Hello! This is a detailed review of Royal Rumble 2005. Welcome back to the series. The Royal Rumble match is unique, and it’s been fun reliving the classics. I hope you have enjoyed it so far.
Royal Rumble #18 – California
With an attendance of 12,000, the event held over 5,000 less fans than the previous years venue. The tagline was “All the rumbling, minus the dancing and singing”. Unlike previous Rumbles, much emphasis was on the rivalry between the Raw & Smackdown brands. Also, it was the last time Eddie Guerrero would be involved before his shocking death late in the same year.
1) In the opening match, Edge cheated by using the ropes to get a win over Shawn Michaels.
2) Thanks to help from his brother Kane, The Undertaker was able to fend off interference from Gene Snitsky to defeat Heidenreich in a Casket match.
3) With assistance from Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, The Basham Brothers and Orlando Jordran, JBL retained the WWE Championship against Kurt Angle and Big Show.
4) Despite Evolution being banned from ringside, “The Game” Triple H found a way to defeat former member Randy Orton to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
Jim Ross (Raw) & Tazz (Smackdown) provide commentary for their respective brands. How eerie is it that both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit start this match? JR says “this is gonna’ be good”. Taz reminds us how well these guys know each other. They tie up and we get some quality wrestling before the crowd erupts with an “Eddie” chant.
The “Tough Enough Kid” Daniel Puder makes his way out as #3. He gets on the microphone and lets the audience know they are about to witness history. Puder says he will be the first Tough Enough Champion to win the Rumble. He gets in the ring and is double teamed by Guerrero & Benoit; they chop his chest til it’s red raw. Eddie hits him with the Three Amigos before the next entrant is due.
Hardcore Holly is #4, and he asks Guerrero & Benoit if it’s cool if he takes over on Puder. They accept, and watch as Holly punishes the rookie with more chops. The disdain for Puder is so great, all three of ’em decide to beat him down. After an Alabama Slam, Holly unceremoniously throws Puder out of the ring. The Hurricane #5. As Holly watches Hurricane enter, Guerrero & Benoit team up to eliminate him.
They chop the super hero, and double shoulder block. Eddie tries to blindside Chris to throw him over the top, but he’s not falling for it. With the opportunity, Hurricane gets in some offense and poses. Benoit surprises him with even more chops .. must be over a hundred chops at this point. He whips Hurricane over to Eddie who throws him over his shoulder to the floor. And we’re back to just Guerrero & Benoit, til the often forgotten Kenzo Suzuki makes his Rumble debut.
Much like the rest, he is double teamed by the former Radicalz. Benoit still chopping like it’s going out of style. Beautiful dropkick by Guerrero, and snap suplex. After Eddie knocks Suzuki down, Benoit returns the favour by attempting to eliminate Guerrero. Edge is doing double duty, as he runs very quickly to the ring and goes after Eddie. He tries eliminating Latino Heat, who holds on to the ropes with everything he’s got.
Ring starting to fill up as Rey Mysterio enters. After some cool offense, Rey uses his leg strength and athleticism to throw Suzuki over the top rope. Shelton Benjamin’s out, and after Edge. As he works over Edge, Guerrero tries eliminating Benoit as he’s trying to eliminate Mysterio. JR is surprised when Mysterio escapes and uses a chop block to save Edge from being eliminated by Benjamin. Booker T #10. He takes over from where Shelton left off on Edge. Eric Bischoff makes he way to ringside, and Teddy Long soon follows.
Break The Walls Down! Here comes the first undisputed champion Chris Jericho. Y2J takes it to everyone in sight. Luther Reigns is out next .. remember him? Yeah, I forgot about him too. And here comes one of the best spots of the match, as the Raw guys come together on one side of the ring, while the Smackdown guys band together on the other side. There’s a huge stare down, as the crowd erupts with anticipation.
And they go at it! Raw vs. Smackdown, all fighting out of respect for their brands. Oh no .. here comes Muhammad Hassan. The crowd boo, as the seemingly unstoppable brand brawl comes to a screeching halt at the thought of Hassan joining them. It’s like walking in to a lion’s den, as everyone jumps on Hassan like they ain’t been fed. They savagely beat him, before they all pick him up and dump him out. The crowd loves it!
Orlando Jordan’s grin is #14. Scotty 2 Hotty fails to enter, as the beaten Hassan destroys him with the Camel Clutch before he can get to the ring. Charlie Haas out next, making hardly any impact as usual. Booker T almost kicks his face off though, just because. He eliminates Luther Reigns and Orlando Jordan in quick succession, before nailing the Spinaroonie! But it backfires, as Guerrero & Mysterio team up to eliminate him. Eddie shows deep regret, as he’s Booker’s friend and thought it was Shelton Benjamin.
Rene Dupree enters with his French Poodle Fifi. Benjamin & Haas briefly team together to hit their old tag team finisher on Dupree. Shelton leaps at Edge and lands on the top turnbuckle, but it’s not a wise move .. as Edge simply pushes him off for elimination. Remember Simon Dean? He’s #18. Such great heat too, the fans can’t stand him. Instead of entering, he gears up at ringside for a training routine. Much to the horror of the crowd, Edge sneaks up behind Eddie and eliminates him. They really don’t like it .. that’s how much they love Latino Heat.
Simon Dean finally enters, literally the second before Shawn Michaels is due at #19. HBK wastes no time eliminating Dean. Charlie Haas is the next to go. Kurt Angle’s next, so you know what time it is? Suplex City! German Suplex to Benoit, Belly to Belly to Mysterio, German to Jericho, Angle Slam to Edge and Dupree, but not Shawn Michaels, who tries to reverse in to a Sweet Chin Music, but is caught with the Ankle Lock! HBK escapes, and eliminates Angle with the Sweet Chin Music! Angle is furious.
