The WWE kicked off the road to Wrestlemania last night with the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns won the match after eliminating Rusev and gained the right to face WWE Champion Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.
This upset a lot of people and there was a lot wrong with the Rumble match itself. So much, in fact, that #ThingsBetterThanTheRoyalRumble and #CancelWWENetwork were trending on Twitter. The WWE Network cancellation website crashed. But why?
By: Adam Pyde – @Adam_Pyde
I’ll run down the card quick before getting to the marquee event.
I was glad to see The Ascension pick up a win over the New Age Outlaws. I liked these guys in NXT and the tag division is in desperate need of a shot in the arm. Hopefully they can continue to get strong booking. Maybe instead of local jobbers have them destroy Los Matadores and The New Day a few times.
The Miz and Mizdow verse The Uso’s was well enough. The Uso’s are the only real team that can hold the straps right now. I feel bad for The Uso’s a bit. They’re good wrestlers but they just don’t have any competition in the division. How many times have we seen them trade wins with Miz and Mizdow or Stardust and Goldust? Lazy booking.
The world title match is going to be a match of the year candidate. That was unreal. A++. Usually triple threats are just an awkward 1 vs 1 match while one guy sells forever, and that sort of happened, but the pace was so high. Brock is booked like an absolute monster. He’s unstoppable. Basically 1980’s Hulk Hogan. Cena is Cena and I quite like Cena. He’s a solid ring worker, a great story-teller and seems like a great dude.
Rollins is the best. I love this guy. He’s a great worker, a great character, he’s charismatic and he’s interesting. The Curb Stomp is a terrific finisher and he’s so versatile from working so long on the indie circuit. Superstar of the Year.
Now onto the Rumble…
Poor booking killed it.
So many wasted spots on entrants. From Curtis Axel taking a shot to the back like death to Titus O’Neil of all people coming in at 27 (for 4 seconds!) to The New Day boys getting a lot of screen time. They wasted an entry on Adam Rose of all people solely so that they could show how out of ideas they are for Kofi to not get eliminated.
Then you had long stretches of gassed wrestlers slowly plodded around.
The star power was low, consisting mainly of mid-card stars that have had no momentum of late such as Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and Wade Barrett.
The best performance came from Wyatt, who then got tossed out like a jobber.
Think about the state of your match when Big E, Damien Mizdow, Cesaro and Titus O’Neil are some of the final combatants.
There just wasn’t an energy to it. I found myself checking my phone pretty regularly until about the last five entrants.
I loved seeing Bubba Ray Dudley and it was a great thing for the crowd, but they could have done more with him. The Boogeyman was good for a laugh. I marked out for Diamond Dallas Page. It was great to see some legends make an appearance.
But what about actual roster superstar returns? Why wasn’t Orton in the match? He’s making his re-debut on Raw whenever the snowstorm stops murdering the east coast. The match lacked some serious star power that could have been bolstered by his presence.
What about Bo Dallas? The great part of the Rumble is that you get to see superstars interact that you normally would not have. Seeing Bo interact with Wyatt would have been awesome and just a great little spot.
Big Show and Kane…
There is no way you can sell these two as monsters. You just cannot. Big Show is the New Years baby. He’s the guy every mid-card guy takes aim at as they climb upwards. He was battered by Lesnar in embarrassing fashion. Cesaro, Rusev, the Dust’s have all gone over him to climb the card. Then he comes into this match as a monster and eliminates the strongest competitors with ease?
Kane is even worse. He’s the guy who takes the pinfall every time its a match of the Authority’s boys versus the rest of the roster. He had to sell getting squirted by ketchup. Plus the dress pants attire makes him look like the guy who gets into a fight at a wedding.
Wyatt was booked like a monster and just gets tossed by these guys. Then they toss Dean Ambrose, who was white-hot 2 months ago. They clean out Ryback and Swagger. Ziggler goes after he went to the top rope to hit a top-rope-nothing-but-get-countered.
Then they have the most contrived “turn” on each other I’ve seen in a while. Poor decision making.
I’m not really a huge Daniel Bryan fan. He’s a great worker, good story-teller, but he’s a vapid hole of charisma. I just can’t bring myself to care about the guy, but he’s the people’s choice.
You don’t like what you like! You like what I tell you you like!
It’s so obvious they are burying him though.
- He re-debuts on Smackdown
- Can’t get a clean win over Kane
- Eliminated early in the rumble match
Then to rub salt in the wound, just as he gets eliminated… Goldust’s music hits.
So meta. No one can troll their fans better than the WWE.
You know they must be just livid with him behind the curtain.
At this rate he’ll be on a B pay-per-view pre-show with Adam Rose. Buried former champion a.k.a. The Miz 2.0.
Getting him out the match early killed the crowd and had them turn on everyone. Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Roman Reigns, and The Rock all couldn’t get the fans back.
I feel bad for Reigns. He’s got talent, he’s passionate, but he has no booking whatsoever. It isn’t his fault. No one would turn down this push. He isn’t Kevin Nash booking himself in WCW. I actually don’t really mind him winning, but it wasn’t the way to do so.
It was so bad that the city that birthed the nation of the USA was chanting for the Russian heel!
If you’re going to have Reigns win, then at least get him some pop to go over. Kane and Big Show are not those guys. Rusev was okay, but not after he sat outside the ring for 10 minutes and then ran wildly in to get tossed out. He didn’t get to take out Wyatt, the guy who eliminated Bryan.
Wyatt and Rusev were the monsters of the match. Bryan was the fan favourite. Make that your final four. Heel-face each square off until the heels get the upper hand and after some domination eliminate Bryan. Then Reigns gets over by eliminating the guys that eliminated Bryan. Is it great? No, but its better.
Brock is being booked like late 1980’s Hogan. He’s invincible. The issue is that Reigns is not on Warrior’s level to go over on him.
All that said, I couldn’t care much for the Fastlane pay-per-view, which should be renamed Backlash at this point.
However, I’m still looking forward to ‘Mania. If I were to take a guess at the card…
- (C) Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton
- Triple H vs Sting
- John Cena vs Rusev
- (C) Bad News Barrett vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship
- (C) The Uso’s vs The Ascension for the Tag Team Championships
- Goldust vs Stardust
With Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, Paige and Nikki Bella mixed in as well.
Lets just hope that the WWE can help Reigns out. No more kiddy promos and book him strong. He desperately needs it and so do the fans.