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Dynamite's Jet Saloon: The Curse of the Rumble (Chapter 7)

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  • Dynamite's Jet Saloon: The Curse of the Rumble (Chapter 7)

    As the last one of these proved to be mildly entertaining, I figured I’d have another go. If nothing else, it’s a good way to break my brief and unintended hiatus from wrestling and this forum. What, you hadn’t missed me these past few weeks? I’m hurt

    So where do we stand? Two entry positions have been done so far:
    13 – 24% cursed
    14 – 44% cursed

    What number do we try next? For some reason, ever since I came up with the idea to do this, number 8 has been one that I thought I’d do. I’ve no idea why other than it being a randomly uninteresting number. But I’m not going there yet. Nor am I going to try the numbers which are sought after in kayfabe – 1 & 30. And for statistical reasons, I suspect number 27 could be an interesting investigation. But I’m not going there either.

    So where am I going? As I tried the allegedly unlucky number 13 last time, I’m going to go with the allegedly lucky number 7 for this column. It’s considered a lucky numbers in so many cultures, is the same true within the culture of wrestling?

    1988 – Jim Brunzell
    This Rumble happened towards the end of the Killer Bees’ run, they were separated within a few months. Brunzell went on to become little more than an opening card act for a couple of years before finishing out his career on the independents. But was it that much of a demotion? I have some good memories of the Killer Bees, but looking back over their career they never truly became the top team I remembered them as (memory is a strange thing isn’t it?), they peaked at a couple of feuds with the top teams. So although he did take a step back, I don’t think it was anything sinister.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1989 – Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
    You guys probably already know the story of this guy as well as it could be summarised in a short paragraph. Telling the story of Jake Roberts needs not just a column, but probably a whole book. And although he’s well on the road to recovery now, I think the answer to this one is easy enough. But it would be the same answer wherever he was encountered in this series.
    Verdict: Cursed.

    1990 – The Warlord
    He did OK didn’t he? After the Powers of Pain split, he had a fair few main event level feuds, and even though he didn’t necessarily win any of them, how many people did beat Hogan back then? And he lasted over 8 minutes in this Rumble, even if that is overshadowed by his 2 second record from the year before.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1991 – Saba Simba
    When I saw this name, my initial reaction was “who?”. For those who don’t remember it either, this was a short lived gimmick for Tony Atlas. He’s had his ups and downs and even at the time the gimmick was considered somewhat questionable, but I’m simply going to steal a quote from Wikipedia for this one:
    On December 13, 2010, Tony appeared on Right After Wrestling and credited the Saba Simba character with saving his life as he was homeless and living on a park bench before getting a phone call from McMahon.”
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1992 – Tito Santana
    I knew Tito had a great career, but reading this guys Wikipedia page it was even better than I remembered. It even says he “is” a wrestler, rather than saying “was”. And apparently he “continues to make appearances on the independent circuit” (even though the last mentioned appearance was in 2014).
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1993 – Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler
    The man who went on to spend a few years fucking Stacey Carter? If it was Shirley Carter the answer my be different, but this is another easy one.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1994 – Diesel
    It had to happen sooner or later. We’ve already got an entry for Kevin Nash who entered at number 14 in 2014. He wasn’t cursed then, and considering his best years probably fell between this Rumble and that one there’s no reason to revisit the decision.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1995 – Tom Pritchard
    This Rumble entry comes during the middle of a long career which may have had it’s successes, but mostly uninteresting. As I have absolutely no memories of him to mention, I’m going to move swiftly along.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1996 – Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
    See 1989.
    Verdict: Cursed.

    1997 – Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
    Is it interesting that one of the least cursed wrestlers (Cody Rhodes) appeared at number 13 three times, whereas as arguably one of the most cursed appeared at Number 7 three times?
    Verdict: Cursed.

