"It's an incredible stadium. Right now, the thought is that we’d come out of the dugout. We’ve never had a Royal Rumble in a baseball stadium before," WWE superstar and Valley resident Daniel Bryan said. "I’m super-psyched. I’ve never come out of a dugout to go into a wrestling show before."
The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is an event WWE has held each year since 1988. The Royal Rumble match itself consists of 30 wrestlers who enter the ring one by one at 90-second intervals. Wrestlers are eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope of the ring and both of their feet hit the floor outside the ring. The last wrestler standing is declared the winner and will go on to receive a world championship match at WrestleMania.
Last year's Royal Rumble PPV was the first to feature a men's and a women's Royal Rumble match.
"That's the cool thing about the Rumble: You never know who's coming next," said WWE superstar and former Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Baron Corbin (real name Tom Pestock). "It's always a part of history, because you're cementing yourself in the main event at WrestleMania."
The 2013 Royal Rumble was held at Talking Stick Resort Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns. But with a seating capacity of nearly 50,000, Chase Field is capable of holding roughly three times as many fans.
"It was always my favorite as a kid, so to be a part of it now is amazing. Add in the fact that it's now in Phoenix, where I used to live, where I used to play ball, where I have so many friends, it just makes it that much better," said WWE superstar Mojo Rawley (real name Dean Muhtadi), a former Cardinals defensive lineman, about the Royal Rumble.
WWE has announced three other events will take place in Phoenix during a four-day span in January of next year. An NXT Takeover event will be held at Talking Stick Resort Arena the day before the Royal Rumble on Saturday, Jan. 26. Also, WWE Raw and Smackdown Live will take place at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Monday, Jan. 28 and Tuesday, Jan. 29, respectively. The on-sale date for tickets to those events has yet to be announced.
Bryan, who used to be a part of NXT, is excited for the Takeover event, as well.
"It’s a lot of the up-and-coming stars that you’ll see on WWE TV later, but it’s really cool because they get a really intense focus. A lot of times it’s more wrestling-based than our WWE, which is more entertainment-based and more towards the casual fan. But if you like really hard-style wrestling where they get stuck in, NXT is usually a fantastic show," he said.
Whether you're a fan of WWE, NXT or just the Royal Rumble itself, Bryan said fans who purchase tickets to any of the January events won't be disappointed
"I just think it’s an incredible atmosphere to come to a WWE show. My sister’s not a big WWE fan or wrestling fan, but she loves coming and bringing my nieces because it’s just such a fun atmosphere and it’s exciting," he said. "The thing is, when you watch it on TV, you may not get into it or whatever, but when you’re there live, it’s just fun. You get into the matches. And it’s fun to see other people get into the matches, and it’s just contagious."