The Royal Rumble is upon us once again to help make Roman Reigns look even stronger. Last year, I took a look at the best #1 and #2 entrants. This year, I decided to showcase the top ten final four competitors. Because as fun as the Rumble is, everyone knows the best part is when it’s down to the last four wrestlers.
After having heard Buddy Landel on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast recently, and getting to know more about him other than my limited knowledge of his cup of coffee that was his WWF run, I realized he was an entertaining story teller and another tragic “what could’ve been” wrestling tale, and not just some poor man’s Ric Flair. So in honor of Buddy Landel, I figured I’d post this brief cameo of his in the movie Box of Moonlight. RIP “Nature Boy”.
It only took him four tries, but finally… The Rock did an actual wrestling-related sketch on Saturday Night Live. And it was pretty damn good. Hell, the entire episode was pretty damn good and hilarious. It also didn’t hurt that the promo had WWE logos all over and was pretty much an ad for WrestleMania
31 “Press Play”.
So people feel Roman Reigns doesn’t deserve his championship match at WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar, despite the legally binding contract that is winning the Royal Rumble. But this isn’t the first time the WWE has accelerated a wrestler’s path to the main event, or even thrown a bone to a long-time mid-carder that had no business being in a match that had the title graphic “WWE Championship” before the bell rang. To be fair though this list will only concentrate on those undeserved number one contenders that were given pay-per-view title shots, or else it’d be filled with every wrestler Bret Hart faced in 1992, or almost every other superstar Hulk Hogan defeated on Saturday Night’s Main Event.
With the 2015 Royal Rumble upon us, I’d be a fool not to make this month’s 10 Count! Royal Rumble related. With so many lists out there I figured I’d take a look at the top 10 first two Rumble entrants. These guys usually help set the tone for the Rumble. It’s even better when the two guys have some sort of backstory. This is a marquee WWE event, second only to WrestleMania, so you need to start it off with the right pair of wrestlers because, no disrespect to D’Lo Brown, are you seriously going to give a shit when the first two entrants are D’Lo and Grand Master Sexay?
Playing dress up is part of the fun of being a professional wrestler. Hell, it’s part of the fun of being a professional wrestling fan. But it’s even more fun watching other wrestlers as their rivals mocking the way they dress and/or talk. In reality, it’s not that hard to impersonate a wrestler. Pro wrestlers are relatively one-dimensional cartoon characters. They oftentimes wear the same clothes and spout out memorable catchphrases. So, in the spirit of it being October and with Halloween and all, let’s look at some of the best moments in wrestlers dressing up as other wrestlers history.
Weight: 309 lbs.
Hometown: Metro City, USA
Finisher: The Pothole Plugger
Video Game: Saturday Night Slam Masters, Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters 2, Final Fight 1-3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
I’m not that big a gamer, but being a huge wrestling fan I always made sure to play every wrestling video game I could get my hands on. While this feature won’t go in depth about certain wrestling games, for that you have Joe Gagne’s Funtime Pro Wrestling Arcade, I will highlight some of the more popular fictional wrestling characters in video game culture. First up, the former Mayor of Metro City, “Macho” Mike Haggar.
Oftentimes, a foreign wrestler who has such a strong hatred for America that it could only be remedied by moving to the U.S., joining the WWE, and fighting American wrestlers in American cities, with the occasional tour to other countries where they’re still booed, will sometimes turn babyface once they realize that America isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. Usually, the foreigner’s xenophobic stance on American culture is gradually pacified by an American friend. Or, in the case of Tajiri and Kozlov, someone who speaks English better than they do. More often than not, despite how talented the wrestler is, assimilating to American culture means letting your guard down and becoming the comic relief. Because when we Americans aren’t busy trying to run foreign people out of our country, we’re usually laughing at them.
The underdog gimmick has evolved so much throughout the years that it can be divided up into subcategories. Before, a wrestling underdog wasn’t much of a contender and had no real hopes of winning, aside from pulling off an upset or two. Now, the underdog can take the form of a smaller-than-average, but scrappy wrestler with a never say die attitude, to a loveable loser type who fares better in backstage skits, than inside the ring; to a talented wrestler who’s good enough to win, and can, but never gets a fair shake. This post will focus on those wrestlers who were consistently put in David and Goliath type situations (both figuratively or literally), and built careers out of being long-term Davids.
This month’s 10 Count will feature the top moments in which wrestlers took matters into their own hands and unleashed their frustrations on upper level management. With this past week’s revelation of The Corporation 2.0, us wrestling fans will witness another boss vs. employee storyline that made the Attitude Era and Steve Austin famous. Despite how many times it’s been rehashed over and over again, from taking on the actual CEO of the company to the assistant to the regional general manager of Raw; anytime a popular wrestler goes up against any figure of authority it’s going to generate instant heat. Granted, I really wish this storyline had been dropped out of the pro wrestling storyline rotation, considering that it spawned the never-ending turnover rate of meaningless General Managers. But this time it’s a fresh of breath air, considering the involvement of head honcho himself, Vince McMahon, and the fact that Daniel Bryan is a superstar on the rise and not an already established one. At least not in the eyes of the WWE Universe. Hopefully we’ll get a few moments in which Daniel Bryan will make the figureheads of the WWE look foolish and get a few Busaiku Knee Kicks in for good measure. I really hope he gets in a few Busaiku Knee Kicks.