Royal Rumble 2015: More Teasing Than A 15 Year Old On Prom Night

Royal Rumble 2015
Date: January 25, 2015
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

It’s the start of the Road to Wrestlemania and the top two contenders to challenge for the title at the biggest show of the year are Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Both are in the Royal Rumble match tonight and there really isn’t another major favorite to win. Other than that we have John Cena and Seth Rollins challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Title in a triple threat. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: New Day vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd

This was originally a six man elimination tag with Adam Rose and Xavier Woods added. They may have been dropped due to Woods’ ankle injury. The fans are entirely behind Cesaro to start as Big E. throws Kidd around. Some backbreakers get two on Kidd before Big E. launches Kidd into the air for a dropkick from Kofi. Off to Cesaro and the fans are thrilled. Big E. comes back in and hammers away on Cesaro, much to the crowd’s chagrin. Oh yeah they’re white hot tonight.

Kofi is dragged into the wrong corner for a double stomp with Kidd going much faster than his partner. Cesaro won’t let Kofi tag but he does roll the Swiss man up for two. The Cesaro Swing into the dropkick gets two and we take a break. Back with Cesaro holding Kofi in a chinlock as the fans think New Day sucks. Big E. gets all fired up and wipes the sweat from his brow before slamming Cesaro down for two. Kidd is sent outside and Big E. launches Kofi onto him to almost no reaction. Big E. spears Cesaro through the ropes and off the apron to the floor. I miss that spot. Or any Big E. spot actually.

The referee doesn’t see a tag to Kofi at first but Cesaro backdrops Big E. over the top for a big crash. Cesaro superplexes Kofi for a springboard elbow from Kidd for a very close two. Kofi kicks Kidd to the floor to break up a Sharpshooter attempt but Cesaro gets caught cheating on a sunset flip attempt. Trouble in Paradise is countered into the Sharpshooter on Kofi but Big E. makes the save with a belly to belly. Cesaro knocks the big man to the floor and pops Kofi in the face with a European uppercut, setting up a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker for the pin on Kofi at 11:00.

Rating: B. This got a lot better near the end but the match and commentary really tells you everything you need to know about the tag division at this point. With that one win, after about five losses, JBL thinks Cesaro and Kidd are in line for a title shot. Have we really sunk that low again? Win two matches and you should be the Tag Team Champions? Yet people still don’t want Ascension around? The near falls here were good and I wasn’t sure who was winning until the end, but that’s the first loss for New Day? Really?

The opening video talks about wanting to have your moment and being the one. We transition into a video on the triple threat and how everyone is fighting for the title.

New Age Outlaws vs. Ascension

Ascension needs some steps to come down during their entrance. Cole points out that this isn’t for the Tag Team Titles. That could be because neither team is champions. The fans think Billy still has it as he armdrags Viktor down. Off to Dogg vs. Konnor with the big man driving Dogg into the corner. Viktor’s chinlock doesn’t have much effect so it’s off to Konnor for one of his own. Dogg finally gets up and dives over for the tag to Billy as everything speeds up. The Fameasser misses though and Fall of Man ends Gunn at 5:23.

Rating: D+. This was exactly what it was supposed to be as they’re setting up Ascension against various legendary teams, meaning we’re likely to see Too Cool and maybe the APA laying down for them in the future, setting up the title showdown against Ascension. Granted it’s not like beating the New Age Outlaws means much at this point.

We recap Sting debuting on Raw and staring down the Authority, allowing Cena to pin Rollins to save his spot in the title match tonight and get Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback their jobs back.

HHH and Stephanie are annoyed that they weren’t told about Sting debuting. If he walks in here again, HHH is going to destroy him. Heyman comes in and the ECW chants begin. His solution to the Sting problem: Brock Lesnar.

Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Miz/Damien Mizdow

The Usos are defending and these teams have been trading the titles for the last few months. Mizdow is just ridiculously over. Miz shoves Jimmy into the corner but eats a shot to the face. The corner clothesline puts Jey down but he’s able to crotch Miz on the top. Mizdow does the same but in slow motion for a funny bit. He one ups it by diving into an invisible punch to the ribs before Miz throws Jimmy throat first into the ropes. The Reality Check gets two but Miz still won’t tag out.

The not very hot tag brings in Jey but Miz takes him down for the figure four as everything breaks down. Miz and Mizdow head outside and Jimmy dives on Mizdown with Jey taking out Miz a few seconds later. Back in and Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale for two on Jimmy. Jey comes back in for a double superkick and the Superfly Splash but Mizdow makes the save. He follows it up with the Skull Crushing Finale to give Miz two on Jey. Miz’s superplex attempt is broken up for a sunset bomb from Jey, followed by the Superfly Splash from Jimmy to retain at 8:22. Mizdow didn’t seem interested in making the save.

Rating: C-. Not much to see here as these teams have run out of things to do to each other. Miz and Mizdow’s split seems imminent and I can’t imagine they make it out of the Rumble without a major showdown. It wasn’t a great match though and they would have been better off with this on the pre-show and the New Day vs. Kidd/Cesaro on the main show.

The expert panel (Booker T., Corey Graves and Alex Riley) talk about the show so far.

We look at the pre-show match.

The Stooges are playing the new WWE Immortals game when Seth Rollins comes in to ask why they’re not helping him get ready. He’s tired of being called the future and wants to be the present.

Bella Twins vs. Paige/Natalya

This is the Total Divas match over who are the real stars of the show. Paige throws Nikki down to start as JBL says the Bellas have been twins their whole life. Off to Brie who walks into a double suplex, allowing the slow crawling cover from Paige. Natalya comes back in and slams Brie down before the Bellas start choking to take over.

The Brie Mode running knee to the chest gets two but Natalya fights out of a headscissors by lifting Nikki into an electric chair. Nikki misses a clothesline in the corner but Brie breaks up the hot tag to Paige. A big forearm to Natalya’s jaw is enough for the pin at 8:06 to end this far too long match.

