The Scottrade Center lobby was packed torso to torso with people, most of whom held plastic championship belts or poster board signs and wore CM Punk or John Cena t-shirts. The WWE Royal Rumble, one of the most anticipated of the company's monthly pay-per-view cards, came to town last night, bringing with it all the deafening pyrotechnics and scripted drama of any world class spectacle.
St. Louis, of course, was once the capital of professional wrestling, so it was fitting that the night's main event, the 30-man elimination Royal Rumble, featured a nostalgic handful of throwback wrestlers. There was Mick Foley (as well as a Mr. Sock cameo) and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (U-S-A! U-S-A! U.S.A!) and "Road Dogg" Jessie James ("Oh you didn't Know? You better caaalllll somebodaayyyyyy!"). Sheamus, a muscular, pale-skinned and red-headed, up-and-coming star, won the contest, eliminating Chris Jericho for the climax.
On one of the undercard matches, CM Punk defended his WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler. Punk, dedicated readers may recall, spent some time wrestling in Harley Race's World League Wrestling, which we wrote about in our recent feature story Harley Race's Academy of Hard Knocks, on his way to the big league.
For more coverage of the Royal Rumble, check out RFT's slideshow of the event.