    1998 – 8 Ball
    Man, number 7 gets some really uniteresting people doesn’t it? No offence to Ron Harris (or even Don Harris), but when you don’t even get your own Wikipedia page you know you’ve truly been a mid-carder for life.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    1999 – Steve Blackman
    The thing is, the first 4 or 5 entrants in a Rumble tend to be big names, guys who can set the scene for the match to come. By the time you get to number 7, you’re looking at the guys who are there to make up the numbers. And that’s what Steve Blackman did for most of his career.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2000 – Steve Blackman
    The thing is, the first 4 or 5 entrants in a Rumble tend to be big names, guys who can set the scene for the match to come. By the time you get to number 7, you’re looking at the guys who are there to make up the numbers. And that’s what Steve Blackman did for most of his career.
    And before you say it, I know I’m repeating myself. But if WWE can, why can’t I?
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2001 – Raven
    Considering how well documented my hatred of hardcore wrestling is, it may surprise people to know that I’ve got a fair amount of respect for Raven. I never saw him in ECW, and he never really amounted to much in WWE, but he was a major feature on the TNA roster during the years when I was watching that and although he did more than his fair share of hardcore wrestling, he also did some excellent character development and as I recall there were some very good stories told there.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2002 – Billy Gunn
    Take away the farce that was the Billy and Chuck storyline, and you’ve actually got a career most wrestlers would be proud of. Even so, it’s safe to say this is another number 7 who is firmly in the mid-carder for life status.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2003 – Chavo Guerrero
    Another mid-carder for life who’s had a long but mostly uneventful career. I often wonder if he may have got a bigger push following Uncle Eddie’s death if it hadn’t been for Rey Mysterio taking that particular glory. In terms of talent and ability he was certainly capable, but he was always somewhat overshadowed by others.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2004 – Matt Hardy
    Already covered when he entered number 13 in 2003. As I said before, anyone who got to play with Lita’s puppies can never be cursed; but did we decide if Version 27 was about right for his current incarnation?
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2005 – Edge
    Another one who has already been covered, which is something I’m sure he did to Lita’s puppies on several occasions.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2006 – Jonathan Coachman
    Some things you really want to forget about. The Coach wrestling is one of them. I will say this for him though, he was always prepared to do whatever Vince wanted him to and it hasn’t stopped him being taken seriously elsewhere.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2007 – Sabu
    There’s probably a lot that could be said about Sabu, but I’m not the one to say it. Never been a fan, but I’ve also never seen anything that makes me think he’s cursed.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2008 – Tommy Dreamer
    Is number 7 just the ECW slot or something? Tommy Dreamer certainly wasn’t cursed by the Rumble, but he seems to have cursed hmself with being the embodiment of ECW and hardcore wrestling.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2009 – HHH
    There may have been a brief curse on HHH following the curtain call, but it’s safe to say it was short lived and he’s done OK for hmself since. This Rumble entry certainly didn’t curse him.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2010 – Zak Ryder
    So this is probably the first entry in the column which requires any real discussion. Shortly after this Rumble, Zak Ryder became one of the most over guys on the roster thanks to his YouTube show. Over that is, with everyone except his boss.

    They had such a great opportunity to use this as a catalyst to utilise social media as a way to get the roster over, but we all know what happened. Zak Ryder got buried at every opportunity Vince had to do it. Despite getting occasional runs with various titles, they were all short lived and after several years at the absolute bottom of the card, he was finally released.

    There is probably the potential for a whole column where someone investigate this topic (feel free to steal the idea, it’s not one I’ve got planned), but maybe if Ryder had been pushed during his Internet Champion phase and it became the success it had the potential to be, it’s possible that WWE stars of today could be getting encouraged to use social media rather than being contractually told to remove themselves from it.
    Verdict: Cursed.

