Jindrak
23. Viscera
24. Paul London
25. John Cena
26. Snitsky
27. Kane
28. Batista
29. Christian (w/ Problem Solver Tyson Tomko)
30. Ric Flair

Final Four

4th – Rey Misterio (eliminated by Edge)
3rd – Edge (eliminated by Cena and Batista)
2nd – John Cena
WINNER – Batista


-The Pre-match video is just Nunzio walking down a hallway talking about how it’s going to be a good night. Then Kurt Angle approaches him, steals his lottery ball, and dares Little Guido to do something about it. If Tracey Smothers and Tommy Rich were there, Angle wouldn’t be so brazen!

-Eddie and Benoit start off the Rumble because sometimes–JUST SOMETIMES–WWE actually likes its fans.

-So this Daniel Puder guy was the winner of the $1m Tough Enough competition, and they actually moved him up to the main roster? With guys who’d spent their whole lives wrestling around the world and working for their spot and wrestling in gymnasiums or being in development hell for years? They just moved this guy up after he won a TV show AND a million dollars? How did they think that was going to go? Anyway, he actually gets a whole segment where he comes down, grabs a stick, and proclaims how he is going to win the whole shebang. Surprisingly, Eddie and Benoit (two guys I’d HATE to be Daniel Puder around) don’t just toss him, but work him over a bit until Hardcore Holly (a guy I’d rather kill myself than be Daniel Puder around) enters. They torture Puder 3-on-1 for a good while and finally pitch him. Thus ends the “dues paying” segment of this Rumble.

-At one point early on, the Rumble is Eddie, Benoit, Rey, Edge, and Shelton Benjamin. So this portion of the Rumble is brought to you by actual professional wrestling.

-After Booker T joins at #10, Eric Bischoff and Teddy Long make their ways to the ring to cheer on their respective guys. I actually never saw Teddy come out (we see Bischoff’s walk down the ramp); he just kind of appeared.

-The fans are big into Jericho this year, with a loud Y2J! chant when he comes out.

-With eight guys in the ring, the match factions off into Raw Guys vs Smackdown Guys (Benoit, Jericho, Edge, Shelton vs. Eddie, Rey, Booker T, and Reigns). After a brief staredown, they erupt into a flurry action (which is a nice sight, because it’s the middle of the Rumble where usually all we get is a scrubbed ring or a lot of lazy half-hearted shoving). Muhammud Hassan emerges at #13, and the Raw vs Smackdown hostilities are set aside so EVERYONE can kick his ass because Muslims are the worst, I guess. After getting tossed, Hassan beats the hell out of an entering Scott 2 Hotty just to keep some of his heat. From the beginning of the factioning off through Hassan attacking Scotty, this was just a really enjoyable segment of match. A genuinely fun five minutes or so.

-Eddie is underwhelmingly eliminated by Edge to GREAT heat after a long run. The fans hate this, and chant Eddie’s name for a good bit after his exit (I hope they all went home and remembered to hashtag about canceling the WWE Network!)

-Simon Dean spends his ENTIRE entrance time outside the ring doing calisthenics (The Simon System), he finally gets in the ring right before HBK actually does, but he just continues to do warm-ups once he enters. Shawn effortlessly clotheslines him out and then mocks his exercises. Oh HBK, that scad.

-Prescient of 2014/2015, as the fans are STILL chanting for Eddie well after his departure. Tazz has to smooth it over a bit by saying “Hey, I like Eddie, too, but this is still a great match”.

-Angle hits the ring, suplexes EVERYTHING IN SIGHT, but is then quickly superkicked over the top by Shawn. He disappears briefly, but comes back to eliminate and attack Shawn, setting up their WrestleMania 21 match (because, as I said earlier, Shawn tends to do that. Also, as a sidenote? If you somehow haven’t seen their WM match, you simply must. You can quit reading this and go watch it and come back if you have to. I’ll wait).

-Cena is stupidly popular here, and the crowd busts out for him. He is still rocking the decidedly un-PC rapper gimmick with his “Ruck Fules” shirt.

-STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE: Kane enters the Rumble and starts trashing everyone. Chokeslams, boots, blah blah blah. BUT… the one-handed chokeslam he does to Rey is sick, so I will give him credit for that.

-Boomingly loud pop for Batista, as well as a chant for him. Wasn’t he still a heel in Evolution at this juncture in time? Huh.

-Commentary of the night: Cena has Batista in the FU, but can’t power him over the ropes. Jim Ross says “Cena can’t quite get underneath him”, and Tazz points out what we are ALL thinking: “He IS underneath him; what are you talking about?”

-So… yeah. This comes down to Cena and Dave, and they Bret/Luger their way out of the ring and to the floor simultaneously. The brand split comes into play here, as the refs at ringside each say “their” guy won. During all this, Cena and Batista each childishly throw the other out, as if that matters. I actually thought for years and years that this was intentional because they manage to perfectly hit the floor at the same time and the referees play it up so well, but apparently it was an accident based on what I’ve read since. If that’s the case, they cover for it really well.

And then comes the glorious moment where Vince McMahon storms out to decide things, except he Diesels his quads sliding into the ring like an idiot (They have steps, Vince). Inhuman amounts of credit to Vince, who must have been in agony sitting there stone-faced and riding out the segment. The size of grapefruits, indeed.

-So… there’s a restart (which is stupid because dual winners actually made sense here because there were two titles to defend at WrestleMania, but… whatever), and it feels ridiculously pointless because Dave just immediately chucks Cena after the restart. That’s the biggest tell of the whole thing that it was all likely unplanned. If this was supposed to mean something, I would assume the follow-up would have had more meat.


1. 2001 (Austin III) – 10/10

2. 2004 (Benoit) – 9/10
3. 1992 (Flair) – 9/10

4. 1998 (Austin II) – 8/10
5. 1997 (Austin I) – 8/10

6. 2002 (HHH I) – 7/10

7. 2005 (Batista I) – 6/10

8. 2003 (Lesnar) -5/10
9. 1989 (Studd) – 5/10
10. 1996 (Michaels II) – 5/10
11. 1999 (McMahon) 5/10

12. 1993 (Yokozuna) – 4/10
13. 1990 (Hogan I) – 4/10
14. 1994 (Hart/Luger) – 4/10

15. 1991 (Hogan II) – 3/10
16. 2000 (The Rock) – 3/10

17. 1995 (Michaels I) – 2/10
18. 1988 (Duggan) – 2/10

The final score: review Average
The 411
Not a great Rumble, but it had a good beginning with all wrestling purist talent. And the Raw vs Smackdown vs Hassan segment was extremely fun and well-done. But so many other things felt like retreads of recent history (Shawn gets cheaply eliminated and starts a feud, Kane wrecks people but doesn't last long, a twerpy guy gets his butt kicked while entering because a mean heel was eliminated on his way out). On the whole, I’d say slightly better than average.