World Wide Web Fights Presents
What is Grudge Match?
What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

For over 75 years, Grudge Match™ has brought you the fights you could see nowhere else. Today, though, the minds at Grudge Central face a new challenge. There is one fight that has been raging throughout the years, reenacted millions upon millions of times in far-flung reaches of the globe. It is fought over time and again in homes and schools, in burgeoning cities and in the serene countryside.

After countless battles, this conflict is not one step closer to its final resolution than the day it first began. No side can conquer; no side will yield. Unchecked, it may well continue until the last human being on Earth has perished.

This scourge must end. And it shall.

Today, we bring the antagonists together for one deciding battle, to end the conflict that has torn us all, to proclaim a final champion. And so it begins with those time-hallowed words:

"On three -- one, two, three!"

Rock beats Scissors Paper beats Rock Scissors beats Paper






The Commentary

BRENDAN: As a law student I should probably back paper out of some sort of professional courtesy, but lets get real. We all know that rock is going to win.

The rock is truly man's best friend. Indeed human civilization and perhaps even humanity itself would not have ever developed if not for the rock. Our first invention, fire, came from banging rocks together. Our first weapons came from picking up the sharp rocks. Our first currency was the pretty shiny rocks. And of course man would never have had the chance to discover all the myriad uses of rocks if a big rock hadn't come along and wiped out all the dinosaurs for us. Even today mankind has continued to honor the rock for all it has done for us. Our music (Rock & Roll), our mythological heroes (Sergeant Rock, Rocky Balboa) and even the human sexual act (Rock the Casbah) have all been named to honor the mighty Rock. And no one less than the great Calvin himself has shown us that rocks are possessed of divine power when he described them as being "ballistic missiles from God."

How can scissors or paper possibly compete against the proud legacy and overwhelming might of the rock? What can they even do to a rock? Stab a rock with a pair of scissors and all you've got is some broken scissors. As for paper, I can't even begin to imagine what it could do to hurt a rock. Wrap itself around the rock maybe but that doesn't actually hurt the rock any (its not like it can suffocate the rock or anything).

Rock has the patience (it will gladly spend centuries or even millennia forming into mountains and continents), the power (how many cave bears have scissors or paper brought down) and the prestige needed to crush both scissors and paper once and for all. Igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic, it will be the victor. If you doubt that, you must have rocks in your head.

HOTBRANCH: Pshaw... Everyone knows that rock has nothing to counter the might of paper, and scissors should just bow out gracefully while they still have the chance. Without paper playing the role of spoiler, scissors would always lose (kind of like the Bills or Vikings in the Super Bowl).

Paper is the lightest of the competitors, so it can dodge and weave from its opponents (much like the plastic bag in American Beauty, now THERE'S a worthy opponent). Don't let the "almost lighter than air" thing fool you, though. Paper, like a featherweight boxer, can hurt you when you least expect it. Whoever heard of "death by a thousand rock cuts" or "death by a thousand scissor cuts"? People know that paper can inflict a world of hurt, and that's what its gonna do to the rock and scissors today.

Rocks were briefly in the public limelight, when they were considered pets, but the drugs eventually wore off and people realized how stupid they had been. Scissors are seen as a threat to public health and well-being; you simply CANNOT RUN WITH THEM. Running with rocks is kind of stupid, but running with paper is done all the time (and even required in track competitions).

Paper is one of the single most important inventions ever; it has so many more uses than rocks and scissors combined. When Puff Daddy wrote "It's all about the Benjamins", d'you think he was referring to rocks or scissors? Hell no! He's talking about the most popular form of paper: money. It's been a long time since anyone used rocks to pay for anything, and they were abandoned for the lighter and more portable paper format; scissors aren't going to replace paper in this (or any) lifetime, continuing paper's dominance.

As if that weren't enough, let's close the deal with iron-clad Simpsonian™ proof (pat. pend.) that paper rules:

  • In the episode called "The Front" (9F16 for the geeks) how do Bart and Lisa settle whose name goes first on the script for "The Little Barber Shop of Horrors" (Best Itchy and Scratchy episode EVER!)? Duh! Rock, paper, scissors... What does Lisa choose as her weapon for her victory? Paper.
  • In "I Love Lisa" (episode 9F13), Ralph is ridiculed in class because his parents won't let him use scissors. Quote Ms. Hoover: "The children are right to laugh, Ralph. These scissors couldn't cut butter." In an effort to fully immerse myself into this match, I compared the merits of butter and paper on my morning toast. Not only was the butter tastier, it was also softer than paper. A sad moment for scissors, but a great day for paper!

And that's the ultima ratio 'coz HotBranch said so!

SHANE: My opponents, ladies and gentlemen: a lawyer-to-be and a Canadian who eats paper. All too easy. Now, I'll give you an intellectual view of this match.

There are three stages of societal development: barbarism, civilization, and decadence. Barbarism is represented by rock, a connection so obvious that the Dawn of Man™ is named the Stone Age. Rocks were our tools, our shelter, our washing implements, our clothing, even our food (hey, what do you think salt is?). It was primitive. It was natural. It was awful. Who wants to live that way? Rocks? Please!

Civilization, in its current incarnation, is most notable for industrialization. We created tools on a massive scale to rework the world around us, protect us from nature and the elements, move us faster, keep us cleaner, and make us richer. Industry and its tools made life worth living. Scissors are the embodiment of that bounty.

Then there's decadence, and paper. The luxury of an industrial society made paper, and all its leisure uses, common. We produced so much paper, we felt compelled to fill it all with words. To anybody who has read enough, however, it's obvious we don't have that much worthwhile to say--but that didn't keep us from cramming that paper with increasingly vacuous and insipid scribblings, from Das Kapital (ridiculous, but learned-sounding) to TV Guide (no comment necessary). Then we tried to escape the awfulness of paper by putting our stupidity on electronic paper (i.e., the Internet), and the result, as I'm sure you've noticed, has been an explosion of stupidity unparalleled in human history. {Grudge Match specifically excepted.} Paper is thin. It is empty. It is shallow. It belongs next to the toilet, and nowhere else.

