The John Report: WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Review

TJR/Melo Man

WWE Royal Rumble
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 25, 2015 (Twitter @johnreport)

This was written live on Sunday night.

I don’t always recap the Kickoff Show, but I am tonight. Here’s what happened without going into details about the panel’s comments. I’ll stick to just talking about the match on the Kickoff Show as well as any key bits of info.

The crowd was filing in as the Kickoff Show went on the air. The set for the Royal Rumble is the same as the Raw set pretty much. Blame budget cuts and paying expensive dudes like Rock & Lesnar.

The Royal Rumble Kickoff show panel is comprised of Renee Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. They spent about ten minutes going over some of the storylines.

Following a recap of The Ascension’s issues with the New Age Outlaws, the Road Dogg and Billy Gunn were interviewed by Tom Phillips. The Outlaws kept getting Tom’s name wrong as a joke. They basically said that age isn’t a factor and instead of “suck it” they said people would have to pay $9.99 to get WWE Network to hear it. Not much to that promo. The PPV panel laughed like it was hilarious, but it was very average comedy.

Booker T interviewed Shawn Michaels. It was taped from last Monday’s Raw. It was just a piece done where Shawn talked about how important was to win the Royal Rumble match. He said that in a Rumble match you find out where a man’s desire is. Shawn talked about Daniel Bryan and Shawn said that Bryan has to find a way to win the Rumble. They discussed Roman Reigns as a favorite because he’s on a hot streak. Shawn said that Bray Wyatt was a very talented young man as well. They also talked about the Road to WrestleMania and how if you don’t win the Rumble you still have to fight for a spot on the WrestleMania card.

Following more discussions, it was time for the first match of the night 25 minutes into the show. It was originally going to be a six man tag, but Xavier Woods has an ankle injury so no Adam Rose on the heel side either. The announce team is Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield.

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/Adam Rose, Natalya & The Party Posse) vs. Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods)

The crowd was cheering for Cesaro early on, so that means there are a lot of “smart” fans there cheering some of the heels and good in-ring performers. The heels isolated Kofi Kingston in their corner. Cesaro did the Swing and then Kidd a dropkick while Cesaro was spinning around Kingston, which was good for a two count. They did a commercial for the Rumble PPV.

After that 30 second break, Cesaro was working over Kingston as the fans chanted “New Day sucks” although the announcers completely ignored that. Big E received the hot tag and hit a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Cole announced that Triple H would do a podcast with Steve Austin on WWE Network next week. Kidd went to attack Big E, but Big E sent Kidd to the floor and Kingston hit a dive to take out Kidd. Big E tackled Cesaro through the ropes. Big E was going for the Big Ending, the fans booed and Cesaro knocked him out of the ring. Kingston hit a cross body block off the top rope, but when he covered the ref told him he had to do a tag into the ring. Big E tagged in Kofi. Cesaro nailed Kingston with an uppercut when he was on the top rope. Cesaro hit a superplex. Kidd hit a springboard elbow drop for two. The crowd wanted that to be it. Kidd did a sunset flip for two thanks to Cesaro helping, but the ref saw it. Kofi got a two count on Kidd. That led to Kidd applying the Sharpshooter. The crowd wanted Kofi to tap, but Cesaro made the save with a belly to belly on Kidd. They were some more quick nearfall exchanges and Rose went on the apron, so Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on him. Kidd kicked out of a nearfall, then Cesaro nailed Kofi with an uppercut and Kidd hit a spinning neckbreaker/suplex combo for the win after 13 minutes. The crowd cheered even though they are heels.

Winners by pinfall: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

Analysis: *** That was a very good tag match. The right team won because they’re the better of the two teams. I figured The New Day would win because WWE wants to establish them as a threat, but that theory was wrong. I’m glad I was wrong because Kidd & Cesaro should be the top heel tag team in WWE. Put them in a feud with The Usos please. The final five minutes of the match were awesome. Those guys can all put on entertaining matches. It’s good for the tag division to have quality teams like these guys. The crowd hated The New Day, so perhaps they should do a heel turn soon. Then again Philly fans are known to be cruel, so maybe WWE won’t react to this. It’s just not working as a face trio.

