The 2015 WWE Royal Rumble As Watched By A Former Fan

The 2015 WWE Royal Rumble As Watched By A Former Fan
By Mikey Traynor
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I still remember the first time I decided to give professional wrestling a chance. I was 9 years old at Christmas time in 1998, when my cousin took an urgent phone call from a friend of his. I sat there watching, as my cousin, horrified by what he was being told on the other end of the phone, expressed his disbelief at what his friend had interrupted a family dinner to tell him.

Mick Foley had been fired from the WWF by Vince McMahon.

I had absolutely no clue what that meant, or why my cousin appeared to be so emotionally invested in this news, but there and then I said to myself that the next chance I got, I would give this WWF lark a go.

I was instantly hooked. Legendary characters such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind, The Undertaker, and Kane became my new heroes, and every Saturday morning I tuned in to watch Smackdown (I couldn't watch Raw as we didn't have Sky) and even occasionally the glorified highlights show that was "Heat". But Pay-Per-View events were where it was really at. The first ever Royal Rumble I watched was in 2000, and for the serious wrestling fans out there, you can imagine how impressed I was by this incredible spectacle of sports entertainment, so the Rumble always had a special place in my heart. I never cared much for Wrestlemania, it was all about the 30-man battle royale.

I can't pinpoint the exact time I fell out of love with the world of professional wrestling. I estimate it was around late 2002, because the last wrestling game I played with any love was WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It, and I never even bothered with WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth. The change from WWF to WWE being purely coincidental in my apathy to the organisation.


So I stopped watching, I stopped caring. Occasionally I considered tuning in to a major event, even a few previous Royal Rumble events, but I never followed through. That changed this year, after posting a few nostalgia stuffed wrestling articles for this site and a number of chats in the office, I was asked to appear on a special Royal Rumble nostalgia podcast, which also featured Rick Nash of "Low Blows Podcast" fame, and having enjoyed that so much I figured I may as well tune in and see what all the fuss was about.

A bit of a disclaimer here, while I am no longer a fan of the WWE, I do acknowledge that many people still are. I am in no way trying to belittle professional wrestling, or anyone who is a fan of it, I am merely giving those fans a chance to laugh at my ignorance and see my views as someone who has an idea of what the "good ol' days" were.

I tuned in just in time to see John Cena fight Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match for the WWE title, or a money in the bank match, or something with a suitcase, I'm not quite sure. Either way, I was impressed. I enjoyed the match. It was entertaining as hell. Your man Seth Rollins did some incredible high-risk manoeuvres including one where himself and Lesnar crashed through the announcers table. That's what I'm talking about. That's what I'm looking for.


Unfortunately, that match turned out to be the highlight of the evening for me, but my interest had been peaked, I grabbed a note-book and pen and decided to document my feelings as each wrestler entered the 2015 Royal Rumble.

The beginning: The Miz vs R-Truth
Ok, we're off to a bad start here. My main reason for not continuing to watch wrestling was that I felt the personalities of the guys were lazy and piss poor. This feeling has been justified after seeing The Miz, who's angle appears to be that dick-head at a night club, and R-Truth, who has just made me cringe so hard that my face is sore after hearing him "rap" his way into the ring. Honestly, I'm considering turning off at this point, there's Dutch football highlights on Sky Sports 5.

Bubba Ray enters
Holy shit! Bubba Ray Dudley! This is brilliant. He's even got the old costume on. Shout out to Rick Nash, on the pod-cast he predicted this one, the man knows his stuff. The Dudley Boyz were one of my favourite tag teams way back when, delighted to see him back in. They just did the 3D with R-Truth filling in for D-Von, this is awesome. No idea who Luke Harper is, although I guarantee he will be gone soon.


Bray Wyatt?
I've heard of this guy before, mainly because my home town is his first name. I wasn't expecting Chumlee from Pawn Stars, but ok, lets see what he can do. He's cleaning house, clearly this is a popular dude.

A string of complete nobodies come and go
What in the name of God is The Boogeyman? Sin Cara looks like the Euro Shop version of Rey Mysterio, and Zack Ryder may as well have not even made it to the ring like that other bloke, Axel something, I missed his name. I assume I didn't need to know it.


The classic one man waiting in the ring part
Ah yes, I know this. There always seems to be one chap alone in the ring, and this time it appears to be Bray Wyatt. He's dumped about five people and they start talking about record eliminations. He's not going to win, is he?


