The Royal Rumble is my favorite Pay Per View of the year without question. There is so much to love about the Royal Rumble match. It gives the majority of the roster a chance to shine. It can be a place where new rivalries are born, or old rivalries are renewed. There is so much potential, too. I know that the odds aren’t high for a midcarder to win the Rumble, but you never know for certain. I think that is what is what myself and many others love the most about the Royal Rumble, the uncertainty. When you watch WWE for a while you start to notice the patterns and the predictability. There are very few times a long time viewer, like myself, doesn’t at least have a good idea of who is going to win a match. It becomes harder and harder to surprise us. That is why the Royal Rumble is so great, because even if you have it narrowed down to 3-5 wrestlers, there is still that haze of unknowing that lingers over the ending of the match in your mind. However, WWE decided this year to put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line in the Royal Rumble match, for the first time in over 20 years. It’s a bad decision, with only a few farfetched outcomes that would leave the fans satisfied. Here are the more obvious outcomes and a few longshot outcomes, and how I think they’ll go over with the crowds.
Outcome #1: Roman Retains (booked Superman Strong)
The first obvious outcome is that Roman is booked to win the Rumble and retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman Reigns is forced to enter early in the Rumble via edict from The Authority/McMahon’s or possibly just “bad luck.” Roman fights off every other wrestler who enters the Rumble to retain his championship. Overcoming guys like Brock Lesnar, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, Sheamus and possibly even Triple H. This is a dangerous booking scenario because the fans are incredibly sick of the “John Cena” -esque booking, or as I refer to it, “Superman booking.” It’s hard for fans, even younger fans, to really stay behind someone who always overcomes all the odds. The WWE fans just started getting behind Roman Reigns again due to very well planned booking. Fans don’t want to see Roman be booked incredibly strong again, that is part of what caused a loss of interest to start with. I realize you can’t make everyone happy all the time, but this is a scenario is one that would likely turn fans against him again. Roman doesn’t need to go back to being polarizing again at this stage in his rise to the top. Remember that even the mighty John Cena was booked normally at first on his rise to becoming the face of the WWE.
Outcome Rating: D
Outcome #2: Roman Retains (Late Entry)
The obvious next outcome is that Roman is still booked to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but, this time, he is booked in a reasonable enough way that fans won’t turn on his for winner. If Roman enters in the late teens early 20s, then goes over, he is entering late enough that it’s believable that he would win. This is a scenario that I can see getting a small about of backlash, but for the most par,t the fans would move on fairly quickly. There would be a lot of “oh how predictable” and “Shocker! Reigns retains!” posts online, but people would move on as soon as the next person steps up to take on Roman for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Fast Lane. The problem I have with this is that it’s extremely predictable and it is a total waste of the Royal Rumble match. It doesn’t really boost Roman up any higher than he is right now, and the Royal Rumble becomes just another way Roman Reigns stuck it to Vince McMahon.
Outcome Rating: C+
Outcome #3: Roman Gets Eliminated Last
The next outcome that I see happening is that someone, likely Brock Lesnar or Triple H enters at number 30 to eliminate Reigns. They eliminate Roman last and it sets up a rematch at Fast Lane leading to a match at WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The problem with this outcome is that it is just a way for WWE to bring back Triple H in a program with Reigns. They could have easily done it without using the Rumble. The other problem with this outcome is that it kills any momentum that Reigns has built up over the last month or so as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I know they are stacking the deck against Reigns, but it makes his championship reign seem like a blip on the radar, even if he wins it back at WrestleMania. He already won the championship and had his “overcoming the odds” moment, twice actually, so giving him a third at WrestleMania seems pointless.
Outcome Rating: D+
Outcome #4: Twist- Triple H Returns as Entrant #31
I think something that would be clever for Mr. McMahon to do would be to actually have Lesnar come in as entrant #30, have Roman eliminate him, then when the celebration begins have Vince come out to announce that this year there will actually be 31 entrants to the Royal Rumble. He would explain that it makes sense, 1 champion, and 30 challengers, and number 31 is his son-in-law, Triple H. Hunter would then go on to eliminate Reigns and become champion, setting up their WrestleMania program. While I still wouldn’t love this ending for the same reasons I listed in Outcome #3, at least this ending would have some creative thought and a twist people didn’t see coming.
Outcome Rating: C+/B-
Outcome #5: Roman Gets Eliminated Allowing a Random Star To Win
This outcome is like outcome number #3 with the exception of one major difference, that it doesn’t end with Triple H or Lesnar winning the championship. Roman Reigns is eliminated by someone from “Team McMahon” but that wrestler is also eliminated, freeing up someone entirely random to win. This scenario plays out best when the person who wins is someone the fans adore. My vote would be for a returning Daniel Bryan to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. If not, I could see them putting the title on Brock, Wyatt, Ambrose, Owens, or even Sheamus. Obviously, this outcome works best depending on who claims the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but I think this could be a solid win/win. While it still makes Roman’s championship reign a blip on the radar, it, at least, provides two new solid storylines, a championship story, and a McMahon/Reigns storyline.
Outcome Rating: C+ to A depending on who wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Outcome #6: Simultaneous Double Elimination Keeps Reigns Champion
This is a scenario I am actually quite proud I cooked up while thinking about this article. The idea is a mixture of a few other outcomes with a twist ending. The basic idea of this outcome is that Triple H or Brock Lesnar, or anyone WWE wants in the Main Event at WrestleMania with Reigns, enters and it comes down to champion and challenger. Both men slug it out until they are both exhausted, then both men collide and go over top rope and hit the floor at the same time. This is a little tricky because both men have to hit the floor at the same time, or they have to land away from where the cameras can see. Technically Reigns didn’t lose, so he stays WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but he didn’t win either so he is forced to defend the title at Fast Lane against the other man. Fast Lane ends up in a DQ or something finally setting up a match at WrestleMania. I think this is a solid ending to a booking scenario that wasn’t great to begin with. It seems like with the roster being so shallow due to injuries, we needed all hands on deck with the Royal Rumble match, so we made it for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion instead of having two separate matches, one for the championship and one for the #1 contender spot. If they book it properly we can get both at the same time. That would be what this outcome would be, and that’s why I think this might be the best case scenario.
Outcome Rating: A
These are the top 6 outcomes that I personally could come up with. If you have an alternative outcome you can think of please sound off in the comments because I’d love to hear them! The Royal Rumble really is booked into a corner. That’s not to say that they can’t write themselves out of this same corner, but they certainly have their work cut out for them. I also am skeptical because WWE has dropped the ball the last 2 years in a row at the Royal Rumble. If WWE decides to include Daniel Bryan this year and he doesn’t win WWE really just doesn’t get it. The problems I have with the Rumble being a WWE World Heavyweight Champion match is that it points the whole outcome towards Roman Reigns. The Royal Rumble seems like it might be the WWE’s yearly Achilles tendon. We will have to see how this year goes before I make any final judgments, but they have their work cut out for them. Will this year’s Royal Rumble be a redemption for WWE or will it be strike three? We will find out! Be sure to be here on Wrestling News World during the Live Report and join us in the comment section to discuss going-ons and stay tuned for more Royal Rumble news!