Report by Richard Gray

We’re officially on the Road to WrestleMania! Welcome to Royal Rumble 2004.

Fireworks fill the arena and we are live in Philadelphia, PA. Jim Ross greets us, we go to the announcers table where Jerry Lawler and The Coach are joined by The Coach. The Coach says that he joined them just to see the Dudley Boyz get beat up.

We go to Michael Cole and Tazz pumping tonight’s SmackDown matches. They send us to the Spanish announcers welcoming us.

Match #1 Tables Match World Tag Team Titles
– The Dudley Boyz vs. Evolution’s Batista & Ric Flair (c)
Batista opens with some insults directed towards the Dudley Boyz. The match begins with all four men battling on the outside. Flair is taking on D-Von while Bubba faces Batista. Batista got hit in the ribs hard. The bell rings and the Dudley Boyz are in the ring setting up a table for Ric Flair. Batista comes in and saves the day, throwing the table out of the way.

D-Von takes out Batista as Flair lays down after an assault from Bubba. Flair starts a counter, but he is in trouble against Bubba using the table to his advantage.

Batista is back in to help Flair get the control back. Batista and Flair are cleaning house with the Dudleyz. The Dudleyz counter for a moment, but Ric Flair is too strong. Batista is on the outside and Flair attempts to go to the top but he is thrown off.

The Dudleyz set up a table, but The Coach is heading for the ring. The 3-D setup is in place as Bubba throws The Coach in the ring.
The distraction takes it’s toll as Batista comes out of nowhere and is able to get back in the ring and send D-Von through the table. The bell rings and the victory is theirs! Ric Flair picks up the microphone and says Evolution forever!

Winners: Batista & Ric Flair (retain titles)

We’re backstage with Josh Matthews talking to John Cena. He cuts a rapping promo and gets a pop from the crowd in the arena. Rob Van Dam comes by and says that his promo was cool. Cena says that RVD can suck his candy cane and cuts another promo.

Word Life screams Cena as we cut out to arena shots.

Match #2 Cruiserweight Championship
– Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia)
Surprisingly, Noble helps his blind girlfriend Nidia out to the ring. The bell rings and Mysterio starts with his high flying assault. Jamie Noble quickly counters and slams Mysterio’s face into the turnbuckle. Noble drops Mysterio on his stomach and gets a two count. The opening control is his.

Noble continues his control until Mysterio fights back with a vicious counter. Spinning head scissors on Noble followed by a bulldog. Mysterio gets Noble for a two count and goes for a crossbody. Noble counters working on the midsection. Nidia grabs Noble’s leg, giving Rey Mysterio the advantage!

Rey uses a high flying tactic and pins Noble for the win!

Winner: Rey Mysterio (retains title)

Match #3 Family Matters
– Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero Sr.)
The bell rings and both men circle each other in the ring. They lockup and we are underway! Referee Nick Patrick tries to get the two individuals to break the hold and finally they do. Chavo slaps Eddie in the face, but Eddie looks extremely ticked off. The crowd chants for Eddie as he goes for control.

Eddie slams Chavo into the turnbuckle. The two men back off and get ready to lock up again. Chavo applies a hold and slams Eddie into the turnbuckle. Chavo gives Eddie another slap as the two get ready to lock up again. This time Eddie looks to have the control, but the match is slow getting into action. Eddie connects a backhand chop on Chavo.

Chavo stares at Eddie after the blow and goes with the control. Chavo connects some backhand chops on Eddie, but he counters with a rake to Chavo’s eyes. Chavo staggers around the ring to see while referee Nick Patrick checks to see if he is ok. Eddie takes Chavo to the ground and applies a reverse arm bar.

Chavo counters and sends both individuals to the outside. Chavo Sr. hits Eddie while Chavo uses the announcers table to hurt Eddie. Chavo throws Eddie back into the ring where he give him vicious right hands. The crowd rallies behind Eddie, but Chavo is throwing all kinds of blows.
Eddie is yet to throw a punch, but goes for an arm hold and connects. Referee Nick Patrick checks Chavo for submission, Chavo responds by telling him to get the hell away from him. The hold is broke and Eddie tries to keep the control.

He is met by a huge back body drop by Chavo and a two count. Chavo connects two vertical suplexes Eddie counters with headbutts and another suplex. Eddie goes to the top for the Frogsplash. He connects and gets the three count!

Winner: Eddie Guerrero

The crowd shots for Eddie while he remains in the ring with an agree face. Eddie takes out Chavo Guerrero Sr. with a low blow. He stands over Chavo Jr. and beats him in the face while running his mouth to him. Eddie goes back over to Chavo Sr. and ties his neck tie to the bottom rope.

