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Royal Rumble 1997 Dumbest Ass Award: Mil Mascaras

The Royal Rumble match is a 30 man over the top rope battle royal, and it's every man for himself. That invites strategy. It's a tactical war as much as a test of physical strength and endurance. Too often, wrestlers either forget this fact or ignore it completely. They do so by engaging in such ridiculously dumb behavior like outright stopping eliminations from occurring. There are exceptions, of course, like tag teams or factions attempting to work together to give themselves the best chance to win but generally, it's a really stupid idea to stop an elimination.

In each Royal Rumble, there are always wrestlers who stop multiple eliminations. In some cases, a wrestler will stop an elimination that has a monumental effect on the match and is detrimental to his chances of winning in a way he ultimately cannot overcome. I like to refer to such a wrestler as the "Dumbest Ass."

Here, we'll hand out the award for "Dumbest Ass" in each of the Royal Rumble matches that have taken place so far.

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1997

The win that wasn't.

Dumbasses

Ahmed Johnson

  1. He eliminated himself to chase after Faarooq. That's about as dumb as it gets.

Jake Roberts

  1. He brought his snake into the ring with him when Stone Cold Steve Austin was the only guy in and never once bothered to do anything with it. I'm putting him here for posterity as much as anything, because this marks the second Royal Rumble in a row he failed to effectively use his snake.

Mil Mascaras

  1. Triple H gets in fresh and starts working on eliminating British Bulldog. The Sultan comes over to help and it looks like Davey Boy is in big trouble. That is until Mascaras comes over and tears Helmsley away. The best part is he briefly considered pulling The Sultan away before deciding to just engage Triple H.
  2. Triple H, Pierroth, and Steve Austin were all working together to toss Goldust, who was somehow surviving this. So what does Mil do? He gut shots Austin.
  3. Like Ahmed Johnson before him, Mascaras eliminated himself, although he doesn't deserve too much blame as this was a case of the ever changing rules of the Royal Rumble. Before, you had to be thrown out, even going over the top rope. Here, he went between the top and middle ropes before climbing up on the top turnbuckle and diving on Pierroth. That seems questionable to me, but the officials insisted and that was that. Still, the decision was really dumb.

Owen Hart

  1. Instead of helping Triple H, Pierroth, and Steve Austin eliminate Goldust as they were all working to do, Hart took a page out of Mil Mascaras' book and pulled Triple H off to start fighting with him.
  2. Austin again had Goldust in a vulernable spot, having just gotten him up and over the top rope. He couldn't finish the job, however, because Owen decided it was more important to fight with him at that exact moment.

Bret Hart

  1. Steve Austin was on the verge of eliminating Terry Funk when Hart literally came over, pulled Austin off, and walked away. Funk immediately attacked Hart.

Terry Funk

  1. A young, fresh Rocky Maivia had Fake Diesel in a bad spot. You would think Funk would want to help get the big man out. Nope. Instead he saved him.
  2. This one was unforgivable. Funk is in the ring with Mankind having gone over the top rope but standing on the apron. Funk's plan of action upon realizing this and standing up was to set Mankind up for a suplex that would have brought him back into the ring. Mankind blocked it and hit a suplex of his own, eliminating Funk.

Flash Funk

  1. Fake Diesel, Terry Funk, and Rocky Maivia were all trying to toss Mankind out. Flash got in the ring and chose to pull the biggest guy away to fight with. A truly baffling decision.

Fake Diesel

  1. This is the kind of dumb that makes you mad at it. Rocky Maivia was minding his own business, working hard to get Terry Funk out. Fake Diesel sees this, decides to punch Rocky, and then tries to eliminate Funk before just giving up and walking off.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

  1. After entering at number five and going some 35 minutes without doing anything stupid, Austin stopped Rocky Maivia from eliminating Bret Hart. "Maybe he wants to do it himself," is all Jim Ross could come up with when Jerry Lawler wondered why the hell Austin would save Hart.

The Dumbest Ass

Mil Mascaras

Honorable mention to Terry Funk but Mascaras stopped two eliminations before eliminating himself going after someone on the outside who he JUST eliminated. They played it like he didn't know better but ignorance is not a defense. It just makes you a dumbass.

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Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners:

1989: Bad News Brown
1990: Ultimate Warrior
1991: British Bulldog
1992: Hulk Hogan
1993: Randy Savage
1994: Lex Luger
1995: Lex Luger
1996: Diesel