The All-Time January PPV Card


Scott & Justin’s Pick: Kurt Angle vs. Tazz

Chad’s Pick: Kurt Angle vs. Tazz

Ben’s Pick: WWF Champion Triple H vs. Cactus Jack in a Street Fight

Chad’s Take: Ben picks a spectacular match for his WWF championship choice. I gave consideration to selecting this one as well, but ultimately went with a later match. Tazz felt like such a big star coming out and beating Angle to the huge reaction. It was all downhill from there. Have to score this round to Mr. Morse.

Ben’s Take: And here’s where I zigged where everybody else zagged. Basically, I didn’t take the 92 Rumble to take this instead. Worth it? I think so, but that’s for other people to judge. To me, the quality as well as the historical significance of this one proved too enticing not to include. I consider it not only the best WWF title match in the history of the Royal Rumble show, but one of the best ever period. 2000 had a tremendous undercard with Tazz/Angle as well as the awesome Dudley Boyz/Hardy Boyz Tables match, but the crowd never got hotter than when HHH and Cactus brawled all over Madison Square Garden. This match made Triple H and cemented the legend of Mick Foley one last time. For my money, the WWF championship finally broke free of a tepid 1999 here and became a big deal again, something guys would bleed and endure incredible pain for. Again, given its overall significance and the huge impact it had on the career of some major players, I could not leave this off. Of course now I start becoming really curious what WWF/WWE title match Chad’s holding out for…



The 2001 ladder match
The 2001 ladder match

Scott & Justin’s Pick: Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho in a Ladder match

Chad’s Pick: Ivory vs. Chyna for the Women’s Championship

Ben’s Pick: Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho in a Ladder match

Chad’s Take: This is where I really started to curse my earlier IC pick as the terrible match that is Chyna vs. Ivory sticks out like a sore thumb compared to Benoit vs. Jericho. Morse is two for two in the past two years at really strengthening his card.

Ben’s Take: I had the IC title available and I had both guys available, so why not? I also haven’t used the Ladder match gimmick, so that’s some more seasoning to sprinkle on the overall presentation. I’m a bit baffled as to Chad going with Piper/Mountie in ’92 over this, but I guess you can make the case that had the more satisfying moment and you want to balance those with the actual wrestling, however in this case I gotta disagree with you, my Southern fried friend.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon in a Street Fight

Chad’s Pick: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon in a Street Fight

Ben’s Pick: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon in a Street Fight

Chad’s Take: A gift from the January gods. This match is a whole lot of fun and it involves two guys that won’t be used in singles matches later on. I was live for this event with my dad and he took great delight in his favorite wrestler (Flair) whipping up on the boss.

Ben’s Take: A match more awesome than it had any right to be, plus there’s no danger of wanting to use Vince or Flair somewhere else unless I got stuck somewhere down the line, which I had confidence I wouldn’t. I actually flinched for a second just due to using two street fights over the course of three years, but I landed on that being a common enough stipulation that I’d probably run up against it in some form or another anyhow, plus people dig brawls. Also, this would be my offering to the Nature Boy for snubbing his big ’92 moment.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Chad’s Pick: Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Ben’s Pick: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie

Chad’s Take: Ben’s run of good matches comes to a screeching halt here. The Lesnar vs. Show match isn’t anything special (and hey we get an encore this year) but it is vastly superior to the women’s offering and the never-ending feud between Dawn and Torrie.

Ben’s Take: Necessity. I’m not psyched to lose the opportunity to use Brock, even in a short match like this one—which I saw live!—but after crunching all the numbers and having to fulfill the rule of having a World title match, I needed to save Big Show and felt like I could sacrifice this. Couldn’t use any of the other stuff here due to replicating titles or workers, so gratuitous T&A it is.



Eddie and Chavo from 2004
Eddie and Chavo from 2004

Scott & Justin’s Pick: Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero

Chad’s Pick: The Royal Rumble Match

Ben’s Pick: Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero

Chad’s Take: I like my choice in regards to this one. Chavo vs. Eddie is a good match but they were never able to convey the hatred that other family feuds were able to. Chris Benoit going through the Rumble ending with him leveraging out the Big Show makes the rumble of 2004 my second favorite edition behind 1992.

