10 Expectations Vs. Reality For WWE Royal Rumble 2020

Look in my eyes: what do you see?


What did you expect to happen at the Royal Rumble in its recent, divisive history?

You expected Daniel Bryan to win the titular match in 2015 because he was super-over as a main event-level babyface, and his return from injury ignited the fanbase and contrived to make him even more sympathetic. That he returned in January, just 10 days ahead of the Rumble - the site of the previous year's disaster and resulting butterfly effect - was too poetic.

The timing alone doubled as the build towards Bryan Vs. Brock Lesnar, but the reality manifested as Roman Reigns, the least popular top babyface ever, winning the match. Bryan was eliminated in an anticlimactic spot by Bray Wyatt. Wyatt went on to wrestle the Undertaker at WrestleMania 31. The infamous spot never even amounted to anything. This was WWE at the height of its comedy evil empire perception, and they didn't even know how to properly monetise your torment. For how long Bryan was in the match, he might as well have been Evan Bourne: an actual "good hand".

What's astonishing is that WWE didn't even think to re-debut Bryan after the Rumble to avoid the toxic reaction Roman received. They just thought Roman is better-looking, so you'd probably cheer him.

Lads, it's WWE.

Your favourite Paul Heyman Guy probably isn't going to eliminate Brock Lesnar...


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!