Good day everyone! Welcome back to the Royal Rumble series with the 27th edition. You can find all 26 previous editions of the series linked below. Today, we’ll be looking at the controversial WWE Royal Rumble 2014 match.
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Royal Rumble 2014 – Consul Energy Center
This is a strange PPV. We get an idea of this on the pre-show when The (Old) New Age Outlaws defeated Goldust & Cody Rhodes for the Tag Team Championship. What is it about WWE bringing back superstars who haven’t been around for years to beat full-timers? Keep that theme in mind.
By far the best match of the night was Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan. Now, Wyatt on his own usually means a mediocre contest, but Bryan can turn bronze in to gold with his amazing ability. Not only that, but Bryan is red hot with fans. So much so, you’d think he would go to the main event of WrestleMania?! Let’s hope. The fans won’t be happy otherwise. Despite his popularity, Bryan left this event a loser in more ways than one.
Brock Lesnar wrecked Big Show in two minutes, not only because Show is injured, but because it’s Brock Lesnar. He could do something memorable at WrestleMania this year? Yes… it’s sarcasm, I’m reviewing this event almost seven years later.
Do you like falling asleep? Check out the snooze fest of John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship for the 300th time. Even describing it to you makes me feel lethargic, so just trust me it’s best you skip over this one. The only thing worth revisiting on the under card is the Wyatt & Bryan match.
This match is historic because it’s CM Punk’s last. What is clear is that he was burnt out and was unhappy in WWE. In case you missed it, he & Colt Cabana discussed these matters in length in the infamous podcast in late 2014; almost a year after this match took place. You can find it at the following link: CM Punk – Art of Wrestling Ep 226 w/ Colt Cabana
It makes sense for Punk & Seth Rollins to start this, seeing as the latter looks up to the former like a mentor. Punk doesn’t look great, but brings the fight all the same. The crowd counts loudly as the timer hits zero and introduces Damien Sandow to the fray. Fans are firmly behind Punk in the early going. Here comes #4 Cody Rhodes, and he hits Sandow with the Cross Rhodes. Punk eliminates Sandow! You’re welcome. Oh oh, it’s Corporate Kane, the worst version of him. Typically, he goes after CM Punk because The Authority has a thing for ruining his life.
After some offense by Corporate Kane, Punk reverses with a roundhouse kick and dumps him out of the rumble! That has to be his worst performance ever. Alexander Rusev! The Bulgarian Brute making his debut as a NXT superstar. He could have been a monster had WWE used him right. Rusev looks to eliminate Cody, but Rollins stops him for some reason. We got another future AEW star in Jack Swagger making his way with the obsessively patriotic Zeb Colter. I like the moment between the two bulls of Rusev & Swagger locking horns. Again, Seth is stopping Rusev eliminating guys? Next up is the innovative escape artist Kofi Kingston.
While working over Punk, Kofi decides he doesn’t want Rusev to eliminate Rollins and helps out. Four years in to his WWE career, Jimmy Uso finally makes a Rumble appearance. Wow… the crowd is dead after his flurry. Goldust enters his 9th Rumble. Rusev has been a force, so Cody & CM Punk team up on him after he flattens Goldust. The first smart decision is Punk, Rollins, Kofi and Cody working together to eliminate the very real threat that is Rusev.
Punk strikes Kofi off the apron in to Rusev’s arms, who conveniently places him on a guard rail… rather than dropping him to the floor. How nice of him! Is it wrong that I want someone in the crowd to push Kofi off right now? We all know what’s coming. Kofi does a run and jump, receiving a pop for making it back to the apron to avoid elimination.
Dean Ambrose is #11. The Shield should work together, but they go their separate ways and stop others from eliminating Swagger. Kofi saves Goldust from being eliminated by Swagger. There’s very little logic in this one. Ziggler gets a big pop! “Let’s Go Ziggler!”. He has just as much reaction as CM Punk, while everyone else got crickets. R-Truth is #13, but he’s not as over as he used to be and is quickly eliminated by The Shield (the first time they really teamed up).
