Speaking on this week’s epsiode of his "Bischoff on Wrestling" podcast, former WCW head Eric Bischoff offered a theory as to why so many fans seemed to be so unhappy with the Royal Rumble this year. According to Bischoff, it could be blamed on the lack of surprises.
”Every PPV has it’s own unique characteristics, especially the ones that have been around a long time. Again, tooting my own horn: Story, Anticipation, Reality, SURPRISE and Action. Those are the five elements that, in my opinion, a writer or a producer or CEO of a wrestling organization needs to maintain as often as possible," Bischoff said, acknowledging: "You’re not going to hit all five every single time. As often as possible you have to maintain as many of those elements as you can in everything that you do. The Royal Rumble in particular is one of the PPVs that WWE has that’s in their 'Legacy PPV' category that has always had that element of surprise more often than not. So when you fail to check that box the audience notices it and they complain about it. I understand it. I get it. It is a let down. Anticipation is part of those five elements. Story and anticipation are connected to surprise. Action is inherent in the product itself. The reason people anticipate the Royal Rumble is really two reasons in my opinion, aside from the big names and action. It’s the anticipation of who is going to go to WrestleMania and it’s the element of surprise that makes the Royal Rumble PPV stand out as the one that you can expect to see the unexpected.”
There were 8 unknown entrants in the Royal Rumble when the match began. Those unknown "surprise" entrants turned out to be Kalisto, Jack Gallagher, Mark Henry, NXT's Tye Dillinger, James Ellsworth, Apollo Crews, Enzo Amore, and Roman Reigns.
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