Monday, January 27, 2014

Worst Rumble Ever?

Batista's going to Wrestlemania
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

I want to start off by saying I really don't want to write negative blogs, ragging on wrestlers, wrestling companies, or show results.  There has been a lot of negative reaction to the 2014 Royal Rumble, some calling it the worst ever.  I'm not happy with the results, and I think that's a sentiment shared by most fans reading this.  It just seems like the WWE stopped listening to its Universe.

I will wait to see what the big picture produces, but based on what we saw, it felt like the show was booked around Triple H's band of friends.  The New Age Outlaws win the tag team titles in the pre-show.  I've said it time and time again, I don't mind legends coming back, in fact, I enjoy it.  But I hate it when they are given a championship.  I felt the same way when Bret Hart came back four years ago and beat The Miz for the U.S. Title.

Kevin Nash in the Rumble
Photo courtesy: WWE
Randy Orton retains the WWE World Heavyweight Title.  This didn't surprise me, and I'm not a huge fan of Orton's, but I also hate the idea of playing hot potato with the newly created championship.  Kevin Nash makes a surprise appearance in the Rumble.  I would have rather seen Jake "The Snake" Roberts or just about any other Superstar on the roster in that position, but for full disclosure purposes, I have NEVER been a fan of Kevin Nash, Diesel, Oz, or any other character he's played.  I think many expected Daniel Bryan to make an appearance, and I felt bad for Rey Mysterio when he came out as number 30 and the fans booed.

Finally, Batista wins the Royal Rumble match and earns a title shot at Wrestlemania XXX.  I knew when they announced his return a few weeks back that they'd go with Batista.  And if you really look at the competitors in the Royal Rumble, besides CM Punk, could you have legitimately seen anyone else main eventing at Wrestlemania?  That's not a knock on the talent in the ring, but as the creative team and the decisions they've made.

Roman Reigns dominates
Photo courtesy: WWE
Clearly the crowd was behind Roman Reigns, and while he set a new record and had a great showing, he came up short.  I firmly believe though that in the 68 days leading up to Wrestlemania, they could have turned him into a viable contender for the championship.  That doesn't mean he has to win it, it just means that fans think he can.  Between his performances at Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, the creative team already had a head start.  Wrestlemania could have truly been the cherry on top for him, and who knows, maybe something will still come of all of it.

My friend Adam made several really good points on Facebook after the show.  This is part of what he said, "The Pittsburgh crowd wanted Reigns at the end, and while they're only one crowd out of many, there's not a high demand to see Batista in the main event of WrestleMania from too many circles. Fans invest in people through time, building a connection to their favorite stars, and then see them pushed aside to bring back a past star and thrust him immediately into the spotlight. "

I totally agree, and even though the WWE did the essentially same thing with the Rock, I feel like he and Batista are on two different levels.  I wasn't crazy about that idea either, and I don't know that it really netted the WWE any new fans or brought anyone back to the show.  Plus, when Batista left four years ago, he was a villain.  John Cena had sent him scurrying out of the company.  Now fans are supposed to get behind him because he's made his return?

I already have my ticket Wrestlemania, so I'm going regardless.  I am optimistic that a good story will be told in the next nine weeks, and everything we saw Sunday night at the Rumble will make sense.  Please don't let us down, WWE.  Again, I'm not hating on anyone, just sharing My 1-2-3 Cents.

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