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I didn’t plan on writing a WWE Royal Rumble 2020 review here at LordsofPain.net… But then I thought “what the hell?”. However, I did not write this column during the entire show as I used to… I started at 11pm just after Seth Rollins made it to the ring as Rumble Entrant #3.
This day has been very unique… In addition to being entertained by the WWE Royal Rumble on the phone while the Grammy Awards was on television, I was shocked during the day at the sudden death of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and 7 other individuals that deserve recognition as well. TMZ Sports broke the story and much of the internet tried to laugh them off as a legitimate news breaker. Then when they were proven right, utter shock by the internet.
Kobe’s death proves one simple thing… Live your life to the fullest. You never know when one day could be your last. Granted, most won’t ride in a helicopter, but Car Crashes, Cancer, and Heart Attacks can strike at any moment when you least suspect it. As you can see in the news as well, you could be attending a nightclub, a school, or a Walmart and suddenly get shot. You never know… Kobe poured his entire heart into the sport of basketball and has kept busy in his retirement with various business ventures and production companies while being a Dad. He had a very busy 41 years and left a permanent impact on the Sports world and Los Angeles.
Kobe also proved another thing… You can always rise up from rock bottom. He made a terrible mistake one night in Colorado that could placed him in legal jeopardy. Though his accuser refused to testify, Kobe’s reputation took a major hit and it cost him financially through the settlement & lost sponsors. Within a few years, he proved himself as a faithful husband and his career rebounded. Several more championships later, his legacy was cemented. I though that his post-NBA career went well, as he won a freakin’ Oscar for a short film that he helped produce.
Simply put… Life your life to its fullest and never give up, even if you hit rock bottom at some point. It’s a big world out there with plenty of places to redeem and prove yourself.
So what are my Royal Rumble thoughts?
Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE Royal Rumble 2020 Review
Overall, my expectations were very low for this show. I’m not saying that as a slight towards the WWE, but I honestly haven’t been watching WWE events since September. Therefore, much of the current storylines and actually several wrestlers appeared as surprises to me. Without dedicating myself to 2-3 hour shows per week, I’m not burned out as a WWE fan right now. Thus, a fresh perspective heading into this show.
The atmosphere at Minute Maid stadium was great… One of the best big arena set-ups that the WWE has had for a while. They need to learn from this, as the recent Wrestlemania set-ups in big football stadiums have been a complete disaster with those massive beams and bright lights. I don’t know why wrestling fans are suckers for those outdoor football stadium Wrestlemanias.
No Pre-show for me… 4 hours is enough for this old man.
And let me say this about the NXT promotion… BE CAREFUL about overpushing their rosters on main roster WWE shows. NXT’s show on USA Networks receives, what, 700,000 viewers per week for their Wednesday show? RAW and Smackdown triple that per week and NXT’s touring shows really struggle to draw. Let’s be a little more careful about pushing their wrestlers down main roster WWE fans’ throats. Until their show can break 1 million consistently and beat AEW regularly, I’d keep treating them like a farm system. And I’m looking at you, Matt Riddle… Until you prove yourself to be a major draw in NXT, let’s stop with your Social Media challenges to Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg. Prove that you’re worthy of those big matches first by helping NXT grow.
I liked Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin. Was it unique? Was it something worth “Match of the Year” honors? No… It just told its simple story of the dislike between 2 wrestlers and they needed a “Falls Count Anywhere” match to settle the score. Plus, this type of match makes it easier for Roman Reigns to get more tables involved into his match. I thought that Roman’s conditioning was much better in this match than what I’ve seen in previous years. Great to see his health rebounding. King Corbin is improving, too.
For the Women’s Royal Rumble… Let me get this out of the way, first. If I go through the rest of my entire life without seeing Santino in another WWE ring, I’ll be happy. I don’t mind some comedy in wrestling, but when you’re entire gimmick is comedy to make pro wrestling look silly… And him dressing up in drag takes away a spot for anyone from WWE/NXT’s extensive roster to have a chance. Completely wasted spot for a goofy joke.
Now – For the match itself, other than that goofy moment… I enjoyed it significantly. Charlotte wins, likely to set-up Becky vs. Charlotte to possibly headline Wrestlemania 36. But like last year, with only a few veterans joining the match, it was a real opportunity for a lot of newer stars to shine. I was very happy with the performance of Bianca Belair… Amazing athlete and has that swagger that all wrestlers need to be a complete character. That one can be a major star if cards are played right for her. Good to see Shayna Baszler being taken seriously, as she’s ready for the WWE main roster promotion. NXT is great at developing talent BUT their characters are often not ready for bigger arenas. Shayna and Bianca, however, are great athletes and characters… They’ll make it work. I thought the ending of the Rumble match with Charlotte eliminating Shayna was a bit silly.
