Welcome to part 3 of my three-part predictions series breaking down which superstars will be entering the record books when it comes to the 2017 WWE Royal Rumble. We’ve taken care of the Most Eliminations and the Iron Man, so it’s time to turn things 180 degrees and take a look at the wrestlers who could end up lasting the shortest amount of time.
In general, this distinction is reserved for the people who are fated to have the absolute worst showing of the night. Typically, it’s played for laughs, but sometimes it’s a more vindictive indictment of a character, removing any doubt that this particular wrestler has zero credibility. Then again, if there’s no conspiracy theory at play when it comes to booking, there still needs to be someone who mathematically just so happens to be taken out of the equation quicker than everybody else, so the bottom line is that one of the thirty men in the match will end up with this “honor.”
I’ve narrowed down my list of candidates to the top three people who stand out to me at this time, so allow me to present my case.
For months, The Vaudevillains have been not just pushed aside, but actively jobbed out, and although they’re a tag team that shares losses, it’s Simon Gotch who has taken the brunt of that pain. This punishment appears to have spawned from his backstage altercation with Sin Cara and for some reason, WWE officials have not gotten over this. It seems like every time Gotch is fortunate enough to even make an appearance on television or pay-per-view, he’s being wrecked so fast the bell hasn’t stopped ringing yet.
By all means, I wouldn’t have expected Gotch to fair super well in the Royal Rumble anyway, as tag team wrestlers are never given priority over main event talent, but with his track record the past few months being so particularly awful, he’s now had a spotlight put on him as a target. Instead of flying under the radar and possibly just being a low-level mook to feed to a bigger name, there may be someone calling the shots who has him in mind for a more focused humiliation.
WWE’s resident punching bag absolutely will not go into this Royal Rumble and exit the night without having done something to make the audience laugh, so that narrows down the list to three options: 1) he is able to eliminate an important person, 2) he gets attacked before he even makes it to the ring, 3) he is thrown over the top rope faster than anybody else.
I don’t expect him to do any worse than Santino Marella did when he beat Warlord’s record, but if anybody is going to do it, Ellsworth would be the guy, especially if he’s super energetic when he comes out for his entrance. The more excited he is to get into the ring, the funnier it will be for him to be taken out as quickly as possible. On the flipside, he could luck out by being in the ring with someone like Braun Strowman who stalks him and toys with him for 90 seconds before mercilessly dumping him to the outside. If that happens, he’ll last a lot longer than he realistically should be able to, but I’m still leaning more towards a fast elimination than anything else.
Whoa whoa whoa, hold on there, don’t jump into the comments just yet. Just hear me out on this for a moment.
If you’ve checked out the other parts of this predictions series, you’ll have been reminded of this information already, but in case you haven’t, here it is again. The only time Goldberg has ever been in a Royal Rumble was 2004 where he entered at #30 and just a tad over two minutes later, he was eliminated by Kurt Angle. Brock Lesnar saw to it that Goldberg didn’t last long and this year, the two of them are intertwined in a feud again. Since Goldberg has so far only wrestled an incredibly short squash match against Lesnar, what indication have we been given that he’ll go the distance like Shawn Michaels in 1995? He’s even less than a part-timer on the roster and a lot of money and effort has been invested in the Goldberg vs. Lesnar match for WrestleMania, so WWE isn’t going to risk it all for the sake of having him go out there for a longer stretch of time.
Granted, I don’t expect a repeat where he shows up at #30 and Lesnar costs him the match 127 seconds later, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he came in at #28 or #29. Assuming a scenario where Gotch or Ellsworth doesn’t get booked to get taken out super quickly, Goldberg may end up being a victim of circumstance where he just happens to not last longer than anybody else. WWE clearly wouldn’t acknowledge this in any way as it would be deprecating to his aura, but the records will show it nonetheless.
Perhaps there isn’t a bigger plan in effect this year and instead of one of those first two names purposely being chosen to be the biggest loser or Goldberg’s circumstantial situation coming true, there’s a chance this comes down to a collection of blind bad luck and habit.
Any number of jobbers could wind up having the shortest time on the stopwatch including Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Darren Young, The Shining Stars, The Ascension, Jinder Mahal, Tyler Breeze or Fandango. If you’re not someone WWE cares about and you draw the short straw, you could be the one tossed to the wolves and made a joke out of. Be honest, would you feel surprised in the slightest bit if any of those guys had a truly awful showing in this match? I didn’t think so.
Those are my predictions, but who do you have in mind? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below!
For more information on Royal Rumble statistics, check out my running page of records on Smark Out Moment here: http://www.smarkoutmoment.com/p/wwe-royal-rumble-statistics-records.html