The Royal Rumble “By The Numbers” video aired.

The PPV panel predictions: Byron Saxton picks Bray Wyatt, Corey Graves picks Roman Reigns, Booker T picks Rusev and Renee Young picks Daniel Bryan. I pick Reigns.

The trio of Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan joined Tom Phillips to talk about being hired back by WWE. It was basic stuff. Rowan had his sheep mask on, but then he took off the mask when he spoke. There was nothing interesting here.

A video package aired for the WWE Title match. I’m getting sick of the “there’s gonna be a fight tonight” song by this point.

The panel talked some more. That was it for the Kickoff Show.

—–

WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 2015

The opening video package featured a bunch of top Royal Rumble contenders talking about how they were going to be the one to win the Rumble match. It also focused on the WWE Title match between Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Seth Rollins. Multiple people said “I will be the one” as voiceover guy told us that the Road to WrestleMania starts now.

There was a crowd shot of the arena. The Philly crowd filled up the Wells Fargo Center with a sellout crowd of 17, 164 people in attendance according to Michael Cole. As mentioned previously, the set looks like the standard set on Raw without a ramp. It’s a shame that they have cut back on spending money so much that they don’t have an elaborate set like they used to.

The New Age Outlaws started the show off with Road Dogg warming up the crowd doing his usual routine. The crowd chanted along with all of it as he mentioned they were the 6-time WWE Tag Team Champions and then Billy Gunn ended it with the “Suck It” bit. That was fun. They both work for WWE behind the scenes in case you didn’t know.

The Ascension made their entrance. The announce team of Cole, JBL and Lawler welcomed us to the show.

New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension

Cole goofed saying to use a hashtag about the tag tiles, but then corrected it saying it’s not for the titles. Gunn did an arm drag and the crowd chanted “you still got it” at him. I think he did a little running too. Konnor and Viktor worked over Road Dogg in their corner for a few minutes. Konnor missed an elbow drop, but Road Dogg couldn’t tag out until Viktor came in and then Road Dogg brought in Gunn. Nice slam by Gunn on Viktor. Konnor tagged in, he stunned Billy by draping his throat over the top rope, Viktor knocked Dogg off the apron and they hit the Fall of Man on Gunn for the win after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Ascension

Analysis: * It was a short match as expected. In the preview, I said they should only get five minutes and it went a bit more than that, so that’s fine. That was exactly what it needed to be. The Ascension haven’t had a great start, but if they can get more meaningful wins like this then that will help them going forward. There’s nothing wrong with predictable outcomes if it fits the story.

There was an advertisement for WWE Immortals. Then a commercial for Steve Austin’s podcast on February 2 after Raw with Triple H as the guest. That will be on WWE Network. It’s the second time for something like this since Austin did a podcast with Vince McMahon in December.

The announcers wasted a couple of minutes recapping things like Sting at Raw and three dudes (Ziggler, Ryback, Rowan) getting their job back.

It’s skit time with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon talking backstage. They complained about Sting just showing up to WWE shows. Paul Heyman showed up to say he’s there to solve their problems. Heyman suggested that he has a solution for Sting and that solution is Brock Lesnar. Then Paul left.

Analysis: The Sting/HHH match at WM31 is likely, but it’s interesting that Heyman would mention Lesnar in regards to Sting. Good way to keep people wondering.

