Division Four (The White Division):
'Rowdy' Ross Rutherford vs. Buzz
Topic: the Greatest WWE Gimmick Match of All Time
Over the past decade things in the WWE have changed drastically.
Change is necessary, vital actually, for a wrestling company's success. However, some changes over the past 10 years have been harmful to the company that has monopolized the professional wrestling business in North America.
A big problem in the WWE today is the lack of prestigious-ness that all of the accolades in the company now hold. The prime example that people like to use is the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
This title use to be called the "work horse" title because of how great the performers who held it use to be. It was considered a stepping stone to the WWE Championship at one time, but now it just seems to hot potato from one mid-carder to another with no direction.
It seems to hold little meaning. At one time interesting, well-developed feuds use to occur over the title, but that rarely seems to happen anymore.
The once prestigious championship means almost nothing to a wrestler credit anymore. Oh you held the Intercontinental Championship? Yeah well so has over half the roster.
It seems like that accomplishment means little now in the eyes of fans. The fault lies with the people working behind the scenes.
This is just one example to aid my point. I have plenty of others. I could go on to talk about how the King of the Ring tournament no longer holds any sort of value for the winner and how the Money in The Bank briefcase is now just a lazy and uncreative way to change World Championship holders.
You've all picked up on all of this already so I see no reason to go into that any further; on to my point.
There is an exception to this purge of prestigious accolades in the biggest wrestling company in the World. One thing seems to remain sacred in the land of WWE.
The single objection to this ongoing trend is the Royal Rumble match.
For nearly 25 years the annual Royal Rumble match has been one of the most important matches of the year. The winner gets a shot at a World Champion, the Holy Grail in WWE, on the biggest event of the year in pro wrestling, WWE WrestleMania.
The list of winners is a who's who of pro wrestling royalty: Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The greatest of all time have won the Royal Rumble match. To win this match means to forever be mentioned in the same breath as legends such as these.
This match has also been used to propel the stock of new talent, talent having trouble transitioning into the main event, and giving someone his first big break.
Guys like Brock Lesnar, Alberto Del Rio, and Rey Mysterio are all examples of athletes who used the Royal Rumble to springboard onto the biggest stage of them all.
The premise is simple to understand, unique to WWE, and very entertaining for viewers.
30 men, 40 beginning at this year's event, are involved in the match. Two men start the match and after that opponents fill up the ring after every 90 seconds. This goes on until there are no more contestants.
The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top ring rope.
This match was created by legendary professional wrestler, Pat Patterson. Even though it is just a slight variation of the typical battle royal match, the anticipation of seeing who will enter the match next and seeing the number of superstars trickle down in the closing moments never fails to get the crowd excited.
This simple process of elimination leaves fans wondering who has the best chance at winning.
The Royal Rumble has also become known as a time when you can expect huge returns and surprise entrants a-plenty. This spectacular match is what being a fan of wrestling is all about.
This match has been able to remain a prestigious accolade despite the WWE's over-saturated, bland content.
The anticipation, mystery, and unpredictability that this match creates has helped it become a huge part of pro wrestling. The Royal Rumble event is essentially the first WWE pay-per-view focused around a specialty match.
While the Royal Rumble match has never been a fantastic 5-star match of the year contender it serves its purpose. The Royal Rumble is what professional wrestling is all about. Think about it.
It is fun to watch, creates a sense of tension with its strict rules, and leaves fans cheering with excitement as their favorite athlete avoids elimination once again by grabbing a hold of the ropes for dear life.
For some of those athletes, it is their one and ONLY chance to go to WrestleMania and it could also be their only opportunity to challenge a World Champion too.
There is a lot on the line and the WWE superstars bring their A-game.
It is by no means a showcase of any wrestler's best skills, but I never hear anyone complain about that. It somehow avoids criticism because of just how important it is to the "Road to WrestleMania."
It is the ultimate opportunity for a WWE superstar to become the hero that overcomes all the odds and climbs the mountain on the biggest wrestling event of the year. Every epic story is based on this simple concept.
I mean the story the match tells writes itself.
It has to be the most serviceable match they could have created to decide the No. 1 contender for the World Championship at WrestleMania.
Look at Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit for example. Both men walked into the match as the first entrant. Both men outlasted all 29 other opponents and scaled the mountain and became World Champion at WrestleMania. Overcoming all the odds and defying all expectations—they found success and fulfilled their dreams.
This match contains everything a wrestling fan could ask for, plain and simple.
While McMahon has done a good job of taking what has worked elsewhere and using it to the best of its ability in the WWE, he has also come across a few original match variations and none have found more success and popularity than this event.
A place where superstars take their first step towards immortality. A place where moments are frozen in time forever. A place where one lucky wrestler's passion and determination persevere. A place where legends are born.
The Royal Rumble.
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