WWE Royal Rumble Review – 2004

2004 was a trying year for the WWE. The company was still trying to re-capture the glory days of the “Attitude Era” wrestling boom, but it just wasn’t happening. They brought in Goldberg to help move it along, but his stint in the WWE was a huge disappointment. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar would end up leaving the promotion just 3 months after this Rumble, but there is some good news. A certain superstar is being groomed to be the WWE’s next big thing and he would help usher in the WWE’s next “era”, but first….we have some business to deal with. Ladies and gents, the 2004 ROYAL RUMBLE!

LET’S DO THIS!

 

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Royal Rumble 2004

Our first two entries are;

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#1 – Chris Benoit

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#2 – Randy Orton

(DISCLAIMER: Look, we all know Chris Benoit is a piece of shit. The guy murdered his family for crying out loud. However, in this review I’m talking about Chris Benoit the PERFORMER. So if I compliment him in any way, I’m praising the guy’s wrestling ability because he truly was one of the best ever. His career will forever be tainted in some people’s eyes, but not mine. I’m able to separate Benoit the performer and Benoit the scumbag who killed a child.)

Benoit was given #1 by Paul Heyman in a storyline apparently. That’s pretty nice of the guy. #2 is Randy Orton of Evolution. Meh. He’s just never done it for me and is one of the number of reasons I stopped watching WWE. Anyway, Benoit backs Orton up into the corner and starts mauling him. He whips Orton into the rope and hits him with a chop. Now he’s kicking Orton. Snap suplex to Orton. Orton ends up getting advantage now. He slams Benoit’s head into the turnbuckle and starts working him over. Benoit is now trying to cross-face Orton in the corner. Benoit has the advantage now. Here comes #3……

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#3 – Mark Henry

Mark Henry and Teddy Long come down. Benoit has Orton almost out, but Henry starts the beatdown on Benoit right away. Now Henry starts kicking Orton. Benoit starts chopping Henry, but Henry isn’t having it. Orton comes over and starts beating on Henry now. Henry isn’t having that either and puts him down. Benoit starts punching Henry and backs him into the corner. He’s putting a beatdown on him. Here comes another entrant…..

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#4 – Tajiri

Tajiri runs down and Orton welcomes him with some kicks. Tajiri responds with some kicks of his own. Handspring elbow to Orton as Tazz has a heart attack on commentary. He’s not hard to please. Now Benoit comes over and starts suplexing Tajiri. Elbow to Tajiri from Benoit. Henry has Orton and goes to throw him out. Orton manages to survive though and starts hitting Henry once he starts posing to the crowd. Here comes #5…….

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#5 – Bradshaw

Bradshaw enters the ring and CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL TO ORTON! This must be just about when Bradshaw turned into the “JBL” we all know and love. CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL TO HENRY! CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL TO TAJIRI! Benoit’s not falling for it though and he starts pounding away on Bradshaw. He whips Bradshaw into the corner, but Bradshaw moves. Bradshaw hits the ropes and CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL TO BENOIT! NOPE! REVERSAL! BENOIT HAS BRADSHAW IN THE CROSSFACE! Bradshaw is tapping, but c’mon. Bradshaw goes to lift Benoit up and almost throws him out of the ring! Benoit ends up flipping Bradshaw out though and he’s gone (elimination #1). Everyone is still hurting from their clotheslines. Benoit gets up and kicks Tajiri in the head. Orton and Henry are squaring off in the corner. And here comes #6…….

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#6 – Rhyno

Rhyno is making his Royal Rumble debut. He immediately goes after Orton and Benoit. Henry goes to charge Tajiri in the corner, but Tajiri moves. Tajiri goes for the TARANTULA! This didn’t work last year. It doesn’t work this year either as Henry ends up flipping him out (elimination #2). IF IT DIDN’T WORK LAST YEAR, WHY WOULD IT WORK THIS YEAR YOU MORON? Benoit starts going off the ropes and is just bull-rushing into Henry. A third attempt FINALLY gets Henry out and his night is over (elimination #3)! Rhyno comes over and starts trying to eliminate Benoit. Orton comes over to give him a hand. Benoit headbutts Orton and knocks him down. Rhyno headbutts Benoit and starts beating on Orton. And here comes another entrant……

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#7 – Matt Hardy V1

Hardy goes right after Benoit and then slaps Rhyno for good measure. Orton and Hardy start hitting each other. Matt Hardy hits Rhyno with a neckbreaker and then taunts the crowd. Benoit grabs him and throws him over, but he manages to hang on. Benoit goes over and starts squaring off with Orton again. Rhyno whips Matt into the corner and hits him with a shoulder block. Rhyno goes to lift Hardy out, but Hardy is hanging on for dear life. Here comes #8…….