Tag Team Titles: The Usos vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow

The crowd loved Mizdow like usual. As Miz was battling Jimmy, fans were chanting Mizdow, who copied Miz by crotching himself on the top turnbuckle. Mizdow did a mock sell of a punch to the gut and the crowd cheered him. Miz sent Jimmy throat first into the ropes as the crowd chanted “Mizdow’s awesome” and Miz worked over Jimmy. That neckbrearker/backbreaker combo by Miz looks so soft. He does it all the time, but it just doesn’t look impressive at all. Fans wanted Mizdow, but Miz refused to tag and the fans booed that. Jey got the tag with a Samoan Drop on Miz. Running butt splash by Jey on Miz, then Mizdow got sent to the floor by Jey. Miz hit a kick to the knee, then a DDT for two. Jey hit a leaping kick to the head for two. Jimmy ended up hitting a dive over the top to take out Mizdow. Jey ran the ropes and hit a leaping dive over the top onto Miz. It looked like Jey caught his foot on the rope and didn’t hit it great. He looked to be okay after the ref subtly asked him.

Back in the ring, Jey missed a splash and Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale for just two. Fans chanted for “Mizdow” even though he was outside the ring. Miz ran at Jey in the corner, Jey hit a superkick and a top rope splash for two. Mizdow saved Miz, sent Jimmy into the turnbuckle and then Mizdow hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Jey, which led to Miz slowly covering for two. Miz battled with Jey in the corner. Jimmy tagged in, hit a kick to the head, Jey gave Miz a Powerbomb to put him down and Jimmy hit a Superfly Splash for the win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Post match, no sign of a breakup by Miz and Mizdow. They only showed The Usos in the ring after the win.

Analysis: **1/2 It was a standard tag match although it’s almost like a handicap match because Miz refused to tag in Mizdow. They were still able to make it entertaining with The Usos using some creative teamwork to find a way to win. I liked the kick to the head, powerbomb and then Superfly Splash to finish off Miz. There were some good nearfalls for both teams before that too. Mizdow got the biggest reactions of the match by far. Fans didn’t hate The Usos, but they weren’t overly excited to see them.

The Kickoff PPV panel talked about some things still to come and recapped the win by Kidd & Cesaro.

Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble were in the locker room with Joey playing WWE Immortals on an iPad. Nice commercial for the product. Seth Rollins complained about how they were playing games. Rollins said they needed to be focused about his WWE Title match. Rollins said he’s not just the future, he’s the right now.

There was a commercial for WrestleMania 31 taking place in 63 days.

The Bella Twins vs. Natalya & Paige

The Bellas were wearing green outfits. The Divas Champion Nikki was in short shorts. I’m not complaining. There were some quick tags with each woman getting in some offense. Natalya brought Nikki to their corner, tagged in Paige and they did a double suplex. Paige’s crawl into a cover earned a nice pop from the crowd. The announcers were rambling on commentary as I tried to tune them out. Dropkick by Nikki on Natalya. Brie tagged in and hit a reverse DDT. The fans were losing interest as Nikki hit a snapmare. A back elbow by Nikki kept Natalya grounded. Brie hit a running “Brie Mode” knee attack as they kept Natalya in their corner. Natalya powered of a submission from Nikki and dropped her with the Electric Chair drop. Elbow by Natalya to Brie, but then Nikki hit a clothesline. Nikki stalled, so Natalya moved and tried to do a hot tag to Paige. Brie yanked Paige off the apron. When Natalya turned around, Nikki hit a stiff forearm to the face and she covered for the pinfall win after 7 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Bella Twins

Analysis: *1/2 That’s the standard time for a divas PPV match at around 7 minutes, but you could tell the crowd was bored for most of it. The story is that Natalya wasn’t able to tag in Paige because of Brie’s cheating. I’m not sure why they would have the heels win because usually the champ loses in a tag team match setting. Perhaps it’s going to lead to either Paige or Natalya turning heel down the road, but neither of those things makes sense. It was a creative finish. I liked the forearm shot for the win. Better than a silly rollup.

There was a plug for some WWE Double Attack toys. I’m too old for this show.

A commercial aired for a documentary called “WWE 24: WrestleMania 30” featuring some backstage stories from WrestleMania 30. When they teased backstage happenings the clip that was teased was when Vince McMahon went to the hospital with The Undertaker.

