by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)
It’s reaction time! Most of this was done last night as the Rumble was going on but wwe.com’s streaming issues were almost unbearable. I missed most of the pre-show match as well as the first half of Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt. This was my first time purchasing a show from WWE’s site and most likely, the last. Hope this doesn’t reflect on how the Network’s service will be. I thought that it may have just been my internet service but I saw others on my TL that were having the same issues. Anyhow, I’ve got all of it watched now so let’s get into it!
WWE TAG TEAM TITLES
The Brotherhood (c) vs the New Age Outlaws
Streaming issues and I’m JIP to a spot where it looks like Goldust looks legit hurt. I was eating and tuned out most of this. Billy Gunn hits the fame-asser (sp?) on Cody to get the win and a 6th title reign for the Outlaws. Twitter is in a tizzy. It gets the belts off the Brotherhood, who I felt were getting stale and this will somehow tie into the Punk/Authority stuff.
Opening video package is once again top notch. Gave the show an even bigger feel…now it’s time for the 2014 Royal Rumble!
Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
Bryan out first and Pittsburgh is going nuts! Bray & the family make their way out and Bray’s expressions as he prepares to enter the ring were great. Helped tell the story. They trade strikes and Bray gets the advantage. He goes for a clothesline but Bryan ducks & hits a topè Suicida on Luke Harper! They attack but get sent to the back and the distraction leads to Bray nailin Bryan from behind. “I don’t need you to fight this war for me” are Bray’s words for the Family but here’s Bryan off the top with a cross body! Back in a Daniel hits some kicks on Bray’s leg, which he’s been favoring. Bray regains control though and they head back out. Bray charges Bryan on the outside but he does the Foley spot into the stairs! Bryan’s working over the leg now, even hitting a dragon screw. Bryan setting up for a sharpshooter? No, into a bow and arrow…curb stomp! Bryan looking like that Dragon of old. Both men trying to suplex one another over the ropes, Bryan out to the apron now…arm wringer off the apron by Bray! Man, that was pretty impressive & definitely something you don’t see everyday. Bray takes over again and sandwiches Bryan’s head against the ring post before throwing a flurry of forearms! Ouch. Bryan slumps to the outside and Wyatt hits a senton. Bray dominating and hits a uranage slam before convulsing and doing his crab/spider walk thing. He continues to punish Bryan until missing a charge and getting sent outside…tornado DDT off the apron by Bryan! Back in…missile dropkick and the crowd is going nuts yet again! Buzzsaw Kicks from Bryan get a near fall. A series of corner dropkicks is halted by a MONSTER clothesline by Bray! Sister Abigail countered by Bryan…Yes Lock attempt but Bray is biting Daniel’s hand! Trading head butts now…Bryan up and hits a splash. Bray sent outside now, and Bryan looks for another topè bit gets caught by Wyatt…Sister Abigail into the barricade! Back in now, and one more Sister Abigail finishes things. Awesome match and by far Bray Wyatt’s best match to date–I’m talking Husky Harris, NXT run, whatever. Awesome stuff and you can’t ask for more to open a show.
Renee Young w/ Paul Heyman and he apologizes for the uncomfortable scene that’s about to unfold. He proclaims a new era is dawning.
The panel makes their prediction on the Brock/Show match.
Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show
Brock comes in and just beats the hell out of show, using both fists & a chair. This goes on for a few minutes, and the ref finally rings the bell. Brock goes for the kill but gets rocked with a right hand! Show is visibly hurt though. Show throws a body shot but Brock recovers and F-5’s Big Show for the win! Damn, that was quick. Post-match, Lesnar goes out and grabs another chair and just wears Show out with it. Vicious beat down that sees Lesnar break the chair on Show. Like I said on Twitter, THIS is how this needed to go especially with Brock getting the title shot (presumably) at Elimination Chamber.
The Shield proclaim victory in the Rumble before dissension takes over again as they argue about who’ll actually win amongst them.
