The 2017 Royal Rumble was dubbed as the most unpredictable event in recent years; it was the 30th annual event and WWE wanted to kick the year off in style.
There were so many rumors about legends in Texas like Sting, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and even Booker T all being part of the famous Rumble match. Sadly, it seems that fans and Internet sites had built the match up much more than they should because, by all accounts, it seems that The Royal Rumble event was disappointing.
There weren’t any real surprises and it all seemed very predictable for an event that promised unpredictability, it was the perfect time for WWE to show the faith they have in their rising stars from NXT, but instead, they gambled on three part-time stars who each lasted less than five minutes. The Rumble event was a solid way to start the WWE year, there wasn’t a lot wrong with the event overall and the wrestling was on point, with John Cena and AJ Styles having the match of the night, but there was so much wrong with the booking, so much that WWE could have changed and saved at the last minute.
WWE wanted fans to remember The Rumble, but it wasn’t even worth remembering. Randy Orton has won the match before, we have seen John Cena vs. Randy Orton so many times before, what is there really to get hyped about heading into WrestleMania?
There were so many things WWE could have changed to make The Rumble much more memorable, but they didn’t. So instead here are 15 mistakes that WWE made this past Sunday night, that hopefully, they won’t make again in the future.
15. Roman Reigns At Number 30
What was WWE thinking? When all the announced superstars were finally in the ring there was just one slot left in the match and the WWE Universe were hoping for Kurt Angle or Finn Balor, and instead out walked a star who had already been choke slammed on the announcer desk and put through a table.
Roman walked out to a chorus of boos once again as it was made obvious that there would be no huge surprises at this year’s event and WWE would literally stop at nothing to find ways of putting Roman Reigns over with the fans.
14. Only One NXT Talent
Tye Dillinger was the obvious choice for the number 10 spot and he gained the expected crowd reaction when he entered The Rumble, only to be eliminated by Braun Strowman less than six minutes later.
The sad part is, that Dillinger was the only NXT star that WWE decided to include in the match. As already stated, The Rumble is the perfect place for NXT debuts and WWE didn’t decide to gamble on any of their rising stars and instead waited and had Samoa Joe debut on Raw the next night, which just felt like a waste.
13. Roman Reigns Eliminated The Undertaker
Not only had Roman Reigns broken most of the hearts of the WWE fans when he walked out as entrant number 30, but he also ended the long speculated final run of The Undertaker when he eliminated him from what could be his final Royal Rumble match.
Many fans thought that Undertaker would win and go on to challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania and finally walk out with his head held high, but once again Roman Reigns shattered the dreams of fans when he pushed The Deadman over the top rope on Sunday night. Does this now lead to Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania? Or have WWE confused themselves because Braun Strowman and Reigns apparently still have unfinished business?
12. John Cena Shouldn’t Have Won
John Cena lost to AJ Styles back at SummerSlam and walked away from WWE so that he could film American Grit. After four months, Cena walked back into WWE and demanded a match for a title that he didn’t deserve.
The entire build-up to the match was about how much better than Styles Cena thinks he is and it would have been the perfect time for WWE to show that there is more than just Cena on top in WWE. Instead, they gave Cena his 16th world title and the crowd hardly even celebrated because they were painfully aware of how predictable the entire thing was.
11. The New Day Should Not Have Taken Up Three Spots
The New Day are one of the best things in WWE right now, but last year they had Kofi Kingston representing the group rather than taking up three individual spots in The Royal Rumble. Why couldn’t WWE do the same this year? Was there really a need for The New Day to all be in the match?
The trio were all eliminated at the same time by Sheamus and Cesaro, the same team that took their Tag Team titles back in December, but it wasn’t picked up on Raw. The New Day could have been used much better and their spots could have been saved for NXT stars instead.
10. Kofi’s Spot Was Disappointing
Every year the WWE Universe waits for one superstar to take his place in The Royal Rumble match and defy gravity and all the rules of the match when he shows off his skill and athleticism by remaining in the match at all costs.
This year, Kofi Kingston was slightly disappointing. There was a spot in the ring post where he managed to hang on and remain in the match, but after the past few years’ heroics, the WWE Universe expected more and this just added to the overall disappointment of the match.
