WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Review: Biggest Stars of the Night
WWE's 2014 Royal Rumble event is always chock-full of superstars, but only a few names typically have the opportunity to stand out.
So, who were the biggest stars of the night?
Did John Cena show up Randy Orton in their WWE Championship match?
Did Daniel Bryan get the pop of the night as he's been doing consistently for months?
Who was the last man standing in the Royal Rumble, guaranteed to get a title shot at WrestleMania?
Over 30 wrestlers were featured on this card, but for the following select few, they became the true focal points of the pay-per-view.
The New Age Outlaws
Lately, WWE has seen a resurgence in the careers of some of its older wrestlers.
Goldust was the first to defy expectations a few months ago, and The New Age Outlaws are continuing that trend.
Fans frequently chant "you've still got it," but Road Dogg and Billy Gunn proved Sunday night that they do in fact have more to offer.
Our kickoff for Sunday night's pay-per-view featured a short but good match between these two and the Rhodes brothers, which ended with WWE crowning new tag team champions.
This easily could have been a throwaway match where the regular roster members defeated the returning DX members, but it became so much more important.
Now champions for a sixth time, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn definitely looked like stars.
Opening the show Sunday night was a solid match between Bray Wyatt and Bryan.
Although Bryan is clearly the bigger star overall, Wyatt was able to take away some of the spotlight and justify his place in this match.
Defeating someone like Bryan will help boost the credibility that Wyatt needs going into WrestleMania.
On top of this, the fact that Wyatt won the match by himself with no real interference from Luke Harper and Erick Rowan means so much more.
Later on, Wyatt added another accolade to his rising star presence of the night by interfering in the Orton and Cena match.
Wyatt has a long way to go before he's a top player, but Sunday night, he took two big steps further toward reaching that goal.
Brock Lesnar barely wrestled a match, though he still came out looking like one of the most dangerous men in WWE.
His beatdown of Big Show showed that Lesnar has a mean streak that even a giant can't stop.
This will end up being featured and talked about prominently to build Lesnar up for his WrestleMania match.
Whoever he ends up facing will look that much stronger when they most likely defeat The Beast.
Big Show may be physically larger than Lesnar, but Sunday night, Lesnar proved that he's one of the biggest and toughest stars in the company right now.
In WWE's eyes, Batista was clearly the biggest star of the night, much to the dismay of seemingly everyone in the audience.
You would think with the amount of boos he received that Batista was going into this pay-per-view a heel, but the intention was obviously the opposite.
Now, WWE has booked itself into a problem.
Does it just trudge along with its plan of making Batista the top guy in the company even though the fans are not responding in anywhere near the fashion that the powers that be want, or is it time to backtrack and admit fault?
The former is most likely what WWE will do, based on the track record of ignoring what fans are chanting and trying to tell them what to like.
If that does indeed happen, Batista being the star of the event by winning the Royal Rumble is certain to be repeated for a long time.
Look out for future articles on pay-per-view stars, including Batista for at least Elimination Chamber, WrestleMania and Extreme Rules—whether you're happy about that or not.
Are you happy with the people WWE chose to put the spotlight on Sunday night, or would you rather have seen CM Punk, Bryan and maybe some others on this list?
Who do you think ended up on the opposite end of the spectrum as the biggest fools of the night?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.