This was the 2017 Royal Rumble match.
There were a lot of things to enjoy about this Rumble.
Chris Jericho has clearly found his role in 2017 at his advanced wrestling age. He is the sniveling sidekick who has to entirely rely on his wits to get by. He was hilarious in the undeserving iron person Rumble spot, and it was hugely preferable to the usual Cody iron person spot where the wrestler goes the distance but never does anything significant. Great stuff.
Jack Gallagher and his umbrella are an absolutely delightful combo! He’s got a wonderful character and the in-ring pedigree to be a breakout star in 2017! Hopefully, he continues to be a featured performer on the main roster!
Mark Henry is a great guy to keep around just to have him pop up for stuff like this. WWE should try to use him sparingly throughout the year and build him up to an annual title shot.
Braun Strowman came off like one of the hottest acts in the company. He tore it up while he was in the ring, and the momentum of the match was sucked out as soon as he left. Truly impressive stuff. They need to go all the way with this guy.
The Big Show is still very fucking charming! Can’t wait for Show vs. Shaq!
The Goldberg vs. Brock stuff was done very well and was a smart turn to take on the path to their Wrestlemania match. Brock having a genuine motivation to seek out Bill is wonderful. Bill doesn’t seem to be moving around all that well though. They’ll need to lay out that match carefully.
It was great to watch all of those elements at play. It was truly shocking though to see how poorly this was laid out in general when they proved they could do so much right.
The match was structured so that only five wrestlers should have been taken seriously as main event stars: Braun, Brock, Goldberg, The Undertaker, and Roman. The key to realizing that was in how much they cooled off the match between Braun’s entrance and Brock’s entrance.
The match’s final four was then Roman, Bray, Orton, and Jericho. It should not be hard to figure out what the issue was there given the general layout of the match. (Beyond the fact that that is a shit-tastic final four for any Rumble.) You condition the fans to believe that only five guys really matter in the match and then they’re barely involved in the final sequence. One of them didn’t even win!
The idea that Orton won the Royal Rumble in 2017 is hysterical for all the wrong reasons. Whatever value there is in Randy Orton (and his great tag team with Bray is perfect for him quite frankly), it’s certainly not as a Rumble winner/world title competitor at Wrestlemania. The idea that Cena vs. Orton might be happening is beyond atrocious. It speaks poorly of the creative process that WWE has right now. (**3/4)