Monday, January 27, 2014

The Royal Rumble 2014: The Significance of the Aftermath

As we all know, last night the 27th annual Royal Rumble took place in Pittsburg, PA.  Also, as everyone that ordered the PPV or read comments on twitter know, people lost their fucking minds in result to the questionable booking that took place at the start of the Road to Wrestlemania.  Apart from a tremendous match of the year candidate between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt, there was a lot to be disappointed in with the nights program, and the live crowd in attendance made it known that the WWE Universe is upset with what was presented.

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between John Cena and champion Randy Orton was not an extremely terrible match by any means, but it did not live up to the “greatest rematch in WWE history” hype that that it was billed to be.  The live Pittsburg crowd let it be known that what they were seeing is not what we as a collective fan base want to see anymore.  There were chants of “this is awful” and “we want Divas” ringing throughout the area during the duration of the match.  I want to make things absolutely clear – I do not condone chanting “this is awful” at any point during a match because these guys work night in and night out all year to entertain us all while risking their bodies in order to do so.  But, I will agree with that crowd because it was absolutely pitiful and boring.  The only thing that really saved this match was a John Cena beat down at the hands of the upstart Wyatt family.  This, hopefully, signifies that this is the end of the long overplayed John Cena vs. Randy Orton feud which seems to have happened thousands of times before.

Regardless of how bad the title bout was, the main source of resentment for last night’s pay-per-view was what happened, or more importantly, didn’t happen during the battle royal main event.  The Royal Rumble was panning out just as good as it could have gone with the inclusion of NXT upstarts and WWE legends like Kevin Nash and JBL, but the most isolated case of mutiny came at the number 30 spot in the Rumble.  Myself, the Pittsburg crowd, and every other WWE fan were anticipating the inclusion of Daniel Bryan in the Royal Rumble.  But when the music hit, and the number 30 participant appeared, we were greeted by Rey Mysterio followed by the most overwhelming cascade of boos that hasn’t been heard in a long, long time. 

The source of frustration from the fans in attendance wasn’t that Rey Mysterio was included, but its source derives from the fact that the heads of the WWE creative team continues to ignore the fact that Daniel Bryan is the most important superstar on the roster.  They continue to ignore the fact that throughout the night, even after his match, chants of “Daniel Bryan” were heard from this live crowd, and not having your biggest superstar in the ring for the biggest battle royal of the year is inexcusable.  The WWE had every opportunity to make this happen.  We had the “privledge” of see Kevin Nash in the rumble, but we’ve seen this before, and no one really cares about him anymore.  We had the “honor” of seeing JBL’s first ever royal rumble entry…but it lasted all of three seconds.  We were “entertained” by the sight of a dwarf dressed in a bull costume flipping and spinning around the ring.  But we could have definitely done without any of these inclusions if just one spot in this match was reserved for the company’s biggest star. 

When the match was reaching its conclusion, we were starting at two individuals that solidified what the WWE universe loves, and what the WWE Universe hates.  Roman Reigns, the exceptional young talent and cousin of The Rock was standing face to face with Batista, a man who was absent from WWE television for four years while he pursued a movie career.  Even with Reigns’ character persona being a heel, the crowd was 100 percent behind the youngin’ and absolutely resented the sight of Batista in the final two.  But, when it was all said in done, Batista threw the man who set a new Royal Rumble record for eliminations over the top rope and an anger bubbled over from this crowd in the likes of which I have never seen.

There are a few ideas to take away from this situation:

1.) The WWE creative team showed us last night that they have the biggest set of balls on the face of the planet.  In order to ignore the fact that every crowd that you have been in front of recently has been going absolutely nuts for a certain individual on your roster and you decide to not include him in one of the biggest matches of the year shows that you will do what you want and not care what anyone has to say about it.

2.) The fans are beginning to hate the idea of bringing back part timers and forcing them directly into the main event spot.  Fans didn’t like when the Rock came back and stripped the belt away from CM Punk, and fans definitely don’t like the fact that Batista came back to headline Wrestlemania and take a spot from a fan favorite that deserves it over anyone else.   I hate this idea as well.  When the WWE asks these individuals to make a comeback in the company, the Rocks and Batistas of the world hold so much contractual power that if their stipulations are not met, they would have never returned in the first place. 

The Royal Rumble should be a match where WWE builds up underutilized talent and give the younger guys on the roster a chance to make a major impact in the company, and the fact that the WWE wasted this opportunity on a superstar that certainly looks like he lost a lot of his luster over the past four years is ludicrous.  It wasn’t like anyone was really clamoring for a Batista return, were they?  It also doesn’t help that they debuted him on the RAW before the Royal Rumble.  If he was a surprise entrant, and won that way, there would have been a larger reaction and a more positive one at that.  When you ignore the current stars on your roster and put everything in the corner of a part timer, that just shows that you could care less about the men that are busting their asses night in and night out.  It’s just bad for business.

3.) Most importantly though, it seems that the WWE Universe is fully behind these young guys and seem to want change in the worst way.  I speak for many fans when I say that we are sick of the same feuds and confrontations that we have seen for well over five years.  The energy that was behind Reigns last night was incredible.  People love and want to see him.  People want to see Daniel Bryan.  People want to see Dolph Ziggler.  People want to see Damien Sandow.  People want to see Bray Wyatt.  People want to see the Shield.  People want to see the stars that you have in your roster.  That should be the biggest eye opener for the WWE and they should embrace the fact that they have money makers in that locker room and they need to utilize them.

While WWE is preparing for RAW tonight, and presumably have been working furiously throughout the night to fix whatever they fucked up last night, expect to see some major changes leading up to Wrestlemania.  What the crowd did last night should be embraced by all other live fans.  If you hate what is going on in front of you, realize that your voice is a vote and you need to let that vote be heard.  And if filling the area with chants of wrestlers that you want to see is the way to do it, then by god everyone should do it.  But, if the WWE refuses to fix what happened last night, and leave the product be, then we have a major problem on our hands as we will virtually see Vince McMahon and Triple-H slap each and every WWE fan in the face as they continue to do whatever the hell they want to do.   I hope change is coming, and I hope it’s coming soon. 

The Lounge Chair Legends 

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