No-one except a choice few in WWE know exactly what is going to happen at the Royal Rumble when it takes place in Orlando tonight. Rumors have one of four big-time stars possibly walking out of that match as the winner and with the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Two of them aren’t bad choices. One is a questionable choice. The fourth? Well, having Roman Reigns win the rumble match for the second year in a row could bring extreme backlash to the promotion at the worst time.
It may be hard to figure out who may win as there are 30 superstars who will be in the match, and anyone can be thrown over the top rope at any given time. As of now, there are only 13 announced names for the match per WWE.com, so stars have no idea who else may show up.
CBS Sports, and numerous other predictions around the Internet, believe that the winner will be one of these four – Bray Wyatt, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, or Roman Reigns. Even the betting odds have it that way. Those four names seem like legit contenders, but Triple H hasn’t even been seen in about a month.
Bray Wyatt or Brock Lesnar? Sure, that’s believable and sets up interesting storylines.
Reigns? Well, that could bring about a gigantic problem.
Over the past five months, WWE has really done a a great job of building up Roman Reigns as a big-time babyface and main event talent. It’s a much better job than they did last year leading up to the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 31.
Reigns was pushed to the moon for months after The Shield dissolved and he was the first one of the three to get the huge shot. After he won the Royal Rumble match, instant dissatisfaction came forward from the WWE fans as Reigns was booed out of the building that very night.
The Rock, Reigns’ cousin, was even brought out to try and stop some of the bad reaction. It didn’t really work.
No-one cared. Rocky didn’t even look thrilled.
From there, WWE put Reigns over Daniel Bryan at Fastlane with the WrestleMania 31 main event shot on the line. That angered fans even more and the promotion finally realized it, but they weren’t ready to bury him or abandon him entirely.
At WrestleMania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in his “Money in the Bank” briefcase and pinned Reigns for the WWE Title. Reigns couldn’t overcome a fresh Rollins after being destroyed at the hands of Brock Lesnar so it didn’t look as bad, and then he moved on. Push is over…for now.
Fast-forward to October of 2015, and Reigns heads back into the title picture. An injury to Rollins works in his favor and he wins the WWE Title, loses it, and then gets it back within a month. He hasn’t been awful, but his reign so far has been rather lackluster.
Now, he’s heading into the Royal Rumble as the number one overall selection, his title is on the line, and he’s rumored to win? What happens if he does? Well, PW Mania may have expressed it best in case that situation comes about.
“Do we get #CancelWWENetwork trending again?”
That is exactly the kind of backlash that WWE doesn’t want. They especially don’t want it right now when it could be one of the most exciting times in history. Some of the biggest things have been happening and are about to happen.
Austin Aries just signed with WWE and debuted on NXT on Friday.
AJ Styles could debut any day now as he’s essentially already a part of the roster, and just needs to show up.
Within the next month or two, WWE and NXT will see the debuts of Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows.
Currently in NXT, the talents of Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Asuka, Finn Balor, Bayley, Hideo Itami, and countless others are preparing to hit the WWE main roster.
At any given time, Daniel Bryan could be cleared by WWE doctors and return to in-ring action.
All of this excitement for the company and its future is huge, and the fans are solidly behind WWE and what they’re doing. Having Roman Reigns shoved down their throats is not what they want and it’s only going to hurt them.
The WWE Title simply isn’t working on Roman Reigns and it shows. Having him win the Royal Rumble won’t work. Having him main event WrestleMania 32 after matches that include Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and others will only anger the fans more.
Reigns was great in The Shield when he could beat people up and move on. He’s great in the mid-card when he can chase the United States or Intercontinental belts and not have to speak a whole lot. He’s even good at being the underdog that never quite hits the summit.
He’s simply not exciting as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. If Roman Reigns enters the Royal Rumble match at number one and then goes on to win the entire thing, prepare for a response to be given that is worse than the one Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg got at WrestleMania XX.
[Image via WWE]