The year's first Royal Rumble might as well have taken place in a parallel universe. A competently booked card from top to bottom, the two marquee matches ended with an uncharacteristically self-aware WWE leaning on historical disgruntlement as bait, before two fan darlings swept to underdog victories.
What's more, both were Japanese. Believe it or not, even in 2018, this fact is significant when it comes to this company.
Mouths gaped at the prospect of Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka heading to WrestleMania in prized positions, but not as wide as the imagination of the possibilities to come. Seemingly, 2018 had began by establishing a whole new era - for real, this time.
It's only wrestling fans who are a hundred times bitten but not once shy. By this point, how could they not see how this'd go? Come the big show, Asuka's undefeated streak was predictably sacrificed - and her whole aura - for the benefit of the most protected woman on the roster. Shinsuke Nakamura had to settle for second billing to the fourth Roman Reigns WrestleMania main event in a row. Obviously, he lost. A few months later, WWE hosted another Royal Rumble - presumably to erase the memory of this one.
Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.