There are a number of talking points from the 2020 WWE Royal Rumble. Edge is back and grey (and shredded as fuck)! Drew McIntyre won! Shayna Baszler almost won! I forget everything else that happened because it won’t matter in the end! But I want to talk about Naomi. Poor, stupid Naomi.
I like Naomi. I like her personality. She’s incredibly athletic and it shows in the ring. I love that she walked to the ring with her natural hairstyle. She’s an alarming level of sexy, talented, and fun. She also did something so galactically stupid during the Women’s Royal Rumble Match that it was glaring and hard not to overlook.
Charlotte Flair was (rightfully) an overwhelming favorite to win the Women’s Royal Rumble. Even while Shayna Baszler seemed like the obvious choice due to narratives already put in place, we all know that as long as Flair is lurking, she always has the same great chance of winning that Roman Reigns does for the men’s side. She is inevitable.
At one point in the match, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, and a third person (can’t remember who, and can’t sign back into the WWE Network to find out) were close to eliminating Flair. Because that’s what it takes to eliminate Flair: three people. That’s more a joke than a complaint. We know how wrestling logic works. Great wrestlers are tougher to throw out of a ring.
As Flair is falling closer to the ring apron, Naomi INEXPLICABLY starts throwing elbows at Natalya and Phoenix. This stops Flair was possibly being eliminated. And here’s some news for you: Flair went on to win the match. Naomi might have single-handedly influenced the result of the match, and did so in someone else’s favor. Naomi is the dumbest ass.
What she did is a big pet peeve of mine with the Royal Rumble. It’s happens every year, but isn’t always as noticeable as it was on Sunday. The WWE has done this 32 times and still can’t find a better solution to this. And by “this” I mean knowing what to do when multiple wrestlers are attempting to eliminate one.
There are two options in this scenario. One, the most sensible option, is for the multiple wrestlers to successfully eliminate the one. One person should never defeat multiple people unless that person is Bruce Lee, Thanos, or if the multiple people are like the generic baddies in Streets of Rage 2. It’s simple math. If two or more people are working together to throw someone out of the ring, that someone should be thrown out of the ring.
Two, the tricky option, is for the one wrestler to somehow overcome the multiple wrestlers. This only works if the one wrestler is too strong and large or gets help. So it makes sense for multiple wrestlers to struggle with eliminating Braun Strowman or Nia Jax. That’s why it usually takes five wrestlers and a bunch of finishers. Wrestling math.
In the absence of size or help, the multiple wrestlers will look weak, something that should be avoided (unless it’s the Mean Street Posse). Problem is, there is no reason for people to receive assistance in the Royal Rumble Match. Every five minutes, a commentator reminds us that “it’s every man for himself.” Don’t
trust help anyone.
And yet, this is the route the WWE usually takes. Wrestler A is about to be eliminated by Wrestlers B-D, and Wrestler E randomly decides to attack B-D, thus helping A. Why? Who the fuck knows! I once heard commentary say Wrestler E must not have thought A would be eliminated. In that case, E should help B-D get the job done, not stop them. Stupid!
This especially holds true when Wrestler A is Charlotte F’N Flair! Corey Graves immediately questioned Naomi’s logic, which I think Tom Phillips tried to cover up (but I wouldn’t know because–again–I can’t sign into the WWE Network). But Graves is right: what was Naomi thinking?
Nothing. She wasn’t thinking at all. This was the WWE trying to create drama with a possible Flair elimination, but not knowing how to properly get out of the mess they created. So Naomi has to look like the fool who helps strong people stay in the match, thus hurting her chances of winning. I wish she slipped when she clutched the barricade like Spider-Man to keep her feet from touching the ringside mats. It would’ve been deserved.
Naomi was the dumbest ass. And I wish she weren’t.