So I've been thinking about rating this year's Royal Rumble, and before I went to bed, it was fair to say nobody really liked it. Some great stars were squashed and AJ Styles' amazing debut was a little short lived. But thinking more and more about it, I'm coming to the conclusion that this was the best possible rumble they could have given us in the circumstances.
The reason why we hated the last two Rumble matches is because WWE disengaged the fans through shoddy storytelling. Protecting Reigns too much last year. Batista winning all too conveniently the year before that. Daniel Bryan getting the short end of the stick in both those years.
This time, things felt much more planned. The reason why we don't like the result of this year's match is because of the characters themselves. KO is now one of (if not the) top heel in the company, and he's got two great rivalries out of it (AJ styles v KO at FastLane, culminating against Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania please). Brock vs Bray at Wrestlemania will be a cracking match that we haven't seen before. And finally, Triple H: the winner we really didn't want.
Roman Reigns could not leave with the championship, without becoming the crowd assigned heel for the rest of his career. And once again, being sent to the back, to take (what I assume) was a banging giant sh*t for 75% of the match, showed WWE was protecting their top guy.
So in all honesty, thank God he didn't win, and that he was eliminated before the final two. Dean Ambrose is finally being recognised as top tier, and I look forward to seeing his rise become more prominent over the next year towards facing Reigns (I assume). And as for Triple H himself, if we need someone to hold onto the title and help the effort to push Roman Reigns, I can't think of a more capable storyteller to do the job.
Overall, it wasn't the best Rumble. But it was great to watch a match go in some interesting directions for once and set up some genuine intrigue for the future, which is what this PPV should be about.
And that comes from someone who is still feeling bitter about losing a fiver on Lesnar.