I love the Royal Rumble. Every year I look forward to it.
I usually start the month after Summerslam. If the Road To Wrestlemania ends obviously enough at The Grandaddy Of Them All, then Summerslam must be off-road! Perhaps a beach full of hotties all playing volley-ball, maybe.
But the Royal Rumble is where that road BEGINS.
Although, the month before it, there is a ROAD BLOCK. Which, on this occasion, was also the END OF THE LINE.
Suggesting that during PPVs previously to that — your Battleground, your Hell In A Cell — we had been on some kind of mass transit system.
Not that Mass Transit.
You know, the 2016 Hell In A Cell show did kind of remind me of taking the subway. It had that same smell and taste, you know?
Ah, but when it comes to the Rumble, I can forgive very easily and be entertained, very easily. 30 competitors (except for that one time), surprises and shenanigans, records and statistics… it never gets old. It’s my personal highlight of the wrestling year. The 2017 WWE Rumble was no different. In fact, the actual Rumble match?
I’d have to say that for my friends and myself, it was one of the best ever Rumbles, and for that matter one of the most exciting WWE PPV main events… ever!
Allow me to explain.
IT’S TIME FOR THE RUMBLE! IT’S TIME FOR THE ROY RUMBLE! Or so the captions all night would have it.
Seriously, Roy Rumble would be a sweet name for some big fat guy whose speciality is always winning at battle royales. And, winning games with force feedback. Roy Rumble sounds like he’d be a beast at Starfox 64.
Now, I just want to talk about the actual Rumble match here. The undercard of the 2017 Rumble? It was okay. Y’know? Pretty good. That’s okay, that’s fine for a Royal Rumble under card.
A special mention to the Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns match. It was the best Roman Reigns I can recall seeing in quite a while, and a good hardcore match in its own right.
My thanks also to it for starting a night-long conversation about “What is the worst weapon you could bring to a WWE hardcore match?”
We ultimately decided on snooker triangle. Although a close second was the squeegee. Sorry, Sid.
Rumble participants picking out their balls reminds me – I wish I could buy an official WWE tombola. Seriously, it would make it so much more fun to assign chores to the kids.
“Okay, son, you get … *turns tombola* … cleaning the toilets!”
Then they could in turn cheat and steal each other’s tickets to get out of the worse jobs. Their lives would be ruined, but for me every day would be like hanging out with Slick and the Million Dollar Man. Totally worth it.
It’s the 2017 Royal Rumble!
1 is Big Cass, with his disdain for education — he’s tall, y’know.
They should give him Lex Luger’s old gimmick and call him Cassisus or The Cassisist. Bonus points if they can hire Chris Eubank to be his personal ring announcer.
2 is Chris Jericho, the current U.S. champ.
3 is Kalisto. His lil legs going like pistons. He’s so much shorter than the other competitors, the ramp is actually twice as long for him to run.
4 is Mojo Rawley. Yay! We like Mojo. It took a while but he’s grown on us. Like some kind of skin disease. He and Big C match up and don’t sell much for each other because they are the big guys for their respective teams.
5 is Jack Gallagher and his umbrella.
6 brings us Mark Henry. The crowd are happy to see him. He celebrates by knocking the stuffing out of Jack Gallagher, who has attempted to jump off the turnbuckle aided by his umbrella. Rather like Mary Poppins.
Unfortunately for Jack, Mark is a storied veteran, and he knows to watch out for the Poppins. Henry sends Jack to the outside with a meaty thump.
7 is Braun Strowman. He clears house but not before good ol’ Mojo Rawley brings it to him.
8 is Sami Zayn, who picked out his entrant ball earlier in a weird bit where he now has Asperger’s, or something. Hey, it got Eugene over.
9 is Big Show, to an especially big cheer. He tries it on with the monster Braun. Man, Big Show is looking in amazing shape. Seriously, I almost can’t tell it’s him, after watching a lot of his 2008 run just recently. Night and day.
