The Royal Rumble match is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting matches in all of professional wrestling. One big reason for this is because of the returns that take place during the match.
In recent years, we've had one-off appearances from dozens of huge names. Even more so, the returns of guys like John Cena and Edge give the Royal Rumble the electric feeling it's known for.
This year they went overboard.
Eight of the 30 wrestlers that entered this year's Royal Rumble are not regular wrestlers. Some of them had their place in the match and some of them didn't. For example, Mick Foley being in the match was a big hit. The live crowd and fans at home all seemed to love his involvement. He even had a great comedy spot with Santino Marella. Rather, it was Socko vs. Cobra that made for the funny spot.
Jim Duggan's appearance in the Royal Rumble also made a lot of sense. Being that it was the 25th anniversary of the show, including the winner of the very first Royal Rumble was a very logical move. I'll even say that Road Dog's appearance in the match had been warranted simply because it made for a nice nostalgic feeling.
Though the inclusion of the entire Announce Team in the match was entirely unnecessary. Perhaps if they had used Lawler and Booker T to put over some of the younger stars in the match, I would have accepted it. Rather, they used the inclusion of the Announce Team to give those more to bicker about instead of calling the match.
For this fan, the return of The Great Khali did nothing. Now that we have guys like Kane, Mark Henry and Big Show as prominently featured as they are—Khali is needed less today than ever before.
Personally, those four slots in the Royal Rumble could have gone to guys like Tyson Kidd or Drew McIntyre. Getting a chance to shine in one of the biggest matches of the year is something that would be better spent on Kidd than Michael Cole.
In my opinion, the WWE failed to achieve a healthy balance between regular and non-regular competitors in the Royal Rumble. It really took away from some of the meaning of the match and slowed down some of the momentum it had. Even more so, they wasted an opportunity to feature some of their talent that doesn't usually get PPV exposure.