Also, HotBranch!, it's not that you can't run with scissors, it's that you shouldn't. No mother ever needed to tell her child not to run with paper or rocks. Scissors are dangerous--specifically to you and Brendan. Rock isn't: we live on a huge rock. The substance is positively benign to us. And paper? I can thump my dog with a thick paperback book, 800 pages, and she doesn't even notice. That's not dangerous.

And to all those spoilsport kids who ruined one of these games by calling "Dynamite!", all I have to say is: scissors snips fuse.

Don't mess with scissors, guys. You'll hurt yourselves.

Thanks to Nick at GMR marketing and Haines for suggesting this childhood enigma.

The RPS "action" pictures were taken from The RoShamBo Programming Competition,
which got them from Perry Friedman's WWW Roshambot.

The Results

Rock (785 - 62.4%)


Paper (263 - 20.9%)


Scissors (211 - 16.7%)

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Voter Comments


I voted for what's really important. Every tried wiping yourself with a rock? Not exactly effective. And scissors... well, they'll at least take care of your hemorrhoids.

- Loki

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

Hold up a sec. Since when was it Rock, Paper, Scissors? Someone on the Grudge staff must be verbally dyslexic, since the only true game is Rock, Scissors, Paper, in that order.

This was not just an innocent little goof. Someone juxtaposed Scissors and Paper intentionally, for their own nefarious goals.

The middle part of any series is always forgotten. For example, whatís the plot of Police Academy 4? Donít remember, do you? The original Police Academy is fresh in your head, as is Mission to Moscow, but those middle ones are just neurons in your brain recycled to remember the order the Survivor people got booted off. Thus, the Paper-Scissors switch was made so you guys would say Scissors more.

Who would want that? Itís not Paper: taking the middle slot purposefully is like volunteering to take bitch on a road trip. And itís not Scissors: the switch just buried the one guy Scissors can take down. That leaves one last suspect. Take a guess.

No, not Squirtle. Not Bulbasaur either. OK, no more guesses for you. Itís Rock. He buried his mortal enemy Paper like a dog pill in a hunk of cheese, and brought Scissors forward, the Peter McNeely of finger gestures, who he can easily give a peopleís elbow to.

Thus, Rock will win. He cheated to win, but the world ainít a fairy tale.

- Kilgore Trout

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

I sit here musing over the chicken-and-egg paradox this latest match- up presents. Basically, we have three combatants, each of which is weak against one other and strong against the other. So, what's the best course to resolve rock vs. scissors vs. papers? In the end, I came up with two answers, both of which I'll present to you. (Because, hey, it's either this, or staring at online layouts of my motherboard and deciding whether to flash my BIOS. On another note, have you ever noticed the inherent sexual overtones of computer technology? "Flash my BIOS," "tweak my DUN," "play with the registry" and so forth. But I digress.)

First, how about money? Aye, there's a popular barometer of success! Let's go to the Internet Movie Database!

"The Rock", which was made for $25 mil in 1996, grossed $125 mil in domestic box office. (All box office figures discount foreign receipts because, frankly, who gives a good goddam whether the Japanese or British liked it? I mean, have you SEEN some of THEIR films?! They'll pay for these movies and like it, dammit!)

"The Paper," (1994) starring Michael Keaton and Randy Quaid, grossed a hair under $39 mil. (No further information about the movie's costs.)

The last entry, scissors, provided a challenge. Doing a search on IMDb came up with this stunning result: "Scissors" (1966, Animated, Canada) - The imaginary life cycle of a pair of scissors, from birth to reproduction.

Where do I even begin to make fun of this find? By knocking the fact that box office receipts weren't even mentioned? By kicking our neighbors to the North in the seat of their pants (again)? No, in all fairness to scissors, let's go to "Edward Scissorhands."

"Edward Scissorhands" (1990), starring Johnny Depp, directed by Tim Burton. A hair over $56 mil.

And there you have it - a story about big-city desensitization and regaining love for your fellow man plus a modern allegory about living with a disability beaten out by big 'splosions. "Edward Scissorhands" beats "The Paper" and "The Rock" beats "Edward Scissorhands." All is right with the world.

Second Installment (A): I WAS going to do a bit about The Rock from the WWF, but after using sophisticated computer equipment, my calculations show that 63.2 percent of all commentators to this fight will mention the pro wrestler in one form or another. I opt out. (Ed. Note -- Your guess was low. See below.) Second Installment (B): I'll shorten it and wrap it up. Here goes.

When mentioning Rock, you can't forget Rock's partner Roll. And with Rock 'n' Roll comes their alliance with Earth, Wind, and Fire. An unbeatable combination, these five. Rock, Roll, Earth, Wind, and Fire in two seconds flat, and the victorious go back to their crib to smoke the chronic.

- Hey Jude the Obscure

Honorable Mention for Most Macho Posturing and TM's™
in One Response (kids, don't try this at home.)

Finally, The Rock™ has come back to Grudge Match™!

Listen up, JabroniBranch!™ and "Call Me Jabroni"™! The Rock™ Says This:

The Rock™ guaran-dang-tees that The Rock™ will win because Paper is a Rooty Pooh Candy-@$$™ and that Scissors is a Grade-A Piece Of Monkey Crap™ And you know what The Great One™ does with Candy @$$es™ like these? Let me tell you what The Rock™'s gonna do: The Rock™'s gonna walk down The People's Ramp™, The Rock™'s gonna step into The People's Ring™, The Rock™'s gonna raise The People's Eyebrow™, and The Rock™'s gonna Lay the Smack Down™ on their Candy- @$$es™! And then The Rock's gonna take his Big Boot, turn it sideways, and shove it up Devin's Monkey-@$$™ as an encore; because he knows that Brendan is one of the millions of people chanting The Rock™'s name.

