Editors note: The following is part one of a two-part series, looking at the first-hand accounts of the WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event from two of Couch Side’s finest writers.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to numerous sporting events in my life. I’ve been around loud crowds, hyped-up environments, and have seen my fair share of gripes, surprises, controversy, and full-on rowdiness. But nothing could have prepared me for what WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view gave me on January 27 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
Now, I’ve been a wrestling fan for a long time now. I watched religiously from 2003 to about 2006 but then lost some of that consistency until the summer of 2011, more known as “the Summer of [CM] Punk” (more on him later). So when the opportunity came for me to experience WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year mere miles from my house, I jumped on that chance and didn’t look back and let me tell you, it was well worth it.
I won’t go into the main details of every match on the card because that is not what the point of going to an event like this is. The point is to be part of the experience and let me tell you, the Royal Rumble was incredible. Showing up in Downtown Phoenix an hour and a half early to eat was awe-inspiring itself as nearly every restaurant and bar was packed with fans who were only getting prepared for what the nigh would bring. Hell, halfway through our “pre-game” festivities (if you will), Matt and I got to experience the familiar “LET’S GO, CENA!” “CENA SUCKS!” chants at a bar. A BAR! Not the event, but a local bar. I could tell we were going to be in for quite a night.
We were somewhat worried about getting in after getting tickets off Craigslist but thankfully, they were legitimate and soon enough, we were in our seats and ready to rumble (get it?). From then on, it was all about the crowd reactions to the matches, entrances, spots, and moments. And the Rumble is arguably the best PPV for those reactions. (more…)