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YMMV / Royal Rumble

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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Many expected the first women's Royal Rumble in 2018 would be an epic botch fest that would convince the company to never do it again. The match turned out to be on par with some of the better men's Royal Rumble matches over the years, exceeding many people's expectations. While opinions vary as to whether or not it was as good as the men's Rumble that year (as that Rumble was one of the best Rumbles in a long time), the women's Rumble is regarded as deserving of its main event spot.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
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    • The 2005 finish was a great fix to a hilarious screw up. After Batista botched the ending, sending both himself and John Cena to the floor at the same time, the referees improvised a bit until things were restarted to get a proper ending.
    • The 2018 Men's Rumble, and the finish with Shinsuke Nakamura eliminating John Cena and Roman Reigns, was regarded as an apology to the Philadelphia crowd for 2015.
  • 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.note  Not helping things is that he eliminated Ensemble Dark Horse Ambrose to win. All of this being said, everyone agrees that it was much better than the previous two Rumbles.
  • Contested Sequel:
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    • 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 prior to that event ended with hisses and jeers from the audience, face or heel winner, 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.note 
      • 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.
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    • The 2015 Royal Rumble was somehow even worse. The event 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 out.note  The Rock coming out to support his cousin's victory and endorsing it didn't stop the jeers.
      • 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, and so many subscribers attempted to cancel their subscriptions that the website couldn't handle the traffic and crashed.
        • How did Vince Mc Mahon handle this you might ask? By going to twitter and "thanking" the fans for helping the Network reach a million subscribers. Of course, most people know this was Vince's way of giving the middle finger to the #CancelWWENetwork people.
      • 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: In a case of Tropes Are Tools, after the two events illustrated above caused low expectations for the 2016 Royal Rumble, it ended up actually having 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.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Among viewers who don't watch regularly anymore, some former wrestling fans will still watch the Rumble every year.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The Rumble's signature buzzer, especially when a favorite superstar's entrance theme follows.
  • 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 Dark Horse Dean Ambrose, and the pop Hunter got when he personally eliminated Reigns (and followed it up with D-Generation X crotch chops) was one of the biggest in the entire match. It's all but confirmed that the reason Ambrose was the runner-up was because eliminating him was the only way Hunter was going to get heel heat after eliminating Reigns.
  • Signature Scene:
  • Signature Song: "Hero" by Skillet, the 2010 theme, which was so awesome they included it in SmackDown vs. Raw 2010.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Every Rumble after the 2015 Rumble has gotten this reaction, with the 2018 men's Rumble having been considered one of the best Rumbles of all time.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Due to the novelty of the women's Rumble, it was decided it would main event the 2018 Royal Rumble PPV, so the men's Rumble was placed in the middle of the show. Said Rumble was the best Rumble the company had in years, and subsequently wore out the crowd. The fans were dead for the following two matches, and it's believed that one of the main reasons why the women's Rumble had a proportionally higher amount of nostalgia entrants was to pop the crowd for the match and re-energize them.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • In the 2018 Women's Royal Rumble, while former golden girls and stars like Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix and the Bella Twins were expected to return - few expected women that weren't often promoted by the company like Torrie Wilson, Kelly Kelly, Jacqueline, Michelle McCool and Molly Holly to return. Molly in particular had said she wouldn't be there as she wasn't in ring shape.
    • The 2019 Men's Royal Rumble has Jeff Jarrett in it, while it was assumed that things between him and the company were mended when he became a Hall of Famer, nobody expected that he would actually return to a match in WWE. Even more unexpected, Nia Jax entered the Men's Rumble in the #30 spot after attacking R-Truth during his entrance, as nobody ever expected to see another female entrant in a Men's Rumble again after the implementation of the Women's Rumble the year before, let alone her later receiving head-on the finishers of three male wrestlers, considering the curtailing of men-on-women violence during the PG Era.
    • Several of the surprise entrants for the 2019 Women's Royal Rumble such as Rhea Ripley, Xia Li, and other NXT stars.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Plenty look forward to seeing what crazy spot Kofi Kingston will do to stave off elimination every year.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Some people were somewhat annoyed at Kelly Kelly's appearance in the first Women's Royal Rumble match, as they felt that she personified many things that the division had gotten away from in recent years. It should be noted that Alicia Fox and Paige both got injured shortly before the Rumble, so she may have been a last minute replacement (it was later revealed Kairi Sane was Fox's replacement).

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