By Graham "GSM" Matthews
You didn't think we would have a Royal Rumble without the return of the Royal Rumble Game, did you? Yes, it's back! And for the fourth straight year in a row! Sorry I've been behind on making the official announcement as 2016 has been all sorts of busy (and exciting), but better late than never and we still have some time before the big pay-per-view in less than two weeks!
Longtime followers, friends and fans of mine might be familiar with the Royal Rumble Game, but if you aren't, here's a quick rundown of the rules: You pick a number 1-30. Each entry is limited to one person (you can still play unofficially if you'd like), and it's first come first serve. The designated sign-up date and time is below. Whoever enters at your number in the Royal Rumble Game will be your "favorite" wrestler for the next year. I said that lightheartedly because you don't have to stick to that if you don't want to, but it's more fun if you do.
However, the stakes are even higher this year! For the first time ever, we will have a prize hanging in the balance! Not only will you have the honor of winning the Rumble Game if your entry comes out on top in the annual Battle Royal on January 24th, you will also win a free WrestleRant Radio t-shirt! Only one has been printed as of this writing (and it's in possession of yours truly), so you would own a prototype! If you win, I will contact you in the subsequent days with information as to how it will be sent over to you.
Also, if you win the 2016 Royal Rumble Game, you automatically earn entry into next year's game and get to choose your number before anyone else! Due to winning the 2015 Royal Rumble Game, Ross S. has already entered this year's installment, choosing the No. 23. As always, I'll have the No. 17 (it's my favorite number, so that's the only reasoning behind it). In recent years, I've gotten The Godfather, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston, so we'll see what this year has in store.
Finally, for the first time in over a year, my wrestling Twitter trivia session #GSMTrivia is returning on Tuesday, January 19th at 8 p.m. eastern time. The rules will be explained on my Twitter at @WrestleRant shortly beforehand. While I don't usually put anything up for grabs and it's just for fun, I figured I'd make it more prestigious to win. Thus, if you take part in #GSMTrivia and win, you'll also earn a spot in the Royal Rumble Game before the official sign-up time, which brings me to my next topic of discussion...
Now comes the question everyone's been asking: how and when will you be able to choose your number in the 2016 Royal Rumble Game? Having people tweet me their numbers three years ago was a bit of a mess, and I really liked the way we did it the past two years by having people leave comments on this very blog post. When the comment section opens (and you'll find out exactly when in a second), you can leave a comment down below with your number and either a Twitter handle or an email address I can contact you at if you win.
When the full roster is set, your name will be attached to the number down below and your name will be linked to whatever Twitter handle/email address you used in your comment. As noted, spots are limited; there are only 30, so be sure to act fast. Only one person can be assigned to a number and there's no doubling up (not officially, anyway). I will respond to your comment with approval that the number is yours. First come, first serve! Even if you don't get to officially participate, you can still play along at home!
The date the drawing of the numbers will be going down will be Wednesday, January 20 at 9 p.m. ET! Thanks and hope to see you participate in the game!
UPDATE: All the numbers have since been claimed, and thus the comments section is now closed. The official roster is as follows...