The Royal Rumble PPV put on by WWE was one that many did not care for. Critically, the show was liked up until the Rumble match. WWE's World Title match was considered one of the best matches in some time for the main roster, which was cool to see from WWE. However, the Rumble match simply went the wrong way fast and the city of Philadelphia was miffed half way through the match.
Once Daniel Bryan was eliminated from the Rumble, everyone was ticked and expressed it by booing up a storm and cheering Bryan's name. Once the eventual winner Roman Reigns came out, a sea of boos followed him. The match began to get serious hate when Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, and Dolph Ziggler were all eliminated in controversial fashion. However, the entire match once Bryan was eliminated simply lost a lot of energy.
Once Reigns threw Big Show and Kane over as well as Rusev, at home you could hear boos more than anything else. WWE didn't hide from the negative reaction to the win on WWE RAW the next night. Despite being snowed in, WWE still had a show that was worthy of watching. Roman spoke of the boos and answered as best he could, saying that the fans have a right to boo or cheer. They bought a ticket, so they can do what they want.
Clearly, Reigns was not happy about the boos when he won the biggest match of his career. If he were a heel, maybe it would be okay. As a face however? It wasn't.
That being said, WWE thinks that they made the right decision. WWE Network subscribers went over 1 million for the first time, which was a huge deal. WWE Network is now available in several countries including the hotbed of the United Kingdom. WWE considers Roman Reigns a major reason why they reached this number and feel that the decision was correct.
According to Cagesideseats, WWE simply blames the negative reaction to the show on the crowd, which is the major reason the Rumble received major national and international coverage. To many fans, this would seem somewhat delusional by WWE. From the mass media coverage talking about the hatred fans have to what fans have claimed themselves....how does WWE look away from that and blame the crowd?
The big problem is The Royal Rumble event is what caused subscribers to go up. Many of WWE's new additions happened before the Rumble even began. So Reigns had nothing to do with the improved figure. WWE did lose people when the event was over.
The #CancelWWENetwork trend was a big worry for them, but numbers looked okay for them. More people subscribed to get the Rumble than canceled after it was over. A rumored 200,000 did cancel, but this is uncertain figure as of now. So WWE Network was not improved by Reigns winning the Rumble as much as WWE might think.
The real issue WWE faces is that, since they blame Philly, they will think that a crowd will react differently in another city. However, if every city reacts the same way Philly did, then WWE will have to consider if they were right or not. WWE will be live in Hartford, Connecticut on Thursday. There we will know if the crowd will react the same.
WWE will leave the Northeast and end up in Denver for WWE RAW next week. If WWE sees negative reactions in two opposite areas of the country, one would have to wonder if Philly or the Northeast is the issue.
What is interesting is that the city of Philadelphia is a smart sports crowd. They know the products that come in and they do not take to stupidity well. They threw snowballs as Santa Claus for crying out loud. That said, if this city reacted so badly, does WWE consider a smart crowd as the lesser than over crowds who do not know as much? WWE always gets hotter crowds in certain cities. When they head into WrestleMania, they do not want to get boos in the main event match.
Blaming Philly may be a bit much if every city seems to give WWE trouble when it comes to their potential main event. WWE tried to sell us majorly on this match on WWE RAW, and Paul Heyman cut an amazing promo. However, all of this happened without a live crowd reacting to it. At the Rumble, they had this. So it will be interesting to see how WWE fans respond during live tapings soon.
Will WWE change things if they do not get the reaction they hope for? We'll have to wait and find out, but it's not like they haven't before. Ask Daniel Bryan.
[IMG Credits: WWE.com, Fansided]