YMMV / Royal Rumble

  • Broken Base: The 2016 Royal Rumble. The general perception seems to be that the Rumble itself was a great match: AJ Styles debuting to a massive pop, Dean Ambrose in the final two and looking really strong, etc. What causes the divide is the winner. Some are okay with Triple H winning, since it follows logical storytelling; others are pissed, wanting a younger talent to win. Not helping things is that he eliminated Ambrose to win. All of this being said, everyone agrees that it was much better than the last two Rumbles.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • 2014 ended with a floodgate of resentment against WWE over the apparent shafting of Daniel Bryan in the Rumble, alongside a lackluster performance of the rest of the other matches, and Batista winning the event for a second time. To put this into perspective, Bryan's match against Bray Wyatt (which the former lost) was largely declared "Match of the Night". Although it didn't rule him out on being excluded from the Royal Rumble, as the number of entrants appeared and Bryan became a no-show, other superstars (like fan favorite and perpetual-Face Rey Mysterio) were met with boos when they appeared...yes, BOOS; no other Royal Rumble in its 20+ year history ended with hisses and jeers from the audience, be it Smarks or not.
      • As if that wasn't enough, when the event went off the air, with people doing the "NO!" chants, Batista starts mocking Bryan and flips off the crowd.
      • Even Mick Foley would take to Twitter to criticize WWE management:
        "Does WWE actually hate their own audience? I've never been so disgusted with a PPV."
      • It also had the "honor" of being CM Punk's last match. Punk was probably the only other superstar in the Rumble that the fans would have accepted as a replacement winner for Daniel Bryan. When he got eliminated by an already eliminated Kane (who was pulling the "Corporate Kane" schtick at the time, which wasn't being well-received at all), the fans lost all hope and started cheering anybody who wasn't Batista. Then Punk legit quit the company the day afterwards, and the 2014 Royal Rumble was such a PR disaster that the entire "Road to WrestleMania" had to be rewritten just so the event wouldn't implode in on itself.
    • History repeats itself as the 2015 Royal Rumble also ended with the live crowd loudly booing winner Roman Reigns in similar fashion, including chants for Bryan long after his elimination (including a CM Punk chant, despite his departure from the company). This has produced a similarly split reaction, with some fans angry at the company as a whole for more or less Retconning what happened in the previous year, others angry at the creative team (but not at Reigns) for derailing Bryan's return momentum, and another group simply happy with how things turned outnote . The Rock coming out to support his cousin's victory and endorsing it didn't stop the jeers. That's right: one of the most popular and beloved wrestlers of all time couldn't calm down the raging crowd.
      • The crowd started booing the moment Bryan was eliminated. Oddly enough, when Dean Ambrose made his entry, things started winding down a bit. With his elimination, the outcome became more obvious. The appearance of last hope Dolph Ziggler also got cheers and heavy support, which quickly died down when he was eliminated.
      • Worth noting that near the end of the match there were "We Want Rusev!" chants. That's right, Rusev; fans would rather have had an anti-American Heel win over Reigns. Irony ensues, when the crowd in the 2014 Rumble cheered on Reigns to win when he and Batista were the last ones in the match.
      • The negative reaction was so massive that #CancelWWENetwork became the number one trending topic on Twitter worldwide, with many subscribers canceling their subscriptions the website couldn't handle the traffic and got a denial-of-service. Needless to say, the 2015 Royal Rumble may have become the tipping point.
      • To top it off, the PPV was in Philadelphia. Truth of the matter is, had anyone short of Bryan, Ambrose, or Ziggler had won, the crowd wouldn't have gone home happy. The fact that it was Reigns means that while most fans around the world were mad, Philly was going to be downright impossible to placate.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • After the two events illustrated above, fans have lost so much faith in the main roster's booking that many admit they're watching the Royal Rumble just to see how the company screws it up this year. In fact, many believe that the crowd hijacking the show for a third time might not be enough to convince the company to change their plans and give the fans what they want, which, after Survivor Series 2015, seems to be a Foregone Conclusion these days.
    • In a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, low expectations for the 2016 Royal Rumble actually had fans genuinely surprised and elated when it turned out not to be the worst Rumble in history (except to Bret Hart). The highlight of the match was obviously AJ Styles, but other parts of the event were well-received as well, such as the Last Man Standing match for the Intercontinental Championship between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens. Some have even called it the best Rumble in the last five years.
  • Rooting for the Empire: It really says a lot about how hated Roman Reigns is when the fans are willing to cheer for Triple H to win the title in 2016 as long as Reigns isn't the one to hold it. In fact, one of the only times Hunter was not universally cheered during that match is when it was down to the final two and his last opponent was Ensemble Darkhorse Dean Ambrose.
  • Signature Scene:
    • 1988: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan's signature "Hoooo!" and a big thumbs up after winning the first event. Also, during the undercard, Jesse Ventura giving a little too much assistance to Dino Bravo in "helping" set a (non-legit) bench press record of 715 pounds.
    • 1992: Ric Flair winning the Royal Rumble to win the WWF Championship.
    • 1995: Shawn Michaels winning the Royal Rumble as the #1 entrant, under very controversial circumstances.
    • 1997: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin winning the Royal Rumble under controversial circumstances.
    • 1998: Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker in a casket match.
    • 1999: The Rock vs Mankind in the first-ever "I Quit" match.
    • 2000: Either Triple H vs Cactus Jack in a street fight for the WWF Title or The Rock winning the Royal Rumble.
    • 2001: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin winning his third Royal Rumble.
    • 2003: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit for the WWE Championship.
    • 2004: Chris Benoit winning the Royal Rumble as the #1 entrant.
    • 2005: Batista winning the Rumble by last eliminating John Cena, but only after both men had gone over the top simultaneously in one of the best botches in Wrestling history.
    • 2006: Rey Mysterio surviving the Royal Rumble match in over an hour.
    • 2007: The Undertaker winning the Royal Rumble by last eliminating Shawn Michaels.
    • 2008: John Cena returning from injury at No. 30 and winning the Rumble.
    • 2011: Alberto Del Rio winning the first-ever 40-man Royal Rumble.
    • 2013: The Rock defeating CM Punk to win the WWE Title for the eighth time.
    • 2015: John Cena vs Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins for the WWE title.
    • 2016: AJ Styles debuting in the Royal Rumble match or Triple H winning the match to win the WWE Title.
  • Signature Song: "Let it Rock", the 2009 theme. If that is disqualified due to Soundtrack Dissonance, then the title goes to "Hero", the 2010 theme.

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