Those who know me know that I have two passions in life: Presidential history and professional wrestling, not necessarily in that order. Given that we’re going to elect a new President this year and that my favorite wrestling event, the Royal Rumble, just took place, I decided to combine the two. This is my version of the suddenly popular “Which President Would You Want Backing You in a Knife Fight?” debates.
(BLOGGER’S NOTE: for the uninitiated, the Royal Rumble is a version of a wrestling match called a Battle Royal. A traditional battle royal starts with 20 or 30 competitors in a ring. The only way to get eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope and down to the floor. The Royal Rumble alters that approach slightly by starting with just two competitors and adding a new one every two minutes. Elimination works the same way and can happen at any time. From a fan’s perspective, it’s actually a better version of a battle royal because there’s usually never more than a handful of competitors to keep track of. Okay, got it? Good. Here we go…)
Let’s get ready to Executive Branch rumblllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeee……………
George Washington (1) and John Adams (2) start us off. Washington gets a tremendous reception from the fans. Adams is nearly booed out of the building. The two engage in a gentlemanly exchange of holds for two minutes until…
Thomas Jefferson (3) enters, also to a tremendous ovation. Adams gouges Jefferson in the eyes and turns to lecture the booing crowd. While he’s doing that, Jefferson recovers and tosses Adams over the top rope.
John Adams has been eliminated.
Washington and Jefferson square off. After a few minutes of action, Washington seems to be getting the upper hand until…
James Madison (4) enters and clips Washington from behind. Madison spends most of the next few minutes hiding behind Jefferson while Washington tries to get at him. The crowd boos mercilessly. James Monroe (5) enters and Washington’s facing a three-on-one attack. They’ve nearly got Washington eliminated when Rocky Top suddenly blares over the P.A. system.
“By God!” yells announcer Jim Ross, “That’s Andrew Jackson’s music!”
Jackson (7) comes charging down the aisle, but is waylaid by Henry Clay (who has repeatedly missed his opportunity to be in the Rumble.) While Clay has Jackson tied up, John Quincy Adams (6) enters and helps toss Washington over the top rope.
George Washington has been eliminated.
Jackson finally breaks away from Clay and enters the ring like a house of fire. Within a minute, he’s laid out all comers, taking particular gusto in tossing out Adams.
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams have been eliminated.
In the middle of all that, Martin Van Buren (8) enters, but spends most of his time hiding behind Jackson. The crowd boos him mercilessly.
William Henry Harrison (9) dies on his way to the ring.
William Henry Harrison has been eliminated.
John Tyler (10) hits the ring, but gets tied up by Jackson while Van Buren repeatedly boots him in the ass. As Jackson and Van Buren try to eliminate Tyler, James Polk (11) enters and shoves all of them over the top rope (“He’s sneaky good,” says Ross.)
Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and John Tyler have been eliminated.
The next several minutes provide one of those lulls that occasionally happen in the Rumble. Zachary Taylor (12) enters like a house of fire, but quickly exhausts himself. Millard Fillmore (13) comes in, but wanders around like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Franklin Pierce (14) is a crowd favorite, but doesn’t do much and the crowd quickly turns on him. James Buchanan (15) comes in, but seems content to stand in a corner and watch the action. All of that changes with the entrance of…
Ross: “By God, it’s Abraham Lincoln!”
Lincoln (16) comes out to a mixed ovation; half the crowd loves him, the other half can’t stand him. But immediately, the Ol’ Railsplitter takes control of the match, tossing out Polk, Fillmore, Buchanan and Pierce. Taylor quits the match on his own. The crowd goes wild as Lincoln stands tall in the ring.
James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan have been eliminated.
Lincoln is in the ring celebrating when somebody comes out of the crowd and cracks him in the back of the head with a chair. Lincoln is slumped over the ropes when Andrew Johnson (17) enters. Johnson looks like he’s going to help Lincoln, but instead tosses him over the top rope.
Abraham Lincoln has been eliminated.
The crowd turns on Johnson and the officials consider disqualifying him, but ultimately decide not to. Instead, Ulysses S. Grant (18) enters like a drunken maniac and throws Johnson out of the ring.
Andrew Johnson has been eliminated.
The crowd is really behind Grant, who seems to be making every effort not to throw up. Rutherford B. Hayes (19) enters and immediately gets tossed out. James Garfield (20) only gets as far as the ring apron before Grant knocks him out. Chester A. Arthur (21) also enters and immediately gets tossed by Grant.
Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur have been eliminated.
