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The 2016 Royal Rumble As Seen By A Skeptical Former Wrestling Fan

The 2016 Royal Rumble As Seen By A Skeptical Former Wrestling Fan

A thorough breakdown of the 2016 WWE 30 man Royal Rumble match by someone who has no real clue what the storylines are, or who all of the wrestlers are, but used to love wrestling and is enthusiastic to check back in.

It was the golden age for many, the Attitude era, with the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, (Masked) Kane, and The Undertaker, to mention very few.

I collected as many figures as I could. I bought the games, the CDs (of which 'WWF The Music Vol. 4' was king), I beat the shite out of those inflatable "bop-bags" in order to win the toy belt, I nearly broke my neck several times attempting a 'Swanton Bomb' on a trampoline.. You get the gist.

I fell out of love with wrestling. I was no longer willing to get out of bed before noon on a weekend, I was a teenager now, and that was a serious deal breaker for me. As I neglected the world of the WWE I grew to casually think less of it, and I had no real interest in watching any PPV event until last year, at age 25, I was convinced to give it another go.

The Royal Rumble 2015 was great. I really enjoyed it. I wasn't converted back into a regular viewer, in fact I think that was the only event I watched last year, but I liked it enough to review it again this year.

I say review, but it's more of a live-blog, a timeline of my thoughts as I look back into the World I was once obsessed with from the outside. Who are the main attractions now? Are there any old heads knocking around still? Join me on my journey whether you're a fan or not, and lets see what all the fuss is about.

Pre-Game:

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royal rumble review

Ok, this is interesting. Immediately the idea of a panel of analysts is very new to me.

I recognise Booker T, and of course Jerry 'The King' Lawlor who is dressed ridiculously for someone his age. This seems unnecessary for professional wrestling but it's better than ads I suppose.

Now, I decided against watching the rest of the event, I'll only be watching the 30 man Royal Rumble. Last year I watched the whole thing, but I've seen the matches before hand and apart from the Dudley Boyz I see nothing that entices me. Going to watch the NFL playoffs instead. Sorry.

The Rumble Begins

I'm excited.

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It seems that 364 days of the year I care nothing about World Wrestling Entertainment, but when the Royal Rumble comes around I get that 10 year old wave of enthusiasm for some over-the-top-rope madness.

Expectations:I'm looking for some interesting characters, some familiar faces from the old days, some drama, and at least one elimination of someone who was bragging about eliminating someone else.

Bring it on.

Here We Go..

1 reigns

Roman Reigns is the first man into the rumble. I know this guy from last year.

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This is surprising, he's the champion, so it appears he's been sold down the river. I've just heard that the winner gets the title, that's new right? I thought the winner got a title shot at Wrestlemania, seems mad to have the champ in first too.

And here comes #2..

2 rusev

Look at the state of this chap.

'Rusev', a Bulgarian. Lets see what he's about.

Spear by Roman, and the foreigner is eliminated. That was quick.

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The Crowd Go Wild..

For someone I've never heard of.

I'm clearly out of the loop here, but the Orlando crowd are going mad. Michael Cole said something about "the hottest free agent.. It had been rumoured for weeks.." So I guess he's from another organisation.

3 aj

AJ Styles, fair enough.

I imagine he'll stick around for a while. The guy is ripped and his intro was smooth too.

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I Really Don't Like Entrant #4

Tyler Breeze, he came out with a selfie stick..

royal rumble review

The sooner this guy gets thrown out the better, I get the feeling he's not going to win.

Friends Support Friends In The Rumble

This was nice to see. Curtis Axel, a bit of a mad man, was the fifth man in, and all his bros from a group called 'The Social Outcasts' made a big deal about his entrance.

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5 axel

Which was good because he's already been eliminated as I type.

And that golden eejit too. Good.

BREAK THE WALLS DOWWWWWWN!

Yes. I'll have this.

jericho

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Big Jericho fan, I hope he wins.

Judging by the crowd reaction he's not hated at the moment. Not sure about the Speedos but he's lookin' well enough.

Ohhhh Shit!

kane

It's Kane! This is much more like it.

Good group in the ring now lets see some action. Who is next?..