Ben’s Take: No other Eddie Guerrero on any other Rumble, so a great chance to use him here, even if he and Chavo definitely had better matches against one another in WCW. Interesting choice by Chad, though not a bad one at all, as this remains among the more memorable Rumble matches, so if you’re not going to use ’92, you could do a lot worse. Still aching to know which title match he saved…



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Muhammad Hassan vs. Jerry Lawler

Chad’s Pick: Muhammad Hassan vs. Jerry Lawler

Ben’s Pick: Edge vs. Shawn Michaels

Chad’s Take: Really nice pick by Ben this late in the game. Lawler vs. Hassan is fairly terrible and really only here out of necessity and I guess to have Lawler on the card.

Ben’s Take: At this point, everybody else worked themselves into a corner by taking Shawn Michaels off the board in 1990 and had to go to a terrible New Year’s Revolution match, but I went another way. Worth losing Rockers/Orient Express to be able to both have HBK/Edge in a rare singles match and not have to watch Jerry Lawler killing Muhammad Hassan’s push out the gate? You might not feel that way, but I did.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash vs. Gregory Helms vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London

Chad’s Pick: Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash vs. Gregory Helms vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London

Ben’s Pick: Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash vs. Gregory Helms vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London

Chad’s Take: Another secondary title added to the card! I vaguely remember anything about this match which doesn’t bode well for how good it is.

Ben’s Take: Great value pick that we all took as you get a bunch of talented mid-card guys, another title, and an exciting potential opener with no breaks without cutting off anything you’d need somewhere else.



Cena and Umage from 2007
Cena and Umage from 2007

Scott & Justin’s Pick: The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM

Chad’s Pick: John Cena vs. Umaga WWE Championship

Ben’s Pick: The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM

Chad’s Take: The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM match is a great opener that follows a classic southern tag structure. Umaga vs. Cena is my pick for the match of the 2000’s in the WWE and the most iconic moment in John Cena’s career. I was neck and neck between this and the 2000 match but the visual of the STF in the closing moments of this match made me select it as my WWE Championship match.

Ben’s Take: Ah! There’s that WWE title match from Chad. Hmm…not what I would have done, but I assume he has a soft spot for this match. I liked it well enough, but I’ll take getting Triple H/Cactus from 2000 over the combo of this and Helmsley/Goldust. Truth be told, I don’t even remember the Hardys/MNM match that much, aside from it being good, but Scott and Justin have spoken so highly of it that I have no problem taking their word for it, particularly given the caliber of talent involved. I thought about using the Rumble match here because I love the Undertaker/Shawn Michaels duel at the end, but I don’t recall the rest of it, which I felt couldn’t be a good sign.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Edge vs. Rey Mysterio World Heavyweight Championship

Chad’s Pick: JBL vs. Chris Jericho

Ben’s Pick: The Royal Rumble

Chad’s Take: Three very interesting picks selected here. I was shocked to see Ben pick this as his Rumble of choice as I remembered it being fun but no better than probably 5-7 other Rumbles. The moment at #30 when Cena comes out is iconic though. Jericho vs. JBL was my selection to get Jericho on the card and even though Jericho coming back as a face was ill-advised in 2008, this was one of my favorite matches he had during that short run. The world title match is good with those two involved but fairly disappointing given the stakes of the overall card.

Ben’s Take: And here’s my Royal Rumble match. It’s no 1992, but I think it’s one of the greats. You’ve got a couple of good stories spread across here, as Undertaker and Michaels pick up where they left off as numbers 1 and 2, Batista has an iron man run of over a half hour, good talent like John Morrison, Cody Rhodes and Umaga anchoring the middle portions, and then the super hot ending as Triple H draws 29 and John Cena makes a surprise return from injury at 30 to nearly blow the roof off MSG. Best surprise entrant ever, and a final 10 minute stretch with as much heat as you’ll ever see on just about any wrestling show. Not the non-stop work of art of 1992, but a really great Rumble that I’ll take paired with my 2000 WWF title match as a combo.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Melina

Chad’s Pick: Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy ECW Championship

Ben’s Pick: Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Melina

Chad’s Take: I like my choices here as again having a competitive men’s match against a mediocre women’s is odds I enjoy. It is hard to believe that Swagger has been around this long, but he was heating up in early 2009 and would have a successful year littered with good matches.

Ben’s Take: I ended up getting stuck a few times in the last couple years starting here since everything became a title match with lots of main eventers who had already become or would soon become off-limits, including Matt Hardy whom I used back in 2007. I don’t mind taking Beth against Melina here as it gets another quality women’s match in there, not to mention one with a title on the line.



