WWE’s annual Royal Rumble PPV took place in Philadelphia last night, with the show receiving an overwhelmingly negative response from viewers.
The event, which sees the winner of its 30-man Royal Rumble match going on to fight for a title of their choosing at WrestleMania, could have been something special following a fantastic World Heavyweight Championship triple threat between Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Seth Rollins, which stands to be an early match of the year contender.
All that WWE needed to do was give the fans what they wanted in the Rumble itself. A victory for the returning Daniel Bryan would have set up a David vs. Goliath match at WrestleMania, with the perennial underdog pitted against the beast, Brock Lesnar. There was even talk that The Rock, who was in Philadelphia, could make a surprise appearance in the Rumble match and potentially win it, setting up for Rock vs. Brock rematch of SummerSlam 2002’s main event on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Unfortunately, WWE and Vince McMahon saw to it that Bryan didn’t even make it to the final four, with him being eliminated incredibly early in the match in an underwhelming fashion. The predicted appearance from The Rock also didn’t happen, with the final remaining Superstars consisting of Dean Ambrose, Big Show, Kane, Rusev (who had been thrown through the middle rope to ringside) and Roman Reigns, who at this point everyone had realized would be the winner, with the Philly crowd erupting in a chorus of boos.
WWE Network subscribers have revolted following an awful Royal Rumble match.
With many being of the opinion that Roman Reigns isn’t yet ready for the monster push the WWE has planned for him, due to his sub-pair mic work and lack of drastic improvement in his in-ring abilities, his victory in the Royal Rumble and upcoming main event slot at WrestleMania has been viewed as a major disappointment, leading many to cancel their subscription to the WWE Network in order to voice their disapproval. Even the appearance of The Rock following Reigns’ victory, which saw the legendary Attitude Era star giving the rub to his Samoan cousin, wasn’t enough to stifle the boos.
As the WWE hoped the Royal Rumble, its second largest PPV of of the year, would increase Network subscribers, that so many have taken it upon themselves to cancel their membership will no doubt cause Vince McMahon & co. to worry. In the hours following the Royal Rumble, so many sought to cancel their subscription that the cancellation page crashed, with #CancelWWENetwork trending on Twitter. #RoyalRumblein5Words also began trending, with the WWE even promoting it through their official Twitter account despite the vast majority of the tweets being negative about the event, including “I want my money back,” “WWE is out of touch” and “I’d rather sit through Mortdecai.”
At the time of this writing the WWE Network cancellation page is back up, though it’s unclear how much of an impact the Royal Rumble has had on the service’s subscriber numbers. We’ll have to wait until tonight’s episode of RAW to see how the WWE reacts to the show’s hugely negative response.
Photo Credit: WWE