Before we get to RAW, let’s address some of the pink elephants in the room.
To start off, I think the Rumble was a great show last night. The championship matches were all entertaining. Results were well thought out and I have no issues with any of them, except for the Divas championship, which had a bit too much focus on Ric Flair, and it was a bit too expected for Charlotte to retain. The good bit, is we see Sasha Bank calling “next” for her shot at the title.
Damien Sandow was MASSIVELY over last night. Probably got one of the biggest reactions of the night.
Mark Henry, after interviews, promos, and even the announce team pushing this as possibly his last Rumble, winds up being in the ring for a few minutes and is completely overwhelmed by the Wyatt Family.
AJ Styles. Damn, what an entry. #3 felt like the perfect number for him to debut at. Here is what I am wondering: Is AJ Styles heading right to the main roster? Or, will he join fellow ROH/TNA buds Samoa Joe and Austin Aries. Should AJ be bound for Monday Night RAW, I can only wonder if there will be some jealousy, real-life jealousy from Joe and Aries, or perhaps Samoa Joe may be on his way to the main roster soon.
Was Sami Zayn making his main roster transition last night, or is this signifying Kevin Owens returning to NXT to finish their feud? Big question, after Owens lost to Ambrose last night, then eliminated by Zayn, what is next? For those thinking AJ Style will feud with him over being eliminated, then everyone will be feuding with the Wyatt Family. Just because Kevin Owens was the one to send him out, does not mean that is an instant feud.
Think of the possibilities though. AJ vs. Ziggler, vs. Owens, vs. Neville, vs. Zayn, vs. Ambrose… the list goes on. Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins… the possibilities are endless.
The days of the big beefy guys will come to an end. NXT can only hold so much room, and even the main roster is already overcrowded. Can’t bring guys up if there is no place to go.
Lastly, and I am sure this will be addressed tonight, is Triple H with the WWE Championship. I feel having Triple H enter the Royal Rumble and be the one to eliminate Roman Reigns was justified. If you recall the script, Reigns was the one who put The Game through a “savage beating” some time ago, so having HHH return and cost him the championship makes sense. However, did Triple H have to win the belt? Was that aspect necessary? Unless we get Roman Reigns vs. Triple H at WrestleMania, then it would not make sense. I thought the whole purpose was to simply screw over Reigns, but taking the title? Wasn’t this a job for Sheamus or another wrestler The Authority would want to win?
Maybe tonight we get some sort of swerve, like Triple H vacating the title.
Man, if Dean Ambrose won the Rumble. This would make the fourth year in a row where the final two participants were the “obvious choice vs. the we want this guy to win choice.” Cases in point, 2013, we had John Cena and Ryback. Cena was the obvious pick, while at the time, Ryback winning would have been huge. 2014, marred by Daniel Bryan not being in the Rumble match, came down to the returning Batista and Roman Reigns, who at the time was still a member of the Shield. It was obvious Batista was going to win, but the Shield was so over fans would have (at the time) preferred Reigns. Cut to 2015, when Roman Reigns and Rusev were left. Reign had been groomed as the next one forced into the main event whether fans wanted him or not. So Rusev was the one to predictably lose.
This year, 2016, it came down to Triple H and Dean Ambrose. Wishful thinking, with enough teasers in-between, but the obvious Triple H win was inevitable.
One has to wonder if this is Daniel Bryan syndrome. Where because the guy WWE scripted to win wasn’t the one fans wanted to win. Fans lose it. This year, it wasn’t terrible, but the finish wasn’t great either.
I believe it comes down to both WWE and majority of fans forgetting the Royal Rumble used to be a surprise. We couldn’t predict who would win. 2011 and 2012 were perfect examples, with Alberto del Rio and Sheamus, respectively, winning the Rumbles. In 2012 it came down to Sheamus and Jericho. That could have gone either way.
Point being, fans will either continue to watch the show, or won’t. Plenty of people are turned off by the lack of new talent being given the opportunity, and plenty were likely turned off by Triple H winning the title for the 14th time. Instead, at WrestleMania, we may likely see some “celebrity matches” and big push for the championship bout, while the undercard will become more enjoyable and anticipated than the main attractions. Me, I’m still watching. While I personally thought WWE could have come up with something better than Triple H winning the championship again, it doesn’t bother me because I enjoy watching the mid-cards. I can watch Ambrose, Owens, Neville, Titus, and now we have AJ Styles. My main event is watching Ziggler vs. Owens or Ambrose vs. Alberto del Rio. Hell, I enjoy watching Jack Swagger when he isn’t jobbing.
Again, good event overall, even if the results were not to my liking.
How about R-Truth? That was an awesome ladder spot.