Jonathan Coachman? Really? He hits Benoit in the back with a cheeky shot before running frantically to the ring ropes. Mark Jindrak #22. Angle gets back in the ring and eliminates Michaels! He busts HBK open, and locks in the Ankle Lock on the steel steps! Officials split them up, and Kurt tells Shawn “your ass is mine!“. 500 Ib Viscera makes his way to the ring. Paul London #24 .. we’re filling up again before a big guy enters. Rene Dupree dances after his signature move, and as expected, leaves him open to elimination by a mocking Chris Jericho.
It’s Thuganomics Cena! The best Cena there is. He’s hitting everything with a heartbeat. He runs in to Viscera, who isn’t so easy to take off his feet. Cena holds on to the rope, baiting Viscera in to walking up to him .. to be eliminated! A taped up Snitsky hits the ring, but he’s still a dangerous man. Paul London jumps on his back and gets a sleeper on him. Snitsky struggles, and places London on the ring apron. London dodges Snitsky, and goes for a kick, but instead runs in to a lariat which sends him somersaulting to the floor.
Snitsky & Cena staring contest. They fight, and Cena takes him up for the FU, but Snitsky struggles out and hits him in the face with a big boot. Big Red Machine Kane! Still holds the record for most eliminations. As medics come to help London, Kane’s chokeslamming Edge, Benoit, Cena, Jericho, (one arm) Mysterio, and lastly grabs Jindrak by the neck and throws him out. Coach attacks Kane for some reason .. so Kane grabs him by the throat, giving Snitsky a chance to gain an advantage. The power of Snitsky, as he pumphandle slams Kane to the ground; leaving only him standing.
Oh my god! It’s “The Animal” Batista. He takes it to Snitsky and eliminates him almost immediately. Brief stare down between Kane & Batista before they get to brawling. An arm wrench on the injured arm, gives Batista the chance to hit an impressive Batista Bomb on the Big Red Machine. Jericho launches himself at Batista .. but is caught and dumped over the top.
Christian is #29, being accompanied to ringside by Tyson Tomko. Mysterio hits the 619 to Kane, helping Cena to eliminate him with the FU. Mysterio & Cena discuss and agree to an alliance, so they work on Coach while Ric Flair appears as the last entrant .. Wooo! Flair & Batista work together on Coach, and Ric gets his only elimination as a reward. Christian’s next, and really doesn’t last long as Batista throws him out on top of his friend Tomko. Still in the match, Benoit finds Flair and gives him a taste of his own medicine with some chops to the chest.
Batista quickly rushes to Flair’s aid and spine busters Benoit. Evolution team up to eliminate him. Just as they set their eyes on someone else, the dirtiest player in the game thinks .. maybe I should eliminate Batista? How smart would that be? To eliminate the one guy who has my back in this? It fails spectacularly, and Flair pleads with him. Mysterio & Edge double dropkick Batista. Flair battles Edge, but there’s not much he can do as he’s sent flying over the top to the floor. We’re down to Cena, Batista, Edge and Mysterio.
Edge and Mysterio go after each other, but Cena and Batista split them up. Edge dodges Batista and hits the spear! Spear on Cena! Rey dodges a spear and sets him up for the 619! He goes for the West Coast Pop, but Edge evades and throws Rey over. Mysterio holds on, but Edge bounces off the ropes and spears him to the floor! He goes after Cena & Batista, but they eliminate him together! So we’re down to the final two. The crowd erupts, as this is the first time Cena & Batista will square off one-on-one.
An elimination via FU fails. Batista goes for the Bomb, but Cena counters and they both fall over the top and hit the floor at the same time! There’s bedlam among the Raw & Smackdown referees, as each say their guy won. Vince McMahon angrily rushes to the ring. In his haste, he smashes his knee on the ring apron as he jumps in and blows it completely.
Vince is left sitting in the ring with a blown out knee, as everyone waits on a decision. Each man pleads their case to him, but in the end Finkel announces the match will be restarted. They attempt their finishers but counter each other. Spinebuster gives Batista the advantage, which he takes by picking Cena up and launching him over the top. Batista earns the right to to face the WWE or World Champion at Wrestlemania 21.
Another enjoyable match, with the two (arguably) hottest stars of the time duking it out as the last two. Also yes, Vince McMahon would go on to blow his other quad backstage, by standing on it after blowing the other one in the ring. The ending was botched, as Batista was never meant to be eliminated at the same time as Cena; so a lot of improvising was needed to make sure Batista left as the winner.
The last four included no former World Champions. Just think of how many titles Batista, Cena, Edge and Mysterio went on to win? You want to know how many? Ok, well as of this writing .. it’s 36, if you include both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships. WWE knew what they were doing by booking these guys as the final four, as at least three became permanent main event players for the next 5-10 years.
As I go on to say in my Wrestlemania review, this was a new era for WWE. The Attitude Era was dead in the water, and the less controversial “PG” era was around the corner. You know, it was difficult for my younger self to accept guys like Cena, Batista and Orton taking the spotlight over others who I felt were more deserving. Besides, I won’t go in to that too much. You can read up further at the link below. What did you think of Royal Rumble 2005? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section. Thank you!
Would you like to read up on what happened next? You can find my old, freshly edited (as of June 2019) review on Wrestlemania 21 here: >>> Wrestlemania 21