Big Show is eliminated by Strowman, but not before demonstrating some crazy arm strength, propping himself up on the apron before finally being eliminated. Wow. Where was this guy hiding?!
Break out your memes, we have a perfect 10! Tye Dillinger makes his main roster debut. He and Sami Zayne team up against against Braun Strowman, and immediately I’m thinking YES to them both teaming up full-time.
11 is… James Ellsworth w/ Carmella w/ nice tights.
12 brings us Dean Ambrose. Ellsworth and Ambrose have mad beef. Ambrose tells him that it’s all cool and that they should get in there together. Ellsworth runs in, Ambrose stays put, and Strowman just tosses Ellsworth straight back out again. Funny stuff.
13 is Baron Corbyn who I’ve liked increasingly more since I realised that he is the eldest kid from F Is For Family.
14 is Kofi Kingston, the old man of the New Day. We get a nice series of attempted eliminations, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayne and Kofi Kingston all running the ropes.
15 The Miz w/ Maryse w/ major guns. No, not the chick from WCW. Maryse just seems to get hotter.
The commentators all gush over Baron Corbyn, as he flattens The Miz with an impressive Deep Six. Not to be confused with the unimpressive DeepStar Six, one of the many rubbishy Alien / Aliens clones from the 80s. Mind you, with Miguel Ferrer in its cast how bad could it have been?
It’s time for Kofi Kingston to deliver his annual cool “How did he not get eliminated?!” spot.
This year, he kind of falls off the top of the ring post, saving himself barely by wrapping himself around it. Kind of hard to describe, but still impressive! Kofi, Jamaican me crazy! I mean, Kofi, you’re Ghana make me crazy! Nailed it.
16 is Sheamus. You know what t-shirt I really regret not getting? One of those Sheamus 5:15 shirts. I’ve really liked Sheamus since then.
17 is Big E. He runs down the ramp and then gets really close-up into the camera guy’s face and does a weird shuffle.
Of course, later on we all found out that the “big guys” were all brought down in special karts to save their stamina.
Poor Kalisto. Little legs just worn away to nubs from running down that ramp. It’s a shame.
18 is Rusev, which brings us to the Sign Of The Night: RUSEV IS MY FAVOURITE DIVA
YES. Ah, man, he’s the best. Funny, chill and he just seems to want to talk about – and show off – how big his thighs are. Which they are.
He needs a spin-off. We’ve had Total Bellas, why not… Total Bulgas (or something)? Rusev brings a nice spinning kick to Sheamus. But Rusev best watch out, because at 19 is Sheamus’s tag partner Cesaro.
I can now tell you that, officially, The Ring Is Lousy With Men. Lousy as in really busy. This is about when I would expect someone like a Bray Strowman to turn up and start clearing out some of the deadwood.
Cesaro starts a-swinging. He swings The Miz, Dean Ambrose, Kofi Kingston, Big E (barely) and Baron Corbyn, before Rusev kicks him off.
20 is Xavier Woods in what is apparently his first ever Royal Rumble. Good for him! He is joined at 21 by Bray Wyatt and at 22 by Apollo Crews.
Interestingly when Randy Orton comes out at 23, he gets his full theme, for the first time in months. Jeez, WWE, spoilers!
Randy dishes out some Outta Nowhere RKOs to Baron Corbyn and Rusev. Another to Sami Zayne from top rope – nice.
24 is Dolph Ziggler and he brings the piss and vinegar. It’s a Superkick Party! That reminds me, if anyone wants to do a knock-off of The Young Bucks and can’t think of a name, can I suggest Those Pesky Kids? I’m amazed it’s still available. Not only can Those Pesky Kids riff on the Bucks, they can even solve mysteries, Scooby Doo style!
Tag-teams who also solve mysteries have a proud tradition in the WWE. Who can forget the Hardy Boyz?
25 is Luke Harper to a huge reaction in my house but a sadly tepid response from the crowd. They’re just waiting for Goldberg, restlessly chanting.
