WWE - Royal Rumble 2005
World Wrestling Entertainment // Unrated // $24.95 // March 1, 2005
Review by John Crichton | posted May 1, 2005
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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Once a year, the WWE takes fifteen wrestlers from Raw and fifteen from SmackDown! and throws 'em in the ring together in, what is usually, one slobberknocker of a match.

Since the very first Royal Rumble back in 17 years ago, the Royal Rumble has been pretty entertaining match. In case you don't know, it starts off with two men entering the ring to kick things off, and every 90 seconds a new superstar joins them in the ring. A wrestler is eliminated when they're thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the ground. The wrestler left standing in the ring wins a title match at WrestleMania. However, since the match itself only runs close to an hour, the rest of the card is filled with some matches that don't come anywhere close to matching that excitement.

The Royal Rumble took place on January 30th in Fresno, California. It runs 2 hours and 55 minutes, which goes by pretty quickly. Here's the card:

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Edge - I don't care much for Edge [especially in light of current events], but this wasn't that bad of a match. Shawn Michaels is still kickin' [pardon the pun] and he gives Edge a good workin' over. However, as I said earlier, since both gentlemen will be a part of the main event, this spot should've been filled with two wrestlers who weren't.

  • Casket Match [Undertaker vs. Heidenreich] - Heidenreich really, really annoys me. Undertaker isn't that much better. I thought this was a really lame match that only popped once two unannounced participants got involved. Surprising even me, since I really don't care for them either.

  • World Heavyweight Championship Match [Triple H vs. Randy Orton] - This was a good match. While there were some weak spots, they both put on a heck of a show. Most importantly, since HHH wrestled here it means he won't be winning the Rumble. However, that doesn't bode well for Orton, now does it?

  • Triple-Threat WWE Championship Match [JBL vs. Kurt Angle vs. Big Show] - This was another good match. Just not as good as it should've been. Show's size prevents him from doing anything too athletic, but I like him as a personality. JBL has drastically improved since his "Bradshaw/APA" days, but Kurt owned this match.

  • Royal Rumble Match - I gotta say I marked out heavily for this match. Part of the appeal for me was the combining of the brands and getting to see wrestlers who don't normally interact form alliances, however temporary. There are occasional "dead spots" where the wrestlers just seem to stand around, but this was a pretty damn entertaining match. And the best thing about this match? If you don't like the wrestlers in the ring, wait 90 seconds and you might get one you do like.

The following wrestlers are in the Royal Rumble match and the numbers in parenthesis are the position that they entered the ring:

      Raw Superstars

    • Chris Benoit (2)
    • the Hurricane (5)
    • Edge (7)
    • Shelton Benjamin (9)
    • Chris Jericho (11)
    • Muhammad Hassan (13)
    • Simon Dean (18)
    • Shawn Michaels (19)
    • Jonathan Coachman (21)
    • Viscera (23)
    • Gene Snitsky (26)
    • Kane (27)
    • Batista (28)
    • Christian (29)
    • Ric Flair (30)
      SmackDown! Superstars
    • Eddie Guerrero (1)
    • Daniel Puder (3)
    • Hardcore Holly (4)
    • Kenzo Suzuki (6)
    • Rey Mysterio (8)
    • Booker T (10)
    • Luther Reigns (12)
    • Orlando Jordan (14)
    • Scotty 2 Hotty (15)
    • Charlie Haas (16)
    • René Duprée (17)
    • Kurt Angle (20)
    • Mark Jindrak (22)
    • Paul London (24)
    • John Cena (25)

    They've also included promos that were previously seen on the weekly broadcasts to hype this event:

    • History Of the Royal Rumble [30s]
    • Casket Match
    • World Heavyweight Championship Match
    • Triple-Threat WWE Championship Match
    • the Story Behind the Triple-Threat WWE Championship Match [3m 48s]
    • More History Of the Royal Rumble [3m 35s]

    Listed as "DVD Exclusives" are:

    • After the Royal Rumble
    • Theodore Long Offers Batista A Contract
    • JBL Interview Raw 01.31.2005

    Video: As usual with WWE discs, for the amount of content on the disc, this was an pretty attractive transfer. It's presented in the full frame 1.33:1 ratio and the picture is pretty sharp. Colors are bright and there were only slight instances of compression artifacts.

    Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my living room while I was watching it. You're also given the option of watching the disc in Spanish.

    Conclusion: The highlight of this disc, hands down, is the Royal Rumble match. It's a shame they didn't cut out some of the individual matches and expand the Rumble, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. It was weird that there wasn't a women's match, but considering the way Vince has essentially fired every single Diva that can do anything even slightly resembling wrestling, I wasn't terribly surprised. While it's slightly skimpy where extras are concerned [thanks to the lengthy running time], this disc gets an enthusiastic Highly Recommended from me.

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