January of 2000 was a very interesting time for the WWF. We were now entering the last full year of the WCW and WWF was in firm control as the Attitude era was at it’s peak. That said, the WWF was also without it’s top star as Stone Cold Steve Austin was out due to an injury. Thus, WWE was left with a really fun group of main eventers who were all competing to become the next top guy and the result was one of the most successful years in WWE history. To me, this was also the best royal rumble card in the history of the WWE, maybe not the best Royal Rumble match itself but as far as the card goes this is as good as it gets to me.
However, before I break down my memories of the Royal Rumble 2000, I’ll give you a bit of a personal back story. I did not attend Royal Rumble 2000, despite it being right here in New York City. That being said, I was really close and just about every single friend I had who was interested in professional wrestling did attend the Royal Rumble that year. Here’s the story, so I was 13 years old and all I wanted to do was attend the Rumble that year. Of course, the Rumble was an instant sell-out and this was before the days of ebay or stubhub where literally no ticket is unattainable. Thus, I realized I didn’t have much choice and I’d be watching the Rumble at home with my family and hear all of the stories from my friends who witnessed the show live the next day. This was until, Sunday afternoon the weekend before the Rumble when my uncle came home with a surprise. My Uncle told me (13) , my sister (10 years old) and my cousin, his son, (7) years old that there was a fax coming in for us. We answered the fax and it said “Hey guys I saw your Uncle Tony today and guess what you’re all going to the Royal Rumble!- your pal the Rock”. I figured the rock really wasn’t sending us a private fax but omg the party that commenced was unbelievable. For about five days I went through every single possible scenario about being there live. Would Edge bump into me while coming through the crowd? Would Jeff Hardy attempt a Swanton Bomb for our private suite into the ring? Would Stone Cold Steve Austin return in the rumble match? This was unbelievable, my first Royal Rumble live!
We spent that weekend getting excited for the rumble, watching Rumbles of years past and getting ready to count each royal rumble entrance down live in person! I also remember listening each night to WWF Radio. WWF Radio was something that only took place on occasion and that weekend WWF took over a station in New York each night leading up to the rumble. I remember it was basically superstar interviews hyping the matches and I also remember hearing the taz beats as the hosts wondered who he was and reminded us he would be debuting at the Rumble.
Then on Sunday morning, my Uncle showed us the tickets. Just like he said, we had a private suite live at Madison Square Garden to witness the WWF live…for Raw on February 28th! I felt my heart sink as everyone celebrated with glee because I knew my Uncle was mistaken, “The rock” hooked him up with tickets to Raw the following month and it turned out, we weren’t going to the rumble after all. Everyone ended up being pretty disappointed so my parents and uncle took us all to WWF New York (My first trip there) for lunch the day of the Rumble to make up for it. For those who don’t know, WWF New York was basically the WWF’s answer the the Hard Rock Café, it was a WWF themed restaurant filled with all things WWF! I’ll tell you this much for a 13 year old wrestling fan, this place was about as good as it got. Every TV had WWF programming on it, the store sold every piece of memorabilia you can think of, there was also a WWF museum set up and that day there was a private room for signings (only for people who had VIP tickets however). I couldn’t even tell you what I ordered that day or if I ate it because my family and I just continued to look around at everything (I’ll admit it, I’m still bummed the place didn’t work out). The only thing that was a let down for me that day was that it felt like every person there was also going to the rumble. Everyone had t shirts and signs, I even saw friends of mine attending the show asking me where my seats were. While it was tough to head home that night to watch the show, I was happy and thanked my family for making the best out of the situation.
As for the Rumble event itself that year? It was probably the greatest Royal Rumble event in history, at least in my opinion, this is the one show where I can go back and watch the entire show start to finish whereas in most other cases I just watch the rumble. On this show alone you had a great debut for Tazz, an unbelievably fun tag team tables match between the Hardys and Dudleys (I still love the visual of the Jeff Hardy Swanton Bomb off the entrance with the New York City taxi) a fun miss diva swimsuit competition with hot divas and Mae Young ripping off her top (c’mon it was good for a laugh!) , an amazing Triple H- Cactus Jack Street Fight for the world title that stands the test of time, and the Royal Rumble which featured surprises and everyone being featured pretty well with the Rock at his peak!
All in all just a really fun show and as you can see here a fun time to be a WWF fan. Sure, I was a little bummed that I’d have to wait another 8 years to attend my first Royal Rumble event live, but, at the end of the day I had a great experience. Oh, and that live Raw I attended on February 28th, 2000? That was the raw where Mae Young gave birth to a hand live, so who am I to complain when I was there live for such a great moment!
That does it for the Royal Rumble 2000, next up we’ll return to the Garden for the Royal Rumble 2008!