How WWE can make The Royal Rumble an even bigger event
There are plenty of ways to make The Royal Rumble a bigger event.
The Royal Rumble is arguably tied with SummerSlam as the second biggest WWE pay-per-view of the year behind WrestleMania, but the format for the event hasn't changed much since it debuted in 1988.
The first Rumble only featured 20 Superstars, but it was increased to 30 the following year. With the exception of Jim Duggan, every winner has been granted a shot at the WWE Championship.
The company has expanded quite a bit in recent years. The roster is bigger, Raw and SmackDown are separate brands, more titles have been introduced and NXT has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. The Rumble needs to change with the times.
The main goal of earning a title shot at WrestleMania shouldn't change, but there needs to be more variety to the event. Since WWE has extended the show to four hours, plus a pre-show, there are a lot more options to expand the PPV.
WWE tried increasing the number of participants to 40 in 2011, but it was met with poor reviews. What the company should do is have two different 20-man Battle Royals for the separate Raw and SmackDown rosters. One could open the PPV, and the other could close it.
This change would give two different Superstars a monster push heading into WrestleMania, give 10 more wrestlers a chance to participate and avert the problem of having the WWE or Universal Championship look more important by being chosen by a single winner as the title they fight for.
WrestleMania already has several main events every year, so there is no reason why two people can't earn title shots from winning Rumble matches. Splitting the Battle Royal into two different contests takes care of the men, but the women's division still needs to be addressed.
With the way women's wrestling has become a staple of WWE programming over the past two years, it's time to give them a Royal Rumble match of their own. With the smaller rosters on Raw and SmackDown, combining them for one bout is the only way this makes sense.
The winner would get the same WrestleMania title match as the male winners, but since only one person can be victorious, they would have to choose between challenging for the Raw or SmackDown women's title.
Or WWE could avoid the problem by having the winner challenge the champion of whatever brand they were already on.
Past Battle Royals featuring female wrestlers have been little more than an excuse for fans to use the bathroom, but with the level of talent possessed by the current crop of Superstars, it's likely that they would produce a great performance.
Including the NXT women's division along with Raw and SmackDown's would make it possible for 20 Superstars to take part.
Even with three smaller Battle Royals on one card, WWE would still have room for a few title matches in between to break things up. Leaning further into the theme of The Royal Rumble will make it even more unique than it already is.
These changes would be great for the main roster, but there's also NXT to consider. Having a TakeOver special on the same weekend as the Rumble has become a tradition, and WWE should use this to its advantage.
A 20-man Battle Royal featuring only NXT Superstars would be an outstanding way to give someone a big push, and the reward for the winner could be any one of a number of different things.
The prize could be an NXT title shot, a spot in one of the regular Rumble matches on Sunday or even a contract for Raw or SmackDown. Using this as a way to call someone up from the developmental system would get them off to a great start.on the main roster.
Finding the right way to call someone up can be tricky. Management has done a great job grooming new talents, but the execution of their Raw or SmackDown debut has not always worked out as hoped. All you need to do is look at Tyler Breeze to see how someone with loads of talent can be wasted.
Every other PPV based on a specific match type uses the stipulation for multiple bouts on the card, so why should The Royal Rumble be any different?
By having two separate Battle Royals for Raw and SmackDown, one for the women's division and one for NXT, WWE can give a lot more people a boost heading into WrestleMania season.
With the increase in PPVs in 2016, WWE has had a hard time making each one feel special. It's too late to make these changes for the 2017 show, but WWE has plenty of time to make next year's event a much bigger deal.
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