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Goldust. Goldust is next.

Last year I couldn't believe he was still around. I still can't believe it.

golddust

The Numbers Are Piling Up

Ryback enters, he looks like an absolute beast.

He now has the crowd chanting 'FEED ME MORE' which is oddly unsettling. Lots going on in the ring now, this is where the bodies build up and then one guy goes on a demolition run, it's usually Kane. Or Rikishi, I loved that guy, if he came back now it would make my year.

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Kofi Kingston is the next in, this guy is fun. 'New Day' look like something I would have enjoyed in my day. A great bunch of lads.

And here comes Titus O'Neil.. You can tell by the lack of a reaction that he's not a big deal. They're talking up his charity work, fair play to him. It won't win him a rumble though!

R-Truth Thinks It's A Ladder Match

I remember this guy from last year too, entry number 12 this year. He's fun, and he's clearly seen as an idiot, which makes sense considering he's reached for a chair.

rtruth

He then climbed to the top of the ladder in the middle of the ring, shouted, and then came down to Kane, who threw him out of the rumble. Kane then tossed Kofi Kingston out too. Oh no wait, his mate caught him on his shoulders and they are now doing something called a 'unicorn stampede' around the ring.

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Luke Harper is seriously creepy.

Seamus Sighting; What Is The 'League Of Nations'?

Seamus is cool. Always like seeing Irish lads do well, would have loved a famous Irish wrestler in the attitude era. What is this 'League Of Nations' stuff about, they've just ran out on the order of Vince McMahon and are beating up Roman Reigns.

royal rumble review

I'm guessing McMahon doesn't like Roman Reigns, and Seamus is part of a crew of foreigners (the Bulgarian fella is there too) that do his bidding?

They've fecked him into the steps now. "This is just a mugging.. A MUGGING!!" I must say Michael Cole has upped his game significantly, he's freaking out as Rusev gives me some of what I'm looking for:

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royal rumble review

Still slamming people through announcers' tables. Good to see.

They're talking like Reigns is finished, and can't continue.. Which means he will.

We Were Due A Clearout

And here comes the Big Show.

bigshow

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Titus O'Neil and Ryback gone, Jericho nearly went but then eliminated Kofi Kingston who never re-entered the ring.

Now someone called 'Neville' is sprinting in. That's his name? 'Neville'? Were Balls.ie's Conor Neville involved I'm sure he'd think of a far more creative name.

What The..

What the hell is this? I'm not a fan of the Wyatts at all. A bit too weird for me. I'm sure there's a fascinating backstory but one look at this bloke's head and I've noped out of there.

braun

And just like that Kane is gone!

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I've clearly underestimated this freak, he's just tossed can like he's The Blue Meanie or someone equally pointless.

And now the Big Show?! I'm not sure what to think about that. This guy is a monster.

In limps Kevin Owens at number 18. We get it, he's injured. He's not going to win, he was injured earlier on apparently.

No, sorry, he's grand now, and he's tossed AJ Styles out immediately. "Welcome to the WWE".. Cheesy. I'll allow it.

Waiting For A Contender To Emerge

waiting

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I don't think the winner is in the ring right now.

Jericho and that Braun guy have a chance, as does Dean Ambrose who has just run in. Last year I said he looked like a poor character who could have been former Crystal Palace midfielder Darren Ambrose's brother, and that upset a few folks, so I've to give him a chance.

The commentator has just mentioned how Roman Reigns wasn't officially eliminated. He's the favourite now.

Two Thirds Of The Way Through The Field

This guy looks good, Sami Zayn. Awful name, but good energy, I would have liked him as a kid.

zayn

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He went straight for Kevin Owens, who is now gone.

Here comes Erick Rowan, another of this Wyatt family. I now realise that these guys are supposed to repulse me, and in that case they are fantastic characters. These goons look like something from a horror film. And I fecking hate horror films.

rowan

Just waiting for Bray Wyatt now, the man named after my home town. I said he looked like something from Duck Dynasty or Pawn Stars last year and again it didn't go down too well. Guess they're just not my cup of tea.

Shout out to Mark Henry! Entrant number 22, I remember when he got with Mae Young and she gave birth to a hand. Good times.