There were clips of superstars talking about winning the Royal Rumble match. There were comments from Roman Reigns, Goldust, Stardust, Rusev with Lana, The Miz with Damien Mizdow repeating his lines, Big Show, Fandango with Rosa Mendes and Daniel Bryan.

A video package aired for the WWE Title match. That is coming up next. First hour is done.

John Cena is the first man out for the WWE Title match with the fans chanting “John Cena sucks” during his song. Seth Rollins entered along with J&J Security. The fans mostly cheered Rollins. The WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman entered last.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (w/Joey Mercury & Jamie Noble)

Rollins ran away, so Lesnar hit a German Suplex on Cena. J&J tried to interfere, so Lesnar hit suplexes on them dropping them on their heads. Fans were cheering Lesnar as he hit German Suplexes on Rollins and then Cena. More suplexes by Lesnar although the one on Seth was sloppy because Seth landed on his shoulder. The replay was nasty. Vertical suplex toss by Lesnar on Cena and another one for Rollins with fans chanting for Lesnar. Fans chanted “ECW” for Heyman. Lesnar applied the Kimura Lock on Cena. Rollins broke that up with a flying knee attack off the top rope. There’s the first finishing move with Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment. Rollins covered him for only a one count. Lesnar sent both guys out of the ring as the crowd applauded him. Rollins hit a dropkick outside the ring that sent Lesnar into the ring post. In the ring, Cena hit his shoulderblocks and spinning suplex as the crowd booed. Rollins fought out of it, so Cena hit another suplex. He wanted to hit the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, but Lesnar attacked Cena with a German Suplex. They were able to get Lesnar out of the ring briefly. Things slowed down a bit from there. It was a fast paced start to the match. Lesnar sent Rollins outside the ring, Cena decked Lesnar with a clothesline. Rollins did a springboard attack, Lesnar caught him on his shoulders and hit a F5. Wow that was amazing. Cena made the save, so Lesnar dropped him with another release German Suplex.

Lesnar cleared off the Spanish announce table. When he went back into the ring, Cena hit the AA and then Cena hit a second AA followed by a third AA for a two count because Rollins pulled Cena out of the ring. Rollins hit a Curb Stomp on Lesnar, but Cena attacked Rollins for the save. That’s four finishers that Lesnar received in about one minute. Lesnar stumbled outside the ring, so Cena charged at him with a Spear that sent them both through the barricade by the timekeeper. Moments later, Cena threw Lesnar hard into the steel stairs. Cena hit Lesnar in the head with the stairs. Rollins nailed Lesnar with a dropkick. Rollins to the top rope and there’s a flying elbow through Lesnar through the table. “This is awesome” chant. Damn right. With Lesnar out of it on the floor, Cena and Rollins battled in the ring. It’s been 15 minutes so far. This match has been very physical and intense.

Cena went for the AA on Rollins, but Seth landed on his feet and Cena hit a powerbomb for a two count. Heyman was yelling at ringside about needing a doctor, so two doctors were over there working on Lesnar. Rollins nailed Cena with the running powerbomb into the turnbuckle for a two count. After both guys were down for a bit selling pain, Cena applied the STF. J&J went into the ring to save Rollins. Meanwhile, stretchers were brought out for Lesnar. Rollins hit a three man powerbomb on Cena with the help of J&J for a two count. Cena made the comeback by sending Rollins outside the ring and then hit ting the AA on Noble & Mercury at the same time. Cena with the AA on Rollins for a two count. Big pop for that. There was a shot of Lesnar on the backboard. Cole said that Lesnar had at least a broken rib. Rollins hit an enziguiri kick to the back of the neck and then a Curb Stomp for a two count. That’s two great nearfalls in a row with each guy getting one of them. The match is at the 20 minute mark.

