The first WWE Pay Per View of the year took place, the annual start of the year Royal Rumble. On paper the schedule looked rather… odd. It was an eventful if predictable rumble. I did a 2014 predictions post a while back here, after the results round up, let’s take a look how far off the mark I was. Please be gentle with me, I’ve had 3 hours sleep and a day at work at the time of publishing this…
Kickoff match – WWE Tag Team Titles match – Rhodes Brothers vs New Age Outlaws
Right, I had this one down as a Rhodes Brothers match for sure. I couldn’t see how or why WWE would hand the titles over to a team of near 50 year old guys on a pre pay per view show. But then what do I know right? This match got a really great crowd response. I guess the nostalgic fans were pleased to see the New Age Outlaws back in action. When Billy Gunn hit his finisher and got the 3 count over Cody Rhodes, the crowd pop was massive, surely a sign of good things to come for the PPV. So far I’m 0-1 for my predications for the night. I had read rumours of a potential Rhodes feud that would take place up to Wrestlemania, the loss of the titles surely meant the road to Rhodes feud was on track now. I just don’t get why another full time deserving tag team wasn’t given the belts. Real Americans or Uso’s surely more deserving, but then again, they wouldn’t have got the crowd so pumped from the off. Smart move in that respect I guess.
Singles match – Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
Okay, first official match of the night, and a pointless match on paper. I didn’t see any need to end this feud here after the incredible ending on raw 2 weeks back which saw Bryan with the biggest crowd reaction since the attitude era days. But here we are. However I have to say this match was awesome. The crowd were so fully invested in this match and not just because their golden boy Bryan was in it, they were so responsive and up for it the whole way through. It was another demonstration of just how well Bray keeps character; he’s so committed to it. And his wrestling isn’t so shabby either. For a bigger guy he is rather quick. There were a lot of impressive spots from both the stars in this match, and the ending with Bray hitting Bryan into the side barrier was just incredible. Bray then went onto a clean win. The crowd weren’t sure how to re-act, but you couldn’t deny that we just watched an impressive match in which Bray demonstrated that he can perform as well in the ring as out of the ring with his character. A truly excellent start to this PPV and the crowd are eating it up they love it. There are now rumours that Bryan may feature in the actual Royal Rumble match given his clean loss in the first match of the night. Oh yeah by the way… I’m now 0-2 for results tonight. Gotta say though, so far the PPV was unpredictable.
Singles match – Brock Lesnar vs Big Show
And here we are for the next pointless match on paper. Unfortunately this one didn’t follow on in terms of epic-ness after the Bryan match. In fact it was a burial of Big Show. To be honest not a lot happened here other than about 100 chair shots to Big Show from Lesnar. Big Show did manage to connect one amazing punch to Lesnar. Replays of this made it look like Lesnar took massive impact, but that was all she wrote for Big Show. Lesnar managed to get his spot of strength in and F5 the world’s largest athlete, and then pummelled him with more chair shots. At this point I and the guys watching it with me were expecting someone to come out and attack Lesnar. We threw some names out expecting another build up to Mania event about to start. But nope nothing, just a lot of broken chairs around the ring. Not a great match, not a lot happened, not worth the spot on the card. Oh well.
Singles match – WWE World Heavy Weight Championship – John Cena vs Randy Orton
Let’s get right to it…. John Cena Wins lol. Wait??? No he doesn’t … 1-3 for me now. Yep, John Cena loses. The crowd are only just waking up from their mid pay per view snooze from the last match. And the chants start. Daniel Bryan chants ring around the arena. I was happy to hear the crowd react like this, Chants from Daniel Bryan through to Y2J. Even a chant for a Diva’s match could be heard at some point along with the standard “Boring Boring”. And that’s what this match was initially. It was a boring standard Orton & Cena slug fest. They both hit their finishers on each other; they then both hit each other’s finishers on each other. I’ll give and say by this point the match had heated up a little bit. The crowd thought so too and the reactions were a bit warmer to the guys in the ring now. The lights suddenly go out and the Wyatt’s music starts. When the lights kick on their they are stood around the ring distracting Cena, he goes to attack Bray stood on the side of the ring, only for Orton to capitalize and hit an RKO and go for the pin. What am I watching? Why is the Wyatt family interfering here where they surely don’t belong? Let’s rewind briefly here. Before this match they had an interview spot with Orton and he reels of list of wrestlers he believes aren’t big enough for the title. Usual suspects Batista, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt. Bray Wyatt? He did indeed mention Bray in a list of title contention wrestlers. And here we are, he’s now interfered and gifted Orton another month as champion. Again I’d read rumours that Cena was to feud with Bray going all the way to Wrestlemania. Would appear another rumour is turning into fact and the wheels are starting to turn here. Will Cena now be involved in losing to push Bray to the big leagues? After his impressive win of Bryan it could well be.
