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Everything bad about the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble




Another year, another horrendous Rumble match. Chalk it up to apathy, laziness, or just plain incompetence, regardless of the underlying problem, the WWE seems to be digging itself into a deeper hole with every televised event. The 2016 Royal Rumble is a perfect example of the WWE’s unwillingness or inability to create new stars. If things don’t change soon we can look forward to Triple H vs. John Cena in a “Walker on a Pole” match at WrestleMania 50.

I simply cannot contain my frustration with this company, so here is a segment by segment analysis of everything bad about the 2016 Royal Rumble.

The Pre-Show

What is the point of these pre-shows? Are they supposed to get me hyped up for the event? They don’t. It’s always the same constrained commentary by a panel of individuals who try in vain to mimic the tone and facial expressions of a human being interested in WWE storylines and booking. Of course no sane individual could be spurred to interest by the insipid build up to a contemporary WWE show, therefore these pre-show interview/commentary segments always come off as unnatural and wooden.

What was up with that pre-show match? No one could have seriously believed that a member of one of the teams competing in the fatal four way tag match had the potential to win the Rumble, so what is the point of a qualifying match? And while I entertain that line of thought, where were all the other qualifying matches? You mean to tell me that the Miz gets a pass but Mark Henry and Jack Swagger had to beat three other teams to qualify? No logic to be found.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens: Last Man Standing for the Intercontinental Championship

Why in the blue hell is the WWE promoting Last Man Standing matches when blood is banned from use in all matches? What is the point? Am I supposed to believe that Shawn Michaels bled buckets of blood in his 2004 Royal Rumble Last Man Standing match because he had a weaker forehead than Dean Ambrose or Kevin Owens? I think that a bloodless wrestling promotion is fine, but if you are going to throw out the blood then throw out the gimmick matches as well. I felt like I was watching Rambo Part II but all the bullets were replaced with marshmallows.

The New Day vs. The Usos: WWE Tag Championship

Same formulaic B.S. that can be found in every other WWE tag team match nowadays. Every damn match is a routine. Someone needs to sit these teams down in a room with a 15 hour tape of Midnight Express matches and make them watch the whole thing before they are allowed to step into the ring again.

Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio: WWE United States Championship

This match was a botch fest with a lot of flippy B.S. that contributed nothing to the progression of the match. Acrobatics are great if they make sense, just take a look at the New Japan junior heavyweights of the 1990’s or the WCW cruiserweight division at its peak, but none of the acrobatics in this match made sense. I felt like I was watching Del Rio vs. Sin Cara again.

Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch: Divas Championship

I can’t take a match seriously when the prize for the winner is a bedazzled butterfly. I think Vince McMahon fears the term “woman”. Why are all the women in this company “divas”? It’s stupid and degrading, but not as stupid and degrading as the performance put on by Charlotte and Lynch. I know these women have their fans but I simply can’t see the value. I burst with laughter every time I see the twig frame of Charlotte launch into a spear. That spear must feel like getting hit with a pixie stick. And what the hell is up with those seated forearms and that weird twerking move where Charlotte essentially humped Lynch’s head into the mat? The worst part of this whole segment was when Sasha Banks strutted to the ring looking like a background dancer from a cheap rap video. How am I supposed to take this woman seriously as an athlete or competitor? Has no one in the WWE seen a Manami Toyota match?

The Royal Rumble Match

Wow. I don’t even know what to complain about first. How about the fact that the company’s lead babyface and world champion got booed halfway out of the building on his way to the ring? That’s a sure sign of successful babyface booking. I will admit that the match started out with some interest, especially when AJ Styles entered to a massive pop that likely surprised the fools booking this crap, however things went downhill fast. Firstly, the commentators continually remind us that there is no disqualifications in a Royal Rumble match. When the League of Nations mugged Roman Reigns on the outside I figured that they would all carry the champion back into the ring and throw him out. Since there is no DQ’s in the match this would mean that Roman was eliminated. Instead, the League of Jobbers left Roman to be carted off to the back. Anyone with a brain could have guessed that he would be back later in the match.

While I’m talking about the no DQ nature of the match let’s discuss the Wyatt Family. The Wyatt’s worked together in order to eliminate Brock Lesnar. Okay, that’s fine, but why did the Wyatt’s abandon Bray as soon as Lesnar was eliminated? If it was perfectly fine for the Wyatt’s to re-enter the ring and eliminate Lesnar, it should have been acceptable for them to remain in the match and help Bray reach the final four. I guess that would have made too much sense.

Speaking of making too much sense, why in the hell didn’t Owens take the rest of the night off after being annihilated in a crazy table spot earlier in the show? The inclusion of Ambrose and Owens in the Rumble match further neutered an already weak Last Man Standing stipulation. Not only that, but Owens entered the match only to spoil a perfectly good AJ Styles push. Including Ambrose and Owens in the Rumble devalues their Last Man Standing match which can only be sold properly if both men are incapacitated for the remainder of the night.

Speaking of selling properly, someone needs to teach Roman Reigns how to sell a devastating rib injury. I watched a gigantic Bulgarian body splash Roman’s lifeless body through a table onto the floor and once Roman predictably re-entered the Rumble after his cat nap it was like nothing had ever touched him. The League of Nations beat down was pointless and actually devalued Roman’s fight to survive because in the end he looked like a coward for resting in the back for so damn long when apparently his ribs were fine.

The final nail in the coffin for this train wreck of a show was when Triple H entered the no DQ Rumble match without his trusty sledgehammer of doom. If you really want to screw Roman over why not bring a sledgehammer, an army of ninjas, a tank, and a cattle prod to the ring? It’s all legal. Even if he forgot his sledgehammer it was a good thing that Triple H remembered his shovel as he needed it to ruthlessly bury every fresh face left in the match. So there you have it, Triple H becomes champion for the umpteenth time and no one is surprised. I’m not sure what the WWE has accomplished here. If it were possible to bottle the potential that this company has squandered in the last 10 years you could ship those bottles down to the NXT performance center and make 300 Stone Cold Steve Austins.

That was everything bad about the 2016 Royal Rumble. Here’s hoping that next year’s Rumble won’t suck so much.

image credit – WWE

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