"During the early build to the first-ever “Money in the Bank” ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title, a spot in the contest was put up for grabs in a 20-man, over-the-top-rope battle royal on RAW. Now, let me just say, I love battle royals. And for the record, I hate people who pronounce it, “Battle Royale”. Like they’re Vincent Vega explaining how cheeseburgers work in France to Jules in Pulp Fiction. Stupid non-wrestling fans and their dumb mispronunciations. They deserve to be leg-dropped from the top rope by Fandango! (Or is it pronounced, Faaaaaaaahn-daaaaaaaaahngo?) Either way, like I said, I love the battle royal concept. Always have. Ever since the Wrestlemania 2 cluster f*ck featuring NFL stars of the day like 2-time pro-bowler Harvey Martin! Chicago Bear legend, William “The Refrigerator” Perry! And you know the incomparable, Bill Fralic! This was the first battle royal I ever witnessed and even more memorable: This battle royal also featured Bret Hart in blue trunks! And you thought Batista looked funny in blue!"
"Anyway, like I was saying… a battle royal was held to determine one of the participants in the upcoming MITB title match. As I sat, watching the proceedings unfold and the ring fill with superstars it happened! I was slapped in the face by my latest “Holy Sh*t” wrestling moment harder than Stephanie McMahon slapping a sobbing Big Show. Truthfully it was actually more like an incredulous “a-ha” moment but it made me say those two all-important words nonetheless. Here’s why: It hit me that of all the 20 men participating in the battle royal, only one spandex-clad warrior was engineered outside of the WWE developmental assembly line. Only one guy in that ring learned how to wrestle before he learned how to sports-entertain. Only one grappler acquired his skillset by travelling the globe, learning how the rest of the world makes their wrestling sausage – instead of passing thru the WWE meat grinder. Of all the men standing in that battle royal, only Rob Van Dam originated from outside of WWE’s meticulous farm system. Now, in baseball, a batting average like that would be a good thing. Scratch that, it would be a great thing. (Are you listening, Phillies?) But in wrestling, not so much."