Ever wondered what would have happened if the Royal Rumble was booked differently? Well our writers have had a try at Rebooking the Royal Rumble. Join us all this week as we pick a different Royal Rumble each day and try and work out what would have happened if things had taken a different direction.
When the WWE announced that Royal Rumble 2011 would be a groundbreaking event, I was most excited. My favourite of the gimmick PPV’s was about to change its main event from having 30 entrants to 40. It was quite the potential buy rate booster. And yet when it came to fruition it led to little more than a run out for a further 10 nobodies from the locker room on a show that failed to deliver, particularly in its main event.
If I was to turn back the clock, go counter to all the rules of space time and assume the role of Vince McMahon in the pre-Rumble booking meeting via some form of osmosis, I would certainly have done things differently.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. But I don’t want to rebook the whole show, I don’t want to even change the winner. I merely want to change the course of events that led to the finish. Admittedly, I’d be calling in a few favours from a few ex-pros and, yes, I’d be asking people to be fit and healthy who, at the time, were probably unavailable but then that is the licence that I have at my artistic disposal in this fantasy booking activity.
The Rumble originally when down like this: drawing number one was CM Punk. Then they played The Corre’s music and they all hit the ring. The new Nexus then hit the ring and we had a huge brawl. 1) What a stupid start. 2) Nobody cared at all. This was Boston and the crowd was hot. The GM (who at this stage, remember folks, was a laptop) dinged. Michael Cole then announced that the GM ordered everyone to stop. It was ruled that Punk was the only man allowed in the ring and everyone else needed to leave, and failing to comply would result in a DQ from the match. So why did they play Corre’s music then? Who was supposed to be number two? The intense TD Garden crowd chanted, “CM Punk!” Out next was Daniel Bryan. They worked really well together and the fans did the duelling chants.
Firstly, I would never have started like this. I’d have booked Punk to start out with Bryan, fine, but I wouldn’t have done this silly Corre and Nexus stare down which, let’s be honest, never went anywhere. What I would have done was use this event to reveal who the GM really was.
No, I wouldn’t have made it Hornswoggle. And, no, Hornswoggle wouldn’t have been one of my 40 Superstars (if you can call him that) to enter the Rumble. My GM would have been Triple H. At least that’s what people would assume. The GM would announce that he was entering himself into the rumble and then Triple H would appear. In reality, it would have been Steph but this would be to come on Raw in future weeks.
I would have had him enter at 39 only to be eliminated by The Undertaker who enters at 40 for the win. They would blow off any championship hopes at the Elimination Chamber so that the Undertaker match could take place as planned at Mania. The beauty of this would mean that: the GM would be somebody; the angle could have been buried there and then and Triple H would have a reason to return to face Taker at WrestleMania. Believe it or not, the plan as of the Rumble weekend was for The Undertaker to face Wade Barrett at WrestleMania. Nuts.
Earlier in the evening, I would have had Miz lose the WWE title to Randy Orton. When Cena and Punk met in the ring, it would have become apparent that their meeting was to be a big programme from now on and when the ring was cleared, the two would eyeball each other and stare at the WrestleMania sign. Punk was so pissed when they went with Miz at Mania in 2011 and rightly so. The company’s best heel for versus the company’s biggest babyface ought to be the main event, right? Cena would go on to eliminate Punk, win the title from Orton at the Chamber and Cena and Punk would headline Mania. Orton, meanwhile, would go on to have a blow off feud with Miz who had cashed in on Orton in the first place to win the title.
And so to those 10 nobodies who failed to light up the Rumble match that night in Boston. Yoshi Tatsu, JTG, Michael McGillicutty, Chris Masters, Tyler Reks, Hornswoggle, Ezekiel Jackson, Jack Swagger, Chavo, Vladimir Kozlov. And boy were there others who I would consider to be in the same category but they were at least involved in storylines at this point so it made sense for them to enter. I would have replaced them with: Cody Rhodes (who was oddly absent here), Dolph Ziggler (who had lost earlier to Edge), Jericho (because he’s tremendous and know how to work a Rumble), Triple H, Undertaker, Road Warrior Animal, Jim Duggan (who would both be Hall of Fame entrants that year), as well as The Usos and Rikishi for a nice family pop.
Swapping Miz for Punk at Mania makes way more sense and would have, arguably, done better business. I do feel that what I’ve put in place here would have made more sense out of what became a rather confused and jobber-heavy event. Having Undertaker and Triple H in there, whilst revealing the identity of the GM, would have sold a few replays and would have made sense going into WrestleMania. 2011 lacked star-power; I’d say this would have been a far better way to do things given the limited resources.
James Cox | @wweukblog
That’s a wrap on our Royal Rumble Rebooked series. Join us again on Sunday as we give our predictions for the big event.