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Having not seen any wrestling since the mid-80s-90s where I grew up watching the classic WWF Superstars, I was quite curious to see how this current generation of wrestling is. Being a complete neophyte when it comes to modern wrestling, I learned a Royal Rumble is essentially a no-holds-barred 30-man brawl wherein the winner is whoever is left standing in the ring.

The case states that “for the first time in WWE history, it’s ONE VS. ALL as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns defends his coveted title against 29 other WWE Superstars”. You can expect to see, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family, Chris Jericho and more.

To kick things off there are a few individual fights, the best of which is the first; a Last Man Standing match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens. This is a brutal streetfight-type scenario where anything close to hand can be utilized as a weapon and indeed is. Metal chairs, Kendo staffs and tables are among the various “aids” that come into play here and it makes for quite an entertainingly savage free-for-all.

Admittedly after this bit of ultra-violence the rest of the fights paled in comparison and began to interest me less and less. There’s a Diva Championship ruckus with Charlotte vs Becky Lynch which involves Ric Flair “sexually assaulting” Becky that’s kind of amusing and the US Title Match of Kalisto vs Alberto Del Rio who have the whole luchador schtick going on and but overall things tended to blur into multiple generic fights to this nostalgic fan. It also comes off a lot less theatrical and seems to be packaged as a serious sport. Compared to the old days a lot of the wrestlers don’t really seem like fleshed out characters, their costumes consisting of a basic black speedo. Maybe it’s because I haven’t followed it over the years but it seems to be aimed at maybe elevating it from pure spectacle and entertainment to an ESPN style sporting event with a splash of theatricality compared to the old days where there was more hype and drama backstage and outside the ring.

I dunno, perhaps I’m out of touch but overall I much prefer the good ol’ campy showmanship and eccentric characters of 1980s WWF. Give me Macho Man, Jake the Snake or Ax and Smash of Demolition over Roman Reigns or New Day anytime. But, WWE is a multimillion dollar business with their own channel, production company cranking out films, etc. Clearly this stuff has mass appeal so more power to ’em.

Extras:

Royal Rumble Kickoff Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match to Qualify gor the Royal Rumble Match: Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow vs. The Ascension.

The DVD is Regeion 4, 16:9 Anamorphic widescreen and has a run time of 180 minutes.

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