Rating: D-. Oh come on now. A FOREARM??? They can’t even have Nikki hit her finisher for the pin? If you’re going to have Nikki pin Natalya, at least make this a title match. Oh wait that would be stupid because we’ve seen that match like 19 times now. Again, stop running through matches and save them for shows like this.

Roman Reigns says last year’s elimination record was cool but it’s nothing compared to this.

Stardust talks about the Cosmic Key and Goldust breathes a lot.

Rusev will crush everyone at Wrestlemania.

Miz says he’ll win and Mizdow agrees, but accidentally says he’ll win instead.

Big Show says he’s an angry and motivated giant. Roman Reigns and everyone else in the match will find that out for real.

Fandango says everyone underestimates the power of the tango.

Daniel Bryan thinks he can make it back to the main event of Wrestlemania this year. YES he does.

We recap Lesnar vs. Cena vs. Rollins. Cena had defeated Orton to earn a title shot against Lesnar but the Authority added Rollins to the match to thank him for bringing them back. Rollins has started to stand up to Lesnar and even Curb Stomped him, meaning Lesnar wants to kill him too.

WWE World Heavyweight Title: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

Lesnar is defending and we get big match intros. Rollins immediately bails to the floor and Lesnar hits the first German suplex on Cena. There’s the second German as Rollins comes in, only to get caught on Brock’s shoulders. The Stooges make the save so Brock suplexes them at the same time. Brock launches Seth back into the ring and Germans Cena again. All Lesnar so far.

Both challengers are easily suplexed again and there’s the Kimura to Cena. Brock even climbs onto Cena but Seth makes the save with the springboard knee to the head and Lesnar is in trouble. A double suplex puts Lesnar down and there’s an AA but Rollins throws Cena to the floor and only gets one on the champ. Both challengers are thrown to the floor and you can see everyone laying as Brock walks around the ring. Seth knocks Brock into the steps for a breather, leaving Cena to beat Rollins up inside.

The fans absolutely hate Cena, only to have Brock break up the Shuffle with rolling Germans. Rollins breaks it up for some reason though and knees Lesnar out to the floor. Now it’s Cena getting all fired up and cleaning house, only to have Rollins knock him outside. Seth tries a springboard onto Lesnar, only to get caught on Brock’s shoulders for an F5. John has to make a save so Brock feels the need to throw him down with another German suplex.

That’s not enough for Brock though as he loads up the announcers’ table (and destroys a monitor), only to walk into the AA. Brock doesn’t even stay down so Cena hits another, only to have Lesnar pop up again. A third AA gets two as Rollins makes the save, followed by the Curb Stomp for two with Cena making a save. Now the fans are impressed. Lesnar throws them both down again and goes outside, only to have Cena follow him out and spear the champ through the barricade.

Cena slams him hard into the steps and blasts him in the face with the same steps, knocking the champ onto the announcers’ table. Seth kicks Cena down and goes up for a top rope elbow through the table to put everyone down. That was one heck of a crash as the war continues. Back in and Rollins hits the low superkick for two on Cena but John grabs a popup sitout powerbomb for the same. Lesnar is receiving medical attention as Rollins counters a superplex attempt into the running buckle bomb for two.

Everyone is down again but Cena grabs the STF, only to have the Stooges come in for the save. Rollins plays Reigns in a Triple Bomb as a stretcher comes out for Lesnar. Cena kicks out at two so Rollins grabs the briefcase, only to miss the charge and fly out to the floor. The Stooges take a double AA and Rollins gets the single version but kicks out at two. We cut back to Lesnar who says he wants to stay out here. Cole says Lesnar has at least a broken rib. Rollins enziguris Cena down and the Curb Stomp connects for another near fall.

Rollins busts out a Phoenix Splash but Lesnar CHARGES back in for some German suplexes as Beast Mode is on. Seth flips out of a German though and knocks Lesnar silly with the briefcase, only to have Lesnar pop up with an F5 to counter the Curb Stomp onto the briefcase to retain the title at 22:45.

Rating: A. If there’s one thing WWE can do like no one else, it’s organized carnage. These guys DESTROYED each other for twenty two minutes and I would have believed anyone could have won at any time. Lesnar going into that other level is absolutely terrifying and you believe he could beat anyone at that point. Great stuff here and well worth going out of your way to see. They’re making Lesnar out to be unstoppable, meaning whoever gets to take the title off of him will be a huge star. You might even say they’ll be Reign(s)ing. And yes that was as stupid as it sounded.

Rumble by the numbers.

Royal Rumble

90 second intervals and it’s Miz at #1 and R-Truth at #2. The fans immediately want Mizdow but get a headlock from R-Truth instead. Feeling out process to start until Truth gets crotched on top. In at #3 is BUBBA RAY DUDLEY, complete with taped up glasses. It’s Miz getting the big beating and the wind-up elbow has Miz reeling. Truth (appropriately) helps with What’s Up and is even told to get the tables. You know the Philadelphia crowd is up for that. Miz gets back up and eats 3D, allowing Bubba to easily eliminate him.

Luke Harper is in at #4 as Bubba throws out Truth. They immediately start hammering on each other and Harper fights out of the Bubba Bomb before kicking Bubba in the jaw. A big lariat puts Harper down though and the ECW chants revive Dudley. Bray Wyatt is in at #5, complete with lantern. Bubba stares him down but Harper gives us a Wyatt Family reunion as the fans want D-Von. Harper throws Bubba out and it’s time for the big staredown.

They stand in place until Curtis Axel is in at #6 but Erick Rowan (who didn’t qualify for the Rumble) jumps him from behind though and whips him into the barricade, apparently stealing Axel’s spot. Harper looks at Rowan and wants a team up, much to Bray’s excitement. Bray and Harper join forces though and Rowan gets double teamed, only to have Bray dump both of them out to clear the ring.

