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Posted in: The Eternal Optimist
The Eternal Optimist Presents - The Women's Royal Rumble Match Can Work - Here's What Needs to Happen
By Dave Fenichel
Dec 21, 2017 - 9:56:30 PM

Question of the Day – Who would you like to see win the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble?

Hi kids.

There was big news coming out of the wrestling world this week. Hideo Itami made his long awaited debu----

Did you hear that? It’s the sound of dozens of my loyal fans surfing to someone else’s article. Hideo Itami is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

The real story coming out of this week is that after much speculation, the WWE has finally decided to pull the trigger on the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble.

I have to admit. I was not excited when I first heard the rumors. Although my optimism rarely wavers, I’ve long been a dissenter of Women’s wrestling. I find it to be sloppy and disjointed far more often than effective. I was also worried about how adding a second Royal Rumble match could potentially affect the best match on the calendar each and every year.

Much to my surprise, I find myself both excited and anticipating the Women’s Rumble. Now that it’s here, it feels more like another must-see match on my favorite show of the year rather than a potential gimmick killer.

Neither of my two worries are as big of an issue as I thought they would be. First, the Royal Rumble in-ring action has never been about quality. It’s mostly brawling with a couple of high spots mixed in. Thus, the general sloppiness of the WWE female wrestlers shouldn’t have any negative impact on the match itself.

Second, past history has shown that “more” isn’t always worse when it comes to multiple gimmick matches on the same show. The 2010 Money in the Bank PPV had a pair of great matches with The Miz winning the Raw match and Kane winning the Smackdown version. Likewise was the case in 2013 with Orton winning a star studded Raw MITB match and Damien Sandow emerging victorious in all-heel mid-card spectacular.

Hell in a Cell this past year was another perfect example of how to do two matches of the same gimmick, as both The Usos/New Day and Shane McMahon/Kevin Owens absolutely tore the house down. In the end, it’s all about providing quality. If both Royal Rumble matches are strong, no one will care that two matches took up the majority of the show.

The Female Royal Rumble can work, but they need to bring it. Here’s five things that must happen in order for the match to be a success.

Cap The Entrants at 20.

Just because the Male Royal Rumble has 30 participants doesn’t mean the female one needs to as well.

Combined, the Smackdown and Raw Women’s roster sits at 22 wrestlers. Assuming neither champion participates in the match, there are only twenty active wrestlers to choose from. Furthermore, no one is clamoring to see a manager in Lana or an also-ran in Dana Brooke anywhere near this match.

20 participants makes sense. It allows the WWE to cut the fat from the main roster and not be forced to cram NXTers or an overkill of names from the past down our throats. If it was a good enough number for the first ever male Royal Rumble, it’s a good enough number for the first ever female Rumble.

Be Judicious With Nostalgia – But Shoot for the Stars.

Nostalgia is important in any Royal Rumble, but the WWE needs to avoid a trap here. With this being the first ever female Rumble, every wrestler from the past is coming out of the woodwork to declare their desire to participate.

Because women’s wrestling is still in its infancy, many of these wrestlers are young enough where it is plausible to see them in action. I fear that the WWE could go far overboard on bringing legends back. Sending out a parade of old timers will detract from the important message here – the current crop of Women’s wrestlers are the reason this match is happening, and they should be the focus of the show.

Nonetheless, removing Lana and Dana Brooke from the equation leaves two spots open to satiate everyone’s thirst for nostalgia. What do you know? There just happens to be exactly two female wrestlers that are head and shoulders above anyone else in history.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Keep the list short and aim big. Trish Stratus and Lita should be the only two legends in the match. They are the flagbearers and deserve to be involved in what will ultimately go down as a historic occasion. The pops will be tremendous and they will provide must see moments early enough in the match where they don’t take the focus away from the finish. Their inclusion should be a no-brainer move for the WWE brass.

Monsters’ Inc.

The WWE has two female wrestlers that they’ve been building up as unstoppable forces – Nia Jax and Asuka. There is no better place to establish dominance than in a Royal Rumble match.

The ring fills up quickly and it provides ample opportunity to allow the strongest competitors to toss around the others like lawn darts. There’s no reason not to let Nia and Asuka eliminate a half dozen wrestlers each, even if neither ultimate emerges as the winner.

I want to turn off The Network that night feeling like those two are unstoppable beasts that cannot be tamed. It worked for the likes of Diesel and Roman Reigns in the past. It needs to work for Asuka and Jax in 2018.

Don’t Make This The Ronda Rousey Show.

Even with her fighting career over, Ronda Rousey is a massive star. Now that she has signed a deal of some sort with the WWE, it makes all the sense in the world to feature her in a big spot at Wrestlemania 34. As such, rumors have begun to swirl that she will make her presence felt as a participant in the Rumble.

This shouldn’t happen. No matter when she knows up, it will be a big deal. The WWE should hold off on that until the Raw and/or Smackdown after the Rumble. It worked for Mike Tyson, and it will work for Ronda Rousey.

The Royal Rumble as a gimmick sells itself, and the first ever incarnation for the women shouldn’t be overshadowed by a celebrity side show. Please WWE, save that story for another day.

Tell a Traditional Story.

As of late, the WWE has strayed away from a time-tested Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania formula. The #1 face in the company wins the Royal Rumble, challenges the heel world champion and wins the title at Wrestlemania.

It’s a tremendous story that never gets old, yet the WWE has repeatedly decided not to tell it. With this being the first time that a female Royal Rumble winner will get a chance to headline Wrestlemania in a title match, the WWE should absolutely stick with the traditional format.

I don’t care who wins. Ultimately, there are several great options. The WWE should use the 2018 Women’s Rumble as an establishment point to shine light on the woman that they want to be the face of the division for years to come. The final four should come down to that person and either one of the two heel factions currently dominating television. Allow her to triumph against seemingly insurmountable odds and have Wrestlemania 34 be her moment in the sun much like Wrestlemania 12 was for HBK, Wrestlemania 14 was for Austin or Wrestlemania 21 was for Batista.

That’s a wrap kids. The first ever female Royal Rumble has me excited, but all of the above needs to happen in order for it to deliver on its potential. Agree or disagree, sound off below!

Facebook: David Fenichel

Twitter: @FFFIghtLeague.

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