All the Best Nostalgia from Last Night’s WWE Royal Rumble Part 1 (Men’s Edition)

Many fans of professional wrestling appreciate the in-ring action, the soap opera style drama, or even the backstage gossip, but one of the most important aspects of the sport is its enormous potential for nostalgia. Other sports can trot out retired players for a cheer from the crowd, but pro wrestling scripted nature ensures that its living legends can actually get in the ring and compete with the current generation of stars. When done right, the use of nostalgia in wrestling can channel the powerful emotion of decades of memories into a single match. Last night at the Royal Rumble, WWE did it right.

The men’s Royal Rumble match went on first in the night, and featured some memorable nostalgic spots. First of all, Hall of Fame announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler returned to call the match.

In classic King style, he kept changing his pick to win throughout the match.

In Philadelphia, the home of ECW, Rhyno, one of the last ECW wrestlers still working on the big stage, got a hell of a welcome from the crowd.

And Baron Corbin got some boos for eliminating him early.

Later in the match, The Hurricane made a triumphant return, to the crowd’s delight.

Unfortunately, he was eliminated less than a minute later by John Cena, much to the crowd’s displeasure. After the match, backstage, The Hurricane gave an online interview.

The biggest return of the men’s match was Rey Mysterio, returning at #27.

Mysterio holds the record for the longest time in a single Royal Rumble match, but lasted less than ten minutes this time, being eliminated by Finn Balor. But not before he got to take part in a 3 on 3 old guard vs. new guard standoff alongside Randy Orton and John Cena against Roman Reigns, Balor, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Orton and Cena don’t quite count as nostalgia acts yet, but they’re getting there.

One of the best moments for Mysterio was hitting a double 619 on two of WWE’s most-hated heels.

After the match, Mysterio gave an online exclusive interview.

Nakamura ultimately won the match, setting up what’s sure to be a fan-favorite match at WrestleMania. But it’ll be a few years before Nakamura and AJ Styles can be counted in the nostalgia category, so let’s move onto the main event, and one of the best Royal Rumble matches WWE has ever put on: the women’s Royal Rumble.

But in the nostalgia department, the men’s Royal Rumble match had nothing on the women’s match. Check back soon for part 2 where we run down all the best nostalgic moments from the historic first-ever women’s Royal Rumble.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.

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