Luke is a house of fire on his former family members. Clothesline to Bray, a teased Sister Abigail from Harper! But an RKO outta nowhere from Randy Orton saves Bray Wyatt
So at this point, we’re finding it hard to even begin to predict the winner. We have what, five guys left to come in. Three of them are three of the biggest names ever in wrestling!
Sure enough, 26 is Brock Lesnar and he brings the F5 for pretty much everyone still standing.
Corey Graves gets the catchphrase right – EAT SLEEP ELIMINATE REPEAT. Yes. Paul Heyman would have us believe that it’s EAT SLEEP ELIMINATION REPEAT. Paul, you can’t mix your verbs and nouns like that. There’s nothing extreme about bad grammar, young man.
27 is… Enzo Amore in the Spike Dudley / Scotty Too Hotty comedy midget spot. A giant clothesline from Brock to Enzo and Enzo is out.
28 is Goldberg. Oh, man.
Brock Lesnar does his threatening titty dance at Goldberg. But GOLDBERG WITH A SPEAR, AND ELIMINATES LESNAR.
Just like before, it’s over in mere seconds. Fucking hell.
For the record, I likee.
Jackhammer to Sami Zayne from Goldberg. He still hasn’t done his usual spitting yet.
29 is The Undertaker amd now Goldberg finally spits.
The Undertaker is in the ring now. My pal Ash takes a look at him and suggests that The Undertaker is looking more like The Overeater. Hey now!
Number 30 is soon to come out. And pretty much the entire room here have no idea who. Nobody can remember anyone else left. HHH is suggested but nah, surely not after being #30 last year as well. Who hasn’t been in it yet?
And that’s how come in my house, we were all chanting excitedly for Jay Uso to appear at #30.
30 is… oh, it’s Roman Reigns.
“Oh, yeah, he exists, doesn’t he?” is the pervading sense in the room.
See. He’s not a bad guy.
He’s not a good guy.
He’s just… some guy.
Eventually it all breaks down to Roman vs. Randy. & Bray. Roman dispatches Bray, but, with one final RKO from Orton to Roman Reigns, Randy does it.
Winner: Randy Orton
So there we have it.
2018 is going to be Jay Uso’s year though. I can feel it.
Anyway. That’s why, for me, the 2017 Royal Rumble will always be one of the more exciting, unpredictable, momentous, surprising WWE main events, and certainly one of the better Rumbles. If I’m still guessing the winner up until the end, then hey, I’m happy.
All it took was entirely forgetting that Roman Reigns even exists. Why not try it yourself?
ELIMINATIONS. Only 11 men managed to eliminate anyone, two of those 11 working as a team. We have a TOP TEN!
(7) Braun Strowman – Mojo Rawley, Big Cass, Kalisto, Mark Henry, Big Show, Ellsworth, Tye Dillinger
(4) Undertaker – Baron Corbyn, Goldberg, The Miz, Sami Zayne
(3) Goldberg – Brock, Rusev, Luke Harper
(3) Brock Lesnar – Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Enzo Amore
(3) Roman Reigns – Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt
(3) Cesaro & Sheamus – Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods
(2) Chris Jericho – Sheamus, Cesaro
(1) Baron Corbyn – Braun Strowman
(1) Mark Henry – Jack Gallagher
(1) Randy Orton – Roman Reigns
Braun Strowman is this year’s Diesel / Kane / Roman Reigns. Y’know, literally every year, literally every participant will promise to eliminate 29 other men. Nobody has eliminated more than 12.
I forget who holds the record. Just some guy, I guess. Chris Benoit?
That’s all for now. Sorry for the continuing delay. I hope to be sharing thoughts on the 2017 Elimination Chamber and Fast Lane very soon. I hope my friends’ and my annual tradition of getting blind drunk to various Rumble drinking games and barely paying attention to which moves were done in which order, was not too apparent.