For the WWE, more is better. It was announced that the Royal Rumble match will once again feature 40 competitors. WWE officially said at its SmackDown tapings in Philadelphia that the 2015 Royal Rumble pay-per-view will take place from the Wells Fargo Center from Philadelphia.
The Rumble will take place on January 25th. According to Wrestling Inc., tickets go on sale this Friday but apparently they were available to fans at tonight’s tapings.
Do note that this is not 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? But then again it is the third biggest Pay-Per-View behind Wrestlemania and Summerslam so it is important to feature as many wrestlers as possible.
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. Because one of the draws of the Rumble match is not knowing who to expect to make an appearance. Legends of the past return for one night.
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. Could we see the returns of Daniel Bryans or CM Punk or Sting?
Besides Bryan, there are quite a few wrestlers who are currently out right now such as Roman Reigns and Batista, who could make returns by the time the Rumble rolls around. Bryan could have received a clean bill of health by then, while more tantalizing prospects like Sting or CM Punk will inevitably be discussed.
And Philadelphia is one hell of a wrestling town. With the Rumble expanding again, WWE has given fans a lot to talk about between now and January.
Check out a fan’s highlights of the greatest Royal Rumble eliminations.