Friday, 14 October 2016

Royal Rumble 2016

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 182 Minutes
Certificate: 12
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: March 21 2016

(To read a full event review of WWE Royal Rumble 2016, click here.)

The 29th annual Royal Rumble's greatest achievement was arguably that the Rumble match itself was better and more well-received than the previous two Rumbles, the backlash to which bordered on riot-level after the omission of Daniel Bryan in 2014 and his early elimination in 2015, along with wins for Batista and Roman Reigns. That aside, there's still enough entertainment on offer that you should enjoy the Rumble '16 DVD.

After a short segment that shows The McMahons arriving at the arena (as brief as it is, Vince McMahon is nevertheless on comedy form here), the Rumble PPV kicks off with a very good Dean Ambrose-Kevin Owens Last Man Standing match, one of Ambrose's best WWE battles to date. Following that, The New Day vs. The Usos is decent, although the fan reaction to the then-heel New Day borders on ridiculously positive, given that John Cena or Roman Reigns (more on him later) would be booed out of the building if they behaved in the same fashion.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto is alright to watch; that being said, Kalisto's second upset United States Title win over ADR arguably marked the moment when Del Rio's career entered a real decline, since the momentum generated by his upset win over Cena at Hell In A Cell 2015 appeared to have been squandered. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch isn't quite as good as you would perhaps expect, but it is still watchable nonetheless. Two titbits here: as crude as it was, a spectator doing a certain arm-signal (in a joking fashion) to show his displeasure for Charlotte made me laugh, and Ric Flair's forced kiss on Becky during the match is present, despite it being taken out of the Network replay of Rumble, which is interesting.

The Rumble match itself has plenty of highlights, not least the debut of The Phenomenal One himself, AJ Styles. I won't divulge too much here for those who haven't watched the Rumble match yet (although the DVD sleeve is a giant hint, and a reason why the DVD department need their heads checking), but as mentioned earlier, the reaction to the match was more positive than it had been for a few years, which is a good thing, right? Not for Reigns, though, the booking of whom made the initial boos to him twice as loud, and arguably Reigns hasn't recovered from the presentation of his character yet, despite his success in WWE continuing beyond this show. The only DVD extra is a filler four-way tag qualifier for the Rumble match, which achieves nothing given how poor the winners would ultimately perform in the big match.

So, should you buy this DVD? Well, I can recommend it as an overall programme more than the previous couple of Rumbles, but it is far from the best Rumble match that you will see. If you have a few quid to spare, it's not a bad show to invest in, but if you only buy a few WWE DVDs a year, you may want to save your money for the WrestleMania three-disc compilation.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10 - Okay

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