The event started kind of strange. 2 rows, directly in front of me, sat some old Hippy lookin’ motherfucker who kept getting WWE staff coming over to him fist pounding him and talking. Then this shit happened: What The Fudge
So here’s the deal. The Royal Rumble has been on, once a year for the last 25 years. The main attraction at this show every year is a match call the royal rumble. The winner gets a shot at becomming the companies champion at the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania. The match itself starts with 2 men in the ring, wrestling each other. Every 90 seconds another wrestler joins the match. This happens until 30 wrestlers have entered. The way to win the match is to outlast all other opponents. Out last how? You eliminate the other wrestlers from the match by throwing them over the top rope. Once both of a wrestlers feet touch the ground outside of the ring, they are eliminated. It sounds stupid? It is one of the most fun things you can watch. It’s complete madness!!
Every 80 seconds the big screen begins the countdown 10-9-8…Nobody in the crowd knows who will be the next to enter the match and this is made all the better, as every year they take this opportunity to suprise the hardcore fans who have watched the show by having a few suprises. Wrestlers that have not been working for the company in years or possibly a wrestler who was due to be out for the year through injury returning early. This year they went with a gimmick that a ‘bad guy’ got to pick whether he was number 1 or number 2 in the match. This because obviously being one of the first in the match means you have the odds stacked against you. The guy picked number 1. Came out on the mic and started talking shit about how it didn’t matter that he was number 1, he would eliminate all 29 other wrestlers and he was ready to get started, bring out number 2, I don’t care who it is. At that point pyro blew the shit out of the entrance ramp and the big screen flashed the name JERICHO. The crowd went fuckin’ crazy.
The match started with a huge response which set the tone for the entire thing which lasted over an hour. Chris Jericho returning was the biggest suprise of the night. He left months ago as he is the frontman for a band called Fozzy. They released a new album and were touring. He also had stated numerous times that he would be touring through April and later into 2013 and thus would not be able to attend Wrestlemania 29. Perhaps more interesting than the tv show itself is the inner workings of the business. It has been revealed that the company brought Chris into Phoenix by bus and did not tell anybody about him being there. They brought him off the bus right before he was meant to wrestle. It was the balls. They also brought back two wrestlers who were very popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. One of which played the character of a pimp! Which was a big suprise because WWE has pushed to show people that it is strictly a family friendly show and strive for a PG rating.
The main event for the night was a match between the current champion CM Punk and Mr. Hollywood Action Star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. It was a pretty sucky match from a wrestling fan standpoint and if you were a fan of wrestling you didn’t like the fact The Rock won. He shows up for a few weeks a year as a way to attract newer wrestling fans who might not remember him from when he started in wrestling, to get them to pay to see his movies. The Rock is now the WWE Champion which will be good for the company because it may attract some new fans and at least get some media attention. He will do promo work for his next movie and will likely be wearing the WWE Heavyweight belt while doing it. So it will provide brand recognition. My favorite thing that came out of this was the story from Syracuse, New York. A 77 year old man who ran an off-license was shot through the eye in a hold up, he survived, when he was interviewed he replied with a positive attitude, played down his shooting and instead said the worst thing that happened to him that week was seeing The Rock beat CM Punk.
It was a great event. I went with my cousin Ricky who is a huge reason why I am a wrestling fan. I’m convinced my mother got me into wrestling as a way to keep a connection with Rick. He made a comment outside of the arena as we were being let in that about 30 years ago, my mother brought him to see the same wrestling companies shows in Madison Square Garden New York and now he was going to watch them again with her 28 year old son. Bananas!