One of the things that make the Royal Rumble unique is the surprise entrances. WWE managed AJ Styles Rumble debut perfectly and need to keep that in mind this year.
Last year, in the 2016 Royal Rumble we saw the surprise entrances of Sami Zayn and the current WWE Champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles. When it comes to these two entrances, WWE did them absolutely right.
First of all, one of the key things WWE did right was the positioning of these two superstars.
AJ Styles came in early at No. 3 and Sami Zayn entered at No. 20 shortly after the former had been eliminated. Styles coming in early was good for two reasons. One, he was in the match for nearly 29 minutes which gave him the opportunity to shine in front of the fans. Two, him not winning was believable and people weren’t Batista-level outraged when the match ended because of his elimination. Zayn’s entrance at No. 20 was good because it led to a main roster feud with Kevin Owens that lasted for about the first half of the year.
Another thing WWE did right with these two were the eliminators of these two men. AJ Styles by Kevin Owens, and Zayn by Braun Strowman. Kevin Owens being as over as he was helped soften the blow when he eliminated. Strowman, especially with how strongly he’s booked today, made sense to eliminate Zayn for multiple reasons.
Obviously, there aren’t gonna be many surprise entrants that end up being the WWE Champion in the same year like AJ Styles, but they should remain relevant with good booking. Styles was obviously shot to the moon pretty quickly, his first night on Raw started an eventually WrestleMania feud with Chris Jericho. Sami Zayn, while not holding a championship, has remained pretty relevant. He feuded with current WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens in what was a great series of matches for the better part of 7 months. With matches with Jericho, Miz and Stowman to finish off a solid rookie year for him.
With rumors about Kenny Omega floating around, one hopes WWE books him in a similar fashion. Bringing him in late would be a mistake, unless he wins. If we do see Omega in San Antonio, hopefully it’s early in the match. Bringing him in late would give the fans an extreme amount of hope that he’ll win, and if he doesn’t there will be a revolt. These rules should apply solely for Omega. Should WWE decide to call up some NXT Superstars, or someone comes back from injury, these rules should still apply.