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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. weems's Avatar
    DX Wrestling Savior makes a good point that a good rumble always includes a teaser where an underdog starts very early and makes it to the final 5 entrants or so. Always a good way to help a young wrestler get over.
    Also, I will modify my opinion about not using tag-teams. Bryan is a former champion and very over with the crowd. Kane is a former champion, over with the crowd and I believe has the record for most eliminations in RR history. It makes sense for Hell No to be in the rumble. In fact, I would enjoy seeing Bryan and Kane start the rumble at #1 and #2. I would also be okay with seeing Sandow or Rhodes in the RR but not the Uso's, PTPs or the Colognes.
  2. ch.brooks24's Avatar
    Too many rules. You're over-thinking this way too much. It's the friggin rumble dude. the rumble is supposed to be about this one night where anybody has a chance at fulfilling their dream of main eventing wrestlemania in a championship match. thats the magic behind the rumble. If they followed your do's and don'ts then every rumble would be exactly the same every year - what the hell would be so special about that?
  3. texrodgers's Avatar
    While I agree with almost everything you have said, I just don't think the WWE Roster has enough believable winners to fill all 30 spots.

    To make it interesting, they should set an angle where all the mid-carders make a pact to team up and take out all the top stars before going after each other. Have them make a claim that an underdog will win for a change. Have it start out with a shock when no mid-carders even touch each other and as they grow in numbers, they toss out a big star like Cena. This would make me believe that anything can happen and is an overall realistic angle.

    While I don't like the Shield angle very much, this would play perfectly into their quest to right the wrongs... especially if they weren't even participants. Have them sabotage the rumble so that someone that isn't "supposed" to win, wins.

    Rise of the mid-cards, mid-card movement, something like that.
  4. blink's Avatar
    I agree 100% with ch.brooks24. The rumble is magical dammit!
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