Roman Reigns didn’t just lose his WWE Title on Sunday night at the Royal Rumble, he lost a lot more than that. Reigns wasn’t booked in a way that instills much confidence in him going forward. Of course, it’s WWE, so they could just pretend its audience of a few million people forget Sunday’s happenings before they push him back to the top of the card for WrestleMania 32, which seems likely still at this point.
Reigns entered the match at the No. 1 spot, and then in the middle of the match he was attacked and taken to the back on a stretcher, thanks to the League of Nations. Meanwhile, Chris Jericho stayed in the ring for about 49 minutes.
Reigns later came back, and still lost the match when Triple H eliminated him at No. 29, guaranteeing a final between Triple H and Dean Ambrose.
Triple H won the title, by the way.
But back to Reigns.
Think about this for a second. Roman Reigns was attacked, sure, but he looked more than fine when he sprinted back to the ring. Also, Reigns had about 30 minutes — at least — of rest, and still got eliminated so shortly after re-joining the match. It didn’t make Reigns look smart or strong enough to be considered a real top star.
The whole situation made Reigns look incredibly weak, I thought. There’s not much sympathy there, at least the way I interpreted it watching it. It made him look very weak.
AJ Styles Makes WWE Debut
AJ Styles looked terrific in his WWE debut, coming into the Royal Rumble match at No. 3. That’s a tough spot to put Styles in. Yes it’s Florida, and he’s over, but the WWE crowd had never seen Styles. A smart portion of the audience — like you if you’re reading stuff like this — obviously knew AJ, but I hope they don’t drop the ball with him.
He’s not a Vince McMahon creation, and those non-Vince creations don’t tend to fare well. in WWE.
Not only is he not a Vince McMahon creation, but they are allowing him to use his own name and other trademarks, which he’ll retain after leaving WWE. That’s not a typical WWE deal. He skipped NXT, again, that’s not typical.
So basically, Styles needs to be perfect in this run with WWE. At least until WrestleMania,I can assure you that he’ll be under the microscope of management and even other talent, who some I’m sure are jealous of the deal he got.
Now through April will tell you a lot about how Styles’ WWE run will go.
Another “Ego” Play By Triple H?
Perhaps the funniest takeaway I saw on social media following the main event was that this was another “ego-driven” play by Triple H to win the WWE World Title.
Look, I get where that’s the perception. He’s basically the boss and he booked himself to win the World Title.
However, let’s be a little more analytical.
Yes, Triple H won the World Hvt. Title. But he did so, only to — I’m assuming — lose it at WrestleMania 32, the biggest night of the year in WWE when the most eyeballs will be on the products. It’s WrestleMania,so it’s a good bet that he loses the title clean as well.
What an ego! He wants to lose clean in front of millions of people in an attempt to get over — again, I’m assuming — Roman Reigns.
Sarcasm aside. This is just what WWE does. Like it or not, the McMahons, and Triple H is included in that, are the biggest heels in the company. They’re booking Reigns against them in an attempt to get Reigns over. Not themselves.
What a Night For Dean
It was a banner night for Dean Ambrose, who not only defended the Intercontinental Title in an electric Last Man Standing Match against Kevin Owens, but then was the last man standing in the Royal Rumble match against Triple H.
Ambrose’s night reminded me a lot of how WWE used to book Shawn Michaels. Ambrose works in a very HBK way, as well. He has a similar body style and while he isn’t the technician that Michaels was, his matches tend to take on a similar excitement level.
The way Ambrose bumps reminds me a lot of Michaels as well. Both take their licks with such sympathy. He’s the perfect babyface the way he works.
It will be interesting to see where they go with Dean from here. He had a big night, despite taking the last loss in the Rumble match. I thought his stock rose considerably on this night.
1. Dean Ambrose beat Kevin Owens to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title.
2. The New Day beat The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles
3. Kalisto beat Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE U.S. Title
4. Charlotte beat Becky Lynch to retain the WWE Divas Title
5. Triple H won the Royal Rumble to win the WWE World Hvt. Title