The last 40-man Royal Rumble took place in 2011 and received an 8.5/10 from most critics. WWE brought out the big guns with that event, as Diesel and Booker T highlighted the surprise guests in that Royal Rumble match. Since then and in previous years, the WWE always had 30 men in the match.
Most WWE fans solely look forward to the Royal Rumble every year. It’s arguably the most-exciting match of the year, just because of the spontaneity and unpredictable nature of the event. As a WWE fan, any WWE superstar can come out as No. 30 or No. 1 each year. For the most part, the No. 30 spot always brings with it the most anticipation. As for last year, the WWE failed to produce as Rey Mysterio came out, instead of the crowd favorite, Daniel Bryan.
Having a 30-man Rumble match doesn’t give the WWE a luxury with 10 extra picks like a 40-man match. However, using a 40-man match has the potential to make it become stale. Especially since it’s the greatest gimmick match in the WWE, the fear of the Rumble match becoming stale is truly a nightmare. In 2015, it was originally reported that the Royal Rumble would include 40 men. Those have now changed and according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, will revert back to the 30-man tradition.
“As reported several weeks ago, WWE originally had plans to make next year’s Royal Rumble elimination match a 40-man bout, but it was later confirmed that it will be a traditional 30-man match.
“As it turns out, WWE originally planned on capitalizing on the fact that the Royal Rumble is being held in Philadelphia next year by using a bunch of ‘ECW Originals’ in the match to get the number of competitors up to 40. The idea was later nixed and WWE executives decided to go with the regular 30-man match.”
This obviously means that there won’t be ex-ECW wrestlers in the Royal Rumble match this year. Well, the WWE might add a few throughout the match, but it won’t be the ECW reunion that the WWE Universe initially hoped for. If Tommy Dreamer isn’t there, then there will be a riot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A few names will be returning for the big event. Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns will definitely be there. Reigns is the frontrunner to win the Rumble match, so his return will hype the crowd. In the end, this year’s Rumble should overshadow the disappointment of last year’s Rumble.
Oddly enough, it will take place in the same state (Pittsburgh in January) as the last one. Here’s one key difference: Philadelphia is a bigger pro wrestling town. Any mistake the WWE wrongly executes, the crowd will let them know. Subtracting 10 more men will eliminate the ECW faithful. Let’s hope they know that going in.
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