This is a display of “Latino Heat” as he is giving Chavo a vicious assault. Right hands are in order from Eddie to the face of Chavo. Eddie pulls Chavo by his mouth and eyes, causing blood to go everywhere. Eddie’s music hits as Chavo Sr. can’t escape while Chavo bleeds.

We’re back after a short video package with Josh Matthews talking to Chris Benoit. He talks about being the number one entrant in the Royal Rumble. He is interrupted by Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista. Flair is drinking Champaign and tells Benoit that he is always second place.

Flair explains to Benoit why Evolution is the best and spills Champaign everywhere.

Match #4 WWE Heavyweight Championship
– Brock Lesnar (c) vs. “Hardcore” Bob Holly
Holly doesn’t waste any time as he knocks Lesnar off of the apron before he is even able to get into the ring. The bell hasn’t even rang, but Holly is on the outside assaulting Lesnar. Lesnar tries to counter, but the assault is to vicious.

The referee warns Holly and he goes to the ring. Holly goes to the top and misses Lesnar. Lesnar counters with hard boots to the body of Holly. Lesnar hits a snap suplex, followed by more boots.

Lesnar sends the fight to the outside only to roll him back into the ring. Brock gets a two count and connects a submission hold. The referee checks Hardcore Holly for submission. He shakes his head no as the event continues. The hold is broke and Lesnar continues the control.

Lesnar connects a powerful suplex and gets a two count. Lesnar connects the gut wrench submission hold once again. Tazz says that this hold leaves Holly in a trap and he must get to the ropes to break it. Holly gets to his feet, trying to gain leverage. Holly is up and the hold is about to be broke.

The hold is broke and Holly counters with right hands. Lesnar quickly counters and connects a head and arm submission hold. Brock is trying to wear down Holly’s neck, as the referee checks for submission. Holly’s still got heart left as a counter with elbows is in order.

Lesnar is up and knocked down by Holly. Hardcore connects the Alabama Slam after a huge dropkick. Holly gets a full nelson on Lesnar, he’s trying to break his neck. Holly takes the hold to the outside, Lesnar lays lifeless outside as Holly goes to the inside to clear the count.

Lesnar is back to the apron, but only to be met by Holly and his hold. Lesnar counters and both men are back in the ring. Lesnar counters from Holly and hits the F5 and seals the win with a three count!

Winner: Brock Lesnar (retains title)

We’re backstage with Triple H getting his wrist taped up. Shawn Michaels is shown in his locker room praying as we go to a video package.

Match #5 Last Man Standing World Heavyweight Championship
– Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
The two square off in the center of the ring before locking up. Triple H is the first to go for control, but Referee Earl Hebner tells the two to break the headlock. Trips connects with right hands on HBK, but Michaels counters with backhand chops. The control goes back and forth with right hands sent to both competitors. These guys are literally beating the hell out of each other already.

Triple H connects a facebuster while HBK was trying to get the control. Triple H gets HBK up and rams his head into Michaels’ midsection. Control continues to go back and forth but Trips is determined to get the control. However, just when it looks as if he has Michaels, he counters and connects a Figure Four Leglock. Triple H screams in pain.

The hold is perfectly applied by the challenger right in the center of the ring. Triple H is screaming louder.

The hold is broken and Triple H can hardly get to his feat. HBK works on Triple H’s hurt knee as Referee Earl Hebner starts the knockout count. Triple H counters by blasting Michaels over the ropes to the outside. Trips comes over to Michaels and throws him into the exposed announcing tables.

Michael Cole and Tazz clear out of the way as Triple H goes for a suplex. Shawn fights back with right hands. Triple H falls off as the crowd boos.

The fight goes back in the ring where Triple H counters. Triple H goes for the Pedigree but Shawn Michaels counters and sends him flying to the outside. Michaels goes for a moonsault to the outside and misses, only to crash into the Spanish Announce Table. Shawn is busted open as Triple H goes back into the ring.

Referee Earl Hebner starts the knockout count.

The count is broken as Shawn Michaels is to his feet. Triple H meets him on the outside and rolls him back into the ring to connect with vicious right hands. There is blood all over the face of Michaels. It is so much that it is covering the abdominal of Triple H. Earl Hebner begins the knockout count once again.

Michaels gets back to his feet, only to get beat up hard by Triple H. He sends Michaels to the ground. The count out begins again.