9. Sheamus and Cesaro Should Have Retained
WWE missed a trick here, it was thought that the two referees were added to the match as a way to further the storyline. Instead, apart from being taken out with a Brogue Kick from Sheamus, there was no real need for the two officials.
The fact that The Club now has the titles means that Sheamus and Cesaro have no real need to remain together as a team and we could now see the duo breaking up again. The Club thoroughly deserved to be Tag Team Champions, but it could have come much further down the line when the fans were more invested in the storyline.
8. Charlotte’s Win Was A Forgone Conclusion
Going into The Royal Rumble, Charlotte was undefeated in 15 WWE pay-per-view events and had been a part of every single event since her debut in the summer of 2015. This meant that it was hard to get behind Bayley going into The Rumble because it was a foregone conclusion that Charlotte would win.
7. Brock Lesnar And Goldberg Should Have Come In Much Sooner
It’s not like these were surprise entrants, they were already announced as part of the match and fully expected to be there so why didn’t WWE allow them to come out sooner and have a longer run in the match? Even after all of the build-up it was once again over and done within minutes, which was shocking.
6. What Was The Point In Enzo Amore’s participation?
Brock Lesnar is an angry beast, he had remained unpinned for three years, and then Goldberg came along and defeated him in less than 90 seconds. This doesn’t sit too well with him, so he has to take his frustrations out on someone and it was poor Enzo Amore who drew the short straw.
Enzo was another surprise entrant that no one wanted who merely lasted seconds in the match before returning Monday night on Raw and helping Big Cass to defeat Rusev and Jinder Mahal. Where is the consistency here?
5. Nia Jax And Sasha Banks Was Painful To Watch
Sasha Banks has made so much history in WWE over the past two years that she has made herself a definite favorite amongst the fans, which is why it was so painful to watch her in a squash match on the Kickoff show.
Many speculated that Sasha was being punished, but instead, it seems as though this was WWE’s plan all along. To build Sasha up and then bring her straight back down to earth with a dose of reality called Nia Jax. Hopefully, this gets better for Sasha in the coming months heading into WrestleMania.
4. The Six Person Tag Match Could Have Been Better
Why were the six women from SmackDown all piled into one match? Nikki doesn’t care about Becky’s rivalry with Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, much like they don’t care about her feud with Natalya, it was just a way to put all the women in one big match together.
It wasn’t awful, but it could have been much better. Naomi’s athletic skill means that she is always prone to botching and the fact that Mickie hadn’t wrestled in WWE for a long time left her looking rusty, but it was a kickoff show match, what did we expect? Hopefully, WWE push these as two separate rivalries heading into WrestleMania instead.
3. Why Didn’t Roman Come Into The Rumble Earlier?
Braun Strowman attacked Roman Reigns, put him through a table, and cost him the Universal Championship, but he was still able to recover in time to be part of The Royal Rumble. So why didn’t WWE bring him out sooner?
Braun was eliminating people for a long time before Roman made his entrance and if they really wanted Roman to be cheered, then why didn’t they send him out as Braun was about to eliminate Dean Ambrose? It seems as though WWE enjoys hearing the boos for their Top Dog.
2. Why Did Sheamus Try To Eliminate Cesaro?
Now that we are no longer Tag Team Champions we no longer care about being a united front? It seems this is the story of Sheamus and Cesaro, the duo worked together to eliminate The New Day and then made the record breaking team look much weaker when they turned on each other.
Luckily they were both then eliminated at the same time, but this tease basically shows that these two won’t be together in a few months time, which begs the question of why they were allowed to defeat The New Day and win the Tag titles in the first place.
1. Why Was The Entrance Ramp Sooo Long?
Yes the Alamodome is huge and there were 52,000 fans in attendance on Sunday night, so why didn’t WWE do something about it? Why did they create the world’s largest entrance way when then knew their stars only had a certain amount of time to get to the ring?
Big E, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, and The Big Show were all given lifts to the ring because of how long the ramp actually was, which defeats the object here. WWE really need to rethink some of their set plans if they are forced to drive superstars to the ring. Luckily, The Undertaker decided to appear in the middle of the ring when he entered at number 29, otherwise, the WWE Universe would still be waiting for him to get into the ring now.