More than thirty years after it’s initial conception, the Royal Rumble still proves to be one of the biggest events in WWE’s calendar year.
With the inclusion of the Women’s Rumble starting last year, it would also seem the Royal Rumble stands as one of the longest WWE shows of the year. I can honestly say I’m not envying my U.K. cohorts after they had to push through nearly five hours of programming aired live from an American time zone! With that much time to fill, it’s predictable that some of WWE’s content will more than likely raise a few questions. However, there’s always the possibility of having a few answered! So, it becomes my task once again to give you fine readers five things we learned from Royal Rumble 2019. Let’s jump right into it!
1. Chase Field is a Superb Location
This may be hard to believe, but I watch what some would call an “extreme” amount of pro wrestling. That being said, one of the first things that’ll normally catch my eye while watching any promotion is a visually unique set. Sunday’s Rumble marked the first time WWE has ever utilized Phoenix’s Chase Field, but I personally hope this becomes a repeat venue. Normally serving as the home field of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field provides just enough subtle differences to set itself apart from most arenas. From the flat entrance ramp ending with a turn to ringside, to the sheer amount of people that can be shown in attendance, Chase Field definitely stands with iconic venues the likes of Madison Square Garden and the Manhattan Center.
2. “What Fans Want.”
Nearly two months ago the McMahon Family opened Monday Night Raw intent on addressing dwindling ratings and promising change. No longer would focus be centered on members of upper management now that we, the fans, would be the new “Authority”.
This extravagant showing of self awareness from the wrestling royal family left many fans wondering if they truly meant what they were saying. Well, Shane McMahon is now one half of the Smackdown Tag Team Champions…I’d say that’s a pretty crystal clear answer to the aforementioned question.
3. Vince Still Signs Dolph’s Cheques
Any conspiracy theorists in the audience? I got a good one for you all! What if all the rumors of how unhappy Dolph Ziggler is with WWE creative at any given moment are actually WWE giving Dolph his best gimmick yet?! I mean, you can create internet rumors that he’s mad again and probably going to no show, then when he actually does show….BOOM, instant pop! This certainly seemed to be the case on Sunday night as nearly every dirt sheet reported that the Show Off would be absent at the Rumble. However, Dolph would enter the thirty man battle royal at number twenty eight, going on to eliminate former tag team partner Drew McIntyre. More than likely setting up a rivalry between the two going into Elimination Chamber.
4. Women’s Rumble > Men’s Rumble
Just two years into the Women’s Rumble being an annual part of the Royal Rumble event, it would seem the ladies are poised to start showing the men how it’s done. This year’s Women’s Rumble undoubtedly overshadowed it’s male equivalent. As cliche as it may sound, this match legitimately had everything you could want from a Royal Rumble. Surprise entrants, devastating eliminations, unique near eliminations, and even Hornswoggle! After a showing like this from all the women involved, it wouldn’t be unheard of for the Women’s Rumble to headline next year’s show.
5. WWE Still Considering Intergender Wrestling
As a person who considers himself as somewhat of a wrestling historian, it was incredibly refreshing to see Nia Jax join the ranks of the small handful of women who’ve entered the Men’s Royal Rumble. After the conclusion of last year’s Mixed Match Challenge, I wrote that I wasn’t sure how WWE planned on working R-Truth being the number thirty entrant, so it goes without saying that I was pleasantly surprised to see Nia ambush Truth and forcibly take his spot. Jax would go on to establish dominance within the ring before inevitably succumbing to a superkick, 619, and an RKO. Needless to say, the fan communities are buzzing about the increased possibility of WWE continuing to dance with the idea of intergender wrestling. Considering that the last time WWE teased male/female wrestling was nearly a year ago when Triple H and Ronda Rousey tangled during their Mixed Tag match at Wrestlemania, hopefully Nia’s Rumble performance won’t be just another one off.