And finally, The Rock™ doesn't care what that Canadian, Stone Cold-imitating Jabroni™ or that Sci-Fi-writing Jabroni™ from the Jersey Trailer Park think. Because The Rock™ is The People's Champion™, and The Rock™ says to them, "Shut Your Mouth And Know Your Role™!"

If you Smelllllllllllll What The Rock™ is Cooking!™

- forwarded by The Rock(tm) Jihad (The Rock(tm) Says There Is No Jihad, Jabroni(tm)!)

Waitaminute, if paper hadn't been invented and we hadn't tried to escape the awfulness of paper by putting our stupidity on electronic paper (the Internet), doesn't that mean that the Grudge Match wouldn't have been invented and my brain wouldn't have been permanently scarred after reading the voter responses in the Lector vs. Dahmer match?

I think I'll vote for either rock or scissors.

- Boba Foot (P.S. I'm off to bomb China for inventing the damn thing in the first place)

How did the cavemen win their battles? With Rocks!
How did the Sumerians record their lives? With Rocks!
How did the Egyptians make their pyramids? With Rocks!
How did Elijah make his altar, calling forth Yaweh's power to scare the living shit out of the Baal-worshipers? With Rocks!
How did the Romans build their empire? With Rocks!
How did the Druids set up their immortal calendar, Stonehenge? With Rocks!
How did William Wallace crush his foes like wyrms? With Rocks!
How did the Indians stalk their foes? With Rocks!
What did we land on (or, did it land on us?)? A Rock!
How did Truman scare off the Russians (or stop the Japanese?(discuss)) With a Rock! (the Uranium-238 (yeah, it's a stretch))

I believe Mike, Robert Heinlein's sentient computer in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, put it best when asked how Luna could go against Terra: "We can throw rocks at them."

- Tracer Malone


Now, if you were alone in a darkened alley, what would you rather be holding? A sheet a paper? Oooohhh... that's scary! A rock? Okay, that's a little bit more of a threat.

A razor-sharp pair of scissors? Now we're cooking with gas!

To paraphrase Sean Connery in The Untouchables: "He pulls a sheet of paper, you pull a rock. He pulls a rock, you pull a pair of scissors. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way."

Although if you want authority, I invoke Monty Python...

"Sergeant: Look, I'm only doing me job. I have to show you how to defend yourselves against fresh fruit."

"Walsh: And pointed sticks. "

You'll mention there is no mention of either rocks or paper. And a good pair of scissors can easily be classified as a small pair of connected metal pointy sticks.

Scissors will win in a bloody massacre.

- Xoxotl

I gave a lot of thought on this match, and I had to choose paper. Now, you may think that paper isn't that tough, but let's look at where it comes from, trees, hemp, cotton, etc. PLANTS! Now, plants grow, it's what they do best. Cut them down, mow them, eat them, and they come back for more! Basically, paper's numbers are growing. Thinking about this, I remembered what my father always tells me; buy land, there's only so much of it around. You can't create more land, and once all metal ore was gone, you couldn't make any more scissors (I refuse to count plastic scissors as a possibility, they're for wimps). Also, I cite the cartoon reference of Pinky and the Brain where in one episode they try to take over the world by building another world of papier-mache (Take that France!) and moving everyone else over to it. They actually succeeded, but then were forced to abandon the earth to try to take over the paper world. Paper conquered the earth! Lastly, have you ever seen a roll of paper that is used in printing newspapers? It's larger than some people's homes! With enough paper, anything is possible.

- Pareeha, part of the Paper Is Mighty Pal! or PIMP! campaign.

Brendan left out perhaps the most popular "Rock" if you smell what I'm cookin... But, Rock will win, and here is why. Rock is the most abundant of the three in the whole galaxy. As far as we know, Scissors require man to make them. Paper requires trees. If those wacky tree huggers get their way, no more trees will be cut down. No trees, no Paper. No Paper, Scissors have no purpose. Rock on the other hand, comprises the bulk of the core content of most of the planets in the universe. Advantage: Rock.

Nature saw a good thing in Rock, and ran with it, unlike scissors. Rock isn't vulnerable to fire, like Paper, nor will it rust after being left out in the rain like Scissors. Advantage: Rock.

Plus, if you squeeze Rock hard enough, you get Diamond. This ability gives Rock the final advantage. It gives Rock motivation to win. Diamond is girl's best friend, and if Rock wins, Rock goes home with the babes, which is really the reason Rock, Scissors and Paper were fighting anyway. Match, Set, Game: Rock!

- Darth Davious

That's it. I'm going to hack your dangongoodrazzifrazzin web site and put a "none of the above" button in. Why? Because you have dared to try to answer the unanswerable, illuminate the enigmatic, peer behind the curtain of space time and DESTROY ALL THAT IS HOLY! You will alter all "who goes first" contests in school, confuse all "first picks" and "dibs" claims for all time! Dare you upset the balance of creation?!? Dare you shine a maglight(TM) into the darkest depths of our very being!? Damn your egotistical hides to hades! YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED!

- Tirdun

(Actually, we're doing this to get chicks. Upsetting the balance of creation is a fringe benefit -- Eds.)

What is the most sinister force in the universe? Red Tape What is red tape composed of Paper WorkEntire organizations have been brought down by paper, if rock & scissors are so tough why doesn't IRS use them instead of paper work to instill fear. Even in the electronic age we still have to produce a hard copies to fend off their evil henchmen.

- Claymore

The Paper: Inanimate object
The Scissors: Inanimate object
The Rock: 4 time WWF champion!

If logic tells us anything, it's that the People's champ will come away with this one. But that's not the way Vinnie Mac operates.

In a stunning move, he decides to put the Scissors over in a title match. This kid has a bright future and it's important for him to connect with the fans.

Vince MacMahon says, Scissors wins the bout.