Renee Young standing by with WWE World Champ Randy Orton. He says no one can touch him and he’s the true face of the company. He’ll prove that tonight once & for all against John Cena.
Video package highlighting the Cena/Orton feud leads us to…
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Randy Orton (c) vs John Cena
A girl’s life was MADE when she caught Cena’s sweat towel. Crowd chanting ‘Daniel Bryan’! That soon becomes the classic dueling “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants before an even louder “Daniel Bryan” chant breaks out again! Cena & Orton with some exchanges before the crowd tries to put itself over with chants for Randy Savage, Y2J & The Undertaker. A “boring” chant next and this crowd has gotten annoying. All Orton can do is smile…Orton with the advantage and he drills Cena with a DDT for 2. Orton plays to the crowd again but Cena catches him in an electric chair. After a pair of shoulder blocks he looks for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle but Orton counters with a powerslam. Cena takes the lead again though with his full nelson/neck breaker combo for 2. Another hiccup in my wwe.com feed picks back up at Orton nailing Cena with the WWE title. That boy gets a 2 though. Cena & Orton trade finishers for 2 before Orton locks in an STF/sleeper combo! Cena escapes and slaps on a Crossface! Orton rolls through…AA on Cena gets 2! Orton taking his time and gets caught by Cena with an RKO for 2! Cena puts Orton up top and goes for the super AA but it’s blocked, but Cena gets the STF! THE WYATT’S ARE HERE!!! Cena goes after Bray but eats an RKO and that does it! Orton retains the title and kudos to them for working through this self-serving crowd and getting them focused back on the match. Afterwards, the Wyatt Family destroys John Cena. “Behold the creators of the new world…” What a night for Bray & the Wyatt Family so far.
Royal Rumble promos!
Royal Rumble Match
CM Punk out first. The second man out is Seth Rollins! They have a nice little 2 minute exchange before Damien Sandow comes in at 3. He goes right after Punk. He & Rollins work on Punk until he hits his neck breaker/DDT combo. Cody Rhodes in at no. 4 to balance out the face/heel dynamic. Cross Rhodes to Sandow! He turns his attention to Rollins while Punk & Sandow pair off. Jawbreaker by Sandow, he charges at Punk but Punk ducks and Sandow is gone! No. 5 is KANE, complete with business slacks! He goes right after Punk. He goes for the choke slam but Punk with a roundhouse kick and a clothesline to eliminate Kane! The sixth man is out now and it’s the powerhouse from NXT, Alexander Rusev. He comes in and absolutely cleans house on everyone. Jack Swagger is out at 7 and he hits the Swagger Bomb on both Rollins & Rhodes. He squares off with Rusev and the crowd with a big “USA” chant! Kofi Kingston out at #8. Jimmy Uso is out next and we’re starting to get some bodies in there. Goldust comes in at #10 and we haven’t had any eliminations for a while. About 5 guys eliminate Rusev and Punk tries to eliminate Kofi but Kingston gets caught by Rusev. He puts him up on the guardrail and hits some knees but Kofi’s not been eliminated. He stands on the guardrail, gets a running start and leaps all the way back to the ring! Impressive. Dean Ambrose is out next and interesting note–unlike Rollins, he entered from the traditional entrance. The 12th man is Dolph Ziggler, entering to a sizable pop. Big “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant in Pittsburgh. R-Truth makes his way out at #13 and they must be setting up someone to come in and get some eliminations. Rollins & Ambrose gang up on him though and get rid of Truth in short order. They turn their attention to Jimmy Uso and he’s gone! Cool near elimination spot with Kofi & Swagger. The nWo music hits and hear comes KEVIN NASH! He immediately eliminates Jack Swagger before going after Rollins & Ambrose. #15 is Roman Reigns and he comes in on fire! Spear to Cody! He catches Kofi and tosses him! Ziggler hits the DDT but eats a spear moments later before getting dumped! Nash comes after Roman next