It’s time for the 30th anniversary of WWE’s annual Royal Rumble pay per view! The highlight of the yearly event is the Royal Rumble match – a variation of the traditional Battle Royal with a total of 30 competitors. For this special occasion WWE has added a 2nd Rumble match, this one being the first in history to have all women competitors.
Two WWE Superstars start in the ring, every 90 seconds thereafter another Superstar enters. A Superstar is eliminated when they’re thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. The last remaining Superstar is guaranteed a world championship opportunity at WrestleMania.
The Rumble’s a special attraction. WrestleMania is a major pop culture event rivaling the Super Bowl. It’s a massive draw for casual fans of entertainment. Royal Rumble, however, is arguably the most popular draw among diehard wrestling fans. When it comes to the physical storytelling and psychological art of the profession, nothing’s a better showcase. People look forward to getting together with friends, sharing food and drinks while watching this match unfold.
For this 30th annual Rumble LiquidAE.com Managing Editor Mr. Joe Walker aka Jiddoe S’Phatt officially gives his 2 cent in this exclusive Q&A remix. Joining him for the first time is “The Wrestling Wrealm” co-host Brian Waters, hip-hop artist Erik Stephen, and up-and-coming independent professional wrestler Ben Timms. Everyone brought a dish to pass. Enjoy!
LiquidAE.com: Ben, Erik and Brian, what’s your favorite Royal Rumble match?
Ben Timms: My favorite Rumble match has to be 2006 purely because it was the first Rumble I ever watched. I sat there, as a 9-year-old kid, mesmerized at how Rey Mysterio went from beginning to the end. Every single time I go back and watch it, it reminds me of myself as a young wrestling fan. I guess it reminds me of better times as a wrestling fan too.
Erik Stephen: I’m not sure about favorite. I did enjoy last year’s. However, the last one I enjoyed before that was the one where Sheamus won.
Brian Waters: If I had to pick, for sentimental value it would be 2001 because that was the last one I watched with my grandmother. She ordered it for me and we watched that together.
Jiddoe S’Phatt: Rumble ’92. Ric Flair. “With a tear in my eye…”
LiquidAE.com: Last year’s Rumble left a lot to be desired. How did you feel about Randy Orton winning it?
Ben Timms: Especially with how their Mania match went, I was kind of disappointed. At the time I remember thinking that I wasn’t surprised because I had heard he was the odds-on favorite through the dirt sheets. But it felt like same old same old. I personally would have loved to see the roles reversed and have Bray Wyatt win the Rumble and Orton win the chamber instead.
Erik Stephen: I was just thankful it wasn’t Roman Reigns! Truthfully, I was indifferent to Randy winning, but I did like how it was the first Rumble since John Cena won in 2013 that we didn’t know the winner going into the match.
Brian Waters: I’m not a Randy Orton fan, and that comes from Twitter. I wasn’t excited because I feel like Orton is bored. I know he’s a mega star and probably one of the best wrestlers ever, but the thing with him that annoys me is it all depends on how he feels. As a fan I don’t ever see him invested in every feud.
Jiddoe S’Phatt: Unimpressive throughout. Although I did get excited for a brief moment when I was silly enough to entertain that Bray Wyatt might win.
Brian Waters: I’m excited! I’m a huge fan of women’s wrestling so I’m real excited for it. However, if Ronda Rousey wins I’ll be highly disappointed.
Ben Timms: I’m excited, but mostly for the sheer amount of returns and debuts we’re going to see. There are like 21 women on the active roster, which leaves a good 9 open spaces for surprises. The more surprises, the better.
Erik Stephen: Definitely! I never understood why women weren’t allowed in the Rumble to begin with. Chyna, Beth Phoenix, Karma, they were allowed in it. So why didn’t any of the other women try to compete?
Jiddoe S’Phatt: WWE’s broken a lot of ground with the women Superstars in recent memory. This was bound to happen. It needed to happen. I’m glad it’s happening and I can’t wait to see it.
LiquidAE.com: After AJ Styles blew the roof off the place as entrant #3 in 2016. The ’17 Rumble failed to surprise at all. What surprise entrant do you predict or hope to see this year?
