WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
In the arduousness, the chaos that is the WWE Royal Rumble 2014, an opportunity like no other awaits: Victory will send one Superstar to the WrestleMania XXX marquee.
Results, grades and analysis will go up shortly after each of the event's clashes.
Find out who battled through the battery of warriors to win the 30-man match. Discover how well WWE told its stories and entertained fans with the first pay-per-view of 2014.
Can Daniel Bryan keep the unsettling Bray Wyatt down? Can Brock Lesnar overcome Big Show's size? Are we set to witness John Cena's 15th world title reign?
On what promises to be a night of surprises, heartache and a showcase of rising stars, we begin with a Tag Team title match that pits a pair of brothers against a veteran duo looking to become champions for the sixth time.
The New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Cody Rhodes' early aggression soon gave way to Road Dogg popping him with right hands. Rhodes then leaped over the top rope, nailing Billy Gunn.
The champs' early advantage didn't last long. The New Age Outlaws took control after a commercial break with Goldust on the receiving end of their physicality.
"The Bizarre One" eventually escaped, his brother charging in and knocking his foes to the floor. Rhodes reversed the pump-handle slam into Cross Rhodes, but Gunn made the save.
Rhodes didn't see Gunn tag in and was soon the victim of the Fameasser. The move made The New Age Outlaws Tag Team champs yet again.
The New Age Outlaws win by pinfall.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
"This ain't my first rodeo, boy," Road Dogg to Rhodes.
Rhodes dives out to the ring to knock Gunn to the ground.
Rhodes hits the crotch chop.
"These boys just found the flux capacitor," John "Bradshaw" Layfield on The New Age Outlaws.
The short match featured some exciting moments, but it seems odd that after everything the Rhodes brothers have overcome that they could be dispatched so quickly.
The commercial break also cut out too much of the bout.
Shock value and the uncertainty of where this story is going make for a result that will certainly get people talking. The compactness of the match itself keeps it from being all that memorable, though.
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt
As the crowd chanted for Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt slunk into the ring, laughing, glaring, screaming.
Both foes traded strikes, kneeing and punching each other as they locked up like two animals fighting over a fresh carcass. Bryan fell to the outside and Luke Harper and Erick Rowan swooped in.
The referee quickly banned both men from ringside.
With that distraction removed, Bryan seemed to find a new gear. He sped at Wyatt, diving at him without fear. A Wyatt chop sent Bryan off the turnbuckle and out of the ring.
"The Eater of Worlds" couldn't capitalize, though. He rammed his knee into the ring steps. That had Wyatt grab at his left leg and Bryan smell blood. Bryan kicked that injured leg again and again.
Wyatt snatched back control by dropping Bryan's face onto the ring apron, sending him soaring over the top rope and cracking his head against the ring post.
Bryan survived Wyatt's grinding holds and vicious offense and began a kick-heavy comeback. He sent his enemy flying with a hurricanrana from the top rope and bloodied Wyatt's mouth with his boots.
Going in for a corner dropkick, Wyatt instead hit a clothesline that had John "Bradshaw" Layfield gushing on the mic. Bryan tried to end it with a Yes! lock, but Wyatt bit his way out of the hold.
Their intense battle came to an end when Wyatt caught Bryan in mid-dive and slammed him into the barricade with Sister Abigail's Kiss. He hit the move again in the ring and the referee counted to three.
Wyatt wins by pinfall.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
"I don't need you to fight this war for me," Wyatt to his clan.
Bryan smashes Wyatt's head into the mat.
Wyatt slams Bryan's face onto the ring apron.
"Everything Bray Wyatt does hurts,"JBL.
"Why didn't you help him?" Wyatt to fans about Bryan.
Wyatt does his trademark, creepy spider-walk.
Bryan dives at Wyatt from the apron and hits a stunning tornado DDT.
"If these guys can take it, I can watch this all night long," Jerry Lawler.
Just one pay-per-view into 2014 and there is already a series contender for Match of the Year. Anticipation for the rematch has to be already building.
