The Royal Rumble finally came.
Unlike a whole host of pay per views, this one was actually quite good.
Bear in mind that I had predicted that WWE will totally fuck it up -https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/a-critical-analysis-of-how-wwe-will-fork-up-royal-rumble/
The last times I was this happy was when Brock Lesnar suplexed John Cena 16 times at Summerslam and when Seth freacking Rollins cashed in his MITB briefcase at Wrestlemania.
So what made this particular Royal Rumble so special?
10. No John Cena, which, in turn, means no Cena Wins LOL
9. Talking of returns, Sami Zayn returned from injury and eliminated Kevin Owens. This has the potential to be Owens vs Zayn in Wrestlemania – worth the ticket price alone.
8. The Charlotte-Becky match was one of the best women’s wrestling matches in history. And it led to the return of the Boss Sasha Banks, to one of the biggest pops of the night. Not only did she return, but she turned face by putting Charlotte in the Banks Statement. (This further showed the difference in quality of the NXT ladies
7. Ric Flair brought back the Attitude Era by going into full heel mode. The dirtiest player in the game lived up to his name by distracting his daughter’s opponent Becky Lynch by……kissing her smack on the lips. Later when Becky had Charlotte trapped in a submission manouver, Ric Flair took off his jacket and threw it straight at Becky’s face, thereby blinding her and forcing her to stop the move.
This is classic heel mode. Young people going into this business need to see these and appreciate a legend doing legendary things.
6. Its the Royal Rumble match. So R Truth comes to the ring, gets a ladder, climbs the ladder and then and only then realizes that its not a Money in the Bank match.
5. Rusev splashes Roman Reigns through a table. So far so good. Then he for some unfathomable reason, plus out of one of those television monitors from the announcers’ desk and calmly walks off with it.
Its the sheer randomness of moments like these that put the E in WWE.
4. HHH pushes Roman Reigns over the top rope and then crotch chops
3. The New Day
The name alone guarantees entertainment.
We had the annual Kofi Kingston spot from the Rumble.
We had Big E’s excellent finisher to win their match.
We had the moment of silence for the dead trombone
We had the debut of Francesca II because “a brother’s got needs”
And we had Xavier Woods refusing to play Francesca II because the crowd asked him to play it. He is a heel after all.
2. The debut of the Phenomenal One
After a 18 year career around the world, a career where he achieved everything he could achieve, a career where he was the top dog in TNA, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honour to name just three companies, AJ Styles finally came to WWE.
The crowd went nuts.
That reception was just dues for the Phenomenal One.
He did not disappoint in the match (duh) and now he needs a solid feud to build up his character here. His presence is an astronomical positive in a roster chock full of injuries.
Cherry on top – Aj Styles trying the Styles Splash, Kevin Owens interrupts, shouts “welcome to the WWE” and throws Styles over the top rope.
And finally, the best of them all
Reason uno so to speak
The match of the year – Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose
What a match people, what a match.
This was attitude era violence with tables, chairs, kendo sticks and people shouting at each other. And it was fast paced high tempo action all the way.
Cannonball through the barrier
The ending with Ambrose pushing Owens from the top rope on two tables
Ambrose pushing Owens over the announce table and Owens going through Michael Cole and spending the whole recovery period pawing Michael Cole and then throwing away Michael Cole’s glasses; Ambrose nonchalantly picking up Michael Cole’s phone, browsing it and then throwing it away
Ambrose punching Owens, Owens shouting “I hate you”, Ambrose shouting back “I hate you too”
Its these little things that make the difference between masters of the craft and dummies like Roman Reigns.
And that’s why this particular Rumble was so great.