Has the Concept of the Royal Rumble winner facing the champ at mania run its course?

So after last night with the Positions of Sasha v. Bianca, and Edge v. Roman I started wondering if the idea of the Rumble winner going on to get a title shot has run its course. I love the Rumble and the idea in concept, however I’m struggling to remember the last time I felt they did a really great job with building a Mania match coming off the Rumble. The only one I think kind of worked well was Drew V. Brock, which I think only really worked because Brock wasn’t around much so they didn’t need to “keep
Him busy”. But Becky/Rhonda/Charlotte was terribly over booked, same with Sasha/Bianca now, Rollins/Brock was Ok but wasn’t near the biggest match on that show. Charlotte v Rhea was good but felt like a work around with them wanting Charlotte to win the Rumble but not wanting her to face either champion.

Now I’m not saying they cannot make it work it just feels like with multiple PPVs between Rumble and Mania WWE seems wholly incapable of booking those shows in a way where they don’t mess up their Mania programs.

I love the stipulation, and I think it should stay. The problem is there is too long in between, and they cant help but get in their own way. This is a classic example. If you choose the right rumble winner, you shouldnt need to keep them doing stuff - the match should be able to keep itself warm

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I don’t disagree with the stipulation. But with several POVs WWE seems wholly incapable of not overbooking things to keep the match relevant. It isn’t even too much time, it is just too many matches they feel the need to put on. That is why I think it worked ok for Brock because you knew he wasn’t wrestling leading up to Mania. So you didn’t need to keep him busy.

It’s a good gimmick/stipulation, you just got to keep it simple, in 1996 for Wrestlemania 12, you had Shawn Michaels retain his spot by beating Owen Hart at In Your House 6 and this match was made necessary because he was taking credit for Michaels collapsing the previous December and afterwards, you saw him training and that’s all you need.

When Becky Lynch won, you had the unnecessary complications of suspensions, injuries…etc when all you needed to do was have Charlotte complain because Becky wasn’t a legal entrant for that Rumble.

Charlotte did not need to win because all you needed to do was for her to show up on NXT to challenge Rhea Ripley or for Rhea to challenge Charlotte. Also that would have meant to could have Shayna Bayzler win The Rumble by looking dominant as she was being and it would have made her long stronger when challenging Becky Lynch.

This year it didn’t help by having that extra event in Fast Lane and the fact that Edge and Bianca Belair had all ready made their choices, when really they should have waited to after Fast Lane before announcing the challenges.

It would have made the Women’s Tag Title match more acceptable because Banks and Belair as partners not officially future opponents and you could have the same ending as well as making the pointing and talking that Belair was doing at the Wrestlemania sign more relevant as it was Belair officially making the challenge.

It would also save Edge from looking like a crybaby because he shouldn’t have really been bothered about who was champion

I think the concept is great, it’s just that there is zero long term planning in modern WWE. Give Vince that much time and he will change his mind on the direction a few dozen times.

The big problem is that usually the Rumble winner is a lot worse off after all the “build”. It would almost be better if the Rumble was in February.

Just look at what happened to Becky and now Bianca this year. Both are a lot less hot heading into Mania after dumb storylines.

Another big problem is with two men’s and two women’s “world” titles, it makes the chase of the other title seem a lot less important. Drew was just named the contender and no one knows what is happening with Asuka - zero plan there.

It all comes down to a lack of planning and foresight, things WWE just doesn’t care about.


This is hardly a new issue. But overall I think it’s fine. The issue isn’t the stipulation its that WWE has too much TV time they need to fill for the months in between. I usually quickly forget clunky Raw segments and just remember the match.

For example yes, the Becky/Ronda/Charlotte build-up went over the top and the backstage fight on Raw that got them arrested was ridiculous. But once it was cut down it made for a good 10 second clip in the hype video. What I mostly think about is that was a good match with incredible entrances which happened at midnight and had a slightly botched finish since Ronda never came back to argue her shoulder was up for the rematch against Becky.

The gap between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania needs to be smaller. One B level PPV isn’t great but 2 is ridiculous. Have one and have a midcard title/tag title main event with a lot of less focused on stories getting some attention. Heat them up heading into the run in for WrestleMania. Not like you have to worry about people buying the show.

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Perfectly reasonable to have two titles seeing as the two rosters are significant in size and are kept pretty separate. If there’s only one, the guys on the other brand have pretty much nothing to fight for.

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The formula should be simple and similar to what NJPW does

Coming out of the Royal Rumble you have a winner and 2-3 champs that are targets.

There are two PPVs in between

The build up to the first PPV should be between the challenger and someone wanting the title shot. You could have done Bianca be Rhea or Edge vs Christian or Randy leading into it. Put the title shot on the line

The champ meanwhile will be busy finishing up their previous program and defend the title.

The other brand will have an EC to determine the challenger.

So you don’t start your champ vs challenger stuff until after the EC.

The other PPV is used to further those fueds and build up to mania. Have a tag match or something, have a stipulation on the line or have the previous fued end in a grudge.

