WWE – Royal Rumble 2015 (Cert 15)
1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 158 minutes approx.
If you recall, in 2014 Vince ignorantly believed that fans would buy into his Wrestlemania 30 main event of Randy Orton vs. the returning Batista who had been away for four years. For some reason the deafening cheers and overwhelming support for Daniel Bryan didn’t seem to reach Vince’s ears so when Bryan was not put in the Royal Rumble match which Batista won, the fans viciously booed. Over the next two months the fans’ continual rejection of Big Dave forced Vince’s hand and he had to change his plans.
Surely he wouldn’t want to make the same mistake two years in a row? Not now that Daniel Bryan was back from injury and ready to go again…
Taking place on January 25th, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in front of a very vocal and partisan audience of 17,164 fans (who you do not want to pull any swerves on as they will let you know about it and then some), your commentators as always are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL, and while no results will be given away but expect some opinion.
The Ascension vs. The New Age Outlaws
It has to be said that the treatment of The Ascension since they were called up from NXT has been baffling to say the least, making them a Road Warriors rip-off being just one example while having them mocked by the announcers and everyone else being another. How this was supposed to get them over is something which will reside only in Vince’s deluded old mind. Truth is even in NXT they weren’t any good but they were at least treated seriously there. Match was expectedly awful by the way.
WWE Tag Title Match – The Usos (c) vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow
Unlike at TLC 2014 this match was given a chance to do something although it was again largely about the conflicting Miz and Mizdow dynamic, where Mix would refuse to tag his much more popular partner. The Usos did their usual stuff including the big dives where Miz failed to catch (insert name of the correct Uso here) like the goof he is. This was a fun match which really should have gone on first.
Natalya & Paige vs. The Bella Twins
With AJ Lee out of action due to neck problems (and the fallout from the CM Punk podcast controversy) Paige was quickly turned face and inserted into the feud with Nikki Bella over the Divas title. This had the potential to be something really good to silence the critics of the Divas (especially in the wake of the excellent NXT women’s matches) but instead we got an awkward match with a sudden ending. The lack of hot tag and near fall drama left this flat and the audience confused. A wasted opportunity.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Triple Treat Match – Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Originally to be Cena vs. Lesnar (again) Rollins was added as a reward from The Authority for manipulating Cena into bringing them back after they were fired following the Survivor Series, plus it ties into the storyline of Rollins causing the DQ at Night Of Champions. Philly greeted Cena by singing “John Cena Sucks” along with his entrance song while they cheered Lesnar to the hilt. Great match in which Lesnar suplexed pretty much everybody within close proximity, Rollins bumped his backside off and Cena was booed just for being alive. To be fair he took his lumps as much as the others but aside from a double AA on J&J Security, Cena was given little quarter by the Philly fans. This was twenty-plus minutes of non-stop hard-hitting action and definitely what this show needed after such a lack lustre first half.
30 Man Royal Rumble Match
So this year Daniel Bryan returned from injury and entered the Rumble match which many presumed meant that we would have a repeat of last year’s Wrestlemania Cinderella story for Bryan. However Vince was having none of it and would resolutely stick to his plan to give someone else the Rumble win and that elusive Wrestlemania 31 main event spot. Remember we are in Philly here and if the non-smart Pittsburgh crowd could turn on the Rumble, what would the notoriously fickle Philly crowd do? Well, Bryan appeared at No 10 and woke the crowd up with the previous highlight being the big surprise return appearance from a Philly favourite.
Unfortunately as I said earlier, Vince wasn’t going to acquiesce to the fans a second time and Bryan was eliminated – rather casually – after a ten-minute run and things went to hell. it was 2014 all over again with the crowd turning on the match and booing Vince’s anointed Wrestlemania headliner. Only three faces – Mizdow, Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose received a positive reaction, everyone else got either silence or merciless boos. And even the secret weapon deployed to sway the fans towards Vince’s way failed to work and the fans rejected the winner for a second year in a row!
Wow! Just wow! In some ways one can’t help but see it from Vince’s point of view in that he already gave the fans what they wanted before so this year he should stick to his plans rather than repeat himself, which is the big complaint about having Cena headline every show. But by the same token, the fans have decide who their favourite is and history has already shown how dangerous it is to ignore what the fans want, so Vince is in a sticky situation.
Well, not really. There was a way to stick to the plan and keep the fans onside but Vince’s idea of hopping that by eliminating Daniel Bryan early the fans would forget it about by the time his chosen one came out and would shift their allegiance to him failed big time. What I believe would have worked better would have had Bryan stay right until the end and either be eliminated by the winner – or by a heel third party – then give his endorsement, so the fans could see Bryan come close but take it on the chin. Would it have worked? Who knows but at least it is better than the disrespect shown to both Bryan and the fans for the second year running!
Outside of the great title match and the spectacle of the Rumble match dying on this arse AGAIN this is not a great way to start the year for the WWE.
Best match – Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Royal Rumble Kick off Show: The New Day vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd
Home Video Exclusive – Nobody disrespects Brock Lesnar
Royal Rumble Fallout:
John Cena and Rusev face-off
Roman Reigns celebrates with The Rock
Monday Night Raw – December 29th 2014 – Daniel Bryan makes a major announcement
Monday Night Raw – January 12th 2015 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract signing
Smackdown – January 15th 2015 – Six-Man Tag Team Match – Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show & Kane
Monday Night Raw – January 19th 2015 – 3-on-1 Handicap Match – John Cena vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show & Kane
Smackdown – January 22nd 2015 – No DQ Match – Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Rating – ** ½
Man In Black