Photo Credit: Creatively Endeavored
BY POOR SCHOLARS STAFF
After last night’s WWE Royal Rumble, four members of the Poor Scholars Staff gave five thoughts each on the annual fan-favorite WWE event. See what Brian Chimino, Raj Nation, Rambo Nomolos and Scott Phillips thought of this year’s event.
1. Bray Wyatt needed to have a great match to go with his great character and Daniel Bryan helped him get it. Bray is now a credible top heel that I believe can feud with John Cena.
2. I’ve always been a Brock Lesnar fan. He’s legit. His match with Show, while not great, got him over more as a beast and heading towards Mania as a possible threat to Taker’s streak.
3. While the crowd crapped on it, I felt Orton vs Cena served its purpose. They both came out looking strong, kicking out of and using each other’s finishers and sets up another feud to keep Cena out of the title picture.
4. The Rumble itself was a let down overall with Batista winning but a lot of guys came out looking great. Roman Reigns obviously. He dominated Survivor Series and now the Rumble. He is ready to be a huge face. Too bad WWE couldn’t throw an audible and have him win. Punk lasted awhile as expected as well. Sheamus returning and unfortunately he got cropped into the boos with Batista.
5. Finally, the disappointments in the Rumble. Only one surprise and it was Kevin Nash, who moved around more like Khali. No RVD, no Jake Roberts, and most importantly, no Daniel Bryan. The most over superstar ignored; big time. I have no problem with him losing to Wyatt but for WWE to ignore the crowd is bad for business. You can NOT have Batista main event vs Orton. I like Randy, I’m one of the few it seems, but put the belt on Batista at Chamber then drop it to Bryan at Mania. It’s an easy fix. 70,000 chanting “YES!” in unison would be a WrestleMania moment. That said, I’m not holding my breath.
1. Pittsburgh is a smart wrestling crowd. Their chanting of ‘This is awful!’ and ‘We want divas!’ during the championship match between Cena and Orton were two things we’ve never heard before. When Rey Mysterio entered at number 30, his biggest pop was when he was eliminated, and when it came down to Batista and Roman Reigns as the final 2, they cheered for the heel Reigns. They may actually influence Triple H and the creative team’s future decisions on who to book as headliners.
2. I predicted months ago that The Rumble would be when The Shield ultimately break up. We’ll see on Raw tonight if that’s the case but they have at the very least planted the seed for a Shield Triple Threat Match (or handicap 2-on-1 match) at Wrestlemania, after Dean Ambrose tried to eliminate Reigns, then Seth Rollins pulled him away and Reigns eliminated them both.
3. Batista winning The Rumble and headlining Wrestlemania against presumably either Orton or Cena is a story no one wants to see. We saw Cena/Batista at WM 26, and Orton headlining anything has proved to be a flop.
4. The guy running the production truck may get fired after accidentally showing Kane lingering outside the ring when JBL’s number was called to enter The Rumble. It was immediately obvious that Kane would somehow cause Punk’s elimination, and about seven minutes later that’s what happened.
5. Apparently Kane has successfully transitioned from ‘hideous monster’ emerging through ‘Hellfire and Brimstone!’ to future Libertarian candidate after multiple women in the room commented on his rugged handsome appeal.
1. One major knock against WWE is that they don’t give new talent a shot and I tend to agree with this assesment so this is going to be completely hypocritical, but I enjoyed seeing The New Age Outlaws pick up the tag team titles last night.
2. Much to the smart fan’s dismay, Daniel Bryan is getting burried by WWE but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If the rumors are to be believed, Bryan is going up against Taker at Wrestlemania XXX so it makes sense that he didn’t pull double duty and enter The Rumble last night. The fans in Pittsburgh weren’t happy Daniel Bryan never made that run to the ring last night, but in the end, “burying” him and keeping him away from the title picture right now is a better push than anything else WWE could include him in. It was slightly suprising that Bray Wyatt essentially earned a clean win against The Bearded One.
3. I wanted to get in at least one quick thought on the Brock Lesnar – Big Show match, unfortunately there is nothing to be said about it. That’s fifteen minutes of my life I will never get back. No more Big Show, please.
4. Unpopular opinion alert: I actually enjoyed the Cena – Orton match. The crowd (which was fantastic again) was not having the match at all. There were chants of “this is awful” and “we want divas” during the match, but if you actually paid attention to the match it wasn’t half bad. People love to hate John Cena — and to a smaller degree Randy Orton — and tend to overlook their in-ring ability. For this reason both of these guys are underrated (especially Cena) in-ring technicians. The match wasn’t anything spectacular, but it ended up being much better than most people are going to give it credit for.
5. CM Punk entered the Rumble as the #1 entrant clearly stating that this was his Rumble. While he made a good run this year it was extremely dissapointing to see him eliminated by a shirtless Corporate Kane, who was still ringside despite the fact he was eliminated a good 30 minutes earlier. Needless to say, the Chicago-based crowd I watched with was not happy.
1. I thought the WWE did a nice job of trying to put over their current roster of guys rather than layering it with tons of “surprise” entrants. Nash returning brought back shades of Diesel destroying the Rumble field in ’94, but we were quickly reminded it was 2014 and Nash was quickly eliminated. The return of guys like Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler was good enough for me. And for God’s sake, can Ziggler get a push?
2. What an underwhelming card, huh? After the great opener between Wyatt and Bryan, the rest of the matches until the Rumble were pretty brutal. If the Big Show getting hit by 50 chair shots means he’s done for his career, then I’ll call the Lesner vs. Big Show match a good one. Orton vs. Cena sucked as well.
3. Fantastic Rumble crowd in Pittsburgh. Tons of great chants and fans that were very in-the-know. When is Heinz Field getting Wrestlemania?
4. Batista sucks. And for him to come in 28th, stay in the ring for a few minutes and ultimately win was so predictable. Brian Chimino called that exact scenario and spot in a text to me before the Rumble! Nobody wants to see Batista headline Mania.
5. Kofi Kingston’s spot where he jumped from the barricade back into the ring was really cool. I would love for Kofi to lead the mid-card.