They follow up by getting rid of Jimmy Uso. Ok I’m getting annoyed now, because Kofi is literally hanging on by his feet, and Swagger decides not to go for them… but goes through the rope and gets struck in the face by his own boot. C’mon Swagger! Even I could have eliminated Kofi there.
Just to prove how most of the roster isn’t over, ‘Big Daddy Cool’ Kevin Nash gets a “Too Sweet” reception from the WWE Universe. He does what so many others failed to do; eliminate Jack Swagger. The Shield brothers are marking out as Nash slowly walks up and hits ’em both. Ok, Roman Reigns is here and The Shield’s at full force. He’s a beast, but almost breaks Kofi’s neck carelessly throwing him over his shoulder to the outside. The spear on Ziggler gets a big reaction; we have to remember this is before fans started giving Reigns the Cena treatment.
But yeah… it doesn’t help when he dumps Ziggler out like a nasty habit, so the fans boo him for it. Nash runs at Reigns (which is amazing in itself) but is fooled by the old top rope being pulled down trick. Ironically, Reigns has done more damage than Rollins & Ambrose combined. Sigh… it’s The Great Khali. Thank god for The Shield, they make sure he’s not in for long. Aside from them, there’s only CM Punk (who has been quietly hiding for a while), Cody & Goldust remaining.
It’s like a six-man tag, til Goldust accidentally eliminates his brother, and then is eliminated by Reigns while looking on in disbelief. This leaves Punk at the mercy of The Shield. Before they can deliver the Triple Powerbomb, Sheamus returns after six+ months recovering from a torn labrum in his shoulder. The fresh Celtic Warrior rushes to the ring to confront The Shield and does a hell of a job holding his own. Brogue Kick to Reigns! He literally takes ’em all down by himself. The Miz is #18. Not much happens til #19 Fandango runs to the ring while fans love the music.
Why is The Miz fighting Fandango? And why is Sheamus stopping Miz from eliminating him while The Shield are clearly the biggest threat? We get the first “Daniel Bryan!” chants. So neither Diego nor Fernando are in this Rumble… but El Torito is? And as if by magic, Punk is stood in the middle of the ring looking at Torito with disdain. Punk laughs at Torito til he’s flipped over by a hurricanrana.
Fandango looks to eliminate the bull… but is in fact eliminated himself. Torito goes one further by flying at Reigns, but it’s too far and he is thrown on to Fandango on the outside. The most patriotic American from Switzerland, Cesaro, enters at #21. Miz goes for a big swing and it’s all good fun til The Shield break up Cesaro’s attempted swing on Punk. He fights back and gets an ovation for swinging Rollins at least 27 times. Luke Harper makes his Rumble debut. Jey Uso enters his second Rumble. #24 is JBL… and the spot is utterly wasted because Reigns dumps him out while he passes his jacket to Michael Cole. There was no need for any of that! This match sucks.
Erick Rowan enters to no reaction at all. Rowan & Harper work together to make quick work of The Miz and Jey Uso. The Shield confronts them and they get in to a brawl as Ryback enters. Remember how over he was a year ago? It’s all about the “Goldberg” chants now. I have it on good authority that those same fans hated it when Goldberg returned and beat The Fiend for the title. Ryback calls Rollins “Stupid!” for no reason. JBL mocks him and King says if you mention anything… Ryback will tweet about it. Wow, they know him so well.
Yuck, Alberto Del Rio. Batista gets a light pop when his music hits. There are some boos though, as he takes guys and eliminates Rowan. Ryback & Batista have a brief staredown, and The Big Guy takes down The Animal. He runs at Batista but is launched over the top rope. Del Rio has a go at Batista too and is dumped out unceremoniously. Big E Langston rushes to the ring in his Rumble debut, and looks good throwing around Batista & Sheamus. And this is where it goes pear-shaped. You see… the fans are majorly in to Daniel Bryan. So much so they would have his babies and buy a house if they could.
