Though I am not a full-time wrestling fan anymore and do not watch most PPVs, I rarely miss a Royal Rumble. It's a unique match, plus there is the chance for some nostalgia. My personal opinion is that the "Winner gets a title shot at Mania" stipulation is played out and limits the number of viable winners to a handful at best. (Even in my part-time following of WWE, I know that both winners last night were expected by many people) But the staleness of the Rumble itself is not the point of this post. I'm talking about a certain peeve here. Not the predictable winners, or predictable spots of Kofi saving himself from elimination (temporarily and needlessly, as he never has a shot at winning), or Michael Cole's AWFUL presentation of irrelevant Rumble statistics as a new participant enters (Would it kill him to at least pretend he doesn't know who is coming out when? Act surprised before giving us a stat that no one cares about), or the fact that the interval between entrants varies from anything between 1 and 2 minutes...none of that. The thing that bugs me is the pointing to the WrestleMania sign at the Rumble. I'm sorry, it's laughable. EVERYONE--wrestlers, commentators, fans--smarks and casuals--EVERYONE knows the winner is going to WrestleMania. By the way, everyone knows most of the losers are also going to WrestleMania. I can kind of understand that they may want a photograph of the winner pointing to the sign for the website or some marketing purpose...maybe. But holy hell, it is so predictable and cliché and corny, it does nothing to add excitement to the moment. No one sees the winner and then forgets what that means, only to be reminded by a "dramatic" point to the sign. Go back and watch Asuka last night...it was like she was stuck in that position. Ok, you pointed, you can put your arm down now--we all get it. We knew it was coming, so now that you've done it for 3 minutes, you can stop. The worst was Rousey. On paper, I can see how her coming in, confronting the ladies in the ring and then stepping back to point at the sign COULD be a cool moment, for someone who didn't already assume she was setting up a Mania appearance. So, for those people, I could understand this woman, who was showing up for the first time, pointing to the sign to let everyone know why she was there. Perfectly understandable. But the first time she pointed, the lame Philly crowd had just started one of their dumb chants, ruining that moment and costing Rousey the applause she was looking for. She then pointed again, trying to capture the moment..to no avail. Finally, she pointed AGAIN from the top of the ramp. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying until you kill any chance of it having an effect on the crowd. Like I said, the crowd, trying to be part of the show with their cliché "you still got it" and "this is awesome" chants, stepped on the moment. And maybe she was trying her best to get a good soundbite--I guess they'll have to edit it now, much like they try to portray the YES chant during the women's Rumble announcement was genuine and not asked for by Stephanie. I understand I am probably in the minority here. In fact, George Steele's Barber, on another Rumble thread, said that Rousey's pointing to the sign was "scary good". She had to do it 3 separate times because she couldn't get the response she was sent out to get and this guy sees that not only as good, but as scary good. Holy hell... Maybe if the crowd wants to chant and not just repeat what they've heard other crowds chant on TV, they could come up with something new like "No shit" when the winner points to the Mania sign. ...one more thing. Renee coming in the ring and asking Nakamura if he had decided which champ he will challenge, WHEN THE RAW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH--OF WHICH 3 DIFFERENT PEOPLE COULD HAVE WON--HADN'T HAPPENED YET, made absolutely no sense. Surprising, since so many of her one-question, backstage "interviews"--followed by a dramatic, off-camera stare as the wrestler walks away--are usually such wonderful TV.