TV Review: 2016 Royal Rumble
Updated: May 27, 2019
I don’t know exactly how many wrestling fans we have that listen to our podcast or that pay attention to our news. But I know Mr. J and I have talked about it from time to time when PPV’s come out and I have thought perhaps to do something on wrestling like PPV recaps but I haven’t. I have wanted to vent about it for a long time and I think this might be a good avenue to do it especially with it being a new year. I have made a lot of comments on people’s social media over the past couple of weeks due to some news that has come out of the WWE side of things.
Now we have begun 2016 and you would think that the largest sports entertainment company in the world WWE would want to start things off with a bang and their Royal Rumble PPV would be a good place to start. I watched it the next day and was left wanting a lot more than what I got for the three hours I wasted. Alright I didn’t waste all three hours thankfully I could fast forward and skip all the shite that they plastered through the event
The PPV consisted of 5 matches:
Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing) - IC Title ~20 min
The New Day (Kofi & Big E) vs The Uso - Tag Team Titles ~10 min
Alberto del Rio vs Calisto - U.S. Title ~10 min
Becky Lynn vs Charlotte - Diva’s Title ~12 min
The 30 Man Royal Rumble ~60 min
Now prior to the Rumble itself we have just less than an hour of actually matches and yet it is almost at the 2 hour mark of the PPV because of all their advertisements,new shows and recaps of the storylines. They are pushing their WWE Network for only $9.99 (U.S. of course! $12.99 in Canada I believe) which I understand cause no one wants to pay $50 for a PPV anymore but they will pay $10 a month to get all kinds of wrestling content and access to all the PPV’s during the year. Brilliant marketing I will give them that and I have been tempted but I have held fast I will just grab it all online like I have been for years.
I used to really look forward to the Royal Rumble to find out who was going to get their push and shot at the title at Wrestlemania but the lead in to this year’s was Roman Reigns having to put up his title during the match and whoever won the Rumble became champion. Reigns is a horrible champion in my opinion with the talent that the WWE has on its roster. I wish the bookers would get their head out of their asses and get out of the mentality of the ‘heavyweight’ style champions (Lesnar, Undertaker, Reigns et al) Mind you with Roman Reigns they had to do something fast after Seth Rollins blew out his knee to allow him recovery time.
Unfortunately, the Rumble turned into a major screwjob that is just getting old between Triple H and Reigns. The League of Nation gets involved and Reigns is taken to the back (but never officially eliminated) only to come back and fall short towards the end and have Triple H enter as #30 and throw him out and eventually win the Rumble and the World Title. And of course seeing as Triple H hasn’t been wrestling regularly in how many years you know he will just drop the belt as quickly as he got it. Mind you I guess it could be a Lesnar-like title reign holding the belt and only wrestling once every 2-3 months and squashing that opponent with 30 suplexes when he does wrestle.
They have so much talent they have picked up from the other wrestling circuits they should really use them (Cesaro, Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe) and that doesn’t include the other talent that has come on board in the past couple of weeks (AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Shinsuke Nakamura) I am worried that some of that talent will fall off and go ignored by the WWE brass such as Solomon Crowe/Sami Calahan did (A fave of mine from CZW who went to WWE for 2+ years and I saw him twice on NXT tops) They don’t have to give them all a title shot but there is such chemistry between a bunch of them already take advantage of that. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with another Styles and Samoa Joe feud but frankly I think Styles and Owens could go a long way as well.
And why do you debut someone like AJ Styles as #3 in the Royal Rumble? He got a hell of a pop from the crowd and through the Rumble even after Owens tossed him about half way through. It just doesn’t make sense to me why not set up a mystery opponent for someone like Ambrose or Balor in a non-title affair and watch the crowd lose their shit when AJ shines in a singles match not some over glorified Battle Royal that he isn’t going to win. But then the very next night they line AJ vs Jericho which is interesting that both had similar paths to the WWE by going through the indies and Japan for the majority of their careers before hitting the ‘majors’ so to speak.
Now for me I know that wrestling is the male soap opera and I have called it that for years but the fact that I have had formal pro wrestling training myself, I prefer to watch the action and the match, the moves and innovation and could care less about the plots and storylines. Probably one of the main reasons why WWE has been at the bottom of the barrel for me for a long time. My mainstays are typically Pro Wrestling Guerrila, Ring Of Honor, CHIKARA and New Japan I would love to watch more but not enough time and/or access to it where I’m at. And I know I have gotten Mr. J onto some wrestlers he had never seen and I think he has had a fair share of holy shit moments watching it.
I just hope this isn't a sign of what is to come in 2016 from the WWE now I will admit I doubt I will have my pants blown off by anything they do but it can only go up from here right? Here’s to hoping the influx of new talent brings a good year of shows and PPV’s and if not I will just bitch some more and go back to some of my staples like CHIKARA and PWG.
Let me know what you think about it or what you are looking forward to. Drop a line to @CdnMountainMan or @DroidsCanada on Twitter or look us up on Facebook.