but he ducks and Nash is gone! 3 eliminations off the bat for Roman. The Great Khali is in at 16 and the Shield go right after him. Superman punch by Reigns and he dumps him out! Wonder who’s getting that “Kane Rumble push” this year? No. 17 is next and here comes SHEAMUS! He’s a house of white fire! He takes out every member of The Shield but makes the mistake of not eliminating any of them. They gang up on him to regain the advantage but The Miz is out to try and even the odds. Next out at 19 is Faaaannnndaaaannnnngooooo! Los Matadorès music hits at the no. 20 spot but it’s EL TORÍTO that enters the Rumble! He’s calling out CM Punk! Rana on Punk! El Toríto eliminates Fandango! He goes after Roman Reigns but gets caught and heaved out. Antonio Cesaro comes in next and he starts passing out Giant Swings! Luke Harper makes his way out at 22. Jey Uso comes in at 23 and the ring is starting to fill up yet again. This has been a pretty fun Rumble so far. It’s time for no. 24 and it’s JBL! He calls Michael Cole over to grab his jacket but he gets eliminated by Reigns! BOOO! A ‘You Still Got It’ chant! Erick Rowan next and he & Harper team up to get rid of Miz. Harper eliminates Jey Uso not long after and Ryback is out at #26. Cesaro & Sheamus trading bombs and it makes me want to see a series between the two. The 2011 Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio is out next. BATISTA is in at 28 and eliminates Rowan in quick order. Ryback steps up to challenge the Animal but is eliminated. ADR hits the superkick on Batista, looks for an arm breaker but is picked up and tossed by Batista! Big E Langston out next at 29. The final entrant is Rey Mysterio and the crowd hates it and starts up a ‘Daniel Bryan’ chant. Sheamus eliminates Langston with a clothesline! Cesaro uppercutting everyone in sight. Rey hits the 619 on Rollins but is eliminated soon after! Reigns eliminates Luke Harper after a Superman punch and Ambrose tries to eliminate Roman! Rollins breaks that up and Cesaro attempts to dump both Rollins & Ambrose. He fails, but Roman eliminates all 3! He turns around into a Batista spine buster, but Batista catches a Sheamus ‘Brogue kick’! GTS on Sheamus by Punk! Reigns looks for a spear on Punk but catches a kick & a GTS! Kane is back and pulls Punk out of the ring! Choke slam through the table and Punk is gone. Down to 3–Sheamus, Batista & Reigns. Batista & Sheamus go at it. Finlay Roll on Batista & Shemaus looks for the Brogue Kick but Batista just falls. Batista bomb attempt, Sheamus is on the apron and gets eliminated by Roman! New record! Down to Batista & Roman Reigns. Batista down with a clothesline and the crowd pops big time! “Roman Reigns” chant goes up but Batista hits the spear to a chorus of boos! He shakes the ropes but turns around into a spear from Reigns! He looks to eliminate the Animal but it’s reversed and Roman is gone–Batista is your 2014 Royal Rumble winner!
All in all, a really good show from WWE that people will only remember for Bryan not being in the Rumble. You know, the same Daniel Bryan that wasn’t announced for the match. Let me say that I’m a huge Daniel Bryan fan, just like many of you out there. But I won’t discount an entire card because he didn’t enter the Rumble. I’ve said it for weeks–the WWE isn’t making Batista’s first match back the Royal Rumble just for him to lose. If you didn’t see this coming then you’re watching with blinders on. Would it have been a great moment if Bryan’s music hit and he came down to win? Absolutely. But before we blow up and denounce what was a pretty great card because one man wasn’t in the Rumble, just remember: we still have 2+ months before WrestleMania. Who says we don’t get what we want by the time we get there? If you can step back and objectively look at this PPV, you’ll see that you got your money’s worth. A fantastic Wyatt/Bryan match, Brock killing the Big Show, a decent title match (despite the crowd), seeds for Wyatt/Cena planted that keep him out of the title picture and a really good Rumble. Thumbs up in my book. Besides, does Batista care what we think? No, he walks alone 🙂