Michaels gets back to his feat and tells Triple H that he wants more. Shawn Michaels appears lifeless in the middle of the ring where the count begins. Triple H comes over to HBK and instructs him to stay down. Michaels lets Trips know that he came tonight to fight.

Miraculously Michaels starts to counter, but is met by a spinebuster from Triple H. HBK pulls himself up again only to hit the mat after a thunderous right hand. Triple H brings a chair into the ring. Michaels is crawling in the right, but before he can get up he is hit hard with a chairshot from Triple H.

Trips indicates that it is over as the knockout count starts.

Triple H goes for the Pedigree, but Michaels counters. Trips is staggering and HBK connects a hard chairshot to the face of Triple H. Triple H is busted open as he is met with hard right hands from Michaels. Triple H counters, but not for long as Michaels shows his heart, sending the champion to the mat. The count out starts.

Michaels is up and is using right hands to his advantage, sending the champion to the ground. Michaels goes to the outside to go to the top rope. His legs are like spaghetti, but he connects a flying elbow to the heart of the champion. The crowd erupts as Michaels pumps for Sweet Chin Music. He misses and is hit with a low blow from Triple H.

Both men are back up and Michaels gets the Sleeper hold on The Game. Blood is everywhere, Michaels looks like a madman. The hold is broken as Earl Hebner goes for the knockout count. Triple H gets up only to be met by right hands.

Trips is able to connect the DDT and both men are down for the knockout count. Triple H is stirring, but Michaels isn’t moving.

Michaels is back up and goes with backhand chops to the chest of Triple H. The Game goes for a big suplex, but Michaels counters. Both men are down once again for the knockout count. Neither one is moving, but all of the sudden at the count of 8 both of them are stirring. Hebner signals for the match to continue.

The Game hooks the Pedigree. Trips is down but stirring. HBK is out and being counted for the knockout. However, the count is on both men. Now Triple H is up. Michaels is the only one being counted. But he’s up. The crowd erupts!

Michaels connects Sweet Chin Music. Both men are down!

Referee Earl Hebner gets to ten with both men laying on the ground. They claim the bout a No Contest, but Triple H retains the title.

Winner: No Contest (Triple H retains title)

After the match, EMTs rush out to ringside as well as Batista and Ric Flair. Bull shit chants fill the arena as we cut out to a replay and then comments from Lawler and Ross. Triple H goes out on a stretcher as well as Shawn Michaels. Both men appear lifeless.

They are being carted to the back and Shawn Michaels gets off of the stretcher. He refuses to be carried out! Earl Hebner and a WWE agent help him walk out of the arena.

The Royal Rumble is NEXT!

The Royal Rumble is ready to begin with Howard Finkel in the ring. Eric Bischoff comes out and completely makes fun of SmackDown General Manager Paul Heyman. Heyman comes out to ringside extremely upset.

Heyman attacks Bischoff and Austin’s music hits. Steve Austin comes out on his four wheeler and says that he wants to know what the hell is going on here. He tells Heyman and Bischoff that they are wasting everyone’s time and that they are in clear violation of the law. He asks them who started it.

Austin hits Bischoff with the Stunner and has a beer with Paul Heyman. As soon as Heyman takes a drink, a Stunner for him! Austin drives off on his 4-wheeler.

We’re backstage with Goldberg and Terri. Brock Lesnar enters and tells Terri that he needs to be interviewing him. Goldberg and Lesnar start arguing and Goldberg promises that he will win the Rumble and go to WrestleMania to reclaim his title. Lesnar smirks at Goldberg and walks back.

Goldberg jumps in front of him and says some people have the nerve to call Mick Foley a coward. He says I don’t think so and we go out to Tazz and Jim Ross. Jim Ross says since Mick Foley isn’t here, he is a coward. Tazz reviews the rules.

Benoit’s music hits.

Match #6 30 Man Royal Rumble
– 15 SmackDown Superstars, 15 RAW Superstars
Chris Benoit is the first out to face Randy Orton, who drew number two. Chris Benoit opens with a vicious assault, but Orton stomps back with hard boots to the midsection of Benoit. Benoit gets a standing CrossFace across the nose of Orton.

The horn sounds and here comes Mark Henry.

Mark Henry is now in and is going against Benoit. Orton is laying low in the corner while Henry and Benoit battle it out. Tajiri comes out to the ring. There are now four men in the ring. Tajiri knocks down Randy Orton, but he is met by Benoit.

The German Suplexes are in order from Benoit. Orton comes over to face Henry who sends him to the mat. Benoit and Tajiri stagger around while Henry nearly eliminates Orton. Orton fights back, but is having a hard time getting him off his feet.

