Royal Rumble 2017 was expected by millions of WWE fans around the world to be exactly...like Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble we have grown up watching. As a pro wrestling fan, I'm, along with the majority of fans, absolutely disappointed with the 30-man battle royal match this time around.
Has the WWE completely lost touch with its fans or what are the WWE writers actually thinking? No surprise entrant in the over-the-top rope elimination challenge, no standout competitor found and the clichéd ending of whoever enters between the slot of 20-30, becomes the winner.
Randy Orton entered at No. 23 at the Royal Rumble and eliminated....Roman Reigns (could you believe it?) to bag the chance of competing for John Cena's WWE World Championship at WrestleMania 33.
Cena won the title earlier in the WWE pay-per-view event from AJ Styles. A pay-per-view event, could you believe it, culminating to such an end? Roman Reigns, who has been facing a barrage of boos from the WWE universe for the last few months, was the surprise entrant No. 30.
Palpably, the instant reaction from the WWE fans when Reigns' entrance music hit at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, was one that of, "Oh God! Why?"
It almost seemed that Vince McMahon, Triple H and Co -- the ones pulling the strings for the WWE from the top -- had their hands completely tied. Fans on social media have vented out their frustration that the Royal Rumble 2017 was one of the worst Royal Rumble events ever in the history of the WWE.
We, indeed, do not have much o say on that, except for being optimistic. Nothing that has already transpired cannot be unchanged.
However, if we indeed had the power to change history, here are few things we would have done:
- Enter a woman superstar...Mickie James
We did have a fantasy prediction that UFC superstar Ronda Rousey would make a surprise appearance at Royal Rumble 2017, making her the fourth ever woman wrestler -- apart from Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma -- to enter the Rumble.
That never happened, and we were made to believe that our dream was farfetched. However, if there was one WWE superstar who could have given a lot of shock value, it was Mickie James. The veteran returned to the WWE after many years and entered SmackDown Live as a female luchador.
Why couldn't the WWE come up with the idea of featuring Mickie James at the Royal Rumble 2017, instead?
- Give Braun Strowman some more time to make a mark
Remember Kane, the big red machine? Of course, you do. He has eliminated 44 WWE superstars -- the highest -- over 19 Royal Rumble appearances. Kane is a force to reckon with during the Royal Rumble yet. However, despite being a part of the WWE SmackDown Live roster, the big red machine didn't make an appearance at Royal Rumble 2017.
That said, none of the other giants in the competition -- from Big Show to Mark Henry and Big Cass to Baron Corbin -- made any impact at all in this year's pay-per-view event. Braun Strowman did his best to make his gigantic impact by eliminating six superstars -- that includes Big Show and Mark Henry -- but that was it!
Big Show's much-awaited return following an abs-job, turned futile, while Henry, making a surprise appearance, didn't last for long either.
- Give Goldberg, Lesnar, Undertaker more ring time
Brock Lesnar entered the Royal Rumble 2017 at No. 26, Goldberg entered at No. 28 and the Undertaker entered at No. 29. Clearly the top three draws in the battle royal match this year. The trio lasted for approximately some five minutes or so, denying the fans totally a moment to savour the superstars inside the ring.
We understand that Goldberg and the Undertaker are not as fit at the moment as they used to be in their peak years, but Lesnar still is in his prime. Why couldn't he make an appearance in, say, the No. 15 or No. 16 slot? If his meeting with Goldberg inside the ring again was all it needed to spice things, why couldn't the 'Beast' showcase his beastly side by eliminating the top WWE superstars still present in the ring?
Clearly, the WWE writers miserably failed on that department.
- James Ellsworth and Enzo Amore? Really?
Let's assume this, ever Royal Rumble needs a comic relief. Santino Marella, once, entered the Royal Rumble in 2009, bringing a heavy dose of laughter. The Italian was soon eliminated by Kane...at 1.9 seconds.
If indeed the motive of WWE was to include Ellsworth and Amore (he entered at the No. 27 spot!) as a comic relief, they have failed miserably again. If the WWE wanted to break the record of Marella of lasting as less time as possible in a Royal Rumble match, they have failed miserably.
Enzo Amore and James Ellsworth lasted for quite some minutes...doing nothing and only making us cringe and ask, "Why are they even here?"
- Make Tye Dillinger wait; The time was ripe for Samoa Joe
Dillinger, at No. 10, was the only surprise entrant at Royal Rumble 2017. The superstar from WWE NXT is relatively unknown, but he is now a known face. We understand that the WWE have been giving major boost to NXT superstars over the years in the Royal Rumble matches.
Therefore, no complaints about the Canadian pro wrestler's entry. However, this leads us to a question: Is Dillinger really as big as the veteran Samoa Joe, who is with the NXT for close to two years now?
WWE has been teasing for long about Samoa Joe's WWE main roster debut, but when is it actually happening? The frustration from the fans cannot be any more visible. Time to rethink ideas, WWE!