I had to add the parenthesis in case WWE wanted to sue. It's rumbling season folks, and one of my favorite times of the wrestling year. The Royal Rumble used to be my favorite event of the WWE's offerings, until I finally succombed to their Wrestlemania hype. At the very least it usually is an unpredictable event that offers a few nostalgia pops, and unexpected eliminations, at the best it can be a major point of contention and major twist in storylines.
I have been watching the full events of the Rumbles over the past few weeks to see what I missed when I was gone and to get the feel for the event since it's coming up soon. It is interesting to see how the under-card is booked on these events. If the title was more important (or on a hotter star) in that particular year, it got the main event regardless of the Royal Rumble's importance. Most of the years where the rumbles were not the main event tended to have weaker crowds for the title match, which will happen this year only the crowd will not be weak for the Rock's return.
One of the funnier aspects of the rumbles is that, everyone gets excited for nearly every entrance, regardless of the performer's chances of winning. "The kayfabe is strong with this one." One of the last true things WWE tries to pass on as real is their insistence that every competitor has a chance. Perhaps I'm cynical but even a 10 year old me knew Mantaur probably wasn't going to headline Wrestlemania 11, so his entrance into the '95 rumble didn't seem to have much of an impact as say an HBK or Lex Luger. Some years when they didn't have a lot of top talent the rumble contestants are down right laughable, because you knew there was only about 3 choices of people that could possibly get a title shot at WM.
As much fun as it is to see lots of guys in the ring at the same time, the results are often quite boring. It's an example of how spectacle and memory often overshadow actual content, it happens a lot in the WWE. A majority of the rumbles actions are limited to punching, turnbuckle offense, and trying to push dead weight over the top rope. The payoffs are when there are only a few guys in the ring, and actual wrestling type things occur. The clean house guy is always fun as well, but you can only do that so many times, and usually only once a rumble. The "old wrestler who eliminates a guy quickly only to be eliminated within seconds" is a fun one as well.
A current gripe I have with the rumble is that they let the winner choose which belt they will contend for. If they insist that the WWE championship is the main belt, wouldn't every contestant choose that? There shouldn't be a choice, but because they are now putting less emphasis on the rumble and more on the event and its other matches, they have to do this. They too often have a guy win the rumble two years in a row, and it looks like it could be heading that way again this year. It'll become obvious when we figure out what talent won't be in the actual battle royal.
Generally one of WWE's best events and cards in general, this might be an event I actually shill out the cash for. Let's hope they do it right, and I'll even enjoy their obligatory "early exit from a comedy or heel" for what it's worth.