The 2021 Royal Rumble has come and gone, producing two memorable Rumble bouts in spite of the restrictions that have befallen WWE and the sporting world in the past year.
Whilst the triumphant victory of Bianca Belair in the 30 women battle royal is almost universally well-received, some fans have questioned the decision to give Edge the win in the men’s match.
The 47-year-old became a two-time Rumble winner by entering at number one, lasting over an hour and eliminating old nemesis Randy Orton to book his ticket to WrestleMania.
But could someone else have benefited from winning the 34th Royal Rumble match? Let’s have a look at five alternatives.
On the surface, this is a true outsider’s choice if there ever was one. However, peel back the layers and this suggestion has some credence.
A Rumble win could have been a strong culmination to Jey’s singles push, adding a new dynamic to the family power struggle story. A mainstay storyline on SmackDown throughout October.
Imagine the cruel, sadistic, power-hungry Reigns trying to force his cousin to fall in line and challenge Drew McIntyre. Only for the resurgent Uso to disrupt the family hierarchy and step up to his cousin one more time.
The luxury of having two recognised world titles is that the concept of the main event can be shared. There is no greater example than this year’s WrestleMania which, like last year, will be held over two nights.
Assuming both Universal and WWE championships will headline respective shows, is it inappropriate to propose Jey Uso vs Roman Reigns again? Ultimately Jey remained injured prior to the Rumble and did not appear but still, it would’ve been cool, no?
The founder of the ‘Yes Movement’ has had a pretty torrid Royal Rumble career. There was the 2014 Rumble in which, despite the raucous crowd chanting for him throughout the match.
Bryan did not appear – turning number 30 entrant Rey Mysterio heel because he wasn’t the bearded star.
The following year, Bryan entered at number 10 and lasted a monumental 10 minutes before being unceremoniously dumped out – resulting in the even more raucous crowd turning on the match halfway through and crucifying eventual winner Roman Reigns.
With the former world champion approaching the twilight of his career, a long-awaited Rumble win would have added one more chapter to his stellar career. The possibility of a program with the evil Reigns would whet the appetite of even the most casual of fans.
I guess we’ve seen Bryan vs The Authority and a feud with Reigns may have played out similarly to that.
However, if the result was to see a valiant Bryan lose to Reigns, that could really be a perfect way for the now father of two to call it a day on his improbable career.
Okay, just hear me out on this one – I know Brock isn’t signed with WWE anymore and most were sick to death of him by WrestleMania 36. But let’s not forget his incredible performance in the 2020 Rumble.
There is a ready-made story with Drew McIntyre. The reigning WWE Champion eliminated him from the aforementioned Rumble and then slew him at WrestleMania 36.
Imagine the scenes if Lesnar had entered this year’s match at number 30 and laid waste to everyone in the ring, including favorites Edge, Christian, and Bryan.
I realize most fans would turn on this idea quicker than Santino Marella was eliminated in 2009, but I can think of worse outcomes.
A hard-hitting, 15-minute slugfest at WrestleMania 37 between Drew and Brock would be far smarter, than the 4-minute spotfest we received last year.
A match in which the only moves we were treated to were German suplexes, F5’s and Claymores.
The Celtic Warrior is a weird one, he is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in WWE history, boasting multiple World Heavyweight, United States, and Tag Team Championship reigns.
As well as being a King of the Ring Winner, Mr Money in the Bank and Rumble winner, Sheamus has never truly felt like a main event guy – but why?
He’s suffered from Big Show like booking in that his heel and face turns are numerous and exhaustive. Couple this with the fact that he and Cesaro literally lost to a 10-year-old child at WrestleMania 34. All in all, I diagnose inconsistency.
Recently, however, Sheamus has been closely associated with fellow kilt wearer Drew McIntyre. The story is there. Long time mates putting friendship aside to do battle over the most coveted prize in sports entertainment.
Sheamus as the entitled heel who feels outshined by his best friend. Unappreciated by fans could have made for a worthy WrestleMania opponent for McIntyre.
At the very least they’d put on a stiff, brutal contest – giving Sheamus the WrestleMania match he deserves.
After the Rumble, Sheamus turned on McIntyre and has challenged him for the WWE Championship. So, whilst we will see this match soon it will likely take place at Elimination Chamber, essentially removing the possibility of a WrestleMania showdown.
It seems as though Vince and his chums have high hopes for Big E.
He was smartly removed from the confines of the New Day. WWE Creative has placed him in a prominent role on Friday nights.
With the Intercontinental Championship around his waist anything seems possible!
Formerly surnamed Langston has been able to showcase his singles ability recently having dethroned Sami Zayn on Christmas Day.
His skills have never been in question, it was always a question of when. Could the Royal Rumble have been the golden opportunity to strap the proverbial rocket onto Big E’s huge back?
He was certainly a favourite with the bookies before the Rumble, with many fans also theorising a match between E and Reigns.
The Power of Positivity vs the Tribal Chief?
Perhaps it’s too much too soon, however like my Jey Uso hypothesis, does anything say “you’re the guy” more than winning the Royal Rumble?
I’m not sure that winning the IC title is enough to show intent to push someone, anyone remember Ezekiel Jackson?
Fans of the Intercontinental champ will have to settle for a lengthy run with the title heading into WrestleMania 37. Where we may get to see what would be Big E’s first singles match at the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’.
So, there we have it. Five individuals who certainly wouldn’t have breached the realms of reality by winning the 2021 Royal Rumble.
On The Edge?
The questions we pose now are what stops will Edge face on his road to WrestleMania? Will he wrestle between now and then? And most importantly, WHO will he challenge for the World title crown that he never lost?
Craig certainly thinks he knows who he will choose to face at WrestleMania, click here for his take.
You think you know him?