Ah shite, he's been eliminated. The Wyatts are now doing the clearout I expected Big Show to do. Sami Zayn is gone too, which is a shame.

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BROCK ENTERS

Now this is really interesting.

brock

I actually know Brock more from his days in MMA than his time with the WWE, as I lost interest just before he blew up. Still, what a freak of nature, hopefully he starts throwing lads around..

SUPLEX CITY

I like how he's still got the MMA fight shorts, and.. Are the crowd chanting "UFC! UFC!"? That's madness. One Wyatt gone, the first creeper I think.

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Jack Swagger has now entered, I feel like I'm not giving him enough credit but "The Real American" doesn't interest me in the slightest. Lets see someone big soon.

Oh look, he's gone already. Maybe my first impression was correct.

Not The Familiar Face I Was Hoping For

This guy, The Miz, I stated my disdain for him last year. He's a bell-end.

miz

To prove my point, he's joined the commentators and is talking absolute bollocks. He's not going to win. Another Wyatt gone by the way.

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Alberto Del Rio is next, number 26. This guy is one of Seamus' league of non-Americans. I doubt he'll win, still waiting for Roman Reigns to return.

This Train Is For Bray.. Bré

Here comes Bray Wyatt, just as the other freaks have been eliminated by Brock.

bray

The creeps all came back and threw Brock out, I was beginning to think he could do it too.

Trimming The Fat

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Only four men remain. With I think three or four left to come. Jericho, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and Alberto Del Rio still in there.

trim

Make that five, here comes Dolph Ziggler, no wait, six left, The Miz has decided to beat up a load of tired people. He's still not going to win.

What's The Craic Seamus?

seamus2

The man himself. I was wondering if he would be involved.

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And back comes Roman Reigns, and he's on a tear. What a miraculous recovery.

TIME TO PLAY THE GAME

The blast from the past I've been waiting for. I thought Triple H was just a suit now. He's drawn #30, so he's got a great chance.

royal rumble review

Yes! Instant 'Pedigree', now it's getting good.

We know the winner is in the ring, this has built up for an exciting finish.

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Ziggler's gone.

We're Down To Five..

And you simply cannot have a Royal Rumble, without a tense stare-down that results in both men looking at the Wrestlemania sign.

faceoff

It's so cliché, but it wouldn't be right without it.

Jericho is gone, whats the point of trying a 'Walls Of Jericho' in a Royal Rumble? Showoff.

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Highlight Of The Night

Seamus was eliminated by Reigns who was then instantly thrown out by HHH, who then went full Degeneration X, much to my amusement.

royal rumble review

This is what I stayed up for. Great stuff.

And Then There Were Two

fina3

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A good old fashion 1v1 to determine the new champion, Dean Ambrose vs Triple H.

They're really soaking up the moment, this is good TV. I'm surprised they've put Dean Ambrose in this position, from what I gather he won a different title earlier tonight, he must be a real fan favourite.

Obligatory Leg-Dangling Drama

There has to be one right at the death..

dangle

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!

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royal rumble review

Triple H is the new World heavyweight champion.

Glad to see it. I'm not sure what that does for the storyline at Wrestlemania, but I may tune in now, I enjoyed that.

In Summary

That was good.

It felt less gimmicky than last year, if a little less spectacular. I think last year probably edged it, but this was still an enjoyable Royal Rumble for sure.

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The new wrestlers that I enjoyed were Sami Zayn and AJ Styles, who won me over. I was not a fan of Tyler Breeze or the Wyatt family, although the creepy guys at least had something about them. Dolph Ziggler is another one who makes me wonder what the point of him is.

Good to see theres still a solid core of auld fellas there like Kane, Big Show, Jericho, and of course the new champ.

Will I watch Raw next week? No, I won't, but that's not why I watched the Royal Rumble. I tuned in to be entertained, and have a few laughs, and that's exactly what I got.

Hopefully next year will see the return of Grandmaster Sexay.

SEE ALSO: How This WWE Commentator Went From Chubby To Absolutely Ripped In 11 Months

SEE ALSO: Wrestling Gold: 7 Of The Very Best And Most Dramatic WWE Returns

Mikey Traynor