For years, the Royal Rumble match (don’t worry, that’s the last time I’ll refer to it as that) was one of the guaranteed highlights of the WWE calendar. How could it not be? It’s a 30-man, intricately-booked battle royal featuring most of the company’s biggest stars with a title shot at WrestleMania on the line. That should be a surefire great match. And yet, that hasn’t been the case for some time.
Fan response to recent Rumbles, like 2015’s Roman Reigns show, or 2014’s Batista win, has been overwhelmingly negative. You could chalk that up to the fans just not liking the victor, or wanting Daniel Bryan to win, but I think it goes a bit deeper. WWE seems to have forgotten some of the things that have made the Royal Rumble consistently great in the past. Here’s seven things that can’t help but make any Royal Rumble better…
Note: Before you run to the comments section, no, not every good Rumble needs to have all of these things. But hey, they sure can’t hurt.
There should be a wide variety of competitors.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints that the Royal Rumble has been “full of jobbers” in recent years. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. At least not compared to the Rumbles of yesteryear. I mean, a 30-man match is always going to have its share of enhancement talent. I think the fact that recent Rumbles draw almost entirely from the regular roster guys is what people are responding to negatively. For the past few years, we get maybe two legends, a Bubba Ray Dudley or DDP, then the rest of the field are wrestlers we can see on literally any show.
A good Rumble should have legends, current stars, up-and-comers from NXT, female wrestlers, commentators, authority figures, celebrities, whoever. Ideally, only about two-thirds (or less) of the field should be just guys from the regular roster. A good Rumble should give you the best of the past, the stars of the future, plenty of surprises, and no Zack Ryder or R-Truth.