Let me give you a sample of what the WWE could have done

Elimination Chamber

Edge vs Orton - if Randy wins he can challenge for title shot - Randy wins by counout when Jey Uso attacks Edge

Roman defeats DB like was done

Bianca vs Rhea with title shot on the line - Bianca wins

Sasha vs Carmella - LMS match she wins

-storyline in between focuses on edge vs Orton and Roman vs DB. meanwhile Sasha and Bianca talk about being two belts again and want tag titles to make one of them double champ


Edge bc Orton no DQ - winner goes to WM and is guest ref - edge wins when Fiend interferes and takes out Randy

Edge is guest ref of DB vs Roman and end up as they did

Binaca and Sasha vs champs - goes as it did

So here you end up in same spot with a lot of the same matches but the way it’s done you hold off heating them up with Edge focused more on Orton and that leading to Fiend naturally and Bianca and Sasha having less time with others involved

Still pretty convoluted, though. Ultimately it just comes back to what many have said - there’s too many shows in between. I don’t have much a problem with what they did here with Edge-Reigns-Bryan. You had to get Edge to Smackdown. You had to give Bryan a reason to still be involved. They both got their wins to put one in the match and the other in the conversation. Bryan’s gripe of being screwed by both of them gets him in (and really, we’ve gotten unique stuff from all 3 matches Bryan was involved in so it hasn’t wasted time). They just had much time between and even if they knew where they were going, having enough TV shows the events means you think you can deviate without hurting the build because everything will eventually pile on itself (like letting Bryan be the conduit to Cesaro’s Mania push beginning). And on top of that you needed to drag out Edge’s decision to the first PPV in the middle, which if it didn’t happen and you could have done it on Smackdown a week or two later, would have made this a much tighter story.

Banks and Belair is an even brighter light on having to have too many peaks in a story before you really get to the important thing. They needed to create an actual conflict between two faces (and it’s TBD if they actually want to turn Sasha). Enter the tag team champs. Enter Reginald. But they can’t just have him come between Banks and Belair immediately because you have two PPVs so they have to split the one big moment of conflict into two moments, which lessens both and makes it seem like an unstraight story. Dump one of the PPVs and their blowout from last night happens right in the middle of the story. Dump both PPVs and it’s just the natural progression of a story that they can build in a straight line upwards.

Right I think ways exist to do it. My thought is that WWE either won’t or can’t do them. For instance if the secondary titles were more important, or the tag titles you could headline the internet PPVs with those and not have your world champions on those shows.

Like EC Drew has a match, chamber decides his mania challenger. Fast Lane the IC/US/Tag Titles headline. The problem is really the feeling that WWE has that it needs its top star on every show.

There is TOO much time and hours to fill between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania and so yes, the concept has been incredibly watered down (though not killed to the degree HIAC or MITB has).

It’s interesting that I felt the concept of both the Royal Rumble winner and G1 winner facing respective champions took turns for the worse during long builds in the pandemic-era. Where there is no genuine crowd reactions, you create story line drama that really just waters down the proven concept. Only it is unproven in a pandemic era because there are no fans to get behind the challengers or the champion.

Yes too much time in between and also, WWE does not how to book a babyface (2021 Edge should never be a heel). Tough luck cause usually, rumble winners are babyfaces.

We still don’t totally know if Edge is going to be a heel and this has been someone that has become very proficient in talking through story in his promos, so there’s still plenty of room for him to fit the divide between Reigns and Bryan. I think we’ve just learned over time that if a match has a babyface Bryan Danielson in it, he is the face, no matter who else is sharing the ring. And in this instance, if they were going in this direction, they absolutely had to make Edge something different. A good tweener, if one exists, should have good reasons for making questionable decisions and there’s certainly a lot of room to work off of with what they did last night.

What I don’t get is if they wanted Bryan to be in the title match, then why not just have him win the Rumble?

Edge could have the rubber match with Orton. But WWE always tries to complicate and overbook every big match instead of going the more simple route

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I think that decision for the threeway was just recently made it wasn’t the initial plan

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My problem is that should never be the case. If you are going to bother with a Rumble gimmick then you should have a plan for where it is going and how you will get there. Which is the problem with the time they cover and having defenses in between. If fans latch on to a different feud it can ruin the Mania match.

A late addition into a 3 way either means they messed up. Either they think fans want it more (which means the mania match isn’t that great) or they don’t want either guy to lose.


Whatever it is seems to be very reactionary and enabled by the fact WrestleMania is already paid for via Peacock and so not having a consistent build is passable because as long as you get to the card on Sunday it doesn’t matter whether people buy the PPV or not. It’s lazy and a result of guaranteed money.

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Or it was always the plan. And it wasn’t perfectly thought out from beginning to end. Like most wrestling things.

You know, while we’re all just guessing stuff.

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Yeah I’m not defending it and you guys are right in this era buy rates don’t matter.

However it’s clear Edges return has t been a huge ratings draw and he isn’t as over. Roman is way more over.

Likely this is due to people not wanting Edge to walk in and win the Rumble from the spot he did. Edge also while he’s a good worker looks old now. The whole package just hasn’t been as well received and while I would have stuck with it they flipped it and added a sure fire babyface to the match to let Edge and Roman heel snd ensure Roman isn’t cheered.

It’s ironic bc for years they were worried Roman wouldn’t be cheered.

Message if if you book things well you don’t have to worry so much about this stuff