Which Royal Rumble matches would you have scripted differently?
When I look back at the history of the Royal Rumble, my personal favorite ppv of the year, I see at least a handful that I would have gone with a different winner. There are some wrestlers who have accomplished everything imaginable except win the Rumble so this would help complete their career. In other cases, I would change it just for the simple fact that I hate how it played out and thought there was someone else much more deserving.
Here is my short list of Royal Rumbles that I would go back in history and rewrite if I could, in chronological order.
1988: Andre the Giant (actual winner "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan)
This is an easy one. It was the inaugural Royal Rumble and much like the first King of the Ring going to a legend in Bret Hart, they should have done the same here. Of course they didn't know that the Rumble would one day become the spectacle that it is today, but it would have been a nice reward for Andre who was in the twilight of his amazing career.
1989: Hulk Hogan (actual winner Big John Studd)
Before you say whoa, give Hogan 3 straight Rumble wins?! No, I would not have had him win in 1990 or '91, especially '90 since he was already WWE Champion and was the last person who needed the win. I realize they hadn't yet added the stipulation of the winner getting a title shot at WrestleMania, but it would have made perfect sense to have Hogan win it here and watch Randy Savage pace frantically in the locker room, realizing he would have to defend against his former Mega Power partner. I would have also been fine with Ted DiBiase winning here. Him buying the 30th entry spot was classic.
1990: Mr. Perfect (actual winner Hulk Hogan)
This is one of the Rumbles that irks me the most. Hogan was already the champ and should have been in his own match that night. Hennig was on his way to his first Intercontinental Championship win shortly after WrestleMania VI and this would have been a great way to kick off the push of one of the greatest performers we will ever see. And if anyone deserved to go bell to bell and win it from the #1 entry, it's Mr. Perfect.
1991: "Macho King" Randy Savage (actual winner Hulk Hogan)
At this point they were still shoving Hogan down our throats at every opportunity and it became evident the following year that the fans were growing tired of the same old same old when they booed after he eliminated Sid from the outside after already being thrown over the top rope himself. In my opinion, WrestleMania VII's main event should have been Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage exactly as it was, only with the WWE Championship on the line as well as I wouldn't have had Warrior lose to Sgt. Slaughter. Hogan and Slaughter made perfect sense for WM7 in the midst of the Gulf War, but did not need the title. Warrior/Savage didn't necessarily need it either, but it would have been that much better if it was for the gold as well. Remember the whole feud began when Warrior refused Savage's demand for a title shot. How could Warrior legitimately still say no after the Macho King outlasted 29 other men?
2011: CM Punk (actual winner Alberto Del Rio)
We leap 20 years forward now where the stipulation of a title shot at WrestleMania is a tradition, but for the first time ever, the Rumble grows from a 30 to a 40-man battle royal. Thank God they haven't gone back to this format as I don't have to tell you it was a disaster. CM Punk's dominance in the early stages of this one after drawing #1 was one of the greatest performances in Rumble history. Several times he was the only man in the ring and had time to talk trash on the microphone while waiting for the next competitor. I believed Orton and CM Punk for the WWE Championship made much more sense at WrestleMania XXVII than Miz and Cena.
2012: Chris Jericho (actual winner Sheamus)
I might be nitpicking with this one. Sheamus was still a fresh face, but I'm a huge Jerichoholic. Y2J has done everything there is to do in WWE except win the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank. And although Jericho went on to challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship at WM28 anyway, it would have been great to see him win this. Sheamus could have just as easily still been booked for the WHC match with Daniel Bryan.
2014: Daniel Bryan (actual winner Batista)
This was a definite no-brainer as the fans were so behind Daniel Bryan on the road to WrestleMania XXX that they had no choice but to add him to the main event. The fans were outraged when #30 was revealed and it wasn't Daniel Bryan, so at that point they were going to boo whoever won it just because it was clearly not going to be him. Although he had wrestled against Bray Wyatt earlier in the night, you still couldn't help but wonder why he wasn't even an entrant. The WWE universe never really welcomed Batista back and they had to soon turn him heel after their reaction to his win didn't turn out how they had planned.
I agree with a lot of these changes, especially with Andre getting the first win. That would have been a nice accomplishment for him, he deserved it.
