Mardi Gras Casino, The Rock draw South Florida crowd for WWE Royal Rumble

 

Happy fans watch The Rock win WWE title; Happier ones gear for WrestleMania PPV party at Mardi Gras Casino

jvarsallone@miamiherald.com

Fans who attended the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view party at the Mardi Gras Casino in (South Florida) Hallandale Beach sure got their money’s worth.

A few disappointed CM Punk fans (must be Chicago natives), but most were pleased to see the hometown favorite, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, win the WWE title for the eighth time in his career and first in 10 years. Granted, much of that decade Johnson spent building his movie star status in lieu of sports entertainment dominance.

Rock pinned Punk in the main event of the Royal Rumble on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. Rock’s mother, Ata, a South Florida resident, celebrated from ringside as The Rock acknowledged his proud mom.

Of course, during the much anticipated matchup of Attitude Era vs. Attitude, controversy swirled the arena as the WWE created, three-headed monster, The Shield, slammed The Rock while the lights were out, leading to Punk’s pinfall victory.

The Shield is Dean Ambrose, Sethh Rollins and Roman Reigns, three newcomers who are WWE NXT/FCW alums.

While Heyman and Punk reveled in the tainted victory, a few fans at the Mardi Gras Casino left, figuring show over, but you should know by now not to leave until the WWE logo appears signifying the end.

WWE CEO Vince McMahon interrupted the moment of elation from the duping to inform “The Best in the World” he was being stripped of the WWE title. That stipulation McMahon devised after The Shield demolished Rock on WWE Raw on Monday, Jan. 21. He told Punk if The Shield interfered, he would lose the belt.

Before Mr. McMahon could make good on his word, a battered Rock grabbed the house mic near the announce table (while still feeling the effects of The Shield’s ambush) and literally told the boss to just re-start the match.

Mr. McMahon obliged to the delight of the crowd in Phoenix, at Mardi Gras and around the world.

Rock then staved off a Punk GTS finish, delivered the Rock Bottom, tossed his elbow pad to the masses, paraded over his felled foe and dropped the People’s Elbow en route to the conquest.

Mixed reviews by fans, as usual, for John Cena winning the Royal Rumble (unique battle royal) in the prior contest.

With Rock winning to close the action, fans watching exited the upstairs area happy, mirroring a pleasant tone set by the staff at the Mardi Gras Casino.

Bill Fodor, the assistant food and beverage director of Mardi Gras Casino, made room for Royal Rumble PPV party goers who traveled from as far north as Lantana in Palm Beach County and extending south through Miami-Dade County.

Mardi Gras Casino is in Broward County, sandwiching Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, at 831 N. Federal Hwy.

Fodor, an experienced associate, utilized Venue On Two, a second floor party room designated only for WWE Royal Rumble PPV patrons. The $20 cover included food (chicken wings, hot dogs, pork-n-beans, cole slaw, more), snacks (chips), dessert and beverage (buffet style). Fans sat at the bar or tables situated throughout the section, and televisions were aplenty in various sizes, with a 16-footer the featured screen.

“The show is fun. It’s a great atmosphere, and the price is right,” said Jeff Corso of neighboring Pembroke Pines. “

Christina Forbes, a cute hostess, welcomed the men, women and kids as they paid admission. The hard-working young lady answered any questions from them, remaining for the entire show. Fodor and Forbes are WWE PPV party veterans, working four years each at Mardi Gras Casino. Sasha served as the food expeditor, communicating well with the staff and making sure enough food spread across the lengthy buffet table.

“The spread they put out; you can’t beat it with everything else you get, too,” said Bob Z, who lives in Hallandale Beach and regularly frequents the WWE PPV parties at the Mardi Gras Casino. “Bill [and his staff] takes care of everybody. They do a great job.”

Lisa Mizrachi, the advertising supervisor for Mardi Gras Casino, took time to answer any questions filtering my brain — the main one being if Mardi Gras Casino would be hosting a WWE WrestleMania PPV party like last year.

In the words of Daniel Bryan, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” or Alberto Del Rio, “Sì! Sì! Sì!”

Details forthcoming.

Mizrachi also assisted with interviews and photos at the event, promoting her facility and the party. Very professional, her help along with Fodor’s were appreciated.

Visit http://www.mardigrascasinofl.com/. Call 954-924-3200.

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