WWE: Was Alex Riley's Elimination a Major Botch in This Year's Royal Rumble?

Cec Van GaliniAnalyst IIIJanuary 31, 2011

The Royal Rumble is traditionally a surprising main event, and the 2011 match certainly lived up to the hype. From the return of Kevin Nash to the Spiderman antics of John Morrison, it had it all.

Well of course fans of Triple H might argue otherwise, but it had most of what we expected.

However did we also witness one of the worst botches in Rumble history?

Flashback: Alex Riley is in the corner of the ring, being pummeled by Kofi Kingston and John Cena. He is on the verge of elimination. He is straddling the top rope but is released to the apron. However he soon falls over and onto the floor. His arms desperately reaching for the bottom rope.

It was not meant to happen.

Cena is the key here. His look of utter disbelief, momentarily freezes him in uncertainty. Neither Cena nor Kingston are able to move.

References were made to Riley being "smart and tactical" but eagle-eyed viewers will note that he had in fact been eliminated. No commentator picked up on the fact until much later in the Rumble.

And so the Rumble continues...John Cena is now in the corner motionless as several referees talk to him.

This is instruction—Cena's storyline is now canceled. There is need for a contingency plan. Suddenly the WWE is thinking on its feet.

The most telling aspect of this whole story comes with the arrival of Santino. Almost immediately he takes on the role of Alex Riley, a superstar outside the ring, who has not been eliminated. This should have been A-Ri had he held onto the rope and snuck to the floor.

When the eliminations occurred one after the other, Santino remained.

Cue the change, and it is here that we will not know what was originally meant to happen.

Cena's elimination by a re-emerging Riley and Miz, should have theoretically occurred later. The Rumble continues and then there were three. Alberto's eventual victory is stopped as Santino reemerges.

He was never destined to win of course but he would add some final drama.

Was Alex Riley meant to be here instead? Was he even meant to win the Rumble?

Probably not on the latter.

The likelyhood is that Cena and Alberto should have remained and only then would A-Ri and Miz get involved. That would then leave Alberto the winner, as was his destiny.

How close did JoMo come to falling off the guard rail? That could have been a major mistake, but instead, in this reporter's opinion, the title of botch of the night firmly belongs to...

Alex Riley.

And with the post-Wrestlemania releases on the way, could the apprentice hear those immortal words..."you're fired?"