- The Freshmaker

This match comes down to one simple factor.....Early Man kicks ass. Early man had rock, and early man had fire. Early Man did not have scissors and paper. Early man did not need such things. All early man needed was fire, rock, and the pointy stick created with the aid of fire and rock. Early man did not need the conveniences of modern life. Paper, scissors, lawyers, and supermarkets were all unnecessary. If early man wanted food, he killed it, if he wanted a wife, he got one, if he had an argument, he hit his opponent with rock. Early man was cool, and rocks are cool.

- Amish Commando

Considering the influence of the invention of movable-type printing over the fate of Humanity in the last 500 years, I think it should be clear that paper is the most effective combatant. With rocks, you have The Flintstones. With edged-weapons, you have Gladiator. With paper, you have The Reformation, The Declaration of Independence, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Playboy Magazi...

...uh, you get the idea.

- Mike Leung

Choosing between rock, paper, and scissors is very similar to picking between Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander in Pokemon Red(or Blue). It simply can't be done. Write in time: I choose for a de-atomizer ray(The closest equivlent to a psychic pokemon, which only another psychic pokemon can beat.) to kill and mangle(TM) 'em all.

Supernatural forces/Ghost pokemon; NOTHING beats science!

- Katrover Swatroad

This dilemma is somewhat similar to a previous one that I experienced as a kid.

There were these action figures, each with either one of the following insignas on them: Fire, Wood, and Water. Of course, the insignas indicated the "team" these action figures were on. So who would beat whom? Well lessee now, Fire can burn wood. No doubt about that. Water, however, can put out fire. So therefore, the Fire clan beats up the Wood Clan, and the Water clan beats up the Fire Clan. So of course, given the logic, the Wood Clan would beat up the fire clan.

But I was stumped. Wood beating Water? What KIND of destruction does wood cause? Float on water? Give me a break. Sure, beavers use wood to block rivers, and therefore, block the flow of water. But it does not create inherent destruction of Water.

Frustrated, I sent off a letter with my preschool comments to the toy manufacturer. It said the following:

Der Toy Manufater


Surprisingly, I got on answer in the mail. It said only the following: "Fix Your Spelling".

Heartbroken, I locked myself in my room for 3 weeks without food and water. Okay, it was 3 days. Okay, it was 3 hours. Alright, it was only three minutes. But the point is that, I was unable to find the answer to my problems. The effort I put into trying to solve that problem only resulted in wasted time in my childhood (okay, so it was only a few minutes). Therefore, I suppose it is no use putting any effort in solving this great problem, lest I go insane, pull out my hair, and be a bald monk living in Isolation in China-Annexed-Tibet.

On the other hand, I decided to vote for rock because everybody did (152 for Rock, compared to 42 each for paper and scissors). I guess I should try solving a new problem: how to give myself a life.

- Tahna Los

The Rock will win. Let's see the other contestants withstand the People's Elbow.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to read about it. The paper won't be there anymore.

Good thing that the Grudge Match is on-line, really.

- O.P.

Oh, how quaint.(Real men settle differences with "Odds & Evens", but that's neither here nor there.)

Rocks is tough. Whenever people want to pass something/one off as difficult, or indestructable, out come the 'rock' analogies. Alcatraz is the Rock. Marciano, Graziano, Balboa (and Squirrel, natch) are 'Rocky'. Picture Show? Rocky. Ben Grimm? Rock. Soldiers trying to sound cool are 'ready to rock'. Not 'scissor some ass'. ROCK.

Let's just say that NO wrestler would ever use the phrase "If you SMELLLL! What the PAPER... is cookin'!" and be done with it.

- Ted

The most important thing to consider in this grudge match is not the weapons themselves, but who uses them:

While the rock might appeal to fans of brute force, in reality it is a primitive weapon prefered only by cavemen or anybody too poor to get himself a real weapon. The last people who used rocks as weapons were blasted into submission by Europeans five hundred years ago. And anybody who heads into certain parts of Los Angeles "packing rock" is either hopelessly confused or terminally insane.

While scissors are undeniably capable of inflicting nasty fleshwounds, they are primarily used by seamstresses, garment makers and elementry school children. None of these groups are particularly noted for there fearsome warlike natures (okay a cranky six year old can be pretty warlike, but a few of these hardly pose a threat to civilization.)

Finally we get to paper. While paper might seem pretty whimpy at first, remember that it is the primary weapon of two barbarious creatures that have ever crawled upon the planet: lawyers and bureaucrats. And three personal injury lawyers or two high Washington muckity mucks can do more damadge than all the paleolithic rock slingers and cranky six year olds on the planet.

- Babarossa

As the Emperor Of Penguins, I assembled my legions to test this match. I handed each of my three greatest warriors a weapon - one a pair of scissors, one a rock, and the third, a piece of paper.

What follows was not pretty.

Having no thumbs, the penguin holding the scissors dropped it and tried to run/waddle away. Unfortunately, he tripped and was impaled upon the scissors. What he tripped over, we're still trying to figure out.

Ignoring the unfortunate casualty, Rock and Paper squared off. Rock raised his weapon to take out Paper's skull, when the unpredictable happened - paper covered rock!

This, however, was only a temporary setback. We must remember, when circumstances call for it, Rock punches through Paper (see Tremors II). Therefore, Rock wins.

- No animals were harmed during this. Just the Emperor of Penguins, Keith... and hurting him is probably good, since he pissed off Wentz.

And you think you're confused.

I'm half-Vietnamese, and in Vietnam it gets even worse. In addition to the normal three combatants, they've also got the nail (index finger out) and the well (make an "o" with your hand). The nail is very very weak, it will be destroyed the rock, cut in half by the scissors, tossed down the well, the only thing it can defeat is paper. On the other hand, just about everything will be tossed down the well. Rock, down the well. Scissors, down the well. Nail, down the well. It can only be defeated by paper, which will cover the well, rendering it powerless.

