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Royal Rumble 2001 Dumbest Ass Award: The Rock

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." Special considerations made for other stupidity.

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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2001

Stone Cold Steve Austin wins his third Royal Rumble, a record that may never be broken, and it was aided by his greatest rival being a complete moron.

Dumbasses

Matt Hardy

  1. He stopped Bull Buchanon from eliminating his brother, Jeff. There's at least an excuse of strategy here, though that basically fell apart immediately after Bull went out and they started fighting each other. Why wouldn't they rest up and get ready to take on each new comer until it was down to just those two and THEN fight? What's funny is they teamed together against the next guy in, Faarooq, tossed him out, then immediately went back to fighting each other. Ultimately, they completely ignored the next entrant, I kid you not, Drew Carey, and eliminated each other. You idiots.

Jeff Hardy

  1. See above.

Drew Carey

  1. He eliminated himself. Look, it's understandable, in a sense, considering he was a doughy comedian and the only other guy in the ring with him during his time in said ring was Kane, a terrifying man even without the hellfire and brimstone. But you're still a grown ass man and a WWE title shot is still on the line. As with arrogance, being a coward is no excuse for stupidity.

Raven

  1. We're 7 entrants in and 4 of them are dipshits. Raven ran in while Kane was picking up Drew Carey for a choke slam and blasted him in the back with a kendo stick. Carey, as noted, immediately eliminated himself. Kane, meanwhile, started beating the tar out of Raven and he deserved it because he's dumb as hell. Why wouldn't he wait, hope Kane would toss Carey, and sneak up on him? Why am I asking this when I already know the answer?
  2. He used a sleeper on Kane. You know how heavy dead weight is? Kane is gigantic. Come on. I'll offer the defense that he was doing this while Al Snow and Saturn were blasting Kane with shots from various foreign objects in a team effort. That said, you can't trust those two will follow up and help chuck him once the big fella is out, they're both idiots. Sure enough, as soon as Kane was down on the mat, Snow and Saturn started fighting each other. My god, these dummies couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. In the end, Kane eliminated every single one of them.

Al Snow

  1. See above.

Saturn

  1. See above.
  2. Kane was starting to toss Steve Blackman out when good ol' Saturn came up and stopped it. I would have defended this had he then teamed up with Blackman to eliminate Kane, or at least attempt as much, but after briefly beating on The Big Red Monster, he just walked off and started fighting other people. Idiot.
  3. Very shortly after all that, Grandmaster Sexay got in the match and, still fresh, was working on dumping Al Snow. Saturn, with nothing better to do because no one was engaging him, chose to stop this. Because who needs rest in an endurance run?

Kane

  1. Committed the cardinal Royal Rumble sin of picking a wrestler up over his head, holding him there, and throwing him to the mat instead of over the top rope. That's day one stuff, Kane. You're better than that.
  2. He's teaming up with Albert trying to get Val Venis out, which is really strange, these two were having any trouble at all getting the artist who would later be known as Kaptain Kannabis out of the ring. But that's the situation when, out of nowhere, Kane decides he would rather elbow Albert in the head.

Steve Blackman

  1. My man gets in fresh at number 10 with only Al Snow, Raven, Saturn, and Kane in the ring. The former three had all banded together to beat on Kane not long before, because he's the biggest guy in there and needs to be taken out. When he slid in the ring, Kane was on the mat just getting up still recovering from said beating (and we already explained why he was allowed to do so). So what does Blackman do? He breaks out those silly sticks he used to use, cause he was a KARATE MASTER or some shit, and went after literally everyone in the ring except Kane. Once he was done with the other three, Kane, having recovered, punched him. GOOD.

Honky Tonk Man

  1. He comes out with his guitar, grabs a mic, and they play music for him to sing over. At no point did he play the guitar he brought with him. He just carried it around loosely, singing like an idiot, completely ignoring Kane in the ring right behind him. Naturally, Kane took the guitar, cracked it over Honky Tonk's skull, and chucked him out.

Bradshaw

  1. He gets in fresh and only The Rock and Kane are in the ring. He goes after Kane and Rock makes the smart play and decides to help him. Instead of getting to a point where the two actually attempt to eliminate Kane, Bradshaw clotheslines Rock at the earliest opportunity.

Hardcore Holly

  1. As soon as he gets in the ring, he rushes over to stop both Bradshaw and Kane from eliminating Albert. Sound strategy from Holly. Punch the big guys in the back who are doing something that is going to help you. Get 'em targeting you, yeah, that's real smart.

The Rock

Look at this piss poor effort at eliminating Kane:

Damn, Rock

What are you even doing, Rock? I'll buy it but you have to sell it to me. Also, guess who eliminated Rock later?

  1. Rock certainly didn't want to eliminate Kane but Billy Gunn did. He was close to pulling it off too, until Rock drilled him in the back. Guess who eliminated Rock later?
  2. Late in the match, only three guys left, Rock threw Kane out ... through the ropes and not over them. This mistake directly led to his elimination shortly after. GUESS WHO ELIMINATED HIM?

Val Venis

  1. He's battling Test on one side of the ring when he turns around and sees Hardcore Holly trying to throw out The Rock. So he walks over, hits him in the back, and turns to go back to Test. What the hell? Thankfully, Test had a big boot waiting for him.

K-Kwik

  1. Hardcore Holly is trying to get The Rock out when Kwik inexplicably decides the right play is to fight Holly instead of help him.

Big Show

  1. Oh my god, this idiot. He learned NOTHING from the year before, when he should have won but didn't because he spent too much time playing to the crowd instead of tossing The Rock out. So here he comes in at number 23, a solid number, tosses two guys, choke slams five more, and finally gets to The Rock, who had been in for something like 25 minutes. He grabs his throat but instead of delivering the choke slam, he starts playing to the crowd! Rock uses the opening to dick kick him and then eliminates him just seconds later. Amazing.

Undertaker

  1. One of the funniest eliminations ever came because the biggest dog in the yard was also the dumbest. My man had Rikishi in the middle of the ring and decided his best course of action was a headbutt. After hitting it, though, he damn near falls over. Turns out Rikishi has a hard ass head and that headbutt did more damage to the guy giving it than the guy taking it. So what does Undertaker do? He headbutts him again! Predictably enough, he nearly falls again, only this time Rikishi goes on the offensive, gives a headbutt of his own, then superkicks Undertaker out of the ring.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

  1. This is just weird. The Rock has Kane's leg up and is starting to get him over the top rope when Austin comes over and punches Kane back into the ring. Rock just walks off.

Rikishi

  1. Going up the ropes near the turnbuckles is a relatively dumb decision in a Royal Rumble because it's just too risky. You're vulnerable; just how much depends on how many people are in the ring. Generally speaking, though, you should just avoid it. The rewards aren't worth the risk you're taking. That said, simply going there isn't worthy of being put on this list. Going there and having it lead directly to your elimination does. Rikishi went up to give Rock an extra devastating stinkface and ended up nut shot and sent packing.

The Dumbest Ass

The Rock

Honorable mention to Raven and Saturn for their multiple infractions, and Big Show for failing to learn anything from his loss the year before, but The Rock gets the honors here because he didn't eliminate the guy who eliminated him, Kane, when he could have and then later stopped someone else from eliminating that guy. Then, later still, he threw Kane through the ropes instead of over, a move that, as mentioned previously, directly led to his getting tossed out. In his last Royal Rumble, The Rock was The Dumbest Ass.

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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
1997: Mil Mascaras
1998: Disciples of Apocalypse
1999: Stone Cold Steve Austin
2000: Big Show