With the Royal Rumble just a few weeks away, experts are releasing their predictions on who will take home the win on the first big wrestling night of the new year.
John Cena, perhaps predictably, is favored to win over his opponent, Roman Reigns, but according to Forbes, giving Cena that “predictable” win isn’t going to be good for the brand.
Writing for the venerated outlet, Blake Oestriecher says that the WWE has had “predictable” winners of the Royal Rumble for quite some time, thus making the pay-per-view event a less-than-desirable one for the brand. What’s more, he said that there hasn’t been a career-defining match at the Royal Rumble since 2012, when Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus were in the mix, thus giving hope to fans that the Rumble would be a breeding ground, not just for established talent, but for rising superstars, to make a name for themselves.
Unfortunately, that didn’t prove to be so in the long run.
Now, with either Roman Reigns or John Cena poised to win the Royal Rumble, Oestriecher says that the brand is slipping back into its old habits that will ultimately prove detrimental, citing the negative response that Reigns received the first time he won the Rumble in 2015 — at, incidentally, the same place where the 2018 Rumble will be taking place. Fans will recall that the response Reigns received was so negative that the beloved Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who brought Reigns out, was literally booed out of the building.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) November 21, 2017
“WWE could very well replicate history with another Reigns win, which would erase all the hard work the creative team has put in to quelling some of the boo birds for Reigns,” he said. “WWE put The Shield back together a few months ago was to get Reigns cheered, and it worked wonderfully, with the boos clearly quieting for Reigns while The Shield seemingly became the No. 2 merchandise sellers on WWEShop.com.”
Finally, Oestriecher says that WWE fans have a habit of “spoiling” matches when they know that one or more of the competitors is on his way out, and since they already know that Cena is retiring, having Roman Reigns win the match will prove to be even worse, since it’s — for lack of a better term — “predictable.”
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) October 17, 2017
However, if Cena’s retirement from the ring proves to be true — and his days at the WWE are, in fact, numbered — then the WWE will have no other choice but to grant Roman Reigns the win at the Royal Rumble.