Review for WWE: The True Story of The Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is one of my all-time favourite events in wrestling. Even if everything is bad, I can always rely on the entertainment of the Rumble. I may not agree with the outcome, but I can't deny how great it is.
This 'True Story' of the Royal Rumble tells the story of how the event came to be and all the most memorable moments of its 29 years. Yes you do wonder why they didn't wait for the 30th anniversary to make it more special, but I guess that's the way it is.
In the documentary we get to hear from the creator Pat Patterson how he came up with the idea and how originally Vincent McMahon hated the idea, but he loved the name. He he was given the chance to air it on Free TV which did massive ratings leading it to become one of WWE's most iconic PPVS.
They discuss the event and how it works and of course how the winner goes onto the headline Wrestlemania. They discuss many of its memorable moments such as Hacksaw Jim Duggan being the first winner, the co-winners from 1994 and the restart from 2005. Ric Flair's win at 1992 to win the vacant WWE Championship is discussed as well as connecting it to the 2016 version which had the same stipulation, only slightly adjusted.
While the documentary is going on, we follow a number of WWE superstars on the way to Royal Rumble 2016 including the debut of AJ Styles. This is all great though there are times when you can see that no matter how much they say that they listen to the fans when everyone resoundingly boo Batista in 2014 and the Roman Reigns in 2015 that it is only when it suits them.
A number of memorable matches are looked at including the Intercontinental Championship win for the late great Roddy Piper and Razor Ramon commenting that he was never in the Rumble because he always had that belt to defend.
Throughout the hour long documentary there are some good moments, but this just feels like a rehash of a lot of things I already knew and at one point they just run the 'By the Numbers' Rumble montage from the 2016 event? I felt an hour was just not long enough to tell this story and much like the previous one about Wrestlemania this should have been a two-three hour epic looking at all of the Rumbles and the significant moments instead of a random cherry picking of the obvious things that everyone should know. This is slightly disappointing and though as a 'Beginners Guide' to the Rumble it is fine, but I would hardly call this a 'True Story' and not the treatment this amazing event deserves.
Away from the documentary they include a number of extra stories which could all have easily been slotted into the main feature such as Batista's thoughts on his return and Becky Lynch and Charlotte commenting on their match from the last year.
Match wise I'm not sure whether I am satisfied or not. For me this really should be the "Best" of the Royal Rumble and really it just feels like a random collection of matches. That is not to say that they are not good, but there is an awful lot missing.
They spend a long time in the documentary talking about how important the Ric Flair victory in 1992 was and yet don't include it... but do include the 1994 Royal Rumble? They include the first one which is fine and a great way to show how the match has evolved.
They also include the 2001 and 2007 Rumbles. The 2001 edition I have no issue with. The 2007 one was good, but apart from the last ten minutes nothing special. Personally it would have been better if they had just included a highlight reel of all the best moments from all of the Rumbles.
There is a great, but random match between The Rockers and The Orient Express. It's a great match, but not sure why it's here. The match between Ultimate Warrior and Sgt Slaughter is here as it should be as should the match between Sycho Sid and Shawn Michael's which was fabulous. They include Tazz's debut against Kurt Angle which is good, but don't include the more memorable matches between Triple H and Cactus Jack or even The Dudleyz and The Hardy in the first ever tag team tables match, despite spending a long time talking about them in the documentary.
They also include CM Punk against the Rock which is fine in general though certainly not the best match ever. Finally from 2016 the Charlotte against Becky Lynch match which was certainly a good match, but how many of us will remember this in thirty years time.
Again my issue is more what they haven't included. Piper winning the Intercontinental title in 1993. Shawn Michael's against The Undertaker in 1998. And most importantly they don't include the 1992 or 1998 Royal Rumbles which in my opinion are the best Rumbles.
For the Blu-ray there are a number of extra matches. These include an awful match between Duke Droese and an early Triple H for the No 1 and No 30 spots which isn't as great as you would expect from The Game. Two Royal Rumble-style matches for Number One Contender from 2004 and 2011. Both are fine in general and if you are fans of the match style it is still great to watch it. Finally, there is an interview with Shawn Michaels conducted by Booker T which is good, but again they could have scrapped all this and just added 1-2 other Rumbles instead.
The True Story of the Royal Rumble is such an 'almost perfect' set that as someone who loves this PPV I can't help but be disappointed. It is one of my favourites and yet these two disks just left me feeling a little unfulfilled. Matches I expected to be on here are not and though nothing on here is unwatchable it's certainly far from what I would consider to be the 'Best' of this event. A few tweaks here and there it could have been perfect, but sadly that's not to be. If you are a fan of the event you will enjoy this set as there is much to enjoy, but don't be surprised if your favourite moments are not on here.
But then they do always say the Royal Rumble is full of surprises.