Rollins went up top and hit a spinning corkscrew splash (Phoenix Splash) on Cena that was very impressive. I want to see a replay of that! Lesnar went into the ring for the surprising save. Lesnar sent Cena outside the ring with a suplex. Rollins nailed Lesnar in the head with a briefcase shot. He hit him multiple times. When he ran the ropes, Lesnar popped back to his feet and hit a F5 on Rollins for the successful pin. Lesnar retains the WWE Title by pinning Rollins. The match went 23 minutes. What a match! Wow!

Winner by pinfall: Brock Lesnar

Lesnar was congratulated by Heyman as they showed replays of some big spots in the match. Rollins was being helped by J&J Security.

Analysis: ****1/2 That was a phenomenal match. It’s tough to explain how amazing it was, but if you saw it then you know. There were three chapters in the match. Lesnar dominated the first third of the match with a barrage of suplexes. Then Lesnar got taken out because Rollins put him through a table, but he also took a beating before that. That led to some great pinfall sequences between Cena and Rollins where they were kicking out of anything. Rollins hit that amazing top rope move and that’s when Lesnar came back. He dominated the final two minutes with the clean win on Rollins with the F5. I was very impressed by all of it. Lesnar and Rollins were both fantastic in everything that they did. Cena did well too although not as much of a standout as the other two. The way Lesnar was booked was perfect. I wish he wrestled more often and that he didn’t leave, but sadly that’s probably what is happening. Lesnar is such a great performer, though. Rollins is a big time star for the present as well as the future. I loved this match. It’s a WWE Match of the Year contender for sure. Don’t forget about it in December.

There was commercial for Hulu Plus.

There was a commercial for the Fast Lane PPV on February 22.

The “By The Numbers” video package aired for the Royal Rumble. That match is next.

Royal Rumble Match

The Miz is the #1 entrant in the Rumble match and R-Truth is #2, so he did his rap on the way to the ring. Miz hit a boot to the face. The #3 entrant is Bubba Ray Dudley in Dudley Boys gear. Amazing. The crowd popped huge for him. He spent many years in TNA, so it’s great to see him back in WWE. They were cheering loudly for him as he did some of his signature spots. Loud “ECW” chants for him too. He got Truth to do the Wassup Drop on Miz. Then Bubba looked confused, but told Truth to get the tables. Truth and Bubba did the Dudley Death Drop on Miz. That led to Miz getting tossed out and Bubba tossed out Truth with a back body drop. The #4 man is Luke Harper, who started exchanging punches with Bubba. Luke hit a superkick, but Bubba nailed him with a clothesline. Bray Wyatt is #5. He worked with Harper to battle Bubba and they tossed out Bubba. Wyatt was the one that eliminated Bubba. Wyatt told Harper they should work together. I enjoyed seeing Bubba in there.

It was Curtis Axel as the #6 man, but Erick Rowan attacked him by tossing him into some steel by the entrance. Rowan entered for a Wyatt Family face off. The announcers said Rowan was not in there legally, but he still went after Wyatt and Harper. As Rowan and Harper battled by the ropes, Wyatt dumped both them over the top to the floor. The #7 entrant is The Boogeyman. Yawn. Not a great surprise. It’s a stupid gimmick. Wyatt did his upside down pose/walk, hit a clothesline and dumped him out quickly. It’s Sin Cara at #8, who barely gets a big reaction. Wyatt quickly overpowered him, hit the Sister Abigail and eliminated him. Wyatt grabbed the microphone to say that this is Bray Wyatt’s year. He started singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands” with the crowd singing along with him. Zack Ryder is back as the #9 man. He’s been out for months after a shoulder surgery. Ryder was on fire with some of his signature spots including a Broski Boot. Wyatt recovered quickly to eliminate Ryder. Here’s some much needed star power with Daniel Bryan in the #10 spot. Bryan was on fire and the crowd was going crazy with “yes” chants as he hit multiple running dropkicks on Wyatt in the corner. He did four of them. Bryan did a hurricanrana off the top.