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#8 – Scott Steiner

“Big Poppa Pump” is here and he wants to do some damage! He just hits EVERYONE! He picks up Orton and gives him a suplex. Suplex to Benoit now. Rhyno comes over and now Steiner gives him a suplex. That guy sure loved that move didn’t he? Benoit is giving him a taste of his own medicine now. Two straight german suplexes to Steiner. Hardy is trying to eliminate Orton. Rhyno is now choking Steiner. And here comes #9……..

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#9 – Matt Morgan

Yeah whatever. This guy is big, but I don’t remember him doing shit in WWE. He goes right after Benoit and gives him a sitdown powerbomb. Hardy comes over and starts hitting Morgan. He gets a big boot for that one. Morgan goes to the corner and starts choking Orton with his boot. Hardy is trying to throw out Steiner now. Rhyno comes over to give him a hand. Morgan hates eliminations apparently and breaks it up. #10 is heading down now……

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#10 – The Hurricane

Maybe The Hurricane can last longer than last year? He enters the ring and goes straight to the top rope. Body press to Matt Hardy! He turns around and starts hitting Morgan, but nothing happens. He eye rakes Morgan and then goes off the rope. He tries to body press Morgan, but the big guy just catches him. And it’s BYE BYE HURRICANE (elimination #4). Good lord that’s guy is awful in Rumbles. Morgan starts yelling at Hurricane now. He starts beating on Hardy and goes to throw Hardy out in the same fashion he threw Hurricane out in. Hardy holds on though and rolls back in the ring. Steiner and Orton look like they’re making out in the corner. And here comes another entrant……

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#11 – Booker T

Booker T’s entrance music is a little different at this time. Nothing pisses me off more than when the WWE would change someone’s amazing music and make it worse. Booker starts trading blows with Steiner right away. There’s some WCW history for you. Booker is just teeing off on Steiner right now. Booker goes to grab Orton now and hits him with a scissor kick! Morgan is beating on Benoit until Booker comes over. That’s a mistake as Morgan sends him down on the mat. #12 is on their way…….

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#12 – Kane

Kane finally has his mask off and he’s as ugly as ever. I’m betting someone’s getting tossed. Scott Steiner was a victim of the phantom elimination during Kane’s entrance (elimination #5). Kane gets in the ring and grabs Booker T. CHOKE SLAM TO BOOKER! CHOKE SLAM TO BENOIT! Morgan tries to give Kane a power bomb, but Kane flips him over his back. CHOKE SLAM TO MORGAN! He picks up Hardy and gives him a hip drop. Rhyno tries to spear Kane, but Kane kicks him in the face. Orton goes for the RKO on Kane, but Kane whips him into the ropes. CHOKE SLAM TO ORTON! Everyone is hurting. Kane picks up Hardy and starts beating on him. Here comes lucky #13……

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#13 – Spike Dudley

THE DEADMAN IS BACK! Undertaker’s music hits and it distracts Kane. Kane starts yelling at the Titan Tron and Booker T comes up from behind and throws him out (elimination #6). Kane eliminated no one? What a huge disappointment. Kane is obviously pissed. Spike Dudley comes down and he’s the first ever Dudley to be in a Royal Rumble. unfortunately he also crosses paths with Kane. Kane grabs him by the throat and CHOKE SLAM TO SPIKE! Things don’t look good already for ol’ Spikester. He was already at a huge disadvantage being 120 pounds. Now he’s half dead. And someone else is on their way…..

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#14 – Rikishi

Wow. Rikishi is still around? Apparently Spike Dudley is incapacitated and he’s out for good (elimination #7). Rikishi gets in the ring just in time to see Benoit toss Rhyno out (elimination #8) and the herd is starting to thin finally. Rikishi comes in and starts hitting everyone in sight. Morgan falls down in the corner and STINK FACE TO MORGAN! Rikishi goes to lift Morgan out, but I don’t see that happening. There’s not a whole lot of action going on right now. So let’s add some more wood to this fire……

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#15 – Rene Dupree

Rene Dupress of “La Resistance”. I always kind of liked that team. Don’t tell anyone. Dupree almost gets a Twist of Fate, but he gets away. He goes to lift Hardy out and Hardy is now balancing on the ropes. A dropkick from Dupree sends Hardy out (elimination #9). Dupree starts dancing and doesn’t see Rikishi sneaking up behind him. A kick to Dupree from Rikishi also ends his night (elimination #10). Benoit and Orton are both still in the ring and they are squaring off. Here comes #16……