Wyatt had his best performance by a mile as a torturer inside the ring. The hard-hitting, fiery match compelled from start to finish.
The win over Bryan gives him a great boost forward. He suddenly looks like a title contender and climbs several rungs in a single night.
Bryan again showed just how great he is at drawing his opponents' best out.
Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar
Before the match even began, Brock Lesnar took Big Show down. He mounted him as if he was still a UFC fighter. Paul Heyman tossed him a chair and "The Beast" bent it across Big Show's back.
Lesnar growled at the referee to start the match. Seconds after the bell rang, Big Show hit his KO Punch. A woozy Lesnar slipped out of the ring, the giant limping behind him.
Once the fight returned to the ring, Lesnar lifted Big Show up for an F-5 and the win. He celebrated the victory by waylaying Big Show with chair shots once more. "The World's Largest Athlete" then had to be helped back to the locker room.
Lesnar wins by pinfall.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
"You ring the bell," Lesnar to the referee.
"He just F-5ed a giant!" John "Bradshaw" Layfield on Lesnar.
A broken piece of steel chair lies on the ground after Lesnar's attack.
While more of a mauling than a match, there was plenty of emotion generated. The sight of Lesnar breaking the chair over Big Show's back was as uncomfortable as it was hard to look away from.
Lesnar gained some heat by skirting around the rules and being so merciless. Big Show suffered a loss that won't hurt his perception in the least.
There is a natural letdown with a bout so heavily hyped not truly happening. The car-crash-like scene somewhat made up for that, though.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
A smirking Randy Orton locked up with a focused John Cena.
"Let's go, Cena!" "Cena sucks!" and "Daniel Bryan!" chants provided the soundtrack as Orton clamped on a headlock and Cena fought out and clocked his longtime foe. Once Orton got Cena to the ground, he looked around in a daze.
When the fight moved to the outside, Orton flung Cena into the steps. The fans distracted him to the point where he began to prowl around the ring and bark at them.
Cena tried to turn the moment into a victory with a quick pin attempt, but it wasn't enough.
He followed it up with a neckbreaker, a series of headbutts and a legdrop from the top rope. Frustration showed in Cena's face after his moves only resulted in two-counts.
The announcers told the story that Orton had an answer for everything in Cena's arsenal.
To prove their point, "The Viper" escaped the STF by grabbing the ropes and hanging onto the ropes when Cena went for an Attitude Adjustment. The latter move led to Orton inadvertently knocking out referee Charles Robinson.
With no ref to witness any of it, Cena forced Orton to submit, followed by the champion whacking Cena with his title belt. Once Robinson came to, the two foes traded finishers only to watch the other kick out.
Orton then swiped the STF and the Attitude Adjustment from Cena's repertoire, but to no avail. Cena then tried the RKO.
The Wyatt Family emerged. With Cena distracted, Orton hit an RKO for the win. The bearded clan then battered Cena and left him lying as they have done to so many others.
Orton wins by pinfall and retains his title.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
"I don't think they realize that he was in the first match and he lost," John "Bradshaw" Layfield on fans chanting for Bryan.
"You should be chanting my name; I'm the world heavyweight champion," Orton to the fans.
Orton uses Cena's STF.
This was not as bad as the crowd made it out to be, but it wasn't great either. This has to be one of the most uninspired and drawn-out matches in Cena and Orton's long rivalry.
Orton did well to incorporate the fans' chanting into the match and respond to them in character. Both men worked hard, but there was no spark created here. For a championship match on a major pay-per-view fans expect more.
The surprise ending is a sign that Wyatt vs. Cena is a definite possibility for WrestleMania XXX. It was also one of the highlights of a match that didn't have many of them.
Royal Rumble Match
CM Punk and Seth Rollins had little time to trade kicks before Damien Sandow entered. Sandow soon had to face his former tag team partner and rival, Cody Rhodes.
Punk sent Sandow out early, but soon had to face The Director of Operations, Kane who didn't last long against "The Best in the World."
