I am doing the WWE a huge service when I include the actions of the fans as something that it as a company did correctly. Naturally, they have no control over how the spectators react, so this was pure dumb luck on their part.
The Pittsburgh faithful, who hadn't seen a WWE PPV in their fair city since 2009, gave us one of the all-time best Rumble atmospheres on Sunday night.
After it became apparent that their hero, Daniel Bryan, would not be entering the main event, any actions carried out in the ring by anyone other than the Shield or CM Punk were met with resoundingly negative responses.
I adored this.
All through the night the fans in attendance had pretty much paralleled the views held by the wider proportion of WWE fans, with wrestlers like those previously mentioned as well as Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Bray Wyatt all cheered to the rafters, and less popular superstars like John Cena, Randy Orton and, of course, Batista all booed to death.
"This is awesome" came the chants during the Wyatt-Bryan match, "This is awful" they echoed out in unison during the Orton-Cena bout.
"Let's go Ziggler" for the man whom WWE backstage staff seem to have completely forgotten about—or rather have chosen to forget.
"Boring, Boring" on regular occasions during the WWE world heavyweight title clash.
I don't remember the last time a crowd so vehemently opposed the creative decisions taken by the company at such a big event.
Sure, there have been times in the past when an unpopular figure won a title or a big match to the crowd's disdain. On those occasions, however, that negative reaction was more than likely intended from the WWE.
Here, Batista's victory was meant to raise the roof. Instead, "The Animal" was met with a wall of boos. "No! No! No!" they bellowed out at him. I chortled happily at the idea of the bigwigs backstage panicking at this reaction.
As a result, Batista was caught flipping the bird to fans after the cameras shut off, as well as threatening to rip a spectator in half.
Impressively, after a little over 12 minutes of in-ring time, the returning Batista has already turned the WWE Universe against him. That's going to help sell tickets at Wrestlemania XXX for sure, huh?
Listen to your fans, WWE, or more scenes like this are sure to follow.