The Royal Rumble was pretty wild Sunday night and unlike most years, left a lot of fans with a satisfied feeling and a sense of surprise. The night did have some duds which is common for a four-hour show. But there were so many good moments to come out of the pay-per-view that most won’t remember those duds.
Here are three takeaways from the show.
1. Nakamura’s Rumble Victory Is A Win For The New Era- How sweet it was to watch Shinsuke Nakamura win the Royal Rumble. It was not exactly expected due to the fact that Fastlane’s main event was accidentally leaked by the Nationwide Arena, featuring a fatal-five way match including Nakamura. However, the King Of Strong Style lasted from number fourteen until the end and became the first entrant at number fourteen to win the Royal Rumble.
Nakamura’s win ushered the new era of wrestling in a big way, as he was the first fresh face since Roman Reigns to win the match. The difference this year was that Nakamura was going up against another polarizing babyface that could steal his shine and anger the masses. Fans lost it when he won the match and it was a beautiful way to start off the road to WrestleMania. The inevitable was announced and now we have Nakamura taking on AJ Styles for the WWE Title at the Grandest Stage Of Them All.
2. Awkward Women’s Rumble Saved By Memorable Moments- I’m all for the Women’s Revolution but let’s all admit that the Women’s Royal Rumble might have been the most flawed concept of all. After well-executed matches of the first Women’s Money In The Bank match and Hell In A Cell match, the Royal Rumble failed to encapsulate the same energy that those matches brought.
For starters, it was hard to get the women up and over the top rope due to the height disadvantages that couldn’t be ignored. Secondly, there was a huge talent gap between the women that are currently on the roster and the returning legends, showcasing how far women’s wrestling has come while limiting the performers. Stephanie McMahon on commentary and Maria Menounos as the ring announcer was not helping the opinion of fans on the fence about the match. It just wasn’t pretty for most of the match.
However, Asuka won the match and sent the masses home happy. That would’ve been enough but then Ronda Rousey strolled on out to make her WWE debut. That’s how you make a moment out of a forgettable match. Kudos, WWE.
3. Too Long Of A PPV- Once again, sitting through four hours of wrestling is a tough feat for anyone to do. Die-hard fans might be able to muster through the lackluster matches due to their love of wrestling but that isn’t the case for the casuals. Sometimes, less is more.
Having a pre-show at 5 pm EST is just wild in itself. But if you ignore that part and turn it on at 7 pm EST, you still have a lot of wrestling to watch with some matches that aren’t appealing to the viewer. In the future, getting rid of some matches would probably help the WWE, especially if the Women’s Royal Rumble is going to be a mainstay going forward. No need to see some wrestlers more than once if they’re in the Royal Rumble match. Just my two cents.