The Royal Rumble is almost upon us and there are few better days in the year for wrestling.
While there are many gems in Royal Rumble history, there are also some notorious down years. For every 1992 there’s a 1993 and for every 2008 there’s a 2015.
Sure, there may be a *1/2 Rumble or two, as Dave Meltzer graded the 1999 edition.
1999 — arguably the worst Rumble ever — features Vince McMahon winning, truly weird pacing with the ring completely emptying multiple times and a real lack of potential winners. Hell, the final four before the “oh my god, Vince was never eliminated” victory was Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Big Bossman and D-Lo Brown. That is some great talent, but outside of Austin there’s no viable winner to produce drama.
Still, 1999 and its parade of midcarders is still relentlessly fun.
The Rumble is built around the pops for familiar faces, the drama of the order, the moments and the surprises.
When the ring contains Goldust, Road Dogg, The Godfather and Kurrgan, you’re not in the depths of wrestling drama. Mabel stealing a rumble spot, picking up eliminations and immediately being gone because the Ministry attacked him is counterproductive. So is Kane eliminating himself to chase off “white coats” trying to send him “back to the insane asylum.”
But there are the big moments of Austin and McMahon showing down to start the match, Austin driving an ambulance back to the arena to resume kicking ass, Billy Gunn limp-running his way to the ring with one boot to fight for a title shot and so much more that make the match pure entertainment.
The Royal Rumble — while capable of being great — is a night to enjoy the parade of superstars and enjoy the hope that maybe they get the winner right this year.
So take the star ratings and throw them out the window.
No matter the year, I’m always down for a Rumble.
- Check out the recap and reactions from last night’s edition of NXT.
- Henry Cejudo is on a roll. A huge UFC championship fight win and now getting a little love from Nikki Bella.
- Any shot we see Abyss in the Royal Rumble after he and Sonjay Dutt have left Impact?
- Gross Royal Rumble food incoming. Also, I’d eat it.
- AEW isn’t plundering any promotions, they’re just plucking from the indies.
- Becky Lynch is so nice to her opponents.
- Raw’s ratings didn’t stay strong the whole night.
- No surprises in the Royal Rumble match order.
That’s it. I’m outta here.