The Boogeyman returns at #7 and Cole informs us that the guy coming out to I’M THE BOOGEYMAN is in fact named the Boogeyman. Bray smiles at him and stops a charge with a big clothesline, setting up the easy elimination. Sin Cara is in at #8 and Cole sounds bored out of his mind. Cara gets in a kick from the apron but Bray just decks him with a right hand. Sister Abigail connects and Bray is all alone again a few seconds later.

Bray grabs the mic and issues an open invitation because he has the whole world in his hands. Zack Ryder returns at #9, hits the Broski Boot, and is quickly Bray’s fifth elimination. Daniel Bryan is in at #10 to really pick things up. He immediately starts the kicks and has Bray in trouble in the corner. Even more kicks put him down as Fandango is in at #11. Bryan busts out even more kicks and an old school airplane spin but doesn’t throw Fandango out.

Tyson Kidd (complete with his addictive theme song) is in at #12 to slug it out with Bryan before a double cross body puts both guys down. Stardust is in at #13 as we’re firmly in the midcard portion. Cole says this is Stardust’s first Rumble to split a few hairs. We currently have Wyatt, Bryan, Stardust, Fandango and Kidd in the ring. Stardust and Fandango trade skinning the cat saves before Bryan belly to back suplexes Kidd out.

Bray gets knocked through the middle rope and Bryan follows with the Flying Goat, meaning both guys are still in as Diamond Dallas Page is in at #14. Stardust jumps him upon entry but eats a Diamond Cutter. Fandango takes the middle rope version, followed by Wyatt missing a charge and taking one of his own. Rusev is in at #15 and it’s time to clear out some space. He blocks a Diamond Cutter and dumps Page and Fandango, setting up a showdown between Rusev and Wyatt.

Daniel breaks it up with a top rope dropkick and unleashes more kicks, only to have Bray pop up and dump him out far earlier than I was expecting. Goldust is in at #16 as the crowd is just dead. Stardust tries to throw out Goldust (with Cole mentioning that Goldust was eliminated by his brother last year, despite saying Stardust was in his first Rumble. Like I said, splitting hairs) but Goldust saves himself. The fans start chanting for Bryan and them switch to booing.

Kofi Kingston is in at #17, giving us Kingston, Goldust, Stardust, Rusev and Wyatt. Bray catapults him over the top but Kofi skins the cat and comes back in with a springboard shot to the head. Everyone gets into one corner until Adam Rose is in at #18. You can hear every word of the songs now as the crowd just does not care at the moment. Kofi is thrown out but the Rosebuds catch him and walk him back to the apron. Rusev dumps Rose and Kofi a few seconds later and Roman Reigns is in at #19 to a lot less booing than I was expecting.

Roman starts cleaning house and dumps both Dust Brothers, only to get double teamed by Rusev and Wyatt. Big E. is in at #20 to clean house and give us a very powerful foursome of Big E., Rusev, Wyatt and Reigns. Mizdow is in at #21 but Miz runs out to say it’s his spot. Damien finally stands up to Miz and goes in to a good reaction, only to be dumped by Rusev. Jack Swagger is in at #22 and everyone keeps brawling until Ryback is in at #23.

Ryback busts out everyone with spinebusters as JBL incorrectly says Lex Luger is the only man to win the Rumble but never win the WWE Title (Duggan). The fans chant for CM Punk but get Kane at #24, giving us Wyatt, Rusev, Reigns, Big E., Swagger, Ryback and Kane. Dean Ambrose wakes the crowd up again at #25 and goes right for Wyatt. We get more brawling around the ropes until Titus O’Neil is in at #26 and is dumped in about thirty seconds (counting intro) by Reigns and Rusev.

Ambrose dropkicks Wyatt up against the ropes and Bad News Barrett gets lucky #27. The ring is getting full but no one is in any real danger of being eliminated. Cesaro is in at #28 and joins the fray. Rusev sends Big E. to the apron and then kicks him out to clear the ring a bit. Big Show is in at #29 and everyone stops to stare him down. They all gang up on him but Show shoves everyone down as Kane chokeslams Ambrose. Show does the same to Reigns before the monsters dump Ryback with ease.

Swagger is dumped by the power team as well, tying Kane for the all time record at 39 eliminations. Dolph Ziggler is in at #30, giving us a final group of Wyatt, Rusev, Reigns, Kane, Ambrose, Barrett, Cesaro, Big Show and Ziggler. Dolph has to fight out of the chokeslam from Big Show and dumps Barrett. Cesaro swings Dolph around and gets him to the apron, only to be pulled out for the elimination. Ziggler goes up top and dives right into the KO Punch, allowing Kane and Show to easily dump him, giving Kane the all time eliminations record.

Big Show KO’s Wyatt and dumps him as well, leaving us with Ambrose, Reigns, Big Show and Kane as the final four. Reigns is bleeding from the side of the mouth as the brawl is on. The Shield fights out of a double chokeslam but Ambrose’s rebound clothesline has almost no effect on Show. Reigns knocks Show down and the fans just are not happy. Big Show and Kane double team Roman though before a chokeslam is enough to get rid of Ambrose.

So it’s Kane and Big Show vs. Reigns and the fans are LIVID. Reigns gets sent to the apron but Show tries to dump Kane, triggering a fight that has been going on for over fifteen years now. Reigns sneaks up from behind them and eliminates both guys to go to Wrestlemania at 57:23.

Rating: D+. I’m surprised by this but I really shouldn’t be. They actually went with Reigns vs. the giants to end the Royal Rumble? This match felt like a big tease from the company as they were setting up Wyatt, Cesaro, Rusev, Ambrose and Ziggler for this big showdown but then snatched it away to go with Kane and Big Show as the big monsters. That’s really what they think is the smart idea? And you know we’re getting Reigns vs. Big Show at Fast Lane, probably without Big Show doing a job for him because he doesn’t get pinned you see.

As for the rest of the match…..yeah I liked it, but man alive it was obvious where they were going with about twenty minutes to go. Bryan going out that early is a waste, though I’m fine with him not winning it. He had his big moment last year and it would be foolish to try and recreate it. Bryan can get the title later on in his other big moment and that’s all he needs to do.