It’s Fandango at #11. He nails Bryan with a dropkick as some in the crowd try to sing his old theme song, but it really didn’t catch on. He did some posing. Bryan did an airplane spin to Fandango and tried to eliminate him. Wyatt rested in the corner during that altercation. Tyson Kidd is #12. He nailed Bryan with a kick followed by a missile dropkick. Bryan nailed Fandango with a dropkick in the corner and then Kidd hit Fandango. There was a double cross body block sequence by Kidd and Bryan, so all four guys were down in the ring. Wyatt has stayed in the corner for over three minutes. Stardust is #13. Fandango nearly eliminated him, but Stardust hung on and did the skin the cat move. Kidd went after Bryan, but Bryan was able to eliminate him with a back suplex over the top to the floor. Bryan knocked Wyatt to the floor, then hit a running dive between the top/middle rope. Wyatt tossed Bryan into the stairs. They weren’t eliminated. They just went out of the ring by going under the rope. It’s Diamond Dallas Page as a surprise entrant at #14 although it was leaked online a couple of days ago. The reaction to DDP was solid. He was wearing his DDP Yoga shirt of course. DDP hit the Diamond Cutter on Stardust. Fandango went to the top rope, but DDP gave Fandango a Diamond Cutter off the top rope. DDP avoided a Wyatt attack and he gave Wyatt the Diamond Cutter to a big pop. The crowd loved that spot for DDP. Rusev is #15. No Diamond Cutter for him, because he shoved Paige away, gave him a superkick and tossed Page out of the ring. Rusev also tossed Fandango out. Rusev stared at Wyatt. Bryan nailed both of them with a dropkick off the top and then a series of kicks. Rusev superkick on Bryan, but Bryan held on. With Bryan on the apron, Wyatt knocked him out of the ring. The crowd hated that. I do too. I didn’t think Bryan would win. I just thought he would last longer.

There’s Goldust at #16. Stardust tried to eliminate him, but Goldust hung on. Fans were chanting “Daniel Bryan” even though he went to the back. Kofi Kingston is #17 to almost no reaction from an angry crowd. Wyatt nearly eliminated Kingston, but Kofi was able to hang on. Adam Rose is #18 with the Rosebuds entering the building along with him. I can’t hear the crowd booing because of the music, but I assume they are. Kingston got tossed over the top, but the Rosebuds caught him and put him back in. That’s the creative Kofi save spot. Rusev got rid of Rose quickly and then a Rusev kick to the head finally got rid of Kofi. In the ring right now are Rusev, Stardust, Wyatt and Goldust. Roman Reigns is #19 and the crowd is booing him. This is not the reaction WWE thought he would get, but they shouldn’t be that surprised. Reigns cleaned house with a Samoan Drop on Goldust, then he tossed him out and then he gave Stardust a clothesline to eliminate him. The crowd was still booing Reigns. Big E is #20 to almost no reaction. Rusev hit a running dive on Big E in the corner. Four guys in the match 2/3 of the way through it: Reigns, Rusev, Wyatt and Big E.

The 21st entrant is Damien Mizdow. The fans cheered. The Miz comes out to tell Mizdow that he should go to the back. The Miz was on the apron, Reigns knocked him out of the ring before he could get in. Mizdow went in, hit a couple of moves and then he was eliminated by Rusev. Miz yelled at him, but Mizdow just sat beside him imitating him. They blew an opportunity to do something cool with them in this match. Jack Swagger is in at #22 to a mild reaction, but nothing much. Not a whole lot happens following Swagger’s entrance. Ryback enters at 23 to almost no reaction and cleans house on everybody with power moves. When he hit Reigns with a clothesline the fans cheered that. Ryback hit the Meat Hook Clothesline on Rusev. No eliminations. Fans were chanting “CM Punk” because they were bored. The veteran Kane is #24 as the announcers mentioned he has 38 eliminations all time while Shawn Michaels has the record with 39 eliminations. That was another dead spot in the match because they just wanted to fill up the ring with more guys. Dean Ambrose is 25 and the fans like him, so that’s good. There was a “Let’s Go Ambrose” chant for him as he took down Ambrose with a flying elbow drop off the top. There were eight guys in the ring with five men left.

