It's tough, at times, to know if WWE are trolling their audience, genuinely don't have a clue what their customers want to see, or if it's all part of some grand design. But it's a risky business strategy to use a pay-per view you have asked people to shell out $60 to see to wind those paying public up. Daniel Bryan fans (including, as you'll see, WWE legend Mick Foley) were left bemused as WWE's shining star of the past few months' saw his action limited to losing in the first match, then later being conspicuous by his absence in the Royal Rumble. This despite the fact that the entire crowd spent the night shouting his name with every 10-count. By the time Rey Mysterio emerged as the 30th and final entrant, the live crowd had had enough, and booed the remainder of the match as Batista eliminated Rumble MVP Roman Reigns to win a title match at WrestleMania 30. What followed, off-air, was the babyface Batista flipping the live crowd a bird, a move which has led to him being criticised backstage for mismanaging the situation. The fallout promises to continue on Raw tonight.
In other news, Randy Orton retained his WWE World Title against John Cena after a surprise appearance from The Wyatt Family, the New Age Outlaws defeated Cody Rhodes & Goldust (who later suffered the traditional tag-team miscommunication in the Rumble match) to become 6-time TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WOOOOOOOORRRLLLDD, and Brock Lesnar beat down the Big Show before brutalising him with a chair after the bell.
Here was the best of last night's action, with observations from both the Rumble and the Rumble party in Woolshed Baa & Grill, according to Twitter.
This was a thing...
#WoolshedRumble IF YOU SMELLLLLLLLLLL WHAT MY COCK..... IS ........ FUCKING #WWE #RoyalRumble
— Shane Reid (@Gamez_player) January 26, 2014
Oh you didn't know?
Holy shit the new age outlaws have won the tag titles - I'm 8 years old again #WoolshedRumble
— Daniel Pitcher (@DanPitchside) January 27, 2014
Predictions came in for Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt...
Our money is on the guy whose beard would catch the most velcro balls.
— Kayfabe News (@KayfabeNews) January 27, 2014
Daniel Bryan impresses, as always...
Shades of Shawn Michaels. Now @WWEDanielBryan is going to go do some coke & get into a bar brawl with Marines. #RoyalRumble — WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) January 27, 2014
It made for hella exciting UFC Heavyweight bouts...
Brock Lesnar’s Keys to Victory: - Elite wrestling background - Freakish athleticism - Can attack other UFC fighters with a chair — Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 27, 2014
How excited we all were for Cena/Orton...
This is like Ali-versus-Foreman 2 ...except that people actually wanted to see that rematch. #RoyalRumble
— Kayfabe News (@KayfabeNews) January 27, 2014
Fans in both the arena, Woolshed and probably even people watching by themselves at home got very bored, very quickly during the Cena/Orton match and started random chants, like "This is awful!" and "We want Divas" to keep themselves amused...
''3MB'' chants. *crosses fingers for Botchamania chant* — MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) January 27, 2014
This was what we came up with in Dublin...
LET'S GO CENA!! YOU'RE ALL CUNTS!!! #WoolshedRumble — Christopher hynes (@BuckHynes) January 27, 2014
I'm just surprised Miz got through this promo without laughing or crying...
The Miz: ''Why am I winning the Royal Rumble?'' Because I'm asleep and having a nightmare. — MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) January 27, 2014
I meant it too...
The gospel according to #WoolshedRumble pic.twitter.com/1HDhgbR92f
— Sean Coffey (@Coffey_23) January 27, 2014
Prediction for the Rumble match: The winner will be..........pointing to the WMXXX sign as we go off the air! — Jimmy Korderas (@jimmykorderas) January 27, 2014
Best description of Alexander Rusev I've heard...
It's like Vladimir Kozlov and Umaga's lovechild! #RoyalRumble — Chris Meade (@CM_punked) January 27, 2014
We were begging for this to happen too..
What if that fan in the front row shoved Kofi? — Wade Keller (@thewadekeller) January 27, 2014
Kevin Nash was asked after how he managed to get into the Rumble match as a surprise entrant and said, "By the grace of quad..."
Kevin Nash gets a tremendous pop...from his quad as it once again tears. #RoyalRumble — WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) January 27, 2014
WWE fans weren't allowing creative to forget who they wanted in the Rumble...
THUNDEROUS Daniel Bryan chants now #RoyalRumble — The History of WWE (@TheHistoryofWWE) January 27, 2014
JBL may have only been in the Rumble match for 18 seconds but the fans responded...
Best "You Still Got It" chant ever. — Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) January 27, 2014
You're sick, Tommy Dreamer. But now I want to see this too...
I would love to see @AntonioCesaro giant swing Torito over the top rope like that Triple AAA lucha mini mishap on youtube — Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) January 27, 2014
Roman Reigns stole the show, breaking Kane's record for most eliminations, and continued to get high praise from WWE legends...
Roman Reigns #MVP of #WWE #RoyalRumble. Helluva babyface run coming for this kid down the road. — Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) January 27, 2014
WWE continue it's weird recent trend of guys they cheer drawing low ratings and guys they boo drawing high ratings...
BATISTA GETTING HEAVILY BOOED This is the greatest PPV in months. — MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) January 27, 2014
After the crowd spent the entire show chanting for Daniel Bryan, number 30 in the Royal Rumble was, of course...(who else could it be?)
It's Rey, poor guy getting booed like crazy #RoyalRumble #F4WLive — Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) January 27, 2014
Even Mick Foley was baffled. EVEN MICK FOLEY!
Wait...@WWEDanielBryan isn't even IN the #RoyalRumble? That just kind of sucks. — Mick Foley (@realmickfoley) January 27, 2014
Does @WWE actually hate their own audience? I've never been so disgusted with a PPV. — Mick Foley (@realmickfoley) January 27, 2014
Eventually it came down to the final three...
Batista vs. Sheamus vs. Reigns. Crowd is rooting for some guy called ''Booooo.'' — MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) January 27, 2014
You are, literally, the only one...
I still like you, Big Dave. — Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) January 27, 2014
It's almost as if Daniel Bryan is in on this and is milking the fact that he's being 'held down' to benefit his career. This is almost...as if wrestling is predetermined...and WWE is playing upon the fact that they know fans want to get behind him. But that couldn't be? I guess I'll just chant louder at the next event...
Sorry guys, the machine wanted me nowhere near the Royal Rumble match. But I thank everyone for their support. YOU are the #YESMovement — Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) January 27, 2014
Feedback came quickly and bluntly...
The second half of this PPV was a brilliant payoff to the longest feud in WWE history: the booking vs. the fans. #RoyalRumble — BedxBreakfast Hulk (@TJHawke411) January 27, 2014
And what did we learn?
Moral of the story: work hard, deliver in the ring every night & you can watch as a part-time movie star headlines WrestleMania #RoyalRumble
— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) January 27, 2014
WWE Royal Rumble Quick Results
- THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS defeated WWE Tag-Team Champions, CODY RHODES & GOLDUST to win the titles
- BRAY WYATT defeated DANIEL BRYAN
- BROCK LESNAR defeated BIG SHOW
- WWE World Heavyweight Champion, RANDY ORTON defeated JOHN CENA to retain
- BATISTA won the 30-man Royal Rumble Match
Rick Nash is a former professional wrestler who currently runs WWE Parties Ireland (hosting large scale events for big WWE pay-per views in Dublin). He's also a DJ and terrible sports gambler, so feel free to share any WWE thoughts or sports tips with him on Twitter.