Now, about that Mandy Rose outfit… Holy cow. If you ever want to wonder why nobody else has been over like Sable or Torrie Wilson, well, because sex sells to a wrestling fanbase whose majority consist of males. There is a reason why the NBA makes money and why the WNBA operates in the red each year. Different genders on the same court or ring have different appeal, period. Most people want to watch athletes who are bigger, faster, and stronger… The ultimate difference that female performers have is sex appeal. Gee, why do you think that the WWE brings back Kelly Kelly every so often? Wonder why?
I didn’t like Bayley vs. Lacey Evans. Lacey is still too inexperienced and her babyface character change was rushed. The damage of pushing her too fast last year as a heel is still present. WWE should have pushed her as an ex-Marine character from day one instead of that goofy Southern Belle character. Meanwhile, the heel turn doesn’t fit Bayley… Her being poorly used as a babyface since her NXT call-up has not made her convincing as a heel. Crowd was mostly cold during this match.
I enjoyed the Fiend vs. Daniel Bryan. The Strap served as an equalizer to get Bray Wyatt to sell and also take punishment (like being rammed into a post) to force him to sell. I’m also glad that we didn’t get any red lights covering the ring, too… Bryan and Wyatt just have a good in-ring chemistry together that dates back to over 5 years ago.
Becky Lynch vs. Asuka was good… Kind of placed in a weird spot between a Strap Match and the Male Rumble match, but they held their own.
Now, for the MAIN EVENT, the Men’s Royal Rumble match… I was feeling damn confident that Brock Lesnar was going to mow through the competition and potentially survive until the very end… And then, out of now where, Drew McIntyre eliminates Lesnar. WOW… And then, Drew wins the Rumble. Look, folks… I’m not the biggest fan of Drew. I laugh at his previous WWE tenure (seriously, 3 Man Band?) and though that his NXT Title reign was lame… But, the guy works hard and is pretty much one of the last guys left to seriously push to the top that hasn’t been tried yet. Drew eliminated Lesnar, Roman, Seth, and Corbin, the guys that the WWE has been pushing hard for the past year.
The overall Male Rumble Match was very good… Lots of great athletic spectacles that seems effortless to most performers out there. I thought the ending with Seth’s flunkies brawling with Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe was a bit too chaotic and messy, however. Making matters worse is how Seth Rollins was on a recent interview talking about his “character”. Huh? Rollins, you need to be IN CHARACTER for anywhere you go. If you’re heel for a pro wrestling promotion, you need to portray a bastard for any media appearance out there. You can’t just turn heel and then discuss it openly how it’s just a character. No, what you should sell is how PISSED OFF you are at WWE fans for the disrepect shown towards you and your matches. Stay off Social Media and get in-character for television/podcast/radio appearances.
EDIT: In a rush to post this column ASAP, I forgot the most important return of the night… Edge. Great to see him back. Funny how from the neck up, it looks much older, but he looks the same below. In fact, in the ring, he looked much bigger than most current WWE superstars. Speaks volumes on what we’re accepting as talent these days. I loved how he was finally interacting with wrestlers whom he never fought before and the stuff with AJ Styles was excellent. I would be OK with Styles vs. Edge at Wrestlemania 36. Loved the Rated RKO teaming up as well to combat the other wrestlers in the ring. Glad to see that the WWE learned from their 2014 disaster of a Rumble match when a returning Batista won the Rumble on his first night back. Hopefully, good health comes Edge’s way on this stint. While we’re at it, can Beth Phoenix return to the ring permanently too?
LAST WORD: Overall, a fun wrestling show… Helps that I didn’t take it as seriously this time around and wasn’t burned out on consuming too much WWE. The problem remains with pushing people too fast (NXT guys), overpushing certain wrestlers (Charlotte), often boring Women’s matches (Bayley vs. Lacey), weak heels (Rollins & crew), weak babyfaces, and too many damn announcers at ringside. Seriously, can we just get 2 of them in the announcer’s booth?
I guess we’ll go [ B ] for this show. I was entertained for $9.99 and that’s cool with me. Wrestlemania’s card will have to convince me whether I also pay that fee for April or not. If it doesn’t, there are plent of shows on Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, or Amazon Prime with plenty of games/books to enjoy. I don’t need wrestling as much as wrestling needs me.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
I recently appeared on the Tommy McDougall Podcast which you can listen to by CLICKING HERE.
Play my Super Mario Maker 2 courses on the Nintendo Switch:
Die Hard (themed after the Bruce Willis Film): 2YH-48W-HMG
Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time Wrong Warp: 2RX-QCV-N9G
Super Link Bros: HBD-H5C-QRF
Santa Bowser Came Early: GL8-F48-3XG
Super Wrestling Bros: 0H6-9HT-S5G
WWE Royal Rumble: SDH-JC2-HFG
WWE Elimination Chamber: P3B-5DJ-91G
WCW World War 3: BT4-W1Y-HRG
Extreme Championship Wrestling: 42J-4GT-W3G
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