Wasn't Don Muraco the first King of the Ring, though? I think several wrestlers won it before Hart.
Out of interest, why do you think the 40-man Royal Rumble was a failure? I would argue that with the roster as stacked as it is today, it would make sense to expand it more often. Also, I think you are mixing up two Rumble matches: in 2011, Punk I don't think ever had the ring to himself. It was a year earlier, during his straight edge society run, where he would eliminate - promo - eliminate - promo etc. Having said that, as predictable as Del Rio winning was, I agree that Punk would have been a far better winner, and would have given us Edge v Punk as Edge's final televised match, which could have been epic.
In fact, the more I think of this, the more I like it. Simply switch Punk with Del Rio so that Del Rio faces Orton at Wrestlemania. Given he was in the midst of a monster push, even a match against the calibre of Orton at WM would have been huge, even more so if he beat Orton, so yes, absolutely agree for two good reasons at least that CM Punk should have won the 2011 Royal Rumble
I have to agree that Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble in 2012 did seem a bit left-field, and what made things worse was the way that we got to the eventual CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho feud that we knew was going to happen anyway. The road to that feud would have been much better if Jericho had just won the Rumble, rather than lose that, lose the Chamber match, and then win a crappy battle royal on Raw. I feel like it was swerving for the sake of it. Having said that though, I wonder if Sheamus winning was to do with this win/loss record of Rumble winners at WrestleMania for years before him. Each winner from 2008-2011 had lost their WrestleMania title match, and Jericho went on to lose his match at WrestleMania anyway. Perhaps that was the logic.
However, with 2012 standing, and with the ability to fantasy book a little bit further, I would have much preferred Jericho to have won this year. I feel like I'm in the minority when I say that I enjoyed the 2017 match, but I didn't necessarily agree with the victor. Orton vs. Wyatt amounted to nothing anyway so I don't really mind messing that up. Jericho vs. Owens should have been for the Universal Championship and I really don't care about whether the money match was actually Goldberg vs. Lesnar. Jericho and Owens had been carrying Raw for months and deserved to be rewarded. And I feel as if Jericho winning the Rumble by starting at 2 and being continuously knocked out of the ring until the end like in reality, only to then actually win the match, would have been incredibly fresh and satisfying, even if Jericho is a 20 year veteran. You then have the feud play out.
As for the 40-man rumble match, imo it would have been fine in an era where the roster was deeper, but look at all the legends and jobbers they had to use to fill out the extra 10 spots. The fact that Santino was the runner up tells us all we need to know about this one. There's nobody who could be taken seriously as a winner who entered between Punk (#1) and Cena (#22).
Personally i think it really didn'T matter who won the rumble from 88 to 91 because their really wasn't any stake attach to it, so you could give it to any over babyface of the period and it would change a think since fans would go home happy no matter what so i wouldn't change the winner for those, i think that Duggan, big john studd and hogan made perfect sense for these rumble.
Then after 92, they started giving a title shot to the winner and then while most of the time it made sense who won, the booking on how they went about it didn't so while i wouldn't have change the winners of these, they're some booking decision i would have change.
royal rumble 93: why did it have to be Savage has the last guy with Yokozuna, really? Macho man was barely a wrestler at the time and the way i was booked in the rumble made him look even worst. Instead, i would have replace him by Backlund. Not really because Backlund was this huge push guy at the time, but they we're telling the story of this old guy running the gauntlet and trying to win the rumble. It would have made must more sense to have him stay until the end but having this huge obstacle in front of him only to fail.
Royal rumble 94: Instead of having a double winners in luger and bret, why not found a way to screw over either Lex or Bret out of the rumble. Both storyline were there anyway. This felt like a way for them to not decide who they went with in the end and decide later who to push against yokozuna.
So i don't have to much to say about 95 and 96 because 95 meant nothing really and 96 was made complete sense. I'm not also gonna go with the attitude era rumble because i don't remember that era anyway so i guessing it made sense.
The only rumble i might have change the way they booked it would 2014, 2015,2016
While i really like who won those matches, i really didn't like how they won it.
Let's start with 2014
I think that they should have use Bryan in the rumble at number 30 instead of mysterio, the only way i would have change thing would be have bryan come to the ring at number 30 and have HHH attack him from behind before he gets in. Then he throws him into the ring where he give the signal to batista to eliminate him and at the same time turns him heel. Then you have batista win the rumble.