    2011 – John Morrison
    You know what I said earlier about this being a slot dominated by the life time mid-carders? Here’s another one. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought he was OK, but he was just that. OK. Maybe he was a bigger deal during his time on the independents, but all ex-WWE guys are. In WWE he’s a mid-carder, and if anything his return has dragged the Miz back into that spot just as he was making it back to the main event.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2012 – Mick Foley
    According to Wikipedia this was officially Mick Foley’s last appearance as an active wrestler. Considering what he put his body through over the years, I’d say he’s far from cursed, this was actually a blessing for him.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2013 – Titus O’Neill
    I don’t think Titus ever truly even made it as far as the mid-card did he? He’s a great employee for WWE to have and does a lot of good stuff off-screen, but I really don’t remember him doing anything of note in the ring. Even his most memorable moment happened just before he got in the ring, but that wasn’t at this Rumble. However, his lack of in-ring success isn’t enough to curse him.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2014- Jack Swagger
    Another one from the deep dark depths of the mid card. So much talent, so little personality.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2015 – The Boogeyman
    Remember what I just said about Swagger? “So much talent, so little personality”. You could happily say the compete opposite about the Boogeyman. The gimmick had the potential to go a long way if it was used correctly, but the guy behind the gimmick was so bad it was always doomed to go nowhere.

    But this appearance wasn’t during his initial failed run. It was nothing more than a surprise Rumble comeback, and surprise Rumble comebacks like this are pretty much designed for this kind of character. So much so I’m fairly sure he’s been a surprise entrant 3 times now?
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2016 – Kane
    I don’t think many people would disagree that maybe Glen Jacobs was cursed by his gimmicks during his early career, but once he became Kane it became a very different story.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2017 – Brawn Strowman
    As noted earlier in the column, aside from a few exceptions the number 7 entrants have been predominantly mid-carders for life. Considering how Strowman could have been booked already by this point in his career, it certainly looks like he may be in danger of that becoming true for him. Despite him seeming to have all the attributes Vince normally looks for in his Top Guy, he’s never really got there. But he’s still there and still has a lot of potential, so it’s too early to consider him cursed at this point in time.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2018(m) – Andrade "Cien" Almas
    In the first year or two after this Rumble appearance, he seemed to have everything and looked like a contender to get to the main event. Then when he lost the on-screen management of Zelina Vega (and from an off-screen perspective when Heyman lost control of Smackdown) it all seemed to fall apart for him, resulting in him recently being given his release.

    In many other circumstances that would be enough for me to say he’s cursed. But he had a lot of success internationally before WWE and I’m sure he’ll go on to have a lot of success after them. Given the current situation I’d accept arguments either way, but...
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2018(f) – Tamina
    Another Rumble, another mid-carder. Which is a shame, she probably has the potential to be a lot more. If only we didn’t have Nia Jax taking up the female monster slot on the roster that Tamina could be doing a better job with.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    (Note: Although I’m including the Women’s matches in this, I’m not counting the Saudi show. For the record, entrant 7 was Hiroki Sumi).

    2019(m) – Jinder Mahal
    Already discussed following his entry at Number 14 in 2012.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2019(f) – Billie Kay
    I’m glad I’m getting to the end of this column. I’m running out of ways to say I’ve got nothing to say.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2020(m) – Rey Mysterio
    I’ve always seen Rey as an over achiever and really didn’t buy into him being a main eventer during the time he was at the top of the card. But I guess that was kind of his gimmick, and now he’s back in the veteran’s slot on the roster it seems to work.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2020(f) – Liv Morgan
    I’ve definitely run out of steam now. Truly nothing to say here.
    Verdict: Not cursed.

    2021 – Toni Storm and Shinsuke Nakamura
    2021 wasn’t covered in the other columns and won’t be covered in any future columns so they don’t feed into the statistic, they’re just here as a reference for the future.

    Possibly the most controversial part of the column will be how I count the statistics. From the 38 Rumble matches considered, only four of them were deemed to have a cursed entrant at number 7, giving a result of 10.5%. However, three of those four were the same person meaning you could argue it was actually only 5%. So as well as being a lucky number, 7 is a perfectly safe number to enter the Rumble.

