That’s exactly how it felt last night while watching WWE’s 2014 Royal Rumble. And honestly, on any other year Batista coming back from a 4 year WWE absence and winning the Rumble would have been huge. I think we all would have cheered hard the years that Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus won. But not this year. Not when we are all heavily behind Daniel Bryan.
Why am I not surprised? The WWE rarely gives us what we want. They always try to get us with counter programming with what they want us to watch. What they feel we want to see. But unlike most of the time we finally have someone that we collectively want to see on top.
For years we’ve been shoveled John Cena down our throats and whoever those at the top (Vince, Stephanie, Triple H, or whoever) felt were the deserving and the big money draw for WrestleMania. Or someone they could hotshot into the main event (see Del Rio and Sheamus from the first paragraph). But with the massive chorus of boos from the crowd once entrant #30 was revealed to be Rey Mysterio and not Daniel Bryan is evident that we as an audience are sick and tired of being force fed shit. Every move Mysterio made in the ring, for the short time he was in the Rumble itself, was followed by deafening boos. And the only time that we heard any sort of cheers for anything with Mysterio was when he was finally eliminated.
The final two in the ring were Batista and Roman Reigns and I as many people felt as if the WWE created a main eventer in Reigns with his battle against Batista. Even if the WWE wasn’t ready for Reigns in the main event, the crowd started chanting for him to win. Hell, they even let me beat Kane’s 13 year Rumble elimination record with 12 total eliminations. Why not give him this as well.
If not Bryan why not Reigns. (A statement, not a question)
WrestleMania used to be about creating new stars and showcasing the roster in the best matches, now it seems as if it is a traveling circus of old stars and people who might bump up buy rates on Pay-Per-Views. I’m actually starting to fear that with the WWE Network coming up and the non-necessity for PPV buys that the WWE will no longer care what the audience wants. They’re getting paid regardless of whether we’re going to like the outcome or not.
This years Royal Rumble was my first PPV purchase since the 2006 Rumble, and I’m feeling a bit burnt by how it ended. I don’t want to see Batista in the main event. No desire. I didn’t want to see him there in his first run and I don’t want to see him there now. I wouldn’t mind him against Ryback, or Brock Lensar or some where else on the card. But not here. The Rock he is not, nor do I think The Rock actually deserved winning the championship at all. Even if it was to just move storylines forward.
But Daniel Bryan is the crowd favorite. The WWE would have never done this back in the Austin days. They would have listened to what the audience would have wanted. My only hope is that they can remedy this with the inclusion of Daniel Bryan somehow. Maybe an Elimination Chamber match with the final 3 or 4 entrants vs Batista for the #1 contendership at Mania with Bryan earning his spot in the chamber and possibly winning. Only to have Triple H make the match a triple treat with Orton vs Batista vs Bryan. But that’s massive dream booking since I doubt the WWE even cares to rectify their decision. They’ve always been of the mindset that the audience doesn’t know what they want to watch.
With all this being said, I’m back again questioning whether I’ve overstayed my time watching WWE. A questioning that popped up between the Rumble and Mania. I actually did go to WrestleMania 29 last year but I didn’t watch the build up to it. I had no desire. I didn’t want to see Rock vs Cena, twice in a life time. And I didn’t watch WWE television for months after Mania. I had essentially given up for a bit, keeping tabs on things, but not as heavily as before. But it wasn’t until Daniel Bryan was given the main event spot at SummerSlam did I start paying attention. Now it seems as if this WWE mistake with badly booking the Rumble will probably cost them my attention and money. Unless they fix what they’ve done or at least give me something worth watching at Mania, I might not be watching or paying. Also, with this type of booking I might completely reconsider purchasing the WWE Network. No reason to spend money one a product that what I want isn’t respected.
Hey WWE those are just my thoughts…what are yours now that you utterly botched the ending to what should have been the most easily booked Rumble ever?