WWE Reportedly Announces 2015 Royal Rumble to Feature 40 Contestants

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2014

WWE Superstar Paul Levesque (AKA Triple H)  arrives at the Superstars of Hope honors Make A Wish Foundation event at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, August 15, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
Paul A. Hebert/Associated Press

For the WWE, more is better. The company reportedly revealed during Tuesday's SmackDown taping that the 2015 Royal Rumble match will feature 40 participants, per Aaron Grant of RingsideNews.com. The event will be held on Jan. 25 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

That wouldn't be the first time WWE expanded the size of one of its biggest matches of the year. The 2011 Royal Rumble match, which was won by Alberto Del Rio, had 40 wrestlers involved. The company has reverted to the traditional 30-man format ever since.

Some might question the logic behind increasing the number of wrestlers involved in the Royal Rumble match. Most fans go in with the belief that only a small handful of guys have a chance of winning, so why waste time with more guys whom nobody expects to win?

Ringside Xcess argued the counter, tweeting out that more open spots will allow more developmental talent to shine:

NXT continues to grow, so it would make sense that the company would want to feature younger stars who aren't featuring on Raw and SmackDown every week.

With a 40-man Rumble, WWE can also have older stars return without sacrificing a spot for a current star. Diesel made a brief return at the 2011 Rumble.

Bleacher Report's Graham Matthews wrote in January before the 2014 Royal Rumble that he'd like to see a return of the 40-man format:

All too often are some Superstars overlooked in the match and don't last nearly as long as they should. For example, someone such as Bryan or even Antonio Cesaro shouldn't be relegated to only a few minutes of in-ring time during a Rumble match.

At a time where the roster is filled with rising stars and fresh talent who deserve a spot in the Rumble, I see no reason why it shouldn't feature 40 Superstars. It is too late for it to happen this year, but I would hope that this becomes the norm starting with next year's installment.

It's nearly impossible to look ahead and pick out the Superstars with the best chance of winning the 2015 edition. The pay-per-view is still months away, and who knows who will be the WWE World Heavyweight champion heading into the event? With current champ Brock Lesnar limited to a certain amount of dates, it would difficult to continue his reign until January.

Talk of potential surprises for the 2015 Rumble will only heat up as the PPV draws near as well. Daniel Bryan could have received a clean bill of health by then, while more tantalizing prospects like Sting or CM Punk will inevitably be discussed.

With the Rumble expanding again, WWE has given fans a lot to talk about between now and January.

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