So I'm voting for the well, which will defeat three out of four combatants.

- Infraggable Krunk, really doesn't want to know how they do it in Zaire

Given that Rock crushes Scissors, I propose this scenario:

Stand in a wide open field. Find a friend - preferrably a fast-ball pitcher. Give him a rock. Have him stand about 30 feet in front of you.

Take a single sheet of paper. Hold that piece of paper in front of your face.

Would you feel comfortable asking your friend to hurl the rock at the paper?

I didn't think so.

- Hurricane Andrew

Rocks, paper and scissors are inanimate objects, so the real fight will be between the scissor lobby, the paper lobby, and the rock lobby.

Who is on the side of scissors? Well, since it takes steel to make scissors, all the steel workers will immediately come out and fight, along with the iron miners and coal miners (most energy to melt the iron comes from coal). This group is therefore principally made up of 250 pound muscle men who can hold their own in battle.

The paper lobby will include loggers, who spend their days wielding large, heavy axes. Another group of tough men. Also, millions upon millions of paper-pushing secretaries, bureaucrats, and middle managers will be fighting on the side of paper. Sure, they're mostly wimps, but quantity matters.

Who the heck cares about the welfare of rocks? Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Earth First! and assorted other hippies. It's pretty obvious that either of the first two groups could demolish this crowd.

Once the rock lobby is eliminated, the transitivity paradox is eliminated, too. Only scissors and paper remain...and scissors cut paper.

- Mike

There was one major (although consistent) flaw in the presented arguments: each of you seemed to think that it was possible for one of the items to beat both of the other items based on some virtues or weaknesses you think you so cleverly exposed. The only problem is that this can't happen.

Paper beats Rock. Rock beats Scissors. Scissors beats Paper. These are facts that cannot be denied. To suggest that any one of them could beat BOTH of the other competitors is heresy. If I want to sit around and watch people violate the natural laws of our universe, I'll rent a James Bond movie. But that has no place here.

Thus, it is within the above restrictions that the battle must be evalutated. Most likely, all 3 would realize the nature of the fight, that each member's own security relied on the maintenance of this stand-off, and nothing would happen, until two of the 3 were summoned to determine who gets to ride shotgun outside a Wichita State dormitory. But since ties are not the purpose of Grudge Match, we have to throw this possibility out.

So the question remains: which of the 3 is going to make the first move? Realize that whoever does this will certainly go after the one he can beat. In doing so, however, he would then be left alone with someone that could then kill him. Ergo, whoever makes such a first move has to be an idiot, for to do so will directly result in his own death. So we have to ask ourselves: which one of these three is stupid enough to break the chain of communal safety, which one of these is moronic enough to sign his own death warrant, which one of these is as dumb as a... rock?

Rock, in its infinite stupidity, kills Scissors because that's what Rock does. As Rock delivers its crushing blow, his last vision is that of falling darkness, as Paper moves in for the suffocation.

- Shaggy

Multiple Choice Question

In a few minutes the man in black will come around this bend... The minute his HEAD is in view HIT IT WITH THE...

A. Paper
B. Scissors

If it's good enough for the Princess Bride it's good enough for me...

- Undertaker

No doubt about it, the rock takes all. It has everything (and more) that it needs to put a serious hurt on the competition.

First to go down: Paper. I mean, for cryin' out loud, what right does Paper have to even be in the same GAME as Rock. The only reason it's there is because a game of "Rock, Scissors" wouldn't have been much fun and it's a simple shape to make with your hand. If someone threatened you with a leaf of paper would you be worried. NO! Paper is only harmful to the user (paper cuts). Rock tears a hole in Paper in two seconds.

Next: Scissors. At first Scissors appear to be a worthy opponent. They are fashioned out of Rock and have sharpened edges and a point. Scissors are a known threat to your body (don't run with scissors). But, after a closer look, Scissors do give up some advantages to Rock. First off, they are only effective on two edges, the inside edges at that. Heck, a rock will hurt no matter where it hits you. Second, proximity. If you want to hurt someone with Scissor you have to get within arms length. If you do that I'll just run like a school girl and throw a Rock at you (remember if you give chase you might hurt yourself). Then I can just pick up another Rock and throw it. Which is a third point: more ammo. Also, has anyone ever killed a giant with Scissors? David killed Goliath with a Rock to the forehead. Even God's choice of weaponry is a rock. And finally, the Rock has the Rage(TM). Before Scissors and Paper the Rock dominated the game. It was the undisputed champion for hundreds of years until the young, upstarts Scissors and Paper came stole some of the limelight and now, the Rock isn't gonna take it any more. It's time to show the world who the weapon is. Rock in 1 min. 2 sec.

- paragon_77

Determining the deadliness of each of these mighty weapons of destruction is a simple matter of examining the hand signs used to represent them in the rock/paper/scissors game. Now rock is represented by a closed fist, obviously representative of a punch; quite a solid metaphor of force. Yet paper's open hand also resembles the open handed karate chop; obviously given the relative prowess of martial artists vs. mere punching brawlers, this indicates paper's superiority to rock. Yet even paper's power is nothing compared to the force represented by the two outthrust fingers of scissors... the dreaded Stooge Eye Gouge.

Scissors takes this one in a blinding blaze of glory.

- "Mad Dog" Mike

First of all, nice "new" digs ya got here. And yes, it is me, for those few over there who still remember my nickname. But let's get down to business.

It's really quite simple. Despite the myriad of good reasons that include value to society and complexity, I voted for scissors for one basic reason: because only the scissors can cut out the thousands of responses you'll get that include the phrase "'cause the Rock said so!" Said scissors can also stab those respondents who put the phrase in all caps, and/or sign off with other professional wrestling references. What more reason can I possibly need?

- Leaper

My head hurts very much when I try to think about this match...but I try to have insight anyway...

