Paul Heyman’s Botch at Royal Rumble Explained

Royal Rumble 2021 was a great show, except for a botch that dampened the show’s experience significantly. 

The incident happened during Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens’ Last Man Standing match. Owens had locked Reigns in handcuffs and Heyman was supposed to use the key to unlock him. But, he couldn’t do it on time and the referee had to stop the count.

Dave Meltzer and Brian Alvarez talked about the said botch on the Wrestling Observer Radio and revealed what had actually caused the delay. Meltzer said Heyman was putting the key in the wrong direction. 

The keyhole was on the other side, but Heyman couldn’t figure it out. Eventually, he did free The Big Dog but it had already been too late. 

Here’s an excerpt from their conversation:

Meltzer: Okay, so, the handcuffs, the hole with the key was on the wrong side. The keyhole was on the wrong side. They didn’t get it in time or something. Time stood still.

Alvarez: It was on the wrong side? So, why didn’t he turn the handcuff over?

Meltzer: Eventually, he did (laughs). They did get him out!

Alvarez: So, he was just jamming the key into the side in which there was no hole and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t work?

Meltzer: I don’t know, yeah!

Alvarez then suggested that WWE could’ve used bolt cutters too. But apparently, nobody thought it to be a great idea. Perhaps, they will keep it close as a backup from now onwards.