CEO’s Royal Rumble is always a good time and this year’s was no exception.
The Royal Rumble features 30 contestants selected from the fighting game community battling for the title in an event full of pomp and circumstance that’s as much about showy entrances as deadly combos.
Focusing on Tekken 7 in light of its recent release, the tournament started with Echo Fox’s Cool Grey AJ facing off against the President of CEO Gaming, Alex Jebailey, who entered the room to chants of “You suck!” from the crowd. He didn’t though, going on to beat AJ and meme the crowd into submission with his winning grin.
But the real highlight came just over an hour and a half in when WWE’s Xavier Woods returned to deliver some Jaguar-masked punishment to Tekken strategist and caster Reepal “Rip” Parbhoo. Woods is a lifelong gamer and has parleyed his passion for everything from Zelda to Street Fighter into a form of celebrity outside the ring rooted in the fighting game community.
At CEO 2016, Woods threw down against New Japan Pro Wreslting superstare, Kenny Omega in an exhibition match that helped mythologize their ongoing video game rivalry. Woods was victorious that day, and as a result, got to tear into Omega, who was in the audience at this year’s Rumble, while on his way to the Tekken 7 fighting ring.
On this day, however, Woods had to eat his trash talk, getting drilled by RIP with the exception of one round. It was gross. So gross all he could do was laugh at the final K.O. He shook RIP’s hand and went to exit the ring, but before promising to torch Omega in their next rematch.
RIP’s run was eventually disrupted by ShinBlade who would make it to the end of the Rumble and face Tekken 7's producer, Katsuhiro Harada. The poor developer got absolutely bodied despite his advantage from actually having helped to create the game, making ShinBlade victorious too boos from the crowd.
You can re-watch CEO 2017's Royal Rumble in its entirety below.