Tim Thomas Goes To The Royal Rumble
So this past weekend, myself and my colleague "Money" Mike Pettis got to cross off a bucket list item as we are huge fans of professional wrestling. We got to see a Royal Rumble live in person. This WWE Premium Live Event is the official start to the Road To Wrestlemania, which is the biggest sports entertainment event of the year. The Royal Rumble is considered one of the Big 4 events and it is often the most exciting.
Mike and I were staying at a hotel that was within walking distance of The Dome as were many others. So it was easy to get in and out of the venue. We arrived, and decided to pass on getting any T-shirts or anything, as the line was pretty long. We decided to just get to our seats, and then go from there.
This was our view of the show. As it turned out, it was a good thing we were not in the section that was two sections to the left. I will get to that in a bit.
The show opened at 7pm, and there was no pre-show match. The match that opened the show was Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins.
Seth came out in his old Shield gimmick and crowd popped for it. It was a very entertaining match. The ending of the match was a bit of a groaner but it was a great way to start the show.
The match ended in a disqualification when Roman refused to release a submission hold despite Seth getting to the ropes. Technically Seth won the match, but Roman got to keep his title. He then went on to beat Seth with a chair after the match. It would not be the last time we would see Roman
The Woman's Royal Rumble match was next. 30 women enter 1 every 90 seconds (time is actually shorter than that) and it had a few surprises. We knew that there would be some returning wrestlers from the past, and most of them were just jobbed out and thrown over the top rope. The biggest reaction came from the winner who entered at number 28. Rowdy Ronda Rousey. It was leaked that she would be returning. She was cheered and it looks like she will be in one of the main events come Wrestlemania.
The next match was Becky Lynch vs Doudrop. This match ended up being a bore for two reasons. 1st, it came after the woman's Rumble, and during the match, the Wrestlemania sign at the arena actually caught on fire! Seriously. During the match the staff there had to move the people below the sign to safer areas, and use fire extinguishers to put out the fire. Becky Lynch won the match, which was expected.
The next match telegraphed the ending of the night. It featured Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley. This match was physical and short, and it had a ref bump, which allowed Roman Reigns to come down to the ring and interfere in the match. He speared Brock, got the title belt from Paul Heyman (who screwed over Brock) and hit Lesnar on the head with it. Lashley then went over and pinned Brock. The fans were happy for Lashley, but also we knew how the evening was going to end.
The Mixed Tag match was next, which featured real life married couples Miz and Maryse vs Edge and Beth Phoenix. This match was entertaining, with a few good spots, and you could tell that both couples enjoyed working with each other. This match was won by Edge and Maryse.
The Men's Royal Rumble ended the night, with the same rules as the women. We were nearing the 4 hour mark of the night, by the time the Rumble had concluded. With Lesnar losing his title earlier in the night, most of the audience felt he was going to enter the Rumble. One of the cool things about the Royal Rumble was the surprises that can happen. Former popular wrestlers showing up. We didn't get any of that. Other than Drew McIntyre returning from injury, and Shane McMahon showing up, it was a boring and disappointing. We all knew Brock was going to enter...and he was number 30. He through out 5 guys and won the Rumble. Reports have come out that someone else was supposed to win. That would have sent the crowd home happier. After the Rumble, Randy Orton (his hometown is St Louis) and his partner Riddle came out and posed for the crowd.
Overall, it was still a fun experience. There were a few obnoxious fans near us that wanted everyone to know they were there and I did have a spotlight that was in my eyes for a period of time. The crowd was chanting to turn down that light, so I know it was bothering them too. It was still fun, the hotel was nice, and had a delicious breakfast buffet. My friend was up close for the event and her photos from the show are in the gallery below. The Road To Wrestlemania has begun. Glad I got to be a part of it.