    But my main conclusion is that if I go through with any more of these, I truly hope number 7 proves to be the most uninteresting number of all. If you’ve read this far, you’ve done well. I don’t think I’ve ever used so many words to say so little.
    New Column: Pre WrestleMania Thoughts & Predictions

  • #2
    Even if you were running out of comments by the end, I'm still pleased you brought this back! It's an interesting walk through the years, if nothing. #7 seems to be anything but cursed, no matter how you look at it!

    Curious about how you rated Jake in 1989... he was at that time and for several years would continue to be one of the biggest stars in the country and had many of his best years after that match, so it depends on how you look at it. He definitely already had a curse over his head in life though (read about his father sometime, if you dare). And 97 Jake is definitely cursed.

    Maybe McMahon could have saved Tony Atlas' life without making him a painfully outdated racist stereotype...

    It's hard to nail down if Tito has finally retired because there's another wrestler called Tito Santana working in AAA (no relation), but I do believe he was still wrestling within the last few years! Amazing talent.

    The Harris brothers were certainly cursed to suck, at least. And Coach wrestling was a curse to all of us.

    Poor Ryder. So many opportunities to do something more with it, and it just never happened. I always appreciated the guy for what he is.

    Fun stuff Dyna, if you end up crunching every number I won't complain!

    The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!


    • #3
      Glad to see you are continuing the series. I also kinda dig the idea of a random number being done at a time.

      Some that I disagree on

      He's done literally nothing else in his career, I think that's enough to qualify for the curse if nothing else.

      He may not qualify since he had a good career going in, but he was gone from the company in the next few months and I haven't seen him since. I can see this going either way.

      Dude was on fire in 2017 and then he fell apart and has done nothing since, aside from one of the least interesting world title runs of the decade and then probably the worst feud of the year against Shane McMahon now. I think this is enough to warrant a curse.

      Rey Mysterio
      While his whole career isn't cursed, 2020 definitely was. He lost an eye and then spent the last few months doing nothing thanks to a Covid scare.

      Toni Storm
      Since the rumble, her feud with Ember Moon was completely abandoned, her two women's title matches fell flat and she's since disappeared from TV, too early to say curse but definitely not great.

      Enjoyed this, even if you didn't have much to say for a lot of people. Seven is definitely a jobber spot, I don't think any of these rumble runs actually amounted to anything (aside from HHH in 2009)
      The worst PPV ever is coming soon.
      Send in your top 10 to help us find out what the worst PPV ever is.


      • #4
        You hit the hammer on the head with #7 being the entry spot for lower card talent who are going to be eliminated fairly quickly to pad someone else's stats. So I think that's partly why there's so many "not curseds" on here. But I also think it's probably a case of the "cursed" wrestlers being so much more notable in our minds, to the point that it feels like there are more cursed wrestlers in WWE's history than there actually are. That's not to downplay the demons that plagued the company and many of its wrestlers early on. But knock on wood, it does seem like that's been largely cleaned up in the last decade or two, which will make for rundowns as straightforward as this one was.

        Good to see you back, Dyno!


        • #5
          Jake? It's hard not to think his whole life was cursed. Even when he was flying high, he was cursed to play 2nd fiddle to Hogan. Didn't know that about Tito Santana though. I'm kind of surprised there isn't some copyright issue going on with that one.

          Thing with 8-Ball is the rumble neither cursed nor saved him. He was nobody before it, he was nobody after it.
          With Sabu, maybe his career highlights were behind him, but lets be honest - so was most of his career. By then he was clearly living off his past glories (as were most of the ECW alumni) and the fact he's still going considering what he's put his body through means he has to be blessed in some way.
          And you can't blame Covid on Rey's spot in that Rumble! The eye thing was nothing more than a crap storyline, not a curse.
          Strowman I can accept the argument for though.

          It's definitely a Jobber spot. There's probably going to be a few like this. Thing is, for these guys to be cursed they really have to have something bad happen in their personal life for it to count - it's not like they can be de-pushed or anything, they're already at the bottom of the pile.
          New Column: Pre WrestleMania Thoughts & Predictions