Worst Case Scenarios for WWE Royal Rumble
This column is all about having a bit of fun with the nonsense WWE has presented before us. We’re playing Worst Case Scenarios! Booking the upcoming WWE PPVs as horrifically as possible! The wrong winners, wrong finishes, destroy momentum, set up the wrong stories or arcs. Did I hear you want #1 heel Jinder Mahal against Shane McMahon as your #1 babyface of SmackDown Live? Well I have you covered, the WrestleMania WWE Championship match of your dreams is set on the horizon!
Before we begin, a huge thank you to Steven Bell for playing this ‘prediction’ game with me for over 2 and half hours this past Thursday on Perfect 10 Wrestling on LOP Radio. It takes time to come up with such ‘genius’.
So, let’s play Worst Case Scenarios for WWE Royal Rumble! And let’s start with the big one, can you book it any worse?
First off, I’m not mental and we’ve got more than one match to get through here. So I won’t be booking the entirety of both Rumbles from #1 to #30, I’ve instead picked specific spots, moments and entry numbers integral to building the ‘perfect’ edition of the annual Royale. Let’s put together this jigsaw of hell shall we?
How to kick off the inaugural Women’s Rumble? A landmark moment in the American Wrestling world. With two of the best of course! Meet your Ironwomen ladies and gentlemen, Dana Brooke and Liv Morgan come on down! Is Dana Brooke technically face? Who cares, I’m going to use WWE’s play and book her as both. Interchanging constantly depending on convenience. As for Liv Morgan, she’s part of a stable trying to make a name for themselves, so let’s keep her well away from them. She’ll be fine without her mates, right?
A spot normally saved for a light moment of comedy, however this is Worst Case Scenarios, let’s use our powers for evil! Who’s trying to establish themselves… oh yeah, Ruby Riot! Off you pop Ruby, enjoy your 3 seconds of fame and the months of character rehabilitation to follow. Wait, maybe I could quickly eliminate more than one wrestler. Surely that would be even more damaging…
Hello, Sonya Deville! I mean, it’s just rude to only hurt SmackDown’s trio of trouble. We’re all about equality here on Lords of Pain. So Sonya Deville, you’re outta here! Leaving poor old Mandy Rose to fend for herself, maybe her and Liv Morgan can accidently eliminate each other. Build up a clash between the two stables, only to have Ruby & Sonya last 3 seconds and the two remaining stable ladies somehow fall over the top rope by accident. A big open armed welcome to the main roster, where NXT careers go to die.
On that note, don’t forget about those pesky NXT spots in this Rumble. Future stars such as Ember Moon, Nikki Kross, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, etc. Not one of them will last till to the next entrant’s music hits. The message we’re sending here is those NXT wrestlers are NOTHING until they’re contracted to the main roster. Like in WWE 2K18, they are literally significantly weaker in every way. The stats say it all! They do say the Rumble’s all about those numbers.
I mean, does Rousey really need her own section? Get in there with the rest of the surprises Ronda, you ain’t nothin’ special! It’s not like I’m going to use her anyway, fans would be too excited and we can’t be having that. So let’s just hype everyone up for something that never happens. Like Daniel Bryan wrestling, that story with Shane is pure genius from WWE. And that additional idea of the bookies thing? Magnificent. You have to be a special level of genius to be able to be so cruel.
However, how does one book a surprise that sucks. Surely that’s counterintuitive to the nature of said surprise? Well, what if that surprise was…. James Ellsworth disguised as a female wrestler! Jane Ellsworth! He can even eliminate someone! Hell, if we’re jumping in we’re bloody jumping as far down as possible. Why not have the commentators argue whether it’s James Ellsworth or not? They could also miss an elimination because they were concentrating on this bollocks instead!
Well, either that or Cherry. Aka, a wrestler who’s so memorable you should be awarded a prize for getting who they are right.
Stephanie McMahon! God I hope this one doesn’t happen. That’s right, the omnipresent Goddess of Women’s Wrestling is in the Rumble. The best part? Fans will probably be cheering for Rousey, all the big players will have entered at this point. Prepare to be massively disappointed! Big Boss Woman will enter with fury and cast her shadow over all!
Talking of casting shadows of disappointment, do you remember the ending of the 2015 Rumble? Big Show and Kane just dumping out a load of fan favourites like they were nothing, well let’s do that again! It was so damn good the first time. Stephanie hires Tamina and the conveniently now heel Dana Brooke to do her bidding and protect her to the end. How could she possibly lose?
So, right at the end the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Asuka and Nia Jax are all still in the match. When Stephanie McMahon enters as the ‘surprise’ #30 entrant, hires Tamina & Dana and they go Kane & Big Show over everybody. Eliminating all your favourites in quick fashion, dumping them over that top rope as if they’re nothing. Rapid succession, one after the other, as if they were jobbers.
Except for one… Naomi! We need one happy face for this ending and everyone else is too over. So the final 4 are: Stephanie McMahon, Tamina, Dana Brooke and Naomi. And with the mild support of the semi-disinterested crowd, Naomi eliminates Steph’s henchwomen! Only to get tipped over herself! Stephanie McMahon wins the Rumble and will go on to WrestleMania to face the RAW Women’s Champion! Who could possibly be excited for that?
In reality WWE put in all the hard work back in 2015, a template of sheer perfection.
RESULT: Stephanie McMahon enters at #30, wins the 1st ever Women’s Rumble and goes on to defeat all of the women on her road to glory at ‘Mania.