It was Titus O’Neil at #26. Lawler says “oh boy” as if he’s a big name, then he gets tossed out in four seconds. It would have been quicker, but he didn’t go over the top the first time he was hit with a clothesline. Cole noted that Wyatt has been there for 38 minutes. The IC Champion Bad News Barrett is #27. Barrett hit the spinning slam to Ambrose, then immediately joined the others in just trying to dump somebody out. Cesaro is #28. He didn’t do anything of note. Why not let him do some power moves? Too many guys are going into this match without doing a thing once they get in there. Rusev eliminated Big E with a dropkick while Big E was on the apron. Big Show is #29. Everybody faced him. Show and Kane did a double chokeslam to get rid of Ryback, so Kane has 39 eliminations in his career to tie Michaels. Show eliminated Swagger. Nothing else of note happened there. Dolph Ziggler is #30.

Ziggler quickly eliminated Barrett by putting him on the apron and then nailing a superkick. There was a battle with Cesaro and Ziggler by the ropes, which was won by Ziggler. He eliminated Cesaro. Ziggler teased being eliminated by Kane, but then Big Show nailed him with a KO Punch. Kane and Big Show picked up Ziggler, then dumped him out of the ring. Crowd hated that. Me too. Big Show with the KO Punch on Wyatt so Show and Kane dumped him out. I thought it would take more to eliminate Wyatt.

Final four in the match are Reigns, Ambrose, Show and Kane. Reigns hit a leaping clothesline on Show. It looks like Reigns was bleeding from the mouth. Kane hit a big boot to slow down Reigns and then the heels stomped on Ambrose. Show with a Chokeslam on Ambrose. That led to Show and Kane dumping Ambrose out. That means Reigns is against the two evil big guys. The heels went to eliminate Reigns, but then Show tried to dump Kane out too. Kane got mad about it, so they started brawling. Kane and Show grab eachother by the throat. Reigns walks over to them and dumps them both out.

After the Rumble, Reigns received a Chokeslam. The Rock’s music hit and he came out for the save for his cousin Roman Reigns. Rock hit the Spinebuster and Rock Bottom. He took care of the giants. Rusev went back into the ring because he wasn’t eliminated. Reigns gave Rusev a Spear and then tossed him over the top rope to eliminate him after 59 minutes of action.

Winner of the Royal Rumble: Roman Reigns

Backstage, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were looking on.

Analysis: **1/2 That was a weak Rumble. The crowd hated nearly everything that happened after Daniel Bryan was eliminated. Bray Wyatt was booked strong for most of it, but then he got dumped out so easily that it made him look weak. Bryan’s elimination sucked. He should have lasted longer. My guess is that WWE wanted him long gone before Reigns got in there so that it made Reigns look like a bigger star. That strategy didn’t really work.

The highlights of the Rumble were seeing guy like Bubba Ray Dudley and DDP out there. I hope that Bubba stays in WWE full time after this because he’s still a very good performer. Bring back D-Von too. They missed an opportunity by not putting D-Von in the match as well because the crowd would have loved seeing them together in this. Fans were even chanting for D-Von to be out there.

I spent about 15 minutes after the show just interacting with people on Twitter and Facebook about it. People are genuinely mad about what happened. I’m mad too. If you read my preview of the event then you know I picked Reigns winning with heels like Big Show and Rusev lasting until the end so that WWE would think fans would cheer Reigns, but guess what? The fans didn’t care.

Back to the show.

Roman Reigns celebrated in the ring with his cousin The Rock. The Authority’s Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stood by the entrance looking angry about Reigns winning and The Rock being out there.

When The Rock left, Reigns posed by the WrestleMania logo and the crowd booed. His mouth was still bleeding. The announcers didn’t mention the poor reaction for him. The PPV went off the air at around 10:43pmET.

