The 2017 Royal Rumble has finally come and gone and Randy Orton is heaing to Wrestlemania. Actually, most of these guys are, but Orton is heading to the "main event." The Rumble match itself did not live up to it's epic billing, but it did have several big moments that leave the Wrestlemania door fairly open for interpretation.
Social media was split on the ending of the Rumble, but personally, I felt it was a huge missed opportunity.
Here are my six immediate takeaways from the Rumble match itself.
You can't have a Royal Rumble and only give us Tye Dillinger as the surprise entrant. No offense to the Perfect Ten, but when you know we have our hopes up for Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Nakamura, Kurt Angle or even Kenny Omega, Tye Dillinger isn't enough.
The Rumble match has become notorious for it's surprises and when that standard is not met, it leaves fans feeling let down. We want the Rumble to make us feel like something new is about to take place, as last year did with both AJ Styles and Sami Zayn's entry into the match.
With three really great possibilities for surprises sitting on the sidelines, this Rumble felt totally underwhelming in the wow factor.
If you go back and watch an old Rumble, you'll see guys spending large portions of the match trying to shove another big fella over the ropes while that guy hangs on for dear life. It doesn't look like they're doing much, but at least they're doing something.
At least three times in this match, guys we're just lying on the mat while two dudes had an intense staredown in the middle of the ring. And they were lying there for a LONG time.
I get that you have to give a spotlight to two guys every now and then, but there are other ways to do it.
First he loses to Kevin Owens after Braun Strowman slams him through a table, then he gets brought in to the Rumble at number 30 not only does he not win the Rumble, but he loses by getting outsmarted by Randy Orton. Ouch.
What is the play for Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33? He has two pretty clear options with Strowman or The Undertaker, who he eliminated from this year's Royal Rumble. Either are Mania worthy, but Reigns is in serious need of a win after coming out of the Jericho/Owens program without either the US or Universal Championships.
The WWE had to know Reigns would be a hated choice for the 30 slot so are they pushing him towards embracing the boos as he prepares to face the beloved Undertaker?
Every good Rumble makes a new star. This year, the closest we got to a breakout performance was from Braun Strowman who eliminated 7 people before getting tossed himself. Unfortunately, WWE didn't get to truly capitalize on Strowman's performance because he was eliminated well before Goldberg, Taker, and Lesnar took the ring.
Last year, AJ Styles had a breakout performance before he was eliminated. This year, did anyone standout to you? Cesaro spun a bunch of people in a circle? Jack Gallagher jumped around with an umbrella?
Luke Harper had one nice moment when he turned on Bray Wyatt, but Randy Orton made sure it was short lived.
With 30 superstars, more should have been done to propel one of the non-title contending participants into the next level.
I love that Goldberg is still the only man who can topple the Beast. Even though I know that this is leading to Lesnar getting his win back, likely at Wrestlemania, it's been a fun story to see that Goldberg is still able to get the upperhand.
With Goldberg set to main event Fastlane, presumably against Kevin Owens, could he be bringing the Universal Championship to his Mania match with Lesnar?
Wouldn't be at all surprised if they gave Goldberg that one final championship run only to have Lesnar take the strap at Mania. Owens has held the belt long enough that he won't need it for his presumed feud with Jericho.
I know Randy is having a resurrgence with the Wyatts, but did he really need another Rumble win? If the rumored plan is for Bray to win the Elimination Chamber and then Randy face him at Wrestlemania, wouldn't Bray have benefitted more from winning his first Rumble? Orton could have still won the Chamber in two weeks and we'd still have the same Mania match.
Orton is still one of the most over performers on the roster, but the victory felt totally underwhelming. It's likely not Randy's fault. Having Orton and Reigns as the last two just made it feel like the WWE is refusing to move forward. It's the "New Era" and yet we finished the night with Randy Orton pointing at the Wrestlemania sign like it was 2009 all over again.
Let us know your thoughts about the Rumble match in the comments below.
Listen to Comicbook.com's interview with inaugural Royal Rumble winner, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, on the Over The Ropes Podcast.
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