2017 Royal Rumble Match: Brawny the Strowman

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As late as ten minutes before the 2017 Royal Rumble match, I was undecided on whether to do a write-up or even take notes. But it has been a while since my last post as I have been experimenting with various podcast formats, none of which will do.

I had high hopes for this year’s Rumble match since 2016 was a return to the kind of booking seen in the past, and with this match loaded with (part time) star power. It’s just a shame I saw betting odds beforehand, which kind of ruined it for me.

A quick comment on earlier matches: I was rather bored by much of it and actually fell asleep during Owens vs Reigns. It’s okay, because Reigns went to the back for a nap in the 2016 match so one good turn deserves another. Cena vs Styles was awesome as usual, but because it didn’t take place in the Tokyo Dome or even the Sumo Japanese Steakhouse in San Antonio, it can’t possibly be as good as any New Japan match according to some. With Cena and Owens as champions, it meant either a face or heel could win. Or maybe even a guy who is both. Just don’t let betting odds spoil it. Continue reading 2017 Royal Rumble Match: Brawny the Strowman

Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson Part 5 (Royal Rumble/WrestleMania Edition)

As I was reading the book “Accepted” by Pat Patterson last month, I got more than halfway through and wondered if he had left out the first WrestleMania or something. Fortunately, he went back in the timeline later to discuss that and inventing the Royal Rumble.

I have all the respect in the world for Muhammad Ali, but when he showed up to be the referee for that match between Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper, I realized right away that he would not be able to perform a normal refereeā€™s duties in the ring.

Muhammad Ali was promoted as the special referee for the first WrestleMania main event, but was bumped to the outside at the very last minute as Patterson took over those duties. Ali had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within the prior year so it was not clear how many people knew what that meant. Patterson being in the ring was helpful to get Mr. T through the match as well since Pat had a role in training him. With so much on the line, things needed to go smoothly. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson Part 5 (Royal Rumble/WrestleMania Edition)

2016 Royal Rumble Match

Time for the 2016 Royal Rumble in Orlando, FL and Roman Reigns is on the poster! What could possibly go wrong? Some things but that was all deferred until later. I can tell you up front that this was better than 2015 in every way and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. However the “smart fans” might not like the reasons for it. Our hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler because for the love of God we can’t change THAT up. This match is for the WWE title just like 1992 because nothing is sacred anymore. Continue reading 2016 Royal Rumble Match

2015 Royal Rumble Match

Actual footage of the ’15 Rumble

With still a few hours left until the 2016, let’s take a look back at the 2015 edition because why not? Oh right, it was a trainwreck. Perhaps some lessons can be gleaned? Or maybe we should just celebrate the fact that it won’t get much worse than this. Philadelphia was already stuck with the 76ers and didn’t deserve this. The hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler and they would not be helpful. Continue reading 2015 Royal Rumble Match

2014 Royal Rumble Match – A Requiem for CM Punk

Even more than CM Punk the wrestler, I love the IDEA of CM Punk. He is well known for carrying himself as an iconoclast with a set of firmly held beliefs which I respect. He didn’t care about offending his bosses and spoke his mind. A lot of people think he’s a complete prick who carried a chip on his shoulder against imagined enemies. Looking back at various points in my own life, I can project some of Punk’s personality traits onto myself but really we are all a little bit of CM Punk, the guy fighting the machine but never quite getting what he really wants. Sadly, the 2014 Royal Rumble match would be his last as an active wrestler (for now). Continue reading 2014 Royal Rumble Match – A Requiem for CM Punk

2002 Royal Rumble Match

While taking a journey through all these Royal Rumble matches, I’ve examined my own evolution as a fan. The ’88 Rumble was the first wrestling even I ever saw on TV, with the endless Dino Bravo benchpress segment being the thing I remember seeing first. So it’s a wonder why I stuck around after that. Like many people, I stopped watching in the mid-90s and came back for the Attitude Era. Also like many, I mostly stopped watching after Wrestlemania 17. Continue reading 2002 Royal Rumble Match

2001 Royal Rumble Match

By the time the 2001 Royal Rumble arrived, the WWF was very close to peaking as an organization. The general consensus is that Wrestlemania 17 in April 2001 is the best Mania of all time and perhaps the best PPV ever. However by some factors, the company had already peaked. Leaving USA Network for Spike was a short term financial gain, but they paid a price long term in 2005 by having to crawl back to USA on an unfavorable deal when it comes to advertising dollars. The death of WCW in March would not create new viewers as instead many just stopped watching. Continue reading 2001 Royal Rumble Match

1997 Royal Rumble Match

Revised 1997 Royal Rumble poster

When the WWE Network added a section called “Attitude Era RAWs”, they started with the 12/15/1997 edition featuring Vince McMahon’s “cure for the common show” promo. A lot of things led up to that: birth of DX, racial angles, etc. No one became a bigger star in 1997 than Stone Cold Steve Austin and this Royal Rumble is where everything launched. While he won the 1996 King of the Ring, he floundered for a bit afterward. He wasn’t even on the Summerslam main show in ’96, Austin faced Yokozuna on the pre-show. The match with Bret Hart at Survivor Series was a classic, but Austin lost. The Rumble would be his first big win in a run that would have been longer if not for his neck injury later in ’97. Continue reading 1997 Royal Rumble Match

1996 Royal Rumble Match

By the end of 1995, the WWF had made some changes in order to turn the tide on what had been a very depressing year in all areas. Diesel was out after a failed year long run as champ, and Bret Hart was back in. There would be no more main events featuring King Mabel. But one thing would not change: the determination to push Shawn Michaels as the top guy and set him up for the Wrestlemania match with the Hitman. The 1996 Royal Rumble was a journey as I sorted out my feelings about that development, which seemed pretty inevitable given the lack of choices at the time. Continue reading 1996 Royal Rumble Match