The WWE Royal Rumble: Detroit Tigers Edition at Tiger Stadium
Detroit Tigers Entries 12 through 20
Entrant 12 – Jim Leyland
Crowd explodes as Jim Leyland hits the entrance ramp, complete in spikes and a cigarette. Leyland stares the pitchers down, throws the cigarette down and squashes out with his cleat. Leyland heads down, unafraid. Verlander pleading with him over the mic not to get in, he doesn’t want to have to hurt him.
Jimmy Leyland steps into the ring, and before he can do anything, Leyland motions up to the rafters as if to call to the bullpen. He taps his outstretched right arm, and Rob Deer enters from the crowd with a giant bat, and a shirt that reads “Chicks Dig the Long Ball.” Deer comes in via Sandman from ECW (I couldn’t find a NSFW entrance clip that would’ve hit the way it needed to, pun intended), and the “Starting Five” are shaking in their boots.
Deer enters the ring, goes to take a swing at the five, but misses wildly. His momentum from the mighty swing takes him completely over the top rope and out of the ring, eliminating himself from a match he never officially entered.
Sometimes managerial decisions don’t work out. For Leyland here, sending up the pinch hitter, didn’t. Deer is knocked out on the outside from the fall, and Leyland nods to the pitchers as he knows what has to happen next. Verlander himself sends his former manager over the top rope.
Entrant 13 – Mark “The Bird” Fidrych
The crowd goes nuts as Fidrych sprints down to the ring, in gear similar to that of the Ultimate Warrior. “The Bird” runs full speed into all five men, and finally is able to eliminate one of the the “Starting Five” taking out Newhouser. Jack Morris appears with a steel chair and knocks Fydrich upside the head, and McClain is able to pick up “The Bird” and sending him out.
The “Starting Five” has been weakened.
Entrant 14 – Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera has John Cena like abilities. Cabrera comes out in classic King of the Ring winner gear, to honor his Triple Crown win in 2012. Ten years ago, wow. Anyway, Cabrera sheds the royal wear and gets in the ring and destroys everyone. He gets the odds even fast as he clotheslines McClain and Lolich over the top rope at the same time. Next, he hits a huge power slam on Jack Morris and sends him out.
Verlander, a Triple Crown winner in his own right (as was Hal Newhouser in 1945) squares off with his longtime teammate Cabrera. Verlander doesn’t have enough as Cabrera hits him with a power bomb outside of the ring onto his stumbling alliance mates who have already been eliminated, and the “Starting Five” have officially all been pulled.
Entrant 15 – “The Georgia Peach” Ty Cobb
Cobb comes down to the ring with a gold baseball capped walking stick and wearing a suit jacket made of hundred-dollar bills. Very strong “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vibes here. He strolls down to the ring, not rushing a step. He’s not looking to get right in there with Cabrera.
Cobb eventually gets in the ring and the two Tigers’ legends stare each other down as they do a slow walk around each other. The countdown clock reaches zero, breaking the tension.
Entrant 16 – Akil Baddoo
Somebody call Ebenezer Scrooge, because we are looking at Tigers past, present and future in the ring. Baddoo, the young upstart outfielder and author of one of the coolest rookie seasons in Tigers’ history, hits the ring and goes right after the two megastars. Dropkicks to Cabrera and Cobb show Baddoo is unafraid of the legends before him, and gets the action going again.
Entrant 17 – Travis Fryman
My all-time favorite player gets a spot in the rumble. The former Tigers all star joins in the action as the ring starts to pile up.
Entrant 18 – “El Brujo” Willie Horton
“Willie The Wonder”, Member of the Tigers 1968 World Championship team, Horton joins the madness. Fun fact – Horton was nicknamed “El Brujo” which means “The Wizard” because he took the last-place team the previous season to first and winning the Caribbean Series championship in 1979.
Entrant 19 – Kirk Gibson
Another Tigers legend and current broadcaster Kirk Gibson comes out, limping to the ring the way he did around the bases as a member of the Dodgers after hitting his mammoth home run in the ’88 World Series. Gibby is a fan favorite.
Entrant 20 – Bill Freehan
Freehan is a member of the “Catching Heat” trio alongside “Pudge” Rodriguez and “Big Wheel” Lance Parrish. Freehan is the first member of the team to join in the festivities.
Ty Cobb has been getting beat up, and tries to buy Freehan’s protection in the match by waving a hundred-dollar bill in his face. Freehan declines, shoulder blocking Cobb down on the mat.