Welcome to The Royal Rumble.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again when 30 men and 30 women will compete in a battle royal to achieve immortality at The Grandest Stage of Wrestling, Wrestle Mania.
The occasion that marks the stepping stone for destinies to be made and champions to be moulded.
The rules are simple, win the Royal Rumble by eliminating 29 other superstars by throwing them over the top rope and then go on to challenge for either the WWE Championship or the Universal Championship and achieve that dream to be the top guy or gal in wrestling at Wrestle Mania.
An event of this magnitude is a part of the Big 4 card that comprises the wrestling calendar with the others being Wrestle Mania, Summer Slam and Survivor Series,
Many wrestlers of the past have conquered this dream to be the knight in shining armour, with the inception of The Royal Rumble way back in 1988.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the first man to win the Rumble followed by one of my favourite wrestlers, Hulk Hogan headlining the event twice in 1990 and 1991.
The Dirtiest Player in the Game a.k.a The Nature Boy, Ric Flair won the event in 1992 and also the vacant WWF Championship.
The memory that strikes me the most is when The Excellence of Execution, Bret Hart and Lex Luger were declared joint winners in 1994 with both men’s feet touching the floor simultaneously.
Lex Luger failed and Bret succeeded in beating the massive Yokozuna at Wrestle Mania that year for the coveted WWF Championship.
A moment filled with happiness galore for me akin to when India won the World Cup in 2011!
Who can also forget, The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels winning the event twice in 1995 and 1996 and then going on to beat Bret Hart in the 60-minute Iron Man Match to achieve his boyhood dream at Wrestle Mania 1996.
When we talk Royal Rumble, one name that has to be mentioned is The Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The only winner of 3 rumbles (1997, 1998 and 2001), his career got the biggest push when he headlined the event in 1997.
With Rumble winners’ aplenty, credit must also go to other superstars who have reigned supreme at this event, the likes of Triple H, The Rock, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Edge, The Undertaker, Roman Reigns among many more and the most controversial name in wrestling albeit in a kayfabe way, Mr. McMahon who against expectations won this event in 1999.
In 2018, WWE for the first time introduced a 30 Women Rumble Match, also as a part of the event which was a testament to the way women’s revolution has become a part of the wrestling DNA.
So, without further ado, let’s draw our attention to what this year’s event, The 34th Royal Rumble to be held this Sunday, 31st January has to offer:
1. WWE Championship Match – Drew McIntryre v Goldberg
This contest is pitted as the Legend of Wrestling, Bill Goldberg vs the biggest Baby Face in WWE at the moment, The Champion Drew McIntyre.
Truth be told, Drew has had a fantastic 2020 in wrestling starting from winning the Rumble at the beginning of last year to beating Brock Lesnar for the championship at Wrestle Mania to overcoming all adversity, particularly in the form of Randy Orton and still being a strong champion. But make no mistake, Goldberg will be one of the toughest opponents, McIntyre has ever had to face.
2. Universal Championship – Roman Reigns v Kevin Owens
This rivalry has been on for months with the biggest Heel in wrestling, The Tribal Chief Roman Reigns making Kevin Owen’s life a living nightmare albeit in the storyline.
Kevin, not one to give up will put his best foot forward as we see the culmination of this war in a Last Man Standing match.
3. The Mega Event – 30 Man Royal Rumble Match
The Big Daddy of the rumble card will be this match, to determine who would headline Wrestle Mania’s main event from a host of Superstars competing, the likes of Keith Lee, Sheamus, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, the returning Rated R Superstar, Edge along with The Monday Night Messiah, Seth Rollins among plenty more and one of my current favourites The Pioneer of the Yes Movement, Daniel Bryan who I am predicting will win his maiden Royal Rumble.
Apart from these 3 showpieces, there would also be The Women’s Rumble Match and a Tag Team bout for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
So, be sure you tune in on Sunday night in the western countries and Monday early morning in India to witness an event that is nothing less than the grandeur of wrestling.
I know I certainly would be!