The returns were fine but there was no big surprise at the end (that’s fine), and Reigns was just so obvious as a winner. Also, the commentary was getting REALLY annoying with all their stats, some of which just didn’t make sense. I didn’t hate this match, but Reigns is getting wedged into a spot he’s just not ready for whatsoever. Wrestlemania better have an amazing undercard, because Reigns vs. Lesnar is not going to cut it on top.

Post match Kane and Big Show destroy Reigns until The Rock makes a surprise run in for the save. House is cleaned but Rusev is back in! He was never officially elimianted…..so Reigns throws him out to officially win about three minutes after he won in the first place. Again, more teasing.

The Authority comes out as Rock poses with Reigns before letting Reigns point at the sign to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This could have been far worse and the Rumble isn’t even very bad, but good grief it felt like they looked at all the cool possibilities they had here and ran away from them as fast as they could to go with the status quo. The World Title match more than saves the show and the Rumble has its moments (some of them at least), but that last ten minutes or so just crippled anything they possibly had out of this match. I actually liked last year’s Rumble better if you can believe that. Just……stop deciding your outcome before you think for two seconds WWE. It would make your fans so much happier.

I’m not even mad at this ending. It’s just…there. WWE decided months ago that Reigns was going to be the guy because of whatever reasons they have and that’s what we’re getting, no matter what else is out there. It’s very dull when you know what’s coming and there’s nothing you can do about it. I can live with that when there’s no better option, but there are indeed better, or at least far more interesting and prepared options, than Reigns here.

Results

Ascension b. New Age Outlaws – Fall of Man to Gunn

Usos b. Miz/Damien Mizdow – Superfly Splash to Miz

Bella Twins b. Paige/Natalya – Forearm to the face

Brock Lesnar b. Seth Rollins and John Cena – F5 to Rollins

Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble last eliminating Big Show and Kane

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99 comments

  1. MWeyer says:

    Not the worst (99 still has that distinction) but fascinating how badly WWE misjudged things thinking fans wanted Reigns to win this year rather than last and totally underestimating the obvious reaction to Bryan dumped so early.

  2. Dan says:

    If Gracie comes out to say: ”Oh man, how bad was that?” , I won’t complain.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I would. It was more dull than bad.

    Dan Reply:

    Bah, I would too. It’s a running gag of this site, so screw it.

  3. Your Eternal Reward says:

    Well that was booked horribly. I shall now unsubscribe from the network as Fast Lane won’t be worth the $10. I’ll be back for Mania of course but after that…. WWE could be so much more but they just… don’t allow anyone to do anything these days.

    I mean dumping Bryan so early just killed the crowd. Then again dumping Bryan at any point was going to kill the crowd so what coild they do?

  4. Killjoy says:

    You confused Seth Rollins with Randy Orton in the backstage segment.

    Also, I’m convinced Big Show was supposed to hold on but lost his grip. Otherwise, it made no sense that The Rock would come out, Rusev would pop back and all that. It was a very weak Rumble with a pretty terrible ending and it doesn’t do Reigns any favors.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah I caught that. Thanks.

    The ending did look mistimed. I was trying to figure out where Rusev was.

  5. M.R. says:

    Why not have Wyatt and Rusev as the two monsters to end the match with Reigns? How long must they suffer in the midcard? I’m completely happy with the Reigns win but hate the fact he closed the match against two old guys.

    Also, thanks JBL, I was wondering who had won from that entry for every fucking number.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Because Kane and Big Show are interesting. Like…..they’re big! And they’ve been fighting for fifteen years plus (without having a single good match) so it’s like historic and epic and stuff!

    Oh man I was getting sick of those stats, especially when some of them weren’t even right.

  6. james gracie says:

    Oh man how BAD was the Royal Rumble?!? Let me first say I thought the triple threat match was fantastic. I had no idea who was gonna win half way through the match and that is tremendous booking. Best triple threat match ever possibly next to Mania 20 and Backlash 2004 respectively.

    Now that I got that out of the way. Under card was bad. That diva’s match was way to fucking long. Ascension got no rub whatsoever.

    And now the Rumble. Fuck this company. Did they really expect the crowd to NOT shit on this match once Bryan was eliminated? And I can’t remember any more anti climatic eliminations ever the way Show and Kane kept eliminating everyone. Why are THEY GETTING BOOKED SO FUCKING STRONG??? It’s like they were trying to piss of the fans by eliminating Ambrose and Ziggler at the end with no real drama. FUCK THIS SHIT! And they didn’t even do the Mizdow spot where Miz gets eliminated and Mizdow eliminates himself. Would have been a good comedy spot. HOW DID THEY NOT DO THAT! Even Kofi’s save wasn’t that
    good.

    Wow Reigns vs Lesnar LOLOLOLOL enjoy that one Mania crowd! Can’t wait til that match gets shit on!

    Awful show tonight. Nice try with the Rock too. I am done with the Rock. So we got Triple H, Rock, Big Show, Kane, Sting. I guess WWE still thinks it’s the year 2000. And they wonder why none of the younger guys can get over? Big Show and Kane dominate everyone and Rock gets to be the guy that gets one over on them? FUCK! Just terrible booking and it amazes me how out of touch this company is with their fanbase. 2 fucking years in a row they pull this crap. I ask all of you who is sick of WWE’s booking to please hit them where it hurts and CANCEL YOU FUCKING NETWORK MEMBERSHIPS!!!! #VinceIsSoftandOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #DanielBryanCanNoLongerSaveUs

    Dan Reply:

    You’re the running gag of this place, so… Although I was annoyed by the booing and the lack of star power, it was WWE ”rickrolling” the audience more than anything that pissed me off.

    Just hope they don’t ruin WM.

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    I’ve learned to ignore him. By now he’s pretty much become the Statler and Waldorf of this site.
    #don’tfeedstatlerorwaldorf

    Opti Reply:

    For once I agree. #SaveMeJamesGracie

  7. Dark Grin says:

    2nd year in a row the WWE has completely misread their audience. you know its bad when the Rock can’t get you over. Memo to WWE – philly will call you on your shit every time.

