We could smell what the WWE was cooking after Sunday night’s Royal Rumble. And the fans were not happy with it.
[adinserter block=”1″]The company stuck to its game plan that has been brewing basically since last year’s Royal Rumble when Batista eliminated Roman Reigns in the Royal Rumble last year. While the overall tenor of the pay-per-view was weak at best for the majority of the night, the only thing that saved it from becoming a total washout was the Triple Threat Match between Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins and John Cena and a few stolen moments in a Rumble match that was anything other than average.
In the end, the fans saw Roman Reigns accomplish exactly what the WWE wanted – which was to finally eliminate Rusev after the Rock had to come down the aisle restore some order and save the kid from total embarrassment.
If the WWE wanted more controversy, it sure as hell got it. And all I can say is that if this was the Armageddon this Reigns claimed would happen when he returned from his injury, I have six words for you – SETH ROLLINS CASHES IN AT WRESTLEMANIA.
I give this pay-per-view a solid C-, not the B+ that Daniel Bryan would have gotten had he won the Rumble match. But the World Title Match that I thought would be the defining moment of the night proved me right. Seth Rollins showed he is every bit the future of the company – much like Edge was before he retired and every bit the loose cannon CM Punk could be in the heel role. He was dominant on Sunday night in an arena of stars who were beyond him in experience. He, Cena and Lesnar sold the match like the days of Shawn Michaels in his glory days in the WWF and Bob Orton Jr. when he was wrestling the likes of Greg Valentine and Roddy Piper in the NWA.
Yes, it was that good. And as Bill Apter and I traded tweets after the match, it is the early favorite for match of the year.
That, my friends, was an instant classic.
For all the rumors over the course of the last 24 hours of The Rock getting in the ring and possibly facing Brock at WrestleMania XXXI, which would have pissed me off to no end, it may have been better than seeing what we saw in the ring in Philadelphia.
No one, I mean no one, wants to see Reigns in the main event. His mic skills are limited and Lesnar, who is good at selling his matches, will have to carry Reigns the entire match.
Here are some other general thoughts…
KUDOS TO THE DIVAS
This was not a great match between The Bellas and Natalya and Paige, but it was better than most we have seen. For the first time in some time, there was a tag team match where there was some actual wrestling. The Divas Division may have athletes like Naomi or eye candy like Rosa Mendes, but at the end of the day, the four best wrestlers got in the ring and gave us a decent enough show.
WELCOME BACK BUBBA RAY
Seeing Bubba Ray back in the WWE was pretty cool and watching him and Luke Harper was colossal. I wish the company had brought back Devon as well, but it gave us something to potentially look forward to. I was also hoping Shelton Benjamin would make an appearance, but that did not happen.
The Rumble match was weak for the first 30 minutes and the performance of Bray Wyatt was impressive, lasting over 38 minutes in the match, but there could have been more in the first 4-8 entrants and there should have been more excitement to keep the crowd entertained.
[adinserter block=”2″]The WWE was certainly slow playing this match that did not get the build it needed.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
If Reigns and Lesnar is the way the WWE wants to go, then it must place Cena in a program with Rusev and find a way to get Rollins to cash in at ‘Mania. Anything else is a real shame and the “Fast Lane” PPV will fail miserably.