Ben Timms: I want to see for the girls Trish and Lita. They’ve got to be in there. For the men? I think it’d be cool to see Kurt or Shane in there, but my main one is Batista. Growing up as a young wrestling fan, my two faves where Batista and John Cena. When Dave came back in 2014 I was over the moon. I didn’t want him to wrestle Orton but I was very grateful that he was back. I hope he can enter to set up a feud with a fresh, young talent for Mania.
Erik Stephen: Men: Kenny Omega. Women: Trish Stratus.
Brian Waters: This is a tough one because I was really trying to figure that out. Who would be a surprise? If you asked me this last year I would have said Kenny Omega. That would be nice. But the thing with Omega is I don’t know what you would do with him right now. I guess I don’t have any surprises. Who is left out there? It would obviously have to be a legend at this point.
Jiddoe S’Phatt: If Rey Mysterio returned, and he returned with his original WWE theme while emerging through a trap door, it would just ignite the crowd. That would be cool to see.
Ben Timms: My pick to win the women’s Rumble is simple – Asuka. There is no one else that even comes close. If they want to keep Asuka’s momentum going, to portray her as the Goldberg of women’s wrestling, she has to go over here. I trust WWE will do the right thing. Asuka vs. Sasha at Mania sounds good to me.
Erik Stephen: It has to be Asuka. If she doesn’t win this would technically be here first loss in over 2 years.
Brian Waters: I think the safe pick is Asuka bu I’m going to go with Becky Lynch.
Jiddoe S’Phatt: Who should win other than Asuka? I’ll take Nia Jax for 1,000, Alex.
LiquidAE.com: For the 30-Man Rumble, who do you think’s winning it?
Erik Stephens: I’d like to see Shinsuke Nakamura win. AJ Styles and him would tear it up at Mania!
Ben Timms: Unfortunately, and I say this with great sadness, Roman Reigns. He’s challenging Brock for the title, who isn’t advertised for Elimination Chamber. I would say Nakamura to set up him and AJ for the title, but that Fatal 5 Way is set in stone at Fast Lane for the WWE Championship. A match Nakamura himself is involved in. WWE are gonna troll us with a Roman victory, so prepare yourself for it.
Brian Waters: I can’t remember the last time I was legitimately surprised. A lot of people are worried Roman’s going to win. The thing is I think people like Roman more now than they have. Just don’t force him down our throats. For him to win again would be a force. I guess I’ll go with my gut and say Shinsuke.
Jiddoe S’Phatt: I want Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston or Titus O’Neil to win. To narrow it down, I’ll go with Kofi. Imagine him versus AJ for the WWE Championship with New Day lurking. That would be epic.
LiquidAE.com: Last, and of course not least, what do you have on the menu for your Royal Rumble party this year?
Erik Stephen: A pizza from Zella’s and a 12-pack of Coke Zero.
Ben Timms: Friends, a big screen TV, a Rumble lottery and a lot of Pizza. Too sweet.
Brian Waters: Chicken wings, Salt & Vinegar chips, and lots of cookies.
Jiddoe S’Phatt: An “ABC” pie with strudel topping from Grand Traverse with a beer stein full of milk. I’ll share the pie. The milk’s all mine. |
Royal Rumble Winners: Jim Duggan (1988), Big John Studd (’89), Hulk Hogan (’90, ’91), Ric Flair (’92), Yokozuna (’93), Bret Hart/Lex Luger (’94), Shawn Michaels (’95, ’96), Steve Austin (’97, ’98), Mr. McMahon (’99), The Rock (2000), Steve Austin (’01), Triple H (’02), Brock Lesnar (’03), Chris Benoit (’04), Batista (’05), Rey Mysterio (’06), The Undertaker (’07), John Cena (’08), Randy Orton (’09), Edge (’10), Alberto Del Rio (’11), Sheamus (’12), John Cena (’13), Batista (’14), Roman Reigns (’15), Triple H (’16), Randy Orton (’17)
Share your Royal Rumble pick with us on Twitter @LiquidAEMag and Instagram @liquidmagazine.
CREDITS Written by Jiddoe S’Phatt | Photos – WWE.com | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims |
Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this special Q&A remix with Jiddoe, Ben Timms, Erik Stephen, and Brian Waters.
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