The 5 Gnarliest Royal Rumble Eliminations of All Time by Ben Pasco
Ah the art of the battle royal elimination. Every January, 30 men walk into the ring in timed intervals and throw each other over the top rope to dash their hopes and dreams. It’s like walking into a financial aid office at any college, just without the entrance themes. Some eliminations are glorious, some are poor, and some are gnarly. This is a collection of the eliminations I deem to be most full of gnarly qualities.
Honorable Mention: Taka Michinkou in 2000
This has to be the clip that inspired a young Justice Jon Barber to create Botchamania, and then passive aggressively bring up that point over the years. Taka Michinoku came into the WWF with a world of potential and a terrible haircut. He was supposed to be the kid to break the big guy mold in WWE, but instead he’s remembered as the dude who took the greatest bump in Royal Rumble history. However, after conferencing with the ghost of Jack Tunney, I have some bad news. It appears as though due to the fact Taka was not an official entrant into the Rumble he cannot be considered a legal entry onto the list. I personally disagree with Jack, but he’s above my head on this one. There’s an article coming soon about my dislike of Jack Tunney’s term in office. Hulk Hogan was giving him favors.
5. Scott Steiner eliminates Samu in 1994
I’m sorry, but this shit is hilarious to me. The 1994 Rumble doesn’t tend to place highly on the all time list, but this is the forgotten gem of eliminations. Samu runs full sprint into the Steiners and finds his head trapped between the ropes like one of Jigsaw’s traps. Of course I mean the horror movie killer, and not the independent wrestler’s muscles. That isn’t what makes the elimination great, but rather the lackadaisical effort Scott Steiner puts forth to eliminate him. It’s the physical equivalent of the internet meme, “meh”. The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy had no time for three things in his life; wearing elbow pads, wearing protection, and Samu’s bullshit. Holla if you hear me.
4. Chris Benoit eliminates The Big Show in 2004
Man, it’s kind of crazy how the Big Show just eliminated himself huh?
3. Gene Snitsky eliminates Paul London in 2005
Paul London has a Death Wish similar to Charles Bronson, except I don’t think Finnegan the Space Owl was ever raped by Jeff Goldblum. As far as brutal Royal Rumble eliminations, this one takes the cake then eats the cake then digests the cake and then poops out the whole cake several hours later. For those of you too lazy to click the link, allow me to summarize. It appears as though Snitsky’s arm and Paul London’s throat chose to reenact the movie “When Harry met Sally”. Obviously, Snitsky’s arm would play the role of Billy Crystal and Paul London’s throat is marvelously cast as Meg Ryan. That’s a given. At first Meg Ryan doesn’t want to be with Billy Crystal and avoids their connection, but true love prevails and eventually she falls head over heels for him. In the case of Paul London…the head over heels was taken quite literally.
2. Maven eliminates The Undertaker in 2002
How a single move can define a career. This has to be my personal favorite rumble elimination of all time, and definitely among the most unexpected. Maven was fresh off of Tough Enough and The Undertaker was at his absolute peak of dickery and anger towards the world. I like to think that The Undertaker was so good at being a dickhead in the early 2000s because he was getting back at the wrestling business for making him feud with the likes of Giant Gonzalez and King Mabel. Also, his hands were really sweaty from wearing those gloves. The way it plays out is so well done, but especially how it cuts Undertaker off mid sentence. It’s so rad that The Undertaker has a Samuel L Jackson “Deep Blue Sea” moment, which of course means he’s attacked in the middle of a speech. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Maven is a shark, or at the least deepest, bluest his hat is like a shark fin.
1. Batista eliminates Shawn Michaels in 2010
This one isn’t the most brutal, funniest, or even most memorable. The reason this one is number one is because the way it played out. Everybody and their grandmother (why is it grandmothers love wrestling) were convinced that Shawn Michaels had victory in his reach in this much. HBK went straight up Martin Lawrence crazy on everybody in this match. He was throwing kicks like a shotputter…which is not one of my better analogies, but I get points for effort. They way Shawn gets eliminated, with his hands still out grasping for the rope , was unreal. I watched this match in a room full of people, and we spent 30 seconds convinced that this was a botch. It was dramatic, convincing and totally memorable. Take that WCW World War III.
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