They did a post show with Cena getting interviewed, then Rusev showed up to complain about the Rumble. They were pulled apart. That will set up their WrestleMania match with Captain American Cena beating the evil foreigner Rusev like it’s 1991 Hulk Hogan again.

There was also an interview with Rock and Roman Reigns talking. Rock did most of the talking, which is why he was there. The whole thing was pretty awkward.

Analysis: Regarding the post match stuff and The Rock showing up, I look at it like this: Basically WWE knew Reigns would get booed, still put him out there and then called Rock to help him get booed less. It’s sad that they have to go those lengths. They should know that fans were going to reject Reigns and change the decision. Put Bryan over. Instead, they ignored what the fans wanted for the second year in a row.

 

Royal Rumble Entrants Order

1) The Miz

2) R-Truth

3) Bubba Ray Dudley

4) Luke Harper

5) Bray Wyatt

6) Curtis Axel (taken out by Erick Rowan, never officially entered the match)

7) The Boogeyman

8) Sin Cara

9) Zack Ryder

10) Daniel Bryan

11) Fandango

12) Tyson Kidd

13) Stardust

14) Diamond Dallas Page

15) Rusev

16) Goldust

17) Kofi Kingston

18) Adam Rose

19) Roman Reigns

20) Big E

21) Damien Sandow

22) Jack Swagger

23) Ryback

24) Kane

25) Dean Ambrose

26) Titus O’Neil

27) Bad News Barrett

28) Cesaro

29) Big Show

30) Dolph Ziggler

Order of Eliminations:

1) The Miz by Bubba Ray Dudley

2) R-Truth by Bubba Ray Dudley

3) Bubba Ray Dudley by Bray Wyatt

4) Luke Harper by Bray Wyatt

5) The Boogeyman by Bray Wyatt

6) Sin Cara by Bray Wyatt

7) Zack Ryder by Bray Wyatt

8) Tyson Kidd by Daniel Bryan

9) Diamond Dallas Page by Rusev

10) Fandango by Rusev

11) Daniel Bryan by Bray Wyatt

12) Adam Rose by Rusev

13) Kofi Kingston by Rusev

14) Goldust by Roman Reigns

15) Stardust by Roman Reigns

16) Damien Mizdow by Rusev

17) Titus O’Neil by Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose

18) Big E by Rusev

19) Ryback by Big Show & Kane

20) Jack Swagger by Big Show & Kane

21) Bad News Barrett by Dolph Ziggler

22) Cesaro by Dolph Ziggler

23) Dolph Ziggler by Kane

24) Bray Wyatt by Big Show

25) Dean Ambrose by Big Show & Kane

26) Big Show by Roman Reigns

27) Kane by Roman Reigns

28) Rusev by Roman Reigns

(No Curtis Axel in the match)

 

Five Stars of the Show

1. Brock Lesnar

2. Seth Rollins

3. John Cena

4. Bray Wyatt

5. (tie) Bubba Ray Dudley

5. (tie) Diamond Dallas Page

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 4 out of 10.

That’s a low score for a PPV from me. I’m usually nicer, but I’m not going higher than that.

The WWE Title match was a Match of the Year contender that I want to watch again. The Kickoff Match was the second best match. Everything else was below average.

People get excited for the Rumble PPV every year, but it was the second year in a row where it was a poor PPV. If it wasn’t for Lesnar/Cena/Rollins it would have been much worse too. That match saved the show basically.

Here’s a TJRWrestling sign. It was a show highlight.

Thanks Anthony Vee for bringing that. You made Roman Reigns look strong.

———

That’s all for me.

No more TJRWrestling Radio. It was fun while it lasted for nearly four years, but I just don’t have the time or energy for it. Maybe I’ll do an audio show later this year. Not sure right now.

Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture. I’ll be writing much more about the Rumble during the week. It probably won’t be positive either.

Have a great week.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook