WWE fans cannot catch a break. Every time they rejoice, thinking the company has turned the corner and are back on the right track, they have the rug pulled right out from under them once again. With the crowd packing the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, cheering so intensely for stars like Dean Ambrose, the debuting A.J. Styles, Kevin Owens, Neville, Sami Zayn, Brock Lesnar and others , you would think the WWE would receive this blatantly obvious message and strongly push these superstars and others in a big way.

Regrettably, it seems the WWE is astoundingly content on doing the complete opposite, going out of their way to frustrate fans and keep their product in a continued state of uninspired monotony, except for a few bright spots every so often.

Having Triple H and The Authority win the World Title and presumably headline WWE TV for the next few months and WrestleMania itself when they could have taken the opportunity at the Royal Rumble to do something original, thrilling fans once again and injecting some much needed excitement back into their product is one in a long line of missed opportunities for the WWE.

Although this year’s Rumble had its moments here and there, it was just another shining example of how the WWE bookers are as chaotic and confused as a Tupperware cupboard, baffling fans who thought the Rumble regulations were pretty clear and consistent the past 28 years.

One of the WWE’s own rules was if you didn’t enter the ring before the buzzer sounded for next competitor, you were eliminated. The thinking behind this being if there was no time limit, entrants could just take a seat at ringside and not join the Rumble until there was only one person left. Makes sense, right? Apparently not to these bookers who let The Miz hang out with the commentators as long as he wanted before deciding it was “the right time to enter”.

A.J. Style debuts in the WWE. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.

Gimme a Steve Austin…WHAT?!?

Previously, managers, valets and bodyguards were all banned from ringside. In the 2016 Rumble, Lana had to split but the rest of New Day were allowed to stay and eventually assist Kofi Kingston, as you just knew they would. Makes sense, right?

Gimme a Steve Austin…WHAT?!?

It used to be once you were eliminated, you had to head back to the locker room immediately, well almost immediately. Just ask Sid Vicious when he was Sid Justice. Not this year, it seems as all of the booted Wyatt Family members stayed at ringside for what seemed like an eternity until Bray instructed them to beat down and throw Brock Lesnar out before they split the scene.

Gimme a Steve Austin…WHAT?!?

It used to be if you were injured and carted away on a stretcher, therefore missing the majority of the match, you couldn’t and shouldn’t be able to return. Not only did Vince McMahon, The Authority, team with The League of Nations to bash the living crap out of Roman Reigns so he had to be stretchered away but they seemingly had a change of heart allowing him to return to the Rumble when it was almost over, actually just minutes before Triple H walked that aisle. More great WWE scripting that makes as much sense as most Psycho Sid promos.

Gimme a Steve Austin…WHAT?!?

Unlike Stone Cold though, Roman Reigns had his dreams of winning two consecutive Royal Rumbles dashed when Triple H entered as the last combatant. Triple H not only eliminated Reigns but also his former Shield stablemate Dean Ambrose to ultimately win the WWE World Heavyweight Title.

One of the highlights of the night was the WWE debut of International wrestling sensation A.J. Styles. Recently, Styles had headlined New Japan Wrestling as the leader of the infamous Bullet Club, a heel stable almost as notorious as the nWo. Originally established by Prince Devitt – known in the WWE as Finn Balor – the Bullet Club adopted Styles as their leader. Just as they turned on Devitt before he left for the WWE, the group thrashed A.J. at New Year Dash earlier this month with Kenny Omega becoming the Bullet Club head honcho.

Brock gets mauled by The Wyatts. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.

Styles received a warm WWE welcome and lasted approximately half an hour in the Rumble. Fans cheered him all the way back to the dressing room. Styles wore no Bullet Club merch and no mention of them them either.

Other Rumble highlights…

  • Sami Zayn was the only other surprise entrant.
  • Curtis Axel was only member of the Social Outcasts who participated in the Rumble.
  • R-Truth brought a ladder into the ring, thinking for some bizarre reason that it was a ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Kane threw R-Truth and the ladder out.
  • Kofi Kingston was saved by Big E. He rode on his shoulders around the ringside area, even slurping on a soda as the match continued.
  • Vince McMahon directed traffic as the League of Nations attacked Roman Reigns at about 20 minutes in. Del Rio, Rusev and Sheamus, pulled Reigns from the ring, threw him into the barricade, stairs before Rusev splashed him through an announce table.
  • Kingston’s elimination was only shown via replay. The cameras were on the Reigns beating when Kofi was thrown out by Chris Jericho.
    Triple H is the Rumble winner. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
  • Braun Strowman got rid of not only Kane but also Big Show.
  • Before Kevin Owens tossed A.J. Styles out he said…”Welcome to the WWE.” When Sami Zayn came out, he immediately attacked Kevin Owens.
  • The Wyatts dominated the Rumble until Brock Lesnar showed up. He rid the ring of all the Wyatts except for Bray. Bray later had his minions attack Lesnar and throw him over the top rope.The next WWE Network show is Fastlane on February 21st.

    Royal Rumble 2016 Results

    Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

    Henry and Swagger are Rumble bound. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.


