For the second year in a row, fans vociferously booed and jeered the Royal Rumble winner.
Poor Roman Reigns. A Royal Rumble victory should have been one of the major stepping stones of his WWE career. Instead, the angry crowd ensured the win will likely go down as one of this year's biggest debacles. To make matters worse, The Rock, who came out to endorse Reigns, also found himself receiving vitriol from the Philadelphia audience.
The depressed look on Reigns' face as the show went off the air said it all. The star couldn't even pretend to ignore the reaction and act happy.
The fans at the Wells Fargo Center had a good reason to be livid. The booking was hopelessly inept.
The massively popular Daniel Bryan was booted out of the match alarmingly early after weeks and weeks of WWE building up his comeback angle. The people got behind Bryan's quest to win only for the star to be treated as a total afterthought. How frustrating.
Unsurprisingly, fans at home—as well as various people in and around the wrestling industry—were as critical of the ending as the people in the arena.
ESPN's Bill Simmons put it bluntly on his Twitter account:
Bill Simmons @BillSimmons
The city of Philly just tipped over the Roman Reigns bandwagon and set it on fire.2015-1-26 03:57:16
Former WWE and ECW wrestler Justin Credible made an odd (but surprisingly accurate) comparison of Vince McMahon to Star Wars creator George Lucas:
Justin Credible @PJPOLACO
Vince McMahon is like George Lucas. Fans want Boba Fett they get Jar Jar Binks. #WWE #RoaylRumble2015-1-26 04:27:06
Presumably, the company will now get sold to Disney and rebooted by J.J. Abrams.
Former ECW wrestler Mikey Whipwreck offered sympathy to Reigns, noting that the wrestler will likely end up being punished for shoddy booking decisions that he really had nothing to do with, which is a fair point:
Many fans just voiced their disbelief at the mediocre ending:
Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN
You know it's bad when The Rock can't get fans to cheer. Plan failed. Poor Roman Reigns. Bad booking second year in a row. #WWE #RoyalRumble2015-1-26 03:44:20
Matt Binder @MattBinder
such a horrible ending to the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns completely undeserving at this point. terrible.2015-1-26 03:43:15
But a few people did put their bitter feelings at the result aside and tried to see the funny side of things:
Ryan Loco @RyanLoco
How come the fans don't want me, man? #RoyalRumble http://t.co/uHmNMglh4J2015-1-26 04:34:39
Gavin Bard @lightfantastic
THE ROAD TO LOSING ANOTHER HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS BEGINS #RoyalRumble http://t.co/mKdApXtWS02015-1-26 03:59:01
Greg Williams @CoachWilliamsRC
#ThingsBetterThanTheRoyalRumble NFL Officiating2015-1-26 04:20:30
95% of people who watched the #RoyalRumble right now. http://t.co/XDIOJxrzmg2015-1-26 03:46:13
Kanye Of Sport Rants @Richardjadkins
John Cena albums #ThingsBetterThanTheRoyalRumble2015-1-26 04:09:38
batista's watching at home like hey i guess it coulda been worse2015-1-26 03:42:58
Travis Lindsay @Trav_is_lindsay
It's pretty bad when the Tooth Fairy becomes the second worst thing you've ever done. #TheRock #RoyalRumble #WWEPhilly #RomanReigns2015-1-26 04:15:25
It will be interesting to see if McMahon listens to this derision and elects to make changes to the booking or if the chairman continues to remain out of touch with the fans.