In a bit of a surprise being the event is less than 2 weeks away, news broke today that this year's Royal Rumble will feature a record 40 WWE Superstars. This opens up a few possibilities as far as adding more excitement and unexpectedness to the match, although the small group of guys who have a chance at winning will probably remain the same.
The Royal Rumble began in 1988 as a special aired on USA, featured 20 Superstars and was won by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. The first Rumble mainly featured mid card guys, and was seen as a bit of a test run for the event. In 1989 the event was bumped to a 30 man match, and featured the top stars of the era such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, Big John Studd, Ted Dibiase etc. The 30 man number has been tradition for over 20 years now, so this years event is quite and upgrade. Adding 10 more to the match opens up the door for possible legend appearances, or maybe the debut of a debuting star or rookie from Florida Championship Wrestling.
The other interesting detail will be if WWE alters the interval time for entering Superstars. In the traditional years a new Superstar entered the match ever 2 minutes, but the interval time has varied over the years from 1 minute to 90 seconds. With 40 Superstars the intervals could be less and the match could still go a decent amount of time.
This change may add a needed upgrade to the event, since it's remained the same for years now, although as I mentioned, many fans may already realize who does and doesn't have a chance of winning going in. 1992 was the best Royal Rumble of all time in my opinion being it featured an awesome array of top names, many of who had a chance of winning. Ric Flair entered at number 3 in 1992 and went on to win the match and the WWE Championship, and I don't believe I've seen a better Rumble yet, although there have been a few over the years that were quite entertaining. With the slump WWE is in, change is good, and hopefully this change will make for a better overall Rumble.