On January 29, the WWE held its 30th annual Royal Rumble match. Several big stars, including Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and the Undertaker, competed in the famed bout. Thirty men entered and only one remained standing to lock in a trip to WrestleMania in the main event for a WWE championship of his choosing. Normally, one of three options happens each Royal Rumble. The first option is for a young WWE star to win it to propel his career forward. Another option is for the predictable finish, much to the dismay of WWE fans.
And the third option is what took place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Randy Orton took home the Royal Rumble match crown after being one of the final 10 participants to enter the squared circle. Roman Reigns, who came out at No. 30, eliminated his brethren Bray Wyatt, and Orton wanted to avenge his fallen leader. He took care of the former WWE champion in sound fashion to claim his second Royal Rumble victory.
While Orton’s win was good for Smackdown Live and ultimately the future of Wyatt, it was shrouded in controversy after Reigns came out at No. 30. The WWE Universe was expecting a few different options in that slot instead. Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, and Finn Balor all caught the attention of the WWE Universe, but Reigns was the choice made by WWE officials on Sunday. Then came one of the worst reactions ever for the former Shield member.
Thunderous boos erupted inside the Alamodome for Reigns. As soon as he got to the ring, he stood face-to-face with the Undertaker and then eliminated the Deadman. Throughout his time in the Royal Rumble match, Reigns was hated by the fans in attendance and online as well.
Goldberg, who was thrown out by the Undertaker early on in his time there, spoke with Sports Illustrated on the negative reaction Roman Reigns gets from WWE fans.
“I don’t know the meteoric rise of Roman and what they’ve done with him, and I’m not going to sit here and pass judgment by any means, but if they just try to push someone down people’s throats, people resent it. I wasn’t privy to it in real time, I didn’t see everything, but I think Roman is a great kid. I feel really bad that anyone would go out there and boo him based not off of not liking him or his ability, but just based upon the situation. His look, his work, his enthusiasm, and what he puts into his craft—Roman is a professional. The only thing I don’t like about him is he went to Georgia Tech.”
In an earlier report by the Inquisitr, Reigns was given advice by Goldberg leading up to the Royal Rumble. For a man like Reigns to succeed in the WWE, he’s going to have to take information from the legends of the industry, because it isn’t getting any easier. As Reigns continues to develop into a permanent top star on WWE Raw, the majority of WWE fans become less interested in him. During a feud in which Kevin Owens was the heel, Owens and Jericho were cheered much more than Reigns was.
Vince McMahon clearly wants Roman Reigns to be the next John Cena and take over those responsibilities he endured for over a decade. His booking going forward is also a cause for concern. For example, he didn’t win the WWE Universal championship against Owens.
Braun Strowman interrupted the match and helped KO retain his championship. On top of the tension with the Undertaker in the Royal Rumble match, Reigns has two directions right now. And while they don’t guarantee success for the WWE star, officials must pay attention to how Roman Reigns is booked this calendar year. Perhaps a heel run as WWE Universal champion could help him out.
[Featured Image by WWE]