Well, that Women’s Rumble is going to be tough to follow. But if Cien and Gargano could top Black vs Cole, then I can steal the show all over again too! Obviously by ‘steal’ I mean ‘ruin beyond belief’, we all measure success in different ways.
The best way to start a rumble is with two guys who have been with the company long enough for us to realise they’ll never really be truly over. So Titus O’Neil and Bo Dallas it is! Gotta start this thing as low key as possible, because I have a plan for the third entrant that will surely blow the roof of the Philadelphian joint.
After two minutes of bear hugs and slow back punches, off goes the first buzzer for… Roman Reigns! He immediately destroys and throws out both Titus and Bo and does Big Dog things for the next four or five entrants. Roman rules the Rumble! I almost nearly didn’t book that, the reaction from the Philly crowd would be just too damn good. But I’ve got an idea for this.
Right, so after the yard owner goes all Ironman for the greater part of the match, Shinsuke Nakamura enters at #20 and immediately eliminates him! Surely the Japanese megastar has guaranteed his title match at WrestleMania eliminating the other top favourite, right? Nope! We get to the coveted #27 spot and… it’s Roman Reigns! He’s pulled a 1998 Mick Foley, but he’s the exact same guy! He slides into the ring, ducks under a clothesline from Nakamura, rebounds off the ropes for a Spear… but Shinsuke uses his momentum to throw the Big Dog over the top rope!
3… 2… 1… Bzzz… #28 is… Roman Reigns again! He’s got to be the greatest Royal Rumble competitor of all time, such resilience. Only for #29 to be Seth ‘Freaking’ Rollins, who gets immediately clotheslined over by Reigns! The next night on RAW they’re best pals as if nothing happened, gotta have Roman liked and strong for ‘Mania brother.
“Here comes the moneey.” And no one else. No big names WWE recently got in touch with due to RAW 25, no injury recoveries and no debuts. Hell, why not even remove the NXT spot? Who needs such a spotlight anyway? Pfff, it’s not like we want to give any of those guys a boost to help get them over. Who needs new promising faces when you have Shane O’Mac, baby!
If Survivor Series taught is anything, it’ that Shane McMahon is the true #1 babyface of SmackDown Live. He outlasted everyone and did it whilst taking one hell of a beating dammit! So let’s continue that narrative and after her enters at #26, give him no less than 7 eliminations. He is one half of our ‘Mania main event after all.
The one spot we’ve come to love every year come Royal Rumble time, when Kofi Kingston comes up with some incredible showcase of athleticism. But what if you could make this spot suck? So this year, Kofi goes to skin the cat, screws up, both his feet full on touch the floor for a good 3 seconds and everyone pretends it never happened. Trust me, those 3 seconds will feel like an eternity.
And that’s it! You’ll never know if it was meant to lead to something more, or if he was meant to do the same lift back into the ring that half the roster does every Rumble nowadays. The best way to hype the Kofi spot for the years to come? Make him look as unathletic as possible, could even dye parts of his hair grey and start telling people he’s getting old. Good luck staying over now Old Kofi!
He could probably even get that crap over, the talented git.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the modern day Maharaja, Jinder Mahaaaal!” Who wants their #30 entrant to get a pop anyway? Everyone’s favourite wrestler gets the most prestigious spot of them all. To be fair, it was either him or Roman again, but he’s already a perfect joke of three dammit!
Don’t forget that by the time Jinder enters, Shane has eliminated half the field, Reigns has been eliminated and come back twice and Shinsuke is still hanging about. We have Nakamura because we need someone who’s somewhat over to truly disappoint the crowd at the end. So Jinder immediately enters into the final four and we have our genius of an ending!
After a bit of a tussle, Nakamura eliminates Reigns AGAIN! Shane and Jinder fight, Jinder his crappy finisher on Shane and the Maharaja locks eyes with Shinsuke. The lack of passion from the crowd for the feud of the Summer kind of moistens the arena, when a countdown starts and we have ourselves a surprise #31 entrant… it’s Roman Reigns! He’s broken Foley’s record for the most times entered in one Royal Rumble match and he’s truly the annual battle royal’s greatest superstar ever.
Big Doggy Woof Woof eliminates Nakamura with a Super-Duper-Wooper Punch, but it’s so strong that he goes half over the top rope via his momentum. Jinder’s muscles snap into action, he tips Reigns over and wins the Rumble! To a thunderous, “For God’s sake,” Jinder celebrates in the ring with the non-injured Singh brother and does the whole pointing at the ‘Mania sign shtick.
I’m sure Philly would love that. Even better, both entrants win at #30 so we’ve got some realism sprinkled in there. WAIT! There’s still Shane McMahon! As Jinder points at the sign above the crowd O’Mac pushes him off the turnbuckle and down the ground. McMahon wins!
RESULT: Shane McMahon is now the modern day Maharain Event of WrestleMania! Versus the man who wins back the championship in triumphant fashion at Fast Lane, Jinder Mahal.
And that’s it!
If anything I booked here actually happens… I’ve been scarily accurate the past couple of PPVs, I really shouldn’t be. In reality, I’m actually really excited for the Rumble tonight. Going in the show looks to be an historic edition for all the right reasons, to kick off the Road to WrestleMania in the most enthralling of fashions. As long as they don’t book the McMahon double…
Just remember, things could be worse. Much, much worse.