WWE Royal Rumble 2014 took place at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and featured a total of six matches, including the “biggest rematch in WWE history” between the WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton and John Cena. Of course, the WWE Universe witnessed the 30-Man Royal Rumble match, which had a disappointing conclusion to say the least. The Rumble only had two surprise entrants and had the most predictable winner in history. Well, at least since last year. So, without further ado, here are the overall highs and lows from the Royal Rumble:
Best Match: Without a doubt, the best match of the night was the opening contest between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. Both superstars gave it their all and in my opinion, Bray Wyatt had the best match of his career and tore the house down. After an even back and forth contest, Bryan performed a Suicide Dive onto Bray Wyatt who was on the outside of the ring. Bray caught Bryan and delivered a devastating Sister Abigail into the ring-side barricade. After “holy sh**” chants ensued, Bray dragged Bryan back into the ring, hit his finisher again and shocked the world by defeating Bryan cleanly in the ring while the rest of the Wyatt Family were banned from ringside. It was an epic match that showed how exceptional Bray Wyatt can be in that ring.
Worst Match: Surprisingly, the worst match of the night was Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show. The real action took place before and after the match, where Lesnar decimated Big Show was three steel chairs. The actual match lasted about five minutes long and with that amount of time, it’s difficult to have a decent match or even tell a story. Lesnar got the win after executing an impressive F-5. I expected this match to be a bit longer. To me, WWE wasted this rare Brock Lesnar appearance.
Crowd Chants of the Night: During the opening match between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt the crowd chanted “YES”, “Daniel Bryan” and “this is awesome”. At the start of the Randy Orton/John Cena WWE World Heavyweight Title match, the crowd chanted “Daniel Bryan” (through the ENTIRE match), “boring”, “let’s go Cena”, “Cena sucks”, “Y2J, “Undertaker”, “you both suck” and “this is awful”. During the Royal Rumble, the crowd chanted “CM Punk”, “let’s go Ziggler”, “Fandangoing”, “Goldberg” (when Ryback came out). The crowd chanted “no”, “Daniel Bryan” and booed Batista after he won the Royal Rumble.
Breakout Star of the Night: Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns were the breakout stars of the night. Bray Wyatt: I didn’t think very much of Bray right off the bat after his underwhelming debut performance against Kane at SummerSlam. However, on this occasion, Bray took matters into his own hands and impressed the hell out of me and the rest of the WWE Universe. With Luke Harper and Erick Rowan banned from ringside, Bray was out there in a one-on-one environment and shined brighter than everybody else at the Royal Rumble. Well, maybe aside from Roman Reigns. Also, Bray and the rest of the Wyatt Family made a statement later that night by helping Randy Orton retain the WWE World Heavyweight Title and viciously attacking John Cena.
Roman Reigns: What can you say about the guy that was the most over superstar in the Royal Rumble? I say this because Daniel Bryan was not involved in the Royal Rumble, which was a huge mistake by the WWE. The dude broke Kane’s Royal Rumble eliminations record by throwing 12 WWE superstars over the top rope and it seemed like the crowd was gutted once Batista threw him over the top rope to win the Rumble.
Fan Sign of the Night: This is the part of the review where readers can comment on what their favorite crowd signs were. What were some cool, funny and clever signs that you saw during tonight’s Royal Rumble PPV?
Jobber of the Night: The closest thing to a “jobber” on tonight’s PPV was the Big Show, who was beaten down for nearly fifteen minutes straight. Big Show was attacked by Brock Lesnar before and after their five minute match and the only lick of offense the giant got in was a KO Punch. The KO Punch is usually enough to knockout his opponents, but Brock Lesnar is the Beast Incarnate and shook the punch off like it was nothing. After the match ended, Lesnar destroyed three steel chairs by smacking them against Big Show’s body. Message sent and received.
Upset of the Night: There were two huge upsets tonight at the Royal Rumble. The biggest one of the night has to be Bray Wyatt cleanly defeating Daniel Bryan. Both Bryan and Bray, especially Bray, put forth an outstanding and memorable performance that had the crowd on their feet from start to finish. Expect big things from Bray Wyatt in the very near future.
The second upset was New Age Outlaws defeating the Rhodes Brothers for the WWE Tag Team Titles during the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show. Considering that this match took place on the pre-show, I don’t think anybody was expecting a title change. It’s a shame that this match wasn’t given more time and wasn’t scheduled to be on the main card. Before the PPV started, there were only four matches scheduled to take place, so there was definitely room. Regardless, the New Age Outlaws look great in that ring and are now six-time WWE Tag Team champions. Like Goldust, it seems like this Attitude Era guys haven’t aged a day. Fun fact: It’s been 14 years since the New Age Outlaws have won the titles.
Holy Sh** Moment(s) of the Night: Bray Wyatt hitting his Sister Abigail finisher to Daniel Bryan against the ring-side barricade was one of the many holy sh** moments of the night. The maneuver was both vicious and unforgiving, and led to Wyatt picking up a shocking (and clean) win over the most over superstar in WWE today.
Another shocking moment was the beat-down Brock Lesnar put on the Big Show. I think we all knew that Lesnar was going to win the match, but it was interesting to see how quickly it ended. The action taking place before and after the official match was entertaining, but for some reason I feel let-down by the way the entire thing unfolded. Anyways, WWE did the right thing and booked Lesnar into an unstable beast that is willing to do anything to inflict pain on his opponents.
Bray Wyatt wasn’t satisfied with just taking care of Daniel Bryan. In the WWE World Heavyweight Title match, he and the rest of the Wyatt Family provided a distraction that helped Randy Orton retain the title. After the match was over, all three members of the Wyatt Family attacked John Cena. I guess the rumors for a John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt WrestleMania 30 match is true. This will be a fresh feud and I for one am very intrigued to see what happens.
