WWE's Royal Rumble Hits Minute Maid Park

The "Falls Count Anywhere" match brought the fight into the crowd.
The "Falls Count Anywhere" match brought the fight into the crowd. Photo By Jack Gorman

The spotlight panned over to a row of Porta Potties as the crowd in the Minute Maid Park jumped to their feet to get a better look at the fight happening outside the ring.

The “Falls Count Anywhere” match at the 33rd edition of WWE’s Royal Rumble gave the crowd everything they wanted as Roman Reign repeatedly punched King Corbin after chasing and dragging him outside the ring. After Corbin had driven Jimmy Usos through a guardrail, Reign returned the favor by incapacitating the king near a row of the temporary restroom stalls.

He slowly turned to the audience as cheers of “Put Him In!” echoed through the baseball park. Reigns followed the order from the crowd and quickly tossed Corbin into the Porta Potty. He flashed the crowd a sly smile before flipping the stall over to roaring applause.

The 2020 WWE Royal Rumble came to Houston this weekend, marking the end of a weekend full of matches from Smackdown and NXT. The event featured eight matches, including the Smackdown’s Women's Championship, the United States Championship Match, the strap match for the universal championship, and, most notably, the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble.

The Royal Rumble, a 30 person battle royal match where the last man or woman standing wins, brought back some crowd favorites as well as some upsets. In the women’s match Naomi, the former Divas champion, returned to the ring after being out of the public eye for the last few months. She entered the stadium to a deafening wave of applause and cheers at number 18. She was eventually bested and Charlotte Flair ended up being the last woman standing.

click to enlarge Asuka came to defend the her women's championship title. - PHOTO BY JACK GORMAN
Asuka came to defend the her women's championship title.
Photo By Jack Gorman

In the men’s match Brock Lesnar entered the 30 man elimination match at No. 1 to the jeers and boos of the sold-out stadium. The match featured heavy hitters like Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Seth Rollins, and Drew McIntyre. McIntyre, who entered the match at No. 16 eventually came out on top, finishing Reigns with one last exhausted finishing move.

It was a spectacle that most of the crowd got to witness from start to finish but for a large portion of attendees there was a delay getting into the stadium. The line for audience members picking up tickets from will call ran down the side of the stadium and progressed at a snail's pace. People in line were complaining about wait times exceeding two hours while others whispered about rumors of the stadium losing tickets.

Christian Calhoun was one of the people in line who was growing increasingly frustrated with the wait and lack of direction.

click to enlarge Brock Lesnar came to the Royal Rumble to defend his championship. - PHOTO BY JACK GORMAN
Brock Lesnar came to the Royal Rumble to defend his championship.
Photo By Jack Gorman
“I’ve been in line for two hours. First I was in one line to get my tickets for an hour only to be told I needed to go to will call. At this point I’ve been in the will call line for an hour and 15 minutes. It looks like they only have one person running to get tickets for the line.Honestly it’s disappointing because we’ve waited in line for two hours...the show starts at 6’s now 5:30 .pm. Hopefully we get to make it in for the start of the show but, if you look at the line, there’s a lot of people that paid money that aren’t going to get to see the whole show.”

Eventually fans were able to get inside, a little frustrated but still excited for the rumble.  Except for the problems getting into the stadium Houston fans still were able to experience a memorable evening with the WWE.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Houston Press contributor DeVaughn Douglas is a freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster. He is 1/2 of the In My Humble Opinion Podcast and 1/1 of the Sleep and Procrastination Society. (That last one isn't a podcast; he just procrastinates and sleeps a lot.)