For wrestling fans, January is a bonanza of men in tights throwing each other around a square ring. On January 4, New Japan put on their biggest show of the year - Wrestle Kingdom - but for casual fans and marks alike, the WWE's Road To Wrestlemania is where things begin to really get exciting. On that road, the first pit stop is the Royal Rumble, which kicks things off today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Here's how and when to watch WWE's over-the-top-rope-ocalypse live in Australia.
What Is The Royal Rumble?
If you're new to this whole wrestling caper than you may be wondering exactly what the Royal Rumble is. As one of WWE's showpiece Pay-Per-Views of the last 30 years, the Royal Rumble is the official beginning of what you might call WWE's playoff period. The "Rumble" itself is an elimination match where two wrestlers start in the ring and every 60 seconds a new wrestler enters. It follows an elimination format - any wrestler who is thrown over the top rope is eliminated from the match. The ultimate goal is to outlast the other entrants because the winner gets a shot at the Championship at WWE's biggest event: Wrestlemania.
Originally, this Rumble extended to all wrestlers, male and female, but this year will be split by gender with both a 30-man male Royal Rumble and 30-man female Royal Rumble. This is a historic first for the Women's Division and should be a great showcase of the female talent on the roster.
But this isn't a two-match Pay-Per-View and several undercard matches take place across the evening. This year sees Universal Champion Brock Lesnar take on two other monster humans - Braun Strowman and Kane - in a three-way for the title. Best Friends Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens take on the Phenomenal AJ Styles in a handicap match for the WWE Championship, with a lot of interesting dynamics at play should the handicap duo win. Both WWE brands have Tag Team Championships on the line too with the RAW match being contested between Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan vs The Bar and Smackdown seeing The Usos take on Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
Oh, and there's no noble attachment, no Kings or Queens or Princes to talk about. The Royal Rumble is merely named for the clever alliteration.
When Is The Royal Rumble 2018
The Royal Rumble officially begins at 9am AEDT from the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia.
Here’s that time in all capital cities:
- Perth, WA: 6am
- Darwin, NT: 7:30am
- Brisbane, QLD: 8am
- Adelaide, SA: 8:30am
- Sydney, NSW: 9am
- Canberra, ACT: 9am
- Melbourne, VIC: 9am
- Hobart, TAS: 9am
How To Watch The Royal Rumble 2018 Live In Australia
As this is a wrestling event, you can bet that you won't be seeing any action on Free to Air TV.
The easiest way to watch is to sign up for a WWE Network subscription - however, as most hardcore WWE fans know well, this will set you back USD$9.99 a month (so around AUD$12, depending on the exchange rate).
If you've never signed up for the Network before, then you can start a completely free, no obligation one-month trial. This is the best way for the casual viewer to catch the Royal Rumble. To sign up, just head to the 'Start Your Free Month' banner on the homepage and click through. You will need to have a PayPal account or a credit card to sign up with. If you want it for free, just make sure to cancel your subscription within a month. You will not be charged for doing so.
If for some reason you want to watch on Foxtel via the Main Event, you can pay $30 to get the broadcast from there, too. Frankly insane, considering the options at your disposal with this one.
Generally, you can find links to specific shows via Reddit, but these streams are not condoned by WWE. You can also follow along with the WWE Australia Twitter account which will show highlights and major events throughout the night in convenient tweet form. If that's your thing, it's worth looking at.
Enjoy and get ready for as much LOLREIGNSWINS as you can handle.