NoDQ.com > Columns > Jay's Ways - Flashback To Royal Rumble 2014
Posted by Justin Watry on 01/26/2017 at 04:01 AM

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- Sean, wrestling fan

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NOTE: This column was posted about three years ago the day after Royal Rumble 2014. Yes, the infamous night Batista won the Royal Rumble and Daniel Bryan was not even in the match...

Okay, NOW about the Rumble. Quick thoughts:

- Nice debut for Rusev. Not a huge impactful showing but good enough. Hopefully, he is not Bo Dallas and disappears.

- Somebody in the know spoiled the Kevin Nash appearance for me earlier on Sunday. Oh well, still a cool moment.

- JBL was funny. Again, I had an inkling that was coming but could not say anything.

- Kofi Kingston is amazing. Just amazing.

- Nice to have Sheamus back. Good talent to have on the roster, no doubt.

- Roman Reigns got his huge Rumble performance, as most expected. Good for him.

- Kane cost Punk the Rumble win late. Predictable but remember that is NOT always a bad thing. Punk had a long night but was never an option to win. Sorry.

Okay, about that ending...

I originally did NOT want to write anything but decided to after the emails started to roll in. Thus, here is one email that will be replied to. Just one today. Others can wait for after Raw.

From Anonymous:

"I realize there are a ton of fans who are upset that Daniel Bryan was not in the rumble, I know many people, even yourself has him as a possible winner, and then he doesn't even show up in it. In WWE's defense, why put Daniel Bryan in a match he was surely going to lose thus possibly costing him some momentum. Batista was going to win the rumble no matter what, his win had been a virtual lock since his return was announced. I know the crowd was upset Bryan wasnt there, but it would have been worse for him to come out and get eliminated, especially by Batista as the crowd would have instantly turned on him. If you want to blame WWE for anything, its not striking while the irons hot and putting Bryan in the Main Event at Wrestlemania, but don't blame them for not putting him in a match he was never gonna win. I really hope the rumors of a Sheamus vs Bryan rematch does not take place at Mania I really hope it doesn't. I would like to think WWE would pair Bryan with John Cena against the Wyatt family but who knows at this point.

Were you at all disappointed with the lack of surprise entrants in the Rumble, all of us were expecting Jericho, maybe RVD, but there really wasn't much outside of Kevin Nash, JBL and Sheamus , whom we all expected, I think the lack of surprises may have added to the crowds disappointment. Were you disappointed with the lack of surprises, and did it hurt the overall match?

My new working theory is that Batista will beat Randy Orton at Wrestlemania with the help of HHH, thus Batista will turn heel and side with the Authority, becoming the face of the WWE that Orton never could. Having a heel Batista allows guys like Cena, Punk, and possibly Bryan to chase after him for the belt. I don't think the crowd is that into Batista as a face to begin with, and he would work much better as a heel in my opinion, and the there is growing tension between the authority and Orton at the moment so it wouldn't be out of left field..

Hall of Fame Question:

If WWE were to start inducting matches into the Hall of Fame as rumored with the Wrestlemania 1 Main Event, wouldn't it just open a can of worms that could never be closed. There have been so many classic matches, how would WWE ever go about choosing which go in. I personally think its a bad Idea. If they want to honor wrestlemania 1 induct Mr. T, but not a match."

Good stuff. I will work backwards.

1. You are correct. If a "match" is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, who knows what is next? I am going to reserve judgment on that until it actually happens. As for Mr. T, there were rumors WWE wanted to induct him years ago, but he declined. Those are just rumors though. If they reach a deal this year, maybe it happens instead of the WrestleMania I main event match.

2. Batista DID hug Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on Raw last week. He did bluntly say he was winning the Royal Rumble and DEAL WITH IT! That seemed fairly obviously. Is that leading towards a heel turn? Was the original plan to always turn him heel shortly after coming back? Play the "Hollywood" Batista feel to turn fans against him by the time his film comes out? It could work. I am with you though. A Batista heel turn always stuck out to me, just because of how great his last run was. For now though, he is a face despite what the Pittsburgh crowd says.

3. I was fine with the surprise entrants. Of course, I will not say anything bad about JBL. Sheamus was rumored months back to be returning last night. Kevin Nash teased a television role for dying his hair. Did anybody really buy that? Also, he was in town as I noted weeks ago. Just more of wrestlers using Twitter to further tease the fans. Happens all the time. Do NOT take what guys say on Twitter to heart. Back to the original question...

Rob Van Dam will be back at some point. Chris Jericho will as well. Since Y2J did the Rumble entry last year, there was no real reason to repeat that. I assume some are upset with Jake Roberts not showing up, but that was known once he appeared on Raw. That was his moment. Then he went off on Ultimate Warrior. Another big no-no. Other than that - who was there? Sting was never showing up. Undertaker was never showing up. Brock Lesnar was never appearing there. AJ Styles is not going to WWE. All of those were just fantasy booking at its worst. Leads fans to accept something UNREAL and then become disappointed. Just makes no sense to me to build up all these wild expectations knowing full well they will not happen.

4. You are right on Bryan NOT being advertised for the Rumble match. I address this topic in depth over at 411mania.com (check it out tonight!) big time. Folks, he was NEVER entered into the 30 man Royal Rumble. Never. WWE never advertised him. Bryan never said he was going to be in there. Nobody ever teased he would be there. I do not get it. What did WWE have to do? Call you up on your phone and directly tell you 'Bryan is not showing up!?' Did the announcers have to grab a microphone and announce to the world that Bryan was NOT going be in the Rumble? Would fans have received the message then?

Is that what had to be done? Holding out hope for a surprise entry is one thing. Just going off on WWE is another. WWE booked Cena vs. Orton and delivered. WWE booked Brock vs. Show and delivered. WWE booked Bray vs. Bryan and delivered. WWE booked a 30 man Rumble with Batista being the favorite...and delivered.

Since Bryan was never in the plans to win, it was best to keep him out of the main event. I wrote about that on Thursday/Friday. Including Bryan only to be eliminated late would have been a MASSIVE mistake. You think the audience was angry last night? Imagine if Batista threw Bryan over the top rope to win it? Oh my. It would have been a million times worse. WWE was smart to keep him far away from the Rumble. Sadly, NOTHING was going to please that crowd last night. Nothing...unless it was Daniel Bryan winning the Royal Rumble.

Something that was never booked or even teased.

Too bad.

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If you have not yet followed me on Twitter (@JustinWatry), now is the time to do so. I will be giving away a $25 WWEShop gift card via random draw when I hit 1,000 followers. All you have to do is follow to automatically enter!

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