  8. F5 says:

    Not going to attack you with this post, as I want to speak clearly and you to actually read this.

    If WWE actually had Reigns win, expecting him to be the face, after Bryan, who the crowd went nuclear after not being in the Rumble last year, and only cheered Reigns because he went against Batista whom the crowd viewed as the reason Bryan wasn’t winning(rightfully so), was eliminated early on, then they are the biggest idiots in the world and need to clear house immediately(and HHH is not under any circumstances going to magically make it better since he’s already clearly in Thez mode of kissing his own ass 24/7 and supporting his favorites).

    The Crowd is not at fault, this would happen in any city in then country, and those on your forum saying otherwise are in absolute denial, especially those whom clearly have a bias against Bryan. Bryan is the guy the fans want to see, and they want him to be the champion again at Wrestlemania, no matter the argument, because they picked him, smark/hardcore and casual alike, and he never lost the belt, and him winning is no different than Austin continually winning after his own Underdog story against his own Authority played out. Bryan, whom is clearly able to become the top guy due to his fan support. should have won, walked into Mania, slayed the giant ala Hogan V Andre, and become that much bigger. So, this idea that “Bryan’s story is ruined otherwise” is patently illogical.

    As a result, Reigns is taking that Batista role again, and the fans are targeting him, at least tonight, with that rage because they see(assuming this is the real plan), that Reigns is the HHH/Vince political pick, because he’s the “pretty boy” as CM Punk put it, and thus his role is denying Bryan, their hero, from being the top guy. With the advent of the internet even the casuals know that this is going on, and are not happy.

    The only other alternative is that Reigns is actually being turned heel, those in power knew this would happen, and are actually going to place in and Lesnar as obstacles against Bryan, much like Batista and Orton last year, to make him look that much better. WWE invested a lot in Bryan and his win, and doing that only makes sense, especially if they want to keep Bryan as the underdog and make him look that much more like a superhero. And beating Lesnar AND Reigns would make him MASSIVE.

    Absurd you say? It sure sounds it, but did you watch the Rock’s promo on the Rumble Fallout? Unless Rock was just very upset and saying what was coming to mind as a result of the (justified)fan reaction, booing Reigns and even him, then Rock was coming off a lot like a heel, and his words were very heelish toward the announcer. I think the Rock being a heel is nearly impossible now, since he’s a big face and a huge movie star, but he could certainly help get both Bryan and Reigns over, and Reigns could help develop even after losing at Mania.

    In either case, if this is the real match, WWE set up Reigns to fail because of their own incompetence and pettiness, because they’re run by those without any real grasp on reality and think they are better than the fans, who continually respond negatively to them, and inevitably stop watching altogether. Lesnar might as well win if that’s the case, either way Reigns’ future might be looking bad, because he’s poised to be put in a very negative spot if WWE doesn’t have something bigger up their sleeve.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Reigns turning heel isn’t out of the question, but I don’t think he has the promo skills to pull it off.

    F5 Reply:

    Enter Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Reigns actually came off like a Heel as well in that little backstage segment, but he seemed to simply be cowtowing to Rock like he was the Rock’s little brother. This could make fans dislike him even more, because Reigns would come off as someone who is getting by on the Rock’s name, his family, and was stuck into a position he doesn’t deserve because of it.

    Now, obviously the Rock won’t be there every week, he’s a very busy guy, but him being there on and off, or Reigns showing up sporadically as well would create the idea that he’s “too good” for WWE again, which Rock can easily channel with the fans, since people assumed this for years. And Reigns becoming “Hollywood” would only make him that much more nuclear.

    Couple that with an absentee champion who knows he is better than the WWE, and then pit those two(three) against Bryan, who works hard and does everything he can to be the real “People’s Champion” and support his loving fans, then you have a perfect story.

    I’m sure I’m giving WWE too much credit, after all they pretended that them not putting Bryan in the Rumble last year was an angle rather than a shoot where the fans forced them to change, but that could very well happen again, or maybe they really did learn their lesson. Vince and HHH can’t be so immovable that they’ll kill their company and create an even weaker period than the New Generation just because they don’t want to support someone who’s not over 6′ and loaded with muscles(though Reigns looked a lot smaller than Rock next to him[I think we’re around the same height], and we know why he wears that vest).

  9. Ted says:

    Reigns isn’t ready. This pathetic exercise of you will like reigns because we say so is not going to end well.

    Wyatt, ziggler, and Bryan would have been better choices.

    I feel bad for reigns even rock couldn’t get him cheered.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I feel bad for him too. He’s not ready, even though he seems to be trying. It’s not his fault that WWE is rushing him to this spot. I really hope people remember that.

  10. M.R. says:

    Also, how silly does Kane look wrestling in slacks?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    About as silly as WWE when Rock couldn’t get this cheered.

    M.R. Reply:

    Eh, I don’t put much stock into the crowd reaction towards Reigns. They know he’s the company’s choice and the heir to Cena. This reaction was always coming.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    You hold this match anywhere beside Philly, I doubt you get this bad a reaction…

  11. A says:

    Reigns winning was awesome. Hypothetically if someone accidentally played Benoit’s theme during the Rumble how would the crowd react?

    Dan Reply:

    *awkward silence* , I guess.

    Same for Eddie.

  12. Aeon Mathix says:

    No Orton? Seriously?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m wondering why they’re saving him. If it’s to feud with Kane as reported…..just dang man.

    Aeon Mathix Reply:

    Well rollins put him out and you know everyone forgets about rollins after he attacks them right? The guy could rob a bank and kill ppl and the police would stop looking for him by the end of the day.

    Orton will probably return with no mention of anyone or what happened and feud with Wyatt or something

    Killjoy Reply:

    He’s injured.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    And due back very soon. I thought it was tonight but I guess not yet.

