So, how about that Royal Rumble?
Now, I’ve only started watching wrestling again fairly recently. While I love the classic and attitude eras, the new talent just seemed bland and uninteresting, so I never really gave it a chance. However, once Daniel Bryan started getting his big push, I started watching again, and now I tune in every week.
So, like many people, I was excited for the Royal Rumble. With the return of Batista the week prior, the CM Punk/Shield and Bryan/Wyatt feuds, and promise of great match between Brock Lesnar and the Big Show, it seemed like we were in for a hell of a show.
The first hiccup was the match between Brock Lesnar and Big Show. Despite being hyped in the weeks prior, the match lasted just a little under two minutes and mainly consisted of Big Show getting beat down with a chair.
Next came the match between John Cena and Randy Orton, which nobody cared about. Of course, “Cena sucks” is a common sentiment among wrestling fans, but the fact is, people are just getting bored of him.
And then, of course, was the Royal Rumble itself. In spite of the overall negative reception, for the most part the Rumble was pretty fantastic. However, all that changed at the end. When the last entrant came out, everyone was expecting and chanting for Daniel Bryan… and instead we got Rey Mysterio. From that point on, the crowd proceeded to boo and jeer the event. Compounding this disappointment was that three slots had been essentially wasted: one going to Los Matadores mascot El Torito, one going to commentator JBL (who lasted only 21 seconds), and one going to a tired old man wearing Kevin Nash’s skin.
Things got even worse once Batista, who had only returned a week prior after a nearly four-year-long retirement, won the Rumble. To put it bluntly, fans booed harder than they have ever booed before. Yet again, the WWE had refused to give the fans what they wanted to see, and boy did the fans make that clear.
Now, most fans feel that the two biggest disappointments of the Rumble were that Daniel Bryan wasn’t in it, and that Batista won. Now, I love Daniel Bryan, but I wasn’t all that disappointed by his absence… after all, he had just been in an incredible match with Bray Wyatt. No, I was far more disappointed by the treatment of CM Punk.
Punk is, undeniably, my favorite wrestler of the modern era. Now, he was the first to enter the Royal Rumble, putting him at a significant disadvantage, but he hung in there. He was one of the last few to be eliminated, and as much as I would have loved to see him win, I doubted that the WWE would give him such a huge victory. However, the manner in which he was eliminated was downright insulting.
In addition to his feud with the Shield, Punk had been butting heads with the Authority, most notably Kane. Much earlier in the Rumble, Punk had eliminated Kane within a minute, leaving the big red machine fuming. And then, nearing the end of the Rumble, Kane reappeared and eliminated Punk, which apparently counts for some reason. What should have been a good, clean loss instead ended on a whimper.
After that huge letdown, I (and everyone else) hoped that at least Roman Reigns would win the Rumble. But nope, they gave the win to Batista. This is a big issue that the WWE has; bringing back former superstars and pushing them, screwing over new talent in the process. This is also something CM Punk has little patience for, and it seems that Punk left the WWE just before Monday night’s RAW. His departure is likely at least somewhat related to the Royal Rumble, and I do hope he comes back.
Now, between that and the massive outcry following the event, hopefully the WWE will get their shit in order and start listening to their fans. Sure, the WWE is a business, but it’s also a show. It’s supposed to be entertaining, right? When you disappoint your fans to this extent, you fucked up. After all, fans payed to see this. You owe them better than this.