The US Title match from 2010
The US Title match from 2010

Scott & Justin’s Pick: Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson ECW Championship

Chad’s Pick: U.S. Champion The Miz vs. MVP

Ben’s Pick: U.S. Champion The Miz vs. MVP

Chad’s Take: Here is where my pervious selection comes back to haunt me. I was live again for this event and while I don’t think neither of these two matches selected is spectacular, I do feel the ECW match is superior. I have to give kudos to Justin/Scott to be able to roll out this one.

Ben’s Take: I smiled when I saw this option to use two solid workers as well as another secondary title where none of the three would screw me elsewhere; clutch this late in the game.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Divas Champion Natalya vs. Eve Torres vs. Layla vs. Michelle McCool

Chad’s Pick: Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler World Heavyweight Championship

Ben’s Pick: Divas Champion Natalya vs. Eve Torres vs. Layla vs. Michelle McCool

Chad’s Take: This is my favorite pick in the entire draft. Being able to store up and roll out what I think is the best World Heavyweight Championship match in Rumble history and the last great match of Edge’s career. I see no competition in this round.

Ben’s Take: Not thrilled about this one. You’ve actually got four good workers in the Divas involved, but just not a memorable match, plus I just had a Women’s title match two spots up. However, 40-man Royal Rumble and only three undercard matches hamstrings you pretty tight; could be a lot worse, I suppose. Envious that Chad had Edge/Ziggler in his back pocket, but I’ll still take my HBK/Edge steal.



Cena and Kane from 2012
Cena and Kane from 2012

Scott & Justin’s Pick: John Cena vs. Kane

Chad’s Pick: Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Tamina, Alicia Fox

Ben’s Pick: John Cena vs. Kane

Chad’s Take: Here is where I have to take a back seat and go with an inferior match. I don’t think it is as big of a hit though as the Cena vs. Kane match was no great shakes either and really just Cena treading water until the match vs. The Rock. Getting Cena on the card is important and both Ben and Scott and Justin have done that now.

Ben’s Take: Not a good match by any stretch, particularly considering the Zack Ryder/Eve debacle in the middle, but it does get Cena on the card, something I failed to do with Hogan and Austin.



Scott & Justin’s Pick: Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz

Chad’s Pick: Rhodes Scholars vs. Hell No World Tag Championship

Ben’s Pick: World Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show in a Last Man Standing match

Chad’s Take: Three unique choices to close us out. Ben waits until the last minute to pick his World Heavyweight Championship match and it makes sense why he didn’t go with Brock vs. Big Show now. I thought this match was good but not as good as their Smackdown series earlier in the month. I prefer my tag title match to Scott/Justin’s warmup popcorn match.

Ben’s Take: I found myself scrambling for a World title match to fill that requirement, and I came up with this. I enjoyed this one, and actually really liked those first few months of babyface Del Rio, so not bad; my only regret would be losing Lesnar/Big Show from 2003 and not finding a way to get something like Edge/Ziggler or even the three way from 2012 instead, but I’m not shedding that many tears.


Final Thoughts

Chad: I am pleased with my end results with getting a great WWE, World, Rumble and the Orient Express vs. Rockers matches all on my card. I do think my card suffers from picking Roddy vs. The Mountie as my IC title match. Ben was able to pull some cool rabbits out of his hat at different times but that came with consequences like multiple diva’s matches.

Ben: Obviously the biggest difference in my card from Scott and Justin’s comes from taking the 92 Rumble out of the equation mostly to get the 2000 HHH/Cactus Street Fight on there; given how I feel about that latter match combined with the quality I think I still get with the 2008 Rumble, I’m good with how I went, albeit with a smidge of buyer’s remorse given that Flair’s big win may well be the signature moment in the history of the show. With Chad making the same choice as I did in 1992, I don’t mind saying I think I definitely outdid him with my WWF title match over his Cena/Umaga pick, though he got a good Rumble out of it. I’m also pleased of my use of Shawn Michaels and my choice to go with the Jumping Bomb Angels/Glamour Girls match. My card has its ups and downs, particularly in 2003, but I don’t feel like it ever dips low enough to really suck. Curious to see what other think…

What is your all-time January PPV card? Who do you feel did the best job with their picks? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!