Pre-show notes: If you missed the show, you can watch it here on WWE Network. You can find past editions of The Best and Worst of Royal Rumble on its tag page.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Royal Rumble 2016.
Best: Remember Damien Sandow?
There were a lot of heartwarming moments at the Royal Rumble — Sami Zayn eliminating Kevin Owens, AJ Styles making his WWE debut, Ric Flair throwing his jacket in a lady’s face — but the most heartwarming moment of the night has to be a WWE crowd remembering that Damien Sandow exists.
Sandow’s been the butt of a lot of my jokes since WrestleMania, where his run as one of the most popular and entertaining performers in the company hit the tallest, thickest, sturdiest brick wall in the world. Dude went from must-see television to a total embarrassment, finally earning the freedom to “be himself,” only to immediately jump into a Macho Man cosplaying gimmick he wasn’t even good at doing. He disappeared, and aside from some vague “Damien Sandow wore his old entrance robe at a live event” news, he seemed like a total non-factor … like a happy memory already half-faded in our brains.
Sandow showed up as the one half of the fourth most important tag team in an incredibly meaningless Kickoff match (more on that in a second), and the crowd treated him like a God. It was great. After all this time here was Sandow, Intellectual Savior of the Masses in his Joey Gladstone robe and pink trunks, getting the second or third biggest reaction of the night. I want to hope that WWE watched this and says, “okay, we’ve kept him in the doghouse long enough, let’s get him back on the shows and do something with him,” but I think they’ve beaten that optimism out of me.
Still, Intellectual Savior Sandow is the objective Best Sandow, and I want to see him back in rotation. Get him in the ring with The Miz again. Get him in the ring with Stardust. Hell, if you think “good dad” is a gimmick that Titus O’Neil can’t do with friends, keep Sandow with Darren Young and let them be Millions of Scholars. Use the man for something, even if it’s being the Pete Best of the Social Outcasts.