Royal Rambles: Breaking down the 2017 Royal Rumble match
The 2017 Royal Rumble did not live up to the hype. The big names were used poorly, and there were no surprises to liven it up.
The 2017 Royal Rumble was hyped to be huge. For the 50,000-plus in attendance, and millions watching around the world, there was great optimism in the air. The event had been built up to be possibly the biggest of the year, not counting Wrestlemania, of course.
There were some heavy hitters: Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, and The Undertaker. With those legends, the stars of Raw and Smackdown, and the surprises, there is no way to mess this up. Right? As Stone Cold would say, “give me a hell..uh..no”.
So what was the WWE thinking? How did they screw this up? Let’s start with the big names.
Bill Goldberg looks to be in tremendous shape. He looked very strong in the match, spearing Brock Lesnar and disposing of him very quickly, He also speared the Undertaker, then was unceremoniously eliminated. It was too soon.
We needed to see Goldberg go longer. His combined in-ring time at Summer Slam and the Royal Rumble is about as long as his old WCW entrances. He doesn’t have to win. but he is not being used enough, at least for all the hype.
Let’s talk about his nemesis, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar has been built up to be an unstoppable monster for the last three years, then boom, two squashes against Goldberg. I understand the WWE is building him up for the ‘Mania match, but nobody buys two squashes.
The Survivor Series squash, I know was for shock value. I think two in a row is going to the well too often. Lesnar looked strong while throwing everybody around, then that was all stripped away when Goldberg got to the ring. We need to see more Lesnar, bottom line.
That brings me to the other legend, The Undertaker. He could hardly move.
Let me say. I am a huge fan of Taker, he is one of the best wrestlers of all time. But he was in no condition to be in that match. He had trouble moving, he looked out of shape, and his punches and clotheslines had no snap to them. I have since seen reports that he is coming off of hip surgery, and was in pain backstage before the match.
Give him more time to recover and get him ready for ‘Mania.
Now let us switch to some of the top stars of Raw and Smackdown. Chris Jericho was tremendous. He managed to last almost an hour. I realise that a large part of this time was spent on the outside. You might call that avoiding the action but I would say he was biding his time.
Using his experience, second only to the Undertaker, he knows when to get involved and when to take a time-out. That’s why he has logged the most Rumble minutes in history. There’s a guy who deserves a push. He is on the greatest run of his career. He should be your winner.
Braun Strowman is an absolute beast, he looked very strong in the match, obliterating everyone in his path. The stare down with the Big Show was intriguing. That will be a big match down the road. Strowman’s role in the Rumble was well-suited. He is still very green and will be a top star.
All the other entrants in the Rumble can be summed up in one word: blah. I say that with all due respect, but come on. A few of them had their respective moments, but there was a serious lull in the middle. We figured out that the legends were coming out last, so we kept looking for surprises, to spice up the middle. Did I say surprises?
Where were all the surprises? Kurt Angle? No. Samoa Joe? No. Shinsuke Nakamura? No.Triple H? No. Seth Rollins? No. Finn Balor? Nope. Tye Dillinger? Yes! wait..what?. Dillinger was the only “surprise”, and while he got a nice reaction from the fans, it’s not the surprise we were anticipating.
This is where I feel the WWE really dropped the ball. Imagine if Nakamura or Joe’s music hit, it would have been crazy. It wouldn’t have mattered how long they stayed in. And if Angles’ music would have hit, they would still be repairing the roof that blew off the Alamodome.
The last thing I want to address is the elephant in the room, Roman Reigns coming out at number 30. My feeling was at first utter disgust, then an incredible wave of disappointment swept over me. Then I was mad. Mad that I had sit through this whole thing and got “the big dog” at #30, with the best chance to win.
Then he eliminated the Undertaker, which made it even worse. Randy Orton won the Rumble. Not my choice, but I don’t have a problem with it as things could have been far worse.
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