It's been nothing but memory-talk here on the blog for the last couple of weeks, so let's move to the physical side of things - WWE offered former subscribers like myself three months of the WWE Network for 99p with no commitment, so I availed myself of it to watch the Greatest Royal Rumble. It's their big showpiece to sell the whole wrestling thing in the Middle East, I assume (live from Saudi Arabia), but as a sideline, a good way to entice European viewers too, with a five-hour spectacular starting at 5pm on a Friday night, British time.
78 "superstars", by my count, if you include not-really-wrestling-but-participating people like Paul Heyman, were all shipped over to Jeddah along with Mr McMahon and the usual crowd of commentators, referees and so forth. No women, obviously - the WWE's idea of presenting women is sort of diametrically opposed to Saudi Arabia's, but perhaps one day they'll both find some kind of mythical middle ground between the two and join the halfway-sane parts of the world. In the meantime, without the traditional abysmal women's match, it was non-stop action from start to finish! And I was very impressed by how much character the many wrestlers managed to put across in a show with a minimum of talking!
You can forgive the occasional bad bits, like the hopelessly confused ending to Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, because for the most part it was enough to keep me entertained all the way through, which is saying something for a five-hour marathon. It's enough to get me back into watching WWE, or at least it would be if the WWE Network allowed you to watch Raw and Smackdown replays in this country - Sky TV keep a jealous hold on them. So I guess I'll have to wait until I start paying for normal-TV again before I become a full-time wrestling fan. Great 50-man Royal Rumble, though! If you didn't watch it tonight, at least check out that part, if you can.