Alexander Rusev from NXT entered and flung his foes around. He hit a thunderous Samoan Drop on Punk, before having to pry Rollins off his back. Rusev collided with Jack Swagger, but was unable to eliminate him.
Not long after Kofi Kingston entered, Punk threw him out. Rusev caught him, though and planted him on the security barricade.
Goldust, Jimmy Uso and Dean Ambrose entered, but it was Dolph Ziggler's return from a concussion that had the crowd chanting. R-Truth came and went quickly and Jimmy soon followed him.
Roman Reigns made an impact right after entering, tossing out Kingston, Ziggler and the surprise entrant, Kevin Nash.
The action quickened as Goldust eliminated his own brother and Reigns took out "The Bizarre One," leaving Punk against all three members of The Shield alone. A returning Sheamus saved him from the imbalanced fight.
The Miz and Fandango joined the fray and nearly eliminated each other several times. El Torito was the next entrant and took Fandango out of the match with a springboard dropkick.
Reigns ended the comedy by tossing out the bull.
Once Antonio Cesaro was in the mix, he went on a Cesaro Swing frenzy, making Rollins spin close to 20 times. The ring began to get crowded as Jey Uso and Luke Harper entered and the pace of eliminations slowed.
That changed when John "Bradshaw" Layfield made his way inside. Reigns turned him away in short time. Harper took out The Miz and Jey.
Alberto Del Rio entered at No. 27 with The Shield and The Wyatt Family both still at full strength. Batista followed him and tossed Rowan and Ryback out before colliding with Del Rio. "The Animal" ended Del Rio's night early.
With eight foes awaiting him, Big E Langston made his Rumble debut. Rey Mysterio was the last entrant and the crowd began to boo as, judging by the ensuing chants, they were hoping for No. 30 to be Daniel Bryan.
A Superman punch sent Harper to the locker room. Ambrose tried to use that moment to sneak up on Reigns. The powerhouse survived and soon tossed Cesaro, Rollins and Ambrose out at the same time.
Punk, Reigns, Sheamus and Batista remained, or so we thought. Kane climbed out from under the ring and pulled Punk out and then chokeslammed through the announce table.
Sheamus went to war with Batista, but it was a spear from Reigns that sent "The Celtic Warrior" home. Batista and Reigns each hit a spear on the other, but The Shield's powerhouse landed on the outside after Batista flung him out.
Batista wins the Royal Rumble.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
Punk hits a DDT on Sandow and neckbreaker on Rollins simultaneously.
"There's always 2015," JBL on Sandow's elimination.
Rusev makes his debut.
Kingston leaps from the barricade onto the apron to save himself.
Ziggler and Sheamus both return from injury.
Kingston staves off elimination with his legs clinging to the bottom rope.
"We have an animal in the Royal Rumble match?" JBL on El Torito.
Kane attacks Punk.
Reigns breaks Kane's single-Rumble elimination record by tossing out 12 opponents.
Punk earned "Iron Man" status and Reigns broke Kane's elimination record, two sub-victories that were well-placed and highly entertaining.
Reigns's rise to the next level was magnificent to watch. Giving him that record is a sign of extreme confidence and one that we'll see him in a marquee spot soon. His clash Rollins and Ambrose is clear proof that The Shield's dissolution is impending.
Punk continued his rivalry with The Authority and the expected bout against Triple H is very much in play now. His Rumble performance furthers the idea that he is a warrior and a survivor.
There weren't a ton of surprise entrants and Kevin Nash coming back again is light years away from having Jake "The Snake" Roberts get his Rumble wish. Kingston provided another memorable moment even if it came off as contrived.
The ending was expected by many, one that displeased the pro-Bryan crowd. For the second year in a row, the Rumble winner was too easy to predict as WWE had been giving out strong hints right up until the event.
Like it or not, Orton vs. Batista appears to be your WrestleMania XXX main event. That is of course, unless Brock Lesnar takes the title from Orton before then.