The Royal Rumble comes along only once a year, and is considered the best event by many WWE fans. The event begins the Road to Wrestlemania and features the 30-man Royal Rumble match. This match is exciting, mostly because the fans do not know who will be the next individual to enter the fray. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope, and both feet land on the floor. However, the result and the booking of this year’s event in Philadelphia left some fans dissatisfied.

Surprises create a lot of suspense in the Rumble match, and this year was no exception. There were appearances by former stars Bubba Ray Dudley, the very freaky Boogeyman and Diamond Dallas Page, which got the crowd excited. The number 10 entrant was the extremely popular Daniel Bryan. But fans turned on the match once Bryan was thrown out by Bray Wyatt, who lasted a little over 40 minutes and eliminated wrestlers very quickly. It got to the point where the fans were booing everyone once Bryan was eliminated. To me, it was unfair to the wrestlers because they were just trying to do their jobs. But, it got worse when the 19th wrestler entered the Rumble.

Roman Reigns entered the battle to a chorus of boos from the Philly crowd. The crowd anticipated a win, based on how the WWE built him up in 2014. It came down to Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, The Big Show, Kane and Rusev (who was hiding under the ring). When Ambrose was eliminated, the crowd voiced their disapproval. Reigns then displayed his power by eliminating both the Big Show and Kane. They then re-entered the ring to attack Reigns. As the relentless attack was taking place, familiar music blared over the P.A. system and brought the fans to their feet. Their voices, screams and yells electrified the arena. It was The Rock! His surprise appearance thrilled the audience. He helped Roman out with the Big Show and Kane. As Reigns was standing alone in the ring, Rusev snuck back in and tried to eliminate him. The crowd was even cheering on the big Russian, despite the fact he was a heel. Reigns then eliminated his final opponent to officially win the Rumble match. The crowd was not pleased. Even the Rock’s surprise appearance could not sway the audience to favor Roman Reigns.

Personally, I am happy that Reigns won, even though it was predictable. He gets his shot to main event Wrestlemania against Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. However, the WWE wants the fans to cheer Reigns and boo Lesnar. I know that wrestling fans have a mind of their own and they may very well boo Reigns. Another thing to think about, if the company knew their plan of eliminating Daniel Bryan from the Rumble was going to cause this much backlash from fans, they could have planned it so Bryan would have been eliminated much later, like possibly be one of the last six wrestlers in the ring. Then, the fans might have been able to get behind Reigns a bit more than they did.

Fans are still furious with the choice the WWE made, but I want to ask this: If you were a wrestler and Vince McMahon, Triple H or any official in the WWE tells you that they feel you have the ability to go far in the company and want to push you to that level, would you tell them no?

When others show their belief in your abilities, you are motivated to do more and try to improve yourself. So, why not give Roman Reigns a chance to prove himself – he might eventually surprise you.

Azeem Kayum

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