Paper is weak and it can't hurt anybody unless maybe you ball it up and shove it down their throat and it'd sure be easy to shove it down their throat if you knocked them unconscious with a rock and tied them up but if they had scissors they could cut the rope and aren't you scared of scissors? I'm scared of scissors so they must win, except rock can't be hurt by anything, not the scissors and not the paper the paper can cover the rock but that doesn't hurt the rock cause it doesn't need to breathe, but scissors you could jam into someone's eyeball and that would hurt, but I like to rock too but I like that song Papercuts by Nirvana and I can't think of any song with scissors in it, so rock and roll hoochy coo AAAAGGGH I CAN'T THINK IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE (sobbing)

this is your fault not mine this is all your fault

- My name is Kenny (I think)

OK, I hate to do it, but I'm gonna pull the Frenchie card. As it turns out, there is a French shampoo named Roc, which is very similar to rock, so, as in the grand tradition of the Grudge Match, rock cannot win.

Which leaves it to Paper and Scissors. After doing a little research, I'm ready to pull the Frienchie card again. As it turns out French monks revolutionized the paper industry in and around 1338 A.D. The French... revolutionized... paper. Is anything sacred? So Rock's out and Paper's out, which leaves only one thing. Scissors. Need I say more?

- Mr. Potato Head (Hey, who YOU callin' a FRENCH fry?!)

Rock, Paper and Scissors?

So hard, so many choices.

But I wish to make a crucial point, Scissors can not exist without paper to cut, but neither can paper achive the usefulness it has today without scissors.

The two go hand in hand in a union, like Ying and Yang, like good and evil, darkness and light, Tony Blair and Allistar Campbell, DS9 and B5, reflections of the other perfectly balancing.

However, the rock, the stone, is the underlying base of it all. Philosophicaly speaking, while Paper and Scissors are codependant, the rock may stand alone. Surely this means that it should be capeable of winning?

BUT, the rock is allegorical, and is a poor one. It fails to represent the universe's inherent duality. Therefore, it is inadequate, and must surely fall beneath the paperlike embrace of the more complex world model of the Paper/Scissors duality.

BUT, does the rock represent an abstract, a supreme underlying basis, God or a supreme ideal if you will, that predates and underlies the fabric of the base and flawed universe we readily observe? Surely this means that Rock should triumph over the Paper/Scissors?

Indeed, the game itself is more inherent a model of the Quantum uncertainty and superposition states than of a deterministic world? Perhaps the game itself represents this rather than a contest between dualism and the eternal struggle of light and darkness vs the one supreme way?

Sod this for a game of soldiers! Lets get WOPR aka Joshua to use the game as a nice analogy of how no one wins in MAD, then I'm off to the pub to get well and truely pissed.

- Seb Rabit

You have gone too far. Rock paper scissors is a means of resolving conflicts peacefully. How much better off we could have been in the past if instead of killing thousands conficts had been settled over a game of rock paper scissors. This leads us to the question of why you are trying to resolve one of the worlds greatest conflict resolving technique. I think the answer goes a bit like this: your appetites for orgies of blood and destruction have grown so out of control that you want to make peaceful conflict resolution impossible. The offshoot of this is that any time kids want to decide who gets the last twinkie in the box for example, they will be forced to fight to the death, because we can't play rock paper scissors when we know that rock beats everything. Well, I hope you are proud of yourselves.

- Paul

(We are. -- Eds.)

Although pyramid paintings show images of Egyptian bronze shears used around the Third Century B.C., Leonardo Da Vinci is credited for designing the modern scissors in the late 1400s. Although there is more history behind this invention, Leornardo is still credited as the "Father of Scissors".

Based upon a true story involving Leornardo's bastard child, Edward Scissorhands, played by the multi-talented (none of which is acting) Johnny Depp, tragically met his fate after dating Winona Ryder.

Strangely, two years earlier, Ryder, began her downward spiral into the emotional void by forcing her dark baggage into the tormented life of Betelgeuse (pronounced "Beetlejuice" to the layperson.) Michael Keaton, as brilliantly as possible, completed his role as the stressed-out specter, and rose from the ashes to star in a mediocre film about The Paper. In addition, after the Batman episodes, you can pretty much consider this career nothing more than wadded up tissue in the can.

However, the art of paper making is believed to have been refined by Ts'ai Lun in 105AD somewhere in middle China. Moreover, archaeologists believe that paper was actually invented some 200 years earlier. This makes the invention of paper much older than Winona Ryder. Perhaps paper will outlast even Winona.

The final Winonassault came in the form of Girl Interrupted against Angelina Jolie. Jolie, in absolute turmoil, then carried this madness manifested in the form of dreadlocks into Gone in 60 Seconds. In one quick moment of heat she almost caused Nicholas Cage to lose sight of his pure objective: stealing cars, saving his brother, and looking good. In spite of this, Cage used his strength, fought off the attack and championed over the wood carving Russian mafia man. (Let it be known that although he ended up with the crappy car... but he did accomplish his mission.)

Research shows that rocks where invented long before Nicholas Cage or Sean Connery filmed their famous documentary. I've heard rumors that Alcatraz Island was once used as a military base in the 1800s. Although that wasn't covered in the movie and therefore cannot be proven fact, it nonetheless makes for great legend. Please keep in mind I'm not here to talk about cool stories, but to deal with hard facts.

Anyway, Sean Connery is pretty cool. You can shoot him (Longest Day), zap him (Avengers), cut off his head (Highlander), threaten to compress him (Hunt for Red October), and he keeps coming back for more (Entrapment). Please note that most rocks would be reduced to sand after this kind of treatment.

He's also about the same age as most rocks.

Therefore, using infallible and irrefutable methods of deduction, we've proven that both rocks are old and Winona Ryder has some kind of agenda in Hollywood.

Vote for the candidate that will absolutely outlast her possible longevity, baby! Go rock!