2015: I'm happy about reigns winning it, the only thing that bugged me was how bad it made rusev look in the process. Having Rusev stay outside for a long time only to get him be eliminate in seconds by reigns hurt him more then helped him. what i would have done instead is reigns eliminate whoever was left, then rusev comes from behind and almost eliminate reigns. Then they go into it for a couple of minutes before reigns founds a way to eliminate him.
2016: My only problem with HHH winning was the way he won. The whole point of this match was for him to screw over reigns so why was reigns not the last guy in? as a matter of fact, why was Reigns taking out of the rumble midway through because he was supposedly injured only to come back without a scratch when he came back, if you wanted fans to hate reigns, they did a great job with this match. What i would have done instead. Have him run the gauntlet from number one, you have everybody trying to eliminate him without being successful and have i'm be the last man in the ring by the time number 30 arrived. While he's waiting for the last guy to come in, have HHH come in from behind and eliminates him. So that way, it makes it look like HHH screwed Reigns out of the match and his championship instead of having HHH look like a babyface while reigns look like the dumbest guy on the roster.
for me the only Royal Rumble match i would script differently that i can recall is the 2014 Royal Rumble.....the other winners usually had a storyline that WWE had in place for them that either started early on or they wanted to build a new young star.
the problem with 2014 was 1) Batista wasnt a young star, he was a returning star that all of the sudden was getting a major push and the fans hated it....2) We've seen Orton vs. Batista.....3) Daniel Bryan was VERY over with the fans and they wanted to see him overcome the odds and win the Rumble.
If he entered the rumble at say 3 or 4, the fans would've been behind Bryan the whole match screaming YES!! he was the perfect underdog at the time and the fans wanted to see him finally get one up on The Authority who've been calling him B-Plus. While they in the end, put the belt on Bryan, they seemed to do it because of the fans rejecting the main event. In my book, the plan for CM Punk was great and i wish he would've stuck with it and did that plan and beat Triple H. Punk could've easily made that feud work and Bryan should've won the Royal Rumble to face Orton....as for Batista, i think he should've fought some other heel who could've put him over as a face....but instead WWE forced him down the fans' throats and they booed him.
Andre should've won the first one,
Hogan should've won 89
Warrior should've won 90
Bret should've won 94 solo
Taker should've won 97
Why should Andre have won the first one? Back then, it wasn’t “the first one”, it was the only one. It was an experiment offered on cable TV, for crying out loud. This wasn’t put in place to be one of the most treasured traditions for the next 30 years. I guarantee most of the people jumping on this “Andre should have won the first one” bandwagon don’t even know what Andre did on that show. He and Hogan had a contract signing for the rematch of their “controversial” WrestleMania III bout. As we—everyone, including the revisionists I’m addressing—know, that rematch was HUGE, in terms of TV ratings, Hogan getting screwed out of the title, the twin refs, DiBiase buying the title and the setup to WrestleMania IV. Knowing all that, since the people I’m talking to are the ones who feel the first Rumble should have been different, what does Andre winning another battle royal have to do with any of that?
Yes, Andre was the king of battle royals. Ok…now what? He doesn’t need “first Royal Rumble winner” added to his résumé to stamp that fact. “Duggan was a bad choice to win the first one.” Why?? An extremely over wrestler winning this event THEN is deemed bad NOW because he didn’t have a title run afterwards? I’m sorry, it’s nonsense.
Perfect or DiBiase winning in ‘90 or some of these other theories, those are fine. Those reasons can be argued. I don’t agree with all of the theories, but so what? Opinions are opinions. But to simply throw out “Andre should have won the first one” with no reasoning or explanation comes across as ridiculous.
I don’t understand why people get wrapped up in who was “the first”. It’s the same people who wanted Undertaker to retire after 20-0 or 25-0…because round numbers mean something to these people for some unknown reason. I guess people expect everything to be tied up tight with no loose ends and look pretty or symmetrical when written in the non-existent history books.
I don’t mean to get off track. Like I said, I don’t mind if you have an opinion that differs from mine, if there is thought behind it. But this Andre business…it just makes no sense.
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