There's no denying that the Royal Rumble is one of the WWE's most eagerly anticipated annual events, surely behind only WrestleMania. Even when it doesn't always work it's usually fleetingly entertaining, though this year's show worked its hardest to prove otherwise.
Between the largely mediocre undercard and crushing disappointment of both Rumble matches, this was four-plus hours of white noise seemingly designed to leave fans feeling frustrated.
Remember when Royal Rumble events had fun backstage segments building up the Rumble, actual storylines threaded through the match, genuinely fun surprise entrants, and creative spots?
Both Rumbles this year suggest that WWE has reached critical creative bankruptcy and just doesn't even care that much about one of its own flagship shows.
They enacted their worst and most predictable creative instincts throughout the event, from the groan-inducingly lazy finishes to the cynical victors of both Rumble matches themselves.
When the event designed to set the stage for WrestleMania barely rises above being watchable - and was often far below that - then you know something's gone terribly wrong.
The Royal Rumble can be many things, but it should never be this boring...
6. Men's Royal Rumble
Result: Brock throws Drew over the top to win the Rumble (51:10).
Rating: It's often said that Royal Rumble matches are like pizza - even when they're not very good, they still deliver the basics. This match aggressively debunked that maxim by serving up arguably one of the worst, most tedious Rumble matches in history.
Where to even begin? For starters, numerous prominent talents like AJ Styles, Big E, Nakamura, and Ricochet ended up doing surprisingly little before getting unceremoniously eliminated.
Beyond that, the gimmicky entrants weren't much fun outside of Johnny Knoxville and Bad Bunny, and fans were simply bracing for Brock to arrive and clean house, which he did.
Kofi botching his annual ringside scramble was just sad to see, and Shane McMahon's cameo wasn't quite the roof-raising moment Vince clearly thought it would be.
Where is the storytelling and excitement? It felt like this Rumble was mapped out 15 minutes before it started and the talent just improvised the bulk of it on-the-fly.
Even a basically enjoyable Rumble match has fun extras no matter whether the winner is satisfying or not, but this was about as low-effort as they come, complete with a winner who absolutely didn't need the win. 4/10