Last night’s PPV was a turning point for the WWE and not just in the normal way when the Royal Rumble begins the setup for WrestleMania. Neither was this turning point a good thing for the company but it may, in fact, be a good thing for fans of “sports entertainment”. Fans have had enough of the force-fed product and they are letting WWE know it at every show, even more so at last night’s Royal Rumble.
Lets go through what came of last night’s PPV:
Cena and Orton are quickly becoming the past whether WWE wants it or not.
First off, I just want to thank the good folks of Pittsburgh for a showing worthy of a WrestleMania. They voiced their opinion the entire night and it pretty much summed up the voices in the group I was watching with. They let Cena and Orton have it during their title match which was not either guy’s fault. They worked hard and tried to get the crowd involved (especially Orton) but we have seen this song and dance way too many times before. Despite the announcers billing it as “one of the most anticipated rematches of all time” the crowd bellowed out chants of “boring”, “Daniel Bryan” and “we want refunds”.
Daniel Bryan has gone past fan favorite to full-scale revolution.
The more the WWE denies fans what they want, the more they keep revolting. Now this could be WWE trolling every fan with plans to actually put Bryan in the main event of WrestleMania but I am putting my money on it being stubbornness on Vince or HHH’s (or both) part and telling fans what they want. They have done it for the past ten years with Cena and it has made them a shitload of money in merchandise sales.
Daniel Bryan is different. This doesn’t feel like a natural WWE changing of the guard like Bret Hart from Hogan, Shawn Michaels from Bret or Stone Cold from HBK. WWE influenced each of those movements recognizing that it was each guy’s time to become “the man”. Bryan is ready in every way. The only difference is that the big deals in the company aren’t pulling the trigger on what could be their saving grace. The guy that can easily carry the company for the next 5-7 years. Fans are ready, Bryan is ready, Mick Foley is CERTAINLY ready saying he was “disgusted” with the PPV on Twitter as well as writing a scathing piece on Facebook.
Bryan had the match of the night with Bray Wyatt to open the show then was left out of the Rumble altogether. With guys like Kevin Nash, El Torito and JBL having spots it makes the omission of Bryan seem even more like a petty move on the WWE’s part. I hope they realize that this can not be swept under the rug. I think they are hoping this is a flash in the pan. They fail to realize how big it truly is…yet.
The one thing WWE got right last night: Roman Reigns
We all knew that Reigns was the member of The Shield that WWE has big plans for and that started, in earnest, last night. He broke Kane’s record of Royal Rumble eliminations by throwing out 12 guys. Over a third of the entrants! I always figured Kane’s record would always stand. He doesn’t have any streak like Taker or title reigns like Flair to hang his hat on…now all he has is Katy Vick.
Reigns even had a quick mini-babyface turn last night when it came down to him and Batista as the final two men. The crowd was already burned by no Daniel Bryan, even booing Rey Mysterio as he came to the ring, so when it came down to skinny jeans and Rosie’s brother, it became a decidedly pro-Reigns crowd. We can chalk this up to being another case of “seen this before” syndrome. Batista has been gone four years and should have been getting massive pops…that was not to be. Fans want new guys to get behind even if it is a heel.
Reigns is going to be a huge deal very, very soon.
Where does this leave WrestleMania 30?
This is the $20,000 question. After the Royal Rumble, I honestly have no idea. The only certain thing is that Batista will be in the main event for the WWE Title and the belt we were never supposed to see again. If Orton retains at Elimination Chamber then the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania could end with a match I could give two fat flying rat shits about. There is a possibility that Lesnar could unseat Orton in the chamber (the PPV is in his hometown) and we could get Brock vs. Batista. That matchup, at least, intrigues me. They have never had a match together and it would be two huge, hulking guys (which is what gets Vince’s rocks off) in the main event.
For the sake of guessing, let’s say it is Batista and Orton boring people in the main event. Where does this leave the rest of the roster? They combined world titles (stupid) so you won’t have another title match that really means anything. They may combine the U.S. and IC titles at Mania but come on…
Bray Wyatt and Cena are on course for a match at WM30 and even though Cena will triumph, I am glad Wyatt is getting this push. I hope they can deliver on the buildup for the match.
The Sting rumors are swirling as they do every year. This time, there is actually something to it I believe. He is done with TNA and WWE should be backing the Brinks truck up to his house for a short run. A match with Undertaker may not be as great as it would have been ten years ago but the fact of just having those two guys in the ring together would be HUGE.
The Shield are headed for a breakup (dammit). I think this will lead to a triple-threat match to see who is “the best of the group”. If this happens, I expect it to steal the show.
CM Punk gets to waste another WrestleMania appearance against HHH. He will, most likely, face Kane at Elimination Chamber then move on to the “artist formerly known as mutton chops”.
After losing the tag titles last night and Goldust eliminating Cody in the Rumble, we seem to be heading to a brother vs. brother match. A little soon for me, I think. They still had plenty of time left as tag champs IMO.
If all of this shakes down this leaves us with six matches with Lesnar and Daniel Bryan drifting around. As I said before, it could be Lesnar and Batista then where does that leave Orton and Bryan? The last thing they need is another match together. Would the WWE possibly go with a Bryan/Lesnar match? I can’t lie…I would want to see that. WWE could be trolling every single one of us and may have a fatal four-way for the title also. It would fulfill Batista’s Rumble win, get Lesnar in the title mix like Heyman has been preaching and puts the biggest name in the company in the spot the fans want to see him.
Would they actually do that?
Don’t forget, the Raw Recap will be up tomorrow and hopefully we will have a few answers. If not that, at least a whole lot of YES! chants.