Royal Rumble 2024 is in the history books! The general response to the Premium Live Event seems to suggest that the fans found it a little underwhelming.
Considering the towering expectations heading into Tropicana Field, the Rumble had much to live up to, for the bar was set high. However, giving credit to WWE where it’s due, the show was, by no means, a total disappointment, but some improvements could have been made.
On that note, let’s look at five mistakes WWE made at Royal Rumble 2024.
#5. The Women’s Royal Rumble match lost steam in the second third of the bout
She fought for a record-setting 63 minutes and 3 seconds… and now, Philadelphia is calling her.
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 28, 2024
The 2024 Women’s Rumble gave the fans much of what was wanted: the expected favorite, Bayley, won the melee to a good reception from the crowd; Jade Cargill finally set foot in a WWE ring to set the world ablaze.
Other surprise entrants saw the lovable fan-favorite Naomi enter the bout at the coveted second spot to an amazing reception. TNA Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace surprised Tropicana Field and had an impressive showing. The final entrant was Liv Morgan, who was out with a shoulder injury.
The match certainly had many highlights. However, most of the action, drama, and surprises were delivered in the first and final thirds of the 30-woman Rumble. As such, the middle portion lacked entertainment value, and the crowd struggled to stay invested.
Most of the entrants who entered during this period had no real chance of winning and were probably there to fill the ring. Luckily, the energy returned once Becky Lynch entered at 21, and the bout proceeded to its last phase, which included many surprise entrants.
When the drama disappeared mid-way during the Rumble, many fans might have tuned out due to a lack of excitement. Considering the length of the encounter, WWE needs to find innovative ways to maintain steady interest throughout.
#4. Roman Reigns felt like the weakest link despite walking out of Royal Rumble 2024 as champion
— WWE (@WWE) January 28, 2024
The Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE Universal Title was a significant selling point of Royal Rumble 2024, and as a whole, it lived up to expectations.
The finish was pretty clean as Roman Reigns broke AJ Styles in half with a massive Spear to secure the pinfall and retain the Title. This was expected, but it was a relief to see Reigns win without many shenanigans.
However, on the whole, The Tribal Chief looked weak at the Royal Rumble 2024. Reigns endured most of the near-falls of the Fatal Four-Way bout. First, he nearly lost the title to LA Knight after receiving the BFT.
Despite falling victim to the move several times, the champion ran into an RKO while delivering the Spear to Randy Orton. Paul Heyman pleading Styles not to use the steel chair on Reigns didn’t do much to maintain the aura of WWE’s biggest superstar.
Lastly, The Head of The Table failed to stack up all three of his opponents and pin them, failing to make good on his promise or the expected finish.
#3. Kofi Kingston wasn’t The Royal Rumble highlight reel
Kofi Kingston may never have won the Royal Rumble, nor is he anywhere near the record for most eliminations. However, the veteran of The New Day is synonymous with the bout owing to his miraculous Rumble saves.
The former WWE Champion is notorious for finding innovative ways of avoiding elimination. Whether it’s walking on his hands or using a chair as a pogo stick, Kingston is the Rumble highlight reel, and fans were anticipating something spectacular from the veteran at Royal Rumble 2024.
Unfortunately, although he scored an elimination, The Dreadlocked Dynamo didn’t have another moment in the spotlight. It seems as if, upon two back-to-back failed attempts in 2022 and 2023, Kingston has retired the spot.
#2. Sami Zayn wasn’t the ideal final entrant in the 2024 Men’s Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble 2024 was expected to feature several bone-chilling surprise entrants. The rumor mill was running wild. John Cena, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Sheamus, and even MJF were heavily rumored to surprise the world.
Unfortunately, apart from Andrade’s remarkable comeback, most of the surprises fell flat, especially Sami Zayn’s entry at the last spot. The popular RAW star took time off following Survivor Series: WarGames, and there was no timeline for his return.
If this were January 2023, this would have been perfect as Sami Zayn was at the height of his popularity. A year later, at Royal Rumble 2024, the former Intercontinental Champion has lost much of his steam and initial fame.
Furthermore, he failed to make a significant impact as he was eliminated rather quickly by a rabid Drew McIntyre, who was responsible for taking him off the television. In many ways, it was reminiscent of Dolph Ziggler’s surprise return in the 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble bout.
Fans were expecting someone like The Rock or John Cena to charge down the ring and staredown guys like Cody Rhodes or CM Punk. Instead, WWE chose Zayn, who is not as big of a star as the aforementioned legends.
#1. Cody Rhodes winning over CM Punk may prove the wrong decision
At Royal Rumble 2024, Cody Rhodes made history by becoming the fourth superstar to win two consecutive Rumbles, joining all-time greats like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
However, his remarkable victory came at the expense of the returning CM Punk, who, much like Rhodes, had to finish a story of his own. Unlike The American Nightmare, Punk didn’t fail to close the chapter due to a lack of genuine opportunities.
The Straight-Edge Superstar was the sentimental favorite to walk out of Royal Rumble 2024 with a clear path to WrestleMania 40. Instead, Punk lost when it mattered the most, and his Road to Mania seems unclear.
As for Rhodes, not many fans are upset with his achievement at Royal Rumble 2024, but he has a tall task ahead of him. Assuming he chooses Roman Reigns, Mania may be “make or break” for The American Nightmare, for another loss may put a massive taint on his resume.