- rbaker

tough one. after many hours of thinking, i decided to solve this problem the usual way. get three violent and gullible friends, give them each $20, and have them fight to the death (or unconciousness, whatever). for a question this monumental, though, needed something big, something spectacular, i needed... DUCT TAPE!! yes, fellow canadians, duct tape. i rounded up three friends with characteristics similar to the three items, then i covered the in duck tape, and strapped a rock to one, and scissors to another. for the paper, after spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how to tape it to him in a way that made sense, i gave up and just handed it to him. then, clad in duct tape suits of armor, the three contestants waddled on to the field. after the national anthem, the battle began. the battle begun:

the first thign i notices was that the duct tape was stopping the scissors from doing anything. they couldn't penetrate the duct tape. rock took an early lead as he smashes the hand holdong the scissors. meanwhile, paper was trying to suffocate rock by holding the paper over his mouth. but scissors put an end to that by punching through the paper and breaking rocks nose.

several hours later:

after i wake up from my nap, i see that the battle is still going strong. the field is littered with blood and duct tape. after a little while longer, all three fighters pass out from heat stroke brought on by the duct tape suits. the police and paramedics show up soon after.

Later, at the emergency room:

what have we learned today?
we've learned that duct tape should not be applied to hair.
we've learned that, if you pay your friends to do this, you'll have less friends.
we've learned that you should always leave before the police show up
we've learned that the police really do use those clubs they carry.
we've learned that the paramedics have and use them as well.

most importantly, we've learned that the answer to the mighty question will never be known. you see, the question and answer to rock, paper, or scissors are mutually exclusive. they cannot be known together, or the world will end. but if you ask me, the answer is DUCT TAPE, BABY!!!! DUCT TAPE BEATS ALL!!!

- Kramertim 'duct tape is the answer to all problems' and his brain

Let's see... If I understand this correctly, rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, and rock? What good does that do? Is this a psychological thing, where because we cannot see the rock, we realize it isn't there, and therefore, it isn't? Or is this the rambling of someone who is up far to late to discuss the philosophical ramifications of covering minerals with processed wood pulp? You see, if by covering the rock with the paper we can cause it to not be, then we can cause ourselves to not be merely by concealing ourselves within a paper bag!

*--Hurriedly sips coffee--*

Just think! If we could create a piece of paper large enough, we could rule the world! Weapons would be useless against a sheet of paper, which is impenetrable to... ...nothing.


- Lagger

I can't decide. Let me do rock-paper-scissors. Oh wait! That's what we're trying to figure out. Maybe I should flip a coin. Oops. I can't flip a coin with three combatants. I know, eenie meenie meinie moe...scissors is out! So it is down to rock and paper. Flip a coin: heads rock, tails paper. Heads. Rats! Okay, best two out of three. Heads. Rats!
Okay, best three out of five...heads! Darn!
Okay, best four out of seven...heads! Argh!
{much later}
As destiny dictated, paper wins (best 39847 of 79693).

Was there ever any doubt?

- Mark Wentz

Seeing as how the combatants for this match are, in fact, inanimate objects, its hard to envision how this one will resolve itself. Clearly, each entrant needs a representative; someone who embodies the very nature of rockhood, scissorocity, and paperness. It will ultimately be these representatives who settle this ages old quandry. Lets start with rock. Plenty of options in terms of names: Rocky Balboa, Rocky Marciano, Joe Rockhead (Fred Flinstone`s *other* neighbour, before the arrival of the Weirdlys). None of these men really embody the true nature of rock. Clearly, the only choice is the Thing, from the Fantastic Four. The dude *is* a giant rock. can only be Edward Scissorhands. Who else can represent the twin blades of justice and...uh...topiary gardening better than good old Eddy. it gets tricky. I have been trying for days, and I cant think of a suitable representative. The best I could do was any role by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gives his characters all the depth of a piece of paper. Lets go with the Last Action Hero, because no paper was wasted writing the script for that piece of garbage. Also, no paper was wasted on any actual tickets to the movie...

Hmmm, close battle, but I have to think that the Thing would dispatch Ah-nold fairly quickly. Ben Grimm is easily annoyed, so no question who his first target would be. And I don't think Johnny Depp has the killer instinct needed to take out the Thing. Sensitivity, sure, but that and 25 cents will buy you a cup of coffee which you cant drink anyhow, thanks to your deformed hands, bent into the shape of 4's, courtesy of the Thing.

Besides, the Thing is just bolder (Get it? Boulder? Ah, nevermind.)

- 1/2 Nelson

A match eternal, this one. It probably won't even be decided here, but....

It's occured to me that, of the three outcomes, only one is not irreversibly destructive to its opponent.

Rock breaks Scissors. The scissors will never be the same. Watch out for flying metal shards. They hurt.

Scissors cuts Paper. Subsequently, Paper cuts your fingers, but all too late is this act of defiance.

Paper covers Rock.


"Ooh, Paper, you're covering me. I'm scared. Here, watch me cover you. Now, watch me find a sharp edge and tear ya. Better yet, let me use some of this loose graphite I've got and brand you like the jabronie you are."

Come on...just because Homer Simpson overuses it doesn't make it worse than these two candidates. He gives rock some extra P.R. support, for that matter. All is well and cool.

That, and I'd like to see paper cover my lava rocks for a second on the grill. I do need kindling, after all.

- Nicholas Eckert

I was going to go with Rock, but then I thought of a reason Paper is better than Rock, but then I thought of a reason that Scissors is better than Paper, after which it suddenly dawned on me that Rock is better than Scissors, and then I took an Excedrin and watched cartoons until my brain stopped throbbing.

- Mr. Siverback - Next up: Tastes Great vs. Less Filling

C'mon, guys, this is easy! We can take it for granite--rock wins. And those wins ain't gonna be gneiss and pretty. In fact, rock will probably be charged with basalt and battery!

