5 most controversial moments in Royal Rumble history
The upcoming Royal Rumble event will emanate from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last time this city hosted the Royal Rumble event was in 2015, a Royal Rumble that was marked by the negative reaction of fans in attendance. This year's event will be the 30th anniversary of the event and will officially kick off the road to Wrestlemania 34.
The Royal Rumble is one of WWE's "Big Four", along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, and is one of the most anticipated shows of the year due to its unpredictability, and surprise returns, that has been synonymous with the event. However, the show sometimes does not meet the expectations of the fans and has had its share of controversies.
Vince McMahon is the ultimate decision maker in WWE. At times, his vision for the company is not commensurate with what the fans want. A few times the show has not gone as planned and the results have sparked controversy as a result. The aftermath of these contentious moments have always taken Vince and his writers back to the drawing board, to sort out the messes brought about by such occurrences.
Here are the five most controversial moments in Royal Rumble history.
#5 Royal Rumble 2014: Batista booed out of the building
Batista made his return to the WWE after nearly four years on January 20, 2014. Upon his return, It was announced that he would be participating in the 2014 Royal Rumble match. He was a man on a mission as he vowed to win the Royal Rumble match and become the champion at WrestleMania 30.
The 2014 Royal Rumble took place at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attracted an estimated crowd of over 15,000 people. Prior to the Rumble match, Randy Orton and John Cena squared off for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. During their title match, fans booed both men and chanted for Daniel Bryan, amongst other chants such as "this is awful".
The fans continued to chant for Bryan during the Royal Rumble match despite his absence. When the number 30 entrant was revealed to be Rey Mysterio, the fans booed him since they realized Bryan was never scheduled to participate in the match. They chanted for Bryan and cheered Mysterio's eventual elimination.
The crowd continued to boo even as only three wrestlers remained in the match. When Batista eliminated Roman Reigns to win the match, he was booed out of the building in one of the loudest negative response ever given to a Royal Rumble winner. The decision by WWE not to include Bryan in the match despite his overwhelming popularity at the time made this contest a controversial one.