Did we really get what we wanted at The Royal Rumble?

When you live in an apartment building that has a thin layer of separation between units, you get a lot of ambient noise from your neighbors in your place.  It can drive you crazy unless you just chalk it up to “apartment living”.  The best thing to do is to apply the Golden Rule and keep it down during what society would expect to be quiet time, say after 10 PM on work nights, and hope that your neighbors return the favor.

Well, if the Golden Rule is in force in my apartment building, I just set myself up for some trouble.  For at about 10:55 PM on Sunday, January 24, five out of the six people at my WWE Royal Rumble viewing party jumped out of their seats and screamed “YEEEAAAAHHH!!!” in response to Triple H throwing Roman Reigns over the top rope, eliminating him from the rumble match and ending his current championship reign.  The lone holdout from the celebration was the guy who drew #1 in our Royal Rumble pool and watched his chances of winning $120 go down the drain with Reigns’ elimination.

As he entered as #1, Reigns was booed very loudly and did nothing to win the crowd over during his time in the match.  Much like the scene in my apartment, the fans in attendance in Orlando popped very loudly when Roman Reigns got knocked out of the rumble.  As a fan, you have to wonder about that reaction.  After all, he was booked as a good guy, yet the crowd hated his guts.  This is not news; the subject of Reigns not being accepted by the fans has been discussed ad-museum for well over a year now.  But, what was that us fans thought we were getting when Reigns got knocked out?

While it certainly made us happy that his run as champ is over and we got caught up in the moment, you really have to ask yourself what happened there and what is going to happen next?  It might have seemed like the WWE yanked the title off of him because he wasn’t over and it was time to cash out and move on headed into WrestleMania.  Almost as if WWE management were actually listening to us.

But, not so fast!  Triple H left the rumble as the 14-time champion.  Wrestling common sense says that he is a transitional champion, one who isn’t going to do the house show runs and draw fans all over the country for months at a time.  He is a part-timer and is only playing a part in the WrestleMania buildup. Michael Cole announced that he is going to defend his title at WrestleMania immediately after the match ended.  But, what could the outcome possibly be?  Who is Triple H going to wrestle and who will leave Dallas as champion.  The matter of who he will wrestle will play out at FastLane (the winner of Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose will be named #1 contender) but it is fairly certain that he will not walk out of WrestleMania as champion.

This leaves us with the very real possibility that we are being worked.  That not only is the WWE doubling-down, but they are absolutely all-in on Roman Reigns.  This could very well be just a way for the WWE to give Roman Reigns his WrestleMania moment, the one he didn’t get last year.  We may have just been set up to watch Reigns defeat Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania 32 and walk out as the WWE champion to end the show.

While it remains to be seen if this scenario will play out, I can assure you of one thing.  If Reigns does indeed win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 32, my neighbors are going to hear a lot more annoying noise late on a Sunday night.  Except this time, it won’t be an exclamation of joy. It will be moans of agony.

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