Friday, January 21, 2022

Glory Day

In yesterday's post, I wrote about January 19th being the thirtieth anniversary of my favourite Royal Rumble match of all time. 

Yesterday was another anniversary of a memorable Royal Rumble. However, I feel it even more fitting to write about the day which followed it.

Royal Rumble 2002

The 2002 Royal Rumble was won by Triple H. I've written many times over the years about how I had spent the summer of 2001 confident that he would come back from his quadriceps injury - suffered in May - and win the Royal Rumble. So confident was I in my belief, I whacked £100 on HHH in a Royal Rumble betting market. My first-ever WWE bet. 

It also turned into my first-ever WWE betting win.

There I was, in the early hours of January 21st 2002, alone in my living room (I don't know why I didn't have my friends over as I usually did on those big WWE PPV nights) with £100 riding on Hunter. I remember spooning Strawberry Cheesecake Haagen-Dazs down my throat as the match began. Then, as soon as Triple H's number was called, I was filled with anxious adrenaline. I was taking phone calls all night. 

One call interrupted me as I anxiously did push-ups on the living room floor. It was better than pacing the room. Or so I thought.

And then HHH won. Another call. My friend, Stu was almost as excited as I was. I had won £450. 

I didn't bother to check my betting account to see whether I had been paid. I went to bed. I had work a few hours later.

That day at work was a blast. Everyone came up to me and congratulated me. Some of my friends and colleagues had entertained the idea of joining me with bets of their own. However, when I was hyping up Triple H's chances of winning the Rumble, I was doing so in the heat of summer. January was too far away for them.

I don't know what it was about that Monday at work. I seemed to have made a lot more in tips than I would at that time of year. Such a crazy day.

After work, I stopped by my uncle's shop to tell him all about my win. He had recently returned here with his new business. It wasn't too far from my work, so I would pop in to see him every now and again.

I sat there telling him that the bet I had told him about had won. That was also the day we spoke about Stephen King and 'Stand By Me' or 'The Body' to those who know. I think. I certainly shared that the tips were amazing that day. I joked that it 'must have been the aftershave you bought me for Christmas'. Maybe I wasn't really joking. Since he passed a little over a year later, I've always kept that bottle for days following big victories. The bottle isn't full anymore. A sign there have been more wins since the early hours of January 21 2002. 

The sums have certainly been bigger, but none have been better.

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