Sure, I got a mild boost of interest after watching the most recent Survivor Series (mostly due to the appearance of Sting aka STING!!!), but that declined quickly. I stopped watching the truncated Raw episodes on Hulu (which I watch because I no longer have cable) and I declined to renew my subscription to the WWE Network as December came to a close (it rarely was getting any play at that point).
That being said, I was convinced to renew my subscription Sunday afternoon due to the impending Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Sure, I thought, its only $9.99, so I could order it just for the PPV and still save out. Not to mention, Royal Rumble never fails. Other events can be bland, boring and badly booked, but the Royal Rumble match always is pleasing.
This thought comforted me through the rest of the day. My wife (who dislikes wrestling and thinks it says something about “violence in society”) even decided she wanted to wanted to watch the actual Royal Rumble match. That’s part of the key to the match’s success: it’s user friendly. Talent comes out every 90 seconds (or so; I think the interval changes depending on how the match is going), and it keeps the action going and the audience interested. It’s fast-paced and random enough that it makes people who are not interested in the product watch. In fact, my first exposure to wrestling was the Royal Rumble match in 1999. The surprise appearances are funny to long-time fans and fans who have fallen away alike. The storyline importance of the final outcome gives it some weight.
However, it turned out that the thing that I used to like the most was a disappointing, poorly booked mess.
But it didn’t seem like that would happen at first. Continue reading