They did it. The WWE found a way to turn the most hyped Royal Rumble of all time into a mediocre affair and all because they were too scared to get creative. Regardless, Randy Orton has won his second Royal Rumble and that should make for intriguing viewing and while many storylines were completely disregarded, a few more were born out of this match. So from worst (30) to first (1), let’s rank the Rumble competitors
- Jerry Lawler
There’s a reason we wanted him off commentary to begin with. Lawler spits out generic phrases like a WWE2K17 program and adds nothing to the commentary.
- Roman Reigns
What were they thinking? Roman Reigns plus Royal Rumble match equals cancer. It deflated the crowd and turned a Rumble that was simmering nicely on its head. On top of that, it made no sense. Why would Stephanie and Foley allow Roman to enter the match? They wouldn’t. On top of that, you have AJ Styles who also competed in a championship match who did not appear in the Rumble – there’s no continuity. The only reason Roman was in this match was to set up a match against The Undertaker – which flies in the face of what we saw between Reigns and Strowman earlier in the night – and that surely could’ve been done another way. Roman gets the bottom spot here because he should never have been in this match. He wasn’t the Samoan we wanted to come out at number 30.
- Apollo Crews
Eliminated by Luke Harper, Crews was simply in this match to make up the numbers.
Kalisto was in this match solely to be launched out of the ring by Strowman. His feud with Ziggler was also disregarded.
- Mojo Rawley
Rawley at least got some time to shine, but again, was only there to be eliminated by Braun.
- James Ellsworth
Very smart to have Ellsworth go up against Braun again. Comedic relief is a big part of the Rumble and they did this part well.
25, 24 & 23, The New Day
Why even have all three New Day members in this match? In such a stacked match, you could’ve used these spots more effectively and the group did absolutely nothing. They should’ve used Kofi only, giving the remaining two spots to Cruiserweights. This was a key example of WWE putting no effort into parts of this match.
- Enzo Amore
Enzo facing up to guys way out of his league has been fun to watch and this was just another example of that. This is one of those times where you can send someone in to be immediately thrown out, without it feeling lazy.
- Mark Henry
Henry was always going to be in this match because Texas… and there’s nothing really more to add.
- Big Cass
Cass starting the match allowed he and Enzo to do what they do well before the match begun, but unfortunately Cass was also only in there to make Braun look good. They should’ve kept Cass out of the match as it was already overcrowded with big men.
- Jack Gallagher
Gallagher got a great reaction and had a couple of hilarious spots. As the only Cruiserweight in the match, it shows that he’s clearly well liked backstage. It’ll be onwards an upwards for the gentleman and his trusty umbrella.
- The Big Show
It wasn’t quite the showdown we wanted, only lasting the two minutes, but we got a nice glimpse at Braun versus Big Show, a match that should probably happen on RAW this week.
- Handsome Rusev
Poor Ru Ru… The man with the heart of a lion entered the match with a broken nose and was unable to really contribute anything because of it. They probably could’ve just used Kane in this position and given the Bulgarian the night off.
- Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler looked good in his brief time in the match, but if you had forgotten about his heel turn, this match wouldn’t have reminded you. Ziggler, like most of the SmackDown superstars, was treated as a complete afterthought and given no storyline progression.
- Tye Dillinger
The ovation Dillinger received was telling. They needed to send him in at 10 and they did. He hung with Strowman for a while before being dumped out at a reasonable spot. Hopefully this means we’ll see him on RAW or SmackDown very soon.
13 & 14. Sheamus and Cesaro
It seems like WWE are breaking Sheamus and Cesaro up and wanted to use the Rumble to do it. That’s all well and good, but they seemed like an unnecessary part of the match. Along with The New Day, this tag team didn’t really need to be in there. Especially when you consider there were only 11 SmackDown entrants. Slater and Rhyno could’ve been used in this EXACT same positon.
- The Undertaker
Taker, finally, looks his age. He got a number of eliminations but the Deadman was sluggish and looked out of place. Evidently we’ll be seeing him take on Roman Reigns at WrestleMania in what probably should be his final hurrah.
- Dean Ambrose
Considering Dean was the WWE Champion a few months ago and was the runner up in last year’s Rumble, you’d think he’d be given a little more of a showing than simply being tossed out by Lesnar. Dean was one of a handful of guys who were shoved aside for no real reason. This Rumble would’ve been much better without Goldberg, Lesnar and Undertaker.
- The Miz
We’re up to number 10 and yet there are still more negatives than positives. Miz spent a long period in this match, but like Dean, didn’t do anything and then was eliminated as an afterthought. There were so many possibilities with The Miz here and WWE completely dropped the ball.
Goldberg eliminating Brock so quickly again didn’t have the shock power because we’d already seen it. It also removes any desire to see Lesnar and Goldberg go at it again. Why would we want to see it? Goldberg is clearly the superior of the two. Goldberg and Lesnar’s spot really was the beginning of the match losing momentum.
- Brock Lesnar
Well, at least Brock got a nice payday for five minutes of work again. As mentioned above, this halted the momentum of the match for what was an unnecessary set up. They should’ve just put Brock versus Goldberg on the card for this show.
- Bray Wyatt
Bray didn’t get any eliminations, but at least he was one of the few SmackDown stars to have any storyline advancement. Harper turned on him and with Orton winning the match, it will be interesting to see where they go from here as a duo. The match SHOULD have come down to Orton and Wyatt with Randy eliminating Bray, but nope.
- Chris Jericho
Coming in at number two and lasting until the final four is no mean feat, but I guess Chris did spend half the match outside the ring. Jericho was probably the most likely option from RAW to win the Rumble so keeping him in until late was smart.
- Sami Zayn
Zayn was crucial in the elimination of Strowman and spent a long period of time in the match. It’s a shame he was thrown out meaninglessly by Undertaker because until that point, they were building the story of Zayn as a survivor nicely. They should have used Zayn in Roman Reigns’ position in the final three.
- Luke Harper
Harper may be the only guy who comes out of the Rumble better than they were going into it. He turned on Bray, probably meaning he’ll reunite with Erick Rowan and the two will go their separate ways from Wyatt. Harper as a babyface is certainly something worth getting behind.
- Braun Strowman
Strowman was always going to leave this Rumble as the man with the most eliminations, and he did just that. Honestly, it was the exact performance expected from him so there really isn’t much to say. Braun interfering in the Universal Title match is the interesting part. They should’ve had Reigns come through the crowd, toss Strowman out and leave it there.
- Baron Corbin
Corbin seemed like the big man who was going to be lost in the shuffle of this Rumble, but they ended up giving him the massive Strowman elimination. Again, he was tossed out with little thought put into it by The Undertaker, but everything to that point showed that Baron has a big future ahead of him.
- Randy Orton
This was definitely a surprise to anyone who wasn’t looking at bookmaker odds. (Honestly, WWE producers betting on their own product is a massive issue and should be stamped out – how is it even allowed to happen?) Anyway, Orton will now take on the WWE Champion at WrestleMania… but who will it be? They won’t be giving us Orton versus Cena … this Rumble showed they’re capable of being incredibly stupid … but not THAT stupid.