Last night, WWE held its annual Royal Rumble event. This event is truly meant to kick off the year of the wrestling, as well as start the long road to Wrestlemania. And last night, a lot of things happened. The biggest of all was that John Cena defeated AJ Styles to become a 16x WWE champion.
To put that into perspective, there was only one other man in the history of WWE who had that honor, Ric Flair. The “Nature Boy” had a 40 year career in WWF, WCW, WWE, and other promotions, thus why he got to hold the world title 16 times. For a while, it seemed like no one would ever break it. As two other current WWE stars also have double digit reign. But with Cena, once he earned his 15x title, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he’d at least tie it, if not surpass it.
You’d think, that Ric Flair wouldn’t be game for this at all, but as he revealed in an interview with WWE.com, he’s all for it.
It’s clear he’s quite happy with Cena, and ok that his record has been tied. However…that doesn’t mean everyone is happy with this.
By that, I mean there’s been a very mixed reaction among the fanbase of the WWE over Cena winning the title last night. While many agree it was “inevitable”, it came at the expense of AJ Styles, who has been a big part of the last year of wrestling, and a hallmark of the “New Era”. He’s even beaten John Cena multiple times of 2016. Many were hoping that it’d be Styles, not Cena, headlining Wrestlemania as the champ.
Add that to the very lackluster Royal Rumble match (which is an entire topic unto itself), and you can say that WWE had a very mixed evening.