Grover Cleveland (22) enters and Grant immediately tries to eliminate him. Grant struggles with The Big One until Benjamin Harrison (23) enters and lends a hand. A serious amount of eye-gouging, hair-pulling and trunk-grabbing is used until Cleveland finally tumbles to the floor.
Grover Cleveland has been eliminated.
However, the officials decide to let Cleveland return to the match due to the actions of Grant and Harrison. Cleveland (24) hits the ring again and takes out both Grant and Harrison.
Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison have been eliminated.
William McKinley (25) enters and immediately goes to work on trying to eliminate Cleveland. He’s almost got the job done when Theodore Roosevelt (26) enters and helps him get Cleveland over the top rope.
Grover Cleveland has been eliminated.
The effort has exhausted McKinley, who’s easy pickings for T.R.
William McKinley has been eliminated.
William Howard Taft (27) lumbers to the ring and offers his hand to T.R. Roosevelt takes it, grinning all the while, until hitting Taft with a vicious clothesline. Roosevelt tries to eliminate Taft, but struggles with Taft’s bulk. Woodrow Wilson (28) sneaks in and manages to eliminate both men. T.R. tries to re-enter, but Taft pulls him back. Roosevelt and Taft wind up brawling all the way back to the dressing room.
Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft have been eliminated.
Warren G. Harding (29) enters and goes after Wilson, but misses everything he throws. Calvin Coolidge (30) comes in, but seems bored by the whole proceeding. He stands in a corner and watches Harding flail about. Herbert Hoover (31) enters, but isn’t any more successful. The ring seems to be filling up with incompetence until Franklin Roosevelt (32) enters the match.
(BLOGGER’S NOTE: there was almost no way I could include FDR that didn’t eventually get me into politically incorrect territory, so let’s just fast-forward to the part where everybody but FDR is left in the ring and after a while, Roosevelt eliminates himself.)
Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt have been eliminated.
Harry Truman (33) comes out to a mixed reaction that gets warmer as time goes on. Thomas Dewey tries to get into the Rumble, but Truman meets him in the aisle and hands him ass before that can happen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (34) comes out and begins battling Truman. John F. Kennedy (35) hits the ring and tries to help Truman, but his back gives out. Lyndon Johnson (36) comes out like a crazy-ass house of fire and eliminates Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy (although Johnson may have had some help eliminating Kennedy. The footage isn’t clear and none of the officials can agree.)
Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy have been eliminated.
Richard Nixon (37) pulls a foreign object out of his tights and uses it to hit Johnson with a rabbit punch. Johnson is knocked silly and quickly eliminated.
Lyndon Johnson has been eliminated.
Gerald Ford (38) comes out, but stumbles going up the ring steps, hits his head on the ring post and is knocked out.
Gerald Ford has been eliminated.
Jimmy Carter (39) comes out and beats Nixon senseless (because f**k you, 92 years old, diagnosed with cancer, still went to work for Habitat for Humanity. Basic decency bids that I portray Carter beating the crap out of Nixon.) He tosses Tricky Dick over the top rope and is momentarily popular. But a malaise quickly sets in.
Richard Nixon has been eliminated.
Ronald Reagan (40) apparently went to the wrong arena. In the wrong city. People still love him, though.
Ronald Reagan has been eliminated.
George H.W. Bush (41) comes out with his evil manager, Lee Atwater. Atwater distracts the referee while Bush throws powder in Carter’s eyes, hits him chair and kicks him in the nuts. The ref returns to action in time to see Bush throw Carter over the top rope.
Jimmy Carter has been eliminated.
Bill Clinton (42) comes out and tangles with Bush. Hillary Clinton and James Carville jump Atwater at ringside. Left on his own, Bush is tossed out by Clinton.
George H.W. Bush has been eliminated.
George W. Bush (43) tries to come to the ring, but can’t find the correct door to get out of his dressing room.
George W. Bush has been eliminated.
Barack Obama (44) hits the ring as Clinton is distracted, talking to a girl at ringside. Obama quickly flips Clinton over the top rope for the final elimination.
Bill Clinton has been eliminated.
Your 2016 Presidential Royal Rumble winner: Barack “The Rock” Obama!
(BLOGGER’S NOTE: Gotta be honest with you. I wrote this idiocy and didn’t see that ending coming.)
As Obama celebrates in the ring, Donald Trump comes out and stands in the aisle, pointing a baseball bat at Obama. Hillary Clinton sneaks up behind Trump with a chair. but just as she’s about to swing it, Bernie Sanders yanks it out of her hands. Clinton and Sanders stare each other down as Trump keeps his eyes on Obama and the credits roll.
How will all this turn out? Guess you’ll have to tune into the 2017 Presidential Royal Rumble.