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#16 – A-Train

A-Train hauls ass down to the ring. He goes right after Rikishi and starts hammering on him. Booker comes over to get him some of A-Train. Morgan goes for a big boot on Benoit in the corner, but Benoit moves and Morgan lands on the top rope in an awkward position. Benoit just shoves him out and he’s gone (elimination #11). Rikishi and Booker are trying to eliminate A-Train and Benoit comes over to give them a hand. Orton starts beating on Benoit again. Orton just walks over and tosses Rikishi out (elimination #12). Booker doesn’t like that and starts going after Orton. A miscue ends up sending Booker T out of the ring as well (elimination #13). A-Train starts abusing Benoit in the corner while Orton takes a breather. Not for long though because someone else is coming down……

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#17 – Shelton Benjamin

YAAAAA BABY! Shelton runs down to the ring just in time to see Benoit dump A-Train for good (elimination #14)! Benjamin starts pounding on Orton while Benoit takes a breather. Orton flips the script on Benjamin and starts kicking him. Benjamin counters with a clothesline. Benjamin tries to get fancy though and Orton sends him out of the ring (elimination #15). DAMN IT SHELTON! It’s Benoit vs. Orton again and they start going at it. Benoit is working him over in the corner. Back suplex to Orton. The two men run into each other though and they both go down and they are OUT. And here comes #18……

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#18 – Ernest “The Cat” Miller

YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! Ernest Miller ruled! SOMEBODY CALL MY MOMMA! SOMEBODY CALL MY MOMMA! Miller starts dancing and he’s putting on a hell of a show. I could watch this for a half hour at least. Unfortunately Benoit and Orton have recovered and Benoit throws Miller’s own personal ring announcer out of the ring and Orton throws Miller himself out (elimination #16). I wouldn’t want it anyone other way for “The Cat”. And yes, it’s Benoit vs. Orton again. Orton has the advantage and starts working over Benoit. Orton poses and we are getting another entrant…..

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#19 – Kurt Angle

Shit’s about to get serious! Angle starts punching Orton and takes him down. It’s Benoit vs. Angle and I could watch these two all-day. Benoit starts chopping Angle in the corner. Now he’s kicking Angle. Angle counters and throws Benoit into the corner. Clothesline to Benoit! Angle with the suplex to Benoit now. He picks Benoit up and tries throwing him down. Benoit manages to hang on though. Here comes #20……

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#20 – Rico

Rico walks out looking like a flamingo or something. I don’t know, but it’s really not a good look for anyone. Orton welcomes him with a big dropkick. Rico starts fighting back and hits Orton with a face buster. He whips Orton into the ropes and kicks hin. Now he’s trying to toss him out, but Orton escapes. RKO TO RICO! Meanwhile, Benoit hits Angle with three suplexes in a row! Orton picks up Rico and sends him back to the locker room (elimination #16). Benoit starts kicking Orton in the head. Benoit goes to the top rope and Angle RUNS OVER TO TRY AND ELIMINATE HIM! Benoit falls onto the top corner and Angle is still trying to eliminate him. We are getting another entry though…..

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#21 – Test

Test’s music hits and he’s nowhere to be found. Back in the ring though we get an RKO TO ANGLE! We get a shot back to the locker room where Test is apparently unconscious and is getting medical treatment. Steve Austin is yelling at someone off-screen and is telling them that THEY ARE #21 NOW since Test is out. That guy is apparently MICK FOLEY! Orton doesn’t like this. Foley points at Orton and IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG! Thee two start trading punches. Foley is just going off on Orton’s face right now. Foley puts Orton against the ropes and goes for a big splash that eliminates both of them (eliminations #18 & #19)! Foley doesn’t care though. He just wanted a piece of Orton. Foley also isn’t done yet. Foley bashes Orton’s head against the steel steps. He gets a cord from one of the monitors and starts choking Orton with it. Here comes #22 though…….

