I wasn’t sure what I was in for as I slowly stepped with a mass of people toward the turn styles at Madison Square Garden. All week, I had heard the Royal Rumble described as “amazing” and “worth the $80 per ticket”. In my mind, words like “white trash” came to mind. Still, I gladly accepted my “limited view” ticket with a smile because, apparently, I was lucky to have gotten a ticket at all.
I saw a lot of young mothers with kids in tow, some red bandannas a la Hulk Hogan, lots of gaudy t-shirts and tons of championship belts. As I showed my ticket and walked through, I noticed everyone else who was doing the same was letting out a victorious “woo.” No, not like Homer Simpson, this was instead a tribute to wrestler Ric Flair.
I took my seat. The lights went out. It turns out our view wasn’t really very limited at all, we just couldn’t see anyone walking down the catwalk, which was fine by me. The crowd sang the National Anthem, which was followed by booming chants of “USA, USA.” I thought I was about to get shot at or something, it was a bit creepy.
I have to say, five minutes after we were seated, we encountered one of the evening’s highlights. Michael Buffer stepped into the ring and let it out. That’s right! I heard him utter that famous line, live! It completely was worth my 80 bucks. For all of you who aren’t Michael Buffer enthusiasts, he’s the guy who says, “let’s get ready to rumble!” Man, typing those words just don’t do this moment justice.
When the lights came up, the audience was nearly blinded by Flair’s sparkling golden robe. It was quite a sight. Nothing says “Royal Rumble” like an iridescent gold robe. Flair was the first to wrestle. It was a “career threatening match” for the aged mass of flabby muscle. Flair was met with “MVP”, a guy I’ve never heard of before. Though that doesn’t mean much, I had a feeling that this most valuable player wasn’t going to be the one to end Flair’s career. The match began, and every time Flair slapped MVP’s naked chest (yeah, it’s like that), the crowd would let out a series of WOOs. At one point, the referee counted to three, and it was suddenly over with MVP as the champ. Oh, but wait, Flair’s leg was on the rope, so it turned out that didn’t count. Boy, they sure had me fooled with that technicality!
MVP ended up losing via the “tap out” which is the wussiest way to loose a wrestling match. But, just when you thought there was some integrity left in the evening, Flair starts crying! It’s sad to see an old man weep.
If all that wasn’t enough, now here comes Chris Jericho (who is still affectionately known as Y2J, which is so 8 years ago) and his opponent JBL. Even though he was disqualified because of a steel chair hit, Mr. Turn Of The Century came out on top. He choked JBL with the extra long and readily available chord of a microphone. For some reason, this struck a chord (pun intended) with me. It was just a way too realistic looking and accessible means of possibly killing someone. Kids shouldn’t be cheering for this.
Then again, kids shouldn’t be cheering for the too scantily clad bimbos who appeared in the ring later on, strictly to talk about posing in Play Boy. The kid behind me, sitting next to his mom couldn’t have been more than seven years old, but went nuts cheering when the audience was asked if they’d be interested in seeing bimbo #2 in the buff.
But, as for the real action, there was also a match between Edge and Rey Mysterio. At least this gave the ladies in the audience a little somethin’ somethin’ to look at, if you know what I mean (and if you don’t, I’m totally referring to Rey). Edge ended up the victor and the match ended up working miracles for Vickie Guerrero, the wheelchair bound, homely widow of Eddie Guerrero. She actually stood up from her wheelchair and walked! Woah, everyone fakes it in wrestling! Though, I’m not sure exactly why she’s in a wheelchair. When I asked, no one else seemed to know either, and they didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so I stopped asking.
Moving on, the last regular match of the night was between Randy Orton and the arm glove-wearing Jeff Hardy. Orton won, nuff said.
Now. We’re about two hours into the evening and the Rumble hasn’t even started yet! I’m doubtful of my stamina when I realize the rules. Every 90 seconds, a new person enters the ring. That sounds fine, but this is a 30 person match we’re talking about here. That’s 2,700 seconds! I had at least 45 more minutes to go, oofa. I was assured that time would simply fly, but was still skeptical. That is, until The Undertaker (one of my faves from when I used to actually watch wrestling) came into the ring. At first, it was him vs. Shawn Michaels, who ended up eliminating The Undertaker much, much later in the Rumble. At least it was off to a good start.
Santino Marella joined in, then The Great Khali came in to chants of “you can’t wrestle.” I kept quiet because he’s probably the most massive guy I’ve ever seen. Hard Core Holly was next, followed by Jim… I mean, John Morrison, Tommy Dreamer and Batista. By this time, it got difficult to keep track of who was hitting who. Then, the little leprechaun Horn Swaggle’s number was called and he quickly ran under the ring to hide.
Nothing too monumental happened over the next few entries. A bunch of guys ran in, hit each other and some other guys got eliminated. The climax of the evening was Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka coming into the ring. Quickly and not-so-randomly followed by Rowdy Roddy Piper. Apparently, these guys have some sort of history. They started going at one another and every other huge dude in the ring stepped aside, stopped pounding whoever they were next to to watch this rivalry unfold between these two ancient characters. Kane was next to be called in and ended up eliminating both of them.
As the match went on and bodies were flying,things got more and more confusing. The kid behind me was cheering for Batista and I was tempted to call the little womanizer out and say that Batista had been eliminated ages ago, but there he was hiding out in the corner.
The last two to enter were also the final two in the running. Triple H and John Cena. I had no idea why, but when Cena came out every person in attendance was on their feet, well, except for me and probably Vickie Guerrero. I even saw tears in some people’s eyes and I had no idea what was up. It seems that Cena had gotten hurt, and no one expected him to even be able to wrestle by the time Wrestle Mania rolls around. Now, all of the emotional bro hugging aside, I didn’t really think it was fair that Cena ended up winning after being in the ring the shortest amount of time. He wasn’t as tired as the other guys and didn’t have as many people to face. But there he was, the winner.
Everyone seemed pretty happy with the outcome. All the K-Fed wannabes can relate to Cena, he’s one of them. I must admit the Rumble was pretty cool and I feel like it was worth the 80 bucks. I did get a solid three hours of entertainment. Well, except for the ten minutes of gratuitous breasts shoved between two matches. That, I could have done without.