WWE – Royal Rumble 2014 (Cert 15)
1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 163 minutes approx
The Royal Rumble – the one PPV of the year in which the WWE wrestlers expose their ignorance of mathematics by vowing to throw “twenty-nine other top superstars” over the top rope to ensue victory. Of course – except for early entrants in the match – this is impossible to achieve if one draws a late number by which time half the entrants have already been eliminated! Even then the proviso is that one is able to be solely responsible for ALL eliminations is more improbable than impossible!
Forgive that little rant, this is just something that has always amused me about the Rumble match! Speaking of amusing this is one very good reason why the 2014 instalment of this long running event is such a memorable one – the reactions of the crowd to the developments are utterly hilarious! More on this as we go on.
This show also features the last (for now?) WWE appearance of CM Punk who walked out of the company the very next day after a closed door meeting with Vince McMahon and Triple H, his prospective opponent at Wrestlemania 30. Rumours have been flying about as to the reasons why although it was known Punk was working injured and feeling burned out. Some have said he was unhappy with not being able to headline Wrestlemania and didn’t agreethat working with Triple H was the big privilege everyone was making it out to be. He was also very vocal about part-timers returning to take a spot at the top the card of the year’s biggest show while the regulars on the roster were shafted. Whatever the reason, make the most of this DVD/BD as it will be a while before CM Punk is on WWE TV again.
Taking place on January 26th, 2014 at the Consol Energy Centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in front of a very vocal audience of 15,715 fans, your commentators as always are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL, and while no results will be given away but expect some opinion.
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt
With the two monsters of the Wyatt Family working most the matches and his prior singles matches not being huge successes, the jury was out as to whether Bray Wyatt could deliver in the ring to back up the amazing job he’s done with his character. While he was in the ring with one of the best currently working today, Wyatt absolutely stepped up his game and had a cracking bout with Daniel Bryan. A real back and forth encounter in which both men worked their socks off, this sadly was the best thing on the show.
Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show
This wasn’t much of a match to be honest so it’s hard to describe it without spoiling it but really it was just Lesnar brutally destroying Show with a chair for a few minutes then ending it with an F5. Brock is certainly earning his multi-million dollar salary isn’t he?
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match – Randy Orton (c) vs John Cena
Yes, your first WWE World Title defence of 2014 is a match that was done to death five years earlier. And did the fans let us know in the most aggressive of fashions they weren’t buying into it. While the two most protected guys on the roster went through the motions doing their greatest hits routine, the crowd amused themselves by chanting whatever came to mind – including “End This Match”, “Boring”, “You Guys Suck”, “We Want Divas” (ironic as Orton is the biggest Diva in the WWE) as well as chanting for other wrestlers: Daniel Bryan (natch), RVD, Y2J and Randy Savage were all name checked. Oh to be a fly on the wall to see Vince’s reaction to all of this…
30 Man Royal Rumble Match
…or to witness how he responded to the fans’ reaction to the way this match was booked. It started off okay with CM Punk having been put in the No 1 spot and the usual disposable undercard talent getting a few minutes to remind us they are still employed by the company. Kofi Kingston gets his big stunt spot too, possibly his trickiest one yet. Around the halfway mark a few “surprise” entrants show up to undermine the importance of this being for a shot at the World Title then Roman Reigns enters… Just as it was starting to pick up again Batista makes his triumphant return and the wheels truly start to come off. The fans were hoping that Daniel Bryan would do an unannounced double duty as is often the case, chanting his name and “Yes” in anticipation. The rest is history as the crowd utterly reject everything they see and sent a clear message to Vince which he really needs to start heeding otherwise Wrestlemania 30 could be the most disastrous in recent memory.
When the opening match is the best thing on the card by a country mile, the fans crap over the big title match and the most enduring gimmick match is also yields negative reactions you know you have a mess of a show on your hands. Vince McMahon once said on RAW “I know what you want more than you do”; in character or not I honestly believe that he believe that. This show was the night that the fans demonstrated quite passionately and vociferously that this wasn’t the case. Whether Vince pulls his head in and actually listens to the fans – or realises CM Punk’s frustrations in walking out – is another matter entirely.
The only reason to watch this show – aside from the storming opener – is for the crowd responses to the two big matches which are frankly hilarious for all the wrong reasons; otherwise this train wreck show is a terrible way to kick off the WWE PPV year.
Best match – Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt
German, French Subtitles
Royal Rumble Kick off Show Match – WWE Tag Title Match – Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. New Age Outlaws
WWE Superstars Draw Their Numbers for the Royal Rumble
Randy Orton Comments on the Wyatt Family Controversy
Exclusive Interview with Batista
Monday Night Raw – 6th January 2014 – Brock Lesnar Goes Old School
Monday Night Raw – 13th January 2014 – Steel Cage Match: The Usos vs. Bray Wyatt & Daniel Bryan
SmackDown – 17th January 2014 – CM Punk Calls Out The Shield & New Age Outlaws
Monday Night Raw – 20th January 2014
Batista Returns to WWE
Batista Sends a Message to Alberto Del Rio
Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston
Rating – **
Man In Black