How the Royal Rumble 2018 got me excited for WrestleMania season again

It might be an understatement to say that I had become really disengaged with WWE in late 2017; the stories really weren't anything interesting, and actual wrestling and school had left me with little free time for anything, and I typically spent that time either playing Super Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild or hanging out with friends. The 2018 Royal Rumble didn't have me terribly excited, partially because the last 4 Rumbles before 2018 were either not too great, or just flat-out bad, which in turn didn't exactly raise my hopes. I figured that the one saving grace of the PPV would be the AJ Styles match, and then I could watch that and nitpick the rest of the card.

But you know what? They nailed it with the 2018 men's Rumble match. I found myself biting my nails in anticipation whenever the countdown started to buzz, I popped for Kofi's annual Royal Rumble save, I blew my top off when I heard "Booyaka booyaka!" for the first time in almost 4 years, I found myself laughing when they used Slater as the "welcome mat" for the match, and when the Hurricane showed that 16 years had taught him nothing, I appreciated the unmentioned continuity.

The Royal Rumble saw a return to form in my eyes after this. It was the perfect storm: a good mix of comedy and action, incredibly surprising guest entrants (I wanted Gargano over Almas, but oh well), but the most satisfying part was that the winner was someone the fans wanted to win. In hindsight, I probably would've settled with Santino over Del Rio in 2011, Sheamus was alright in 2012, but his Mania match kinda killed everything (and started the Yes Movement), Cena was "meh" in 2013, Batista and Roman in 2014 and 2015 respectively need no explanation, and Triple H and Randy Orton at the previous two Rumbles had the crowd in the "anyone but Roman" mindset. Not only was Nakamura over with the smarks, but the casuals liked him too. And add to the fact that the primary title scene's got some good matches revolving around it as of this point in writing (potential Nak vs AJ at Mania? Hell to the yeah! Kevin or Sami vs AJ at Fastlane? Definitely!), and this made the 2018 Rumble match one of the better ones in recent years.

In short? Thank you, WWE, and good job.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.