Why was Roman Reigns the last WWE superstar to step in the Royal Rumble Battle Royal?
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has revealed that the wrestling entertainment company planned it that way to make Randy Orton's win a big splash in the WWE universe and to plant the seeds for a fight between Reigns and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, which takes place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, on 2 April.
The Viper's win in the 30-man fight shocked fans as he is a heel, while Reigns is a babyface who is booed every time he steps in the ring because he has not managed to win the fans over with his gimmicks. A fight between the Deadman and Reigns was teased when the latter threw the former out of the ring during the over-the-top elimination fight and then the two had an intense staredown.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin also talked about the fight and said the move was "a fantastic idea" as it made Orton's win shocking. The former WWE superstar, however, said that the company's plan did anger fans.
"Everything made sense for me, so I enjoyed the s**t out of it," Austin said about Reigns as the last man to enter the Battle Royal. "A lot of people s**t on Roman Reigns in the 30 spot.
I popped because I'm thinking, 'dude, here's the setup, guys. Something's up.' And then, [Chris] Jericho gets out, so there’s the three [remaining entrants, Reigns, Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt], so you got two heels and a baby. You know it's going to be a double-team. You know Roman Reigns is somehow going to defeat two heels again and he's going to win the f*****g Rumble. Setup," Austin said.
"I smelled a rat from the beginning and I just couldn't believe what I was going to end up seeing. He goes to charge Randy Orton, spear, and, of course, Randy Orton connects with an RKO. Boom. Over the top rope. Randy wins. I thought Roman Reigns in the 30 spot was a fantastic idea and great booking."