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WWE Royal Rumble 2016 Thoughts

The winter storm has passed and the highways were cleaned up just in time for me to get out to my friend’s house for the annual pilgrimage to watch the WWE Royal Rumble.

This year’s Rumble gathering may have hit an attendance record of ten people and two dogs. The cholesterol cornucopia was in full force with pizza, chicken tenders, meatballs, potato chips and onion dip. Our host had originally planned on chili but due to the gutting out of groceries at his local Wegmans he settled for plan B and that was fine by me. Doesn’t matter what it looks like since sodium and cholesterol comes in all shapes and sizes.

And now it’s down to business! It was time for the 2016 Royal Rumble in Orlando, Florida. Overall it was a good pay per view with its usual mix of expected outcomes and surprise results. It was a hot crowd and that’s always a good thing.

Kickoff Match – Swagger & Henry defeated The Ascension, Dudley Boys, Darren Young & Damien Sandow. Each team had their moments ending with a win for Henry & Swagger giving them entry into the Rumble match. Our host noted The Ascension’s tights are “the worst tights he’s ever seen.” And “their tights were jacked up so high like they were wearing girdles.” The Dudley Boys “What’s up!” seems to be taking longer as they’re getting older. One of the guests said that the “What’s up!” gimmick was hip twenty years ago.

Rumble starts off with a Limousine pulling into the arena. Vince McMahon exits the Limo to a loud pop followed by Stephanie McMahon. Both of them in great moods and looking forward to tonight’s show. It’s always a good night when we see Vince!

Last Man Standing Match – Dean Ambrose Defeated Kevin Owens to retain the Intercontinental Title.     This was the match of night.   Ambrose and Kelly worked well together in the lead up to the Rumble. The match lived up to its expectation. Both combatants gave it all throwing their bodies around using as many props available under the ring; except for the cooler full of Gatorades. Love Owens’ cockiness and in his attitude that makes him a despised heel. The end had Ambrose pushing Owens through the double stacked tables resulting in Owens unable to get up from the ten count. These two are currently my favorite wrestlers and I’m expecting big years for them both.

Quick break – Round two consisted of chips and onion dip and meatballs in a pool of sauce with bread for dipping. The NFC Championship game is on in the side TV. Carolina Panthers begin their domination of the Arizona Cardinals.

Tag Team Title MatchNew Day defeated The Usos to retain the Tag Team Titles

Happy to see Francesca the Trombone 2 replacing the late Francesca 1 which is the best prop in the WWE! Nice finish with Big E catching Jey Uso in the air stopping a potential frog splash and finishing it with the Big Ending for the pin. The Usos have become underwhelming to me over time but compared to the New Day just about every tag team is underwhelming.

United States Title Match – Kalisto Defeated Alberto Del Rio to win the United States Title

The buzzkill match of the night. If you want to quiet a hot crowd book an Alberto Del Rio match. Del Rio sliding Kalisto out of the ring was quite possibly the funniest move of the night. I’d love to lobby WWE Management to bring back Ricardo Rodriguez since he’s the reason why we were interested in Del Rio. All of us were surprised Kalisto won the belt which seems to me Del Rio will begin an angle with someone bigger for Wrestlemania. Was it me or was Kalisto more interested in fixing his mask than Del Rio?

Food break! More chips and dip and a slice of pizza. Panthers wrapped up their domination allowing me to pay full attention to the Rumble.

Divas Title Match – Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch to retain the Divas Title – Ric Flair was the star of the match. He looked confused wondering whether or not he should’ve been ringside. Flair kissing Becky Lynch caught all of us, including Flair himself by surprise. The turning point was a hilarious (and original?) interference from Flair tossing his blazer over Lynch’s face. Was that supposed to happen? That alone was worth the price of the pay per view. By the way, Charlotte pinned Lynch thanks to Flair’s Blazer distraction. Sasha Banks came out to a huge pop as a new contender to the Divas title.

Final round of cholesterol and sodium; chicken tender, chips, dip, and one more slice of pizza. Our friend brings out his laptop for the annual Royal Rumble pool. His calculation is as complicated as the Federal Tax code. He’s explained it to me multiple times and I still don’t get it.

Royal Rumble Match – HHH Wins the Rumble becoming new WWE Champion. Overall a solid match. Observations:

  1. Looks like it’s Lesnar versus Wyatt at Wrestlemania.
  2. I understand why HHH became champion. With John Cena, Randy Orton, and Daniel Bryan injured, star power’s needed for a Wrestlemania to fill a 100,000 seat stadium.
  3. Huge pops for AJ Styles & Sami Zayn’s debut. Loved it! We’ll see how they do in the WWE.
  4. Kofi Kingston does it again this time getting carried, literally on Big E’s shoulders and snacking.
  5. Kudos to Chris Jericho for lasting around 50 minutes.
  6. Great booking having Kevin Owens tossing out AJ Styles and then Owens getting thrown out by Sami Zayn. Owens versus Zayn at Mania?
  7. Everytime I see Dolph Ziggler I wish they’d book him better. But I guess it’s time to admit he is what he is.
  8. Two interference in the Rumble was too many. Beat down of Roman Reigns by the League of Nations by order of Vince McMahon and the beat down on Lesnar complements of the eliminated Wyatt family members. Too much for this kind of match.
  9. Congrats to R Truth for winning the Ladder Match.
  10. Good strategy by The Miz doing commentary waiting for the right time to come in.

So 2016 Rumble’s in the books and the buildup begins for Wrestlemania. Enjoy the ride and we’ll see what develops in the coming weeks!

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Paul Laska

Paul Laska is a Self-Published Author, Sports Writer, & Travel Writer who resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently working on articles on Sevilla, Lisbon, and Oregon while writing a new novel for a 2015 release. Check out my Facebook page, Laska Travels. I’m also a freelance writer. Contact me for potential projects.

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