After weeks of strange build up, the Royal Rumble was finally here. The match most people were excited for was the championship triple threat, but fans are always hyped for the Rumble match itself. The other matches on this card were pure filler, but at times entertaining. From start to finish, this PPV was interesting to say the least. It didn’t send fans home happy, and outside of one match this PPV could have been aired on television.
Ascension vs The New Age Outlaws (NAO)
There was no way WWE could have gotten this match right in terms of card placement, it sucked the life out of the crowd. Considering how anticipated this PPV was, this was a terrible way to begin the show. The match itself was subpar, and was only there to push the Ascension. I’m surprised the new tag team picked up the win over NAO, I guess they’re pushing them towards something. While I do question this win, I don’t want to criticize it until we see the Ascension peak. They’re still green to this audience and have been terribly booked.
The Usos vs Miz and Mizdow
This match was a fun way to get the crowd back into the show after the Ascension almost put them to sleep. Having The Usos retain the titles was a good decision, and it was mainly because they’re teasing the break up for Miz and Mizdow. Watching this as a fan I wanted Mizdow to turn face that very moment. Their decision to only tease a break up during the match cemented the fact it would happen during the Rumble, but I was wrong. Overall this match was a breath of fresh air, we got a chance to laugh and watch some good wrestling.
Paige & Natalya vs The Bella Twins
This bout was quite entertaining. I’m happy the people backstage gave them a sufficient amount of time to wrestle and play out their feud. As much slack as the twins receive, both have improved in the ring, especially Nikki. Her power moves add to her being the perfect diva, because it’s rare someone has the super model look with pure strength. The electric chair onto Natty was quite impressive .I didn’t agree with the finish, it didn’t accomplish anything. This could have easily lead to something else, such as a Paige-Nikki program for Fast Lane. With the Bellas winning, I think they’ll end up feuding with some else.
Brock Lesnar vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins
It has been quite a while since a match has had this type of feeling. I felt like a 12 year old kid again, because I was emotionally invested. After weeks of great build up for this feud, it delivered by putting on a phenomenal match. The spots were perfect, the moves were perfect, and the story telling was perfect. I enjoyed how each man got his moment to shine. Although, I must say Rollins shined a tad bit more. His spot with the Spanish announce table will be remembered for years to come. How believable was the Lesnar injury tease? It really looked as if Seth took him out of the match. For a moment, I was convinced that we were in store for a new champion. The match flowed well, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I can confidently say this was better than the triple threat main event from Wrestlemania 30. The finish was absolutely brilliant. Lesnar became a god like being by finishing the bout the way he did. Does this mean he could be sticking around after Wrestlemania? I hope so, just to see him in more matches like this one. Not having Cena involved with the finish was refreshing, because we finally got to see the Beast square off with someone else. The takeaway I got from this match was that Rollins truly is the future of wrestling. He stole the show in every aspect, and I find it a shame he won’t be in the main event of Mania, unless plans change.
Royal Rumble Match
After a match of the ages, we had the Royal Rumble up next. Since the title match happened first, I was convinced we’d get a surprise run in from Seth Rollins or maybe John Cena, but that was not the case. The match opened with R-Truth and Miz, which would have been a decent opener if it were 2012 (when the two feuded). If they were planning on having Miz open, why not just start him off with Mizdow? That would have been the logical choice considering how they were teasing a breakup. The match started off very slow, but it was great to see Bubba Ray Dudley return. I hope he sticks around to do a program with one of the newer faces of WWE. When Wyatt showed up, I knew the tone was going to become more serious, and it did. The decision to have Wyatt clear house was smart, it made him come across as threat and a serious contender. Part of me even believed Undertaker would have showed up when Wyatt had the ring to himself. I was quite happy when Rowan found his way into the match, simply because I predicted he would. At this point, the match was going very slow, which is odd for a Rumble, but it was okay because it was still early. When Daniel Bryan came in, that crowd erupted; I haven’t seen fans that excited since he won the title at Wrestlemania 30. The match went downhill from here. Bryan must have lasted 7 minutes in that match, before being eliminated by Wyatt. I don’t know if this spot was botched, or was the plan all along. This man is top level star in the company and WWE decided to limit his appearance. I don’t know what creative was thinking. I’m not mad because he didn’t win, but Bryan can wrestle long matches and is loved by the crowd, he deserved a better fate. This is why the crowd dyed out right after he was eliminated. What I found strange was how Michael Cole continued to acknowledge the disappointment from the Philadelphia crowd. Maybe there’s more to this, or maybe I’m wishfully thinking. I felt bad for Roman Reigns when he was welcomed with negative reaction. He didn’t deserve that, because he still works hard and is an entertaining wrestler .We didn’t hear the crowd pop until Dean Ambrose came out, but at this point this match continued to get worse. Best case scenario at this point was having young up comers be the last few in the match, but I was wrong, again. WWE creative weren’t thinking straight when they decided to have Big Show and Kane eliminate all the crowd favorites. This was WWE’s way of telling the fans that they do not care. These two veterans shouldn’t have been focal points for this match. This company has quite a few emerging stars that the crowd enjoys, and they need to be front and centre instead of being eliminated in an embarrassing fashion. They even had the Authority’s goons part of the last four. I had lost all hope. The Rock also came out of nowhere to help Roman, and I personally thought this made no sense. I get Reigns is his cousin, but Reigns should have finished Kane and Show all by himself. Are they teasing for a Rock-Triple H program? The stare down had no value. Sting is the one that needed to help Roman, because he’s fighting against the Authority. I’m actually fine with the juggernaut being the Rumble winner, I just thought the match was terribly booked. Many hardcore fans weren’t going to be happy with Reigns, but their reaction may have been warmer if the match was entertaining. I can’t remember the last time WWE has botched something this bad. This match went too slow, yet became too confusing. I felt it was booked by someone that last watched wrestling in 2001.
I’ve never seen a PPV where the championship match was considered top notch, but everything was either satisfactory or disappointing. I do believe WWE will turn this around, because the winner of Rumble was still a good pick. It will be interesting to see how they rebound from not pushing Ziggler or Bryan. For this review, I’ll give the triple threat match a 9/10 or an A. The rest of the PPV is graded a 4/10 or a F.
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Due to Raw being canceled, I will not be posting a prediction post this week.