The “Royal Rumble” has come and gone, and the WWE has begun the road to “WrestleMania.” However, this year’s “Royal Rumble” left much to be desired.
WWE opened the show with a Universal Championship match, putting the current champion, Roman Reigns, against his former Shield brother, Seth Rollins. A lot of fans expected this match to steal the show. However, it ended before it could really begin.
Rollins got a lot of offense in against Reigns and even hit him with his finisher, the Stomp. Reigns kicked out, which created a shift in the match.
Reigns got angry and put Rollins in his submission move, the Guillotine. Rollins made it to the edge of the ring for a rope break, but Reigns held the submission. This gave the official no choice but to disqualify Reigns, which allowed him to retain the Universal Championship.
This is when fans began to realize what kind of show this was going to be.
The match that followed was the Women’s Royal Rumble match. Rumors circulated on social media about possible returns, but WWE only confirmed some legends returning, such as The Bella Twins, Impact’s Knockouts Champion Mickie James, Lita and others. This left only a few spots for surprises.
Fans were left unsatisfied as The Bella Twins cleaned house and eliminated newer talent, such as Liv Morgan and a returning Sarah Logan. It got worse.
Ronda Rousey returned at number 28 to a loud reaction from the crowd. Rousey eliminated four people, including Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, to win the Royal Rumble. This came with a lot of pushback from fans, as they wanted someone up and coming, like Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, or even Rhea Ripley, to secure the win.
The match that followed fell flat as well. It put Raw Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch, up against Doudrop for the championship. Fans expected the outcome before it even happened, which was Lynch retaining the championship in a less-than-stellar match.
Following the women’s match, it was Brock Lesnar versus Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship. Fans were dead set on Lesnar retaining. However, Reigns interrupted the match and hit Lesnar with the championship. Lashley took advantage of this and pinned Lesnar for the win. This allowed Lashley to become a two-time WWE champion, and set up a match for Lesnar and Reigns in the future.
In the penultimate match, Beth Phoenix and Edge faced The Miz and Maryse in a mixed-tag match. This match was the favorite of the night, which says something. The match had fun spots, like Phoenix beating up The Miz, and Phoenix and Edge hitting simultaneous Glam Slams for the win.
The match was placed on the card perfectly because seeing two real married couples wrestle together brought a lot of joy to fans.
The final match of the event was the Men’s Royal Rumble. It was definitely lackluster. The beginning of the match had AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura one-on-one. It was a great callback to their feud in Japan.
However, the match after that went downhill. A lot of Superstars that were in the match felt like placeholders, and not actual contenders to win. WWE even had celebrity spots including Bad Bunny and Johnny Knoxville, and fans knew they definitely were not going to win.
Kofi Kingston had a botched move when he was thrown out of the ring and hit the floor on accident instead of hanging onto the barricade.
However, the worst was yet to come. Number 30 was Brock Lesnar. Lesnar, who lost earlier in the night, went on an immediate killing spree.
Lesnar eliminated five people in two minutes and 30 seconds for the win. This is why viewers were dissatisfied. The ending of the show felt rushed and barely put together.
Plus, fans have seen Reigns versus Lesnar at least four times already, and Lesnar, obviously, picked to face Reigns at “WrestleMania” the next night on “Monday Night Raw.”
WWE has fallen into a slump in which they are too insecure to rely on younger talent, and this is when they lose long-term fans. Fans feel like the time and energy we dedicate into these up and coming talents are wasted when they rely on the talent of old.
“WrestleMania” is two months away, and WWE is giving no indication of where they are going to go with the main event scene. It seems their decline will continue.