It's clear to any lucite person that rock will, of quartz, easily beat paper. Anyone who thinks otherwise is graywacke. Sure, paper is the gypsum of the three, and can be blown about in the wind, or even hurl itself against rock. But so what? Paper can't even marl rock's surface! Norite can paper do anything to crush rock. But all rock has to do is roll over and then...well, it's no use for paper to curse and say, "Oh, schist!" One, two, three--paper is dunite. For rock, it's millerite time!

The orthoclase of scissors vs. rock is just as easy. Natrolite, rock can beat scissors. Scissors may be able to do more damage to rock than paper can, but even scissors arenite as sturdy as rock. Rock has the pyrite stuff to crush scissors into submission. After all, rock is bornite under difficult conditions, and it has a healty apatite for destruction. It's rutile for scissors to fight rock-- rock will leave them cryolite every time.

And Shane, how can you say that rock isn't dangerous? Halite, get realgar! If I had a nickeline for every time I've stubbed my toes, scraped knees and hands, and twisted ankles on rocks...well, I wouldn't have to be searching for fame or fortune on here! And haven't you ever heard of volcanos, earthquakes, landslides, and pyroclastic flows? Believe me, walking on lava would quickly have you crying "Aa!" Talc all you want, Shane, but euclase against rock doesn't hold up.

Tuff luck, paper and scissors. Rock is diorite!

- Bookworm

As Bart Simpson once said: "Good ol' rock, nothing beats that!" But because of this, Lisa will always use paper: "Poor, predictable Bart. Always picks rock..." (This was from the episode when B&L wrote that Itchy & Scratchy episode and credited it to Grandpa.)

Given the Simpsons' WWWF track record, one could argue rock or paper could emerge victorious...

But Bart has more WWWF experience, so I'm supporting his choice!

- Mgugu, the Simpsons Semi-Fanatic

I have to go with the rock on this one. It was here thousands of years before the paper or scissors and will be here thousands of years after. Kinda like Dick Clark.

- Mark Dziak

Only one of these can give Mr. T his Mento's coolness haircut. How can you choose anything else?

- One of Many Marks (Founder of the "there is no Mark Jihad" - Marks of the World unite!)

Think about it. It all comes down to the two opposing and common powers, fire and water. Place the three in a vat of water. What happens? First off, water becomes a little soggy pansy just waiting to be torn to oblivion by the slightest touch. Then scissors begins to rust. I mean, what's up with that? At least paper dies a pretty cool death. Scissors just becomes a total wuss like he's got some kind of little girly frail disease. Rock, however, takes it like a man... a rock man. He sits there until the water evaporates. Now fire. Have you all seen the fires out west? The stuff is obliterating trees left and right. Paper wouldn't stand a chance. I mean, this fire is totally owning all these big daddy trees which are just paper but stronger. And then it would melt the little rubber handles off the scissors, once again leaving it weak and vulnerable with only pitiful tiny metal rods for handles. Rock? Rock just gets a cool blackened look from smoke buildup. I mean how cool is that? The fire eventually disappears leaving only a single slightly blackened rock. Like Schwarzenegger coming out of an exploding building. Totally bitchin'.

- Mr. Toad

This conflict has plagued mankind for years and over the years different sides have taken the upper hand, for years it was Rocks, but then we got out of the Stone Age and moved into the Iron Age where scissors were king. But now, in the Disgusting Legal System of Ultimate Death(TM) Age, it appears perhaps the final battle will be won by Paper.

Yes, Paper. Not because it has any special physical properties but because it is the weapon of choice for the most vile creatures on the planet today. These lawyers can send an innocent man to jail for life, sometimes to a sentence of over 100 years. Unless that innocent man happens to be in Texas, in which case he and 23 of his closest friends will be executed. Lawyers can also make sure a clearly guilty person will walk, especially if he or she or O.J. happens to be a celebrity. The paper these lawyers use to write death warrants or checks to judges clearly hold more power than either of the other two competitors.

We can only hope that this balance of power is cyclical and one day the tide will turn and the lawyers will be stabbed to death by scissor wielding Aliens or maybe a huge comet will come and wipe out only the lawyers. Until that day when the Disgusting Legal System of Ultimate Death(TM) Age comes to a close, we all must yield to the might of Paper.

- Some Dork


Truly, they are marvels. They represent greater powers than a mere man:

The ROCK is nature itself for obvious reasons. PAPER is human intelligence (after all, we figured out chopping down trees made paper). The SCISSORS are human technology (See? We made scissors!). It is by these that the world remains intact.

As all schoolboys know, nature easily destroys human technology with a single punch of brute force. But nature crumbles apart against human intelligence, because it can cloud nature from doing anything. Human technology can sometimes turn on human intelligence for the worse, and slice through it like a knife through butter.

This is a fragile equilibrium, but a stable one. Sometimes a two-way battle will ensue between two of them. In this, one will be a victor, or there will be a stalemate. But the other factor will hold together the fighters. Thusly, we are saved.

But in a THREE-way battle, no one can hold together the balance. No matter how the battle goes, we are doomed: If human intelligence is left, we cannot flourish without technology, nor have nature to rely on for help. We are quickly eliminated. If human technology is left, we have no intelligence to operate it, and no nature to accomodate us like cavemen. We are either ripped apart by technology, or die in the cold with a lack of nature. And if only nature exists, then there is no intelligence OR technology to help anyone should something potentially apocalyptic happen (pretty flowers don't help).

Rock, paper, scissors. There can be no clear winner in a three-way, as the battle will end in annihilation of biblical proportions. The universe collapses in on itself as a result, and it starts over. Will it do better the second time around? Best two out of three.

- Charge Man


...and this is the Grudge Match, after one hit of Acid. Harmless? I think not.

- Peanuts"REEFER MADNESS!!!"Pat

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Death v. Taxes
Lucky the Leprechaun v. The Trix Rabbit
King Midas v. The Grim Reaper

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ETA: Monday, August 21st, 2000

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