WWE Royal Rumble Results: 5 Names That Will Be Remembered
It may be a new year, but little appears to have changed as far as the WWE is concerned.
For a second successive year, we find ourselves coming off the back of a rather predictable Royal Rumble pay-per-view, which once again ended with scenes of a returning ring-rusted Superstar standing victorious above all others.
Safe to say the Pittsburgh crowd was not happy with the outcome. And though much of the Internet Wrestling Community have echoed the live crowd’s sentiments, others have been critical of the show's attendees and their reaction.
But I’m not here to discuss that.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with the outcome of Sunday’s show, you have to admit that we were treated to some noteworthy displays in the Consol Energy Center.
Rather than jumping on either bandwagon in celebrating or slamming the results of the Royal Rumble, I want to look at some of these performance.
This article takes a look at five stars for whom the PPV will be most remembered—for very different reasons.
In an industry where legitimacy is often questioned, Brock Lesnar provided us with undeniable fact in the form of his sheer physicality.
The former UFC star hoisted a 425-pound man onto his shoulder and proceeded to march around the ring with this giant held aloft.
Whichever walk of life you’re from and regardless of your thoughts on professional wrestling, such an act demands respect.
The bout with Big Show may not have lasted long at all, but we were still provided with drama aplenty. And for that reason, the WWE deserves some credit from a booking perspective; this was essentially a squash match but, unlike those involving the likes of Ryback and Brodus Clay, this one was exciting.
First Lesnar survived the effects of the Big Show’s KO punch, and then he shocked us all with this incredible display of power. One thing is for sure in light of this contest: Lesnar is a force to be reckoned with.
Despite his exceptional capabilities with a microphone in hand, there have always been doubts about Wyatt’s ability to hold his own at the highest level as an in-ring competitor.
However, on what was the greatest stage of his career so far, he found himself involved in a match that is being dubbed by many as an early contender for match of the year.
And though the involvement of Daniel Bryan may have fueled many of those claims, it’s still a huge boost to the relative newcomer.
Not only that, Wyatt went on to interfere in Cena’s world title match with Randy Orton, thereby seeming to set up a WrestleMania showdown between him and the former champ.
Both the victory over Bryan and the involvement with Cena are huge votes of confidence from the WWE brass. It’s rare for someone to make headlines at a Royal Rumble PPV without even participating in the Battle Royal, but Wyatt achieved that feat with his performance on Sunday night.
Talk of Reigns being the next breakout star has been rife as of late, but up until now, all the big Floridian had to show for it was a pinfall victory over CM Punk on Raw.
All that changed at the Royal Rumble, though.
Lasting more than 30 minutes, he thrust himself into the history books with a record-breaking 12 eliminations in a single Rumble match.
This beat Kane’s previous record of 11 from 2001, but more significantly, Reigns managed to achieve such a feat in his first Rumble appearance.
It’s a huge honour for anyone to hold, but to come at such an early stage of the 28-year-old’s career is an encouraging sign.
Coupled with the fact that he eliminated his “allies” Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, it would be safe to conclude that Reigns’ chance to break out has indeed arrived.
I mentioned earlier that it is rare for a man to make Royal Rumble headlines without featuring in the gimmick match itself.
It’s even rarer still for a man to go one better and steal the entire show without featuring in the Rumble.
Such statements apparently mean nothing to Daniel Bryan though, as the former indie star's exclusion from the main event once again had fans seething with WWE management.
Such was the fans' discontent, that the relentless Yes! chants and the demands for Bryan to appear became one of the most talked about events of the entire PPV.
So, was his absence (and resultant Twitter comments) a work?
Or does the company genuinely not have faith in his abilities as a main event performer?
At present, it’s difficult to tell. But it’s all too easy to see (and hear) that the WWE Universe is not happy about the company’s current use of Bryan.
It makes the coming weeks of WWE programming all the more intriguing as we wait to see how else Bryan will be utilised on the Road to WrestleMania.
What ever happens though, the Rumble will be remembered—at least in part—for Bryan's ability to galvinise the fans despite not even being in the ring at the time.
In future years, the record books will tell you that January 26, 2014 was Batista’s night, as he won his second Royal Rumble match and earned a WWE world heavyweight title shot at WrestleMania XXX.
However in reality, things don’t appear to be so rosy.
Reports are surfacing that Batista lost it with the fans after the show went off the air. Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc wrote:
Batista could be seen on the big screen telling the fan that he’d snap him in half and then flipped the fan off while still on the big screen. He then mockingly did the “Yes!” chant at the top of the ramp while fans peppered him with boos. However, instead of using his pointer fingers, he used his middle fingers and flipped the crowd off, as you can see in the photo above (thanks to Ian West for that pic).
As far as Batista is concerned, this doesn’t look particularly great.
To return as a babyface and react to the crowd like this doesn’t reflect particularly well on the six-time world champion—especially when one considers that we’re still in the PG era.
The WWE could yet write this into a storyline, but either way it looks like it could give Vince McMahon and company some creative headaches in the coming days or weeks.
I don’t expect Batista to be punished too severely, but it doesn’t cover Triple H in glory after the faith he placed in his former Evolution accomplice.
A potential source of backstage heat is the last thing Batista needs just one week into his WWE return.
It may not have been the Rumble that many wanted, but we’ve been gifted plenty of talking points in light of Sunday's events. And there are a number of questions just begging to be asked:
Is there anyone on the roster capable of stopping Lesnar?
Where does Daniel Bryan go from here?
And could the post-show developments alter Batista’s projected course on the Road to WrestleMania?
We will be paying close attention to Raw over the coming weeks to get answers these questions.
Until then, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the PPV as well as any of the points discussed in the article.