Let’s get rrrready to rrrrumble

I don’t know whether any of you are (or have ever been) wrestling fans. Or indeed fans of PJ and Duncan (reference for UK readers only I hope).

I went through a stage when I was about 13 of really enjoying playing a wrestling game called WWE Smackdown on the PS2. Hours and hours of fun. The best thing about that game, in my humble opinion, was the Royal Rumble. This is where the ring would start with four people in it (or one in the actual wrestling version) and every minute or so a new wrestler would come charging in to the fray, accompanied by their musical theme and a fresh burst of energy.

This would continue for 30 minutes with a wrestler joining the ring every minute and the only way they would leave the ring is if they got thrown out over the ropes and their feet touched the ground. The dream was to play as one wrestler all the way to the end without getting thrown out.

Who could forget the drama of the Royal Rumble in 2000 (I was a tender 14 years) when the Rock defied gravity and logic to stay in the ring as the Big Show was throwing him out over the ropes?

Oh, to be fourteen again. To spend my lunch hour running after a football. To feel like an outlaw for going for a midnight walk on a sleepover. To endlessly imagine new and better ways to convince the world that I had in fact struck puberty…

Anyways, enough of that nonsense, let’s talk some animal stuff. If I was to put the following animals in a boxing ring, which of them would come out as the champion of the animal Royal Rumble?

1) A polar bear ; 2) An elephant ; 3) A bald eagle ; 4) An ant ; 5) A meerkat ; 6) A chimpanzee

The Ground Rules

The ring is a hexagon of side length three times the length of the longest animal (in this case, make that about 9 metres). Animals start in the corners of the ring and as soon as the bell goes they try to expel each other from the ring. Flying is allowed but only to the height of the tallest animal (3 metres for the elephant). Water refreshments are available but there is no break to do it. Biting, scratching or any other method of deliberately injuring animals is not allowed. “Leaving the ring” entails any part of the animal’s body leaving the 9m hexagon with 3m height and at that point that animal is eliminated.

The Contest

What are your thoughts? Here’s how it plays out in my mind.

So in the first few seconds, the ant disappears from view as it scales the inside of its corner post and makes its way silently along on of the ropes, trying to find the darkest part of the ring’s decorations to hide. The eagle takes flight up to 2.5 metres immediately, circling the ring limits, taking care to avoid the elephant’s head. The chimpanzee, elephant and polar bear quickly realise the meerkat is the easiest for them to expel and they head straight towards him.

But before the meerkat is comprehensively ejected from the ring, it has just enough time to dart to the next corner and slap the ant off its rope and out of the ring.

Down to four animals, the mammals on the ground size each other up. It doesn’t take long for the chimpanzee to retreat from the newly allied bear-elephant team and the chimp makes a desperate attempt to claim an unlikely third spot by scaling the corner post and leaping toward the eagle overhead.

The eagle’s too nimble though and easily evades it grasp, before the chimp wisely jumps out of the ring to avoid the approaching elephant tusks.

Like two battle-hardy warriors, the polar bear and elephant have a mutual respect and they silently agree to save their epic battle until the final two, a pact sealed by no more than a gentle nod from each party. The elephant moves to the centre of the ring, limiting the eagle to a circular flight path in which the polar bear roams menacingly, jumping to grasp at the eagle, whose impressive agility is not enough to withstand the onslaught, which leads it to fly inadvertently out of the top of the ring.

Now the crowd roars and the two remaining beasts begin to slowly pace around the ring, locked in a deathly gaze. The tension builds as the crowd’s cacophony gently dulls to a deafening silence.

Suddenly, without warning, both animals charge towards the centre and their conflict begins. The polar bear dodges the elephant’s deadly advance and turns rapidly, jumping on the elephant’s back in the hope of unbalancing it. But the elephant is hardly moved and appears to hardly notice as the bear climbs along its back to try and get at its head. The elephant calmly strolls towards the edge of the ring and wriggles its head free, the polar bear falling to the floor.

The bear knows now that he is beaten, cornered next to the ropes, but valiantly goes again, finding only the comfort of two mighty tusks of bone, which dump him unceremoniously over the ropes and out of the ring.

The crowd heralds their new champion, who sounds his trunk in celebration!

Final Rankings

1) Elephant ; 2) Polar Bear ; 3) Eagle ; 4) Chimpanzee ; 5) Meerkat ; 6) Ant

Is that how you see it? What have I missed?


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