Earth Rumble is an earthbending tournament held underground in a giant earthen arena in the Earth Kingdom town of Gaoling. The competition is a popular Earth Kingdom event, and the stands are always full, save for the front rows, which are constantly demolished and pummeled by flying rocks that come out of the ring. Xin Fu, a proficient earthbender, was the host of Earth Rumble VI, which took place in 100 AG.
The rules of Earth Rumble are simple: knock the other fighter out of the ring with earthbending and you advance to the next round. The fighter who defeats all others has to challenge and defeat the winner of the past Earth Rumble competition for the title of Earthbending Champion and the prestigious Earth Rumble belt. To make things more interesting, Xin Fu would sometimes offer prize money to an audience member that believed they could defeat the Earthbending Champion.
The Earth Rumble competitions are held in an underground arena lit by glowing crystals. This huge cavern has seats in the ground that look down at a ring with a recessed pit that surrounds it.
When Avatar Aang and his friends came to the town of Gaoling searching for an earthbending teacher in 100 AG, they heard about Earth Rumble VI from some earthbending students. They visited the competition hoping to find a master earthbender willing to teach Aang. There, they discovered Toph Beifong, under the alias "The Blind Bandit", the champion of the competition. After she won the tournament, Xin Fu offered money to whoever could beat her in a fight. Hoping to get the chance to talk to her, Aang accepted. However, he accidentally beat her with his airbending, causing her to storm off, refusing to speak to him. Toph's title as reigning champion was later restored.
At some point after the Hundred Year War's end, another Earth Rumble tournament took place during which Toph once again squared off against The Boulder. Despite his grandiose, confident, and touching introduction, The Boulder was easily defeated.
- Xin Fu (manager and former champion)
- Aang (former champion)
- The Blind Bandit (current champion)
- The Boulder
- The Big Bad Hippo
- Fire Nation Man
- The Gopher
- The Gecko
- The Earth Rumble competitions are similar to real world professional wrestling shows — extravagant fighters with unique names and skills fight each other in matches, with a championship belt at stake. It is particularly like wrestling in North America popularized by promotions such as the WWE, emphasizing elaborate angles and over-the-top personalities, or "gimmicks". This parallel is especially apparent, as the similarly named "Royal Rumble" is one of WWE's largest pay-per view events. Taking a look at the contestants listed above plays out as an itemized list of stock characters:
- Badgermoles are used to clean up the debris in the stadium, similar to the zamboni in ice hockey.
- Earth Rumble is similar in objective to pro-bending.
- Earthbending tournaments with a similar concept as Earth Rumble, whereby an opponent wins by knocking the other off a platform, date back to at least 296 BG.
- From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Gear: Earth Rumble Six.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (May 5, 2006). "The Blind Bandit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
- Goetter, Sara (writer & artist), Toph and The Boulder (2019), Dark Horse Comics.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eighteen, "The Town". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.