Hi Scott, hope you are well. The reactions to this year’s Rumble match have been as wide-ranging and almost polarized as any that I can remember, both on the blog and elsewhere. Two questions. 1) Can you remember any past Rumbles with such a wide variety of strong reactions? 2) Do you think the shift to a more “comedy-based” Rumble is something that will continue, or is simply a one-year aberration? Like you, I loved this year’s version, even though I tend to like my wrestling more serious and drama-based than comedic (one of the big reasons I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore). I don’t think I would want to see it done like this every year, but as a slice of something different, by Rumble standards, I thought it was very well done and enjoyable. Thoughts?
This was definitely a different Rumble for good or bad. The reactions remind me of the HHH-Undertaker match or John Cena (“Let’s go Rumble / Rumble sucks!”). I would like to once again remind everyone of the context I saw it, an insanely fun theatre atmosphere with a crowd reacting exactly like those booking the match intended. Watching it alone at home after the rest of the crappy undercard would have likely yielded a different reaction. Wrestling is a very “in the moment” thing and while I was watching it, it was incredibly entertaining. I seem to recall the 95 Rumble being pretty divisive to say the least. The 60 second intervals bugged a lot of people and made Shawn’s win seem less important to them. I have to say, 90 seconds is pretty much the perfect time for these. I think the comedy basis was done by necessity because of the total lack of star power this year, although I don’t know what the excuse was in 99 because they damn sure had the star power at that point.