Bradshaw comes in very aggressive, but Benoit counters with the Crippler Crossface. Bradshaw is quickly thrown out as the fight continues inside of the ring. The 6th competitor is Rhyno.

He comes out and goes straight for Benoit. Meanwhile, Tajiri takes on Henry. Orton is resting while Benoit gets assaulted and Tajiri is eliminated. Rhyno eliminates Henry. Rhyno and Orton try and double team Benoit.

Benoit connects a head butt on Orton. But Rhyno continues to stomp the hell out of him. Rhyno switches gears to Orton for a moment as entrant number seven Matt Hardy comes to ringside.

Matt Hardy comes in with a lot of energy, but is nearly thrown out. Benoit, Orton, Rhyno, and Mattitude remain in the ring. Number eight Scott Steiner is the next to come out. He greets everyone with a clothesline. Steiner suplexes Rhyno but is hit with a German Supplex from Benoit.

Orton and Hardy battle it out while Rhyno kicks Benoit who is now down. Steiner is down, while Orton is nearly eliminated by Hardy. Matt Morgan is the next to come out. He enters to beat up Benoit with a huge powerbomb and connects a huge boot in Matt Hardy’s face.

Meanwhile, Steiner connects a suplex on Rhyno. Morgan pounds on Orton while Matt Hardy tries to throw Steiner out. Rhyno comes over to help. Morgan comes over to stop the elimination attempt.

Hurricane is the next to come to ringside
Hurricane comes in and goes quick. Hardy is almost out but hangs on for life. Rhyno, Benoit, Hardy, Morgan, and Benoit all remain in the ring as Booker T, entrant 11 comes out to ringside. Booker T is in and immediately starts to pound hard on Steiner. Hard boots follow as Benoit beats up on Morgan.

Rhyno is messing with Matt Hardy in the corner. Booker T moves to Orton, as Steiner is dazed out of the way. Meanwhile, Matt Morgan is toe-to-toe with Benoit. Benoit switches his attention to Orton. Book connects some high kicks on Steiner.

Here comes Kane!

Kane comes with chokeslams everywhere! Benoit is first, then 7 foot Matt Morgan is next. Matt Hardy is the next victim of Kane’s domination. The Undertaker’s music hits and Kane starts to scream. Booker T eliminates Kane, but Spike Dudley is out. Kane meets Spike Dudley going down the ramp and knocks him out.

Kane has been eliminated due to a distraction from the Undertaker’s music. Meanwhile, in the ring everyone is tired just trying to remain in.

Rikishi enters the ring as Benoit throws Rhyno over the top ropes to eliminate him. Booker T is going around with Matt Hardy. Rikishi is going against Matt Morgan, while Benoit and Orton go at it.

Dupree comes in and attempts to throw Hardy out. A second attempt is successful. Hardy is eliminated. Rikishi takes out Rene Dupree. Rikishi, Benoit, Orton, and Matt Morgan Remain.

A Train is next out and is nearly out. Rikishi is eliminated, then Booker T. There are three men left in the ring. A Train, Benoit, and Randy Orton. Matt Morgan must have been eliminated. Shelton Benjamin is number seventeen. He goes directly for Randy Orton.

A Train was eliminated during Benjamin’s entrance, but Benjamin is thrown out by Orton as soon as he goes for control.

Ernest “The Cat” Miller is out next and makes a big entrance dancing. Benoit and Orton are the only two left inside of the ring along side The Cat. They are laying lifeless and The Cat continues to dance. Orton and Benoit get up and throw out The Cat and his colleague.

Orton and Benoit go at it as the only two left in the ring. Angle’s music hits and he’s next out!

Kurt Angle comes out to face Chris Benoit while Orton rests in the corner. Angle hits a supplex on Benoit as Jim Ross says that he would love to have Kurt Angle on RAW. Angle attempts to lift Benoit out of the ring. Orton is up and starts to attack Angle.

Rico is next out with Miss Jackie. He is met by Orton who attacks him. Meanwhile, Benoit and Kurt Angle continue to fight it out. Rico goes to throw Orton out, but Orton hits RKO on Rico. Benoit is nailing German suplexes on Angle. Orton eliminates Rico.

Test’s music hits but he is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Randy Orton hits the RKO on Kurt Angle! We go backstage and Test is seen in the back laid out. Austin tells someone that they are the new 21. It is Mick Foley. Here he comes!

Mick Foley comes in and goes after Randy Orton. While being supported by the fans, he beats Orton up and eliminates Orton and himself. Their fight continues on the outside while Benoit and Angle are the only two wrestlers left in the ring. Foley assaults Orton on the outside, proving that he’s not a coward.