Roman Reigns eliminated both members of the Shield at the same time and breaks Kane’s Royal Rumble elimination record with 12 eliminations.
Logic Fail of the Night: For me, the WWE Tag Team Title match not being on the main Royal Rumble card was illogical, but not having Daniel Bryan show his face in the Royal Rumble match was the logic fail of the night. I understand that he lost to Bray Wyatt, but there was no ignoring the Daniel Bryan chants throughout the entire Rumble. Aside from the Rumble match itself, there were only three other matches on the card. Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar only lasted 10-15 minutes and in my opinion, there was definitely room for the Rhodes Brothers and New Age Outlaws to showcase their stuff on the actual PPV.
LOL Moment of the Night: Tonight’s LOL moment of the night came during the Royal Rumble “Kickoff” show. Before the WWE Tag Team Title match, all three WWE Hall of Famers gave their thoughts and predictions for the upcoming PPV. The three Legends conversing and cracking jokes was quality entertainment for the entire WWE Universe. Shawn Michaels “synchronizing” watches with Ric Flair was a definite highlight.
Tweets of the Night:
Hey @WWE – WE DID NOT PAY $54.99 FOR COMMERCIALS!
— WrestleChat.net (@WrestleChatNet) January 27, 2014
— Ryan Dilbert (@ryandilbert) January 27, 2014
The crowd has hijacked this match in honor of Daniel Bryan. We've even heard "you both suck" chants. #RoyalRumble
— Richard Gray (@wnwdotcom) January 27, 2014
My only hope is that WWE uses the terrible reaction that Batista received to fuel a heel turn. A terrible decision regardless #RoyalRumble
— Mike Chiari (@MikeChiari) January 27, 2014
They try to keep US down and away from the top spots, but they can’t ignore the reactions forever. Keep voicing your opinions. #YESMovement
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) January 27, 2014
Commentary Lines of the Night: “I’m the only person on Twitter that follows himself” JBL during the Kickoff Show. “These fans are chanting Daniel Bryan…I’m not sure if they know this, but Daniel Bryan was in the first match, and he lost” – JBL.
Noteworthy Moments: The crowd was against the Randy Orton vs. John Cena match from the very start by chanting things like “Daniel Bryan” and “this is awful”. The match wasn’t terrible, but it’s clear that the WWE fans in
Ric Flair was the highlight of the Royal Rumble panel and announced his pick to win the Rumble – Batista. After saying Batista, the crowd let out an enormous boo. Flair was shocked how the crowd reacted to Batista’s name and shouted “learn to love it….learn to love it!”
Kofi Kingston had another “amazing” Royal Rumble moment by saving himself from being eliminated. Just as Kingston was about to be eliminated, he landed on top of Alexander Rusev, who was eliminated moments earlier. Rusev caught Kingston and beat him up on the barricade until referees separated them and told Rusev to go backstage. Kingston shocked the world and leaped from the barricade to the ring apron and saved himself in a creative way once again. It wasn’t the craziest way Kingston has saved himself, but it was damn impressive.
Sheamus was the seventeenth entrant in the Royal Rumble and he received a huge pop from the crowd. Remember when Sheamus was stale and nobody wanted to see him anymore? Well, the injury he suffered couldn’t have happened at a better time and Sheamus is now back in the WWE and it feels fresh. I’m glad to see that he got such a positive reaction.
Roman Reigns eliminated both members of the Shield and was the final competitor in the Rumble before being eliminated by Batista. Reigns set a new Royal Rumble record with twelve eliminations and was the most impressive superstar in the match.
Rey Mysterio was revealed to be the thirtieth entrant in the Royal Rumble and the Pittsburgh fans were not happy. Not happy at all. Rey Mysterio was booed throughout the entire match and the only time he was cheered was when he was eliminated. The crowd was expecting Daniel Bryan to be the thirtieth entrant and when the three remaining superstars left in the Rumble stood up to do a “stare-down”, the crowd booed mercifully and chanted Daniel Bryan throughout the remainder of the match.
Overall Lowlights: The Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar; John Cena vs. Randy Orton (decent match, but it was a finisher-fest and didn’t have that big match feel to it thanks to the Pittsburgh crowd); Daniel Bryan doesn’t enter the Royal Rumble; Batista wins the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Overall Highlights: Royal Rumble Kickoff panel; Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt; Randy Orton posing for the hostile crowd after every negative chant; the Wyatt Family attacks John Cena; Roman Reigns sets Royal Rumble eliminations record.
Final Royal Rumble Thoughts: Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan stole the show and is an early contender for match of the year. John Cena vs. Randy Orton was decent, but the crowd made the match feel unimportant. I thought that this Royal Rumble match itself was one of the worst in WWE history (aside from Roman Reigns’ domination). The only surprise entrants in the Rumble were Kevin Nash and JBL, who stayed in the contest for an estimated combined total of three minutes. It had a predictable winner in Batista and the fans didn’t get what they paid their hard earned money to see. I’m not trying to be a Daniel Bryan mark, but he should have been the thirtieth entrant into the Royal Rumble and in my view, the final three competitors should have been Roman Reigns, Batista and Daniel Bryan. Regardless, this was a very poor booking decision by the WWE and I expected a lot more from the Rumble match. It’s a bad sign when your “big” returning superstar wins the Royal Rumble, is headed to the main event of WrestleMania, and the fans are booing, chanting Daniel Bryan’s name to close one of the biggest PPV’s of the year. Just think about it, Batista was a face and he got this type of reaction. If Daniel Bryan isn’t facing Batista in the main event of WrestleMania 30, imagine the reaction Batista (and whoever his opponent is) is going to get in that jam packed stadium in New Orleans.