  • Sandow is getting all the love tonight…in a big way from the crowd. A snorefest of a tag team match turns into a mess with Viktor about to be pinned and Konnor near enough and about to make the save when he completely freezes in his tracks. Doh! Henry mops up this mess by splashing, pinning Viktor in the chaos.
  • Winners: …Mark Henry and Jack Swagger at 8 minutes and 4 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10


  • Stephanie and Vince McMahon arrive in a limo and swagger into the arena. They are all smiles and bravado. Vince: “I love this night as much as I love myself.”

    Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing – Intercontinental Title Match)

    Owens rips into Ambrose. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.


  • A very brutal affair with Owens and Ambrose hammering each other into oblivion with chairs, Kendo sticks and tables. At just three minutes in, Owens gave Ambrose a Running Cannonball through the barricade in front of the time keeper. He then threw a bunch of chairs into the ring, unfolded a couple, sat down and relaxed while Ambrose tried to beat the ref’s count.
  • Later, Ambrose would put Owens through a table with a flying elbow drop. Owens countered minutes later with a swinging fisherman suplex putting Ambrose through a table. Owens stacked two tables outside the ring and four chairs in the ring. As he climbed to the top rope to hit Ambrose with a moonsault on the chairs, Ambrose pushed him off the top rope. Owens fell through the stacked tables and didn’t get back to his feet.
  • Winner: …and still Intercontinental Champion…Dean Ambrose at 20:26.
  • Match Rating: 8.5 / 10

    The New Day vs. The Usos (WWE Tag Team Championship Match)

    The New Day and The Usos clash. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.


  • In case anyone cares, the New Day has a new trombone. Welcome Francesca 2. Kudos to the dude with the Yu-Gi-Oh, Horn of the Unicorn sign. Too sweet.
  • Standard, hum-drum tag match with The Usos getting more aggressive, frustrated and The New Day once again, using their numbers to their advantage. Nothing doing here, time to move on.
  • Winners: …and still WWE World Tag Team Champions…The New Day at 12 minutes and 05 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 5 / 10

    Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (United States Championship Match)

    Kalisto keeps on fighting. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.


  • It is a classic David versus Goliath encounter with JBL mustering all of the short jokes he can possibly think of. A frustrated Del Rio removes one of the turnbuckle pads. Kalisto reverses the Irish Whip and hits the Salida del Sol for the win.
  • Winners: …and new WWE United States Champion…Kalisto at 12 minutes and 05 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 6 / 10

    Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (WWE Divas Championship Match)

    Becky squeezes Charlotte. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.


  • Although the crowd was solidly behind Becky, another unexceptional match with an awkward Charlotte not being able to keep up with Lynch’s explosive style, it seemed. The ending was a tough sell with Flair tossing his jacket onto Becky. Becky throws off the jacket but gets speared by Charlotte in the process. Charlotte continues to pummel Becky after the match is over. Sasha Bank walks out to a massive ovation, tells Becky…This is my spotlight…and kicks her out of the ring. Sasha attacks Charlotte from behind and locks on the Bank Statement as Ric Flair throws a hissy fit.
  • Winners: …and still WWE Diva’s Champion…Charlotte at 11 minutes and 39 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10

    The Royal Rumble

    Rumble Entry Order Rumble Elimination Order
     1. Roman Reigns  1. Rusev
     2. Rusev  2. Tyler Breeze
     3. AJ Styles  3. Curtis Axel
     4. Tyler Breeze  4. Goldust
     5. Curtis Axel  5. R-Truth
     6. Chris Jericho  6. Kofi Kingston
     7. Kane  7. Titus O’Neil
     8. Goldust  8. Ryback
     9. Ryback  9. Kane
     10. Kofi Kingston  10. Big Show
     11. Titus O’Neil  11. AJ Styles
     12. R-Truth  12. Kevin Owens
     13. Luke Harper  13. Neville
     14. Stardust  14. Stardust
     15. Big Show  15. Mark Henry
     16. Neville  16. Sami Zayn
     17. Braun Strowman  17. Erick Rowan
     18. Kevin Owens  18. Jack Swagger
     19. Dean Ambrose  19. Luke Harper
     20. Sami Zayn  20. Braun Strowman
     21. Erick Rowan  21. Brock Lesnar
     22. Mark Henry  22. The Miz
     23. Brock Lesnar  23. Alberto Del Rio
     24. Jack Swagger  24. Dolph Ziggler
     25. The Miz  25. Bray Wyatt
     26. Alberto Del Rio  26. Chris Jericho
     27. Bray Wyatt  27. Sheamus
     28. Dolph Ziggler  28. Roman Reigns
     29. Sheamus  29. Dean Ambrose
     30. Triple H  Winner: Triple H


  • Note: Due to lags in the WWE Network live broadcast of the Royal Rumble, there are no official entry or elimination times available.
  • Winner: …and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion…Triple H at 52 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 6 / 10


  • Total Event Time: Approximately, 3 hours.
  • Overall Event Rating: 6 / 10

    One of the founding managing editors of SLAM! Wrestling, John Powell is a veteran entertainment journalist currently covering Big Brother, Survivor, the video game industry for G4. Check out his comic book Cover 2 Cover blog. He can be reached at pow2112@hotmail.com or @POW2112 on Twitter.