  13. #MrScissorsKick says:

    I was satisfied after watching the triple threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and I was psyched when Rock came out. Good show, can’t complain at all here.

  14. Vega says:

    Agree with the written part, but the Rumble was F+ max for me. That match is solely built on booking and structuring for the fans to get into, and you couldn’t have booked it much worse.

  15. Reid says:

    They… Didn’t learn anything from last year did they?

  16. Aeon Mathix says:

    Reigns vs Lesnar could be a huge disaster. Especially if Lesnar shows the slightest hint of not giving a shit. Reigns cant save a match on his own yet. I dont want another triple threat at Mania for the title again so idk how they work this out.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yep. That’s what’s been scaring me since this was the obvious main event. Rollins could still be a factor though and I’m curious where they go with Bryan.

    Aeon Mathix Reply:

    Maybe against each other for the briefcase at Mania?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I could go for that.

  17. Opti says:

    So KB, if it is going ahead as Lesnar-Reigns. Do you think they put a muzzle on Heyman every week that The Rock isn’t there to talk in Reigns corner? Because Heyman can make Reigns look pathetic on the mic in just about two minutes like not many others can.

    Also, where’s the storylines for WrestleMania? All I see if Reigns-Lesnar and Cena-Rusev. Triple H hates Sting and The Rock? Which one does he want to fight. What about their entire fucking midcard needing new feuds?

    I just don’t think I can support a company that’s so blind for much longer.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I really don’t know at this point. Reigns talking against almost anyone as long as he’s scripted is a killer and WWE has to get that by n……I can’t say that with a straight face. You almost have to muzzle him at this point.

    As for Wrestlemania…..dang I’m not sure. You have to figure on HHH vs. Sting and Cena vs. Rusev (post show basically confirmed it). The midcard is just death at this point though as it’s clear they have nothing in mind for it. Those midcard titles are being so wasted, especially on Barrett (not Barrett himself but they way they book him).

  18. M.R. says:

    Cesaro should still be a bigger deal. They’re missing a big opportunity with that one.

  19. Nodog says:

    Who the fuck booked the Rumble? Everything that could have possibly gone wrong, did. Biggest problem was knocking Bryan out halfway through the match killing the crowd, He should have made it to the final four along with Rusev and Wyatt. Instead they went with Reigns vs, 2 guys NOBODY cares about that have been around for 15 years+.
    Then there’s the Rock who was simply there to dull the ensuing boos that WWE knew were coming. But lo and behold, not even the Rock could save Reigns. The crowd tomorrow night will be telling. If reigns gets cheered, fine WWE might be on to something, but if he gets booed or the crowd is dead, they better start looking for another main event because Reigns vs. Lesner is not going to cut it.

  20. just pissed they planned an entire match knowing full well the reaction coming Roman’s way – and still didn’t think to alter it. Ah the cockiness.

    Swerve with Rusev and Bray build and elimination. Check
    Throw Bryan out early enough, to have dunce crowd forget it happened, and avoid awkward encounter with Reigns later in the match. Check
    Have big burly bald bad men to throw out Ambrose and Ziggler to muster heel heat so that Roman could feed off of that as ultimate babyface. Check
    And if everything fails, then bring out Rock to rub some lotion. Check

    Roman Reigns is just not there yet.

  21. M.R. says:

    I remember thinking Batista wasn’t ready yet back in 2005. That turned out alright.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It did, but those are different circumstances. For one thing, Batista had a big story where people wanted to see him. That hasn’t been the case with REigns.

    M.R. Reply:

    He also had a huge foe in Triple H who people were absolutely tired of. Brock’s presented as a special attraction as much as he is a bad guy.

  22. Gunther_224 says:

    Fast Lane is gonna be The Rock/Reigns vs Big Show/Kane I think

    klunderbunker Reply:

    E freaking gads if that’s what they go with.

  23. Heyo says:

    If I actually drank alcohol, I would be drinking something right now. Hell, I’m going to Chili’s soon, I might get a margarita, I’m just depressed over this. It’s clear that they just don’t care anymore. When Roman Reigns has reached the point where even the Rock cannot put him over, we’re so $#@&ed.

    It’s gotten to the point where I feel happy for Big Show and Kane, but not because WWE is pushing them. It’s because they’ve been around for so long that they’ll be fine financially if things go down the toilet.

    KB, do you have ANY hope of them turning around?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    After last year, of course.

    However, this year they seem dead set on throwing Reigns to the lions and then blaming everyone but themselves when it goes bad. For the life of me I don’t know how they think people care about Big Show and Kane at this point (and Kane is one of my all time favorites actually), because this whole beating giants thing isn’t working. If you want to go with something like that, have Reigns actually BEAT THEM. That might work, but having them draw it out for an eternity like this is beyond old.

    Heyo Reply:

    Those last few sentences reminded me of WCW a bit. You know, how they’d never actually let the faces win.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    You hear that tossed around a lot, but at the end of the day, comparing anything, even TNA, to WCW is too much of a stretch. We’re nine months away from Bryan winning the title in the biggest feel good moment in……oh at least ten years. WCW rarely came close to that.

  24. deanerandterry says:

    Everything you wrote in the overall is completely spot on. As usual, good work KB.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Much appreciated.

  25. Bossman says:

    WWE are the ultimate trolls at this point. Bryan getting eliminated early on during the Rumble match, Kane and Big Show eliminating Ambrose and Ziggler, AND Reigns winning the Royal Rumble match. Either that or they are that stupid. Either way, it’s going to be fun watching the crowd completely rip Reigns apart and WWE try to ignore it. Not that I think Reigns deserves to get shit on as he’s trying at least but WWE have made their bed and now they’ll have to lay in it… again.

