WWE Royal Rumble 2015 | WORST Wrestling Shows Ever

WWE Royal Rumble 2015 | WORST Wrestling Shows Ever

What if WWE decided to engineer an entire Pay-Per-View for the sole benefit of a wrestler that much of the audience was actively rejecting? Well, then you'd have Wrestlemania 32, of course, which is already available in this series' archives. This retrospective delves into the origin story of "Everybody Hates Roman," a precursor to Wrestlemania 32. Long before Roman Reigns became the "Head of the Table, WWE struggled to make him a fan favorite.

The Buildup:

In the lead-up to the 2015 Royal Rumble, WWE faced backlash from fans for questionable booking decisions. The aftermath of the 2014 Royal Rumble, where fans rejected Batista's win and voiced their desire for Daniel Bryan, set a precedent. Despite the lessons learned, WWE found itself once again pushing an unwanted babyface into the Wrestlemania title picture – this time, the solo Roman Reigns.

The 2015 Royal Rumble:

WWE Royal Rumble 2015 | WORST Wrestling Shows Ever

The Royal Rumble event kicked off with various matches, including tag team showdowns and a WWE title triple threat match featuring Lesnar, Cena, and Rollins. However, the focal point of this retrospective is the Royal Rumble match itself.

The Rumble match unfolded with entries, eliminations, and a palpable tension in the air. The crowd's disappointment grew as fan-favorite Daniel Bryan was eliminated, setting the stage for Roman Reigns' entrance at number 19. Despite Reigns' athletic prowess, the audience had already turned against him due to questionable promos and creative choices.

As the Rumble continued, eliminations and discontent followed, culminating in Reigns triumphantly eliminating Big Show and Kane. The expected cheers for Reigns turned into a mix of confusion and frustration from the audience. The Rock's run-in failed to salvage the situation, and Rusev emerged as a temporary fan favorite before meeting the same fate at Reigns' hands.

Backlash and Fallout:

The aftermath of the 2015 Royal Rumble was marked by disappointment, anger, and even harassment of wrestlers outside the arena. The negative reception was so intense that even Mother Nature seemed offended, blanketing the next night's Raw location with snow and causing the cancellation of the event.

The backlash extended to social media, with #CancelWWENetwork trending on Twitter. Mick Foley, a usually optimistic figure, penned an essay criticizing WWE for squandering the Rumble's prestige and goodwill. WWE eventually pivoted to a Plan B, putting Seth Rollins in the main event at WrestleMania 31.


The 2015 Royal Rumble stands as a glaring example of WWE's struggle to make Roman Reigns a top babyface. The stubborn booking decisions and fan resistance led to a hostile environment, showcasing the challenges of getting Reigns accepted by the audience. While Reigns has since evolved into the beloved "Tribal Chief," the 2015 Royal Rumble remains a pivotal moment in his journey, illustrating the perils of forcing a character upon a resistant fanbase.

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