The Royal Rumble Anthology is a boxset from Royal Rumble 1988-2008.
With the 21st Royal Rumble just round the corner, it's the perfect time to buy the first 20 and add to your collection one of WWE's best-loved Pay-Per-Views. Like the greatest Battle Royal ever, the Royal Rumble has for 20 years been ceaselessly entertaining as dozens of storylines unfold or continue at once, following on from earlier that week, earlier that night, or even starting anew - and lest we forget, it is also the road to Wrestlemania.
This box-set is just about all you could possibly hope for. So much of the WWE - and, indeed, the WWF's - history is contained here, from the first Royal Rumble onwards. You see all the greats come and go, Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant, Hulk Hogan, the Road Warriors, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle...uh...Bobby Lashley.
The matches aren't of consistent quality - no-one can agree on the WWE/F's greatest period, so inevitably some matches will be liked and some less so, but your favourite period will be contained within. And there are some undoubted classics here, as well as some vital moments in WWE's history - Steve Austin winning his first Royal Rumble, Vince McMahon winning one and spinning his feud with Austin out even further, Mick Foley's last truly classic match with Triple H, the Hardy Boyz' and Dudley Boyz' stars rising in 2000, Hulkamania running wild, the moment when Hogan and the Warrior came face to face in an empty ring.
The box set is by no means perfect. Thanks to the petty lawsuit filed by the World Wildlife Fund, up until 2003 EVERY WWF symbol, every mention of the company's acronym ('World Wrestling Federation' is fine) is censored. What's more, there's some minor editing - botches are re-cut as if they never happened, such as the Hardy Boyz' faintly hilarious dropkick mishap in the 2001 event - and bizarrely, these are not actually re-issues of the releases on VHS and DVD that previously came out. Flair's win at the 1992 Rumble is pre-empted by a home video exclusive interview when he reveals his number, making Bobby Heenan's fantastic heel commentary later on totally nonsensical.
For the majority of people, however, these are minor gripes that need not be a concern. This is an amazing box set, one which will hopefully be repeated for Summerslam and Survivor Series as it was for Wrestlemania.