30 Man Royal Rumble – Batista
Right then. There were many possible outcomes for this leading up to the big night. I had finally settled on Batista winning this. But had the faint possibility that Bryan was a surprise entrant and may end up winning given his loss to Bray earlier in the night. But for the bet Batista was my guy.
He would appear to be Vince McMahons guy too unsurprisingly. CM Punk and Seth Rollins were the first 2 guys to enter the rumble, and ended up nearly making it the whole way. CM Punk being eliminated by corporate Kane when he was in the final 4 was sour. I hated it, but it then would make it appear that Wrestlemania will have a Kane vs Punk match. I had Punk vs HHH prediction for Mania, but Corporate Kane has been building a rivalry with Punk lately so expect to see this end at Mania. Surprise entrants this year included Kevin Nash (what a pop he got), Sheamus (he got a massive pop only to get boring chants later on) and JBL who almost took the record for shortest time in a Royal Rumble.
I’m annoyed that JBL got and wasted a slot here. You’ll find out why in a few paragraphs time. Also another wasted entry was El Torito, The stupid bull mascot from Los Matadores. Although he did eliminate Fandango which was rather humorous. The crowd were still into Fandango and were humming his theme as he made his way down to the ring. As mentioned earlier the Rhodes brothers feud was rumoured and further cemented as fact as Cody was eliminated by his partner Goldust. Another Mania match potentially nailed on then. I also predicted that Roman Reigns would be a big part of 2014 and that he would eliminate Dean Ambrose. Intentional or inadvertently I just assumed he’d make the eliminations and that the Shield would start to crumble. Well it appeared to start prior to the rumble when the members of Shield had a promo spot and appeared to almost argue before putting their small differences aside to then say they’ll help each other till the end.
What we got was Roman Reigns ripping the rumble to pieces. He got a new record 12 eliminations in one rumble which beat Kane. He was then almost eliminated by Dean Ambrose. Here it comes… the Shield combustion starts. A little later on Ambrose and Rollins are attempting to eliminate Cessaro. Reigns capitalizes on this and takes all 3 of them out. He’s arrived, 2014’s newest face. As the entrants continued to arrive and depart it was becoming all the more clear who would be in the final stages of this. We were treated to the traditional Kofi Kingston Rumble escape where he was caught and placed on the crowd barrier before his feet hit the floor. He then made a rather epic it has to be said jump back to the ring. He also kept alive by hanging on by his feet later on into the match, thankfully though Reigns took him out. As the numbers ran out we got to the last entrant and it was Rey Mysterio.
The crowd were so pissed off. The “boos” were so loud in the arena. It was clear they were expecting Bryan. The standard thought of “fuck this company” rang around the room I and my friends were watching. As I mentioned earlier with the wasted space of JBL… why the fuck not bring Bryan back into this? Ugh. Okay so the final 4 are Roman Reigns, Sheamus, Batista & CM Punk. Punk is taken out by Kane outside the ring, which was frustrating. Sheamus did the standard point at the Mania sign. Surely not? Sheamus finally gets eliminated and here we are. The final 2 are Batista and Reigns. We all know Batista is winning from here, but at least they tried to keep us guessing. Reigns hitting Batista with a spear got a massive reaction and then the chants of “Roman Reigns” went around the arena (after a lot of Daniel Bryan chants and booing). And then as quick as that Batista reverses an Irish Whip and eliminates Reigns.
There’s more booing. Before Reigns has even hit the floor Batisita’s music hits to try and drown out the boo’s around the arena, but they are so loud. What started off so promising with the Outlaws and Bray match, quickly went south with this result. We all knew Batista was going to win really. But it would appear many expected Bryan to feature.
The positives here? Roman Reigns looks likely to be huge in 2014. I’m happy with this. John Cena appears to be out of main event status meaning Wrestelmania won’t end with his theme music.
Negatives… Bryan being buried. It’s just so unbelievable they’d let someone this popular be buried. Batista is headlining Wrestlemania 30 with Randy Orton…Really?
Raw tonight should be very interesting. (hopes), Just wonder how Elimination Chamber will shape up now.