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#22 – Christian

Foley grabs Orton and slams his head into a ringside table. He picks up one of the steel steps and hits one of the officials. While he’s distracted, Orton grabs a chair and starts hitting Foley with some vicious chair shots. Orton is now peppering Foley’s face with punches. Who cares about the Rumble anymore apparently. We have an impromptu hardcore match between Foley and Orton going off. Orton goes to hit Foley with a chair, but Foley hits him with a nut shot. Foley goes into his pants and grabs SOCKO! And here comes #23……

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#23 – Nunzio

Nunzio comes down and Foley gives HIM THE MANDIBLE CLAW!!! Wrong place wrong time buddy. Orton walks over and hits Foley while he’s distracted. Orton then sneaks back into the locker room. We go back to the ring where Kurt Angle is hanging on by a thread thanks to Christian and Benoit. Christian gives up and starts attacking Benoit now. He goes for the elimination on Benoit. Angle walks up behind him and hits him with a german suplex. Angle picks Christian up and has him on the brink of elimination. Christian sneaks back in. Just in time for someone else to hit the ring……

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#24 – Big Show

Jim Ross just said that BUSINESS HAS PICKED UP, SO BUSINESS HAS PICKED UP! Show goes right after Angle and head butts him. He serves Christian up a chop in the corner. A head butt to Christian knocks him down. Show is just hitting anyone who comes near him. And we are getting another entrant…..

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#25 – Chris Jericho

Jericho goes right after Kurt Angle who was beating on his buddy Christian. Christian comes over to give Jericho a hand. Big Show has had enough and smashes Jericho and Christian with a double headbutt. Jericho nails Big Show and has him reeling. Not for long though as Show grabs him and chucks him. Jericho goes into the corner and Christian comes over and jumps on Show’s back. Now everyone in the ring is trying to throw Show out. Big Show is barely hanging on. He starts fighting back though and manages to fight his way back in. And here comes #26…….

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#26 – Charlie Haas

The other half of the “World’s Greatest Tag Team” goes right after Christian. Jericho comes over to give Christian a hand. They start double-teaming Haas now. Big Show is chopping Benoit in the corner, but Jericho comes over to get him some. Nunzio is STILL at ringside and out of it. Angle and Jericho almost get Benoit out, but he survives. Christian grabs his buddy Jericho and goes to toss him, but Jericho hangs on. Christian walks over to finish the job, but Jericho hits him in the mid-section and suplexes his former best friend out of the ring (elimination #20). Benoit and Haas are trading blows in the corner now. And here comes #27…….

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#27 – “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn

Apparently this is Billy Gunn’s return to the WWE and he’s BACK as the “ASS MAN”! Like I’ve mentioned before, Billy Gunn sucks unless he’s obsessed with asses. Gunn starts squaring off with Angle and FAMEASSER TO ANGLE! Gunn is jut punching everyone in the ring. FAMEASSER TO BIG SHOW! Now Gunn starts punching Jericho’s pretty face. Haas comes over an starts beating on Gunn now. Yes, Nunzio is STILL sitting at ringside in pain. And #28 is on their way……

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#28 – John Cena

“The Doctor of Thuganomics” comes down to the ring and Big Show is waiting hia arrival. Cena comes down and looks at Nunzio. He does the “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” to Nunzio and throws his little ass into the ring finally. Cena rolls into the ring and Big Show and Nunzio start double-teaming him. Nunzio is telling Show to eliminate Cena. Show goes ahead and rips Cena’s jersey off. And in an absolutely hilarious moment, Nunzio has had enough and tries to eliminate Big Show. He can’t move him though and Show looks annoyed. Show just slaps him on the back as Nunzio crawls away. Cena starts squaring off on Show and goes for the elimination as Jericho comes over to help. Here comes #29……

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#29 – Rob Van Dam

RVD gets a nice reaction. He starts trading blows with Big Show immediately. He gets Big Show on the ropes and goes for the elimination, but Jericho comes over. He gets a spinning leg lariat from RVD for his troubles. RVD now points at Nunzio, but Nunzio starts pounding on him. Haas is choking Jericho with his boot. Cena and Angle are exchanging punches. F-U TO ANGLE!!!! Here comes #30 and of course we all now who it is…….