The people's champ makes his way to the stage
Daniel Bryan, ok, I'm a little upset that all it takes to make a WWE personality is a beard and a pair of speedos, as 7 of the last 10 or so entrants look the exact same, but the crowd are going nuts so I'm going to take it that this guy isn't shit.


Ok, this is the first time I've genuinely considered going to bed. This is kind of embarrassing. This chap Fandango is supposed to be some tango dancer, I'm going to go ahead and guess that this guy has never even been to Spain. The belly dance that he just did in the ring is the exact type of stuff that makes people slag off the WWE. Here comes the next guy, Tyson Kidd, he actually looks like a rejected attitude-era wrestler, like a half-assed Mr.Ass.

Stardust? Do they mean Goldust?
Hold on. Is this Goldust? Has he changed his name to Stardust? That can't be right, Goldust was really old even when I watched, so I doubt he's still knocking around, this must be his son or something. Oh look theres DDP, I remember him from the WCW days. He doesn't look like much of an athlete any more, but at least he's a familiar face.

America, fuck yeah
And here comes the token Soviet stereotype. I bet this guy loses at shows in conservative states all the time. This is actually really funny, and I'm glad that the "Iron Sheik" style of patriotism is still alive and well in professional wrestling. This chap is one giant stereotype, at least some things never change. And here comes Kofi Kingston, I've heard of him, although I'm not sure why. At least he's got something about him, I like his shtick, I would have liked this guy when I was a kid. Oh jesus there's Goldust as well! I guess he's not too old. Hah!


Adam Rose...
This guy sounds like a golfer. He's brought a crowd of people with him... This is absolutely pathetic. I'm really glad nobody has walked in on me watching this.

Roman Reigns, we're getting near the end now
Am I supposed to think that this guy is going to win? Because I do. The way the commentators are talking about him makes me think he is supposed to win, maybe I'm wrong, I hope I am, because that would be fairly crap.

More cannon fodder added to the ring
Big E, who looks like Kofi Kingston's mate based on their clothes, Damien Mizdow, Ryback, and the obnoxiously named Jack Swagger all make their way down, and I can't say any of them made an impression on me at all. Hopefully none of them win. I doubt they will.

Brillaint, Kane! Wait, that's not Kane. Is that Kane? He's got normal hair, and he looks... Normal. What's the story here? I knew he ditched the mask but I thought he was supposed to be an ogre or something? He's wearing slacks for feck's sake.

The trend continues
Far too many wrestlers are just "Firstname Lastname", a trend that continues as Dean Ambrose and Titus O'Neill make their way to the ring. I'm fairly sure Dean Ambrose played for Crystal Palace a few years ago, and I wonder if Titus O'Neill has an Irish granny? Regardless, uninspiring WWE superstars.

Almost at full capacity
Bad News Barrett and Cesaro, ok, at least we're away from Joe Bloggs and John Smith, but I can't say I'm big into either character here, I know neither is going to win. Actually, Cesaro might.

Well, it's the Big Show! Still getting the comfortable late entry into the rumble I see. It seems a bit unfair considering his size, I actually think he's gotten bigger since I was a kid. I'd like it if he won, it would make sense to me.

Who is #30?
Dolph Ziggler? Is "Dolph" a real name? That seems terribly cruel. Hang on, he's got some ridiculous kicks. Ok, I can tolerate the awful name, this guy brings something to the table at least. We're done with the entrants, now lets watch the ending.

The grand finale.
Ok, we're left with Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Kane, and The Big Show. The two massive lads appear to be mates, so they should really just pick the other two up and throw them out and then settle it between themselves, but that's not how it's going to go down. I know that much.

Dean is gone. Now the two big lads are fighting between themselves. I also just remembered that Mr.Russia wasn't elminated, so I'm sure he'll be back soon.

Wow, they are fighting dangerously close to the edge. Embarrassingly close to the edge. It's painfully obvious what's about to happen here.

Yep, there they go, both of them. Roman Reigns wins, but OH MY GOD JR no he doesn't. Oh wait, yes he does, because you bet your ass they are not about to let Vladimir Putin's mate walk our of here with the win. Yep, Roman wins. That was kind of shit.

So it turns out I'm not the only one who thought that was crap, the crowd are booing the shit out of the arena. The Rock is here to make everyone forget how crap that was, but he's not THAT good of an actor. What an anti-climax.

See also: 30 Reasons Why The 2000 WWF Royal Rumble Was The Greatest PPV Event Of All Time

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