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    Friday, September 18, 2020

    The Supercard (9/18/20): Let's Get Ready to Rumble

    NJPW and ROH Supercard Honor Rumble


    The Royal Rumble. The granddaddy of all gimmick matches. A battle royal match with the stipulation of wrestlers coming out one at a time every two (or how much time is necessary *wink wink*) minutes is one of those things in pro-wrestling which just works. Not only do you get the bang for your buck by seeing so many different wrestlers, but there are also very few things in the sport that can be as satisfying as waiting for that timer to hit zero, revealing the next wrestler.

    However, this style of a battle royal isn't just limited to Vince's kingdom (thankfully). Matches that are similar to the Royal Rumble have been around for decades in other promotions and there have been some truly memorable ones in recent memory. With that being said, this week on Supercard I will show you some of my favorite "rumble" matches. 

    Disclaimer: You do not have to watch all of these straight. Wrestling fatigue is real and these matches are LONG.

    Casino Battle Royale (AEW Double or Nothing 2019)


    AEW uniquely made their own version of the rumble match, which allowed it to be shorter and more concise. Instead of having 30 wrestlers come out one after the other, 21 wrestlers are divided into four groups via literal luck of the draw, with each group coming out later into the match depending on how high their suit is, with the Joker card coming out last.

    The first match of its kind, the 21 men who were chosen to compete in the match had the professional wrestling world anticipating whether or not this match would work. Spoiler alert: it did.

    Besides a face-off between Joey Janela and Adam Page, this rumble match lacked in storyline beats but more than made up for it in sheer fantasy warfare. Having legends like Billy Gunn and Tommy Dreamer to face off with rising stars like MJF and Jungle Boy is a treat. Plus, the ending sequence of the match has to be one of the most satisfying battle royal finishes in the past decade.

    G1 Supercard Honor Rumble (NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard)


    Minoru Suzuki came out at number two. Enough said.

    Although the ROH side wasn't as star-studded (recent ROH booking deserves a complete breakdown), the New Japan side of things definitely showed out. With the likes of Suzuki, Shingo Takagi and Tomohiro Ishii repping the King of Sports tossing up with American favorites like Cheeseburger and Kenny King, the match made for the type of dream booking that smarks love.

    However, what makes this match memorable is the last entrant. I am not going to spoil it for the sake of people who don't know yet but, if you're a fan of Japanese wrestling or WCW in the '90s, you are in for a great surprise. You'll get what I mean.

    Main Event: 30 Man Rumble for the WCPW Championship (WCPW No Regrets 2017)


    The reason I put this match in the main event over the other two matches with bigger names is that I feel this one told a much better overall story. With Drew Galloway (WWE's Drew Mcintyre) on his way to NXT, the gauntlet was stacked so that he wouldn't leave with the belt. Imagine Royal Rumble 2016 but replace Roman with Drew and place stakes that people are invested in. Add the Mexican stipulation of counting pinfalls and submissions and throw in some of the best wrestlers in the local UK scene, you get a fantastic rumble match.

    The match had great moments through in through. The Prestige faction played the numbers game with believable arrogance. We saw the re-debut of Matt Striker. We get to see the commentary debut of Stu Bennett (WWE's Wade Barrett). Cody Rhodes almost gave the too-sweet to his former WWE work buddies in Galloway and Mysterio (he's in this match too). The MVP of the match has to be Zack Gibson—he did the heel move of doing commentary during the match so perfectly that it's genuinely satisfying to see him get dropped. 

    In the end, we saw the hand of British wrestling scene original Martin Kirby raised and a prophecy fulfilled. For WCPW fans, this was their Kofi-mania moment and you could feel it through the screen.

    Photos and videos courtesy of All Elite Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor and WhatCulture Pro Wrestling
    *****

    Jacob Tambunting is a freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University currently studying BS Psychology. In his high school years, he authored plays for competitions, essays for projects, and fan fiction for fun.  He currently lives with his two parents, his two siblings, and his two dogs, and is probably writing something angsty on his 10-year-old laptop.
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    Item Reviewed: The Supercard (9/18/20): Let's Get Ready to Rumble Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jacob Tambunting
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