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#30 – Goldberg

Ugh. Goldberg sucks. Even though I watched WCW growing up, I was always a bigger WWE fan so I naturally had a dislike for anything WCW created. That explains my dislike for Goldberg. Goldberg gets in the ring. SPEAR TO BIG SHOW! SPEAR TO GUNN!!!! Goldberg starts punching anyone within reach. Power slam to Haas! Nunzio jumps on Goldberg’s back. While that’s happening, Goldberg and RVD shove Haas out of the ring (elimination #21). RVD kicks Goldberg in the face and they start exchanging punches. SPEAR TO NUNZIO!!!!!!! Goldberg goes over and decides he hates asses and clotheslines Billy Gunn out of the ring (elimination #22). He now picks up Nunzio again. He puts Nunzio over his head and THROWS HIM OUT (elimination #23). This is how you make an impact in the Royal Rumble folks. Goldberg grabs Big Show and is going for the JACKHAMMER! NEVERMIND! BROCK LESNAR IS HERE AND HE STARTS BEATING ON GOLDBERG!!! F-5 TO GOLDBERG!!!! Brock now leaves as he stares down a defeated Goldberg. I bet that WrestleMania match is going to be AMAZING. Goldberg crawls over to the ropes and stares down Lesnar and calls him a “son of a bitch”. He finally gets up just in time for Angle to toss him out (elimination #24). Jericho comes over to try to eliminate Angle, but that’s a no go. Cena is trying to dump Show and Angle comes over to give him a hand. So does Jericho now. And here comes RVD and Benoit. Everyone is trying to get the Big Show out now. Nope. He just pushes them all off and starts punching them all. THIS GUY IS WINNING IT ALL!!! He picks Cena up to throw him out, but Angle hits him in the knee. LIONSAULT TO BIG SHOW!!!! RVD goes up top! FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH TO SHOW!!! FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE TO SHOW NOW!!!! Benoit goes up top. FLYING HEADBUTT TO SHOW!!!!! Angle tells them all to back off. He’s now telling them all to band together and throw Show out. They can’t get him to move though. They are really struggling to pick him up and he just throws them all off of him. He gets up and throws Cena out of the ring (elimination #25). RVD starts punching Show. Show whips him into the ropes, but he counters. He runs at Big Show in the corner now, but Show just lifts him up and throws him out (elimination #26). BIG SHOW IS NOT PLAYING AROUND AND WE ARE DOWN TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!!!

The Final Four:

Big Show

Kurt Angle

Chris Jericho

Chris Benoit

Who  wants it???????

Show goes to throw Jericho out, but Jericho barely hangs on. He gets back in the ring and starts nailing Big Show, but Show throws him down. He runs at Show now, but Show backdrops him out of the ring. Jericho lands on the ring apron though. He gets back in the ring and gives Show a bulldog off the top rope! Jericho is going for the WALLS OF JERICHO! HE’S GOT IT!!! Show is tapping but Angle comes over and starts hitting Jericho. Jericho and Angle are exchanging blows and Jericho goes to throw Angle out. Show picks up Benoit and slams him. Show grabs Jericho in a chokeslam and CHOKESLAMS HIM OUT OF THE RING (elimination #27). Hey y’all. Big Show is tired of fucking around and it’s about time a giant won the Royal Rumble…..am I right? Show starts beating on Angle now. Sidewalk slam to Angle. Benoit is up, but Show grabs him. CHOKESLAM TO BENOIT!!! Angle comes up from behind Show and tries to suplex him. Nope. Show’s not having it. Show grabs Angle and throws him into the ropes. Angle is countering. ANGLE SLAM TO SHOW!!!! Benoit is up and he’s squaring off with Angle now. ANGLE SLAM TO BENOIT!!!!!! Angle’s now asking the fans which guy he should throw out. Show gets up and grabs Angle by the throat, but Angle reverses it into an ANKLE LOCK!!!! Show is in pain and is tapping! Show gets up and does some crazy move where he jumps over the top rope and sneaks back in the bottom rope and in the meantime, Angle goes FLYING out of the ring (elimination #28)! Big Show is way too big to be pulling off moves like that. It’s now Benoit vs. Big Show, one-on-one! Big Show is still on the ring apron and in pain. Benoit gets up and goes to the top rope. FLYING HEADBUTT SENDS BIG SHOW BACK INTO THE RING! Not sure that’s exactly what Benoit was looking for. Benoit bounces off the ropes but Show grabs him by the throat. He goes for the chokeslam, but Benoit counters! CROSS FACE TO BIG SHOW!!!!! Big Show finally picks Benoit up and slams him and he releases the Cross Face. Now both participants are out cold in the middle of the ring. Show is up now and he’s pissed. He picks Benoit up for the slam. He puts him above his head, but Benoit is fighting back. He goes to throw Benoit over, but Benoit lands on the ring apron and has a hold of Big Show’s neck. He’s got Big Show up and almost over the top! FINALLY BIG SHOW GOES OVER (elimination #29)!!!! CHRIS BENOIT PULLS OFF A MIRACLE AND WINS THE ROYAL RUMBLE!!!!!!!

 

The Verdict:

This is a good Royal Rumble. Benoit’s performance is amazing and is worth the watch alone. Highly recommended.

Royal Rumble Review: ***1/2

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