Meanwhile, Christian comes out to meet Benoit in the ring. Mick Foley picks up the ring stairs on the outside and takes out security. Orton gets up and connects a steel chairshot. He beats the hell out of Foley while the match continues in the ring. The fight continues up the ramp with Orton going for a chairshot.

Foley counters and pulls out Mr. Socko! Here comes Nunzio! Foley connects Mr. Socko on Nunzio while Orton escapes.

Christian, Benoit, and Kurt Angle remain in the ring. Kurt Angle barely escapes elimination. Nunzio has not been in the ring yet, while Kurt Angle attempts to throw out Christian. The Big Show is the next out as number 24. He goes straight for Kurt Angle while Benoit and Christian go at it.

Big Show takes out Angle and comes over to Christian and Chris Benoit to send them down.

Big Show assaults Kurt Angle and Christian. Chris Jericho is the next out and goes straight for the Big Show, who is the only superstar left standing at this point. Big Show counters back, but Christian jumps on him. Kurt Angle, Christian, Benoit, and Jericho all bond together and try to throw Big Show out.

Big Show fights them off with head butts while Jericho and Angle go at it. Charlie Haas is next out to ringside.

Benoit is nearly thrown out and Nunzio is still resting on the outside. Jericho eliminates Christian, I believe that is two years in a row. Big Show is working on Jericho, but is unsuccessful to eliminate him. Billy Gunn is number 27 and is back after a few months!

Gunn comes in and connects a bunch of right hands before connecting his signature maneuver on Big Show. Nunzio is shown hiding on the outside while Angle, Benoit, Jericho, Gunn, and Big Show remain in the ring.

Remember that Nunzio has not been eliminated. John Cena is the next to ringside.

Big Show finally pulls Nunzio in after taking out Cena. But Cena is back to his feet. Rob Van Dam is out next and we know that Goldberg is out next! Rob Van Dam comes in with an awesome spin kick and takes out Chris Jericho. Nunzio meets RVD and starts to take him down.

Meanwhile, Billy Gunn and the Big Show beat down Cena. Not for the long as Gunn connects a right hand on the Big Show. Cena connects FU on Kurt Angle. Goldberg is on his way out to ringside.

Goldberg is in and he is on fire. Nunzio jumps on his back, while RVD goes after Goldberg. Goldberg hits Nunzio with a hard Speer and throws Billy Gunn to the outside. Goldberg lifts Nunzio above his head and sends him to the outside. Brock Lesnar is in the ring and hits Goldberg with an F-5.

Lesnar walks to the outside as Goldberg struggles inside the ring. He gets up and tells Lesnar that he’s NEXT! Goldberg is eliminated by Kurt Angle, only to be met by Chris Jericho.

The Big Show is back up cleaning house, but not for long as he is soon down and is hit by the Five Star Frog Splash by RVD and a Flying Headbutt by Benoit. Before the headbutt, Cena was able to administer a move to Big Show. Everyone left in the ring (Cena, RVD, Angle, Benoit, Jericho) all try to pick up Big Show to throw him out of the ring.

They are having a hard time as Big Show throws all of them off and throws Cena out. We are left with five men in the ring until Big Show throws Van Dam out, followed by an attempt on Jericho. Jericho rolls back in off of the apron and tries to eliminate the Big Show.

Jericho is nearly eliminated again, but counters. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho. Big Show is tapping, but that doesn’t mean anything.

Jericho is eliminated after a monster chokeslam form the Big Show all of the way out to the inside. The only competitors left are Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and the Big Show. Kurt Angle connects the Angle Slam on Big Show. While Benoit goes after Angle, Angle counters with an inverted Angle Slam.

Kurt goes for Big Show, but he is met with a chokeslam attempt. Angle is able to hook his ankle lock on the Big Show. He taps again, but that does nothing. Big Show throws out Kurt Angle with his foot after countering the ankle lock. We’re down to Big Show and Chris Benoit. Benoit is ready for control.

Big Show goes for the chokeslam but Benoit counters with the Crippler Crossface. The Big Show taps for a third time. Benoit has been in the ring for nearly one hour and is left fighting a 500 pound man. The record for a competitor in a Royal Rumble is held by Ric Flair who stayed in for 64 minutes back in 1991.

Big Show stands over Chris Benoit and runs his mouth. He picks Benoit up and lifts him over his head. Benoit counters and with a suplex throws Big Show out. Benoit wins! He’s done it!

Winner: Chris Benoit (will go on to WMXX for title shot)