They love Bryan so much, that it’s an absurd possibility for WWE not to include him in the Rumble. Here comes the #30 entrant and they have been expecting him since the beginning. Only it’s Rey Mysterio! And the boos begin. They don’t want Rey. Hell, they don’t want Batista, El Torito or JBL either. This match stinks because WWE hasn’t listened to its audience and it shows. What has been an illogical Rumble with few decent moments, has gone and jumped off the cliff. But can it get any worse? As Daniel Bryan would say… Yes!
CM Punk and Rey have an awkward moment on the ropes. With who remains it’s possible to save this. After a promising short-lived performance, Sheamus Brogue Kicks Big E Langston in to elimination. Rey hits Rollins with the 619 but no one cares. Seth fights back and eliminates Mysterio, which receives a massive pop. As the fans start to accept Bryan isn’t there, some turn to CM Punk as their favourite. The Shield eliminate Harper.
Ambrose makes the stupidest move in the history of Rumble’s by trying to get rid of his own stablemate Roman Reigns. What’s the point in that?! There are still plenty of superstars remaining. While Rollins & Ambrose argue, Cesaro looks to eliminate both. But yeah… Reigns goes ahead and dumps all three of ’em out anyway, nixing the game plan of getting The Shield to the final three. This match gives me a headache. Batista spinebusters Reigns. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Batista. Punk delivers a GTS to Sheamus and Roman Reigns. Right, so the match has finally picked up steam.
Gah, I spoke too soon. Punk rolls backwards in to the corner… just because? Kane appears outta’ nowhere to eliminate and chokeslam Punk through the announce table. I can’t blame Punk for leaving after this crapfest. And just as it looked like the match could be saved, we’re back to the Daniel Bryan chants. So we’re down to Sheamus, Batista and Roman Reigns, and the fans don’t care for any of ’em. The jeers are so loud you can feel the heat sitting at home. “NO!”.
Even Sheamus can’t get any love after falling Batista. He signals for the Brogue by beating his chest, but the fans chant “no” instead of “brogue”. Batista counters and throws Sheamus on to the apron, who is subsequently eliminated by a charging Reigns. With this elimination, Reigns set a new record of 12; beating Kane’s previous of 11. Batista gets awfully close to shocking Reigns. This spurs the fans on to get behind Reigns, because he’s the lesser evil than having an aging, out-of-shape animal headlining WrestleMania.
At least Reigns is an upcoming star. He’s never since had this much support outside the leukemia revelation. Batista hits him with a funny-looking spear. Reigns returns the favour with one of his own. He goes to throw him out, but Batista counters and emphatically tosses him over the top rope to the floor. “BOOtista” is born. Commentators turn their attention to Reigns’ new record. When we come back, Batista looks bemused. In his mind, he was making a triumphant babyface return, and the fans would love to see him back in the spotlight. Boy, was he & WWE wrong. They weren’t listening to the fans and had no choice but to change things around.
WWE patted themselves on the back by pushing Daniel Bryan, but this wouldn’t have happened had they listened to begin with. Batista celebrated his victory, but did so with an angered and frustrated demeanour. He tore in to the live crowd while pointing at the WrestleMania sign. No one was stopping him from going to WrestleMania XXX. “Deal With It” says Michael Cole… a line likely fed to him by Vince McMahon.
I’m going to leave the conclusion to you guys in the comments section, because I’d have to curse to accurately describe how much I hate this Rumble. And it sucks because the previous year was pretty good despite the predictable ending. This was a sad time for WWE, they weren’t listening and it took CM Punk leaving and fans crapping all over Batista to get their attention.
But it still wasn’t enough, because WWE is doomed to repeat the same mistakes time and time again. Not much has changed in six years, nor likely will change so long as the current regime remains in control of the product. They will push whoever they want, bury who they want, and as fans we have no choice but to “Deal With It” or tune out. Did it get any better at WrestleMania XXX? If you can’t remember… you can find my old review (from 2016) at the shared link. To be honest, it was pretty memorable for at least two reasons. Thank you for reading! — WrestleMania XXX