WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Disastrous Booking of Bryan Leads to Backlash

Daniel PeragineSenior Analyst IIJanuary 27, 2014

Daniel Bryan on the top rope against Bray Wyatt.
Daniel Bryan on the top rope against Bray Wyatt.WWE.com

The WWE really messed things up this time around.

Despite being one of, if not the most popular talent in the WWE, Daniel Bryan just can't seem to catch a break after another missed opportunity. Instead of possibly winning the Royal Rumble match to square off against Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship, the WWE went in a different direction, banking on the idea that Batista's return would bring major hype leading into WrestleMania 30.

What the company came up with was a complete misfire, as the live audience balked at WWE's grand idea that Batista's return would generate more fanfare and promptly booed him throughout the entire match, mixed in with chants for Bryan to enter the Royal Rumble battle. It was certainly not the reaction WWE was looking for.

The Royal Rumble actually got off to a pretty good start, as the crowd seemed just fine with the New Age Outlaws returning and capturing the WWE Tag Team titles. After, things began to really heat up, as Bray Wyatt and Bryan performed in what could be considered an instant classic match. Next, the WWE kept it short with Brock Lesnar and the Big Show, which turned out to be a good decision. 

Then things began to turn the wrong way for the WWE, starting with the Randy Orton and John Cena match.

Randy Orton holds up two WWE titles.
Randy Orton holds up two WWE titles.WWE.com

Orton, who successfully defended the WWE Championship belt, performed a pretty decent match with Cena despite the crowd's disapproval. Once the Wyatt Family interfered, the live crowd and possibly many watching at home were happy to see the match conclude.

Despite not being advertised on the Royal Rumble card, it was clear throughout the whole match that the crowd wanted Bryan to enter as a surprise entrant. However, once the entrant count grew, people began to turn on WWE as a whole, booing the final contestants, which included Batista. The displeasure continued heavily throughout the remainder of the evening, as the crowd got behind Roman Reigns and continued to boo Batista in the final moments of the match.

Batista celebrating after his Royal Rumble match victory.
Batista celebrating after his Royal Rumble match victory.WWE.com

As expected, Batista won, thus earning him a World Heavyweight title shot at WrestleMania, much to everyone's disgust. Once the night ended, backlash against the WWE grew even louder throughout social media in regard to the company's poor booking decisions. The disgust WWE fans have shown should come as no surprise, as Bryan is much more deserving to have his moment in the spotlight instead of Batista. Instead, the WWE simply devalued Bryan's character with a loss to Wyatt, despite a great match, and no Royal Rumble appearance. 

It seems that no matter what value Bryan brings to the table, the WWE goes into another direction.

Now more than ever, the WWE must fix the mess it created at the Royal Rumble on Sunday night. If the company decides to ignore it, the WWE may have some major issues heading forward.