    Also, sorry KB but I don’t understand how you can say that it would be foolish to recreate Daniel Bryan’s big moment when that’s not even close to being true. It’s like saying it would be foolish for Austin to main event WrestleMania 15 and try to recreate the big moment he had at WrestleMania 14. Daniel Bryan is the most over guy on the roster, a match against Lesnar has money written all over it, and he still deserves a nice, lengthy reign with the WWE World title. I’m not saying he should man event every other WrestleMania in the future but this year definitely made sense for him to win it given his big injury comeback and him being the one to defeat Lesnar.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Well for one thing, Austin at 14 and 15 are very different stories. 14 is Austin ready to take on the world and become the star. 15 is Austin full on against McMahon and little more than a glorified plot point.

    Bossman Reply:

    Honestly, the stories were pretty similar. Both stories are Austin dealing with adversity against the evil groups (D-Generation X and McMahon & the Corporation) and having to overcome it to become the WWF champion. The plot points were different but the similarities between the two stories were still there.

    Bryan’s story didn’t necessarily didn’t have to be a recreation of last year’s story but the story of him being a fighting underdog again but this time against Lesnar would have been money. Much better than Reigns steamrolling through Kane, Orton, and Rollins, getting hurt, coming back to a program with Show, and now winning the Rumble.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Oh I agree that it would be better. Almost anything would be better, or at least more interesting, than what we’re getting here.

  26. Jay H (the real one) says:

    As much as I wanted Daniel Bryan to win I am not even mad Roman Reigns won tonight. I agree that he will still be in the Title hunt throughout the year. Overall not a bad Royal Rumble and the Triple Threat was awesome.

  27. Sroxy says:

    KB, here’s a question. What’s the problem with Bryan once again doing a repeat of last year and challenging for the title at WM, defying the odds and winning it?

    You say that he had his big moment last year and doesn’t need it this time. By that logic, Steve Austin should not have challenged at Mania 15..and 17 too. He achieved his dream at WM 14, fought all year against the Corporation and defied their schemes, and at the next Wrestlemania he was again back challenging for the title against insurmountable odds.

    Also Cena shouldn’t have also wrestled a single Mania main event after Mania 21 or 22 if that is the logic we are going with.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Well for one thing that’s not the logic I mean and the rest of those examples weren’t the same things over again.

    Bryan fighting the Authority against all odds is probably their most interesting story, but it’s a story we’ve seen done to perfection already. I don’t see the appeal of doing the same story all over again, especially if we know the ending. That’s not a universal statement of course, but I saw it done perfectly already. I don’t really need to see it again.

    Sroxy Reply:

    Well then I guess the best option would have been to not make it about Bryan vs Authority at all. Have Lesnar stay away from the Authority as far as possible and have it just straight-up Bryan vs Lesnar. David vs Goliath for the ultimate prize. Lesnar doesn’t need the Authority’s heat. He already has it by being the 1 in 21-1.

    That would not have been a rehash of a perfectly done storyline and would have provided us an even more amazing match and moment at Wrestlemania.

  28. Steve says:

    I feel like I just watched one of the worst Rumbles ever. The only good match was Reigns vs Lesnar vs Cena, imo. The tag title match was decent and the pre-show match was entertaining. The rumble had some shock entries, but it was a train-wreck and the end result was terrible… The fans hated it, and now #CancelWWENetwork is trending WORLDWIDE.

    Thankfully, the World Title Match was GREAT! If I re-watch the PPV ever, that will be all I watch…

  29. Heyo says:

    Thoughts on Rock getting booed like he did, and the following things about the WWE Network?

    So many people tried to cancel their Network subscriptions that the cancellation page CRASHED, and as you saw above, #CancelWWENetwork is trending.

    Heyo Reply:

    Oh my God…I think it’s actually the top trend on Twitter nationwide right now.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    And I’m sure none of them will come back for Wrestlemania for $10.

    Sroxy Reply:

    Sure they would re-subscribe. But consider the brand damage. On Twitter, where the WWE loves to brag. And just weeks before the conference call where the new numbers will be announced.

    Heyo Reply:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they came back for WM, and then immediately cancel it afterwards. Honest to God, even with that price I don’t care about it. This whole thing just sapped all my interest in actually watching the stuff live.

    Sure, I’ll still read your stuff(you’re really good at your reviews) but that’s it. Just reading it and not doing much more.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Heck, they’ll be back Wednesday for NXT……

    ted Reply:

    “And I’m sure none of them will come back for Wrestlemania for $10”

    So you hear the top trend is cancel wwe network. Their site crashes from to many people canceling online, And people calling to cancel through phone were told to call the next day as to many were calling at once.

    Your response is that?

    This seems very bad. The low price point isn’t going to matter, if they continue this course.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Wrestling fans have very, very short attention spans and make decisions like cavemen.

    ted Reply:

    You just called yourself a caveman with a very very short attention span.

  30. M.R. says:

    Announcing the main event of Wrestlemania while still having a PPV before then is a perfect example of there being a few too many PPVs a year. What the hell’s the point of Fast Lane if we’re already announcing Lesnar/Reigns as the main event of Mania? Atleast with the chamber you waited to see who would walk out as champ to go to Mania.

    M.R. Reply:

    Also, I’m half asleep and rambling so forgive the odd wordings, but the statement remains true.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’d be fine if Fast Lane was gone.

  31. klunderbunker says:

    Much appreciated.

  32. klunderbunker says:

    You’re right. It wouldn’t be. It’s why I’m not as down on this show as some are.

  33. MoralOral says:

    The biggest problem I have with Reigns winning is the fact that he can’t even beat the Big Show. The same guy who has probably lost to every one on the roster at least once I mean in they’re last match he boarder line got squashed but yet I’m suppose to believe he can be Lesnar.

  34. klunderbunker says:

    KB sorry. KB think…….what KB talking about again?

    It’s a fairly apt description of me actually, just that I’m not cancelling the best thing to happen to wrestling fans in years because I’m overreacting to a show. You know, like last year’s where everything was horrible and Wrestlemania just sucked a few months later.

  35. chad says:

    I think it could work having Lesnar and Reigns main event WM 31, Lesnar beats reigns in a hard hitting match only for Rollins to cash in and leave WM as champ, Reigns chases Rollins to Summerslam for his big title win. Leans remains a monster, Rollins gets to the next level and Reigns gets more time to become that guy Vince and co want him to be.

