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Do's and Don'ts when booking the Royal Rumble

Rating: 6 votes, 4.00 average.
Of the many gimmick matches the WWE has done, the Royal Rumble has always been my favorite. There have been some good rumbles and there have been some rather weak ones. This blog is not about who I think will win the rumble or how the RR will set the table heading into mania. Instead, I am outlining every element in a good rumble match along with the elements that have no place in the match. Anyways, here is a list of what I want to see and what I do not want to see.

What needs to be included:

1. Include guys who have already wrestled on the card – Assuming the RR is the last match of the night that means that Punk and Rock have already wrestled. Likewise, Del Rio and his opponent (guessing it is the Big Show) will have already competed too. Historically, these wrestlers that were in a championship match earlier on the card do not always end up participating in the rumble. There is no way this should be the case. These 4 guys are supposed to be top draw main event talents which the fans want to see. Bring them out somewhere between 24 and 28 so they have plenty of rest after their last match.
2. Start off with #1 and #2 meaning something – For example, don’t randomize the first two entrants and start with the likes of Santino and Jinder Mahal. Instead, get the rumble started with a rivalry. I really liked when WWE started the RR with Alex Riley and Miz. Likewise, a couple of years ago they started it with Bryan and Punk. Perhaps this year you have Kofi and Barrett start the match since they are currently feuding.
3. Include a guy who can do a spot – For example, John Morrison did a great spot when he was launched out of the ring but caught himself on the guardrail and then reentered the match. Perhaps something can be done similar with Justin Gabriel or Sin Cara. I am beyond sick of Sin Cara so I would prefer for the spot to be Ryback throwing him out of the ring and through the Spanish announce table but we all know that won’t happen.
4. Include Legeds – I enjoyed seeing Booker T, Mick Foley, Diesel and Jim Duggan make an appearance over the last few Rumbles. Perhaps this year they include Papa Shango, 1,2,3 Kidd and King Kong Bundy.
5. Include Surprise Entrants – The crowd will go nuts when the music hits for HHH, Taker and/or Brock Lesner. Late in the rumble when it is time for #28 or #29 you are hoping to see one of these guys opposed to somebody like David Otunga.
6. Include Returns – The crowd loves to see an old face return that has been on the shelf with an injury. For example, Evan Bourne, Mark Henry & Christian.
7. Include a debut – Run vignettes for a couple of weeks and then allow the wrestler to make his debut at the RR. This could be Fandango, a guy from NXT that is ready to come up, a former WWE wrestler such as MVP or Shelton Benjamin or even Jack Swagger returning with a new look.
8. The rest of the cast needs to be a combination of main eventers and dark horses. Main Eventers include the top draws such as Cena, Ryback, Orton and Sheamus. These are the guys that the people pay to watch and root for (or root against). The darkhorses include guys like the Miz, Wade Barrett, Ziggler & Kofi. These are the guys that probably won’t win but are over with the crowd and you still feel there might be a chance they can pull off a surprise win similar to how Benoit and Mysterio did. Keep everybody else that lacks star power out of the match.

What needs to be left out:

1. Do not use tag-team wrestlers – I love the Usos but we all know that neither Jimmy or Jay is going to win the RR and go on to main event Wrestlemania. Likewise, keep Epico, Primo, Darren Young and Titus O’Neil out too. I am not saying to keep these guys off the card, just not in the RR. Instead put them in another match on the card such as a triple threat match for the #1 contender for the tag titles or something like that.
2. Do not have non wrestlers – This includes any of the divas, Michael Cole, Hornswoggle, etc.
3. Do not confuse the live audience – Guys being thrown out but not over the top rope, hiding under the ring and reentering, guys being eliminated and reentering illegally or because the ref never saw them get eliminated, etc. These types of shananigans are fine when watching at home and the announcers are making it very clear if the man has been eliminated or not. However, if you are watching live there is no way to tell what is going on. Even more to the point, when there are 15+ guys in the ring and a wrestler is eliminated only to get right back in the ring again, you find yourself sitting in the bleachers wondering what is going on.
4. Do not insult the PPV buyers with “dominant big man quotes” – This happens every year when a dud like the Great Kahli or Tensai make their entrance. Michael Cole will say how tall and heavy the wrestler is and how it makes him “the favorite to win.” That line can be semi tolerated if you are talking about Big Show or Kane. But please not for every single less than stellar big man in the match, which unfortunately, the WWE is overpopulated with.
5. Do not include wresters that will not garner a reaction from the crowd – We paid a lot of money for a ticket or to watch on PPV. Nobody wants to see B level talent in what is supposed to be the most exciting match of the year. I was beyond irritated when on Raw they announced the 3 man band was entering the RR. None of these guys are going to win the RR and will not add anything to the match. These guys are being used as jobbers and are not over with the crowd yet. Instead, put them in a tag match earlier in the card that will better help them get over. The WWE has the talent to put together a great cast and there are only 30 entrants. Perhaps I am missing something and someone can explain why the Mahal, McIntyre and Slater are good entrants for this years rumble.

All this being said, if the WWE includes what I would like to see, I believe it should be fun match and I will likely buy the PPV again in 2014. If not, I will probably be skeptical do dish out $50 for the PPV next year. Anyways, let me know if you guys agree or disagree with my thoughts or if you have any of your own do’s and don’ts.

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  1. FunkyKong's Avatar
    I agree with a lot of these points but I think the main thing WWE needs to understand when it comes to the Royal Rumble is to have people in it that we believe can win.

    The worst Rumbles are the ones where 90% of the participants are mid-carders, jobbers, or legends that we know have no chance of winning.
  2. Vince Lupton's Avatar
    I agree with everything. Well blogged!
  3. ToiletBowl's Avatar
    Yep... although, I wouldnt have a problem with Rhodes Scholars being in the rumble. I could see Punk being in the Rumble if he loses to the Rock. Depends on where they put that match though.

    Personally, I think the biggest rumble surprise was Diesel. Granted we knew Kevin Nash was there, but bringing him out as Big Daddy Cool was an awesome twist.

    My guess at the surprises: Boogeyman, John Morrison, Christian & Jericho.
  4. KingWade's Avatar
    I agree with the majority of this, good job. First two entrants just have to be big superstars like when it was HHH and Mysterio the year Rey won. I think this year its will be Sheamus and Orton. I hate wasted entrants like hornswoggle, that is what they need to stop. When it comes to tag teams i agree but exceptions should be made for popular tag teams like Hell No and Rhodes Scholars. It was great when the Hardy's faced off in 2001.
  5. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Good Blog. The only thing I would say is, you have to have obvious non-winners in there. It can't be a RR of just top main event stars. Also, you have to throw in the teaser. Someone unusual, perhaps Tyson Kidd, comes in early and lasts until the Final Eight or even Final Four. Make his elimination be a heart breaker and that can catapult him. He's obviously an IWC fan favorite. They can make him a big time face if played right.
  6. akbar's Avatar
    Agreed with pretty much everything you said, great blog.
  7. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    If they don't use tag team wrestlers....they will have to use the ones that don't get the reaction. Are you telling me I shouldn't book Daniel Bryan, Kane, PTP, Rhodes-Scholars? I can understand not using the guys who can barely get booked on Raw, but tag teams that actually get a response from the crowd?

    The only other I disagree with besides that one is including guys who gets a world title shot. You got your world title shot at the Rumble. You don't deserve a shot to get another shot at WM which they will likely lose anyways.
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