We've been planning it for a few weeks so far, and it's finally come to fruition: A Fatal Four-Way Creature Vs. Creature article covering which Pay Per View (excluding Wrestlemania) is the best covered by the WWE all year.
Fresh off my hot streak of one win out of one (sorry Shane), the odds are stacked up against me on this one, as I face off against the Master of Ring Psychology Mina, the Crowd Favorite Shane, and Demetrus (sorry man, I dont know anything about you to give you a catchy moniker, lol).
Out of the four Pay Per Views up for debate, the Royal Rumble is only predated by the King of the Ring tournament (sort of), and predates Summerslam and No Way Out both. (King of the Ring was created in 1985, but the King of the Ring PPV wasn't introduced until 1993, so sorry Shane, I still win).
The Royal Rumble was conceived in 1988, with Hacksaw Jim Duggan as its inaugural winner of the match itself. The Royal Rumble Pay Per View since then has provided a staple in the Pay Per View circuit of the WWE for 22 years, only being matched in this discussion by Summerslam (Summerslam and Royal Rumble were both conceived in 1988, but Royal Rumble in January and Summerslam in August, respectively).
In addition to some outstanding matches in its tenure, the Royal Rumble also provides the most exciting and unique match in the WWE, the Royal Rumble Match.
Think about it: a 30-man Battle Royal, with the winner receiving a guaranteed Championship title shot at the grandest stage of them all, Wrestlemania.
Think about a comparison to football for a second. Think about what kind of excitement you would have if you were able to have a tournament between five or six teams around Week 13 or 14, with the winner able to bypass the playoffs and receive an automatic Super Bowl bid. Think about how much excitement that would add to that particular tournament. That's what the Royal Rumble provides.
The Royal Rumble has helped to usher in the new era of its top superstars, with the winners including the likes of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Chris Benoit, Batista, John Cena, Rey Mysterio, The Undertaker, and now Randy Orton. All of the winners of the Royal Rumble have gone on to be some of the top superstars in the history of the WWE.
The Royal Rumble match itself also provides exposure to many superstars who dont get to see airtime on one of the three WWE shows. The Royal Rumble also provides the biggest "secret weapon" that the WWE holds:
Who can forget Rob Van Dam's surprise return in the 2009 Royal Rumble? Or the return of John Cena, love him or hate him, in the 2008 Royal Rumble, after what seemed like an injury that would sideline him past Wrestlemania? There always is a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match, even if its only for one night, but it always provides excitement to the match itself.
The Royal Rumble also provides unpredictability, as its extremely hard to predict the winner of the Rumble beforehand, whereas most other Pay Per Views have become fairly predictable.
This years Rumble alone, the final few superstars consisted of Big Show, Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Triple H and Randy Orton. Almost any of those superstars could've used the Rumble as a way to catapult themselves into the main event of Wrestlemania, as all of them were certified main eventers.
And while Randy Orton had the most momentum going into the match, the mind began to wonder if Triple H could defy the odds against him and overthrow the Legacy to win the Rumble and guarantee himself a title shot at Wrestlemania. The match is impossible to predict.
Who could forgot Cena defeating the then undefeated Umaga in a brutal Last Man Standing match in 2007, where Cena used the ring rope to lock in a vicious modified STFU that knocked the Samoan Bulldozer out cold? Or Jeff Hardy getting his first major championship title shot against Randy Orton in 2008?
The match itself helped catapult Hardy into main event status, and obviously helped contribute to his WWE Championship reign in 2008-2009.
The final addition to the resume of the Royal Rumble is staying power. The King of the Ring as a PPV lasted regularly from 1993 to 2002, and then ultimately stopped being a Pay Per View. The event itself is exciting, but didn't last in the WWE, for whatever reason need be. No Way Out has only existed regularly from 2000-2009, and often is used to setup the final feuds going into Wrestlemania.
Summerslam has lasted slightly shorter than the Royal Rumble, being only beaten out by about seven months but still has at least regularly appeared as a Pay Per View since 1988. And while Summerslam is considered to be one of the "Big Four" PPV's of the year (including Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and Wrestlemania itself), Summerslam has been lacking the staying power that its had in previous years.
The Royal Rumble had continued to stay consistent and provide entertainment year after year.
The Royal Rumble has it all: excitement, prestige, history and unpredictability. Throw in the fact that the Royal Rumble is considered the beginning of the most important stretch in the WWE "season", the Road to Wrestlemania, and the Royal Rumble easily is the best Pay Per View in the WWE.
Before voting in the poll, I humbly ask that everyone actually read all four articles about this issue, to get the most fair voting possible. Check out Demetrus' article on why No Way Out is the best PPV in the WWE, along with Shane's article favoring King of the Ring, and Mina's article on why the Biggest Party of the Summer, Summerslam, is the top PPV in the WWE.