  36. Derek Hamel says:

    WWE asked for this. By turning the company into a major social media outlet, more and more fans are in tune with what goes on behind the scenes. So last year, instead of mindlessly accepting Vince’s latest steroid-laden choice to headline Wrestlemania, the audience revolted.
    Although I think Daniel Bryan should have won this year’s Rumble for many reasons, I accept the fact that I’m not the booker and perhaps they’ll have some surprises for us before the big show. What I can’t fathom is the way his elimination was handled. How could anybody in management not know beforehand that Bryan’s early boot would totally suck the life out of the crowd, not to mention turn the Philly faithful against Roman Reigns in a big way? Why not bring Bryan in at number 27 and toss him in the final few minutes? This must have been Vince getting back and all the snark shown towards Kane and Big Show. It’s like the Cena syndrome all over again; Vince has his mind made up that WWE fans WILL accept the two lumbering giants as terrifying, legitimate top heels, or he’ll die trying. Blech.

  37. Steve says:

    I meant Rollins vs Lesnar vs Cena. My bad. I’ve got Reigns on the brain… All them fanboys. x.x;

  38. Nodog says:

    I don’t think its an overreaction, I think its final straw for many fans(like me) who have had enough of the awful stale product. NXT is great, it really is, but its not enough to keep me as I’m not supporting a company which otherwise continually takes a dump on its fans.
    If they unfuck themselves, maybe I’ll re-sub, but for now, I’m done!

    blame Reply:

    What If Reigns speared The Rock because Reigns had too much pride and didn’t want the Rocks help? That would of been good or Russo bad?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I wouldn’t say Russo but it would be bad.

    Nodog Reply:

    I’d rather see the Rock Rock Bottom Reigns.

  39. Gunther_224 says:

    What do you think of the idea of a double turn with Reigns and Rollins? It’d be hard to pull off since Rollins is such a good heel but it’s one way out of this mess because I think the fans have respect forRollins and it was made abundantly clear last night they have NONE for Reigns.

  40. Gunther_224 says:

    What do you think of the idea of a double turn with Reigns and Rollins? It’d be hard to pull off since Rollins is such a good heel but it’s one way out of this mess because I think the fans have respect for Rollins and it was made abundantly clear last night they have NONE for Reigns.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That it would be premature. THey don’t need to go insane like that yet. Maybe down the line, but it’s way too early for a huge change like that.

  41. Dr.King says:

    Do you think this reflects well on Bryan at all, KB? Many never thought he would have any longevity, and he’s passed the stage were he’s only a chant and a hand movement. Where would you place him on an all time list in regards to popularity? Obviously he wouldn’t even factor into one about drawing power.

    There’s still plenty of time for WWE to turn this around. They did a great job last year so nothing is impossible. I see some sort of Shield reunion at Mania, may it be Rollins cashing in and winning or Ambrose preventing this. I can see either.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s way too early to tell for all time. That run he had is second to only a handful though.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Daniel Bryan is only a chant and a hand movement? What are you watching? The guy is still over like crazy.

  42. Derek Hamel says:

    Wow! Talk about a backlash! The WWE network cancellation page crashed. Cancelwwenetwork.com was trending number one worldwide. There are stories just about the reaction on MSN.com and other legit news sources.
    Do you think Vince is pining for the good old days of no social media?

  43. Rocko says:

    I honestly can’t think of a reason to not have Bryan win. I’m not mad or even upset with Reigns winning but Ambrose or Bryan were way better choices. Have Reigns and Orton finish up with Rollins, Bryan beat Lesnar and then Rollins cash in at Mania. Though that would be copying the SummerSlam finish from 2013.

    Reigns vs Lesnar just seems so meh. Too early for Reigns. Heyman is going to completely outclass him. I kind of feel bad for Reigns as this could hurt him for awhile.

  44. Marky-Marc says:

    I have no problem with Reigns winning. he has a lot of talent and he has the potential to be a really big deal in the future. His pops as part of the Shield and this past summer were very noticeable. He lost a lot of steam with his injury and hasn’t gotten back on track. Him winning the Rumble was inevitable, the booking is crippling him completely.

    Reigns entered the Rumble, cleaned a small room…then was in the background the rest of the time until the end. He needed to enter and go wild. Superman Punches, apron dropkicks, spears for everyone. Did you know the only spear he hit the whole match was the one on Rusev after everyone in the world thought the match was over? They need to make him look like a beast and they’re just not doing it. It’s very frustrating.

    Also, Bryan could have won the Rumble without it being a duplicate of last year. In 2014, he had to fight the Authority for the title. This year, he has to fight Lesnar and himself. He has to face his body and his injuries and the doubts in his own head of whether or not he can do it. Similiar to how Austin had two completely different stories in 1998 and 1999, they could’ve pulled that off with Bryan as well.

    The eliminations by Big Show and Kane were ridiculous. No dramma or emotion at all behind the Ambrose/Wyatt/Ziggler eliminations. It’s as if the plan for the Rumble from Vince was ‘make Big Show and Kane look strong, don’t worry about anything else.’

  45. Gunther_224 says:

    It’s funny how after all the whining after the Rumble and all those who said they were going to cancel that not only were there few cancellations but the network achieved it’s most success to date FINALLY gaining a million subscribers. Not only that but the raw rating went up Monday despite being a recap/interview show. If I were WWE I’d use this and build up Reigns as a “must see” superstar similar to Miz during his title run. It can build up his heel heat IF they decide to go that route.

  46. M.R. says:

    The more I think of it why not just postpone Bryan’s return for Fast Lane?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    To give us something to watchon Smackdown.

    M.R. Reply:

    In all seriousness though, doesn’t pushing back Bryan’s return date a few weeks solve atleast a portion of the Rumble fiasco?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Absolutely. There were a lot of things wrong with that Rumble but Bryan going out in the last batch wasn’t going to be a fix all.