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Rumble delivers on hype
Sole survivor earns shot at world title
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


It's rare to find a wrestling event with real buzz around it these days.

With so many PPVs packed into the WWE calendar, even the traditionally important shows often blend in with the Great American Bashes and Armageddons that surround them.

With the obvious exception of Wrestlemania -- WWE's Super Bowl event -- only one other show consistently lives up to the hype.

The Royal Rumble -- the annual mega card which begins the road to 'Mania -- takes place in San Antonio tomorrow night. The main event is the usual 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royal, with the winner earning a headline title match at Wrestlemania.

Participants enter the ring at two-minute intervals until all 30 men have entered the fray. The last man left in the ring at the end of the night is declared the sole survivor and number one contender for the world title at the biggest show of the year.

The big names booked for the Rumble tomorrow night include Edge, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Carlito and Shawn Michaels from the Raw brand.

From Smackdown, The Undertaker, King Booker, Kane, Chris Benoit, Finlay and Matt Hardy are the top talent.

The big names representing the ECW franchise are Rob Van Dam, CM Punk, Sabu and Sandman.

The undercard will feature John Cena taking on Umanga in a last man standing match for Cena's WWE championship.

Rounding out the card, heavyweight champ Batista defends his title against Ken Kennedy and the Hardy Boyz take on MNM.

In Calgary, the Rumble can be seen on pay-per-view, at Bottoms Up Sports Pub on 17th Ave S.W. or at select city movie theatres. Bell time is 6 p.m. MT.

OVER THE TOP ROPE: Scott Bigelow, better known to wrestling fans as tattooed grappler 'Bam Bam' Bigelow, passed away last week. Bigelow, 45, was found dead by his girlfriend in his Florida home last Friday morning. The cause of death is still being investigated ... WWE went on a firing rampage this week, a cost-cutting measure which decimated the ECW roster and thinned out the WWE farm system. Tatanka, Sylvester Terkay, CW Anderson, Seth Skyfire, Jazz and Rodney Mack were among the well-known names dropped from the WWE payroll.


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